A Simple Solution For A Peculiarly British Problem

Emma Brophy believes a code of conduct should be introduced for all pub users

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It seems that Chiswick isn’t the only pub loving community that has issues with children in their locals. Love them or loathe them, the ‘peculiarly British problem’ of whether or not little ones should be allowed in pubs doesn’t appear to be any closer to resolution.

Of course before the days of the smoking ban, few parents would dream of taking their offspring into the fug filled inner realms of a public house. However, the ban along with the dawn of the gastro-pub has altered attitudes considerably. Although not for the better according a great many who complained to the authors of The Good Pub Guide 2009.

A record number of readers voiced grievances about visits to their local being spoilt by badly behaved children. Joint editor Alisdair Aird said, "This year more readers than ever before have complained to us about pub visits being spoilt for them by badly-behaved children running around unchecked. In continental restaurants and cafes it's normal to see families with children, not normal to see kids spoil things for grown-ups."

In agreement with the ChiswickW4.com forum, Aird feels there is no easy solution to the issue. "It's easy to say that we could start treating parents who let their children run riot with the disdain normally reserved for lager louts. But would that have any impact on people who think they are entitled to a thoroughly relaxed family day out?

"And you can imagine the retort when a publican asks a badly behaved family to quieten their children - 'We've just spent over £50 here, do you want us to leave without paying?"'

Surely it’s a matter of opinion? If every anti-social element of the community was banned from pubs, they would go out of business. For some it’s children who are considered anti-social, for others it’s animals, football fans, ‘young braying Chiswickians’, smokers, mobile phone users or the down right obnoxious.

I believe it’s not the children who should be banned; it’s their parents who should be forced to adhere to a code of conduct. Likewise dog owners who let their pets make a nuisance of themselves with other diners and those who feel that everyone in the pub really needs to hear their telephone conversation etc etc. Of course this is just my opinion but one that appears to me to be a simple solution for a peculiarly British problem.

If you would like to help create a 'ChiswickW4.com Code of Conduct for Local Establishments' (just for our own amusement of course!) then please email your suggestions to emma.brophy@chiswickw4.com.

Emma Brophy

October 16, 2008