Now Oldham town centre is notoriously dodgy at weekends, but both the police and the local licensing authorities have told Mr Woolas that they are powerless to stop it. After all, there’s no law preventing someone giving alcohol away. Perhaps he should complain to the government? Hold on-he is the government, or part of it anyway. Tokyo’s John Johnson has defended the move, claiming that it is simply a reaction to market forces. According to him, there are places in Halifax and (drum roll), Bury selling drinks for 90p a go. Sadly not where I drink, with even Wetherspoons wanting 99p for a pint of pigswill.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the market, we have Marco Pierre White selling real ale at £4 (soon to be £5), a pint. Why? Because he can, of course. To be fair, there is some validity in his reasoning, although the part about being responsible and charging more “so drivers drink less” is complete bollocks. Personally I won’t like to pay £5-or even £4-for Black Sheep, but if you’re that way inclined you can find it for £3.25 in Manchester. I’m also told that Tandleman’s favourite tipple-JW Lees Bitter- is now over £3 at the same establishment. Somehow I don’t think the Tandle Hill Tavern will be losing its favourite son, just yet.