June 16: Is decline of pubs a sign of good health?

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THE decline in the number of pubs and beer sales mirrors the decline in industry over the last 30 years. The decimation of the coal industry and its reliant suppliers and their sub-contractors, along with the destruction of many of the communities reliant on these industries.

The Government’s 1p a pint cut will have had no real effect on the regular drinker, who will have to drink 300 plus pints to get a “free” one. Pubs will continue to close because they have too much competition from supermarkets who are doing to pubs as they did to corner shops years ago. I suppose Bill Clinton would say: “It’s the price, stupid.”

On the plus side, we must now be taking notice of the Government’s guide on safe alcohol limits and drinking less, which should hopefully take some of the burden from the NHS. More people taking exercise such as cycling.

Times have changed greatly from when the pubs now closing were built. It’s the old story of supply and demand. At least it helps the housing situation, the pubs seem to be replaced by houses.

The BBPA (British Beer and Pub Association) seem totally out of touch with the reality of the situation. Perhaps the closure of the pubs is a good thing if it means we are becoming a healthier nation, physically and mentally, alcohol of course being a cause of depression.

The body of course produces its own alcohol, in very small amounts, a lesson to be learnt there then.

Verity is not the Messiah

From: Dr Christopher Daley, Moorland View, Harrogate.

I CANNOT share your euphoria on the award of a knighthood to Sir Gary Verity (The Yorkshire Post, June 13). Recognise his efforts yes, but a knighthood – really?

While I do not dispute that he certainly was pivotal on the decision to bring the Grand Départ to Yorkshire, the idea that he is some sort of messianic-like figure in the life of Yorkshire, able to cure all its ills is risible.

There was life before Verity and will be after.

My concern about the man is that he clearly is not a team player – for example has anyone ever heard him promote colleagues at Welcome to Yorkshire? It is all about him and my, how he thrives on the exposure he receives and presumably the fringe benefits.

It would be good to see others who do just as much for Yorkshire promoted in such a way as Gary Verity.

Clearly until he came along we must have been continually failing to promote what Yorkshire has to offer. How did we manage?

The usual Tory sell-off

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

THE new Conservative Government has not taken long to show its usual intention of selling off publicly-owned shares in anything profitable.

The Royal Mail was one of the few profitable commodities that we still have shares in, the RBS is just starting to pick up after the disastrous state it was in when taxpayers’ money was used to bail it out. To sell now will mean a huge loss on our investment.

It appears the Government’s idea is grab any one-off cash payment they can get their hands on and when the money runs out, they will come back to the taxpayer.

No place for celeb gossip

From: Michael Ellison, Knapping Hill, Harrogate.

ON page three of your paper (The Yorkshire Post, June 11) you printed two reports about donations to charity shops.

The main story rightly highlighted the donation of a wedding dress by a mysterious widower; with a note attached giving a romantic reason for the donation. This is interesting because of the anonymity, and also the fact that St Gemma’s Hospice, which benefited from the gift, is at Boston Spa.

The other report cited that a Mrs Beckham had donated clothes (that her daughter has outgrown) to a charity shop in London. I suspect that I am not alone in thinking the latter report is not newsworthy for our region, and would prefer that stories about alleged A-list “celebs” be confined to the tabloids and glossy magazines.

Caught in the web

From: Mr J Penn, Hedon.

IN 1991, I had a serious accident in the Lake District, falling 50 feet down a waterfall on the banks of Ullswater. My daughter (aged 16) got to me first and released my tongue, something she had learnt in the Army Cadets. My wife Kathleen told ramblers and fell runners and they managed to raise the alarm.

A rescue helicopter arrived and took me to Carlisle Hospital.

I came round as I was being taken to Hull Royal Infirmary, three-and-a-half weeks later. A brain surgeon told me I had kept my sanity but I would end up in a wheelchair. I decided that I would try and avoid that. I now walk with a walking stick.

At this time the worldwide web was coming into effect.

Having gone through a state of “virtual reality” myself, I decided I wanted nothing to do with Big Brother’s worldwide web, but now I feel I am being conditioned to buy a computer.

I wish to maintain my freedom.