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johnofgwent

Is the UK worth fighting for?

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Quote Originally Posted by johnofgwent View Post
OK first off I have this to say about the drinking establishment in question. I did a google search and came up with an entry in a forum that seemed dedicated to discussion of vegetarian restaurants. If the forum in question is to be taken at face value, and I saw nothing there to suggest otherwise, the "reviews" of this establishment are 100% critical and go back about seven years. No-one has a good word to say for the establishment, the food, the service, but most of all it is clear to me that the proprieter has chosen to show rather excessive zeal in exercising their absolute right to refuse to serve anyone.

As someone who has served behind the bar in public drinking establishments and served as treasurer on the committee of private ones, and had (entirely amicable) dealings with the police and licensing authorities both in regard to the latter and separately in seeking occasional licences for fundraising events which I had a hand in organising for all manner of social and charitable purposes, I, like everybody else who ever stood behind a bar and poured a drink with the expectation of money changing hands thereafter have found myself in need of calling upon that legislation set in stone that it is my absolute right to advise a would be customer that I was not going to serve them. Now in MY case my reasons for so doing were that the wannabe customer was so smashed off their face from imbibing elsewhere that they could not stand unaided at the bar much less pronounce the name of what they wished to purchase but the law gives me and everyone else in the trade the absolute right to refuse to serve, without requiring me to give any reason whatsoever, and I would be MOST reluctant to interfere with that.

Having said that, were I to be on the committee considering the fitness of this person to run the place come their next renewal, the list of people making complaints at the seemingly arbitrary and at the same time all encompassing nature of people evicted, plus the seemingly strange way in which some are refused while others clearly breaking the same dress code are not, would give me cause to ponder the matter and their views on admitting people in uniform have no need to be added to the long, long list.

Now, as to whether the UK is worth fighting for any more, I just spent quite a while sorting out the database for a small business in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in the heart of the Cotswolds. In my lunch hour I would walk out of my office, stroll along the narrow road, turn and walk up the leafy path that led past the school playing fields on one side and the open green space on the other, until I came to the babbling brook that is the River Coln, and the footbridge over it erected and dedicated by a noticeboard fixed to the bridge to the memory of the retriever who spent many a happy hour playing in the said brook, then I would carry on up the footpath past the cotswold stone houses to a market square straight out of Camberwick Green, where ladies slightly older than I would take wicker chairs watercolours and easel and sit on the traffic island painting the village scene, the pub, the church and the row of individually characterised cotswold stone buildings that formed the row of shops.

I would wonder at the village bakery, the millage butcer three doors down and the delivery lorry from whose rear doors hung three half pig carcasses just as they used to in the 60's when I was a child in the village north of Cardiff where I was brought up.

I would wander up through the market square call into the co-op and buy some sandwiches and other stuff, walk a little further on and take a seat by the town hall next to the churchyard, and eat my lunch in a place where every passer-by of all ages would bid me a good afternoon and many would pause for a chat.

I will pause only briefly to mention that in six weeks of doing this almost every weekday I saw only one face that was not clearly that of a raven haired celt, aryan norse or flaxen haired saxon.

One might have been forgiven for assuming I had tripped over the entrance to the time tunnel to Brigadoon.

However, every wednesday, one was brought sharply back to reality.

On wednesdays, the skies above this idyllic village are filled with the noise of VC10's, Galaxy Starlifters, and Hercs.

Far too often there would be also be the sight of an exceedingly odd couple (quadruple actually) indeed.

Overhead, at the same time each wednesday, one would suddenly have ones ears assaulted by the engines of three seemingly fully armed attack helicopters at a little more than five hundred feet. Their pilots would be pushing the rotor assemblies to the limit, their noses would be down, the rotors fully biting at the fickle air so as to screw every last knot of forward momentum from it....

They would fly in in a triangular array and just as they went out of sight beyond the tree line your ears and your very insides would be assaultted by a mechanical behemoth from hades itself. Flying about forty five seconds behind that "honour guard" a starlifter would roar over the village with its flaps all the way out, its nose up at an unusual angle and its engines screaming.

It took a moment for me to understand.

The VC10's, the two Starlifters and the Herc that all went one way were taking this weeks's ration of fresh meat for the grinder to meet their grindstones in the arid regions of the middle east.

The Starlifter with its honour guard of chopper pilots were bound for a different destination, Brize Norton, bringing back what was left from last week's grindings.
I put this in my "blog" because it's something that I wanted to say to a recent forum post, and I could not find it at the time
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