The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60626   Message #977161
Posted By: ET
05-Jul-03 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: Licensing Bill UK - Urgent help please.
Subject: RE: Licensing Bill UK - Urgent help please.
Forgive the length of these comments but I feel strongly about all this. The other day on TV was some film of our new modern leader, Tony Blair soon after taking office playing lead guitar with a young rock band. How ironic. Today old left Labour is setting up a rally to bring new labour back into grass roots!

I am not a natural born Tory by any means but at least on this issue they stuck firm. I despise the Lib Dems for not doing the same. It must have been a painful process getting off the fence and Lord Redesdale has, as he admits, let all musicians down.

Whatever the local government association says about the exemption, and months ago they reported in their enforcers trade magazine that they should oppose any watering down of the bill, local authorities are left with a confused jumble of an Act with even more confusing set of guidance and regulations. Trouble is they have power and authority and will use it without a doubt. However I do work in the law and I know that the hard pressed criminal justice system will not welcome prosecutions against organisers of music sessions etc. The real core of the problem now is pursuading licensees etc to apply for entertainments.

The are many problems for them. Firstly sessions do not bring in vast amounts of income. Seondly the Act extends drinking time. Add the music tick box to 1 or 2 am opening and locals will be up in arms.

At a local pub last year following a raid by officialdome, the BBC Look North came to a session held with the consent of the licensee who had locked her pub to the public and created a private club (dubious but it worked). About 30 musicians turned up, great night but as part of the broadcast I pointed out that even with all playing their hearts out you could not hear the music outside and the hope was the Lords would recognise the folly of licensing acoutsic music.
This they did till the lib dems ratted!.

In almost 40 years in the law dealing endlessly with government legislation I have never known a statement that the government wil review the provisions after a shortish period of time. They must have little faith in what they have done.

Well I don't think musicians will lie down and die and take folk and tradition with them, do you?

Can I suggest all that read this and care copy and paste Shambles examples a thread or two above this and write to Tony Blair telling him what his government have done. I will do so. Make sure in your letter, which will go to some petty official, that you say there is no point in passing this to DCMS - they created this. The reply will say what a busy man Tony is, weighed down with great and important matters of state but if he reads just one or two of these letters his interest in music may creat a pang of conscience?

I also think we must think of publicans etc and new applications for a premise licence. Asking a few they know little or nothing yet of the new bill/Act