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Lib Dem Measurement Fascist strikes again….

January 28th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized by

Greg Mulholland clearly has “Measurement Mania”.  Having sought to ban the word “regular” from our coffee shops last week, he has now gone on record welcoming the law requiring pubs to serve small (125ml) glasses of wine alongside larger measures.

EDM 737  27/01/10

“That this House welcomes the introduction of the law, within the Mandatory Code of Practice, requiring pubs, bars and other similar establishments to offer the choice of a 125ml measure of wine alongside larger measures; notes that this follows campaigning since the introduction of the Sale of Wine (Measures) Bill in 2008 and a campaign by the Good Pub Guide also supported by a number of other organisations; believes that obliging venues to offer 125ml size measures gives consumers greater choice by allowing them to order smaller as well as larger size glasses of wine; further believes that this will help standardise wine measures so that it would be better understood that 125ml is a small measure of wine, 175ml medium and 250ml large; further notes that this will mean people will have a better idea of how much they are drinking at any venue; further believes that this is a simple and effective method of increasing alcohol awareness amongst wine drinkers; further notes that this measure need not mean using 125ml sized glasses of wine but that this measure can be dispensed in a 175ml glass with a measure; and looks forward to the implementation of this policy so that consumers everywhere have real choice of wine glass measures everywhere they go”.

This statement refers to the Home Office Mandatory Code Of Practice for alcohol retailers which will, subject to Parliamentary timetable, introduce the following mandatory licensing conditions for pubs, clubs etc: Banning irresponsible promotions;Banning pouring drinks directly into the mouths of customers;Ensuring free tap water for customers; and Ensuring that all on trade premises offer small measures of beers, wine and spirits to customers.

The last of these measures – the one that Greg Mulholland commends to the House – will have no meaningful effect on drinking levels in this country nor on the takings or profits of the pubs. 

Even so it’s annoying and pretty absurd that yet again this Government is telling people its not their fault if they get rat-faced, but somehow the retailers. And I cant see for the life of me why the Home Office thinks that the minority of people hell-bent on going out on a Friday night with the sole aim of getting legless will somehow now desist because there is a mandated option of a small glass of wine on the menu. As for stopping drinks promotions in pubs, that will simply result in people drinking copious amounts away from the scrutiny of responsible landlords. Then go to the pub! The world has gone barking mad. 

Speaking of which, the bit that intrigues me in Greg Mulholland’s EDM is the bit  I highlighted in blue (above).Arrgh!!!  Does anyone know where,when and why an otherwise bright, sane Lib Dem MP turned into the Measurement Facist of old London Town?

Chris Huhne was talking last week about the swathes of needless legislation that has been introduced by this Government over the last decade when current laws exist already to deal with the issues raised? So. If it is true as the Home Office says “The majority of alcohol retailers behave responsibly, but a minorityconduct irresponsible promotions or practices – the mandatory code will stop these where they take place.“, then Councils already have the power they need to stop the irresponsible few – withdraw their licences. End of.. Why the need for MORE legislation? And why is Greg Mulholland praising something that Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary must surely condemn?

Methinks someone should take Greg to a quiet corner and give him a chill pill.

22 Responses to “Lib Dem Measurement Fascist strikes again….”

  1. James Graham Says:

    Facist? I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that Greg discriminates against people on the basis of their phizog.

  2. Foregone Conclusion Says:

    *shrug* You have a point about ‘regular’ coffee – there it’s just Greg Mulholland disliking Americanisms. But this just seems to be a proposed extension of the Weights and Measures Act 1985, which sets out spirits as sold in 25mls, or multiples thereof. Hence you know exactly what you’re paying for. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. I doubt that it would do anything for public health, but it’s hardly ‘fascist’.

  3. Neil Craig Says:

    As a member of the LibDems you are, beyond dispute, a racist murdering Nazi member of a joint criminal conspiracy involving genocide, raping children & dissecting living human beings to steal their body organs. As such how dare you criticise anybody else for “fascism”?

  4. Chris Black Says:

    I don’t disagree with a word that Greg M says here.

    Um, a day after Holocaust Memorial Day, you don’t know how to spell fascist, and you don’t appear to know what it means.

  5. Angela Harbutt Says:

    1. typo corrected – thank you.

    2. regarding the use of the word fascist, it is a word that has and is used used widely to mean variously “dictatorial”, “oppressive”,intolerant”,”chauvinist” etc etc. Which is the meaning intended.

