A bitter proposal

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The Independent Online

Democracy is falter without unceasing vigilance of the proper balance between competing interests and liberties. That vigilance is an often thankless burden which we down here in this space happily assume.

Democracy is falter without unceasing vigilance of the proper balance between competing interests and liberties. That vigilance is an often thankless burden which we down here in this space happily assume.

So: Government plans, revealed today, to force all city-centre pubs to serve beer in plastic mugs. The smack of the Nanny competes against the right of our carousing young to shower themselves and cities with shards. But there is something else, too. Have you ever tasted beer out of a plastic mug? This is too high a price. How can that threatened but vital element of British culture, the proper appreciation of a pint of bitter, survive wholesale plastic? We predict a flight to foreign lager straight out of the bottle. It is a betrayal of our youth.

But there is a third way, drawing on tradition. Why not government-issue pewter tankards? With rubber rims, of course.

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