Readers, you are right and I am remiss. Having blogged about the effect of the smoking ban on pub closures ever since the inception of the iniquitous Health Act 2006, I neglected to mention it in the post below. Quite rightly you've pulled me up on it. Of course it's the double whammy of the smoking ban and the rapacious pubcos and supermarkets that are robbing us of something that's been a fixture in our environments for centuries.
I have a very great fondness for pubs and mourn their loss deeply. My earliest formative adult life was a period of great joy and discovery as I experienced Suffolk's pubs in all their diversity. As November approaches, one would anticipate the arrival of the new Winter Ale and the comfort of the settle by a blazing log fire in the grate. No more.
In the 1920s and 1930s hundreds of ancient houses were pulled down by their impoverished owners; there was no 'listing', no protection. We look back now at the scale of destruction with disbelief that our forebears should have permitted it. Future generations will look back at the destruction of local pubs by the government with the same disbelief and horror. It's in Cameron's hands to halt the ruin and spoilation; let's not allow him to forget it.