Anorak News | Cobblers All Round

Cobblers All Round

by | 6th, September 2005

‘“VOTERS reject late-night drink laws,” says the Times’s front-page headline. “The public is overwhelmingly against government plans to let pubs and clubs open until the early morning.”

Smoking preserves dead meat

Well, that’s that then. The Government can’t go against the majority decision, as produced by a Populus Poll commissioned by the paper. Especially a Government voted in by 36 per cent of the electorate at the last General Election.

If 52 per cent of men are opposed to the changes in licensing and a whopping 71 per cent of woman think the same, the message is that the Government has got it wrong.

But opinion polls, let it not go unsaid, can be wrong. Just look at the one on the Telegraph’s front page. It says that 40 per cent of the public back Ken Clarke in his bid to be the next leader of the Tory party.

The ICM survey for BBC’s Newsnight programme found that the cigar-chomping old Tory is more likely to seduce floating voters back to the Conservatives than the other candidates – at least that’s the Telegraph’s interpretation of the results.

But surely Clarke is the choice for many Labour supporters to lead the enemy. Mindful of the 65-year-old former chancellor’s comfortable physique and smoking habit, Labour voters will believe that if he becomes Tory leader and wins power at the next General Election, Clarke won’t be in the top job for long.

Which makes us wonder if that 40 per cent is not made up of Labour voters keen to have a dead duck as a Tory leader, or at last one that looks none too healthy?

Realising that polls can be misleading, the Times’s poll looks a little less certain. All the more so when readers learn that young people (aged 18-24) do not believe the new law will cause more binge drinking and lawlessness. And since they are the ones who are most likely to be out late, their views are worth taking into account.

And than hang the fact that no-one has to stay until last orders, that drinking costs money and that you can get off your head at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week on home brew. And what about those who prefer cannabis to booze?

But the Times sticks to its guns, and says that these findings are in light of the 30,000 objections to the changes in the law that have been received by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

That’s a lot. And, as the Times reports in its leader column, the figure includes a complaint from Tony Blair’s close friend Lord Simon of Highbury. He’s objected to the extended opening of his local bar, the Canonbury Tavern. “Lord Simon has protested at reports of revellers urinating in gardens,” says the paper.

Not exactly the rapes, murders and general uberviolence we’ve been warned to expect as this protracted debate on the nation’s drinking habits trundles on.

Worries over a rise in the occurrences of people weeing on the azaleas… Oh dear. Tsk! Tsk! Terrible. It’s nothing less than a prelude to the painful end of civilisation.

Which means it must be time for a drink…’

Posted: 6th, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink