Dim Prawn's happy hour hypocrisy

“Bristol MP and health minister Dawn Primarolo has spoken of her determination to target happy hours in an attempt to cut the £2.7 billion cost of drink problems to the NHS,” explains tonight’s Evening Cancer.

Fine. But how about if the Bristol South MP and Minister of State for Sanctimonious Bleating starts the ball rolling at her own place of work? Here’s a rather smart press release from Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (or pubs as they’re usually called) spilling a few beans about our elected representatives’ happy 24-hour arrangements they have for themselves:

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 22/07/08

MPs leaving Westminster for the summer face a gruelling 12-weeks in the real world without subsidised drink.

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers research revealed today has uncovered hidden statistics which show the House of Commons Refreshment Department operated on a subsidy of £5.5 million of taxpayers’ money in the 2007/08 financial year, equivalent to total annual tax receipts from 35 pubs.

The subsidy, not published in the House of Commons’ Annual Accounts, was £693,000 higher than in 2006/07, a 15% increase. It accounted for 43% of the Department’s operating costs, meaning that the taxpayer coughs up £4.30 for every £10 spent refreshing our politicians: even before they claim back their outgoings without receipts through the notorious expenses system.

There are at least 12 bars in the Parliamentary estate, excluding the various dining rooms, brasseries and banqueting suites. Unsurprisingly, given the MPs write their own laws as well as ours, they operate without a licence and have no restrictions on hours.

Given the level of subsidy, it is unsurprising that MPs can enjoy much cheaper drinks than their constituents. A pint of Foster’s in Stranger’s Bar costs £2.10, compared with a national average of £2.80 (33% higher) and a London average of around £3.00 (43% higher). A House of Commons 8-year-old Scotch costs £1.35, while our politicians can enjoy a Pimm’s on the Thames-side terrace for just £1.65.

Nick Bish, ALMR Chief Executive comments: “A 12 week break gives our MPs plenty of time to visit their local pubs. They will see that pubs are the centres of communities, that they make significant contributions to their local economies and that they are highly responsible alcohol retailers.

“Maybe then, when they return to the cheap and abundant drink of the Westminster village, they will think again about the relentless regulation and rapidly rising costs hitting the Great British Pub and revisit the crippling alcohol duty escalator.”

Hat tip (for the press release): Guido Fawkes

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol Evening Post, Health, Labour Party, MPs, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dim Prawn's happy hour hypocrisy

  1. John Courage says:

    Sanctimonious Bleating indeed.
    I see Dawn is doing what most politicians do when they talk about drinking, blame the poor struggling licensed trade for everyone who ends up a bit the worse for wear.

    What about the likes of Tescos with their cut price carry out Stella and Cider? She won’t attack them, after all they sponsor fringe meetings at the Labour Partry Conference for vast sums of dosh!

    Labour politicians just want to treat us all like kids and stop us going out and having fun. Well some of us want more out of life than to just sit at home with gassy supermarket lager and a DVD for company.

  2. Archie says:

    I’m just wondering, has anyone in South Bristol actually seen “Prawn Dimarolo” walking around and being a local MP? in the 25 years I was a resident of the area I had not seen her once. Yet my parents get letters from their MP on local issues and what he plans to do about those issues on average two or three times a year! I wonder when the last time Dawn wrote to the people that voted her in?

  3. thebristolblogger says:

    I saw her in Tesco Express once staring at the yogurts …

  4. john b says:

    “What about the likes of Tescos with their cut price carry out Stella and Cider?”

    What about them? They pay the same tax as pubs, and are better at not serving minors (although local cornershop off-licenses are worst of all).

  5. old misery guts says:

    Those of us that are have a life long commitment to the consumption of beer and fags will almost certainly save the exchequer money – the paltry amount expended on nhs care is more than offset by the fact that we wont live to draw decades of old age pension etc. And dont forget all the tax we pay for our little pleasures.

    As my old grandad used to say – you might not live forever if you give up beer and fags, but it will bloody feel like it.

    Prawn and her Nu Lab mates are totally fucking wearing it out with their holier than thou, we know what’s best for the great unwashed, you are all feckless, incompetent, incapable etc. bollox. Let’s face it, hypocrisy is their business, they are the fucking professionals at it, so none of this should be a surprise really.

    Oh and I saw her at Temple Meads station once, surrounded by a retinue of fawning sycophants (probably civil servants). How and why I resisted the urge to push her under the 7.24 to Glasgow Central is an ongoing dilemma I shall have to live with for some time.

  6. Great post BB. Yet more hypocrisy from MPs.

  7. Snooper says:

    Why can’t the government allow people to live their lives with some enjoyment? Some people may wish to drink, smoke or take drugs, etc.

    If this causes them to die, this is their own choice. The government will then no longer have to pay state pension or income support, or supply health care, housing, etc for a number of them.

    Leave us alone!

  8. Chopper says:

    I really enjoyed this story. Thanks.

    Perhaps Yawn Primularollo was referring to stopping the parliamentary ‘subsidy’? Perhaps not…

  9. freddie says:

    Dim Prawn’s constituency office is renowned for its ‘innovative’ and ‘creative’ use of resources.

  10. thebristolblogger says:

    No surprise there, given that her office appears to be entirely staffed by Labour City Councillors who all seem to have a natural disposition for fucking up public finances and screwing the public. Daddy’s Boy Beynon and Colin Smith are both to be found holding court there I believe.

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