Friday, April 6, 2018

Straw man on the Last Stalk ?

Can we eradicate 'straw men' arguements, so often the plague of Hansard, by the simple expedient of banning straws? We may wish. Of course, the use of such arguements is currently restricted to lady interviewers on the UK's Channel Four and to left wing politicians, notably the Green Left. They will no doubt fight back providing Canadian Professors with ludicrous-argument entertainment.  And I hope many others will oppose and laugh out their extreme claims, even if just to enable ladies in the Tavern to drink their Grace-full concoctions in a ladylike fashion. 

You think banning straws is a last straw?  Do you want to keep straws? 

By crikey, so you are saying that you want to destroy the planet !

Two items were drawn into conversation today. One from Western Australia, where Mr Kim Beasley, failed Labour leader of yesteryear has recently scored a $450,000 a year gig as Governor.  He wants a Republic but meanwhile will take the money, it seems. And another from a visiting pub landlord. Yes, we do have other publicans dropping in to see how we are doing, just as I maintain cordial (and Ale-ial) relations with a wide and wide-spread range of other pubs. 

So first to WA where straws and ballons are to be banned. Our own Pin and Balloon Bar will remain a 'safe space' however. Daniel Emerson spoke to it.
Greens anti-pollution Bill would ban balloons and drinking straws.

Balloons, plastic bags and drinking straws are among the prohibited items under the new bill.

The Greens, often labelled the fun police, want to formalise the tag by banning balloons throughout WA.
Balloons, drinking straws and micro-beads used in cosmetics and cleaning products are among a range of offending materials the Greens want banned alongside a Statewide crackdown on plastic bags to reduce pollution.

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Robin Chapple put a private member’s Bill on the Legislative Council notice paper yesterday which would fine retailers $5000 for selling or supplying prohibited bags, balloons, beads, plastic straws and polystyrene or polyethylene packaging.

Mr Chapple said he accepted elements of the community could baulk at a balloon ban but denied the Greens were trying to outlaw fun.

“You can’t have much fun in the ocean if there’s no fish left,” he said.

A Statewide plastic bag ban, with the extra items tacked on, is looming as a major test of the Labor Government’s treatment of the Greens, whose four votes are needed along with crossbench support to pass its legislation in the Upper House.

Mr Chapple said WA, NSW and Victoria were the only States that did not have some restriction on plastic bags.
But the Greens could not nominate any jurisdiction in the world which had banned balloons.
The Bill’s penalties for sale or supply of prohibited items would target retailers and not individuals.
It contains exemptions for balloons used for medical or health-related purposes, such as condoms, and those used for “meteorological purposes” or for “carrying passengers”.

Biodegradable straws would be permitted.

“If our current rates of plastic production and disposal continue it is estimated that the volume of plastic in the ocean will outweigh the volume of sea life by 2050,” Mr Chapple said.
Altogether now.... hahahahahahahahaha
The Greens’ hope to debate the Bill in September but would need Government support to put it to a vote.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, who indicated his support for a Statewide plastic bag ban last month, said the Government was investigating the best way to implement it.

“The McGowan Labor Government has no current plans to legislate a Statewide ban on the release of balloons, however, it supports efforts to raise public awareness of the unintended consequences of releasing balloons during celebrations,” he said.
Here we are in enormous national debt and the WA gummunt wants to save the fish. 

Has anyone actually examined the seas off the west coast of Oz?  

Over in the disUnited Kingdom of what was, not long ago, Great Britain, a similar daft pressure is forcing beer from the pumps in pubs. The Pub Curmudgeon himself was sampling our fine ales while on holiday and he felt he had to speak up too.
The last straw?

In recent months, there has been a steady procession of pub operators announcing that they were phasing out the use of plastic straws, the latest being the Deltic Group. The reason given is that, heeding the message of programmes like “Blue Planet”, it will reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the oceans and harming aquatic wildlife. 
However, it has to be questioned how much effect it’s going to have. 
I’d guess the overwhelming majority of plastic straws used in pubs in the UK end up in landfill, not in the sea. Plus 90% of all the plastic waste in the oceans originates from just ten rivers in Asia and Africa. It’s not to say it isn’t worth doing, but realistically it will be literally a drop in the ocean.

Now, he makes a good point: one that was raised here in the Tavern just a month or two back. 

Take a look....
....and while you are there, follow the link shown, where you will see just what rivers are providingthe pollution. It ain't the Severn, that's for sure.

There is an obvious alternative in the form of paper straws. 
However, presumably there’s a disadvantage that they become soggy after a while. Are they really any more likely to end up in the recycling, particularly if they’re treated with chemicals to make them more durable? 
And one pub found out that, what they gained on the swings, they lost on the roundabouts:

Someone from the Star Inn in Bath chimed in....
So, we've decided to start using paper straws.

The plastic ones we had came in a cardboard box.

Guess what the paper ones come in...#fail

It’s also hard to avoid the conclusion that there’s an element of snobbery in the campaign against straws. Straws are used by the scummy plebs when eating at McDonald’s or slurping giant cartons of Coke in the cinema; they’re not for sophisticated people like us.

Is putting waste into landfill all that bad anyway? 
In his book The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg shows how the entire production of waste in the USA in the 21st century could be accommodated in a landfill that covered just 26% of a single county in Oklahoma, or one twelve-thousandth of the total area of the country.
Hmmmm. Mathematically, very likely correct, but I have friends in Oklahoma who might take umbrage. Why not some desert somewhere? 

It’s far more manageable than is often claimed. Of course waste should be recycled if it’s practical to do so, but single-use plastics have brought us major advances in convenience and hygiene that shouldn’t be breezily dismissed. 
Wanting to make everything recyclable is very much a First World indulgence.
Especially as most of the ocean pollution - and I mean most - comes from er.... Asia and Africa. 

The entire 'environmental' greenie-driven agenda is a distraction and a wearing-down. A red herring. 

Behind your back the Red-Greens have a gun.
The conclusion must be that dropping plastic straws is really  
just a piece of easy environmental virtue-signalling 
rather than something that is really going to make a significant difference. 
If pub operators want to take a serious look at their environmental impact across the board, shouldn’t they be considering stopping shipping water (which is pretty much what beer is) all the way across the Atlantic and abandoning single-use containers for draught beer?
How many 65 y/o WA fishermen do you think will have to continue struggling their way through balloon and straw filled waves to get enough fish to feed their families and pay the tax to keep Mr Beasley in comfort?

How much longer will Parliaments in Oz, and the UK have to put up with ludicrous  Green demanded 'business' that interferes with people going about their lawful occasions on the pretext that they will 'save the Planet'?

YOU are their Wicker Man.

The ale in the Tavern comes with no carbon footprint at all. Just the soft swish of an Angel gliding through the Tavern-door Agape with a flask on his shoulder. 

We shall provide straws.

And balloons.

And fish in the restaurant on Fridays.

Drink up me hearties.



  1. dropping plastic straws is really just a piece of easy environmental virtue-signalling

    The entire agenda of the environmentalist movement is just virtue-signalling. Environmentalists are the new puritans - anything that is enjoyable must be wicked.

    The fact that anyone listens to these clowns is evidence of just how decadent our society has become.

    1. Even puritans can be murderous. It was all starched collars and nooses in Salem, but no litter.

  2. Mr Kim Beasley, failed Labour leader of yesteryear

    He's still alive? As a mummy?

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Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..