02 June 2009

Pointless Regulations ~ Ruining Pub Life & Liberty

My MIT alum friend, the entrepreneurial HongKong'ster Cory Kidd, sent me this provocative piece by Josie Appleton, director of the pro-liberty Manifesto Club, about the ruination of British pub life through pointless regulations -- Two Pints of Non-Alcoholic Lager and a Packet of Fat-Free Crisps. Published in Reason -- one of the few consistent and long-lived public voices of... reason -- Appleton lists a litany of ludicrous laws. She then concludes with a call to... reason!
"The state has replaced the traditional pub landlord. Yet the authorities meddle with the pub at their peril. While the government yearns for a British public that drinks nicely "like the French," it forgets the essential role played by voluntary association. The truth is that pubs have long had a civilizing influence, particularly on younger drinkers. Pub owners judged the right moment to say, "you've had enough, mate" and ban those who caused trouble. Underage drinkers were tolerated so long as they behaved themselves, and as a result young people learned to drink like adults -- whereas now they behave like teenagers, drinking noisily and messily on park benches. The commonsense authority of the pub landlord had more force than these rule-happy bureaucrats will ever enjoy. Meanwhile, the licensing system has chased out some of the more wholesome pub activities. Both the police and the politicians should keep their prying hands and peeping eyes away from pub doors."
Sounds like a Commonsense Manifesto to me! We see the same kind of ridiculous rules and regulations right here in the so-called "birthplace of liberty." Land of the free? US?! Bullshit.

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