#BlameNelson and the freedom of information request #1

#BlameNelson and the freedom of information request #1

So, at the suggestion of the fine twitterer, @gaygael, I decided that there are aspects of Easter licensing that, whilst being incredibly unfair from my admittedly bias point of view, are genuinely and objectively inexplicable. So I have sent some requests to DSD. Some of these I expect an answer to, but in this case, “no answer available” is just as useful for my cause. If #BlameNelson can’t quantify how much is lost in HMRC revenue by off sales closing entirely on Easter Sunday, then how can he legislate change which hasn’t been researched… There are further points to come from this, and not just DSD, PSNI and the NI Courts Service will receive requests depending on the answers I receive. So if you have any interest, these are the questions asked… Nelson McCausland, as minister for social development recently announced changes to liquor licensing in the province. I request the following information: Which passages from the bible helped the minister come to the conclusion that alcohol should be relatively restrictive over Easter weekend each year? Why is Easter given special significance within licensing legislation, when other religious holidays such as Ramadan are not in any way legislated for? Why am I, as a non-christian, restricted in my available working hours due to a Christian holiday? I work in a bar and there are less shifts required on Good Friday due to restriction on alcohol being sold, therefore I am losing working hours due to a religious holiday I do not subscribe to. What research has the minister and his department undertaken to ascertain the financial impact of: A:...
#BlameNelson My Response To His Response To The Responses

#BlameNelson My Response To His Response To The Responses

So today, Nelson McCausland has announced today the changes he intends to make in response to the public consultation on the future of the licensed industry. He was supposed to make it a couple of weeks ago, but then the DSD committee all agreed he was a big fat liar over a separate issue and then that afternoon the National Unionist Powerwalking Society commenced an impulsive brisk walk out of a meeting to help steer our province into the future, and the media got distracted by this unexpected exercise, so #BlameNelson got away with it. He has made a few announcements, including bringing Entertainment Licenses into line with Alcohol Licenses, this is both good and important, there was no parity previously, alcohol could not be sold after 1am, but some venues had entertainment licenses until 3am…and surprise surprise, some venues took the piss and sold booze when they shouldn’t, cough cough RAIN NIGHTCLUB UNDER THE RUNNING OF DANNY MORTON WHO KNOW RUNS VILLA NIGHTCLUB ALTHOUGH ITS IN A YOUNG RELATIVES NAME cough cough. So this is a good thing. Well done Pubs of Ulster for steering this through. He also said that premises would be able to open serving alcohol until 2am 12 times a year…well that’s neither here nor there. Premises will have to apply for this and no doubt there will be a fee, I expect the fee isn’t going to be £50 and an SAE so it may end up being only viable for big bars and nightclubs anyway…I shall wait and see. Now…to Easter. Firstly, Easter is special to Christians. If you don’t know why...
Dr Strangebrew: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Beer

Dr Strangebrew: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Beer

So in June I was invited by MolsonCoors to go down to Dublin for the night to an “Audience With…” Style event, hosted by Dr. Keith Villa, head honcho of Blue Moon brewing company and chief wonka of MolsonCoors “craft division” I am aware that to some of the Beer Fundamentalists this is tantamount to dancing with the devil….sod it. Good beer is good beer… To those who may frown upon the bigger companies making beer for whatever reasons you have….get over yourselves. So, the evening started off with a bottle of beer in the hotel….luckily it was well stocked and I went for a Westmalle Tripel. 1/2 way down the bottle and I was already questioning my decision as the evening was open bar and I knew to expect some high-propane beers on the agenda…perhaps starting the evening with a Trappist Classic wasn’t the greatest notion. And then on to the bar…I have never been properly out in Dublin; I’ve done the leprechaun museum and the tourist trail but not for the night life. So we were off to House Bar on Leeson Street, from the pavement it was much more house than bar, from the inside it was much more “Bar Designers of The Month”…superb layout, brilliant decor…working original household fireplace, bookshelves with genuine novels and not just faux leather classics…armchairs with standard lamps….just exactly what it said on the tin….and above the door. house bar set the standard early in the evening. We were for the Garden….Belfast has Beer Gardens…I know that The National are quite proud of theirs, I’ve always been a fan of The...

Ticketmaster: The Best Gig In Town

So…Garth Brooks isn’t coming to Ireland. I don’t know if you had heard that yet or not, so erm…..spoiler alert!! Every single publication has has vast amount of column inches dedicated to GarthGate. And due to typos, Gareth Gates has never appeared so popular in the search engines….. I had weighed in on a couple of conversations regarding the country music king….mostly out of pity for the journalists I know having to write so very much about so very little.. They go get their degrees, pay their dues through the coffee runs….the local rags in rural areas where news is a very subjective term…then they get their chance at the big shot….a national press agency….war? Famine? An election? No. A gig in dublin that may or may not or may or may not or may or may not or may not or may…no.. May not go ahead. Every possible angle has been covered… Except one maybe? Well, I haven’t seen it yet… On Thursday 17th July, Ticketmaster will be issuing refunds. We are well past 6months since the gig sold out…. For those few who think that Aiken promotions have been hard done by… The tickets cost, at their cheapest, £50. There were 400,000 of them…..that’s £20,000,000 in the bank. For 6 months, at a LOW interest rate of 5% (for that kind of figure, 5% is low indeed). So in the 6 months, Ticketmaster/Aiken Promotions have put £505,000 in the bank in interest alone. Half a million quid. What’s happening with that? Refunds are going out, what about compensation? I saw a campaign where someone suggested if you...