Saturday, March 29, 2008
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Might Get a Little Thirsty
Alistair Darling is being banned at pubs across the United Kingdom. What has he done to become a pariah at watering holes?
Darling is the U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer -- the Treasury Secretary. He presides over new taxes that will add 8 cents to the cost of a pint of beer, 26 cents for a bottle of wine and $1.10 for a bottle of spirits. The controversial tax is hated by publicans and patrons alike, especially since it is supposed to go up automatically on an annual basis during the next four years.
Andrew Little, manager of the Utopia pub in Edinburgh, decided as a gag to protest the taxes to post pictures of Chancellor Darling in his pub with the message "Barred." The joke has caught on and now bars across the U.K. are banning Darling.
Opposition Conservative leader David Cameron jumped on the grassroots tax protest during the weekly Prime Minister's questions session in Parliament for political gain noting "every pub in Britain" was moving to ban Darling. The government claims the tax hike is designed to fight binge drinking, but those opposed to the move point out taxes on cigarettes and gasoline have also recently been raised.