  6. Julian Harris Says:

    Neil, irrespective of the truth (or lack of) behind your oft-repeated allegations, the sudden leap to guilt-by-association is somewhat, well, illiberal.

    And please don’t respond to this by saying how the LDs are also illiberal. I speak for myself, not somehow on behalf of the party.

  7. Neil Craig Says:

    Oft repeated, oft proven, oft censored, never seriously disputed.

    And if guilt by association is “illiberal” then howcum your party never objected to the war crimes “court” deciding to prosecute people as part of a “joint criminal conspiracy” to let Yugoslavia survive. If that is in any way arguable then you are all certainly part of a joint criminal conspiracy to commit genocide in the Nazi cause.

  8. Rob Says:

    Neil, when you first flamed me you were ever so slightly intimidating. Now you’re just boring.

  9. Squirrel Nutkin Says:

    Why are you trying to deprive consumers of the possibility of chosing a small glass of wine?

  10. tim leunig Says:

    This one doesn’t bother me either. In an ideal liberal world you would be able to order half a glass, etc etc

  11. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Squirrel – I am not trying to deprive anyone of buying a small galss of wine – I can do that at several local bars as it happens. I object to the reasoning – not one of trading standards or consumer choice – but by the home office to address binge drinking – as if offering the option of buying a small glass of wine will somehow clear the streets of drunks.

  12. squirrel nutkin Says:

    Yes, I know it was really no more than yet another bloated why-oh-why piece about how it’s teh eevil state that is uniquely and overwhelmingly constraining of our liberty (with the regular side order of “friendly fire is the best way of furthering the cause of liberalism”), but maybe we could try disentangling your avowed target from a small but worthwhile repair to the operating of the drinks business.

    I would be delighted for you to pour scorn on the flailings of a government trying to compensate for bodging liberalisation (of limited scale) by slapping a thick coat of crowd-pleasing authoritarianism over the top.

    But that shouldn’t blind you to the benefit of stopping th drinks industry from making life less convenient for drinkers. It’s great to learn you have several bars where you can nurse a small Blossom Hill, but in the spirit of anecdotage I can say that I tend to find more and more premises that follow a company policy of selling what was once a “large glass” as a “glass” (etc, etc).

    It’s not because no-one makes little glasses any more, it wasn’t the outcome of a consumer campaign to “get rid of ordinary size glasses” (nor as far I know was it the result of the Great British public stopping buying wine by the single measure), it’s not done from benevolence, it’s from corporate self-interest – their revenue is increased. Which would be fine and dandy, except it’s being achieved by stopping drinkers from having the choice of spending smaller sums of money and/or drinking lower quantities of alcohol in one go.

    It may or may not have beneficial side-effects on alcohol-related disorder, but Mulholland’s EDM is exactly calling for the use of trading standards legislation to protect consumer choice!

  13. Angela Harbutt Says:

    squirrel. Now you’ve got me thinking…..

    Shall we pass legislation compelling Cadbury to sell 1/4 size, 1/2 size as well as full size bars, of every single range because obese people should have the option to eat smaller quantities/ spend less?

    What about legislation insisting that coffee comes in regulated strengths from 0-5 (and sizes ..say 1-4)so that those with a tendancy to caffeine addiction or have had one or two cups already in any given day, have the choice of taking in less caffiene and/or spending less?

    Shall we insist chip shops are no longer allowed to sell chips in a bag wrapped in newspaper – well you are never quite sure how many chips you get in a “portion” are you and supposing you dont want to spend a £1 but only 75p? Lets force them to sell only in 1/4 litre, or half litre containers (maybe ban 1 litre containers to protect people for their own good maybe?).

    Cigarettes could be tricky…are you FOR legislation forcing newsagents to sell in packs of ten ASWELL AS twenties? because you should offer those seeking to cut down the option or restricting themselves to just 1 pack of 10 a day and/or want to spend smaller sums.. or AGAINST selling packs of ten because they are the packs the kids invariably get their older mates to buy for them because they are cheaper?. Or maybe we should force them to sell in “six packs” as well in the name of consumer choice?

    Should Pizza sizes be regulated – or restaurants forced to offer 3 choices of set diameter? Why dont we insist toilet rolls come in 250 sheets as well as 500 sheet options? Hmmm let me give this some thought….

