Friday, 20 April 2018

The Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill

One of the pet projects of the temperance bastards was local control, or as it was usually and more realistically called, the local veto.

The idea was to give districts the chance to vote on whether all or some of the liquor licences in that district should be abolished. The temperance twats saw this as a way of gradually turning the whole country dry. But it was all based on an illusion.

Temperance wankers had fallen for their own propaganda. They'd managed to persuade themselves that licensed premises were imposed on the working classes and, given the chance they'd willingly free themselves from them. Obviously this was total bollocks. If it had been true, the pubs would have been empty.

From this article it's clear that temperance lunatics employed some pretty dodgy tactics.
"The Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill
Out of parliament

THE opposition to the Local Veto proposals of the present Government, which has been very strongly marked from the first, is rapidly increasing in all parts of the Kingdom, and in many unexpected quarters. Of course it went without saying that these proposals would meet with the determined hostility of all branches of the liquor trade, but it could hardly have been anticipated that so many Radical organisations would express such emphatic disapproval as they have. Especially is this the case in the Metropolitan districts.

It may be of some interest to our readers if we reproduce here a few facts relating to the licensed victual lers’ trade in London. The capital invested, according to Mr. Charles Walker, the Chairman of the Central Board of the Licensed Victuallers’ Protection Society of the Metropolis, is £60,000,000. There are 14,000 licence holders, and if the Veto on the issue of licences was put in operation it would throw 100,000 people out of employment. The licence duties paid amount to between £50,000 and £60,000, which sum is passed to the London County Council for the relief of taxation. The leases are long, and when originally granted are seldom for less than fifty years. Some are for 100 years, and others even longer than that. These leases are very valuable, and bring large sums in the open market, £20,000 or £30,000 being common prices to pay for publichouse businesses, and houses have been known to change hands for as much as £100,000. The tied-house system does not prevail to any-great extent, but the brewers and the distillers advance loans to the lessees, and a man with £2,000 or £3,000 — and perhaps even less sometimes — would be able to purchase a business which cost, it might be, £20,000 or £30,000: the difference between what the tenant owns and what he pays remaining as a loan on the lease, &c., which are mortgaged to the brewer and distiller. If the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill passed and came into operation throughout London, 75 per cent. of the publicans would have to pass through the Bankruptcy Court, and be irretrievably ruined, for they would be saddled with a load of debt they could never repay. Money to the tune of about £45,000,000 would be simply thrown away in London alone. It must not be supposed that this enormous loss would fall wholly upon the shoulders of the licensed victuallers, for they are financed by the brewers and distillers. It is safe to say that many more people would be seriously injured by the Bill than could by any possibility receive benefit from it.

We commend to our readers the lengthy report published in another part of this number, of a speech delivered by Mr. Chamberlain at a large public meeting held at Birmingham last Thursday to protest against the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill. The speaker’s main objections to the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill were that “it will be ineffective; it involves the maximum of inconvenience and the minimum of real temperance reform; it is invidious, because it will press hardly upon the working classes, and it will not touch the propertied classes at all; in the third place, it is unjust, because it destroys the means of subsistence of one class of the community without giving them the compensation which has always been given in similar cases; . . . it is dishonest, because it is brought in to serve political exigencies and not to promote conscientious convictions." Such objections as these, which are illustrative of the views of the population in all parts of the Kingdom, cannot be honestly contradicted as far as the propositions in the Government measure are concerned. The meeting of workmen held in Trafalgar-square last Saturday to demonstrate against the principles of the Veto Bill was certainly not the success it was expected to be. The disgraceful rioting by organised teetotal mobs on this, as also on several other occasions, will do a great deal towards killing this most absurd measure, since it shows the sort of spirit in which they would work the Veto if ever they got the chance. Dr. Dawson Burns, speaking on behalf of the teetotalers, caused it to be believed that there was no intention of moving amendments or in any way interfering with the meeting, and relying upon his promise, the promoters made no effort to guard against surprise. But, at the very moment when Dr. Burns’ promise appeared in print, a confidential circular was being issued to members of teetotal societies calling upon them to be present in the Square by three o’clock, the meeting not being called until 4.30 p.m. The circular continued: “It is earnestly requested that no members will appear in regalia, or any attempt made to organise a procession; and, further, that no member will attempt to address the meeting or move amend ment to resolution.” The whole thing was a carefully planned surprise, by which the Square was seized before the legitimate meeting had assembled, and as discussion was prohibited, nothing other than deliberate disorder could have been intended. How well this intention was carried out by the brutal ruffians who have taken “Temperance ” as their watchword we are all aware. The lesson is one to be laid to heart. If all this can be done whilst we are still unshackled, what is likely to be the fate of average non-teetotal humanity when the fetters of the Veto are upon us?" Fraud, cunning, deceit, and ruffianly violence are the forces by which the Veto will be worked."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, pages 105 - 106.
Of course, the temperance madmen would have loved to see everyone in the liquor trade bankrupted. They didn't give a fuck about how many livelihoods they would destroy, nor that they would be robbing working men and women of one of their few pleasures. Like all fanatics, they weren't concerned about what sacrifices others would have to endure as long as they achieved their insane goals.

In the end, the local veto must have been a huge disappointment to temperance idiots. When a scheme was introduced in Scotland after WW I, it wasn't met the expected enthusiasm of the working classes. Only a few, mostly well-heeled, districts opted for the veto. And as new votes were held in later years, the number of districts suppressing the liquor trade tended to decline rather than increase.

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