Friday, 1 April 2011

Utopia is only ever one ban away

April Fool's Day is a bit of a nightmare for a blog like this because covering stories that sound like gargantuan wind-ups is our day job. Nevertheless, Taking Liberties thinks this letter is genuine and I'm inclined to agree. Here it is in full:

Pubs going to the wall is a positive thing for our society

John Mallon wants to bring back smoking in pubs. He claims that "our pub culture is one of the reasons why Ireland is a great place to live and visit, despite the tough economic times.

"Pubs bring people together. They are a great social glue where friendships are made."

The opposite is very often true. Irish pubs and our alcohol culture have destroyed many families. The time and money wasted in pubs would be much better spent on family and friends in a healthier way.

Mallon bemoans the loss caused by "more than a thousand pubs (that) have gone bust".

This is not a loss but a gain for our society. Why not consider a ban on alcohol in pubs also, and get rid of quite a few more, and initiate a major improvement in our physical and mental health?

Edward Horgan

Newtown, Castletroy, Limerick

Truly, the prohibitionists never sleep.

I'm off to Beirut tomorrow to attend the International Harm Reduction Conference so it will be all quiet round here until next Friday. Until then, I'll leave you with the thoughts of a member of the Anti-Saloon League in 1918 when America was on the brink of Prohibition. Mr Edward Horgan should be able to relate to this...

I regard the anti-liquor crusade as merely the beginning of a much larger movement... If I had my way I would not only close up the saloons and the race-tracks. I would close all tobacco shops, confectionary stores, delicatessen shops, and other places where gastronomic deviltries are purveyed—all low theatres and bathing beaches.

I would forbid the selling of gambling devices such as playing cards, dice, checkers and chess sets; I would forbid the holding of socialistic, anarchistic and atheistic meetings; I would abolish the sale of tea and coffee, and I would forbid the making or sale of pastry, pie, cake and such like trash.

Bye for now. Try not to ban anything while I'm away.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Damn good post Chris - have retweeted!

Dick Puddlecote said...

You got a Tardis? I think that second letter is from 2018, not 1918.

Bucko said...

There used to be a time when April fools stories in the media were quite easy to spot. Now its not so simple.....