    Ok Ok I gest. But honestly people who want to drink in smaller quantities have loads of options-go to pub that has the size or range of sizes of of glasses you require, or drink slower, or buy a spritzer (lemonade..soda water). Or go to the supermarket and buy one of those little bottles of wine that you get on flights and drink it ..where ever. I am not sure why we pick on the drinks industry but not chip shops. And once you start..where does it end?

  14. Neil Craig Says:

    Have never flamed you Rob – as proven by the fact that you have never once been able to dispute my accusation that your party is guilty of genocide, whild rapec & organlegging. I must admit I in turn find the idea that you are bored by such titillations scares me.

  15. Julian H Says:

    Julian H: “And please don’t respond to this by saying how the LDs are also illiberal. I speak for myself, not somehow on behalf of the party.”

    Neil Craig: “And if guilt by association is “illiberal” then howcum your party never objected bla bla bla…”

    Neil, you’ve done it again, and I must say this is very unbecoming of a libertarian. When I meet someone I judge them and their views on what they say, as an individual, not on what other members of their party may or may not have done in the past. It’s perfectly reasonable, for example, for a person to oppose homophobia and also be a Tory Party member. Section 28 doesn’t somehow make this impossible or hypocritical.

    Your personal attack on Angela above (“you are, beyond dispute, a racist murdering Nazi member”), the supposed logic of which also damns myself, is most unfortunate given that:

    a) no one at LV has, from what I recall, ever written anything hostile to you
    b) I’ve actually written cordial private e-mails to you
    c) we haven’t censored any of your posts

    On point C, I remember you welcomed LV on Guido’s blog by posting something provocative and suggesting we’d censor it. It sometimes seems like you want to be censored, just so you can find another enemy.

  16. Neil Craig Says:

    It is personally reasonable to judge that somebody who is a member of a political party is likely to support most of that party’s policies & not be opposed in principle to any of them.During the Yugoslav “trial” our court decided that people could be convicted for being part of a “joint criminal conspiracy” to prevent seccession. If the party did indeed support that war knowing it was fought to promote racial genocide & I have been free in producing evidence & all LibDems have been free in not disputing the facts, then the party is part of a joint criminal conspiracy to commite genocide (& worse). In which case members of the party are menbers of a criminal conspiracy. That is indisputable. Your comparison would be to say that, knowing somebody was a card carrying member of the NSDAP one should not assume they didn’t like Jews. I think it would be reasonable to make the initial assumption that they didn’t.
    I have not made any personal attack on Angela, whom I do not know personally, simply on her complicity in such crimes, done to promote the Nazi cause & the obvious hypocrisy of accusing others of being fascists. Perhaps she should with dreaw the accusation.

  17. Tom Papworth Says:


    You know full well that people use fascist to mean people who seeks to trivial things. This may not be an appropriate use, and it is certainly not a precise one, but it is very, very common.

    Trying to pretend otherwise is silly and immature. As for Chris’s attempt to climb on his moral high horse due to the proximity to Holocaust Memorial Day, it is frankly pathetic.

  18. Tom Papworth Says:


    Do stop winding Neil up. If he wants to make accusations of “whild rapec & organlegging” then let him do so. I’m sure that the readers can judge for themselves.

    OTOH, Angela, you may wish to consider whether being called a “a racist murdering Nazi member of a joint criminal conspiracy involving genocide, raping children & dissecting living human beings to steal their body organs” is actionable!

  19. Neil Craig Says:

    No other member of the party, including Ashdown & co, have decided it is actionable.

    Indeed no member is willing, on a factual basis, to deny that the war was indeed criminal, or that it was fought to promote genocide, or that massacres, genocide & ethnic cleansing were carried out by our police under our authority, or that the same applies to the sexual enslavement of children, & of dissection of living human beings. Nor does anybody dispute that these atrocities had the total & enthusiastic support of the party. Nor that it still does. I assume this explains why it is not actionable.

  20. James Graham Says:

    I’m being accused of immaturity for mocking someone for using the word ‘fascist’ (or ‘facist’ before the Stalinist airbrushing of history) in an inflammatory and inaccurate way. Truly satire must now be dead.

    Calling people ‘fascist’ is now the height of maturity. Something something Big Brother Orwellian state something something Ministry of Truth anyone?

  21. Tom Papworth Says:

    Fair point, James. I read your and Chris’s comments together.

    On reflection, you might simply have been mocking Angela’s hyperbole, which is fair enough!

  22. Chris Black Says:

    I’ll say nothing further here in case I’m accused of being a Metaphor Nazi!