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.