I've Got No Strings
When your best friend is the pint of Old Fart’s XXX Mild you’re nurturing in your hand and the highlight of your week is wondering if the tramp sat next to you in Spoons will share his XL bag of Mini Cheddars; there is no more important issue than pubs and booze.
Consider the worries: Will VAT be increased on pub grub? Meaning I would have to cook something myself. Will crippling bureaucracy mean cutbacks in heating? Meaning being forced to wear woolly jumpers and gloves.
Will pubs be forced to scrap showing sport on TV? Meaning I would be obliged to spend time with my relatives in order to watch the match. Ultimately will the pub actually close? Leaving me destitute and out in the street. Or worse, forced to go home.
Considering the massive issues involved here, I decided it was about time I took a close look at the prospective candidates who want my vote.*
(1) Richard Baum-Liberal Democrat. A lot of people (some who should know better) have said they intend to vote LD. I think Vince Cable is in favour of minimum pricing, but the local candidate hasn’t furnished me with any info on himself. Or even tried to canvass my vote. Falls at the first hurdle.
(2) Bill Brison-Independent. Might be an Old Fart’s XXX Mild drinker. Might not. I know nothing about him or his policies. Falls at the first hurdle.
(3) Stephen Evans-UKIP. Actually goes out of his way to say he wants the smoking ban repealed. Clearly bonkers, so let’s move on.
(4) Maryam Khan-Labour. As Labour are seen as having no practical chance of winning the seat, Ms Khan was parachuted in to give her some experience. Described to me by a high-ranking, anonymous, Labour Party mole as “vacuous”, she carries a “nice but dim” tag.
Her website mentions her commitment to investment, family, education etc but no mention of the really serious issues of pubs and beer. She is, however, the only one of the candidates I would consider sleeping with.
(5) Graeme Lambert-Pirate Party. Only 18 and seems like a nice lad. Lives down the road from me, so handy if I want to complain about my bins not being emptied. Yes, I do know that’s the Council’s responsibility.
Their manifesto seems worryingly sensible for a single policy party. Reform of the copyright laws to enable legal downloading, reform of the libel laws (overdue) and they are opposed to ID cards and the surveillance State.
But...no mention of booze. I’m concerned he might be a secret teetotaller.
(6) John Maude-BNP. Drinks in the Trackside. Obviously likes a drop of Old Fart’s XXX Mild, so he’s got half my vote already. Has a fantastic handlebar moustache, so that’s another 25% of my vote...But he’s more crackers than someone stuck in a crackers factory at Christmas. I don’t have many standards, but voting for the mentally impaired is one of them.
(7) David Nuttall-Conservatives. Allegedly a CAMRA member, but if he is, he keeps quiet about it. Of course he does, you’re thinking. Still, he hasn’t signed up to CAMRA’s Election Charter, so I’m suspicious. Proud to be a God botherer and thinks the return of fox hunting is a priority. Fails for the same reason as No.6.
So the field is still wide open. First one to deliver a firkin at my door wins my vote?
*Actually two votes-I vote on my mother’s behalf as well. Electoral fraud? Only if they catch you.