28 November 2005

Finally, late drinking in my local.

Well Friday night arrived and I had my first chance to test out the new licencing laws. Got to the Lion and Lobster for my first drink around 10.00pm. This meant that me and my girlfriend had plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely meal before going out. (She had travelled down from Preston and only arrived at mine at 8pm).

The band were playing till 11-ish, and I sipped my pint of Dark Star without having to have one eye on the clock. How nice it was to be able to go to a pub after 10pm and not have less than an hour to enjoy your drink.

The number of times, friends have travelled down to see me, and we have debated whether it was 'worth' rushing to try and catch last orders at 11pm. Then to have barstaff 'hassling' us to 'hurry up' and finish our drinks 5 mins after being served.

"We've had your money, now **ck off", our local landlord used to charmingly chant at 11pm.

How ridiculous were those licensing law?

Where is the impending doom the Daily Mail et al have predicted?

Are we not going to be wondering what the fuss was all about in 6 months? The doom mongers and sensationalists in the press will have quietly dropped this subject and moved on to another ridiculous campaign of opposition to Labour policy. It is so much more difficult for a Labour government to govern in the face of this constant barracking from the press, manoeurvering public opinion against any legislation until Labour have categorically proved them wrong. The Tories in contrast could introduce any old rubbish legislation with not a murmor of opposition from their press friends and the House of Lords.

So, because of this I'm going to ram this doommongering down the throats of every Daily Mail reader and remind them what a bunch of cretins they were. I personally think everyone of them should vote Labour to compensate for their pathetic moanings about perfectly reasonable legislation.

Of course not everyone is happy and I agree with this guy. The only problem I can see is that the laws don't go far enough.

The Lion and Lobster is open till 2.30am at weekends (as long as you get there by 12 midnight), this Friday 1am was good enough for me and my girlfriend (I know- we are lightweights). What a relief it was to be able to relax and slowly sip my beer at my pace, well after 11pm at my local without 'having' to worry about walking into town and paying to go in some crap club with loud music. All I want to do sometimes is enjoy a quiet drink, late at night, what is wrong with that, you Daily Meldrew readers?

As far as I can see, this law is going to encourage a quiet drink. How did the old licensing law help binge drinking? It encouraged us to go into the centre of town to noisy, 'fast drinking/cattle markets' where you can't hear yourself think, let alone have a conversation. No conversations and no seating equals higher alcohol consumption and higher revenues. That is all these places are bothered about. They were certainly not that worried about the trouble this causes when 'fuelled up' youths are thrown out onto the street to fight for taxis and kebabs. This new law will give people a choice not to go to these places, and that has to be a good thing.


  1. Well, given that the first world war ended nearly 90 years ago, it's about time...

  2. Unfortunately the peaceful atmos. of The George's Sunday night quiz was interrupted by a load of students looking for late-nite opening. Sensibly, the bar staff twigged that they ought not to be served, and they eventually left, but much as I'm for liberalisation, it's clear that much more effort is going to be needed (by barstaff, bouncers and others) to keep things calm.

    Can't help thinking that, in time, people will actually seek out the earlier-closing pubs for a quieter night.

  3. "Can't help thinking that, in time, people will actually seek out the earlier-closing pubs for a quieter night."

    I really can't see how closing times will make a difference to what a pub is like. I think the George is near town, so more likely to get passing trade, maybe that is why those students turned up.