A New Puritanism Imposed

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A NEW puritanism of sorts is to be imposed on Wales, with alcohol demonised in a way the old revivalists would surely be proud of.

This due to Mark Drakeford’s decision to prohibit all pubs, restaurants and cafes from serving alcohol and imposing a 6pm closing time to boot from this Friday onwards.

The First Minister argues that is latest measure is essential to reduce the number of coronavirus cases in Wales, with 802 new positives reported by PHW yesterday.

In 1647, devout puritan Oliver Cromwell famously banned Christmas and all singing, drinking and merry making as part of his new ‘moral’ Protectorate.

You could argue that the Welsh First Minister has also banned Christmas for the hospitality industry in Wales this year, such is the effect the new imposition will have on the sector in the crucial run-in period.

And that Drakeford is imposing his own kind of protectorate in Wales today, displaying yet again Labour’s ‘control freakery’ in the way they treat the citizens of Wales.

After all the massive efforts of pubs, cafes and restaurants to upgrade their premises to comply with the recent restrictions, they have been treated as irresponsible children who have to be punished yet again.

They have been selected as convenient ‘whipping boys’ by politicians who have no feel for or understanding of the business sector.

Further illustrated by the fact that an emergency question tabled by Independent Nationalist Neil McEvoy for a study on the effects of the latest measures on businesses was rejected by the Llywydd, Elin Jones today.

Worse still, no scientific evidence has actually been presented by the First Minister to show why exactly pub/restaurant settings are so problematical as regards the virus.

Indeed, figures from Public Health England (published see masthead) show that pub settings were only responsible for 1.6% of all transmissions compared to 18% in supermarkets, and the figures for Wales would surely be similar to this.

Cromwell’s drinking ban in 1647 proved ineffective with ordinary people in Wales finding all sorts of ways to circumvent his edicts.

The 2020 drinking ban will probably follow the same pattern, and is even more problematical, as it will encourage people to socialise and drink in less managed settings than have been set up by the hospitality sector of late.

Ten months down the line, the Welsh Government still haven’t been able to come up with a sustainable plan to manage the virus.

Even less balancing the undeniable health risks involved with allowing people to make rational choices in how to deal with it in their own lives.

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