Sun 29 Nov 2020: consistency is a four letter word

Remember the halcyon days of October? When the government had the sensible idea of a few different well-defined levels of restrictions? The details were arbitrary and they never told us what the reasoning was behind them, but then … they just randomly changed their tiny little minds after a couple of weeks, getting rid of those different levels and just confining everyone to house arrest for a month. It actually looks like those three different levels, despite only lasting a couple of weeks, were working. The pestilence prevalence was levelling off before we were all locked up. Well, as of the middle of next week we’re back to three levels, but they’re completely different from previously, and one of them might as well not exist, as it only applies to 30 people who smell of fish out of a population of 56 million.

The three new tiers again have no actual basis in reality that has been shared with the population – pubs were doing perfectly OK a couple of months ago with serving beer to people who weren’t having meals, those people were sitting at tables in their little groups, but now, apparently, we have to have meals in pubs (if pubs are allowed to open at all), and can only be served beer while eating, lest we run up to random strangers and start licking them or something. I’m beginning to wonder if the restrictions are being informed more by the sort of Puritanism that we thought we’d successfully kicked out to the Colonies in the 17th century than by actual facts.

You may wonder why I’m going on so much about pubs. There are indeed plenty of other businesses that are being needlessly fucked over just as much. But the pub is, and has been, at the heart of English culture for a very long time. It is where you meet friends of friends and random strangers who become friends, and expand your social circle; it is where sports clubs are formed and where they bond after their game; it is the venue for all kinds of other civil society, ranging from your local chess club to union meetings and political party meetings to art lessons to where the GPs meet to discuss local healthcare. Pubs fulfil the social functions that the state church used to, before the state church became the shambling corpse that it now is. And pubs are being killed, deliberately, by bastards.

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