Saturday 5 November 2022

Show a license to buy a pint

"Your entitlement card is in order, you may purchase a pint"
Hat Tip to Old Holborn on this gem from Labourlost written by John Cowan the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South East Cambridgeshire. Cowan is also a councillor, more by accident than democracy as only 63 people bothered to vote for him. Drinkers' Licences:A radical new way to curb drinking excess? Down in Brighton for Labour Party Conference one thing that was noticeable was the large amounts of alcohol consumed over the weekend - and not just by the conference delegates. Most people are responsible users and are able to have a few drinks and enjoy themselves without causing damage to either others or the local environment. However, not all drinkers and users of other substances are able to handle their use of booze in such a responsible manner. At weekends, most A&E departments house those suffering from alcohol poisoning, assaults and drink related accidents. It takes much needed resources from the NHS which could be used for other purposes. Prohibition of alcohol, like any other drug, does not work. It was tried in the 1920s in the US and resulted in making the likes of Al Capone rich men. One possible solution could be an entitlement card that people would carry and swipe when every time they buy Alcohol or Tobacco and record their usage. Is that too radical? I don't think so. For a long time the Government have controlled motorists with a system of licences where people enjoy the right and freedom to drive - as long as they conform to certain rules. With the card, people who got into trouble for, say, minor crimes or drunk and disorderly conduct in public would receive a fixed penalty notice and 3 points on their entitlement card with points disappearing over time for in the same way works on driving licences. More serious offences would result in endorsements on the entitlement card and the cardholder would not be able to purchase alcohol, tobacco or other drugs available for sale through the entitlement card scheme. The main benefits of the policy would be reduction in the health care and crime costs associated with use of substances hopefully leading for more better functioning society. Have posted the entire article in full, just to show what an authoritarian idiot John Cowan is. Not just an idiot for having these views, but for publishing them on a Labour website. Still a good way to prove to the voters of South East Cambridgeshire that no one in their right mind should vote for an authoritarian lunatic such as this and that the Labour party are totally unelectable. Why doesn't Cowan just put a swastika armband on and declare his true colours? This all goes to prove how far removed the Labour Party have become from the public; the Nanny State has become the Bully State, wishing to control every minutiae of our lives and believing it is for the good of the people. They may have thrown out the idea of National Identity Cards but each of these "entitlement cards" will be issued to an individual, recording where and when you drank, what you drank and who you were with. A Tesco clubcard without the bonuses and all the information going to the Government. Cowan is even talking about restricting healthcare to those who have been involved in alcohol related incidents. What happens if you're the one in hospital on the receiving end of the attack? The medical staff swipe your "entitlement card" only to find you were drinking. Hence you get pushed down the triage list. Police later arrest the attacker but you were the victim and denied or had delayed healthcare due to the information on your "Ent ID Card". This is a very a stupid idea from a very stupid man, obviously having 63 votes in a council election has given him a sense a grandeur. This is the sort of politician who can best serve our country dangling from a lampost. Hell I'd even supply the piano wire. Wonder what happens when the pill-popping Prime Mentalist finds out about his PPC writing this? - duck the Nokia's are flying, quick get his pills and move the laser printer before.....too late. Obo also has his take on this story As does Salted Slug Update: the Devil's Kitchen also runs with this As does the Lone Voice

Wednesday 2 November 2022

A quick visit to Brussels


St Pancras International, looked over by Sir John Betjeman 

St Pancras station was a dreary place some thirty years ago when I first arrived there by train; almost derelict, the station hotel had long since closed under the nationalised British Rail and the magnificent building had been left to ruin, a dark and gloomy reminder of what happens when Governments run things. Thankfully, that is all in the past and today St Pancras is a light, airy, bustling station with plenty of bars including a Wetherspoons, The Barrel Vault  and a Young's pub, the Betjeman Arms, both of which are preferable to the waiting area for the Eurostar, which does have a bar, serving keg Camden Brewery beers. My choice would be the Betjeman Arms, unfortunately, my delayed incoming train prevented more than a couple of pints before I had to check in. 

First pub stop in Brussels after negotiating the North African pickpockets who inhabit  Brussels Zuid/Midi/South was next to Brussels Central

Yes, Brewdog have a bar in the centre of Brussels. This gave me time to look at a few other options so booted up Untappd and looked at where else to visit in the centre of Brussels. On Untappd there were a few recommendations from friends who had sadly passed away, a bit of a shock seeing their names pop up in the digital afterlife and even more unfortunately most of their recommendations had closed. Being a Monday night, not much else was open.
No matter, a wander around central Brussels.  Any pub flying the Union Flag alongside a Belgium Flag with a Chimay canopy outside must be worth visiting and St Nicolas featured Chimay on draught. In addition the late 1960s/70s Greek prog-rock band Aphrodite's Child which featured Vangelis and Demis Roussos, was blasting out from the music system.

Now in the Netherlands, St Nicolas has a helper, Zwarte Pete and there were a few representations to him in this bar. Ah, the PC Brigade in the UK would be going mad over this, whereas in Belgium it is just seen as a normal custom.

Back to the hotel, as the next morning I had a brewery to visit

The breweries, pubs and bars of Bath

Forgot to link to this video I made over the Summer with Simon Martin


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