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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drink is the curse of the post-working classes

The main change in the structure of capital during this century has been the relative stagnation of industrial capital and the growth of the service sector of the economy. This trend, which has been most marked in the south of England, has had consequences for inner city working class areas: de-industrialisation, mobility of labour, and post-war rehousing policies have combined to dislocate the pattern of community based upon local work and extended families and associated cultural traditions (Cohen, 1972). Population has been decanted to the New Towns, and more generally, to the suburbs, where social life has focussed upon the nuclear family, and the home is increasingly regarded as a place of leisure, recreation and consumption. It is in this context that off-licence sales have become more important. The 1961 Licensing Act relaxed restrictions on the opening of off-licences, and the 1964 Licensing Act facilitated supermarket sales. By the late 1970s, most beer was still sold in public houses, but one third of all wine and half of spirits were consumed at home (Thurman, 1981; 4).

... from Alcohol, Youth, and the State by Nicholas Dorn (RKP, 1983)

Taking on the supermarkets now would be like eradicating the Taliban. Remember how they took on the government and won easily, e.g. in 1991? So much for the rule of law.

Licensing Act 1964 - legal summary
2003 Licensing Act - summary


James Higham said...

I always feel that reading of the 1961 Licensing Act is best done in red script.

Sackerson said...

Why the preference for rubric?