Across Britain during this Christmas break the same story will have been repeated. As kids returned home from Uni, as relatives or friends came to stay, or as friends were contacted for a seasonal meeting, millions of people will have been shocked to discover the local pub closed and boarded.
"Hi Jerry! Look, I'm down for a few days. Fancy meeting for a pint? Half Moon? Tomorrow?"
"Bill! Yeah, love to. Half Moon's closed though."
"Three Bells then?"
"The Cock? Kings Arms? Salisbury? Crown?"
In fact, the BBPA are reporting that we're losing pubs at the rate of nearly 40 a week. It's being reported that 32,000 Estate Agents have recently lost their jobs. They will join the 87,000 pub workers who have either already lost or will lose theirs, but it looks unlikely that either group will have anywhere to go to commiserate with one another except the local Starbucks. Or they can join the kids in the local bus shelter and share an alcopop.
Labour's well-meaning but lunatic zeal will be remembered by history as the government that killed our economy, atomised our people and destroyed all the local institutions that have defined British life. And next time you're passing through a Suffolk village and fancy a packet of crisps, tough. The village shop has closed because its Post Office was closed. The two closed pubs have been bought up by Housing Associations and turned into flats for single Congolese mothers. The nearest Tesco is 9 miles away.
I imagine Harriet Harman wearing a smug and very self-satisfied little smile as her ministerial Jag wafts her past the sad and boarded pubs; she's won.