The Decline of the Pub

I wonder how many readers are conversant with the greatest jazz singer of all time – Billie Holiday. OK – let’s not argue about ‘the greatest’ – that is just my opinion. One of her strangely haunting songs was called “Strange Fruit”. It was about stringing up niggers on trees for the slightest, perceived offence – a bit like Judge Jeffreys’s liking for hanging people who stole sheep. Hanging niggers were the ‘strange fruit’.

Sadly, Billie sank into the despond and died aged 44 from drink and drugs, but her singing and songs are immortal.


It may seen to be a strange jump from Billie Holiday’s decline and death to the decline (and death?) of pubs. But there are parallels. Some years before her death, she was in her pomp. Everyone loved her. Even as she declined, and her voice deteriorated (which can be heard on her last recordings), she was still mesmerising.

And so, in a way, has been the decline in our pubs. They used to be places of jollification, camaraderie, darts and card games. All have been choked to death by the Health Zealots. Health Zealots have been the ‘drink and drugs’ which are killing our pubs.


The reason that I have highlighted pubs on this occasion is simple.

Wednesday is a day when I go to the pub in the evening about 10 pm for a beer. The pub will be almost empty, but I do enjoy just having a couple of pints and, perhaps, vaguely watching football on Sky Sports. Some readers might recall that, once upon a time, I enjoyed the pub at least nine times per week – every night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Gradually, since the smoking ban, I have stopped going to the pub. I now go only on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, and then I imbibe less than I used to. So, gradually, a bit at a time, since the smoking ban, my ‘contribution to revenue’ of the pub has declined and declined. The emptiness of the pub is witness to the fact that I am not the only one to experience the deadness of the pub. What is worse is that I have to exit an empty, massive space to enjoy a cigarette.

One of the problems with the ‘indoor public place’ smoking ban is that it takes no account of the volume of space available in a big pub. It is true that, in the past, some small pubs were very smoky – not that anyone complained or died because of that, but the magnificent edifices were not so afflicted, and they had big wall fans. The publican decided when to switch the fans on and off. There was never a problem.


Readers might wonder what I am ‘getting at’ since most of the above is already well-known. The reason is this:

Last Wednesday, one if my pub nights, I ‘forgot’ to go.

I do not mean that I forgot that it was Wednesday. Earlier in the day, I had decided to do this and that before I went to the pub.

No. I did not forget that it was Wednesday. What happened was that I forgot to go to the pub! I was messing about with the curing box and stuff, and then I was on the internet, and I just forgot to go to the pub! It was 11 pm when I noticed that I had forgotten!


That says a lot more than it seems to say. It says that the pub is no longer an integral part of my life. It says that the pub is just a sideshow in my social life. In fact, it says that I have no social life any more. My life has become introverted – apart from the internet.

But that is not the case when I go to Magalluf. When I go there (on my own), I ‘engage’ – but not in a big way. I exchange pleasantries, have little conversations, etc, but always outdoors. I NEVER engage indoors.


The pub in question is a ‘Pubco’ pub. There is no doubt that the smoking ban is responsible for their problems. Why do these Pubco Executives not pester the Government to death about the ban? More importantly, perhaps, generally, why do the Chief Executives of Food, Drink and Booze Companies not get together and fight THEIR ENEMY, which is the Healthist Monopoly. The important word there is MONOPOLY. It is a matter of fact that the arm of the ‘Iron Triangle’ which is most exposed to public scrutiny is “Academia”, because Academia has the ear of the Legislature. The only reason that this is so is that it has been organised to be so, by Zealots – especially in the Health Dept.


I forgot to go to the pub. It is easy to forget. It is easy to forget Nazi atrocities. It is easy to forget that the Nazis exterminated people, just like I forgot to go to the pub. Forget.

Individuals will forget, but that is no excuse for MPs not to shoot down the wishes of Zealot MPs in Parliament. If fact, if there is one thing which matters, it is for “Good People” to counter the Crazy Zealots in Parliament. It is one of those rare situations where there are the Crazy Zealots on one side (who ought never to have been elected) and the Sensible People on the other. There is no excuse for the Sensible People to ‘chicken out’.

But MPs seem to be docile. “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do”


4 Responses to “The Decline of the Pub”

  1. Tacitus Says:

    The English Pub will rise again when enough Englishmen sprout some bollocks and start kicking ass. At present we have a spirit
    multitude fluttering on the Web,a digital cage of articulate budgies
    prattling parrots, whimpering to the converted ,yet totally unkown to the majority. To maintain freedom, more are needed to start kicking and less klicking.
    Reminder, laws made in Westminster are man made not God made
    they are not for ever ,only as long as frightened fools allow them.

    • Junican Says:

      Gosh, Tacitus, I do think that your prose is jolly amusing. You certainly have a way with words!
      I assume that the Tacitus whose name you have adopted is the well-known Roman historian. But it does not matter.
      Why don’t you settle on the name ‘Tacitus’, rather than keep changing your acronym? Like “Junican”, “Tacitus” is a jolly good nickname.


      On occasions, I have been tempted to delete your comments. But I would be very reluctant to do so, if only because of your comical and intricate prose. I noticed that you also commented at Dick P’s place. There, you did not engage in comical prose, but made sensible comments.

      Tell me, if you will, whose ‘arses’ are available to be kicked? Where are they? How do smokers get together to kick arses which are invisible?
      Prof Ashton showed his arse and got a good arse-kicking. It would be lovely if Arnott, Duggan, etc bared their arses for us all to kick, but, for some reason that I do not understand, they fail to reveal their arses. Perhaps tomorrow…..

  2. nisakiman Says:

    Why do these Pubco Executives not pester the Government to death about the ban?

    Because anti-smoking is now part of the Politically Correct lexicon, and those executives know that if they raise their heads above the parapet, they will be branded child killers, peddlers of lung cancer, tobacco industry stooges etc etc. Tobacco Control have, for the time being, got it all sewn up. Anyone who disagrees with them will be shot down in flames, as they have the MSM in their pockets, and no sense of morality.

    I agree with you about Billie Holiday; she was a fabulous artist. I listen to her stuff on a regular basis and never tire of it.

    • Junican Says:

      “Pubco” does not equate to “Big Tobacco”! There is not yet a ‘magnificent edifice’ of ‘alcohol control’. But I understand your point. What Pubcos need to do, in anticipation, is examine all their communications over the past thousand years and shred the lot. Thus, when “The Framework Convention of Alcohol” gets off the ground, there are no archives to be searched through to get titbits of exchanges of ideas about ‘capturing kids’.
      Or rather, examine their archives and shred any documents which refer to getting kids to drink alcohol, or anything similar.
      That’s better.And food co’s should do likewise – shred anything which refers to pleasing kids.

      Billie Holiday – sublime. She can only be in Heaven.

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