'Today the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is launching a campaign to "Save the Great British Pub" with an "axe the beer tax" campaign.
But in truth it is more in hope than expectation. Last week Camra reported that it expected a "bloodbath" of pub closures following the traditionally busy Christmas period. It predicts 7,500 pubs to vanish by 2012.
The British pub is unique. It is an iconic institution as much loved at home as it is admired from abroad. (Look at any bumf tempting visitors to Britain and the pub is right up there with the Royal family and Swinging London.)
As Dr Johnson pointed out "nothing has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn".'
By Adam Edwards