I was quite dismayed and surprised at the recent CAMRA findings, revealing that pub closures had increased by almost 50% in the last six months.
The figure now stands at 26 per week, as opposed to the previous figure of 18.
This is quite an alarming increase, over such a short period and I felt obliged to highlight the problem, and ask a few questions.
Has beer become too expensive? I certainly know lots of people who say that going to the boozer, is now considered a luxury.
Is beer now perceived as being bad for you? The anti-alcohol lobby,government and health campaigners all seem to think so.
Such groups always bang on about binge drinking and cheap, high strength booze being available in our supermarkets.
Change the bloody record, roll out some positives. Why not mention that alcohol in moderation is fine and that the majority of the population actually do drink sensibly.
The smoking ban did not help. A fag and a pint is no more. Unless you sneak your pint pot on to the front street, whilst having a drag!
Has the recent one penny reduction in duty, coupled with the death of the beer escalator, made a big difference to the influx of customers through the pub doors?
CAMRA Chief Executive, Mike Benner, seemed to think the government's recent announcement on duty and the escalator would make a big difference.
I cannot concur. Maybe a little difference, Mike.
Although it was very welcome, I just think is was a touch of electioneering, on the governments part.
I am of no political persuasion. But, do you think the likes of messrs. Cameron and Osborne are 'boozer friendly'? Not really, in my humble opinion!
But wait a moment. Is minimum pricing on alcohol in England going ahead? Are we to see plain packaging on fag packets, as promised?
Surely the 'The Blues Brothers' have not suddenly gone soft on beer and fags?
Mmmm...Perhaps it's summat to do with a fag smoking, beer
loving UKIP member, doing some 'tub thumping' down the boozer, after a successful, recent county council, election campaign!
Oh, how cynical of me for suggesting such a thing. As if anyone would agree with the views expressed in the last paragraph.
But finally, on a more serious note. Are we really giving up on pubs?
Is part of our social fabric and heritage disappearing forever?
Maybe, just maybe......