Licensing laws. All over the English-speaking world they are a mess, as politicians use them to their own ends and outmoded conventions and expedient fixes cling on like barnacles to the rock of supposed sense. This blog is, of course, named after the consequences of one particular sop to a vocal minority.
I discovered today that it is illegal to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises on Good Friday in the state of New South Wales. Pubs and clubs can open, so you can get as trollied as you like and gamble your life savings away on the pokies as long as you’re paying pub prices but you can’t buy a bottle of wine to have with your dinner at home. Or, in my case, some beers to drink while you’re reorganising your files on your computer. No, that’s not a euphemism and yes, I do lead an interesting and fulfilled life, don’t I?
Good Friday is taken much more seriously here than in the UK – pretty much all retail outlets close down and many restaurants don’t feel the need to open. In fact, it’s only been a couple of years since pubs have been able to open on Good Friday. That’s fine and I don’t have a problem with places being closed once or twice a year. What I object to is the lack of sense in allowing on-sales but not off-sales. What purpose does it serve? I’ll stock up next year. Or move to Victoria, where this silly double standard apparently doesn’t exist.