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Saturday 4 July 2020

Welcome To The Vomitorium

In a further easing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Government has decreed that pubs may open from today. Many will not take the plunge immediately, choosing to prioritise ensuring their customers have a safe environment in which to eat and drink, but at least 750 outlets will be raring to go, those being the pubs that are part of the J D Wetherspoon chain, domain of the singularly tight Tim Martin.
We want you to drink all of that, Eric

It would surprise no-one if Martin, still the Spoons chairman despite all the stick he got over an initial reluctance to pay his staff what they were owed, was revealed to have been a prime mover in getting pubs reopened. Sadly, it would also surprise no-one if this rush to restart businesses had been done just a little too quickly.

Pubs were ordered to close before the blanket lockdown order came on March 23: they had closed their doors the previous Friday. Some have since begun a takeaway service; other outlets have been delivering beer within their local areas. Microbreweries are getting into beer delivery in a big way. But after three and a half months, throwing open the doors is going to have one effect: a lot of people are going to sup just a little too much.
All those alcoholic beverages to choose from, all those punters who haven’t spent anything on holidays, not eaten out or gone down the pub for months. All that drinking time on a long summer day. What could possibly go wrong? Well, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock think something could.

Bozo, as the Guardian has reported, “has implored people to behave responsibly and safely as England’s chief medical officer admitted Saturday’s easing of the lockdown left the country treading a narrow path with serious risks ‘on either side’ … In a press conference on the eve of changes that will allow restaurants, pubs and bars to reopen for the first time since March, the prime minister insisted ‘we are not out of the woods yet’ … ‘Let’s not blow it,’ he said”. The Daily Mail put it rather more directly.
Drunken thugs will be locked up if they run riot on ‘Super Saturday’, Matt Hancock warned last night. The Health Secretary told the Mail that Britons could ‘by all means go to the bar’ today but they had to be sensible. He added: ‘You could end up behind bars if you break the law.’” Is it against the law to have just another pint? And maybe another?

Just how effective the exhortations from Hancock, and the Mail’s front page claim “WE’LL LOCK UP SUPER SATURDAY HOOLIGANS” are likely to be was conceded in this ominous coda to the report: “The police and the emergency services are bracing for mayhem today, with pubs allowed to reopen from 6am. In some parts of the country, more officers have been deployed than on New Year’s Eve”. Hmmmm.
The Mail tries to frighten potential troublemakers: “Asked if courts should take a tough line with booze-fuelled idiots who start fights in pubs, [Hancock] said: ‘Of course, the law is there for a reason. The Government would not shrink from shutting pubs again where there was irresponsible behaviour.’” But out there on the ground, getting that all-important table, access to lots of beer, and tempted to make the most of it, will anyone listen?

Not when they’re on their ninth pint, they won’t. Welcome to the vomitorium.
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Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
This OAP plans to join friends at a booked table next Wed 15:00 , all being well . I didn't really want to 'risk it' today ,

Arnold said...

I suppose this means more photos of Farage gurning in pubs holding a pint. I've missed them NOT

Nigel Stapley said...

There was a telling quote a day or so ago (which, sadly. I've not been able to track down today) in which Thatch-head apparently told the public at large something like, "Don't let businesses down".

And that is the crux of it; the premature easing of lockdown in England is due very largely to the stampings and strankings of the Tory Party's donors in big business. As with 'austerity', any number of dead proles is acceptable as long as the 'boddom line' is assured.

Andy McDonald said...


Wayne's World was 30 years ago and wasn't particularly funny then.

Steve Woods said...

Little Matt Hancock can sound off all he likes in the Daily Mail.

However, his tough talk runs up against one major obstacle, something he'd have heard about had he paid attention in his Oxford PPE lectures, i.e. the independence of the judiciary.

Anonymous said...

Er....and nothing happened. It says so in the Grauniad so it must be true!