Destroying any last hope in entrepreneurial government!

I have long derided the approach to government that seems to override the obvious in favour of kicking the can down the road. However, the lack of intelligent and inspirational thought hit a new low this week.

Phillip Hammond, arguably the second most important person in British Government, proposed a Law Commission review to consider the marriage laws. In particular he wants them to review the possibility of getting married in pubs and in the outdoors.

At present both of these are prohibited because marriages must take place in a building and no drink must be served either one hour before the ceremony or during it.

Now a number of things in this request lead me to a feeling of utter despair in this request by Hammond. The first of which is why he is worrying about such a thing when he has Brexit and the economy of the Country to concern himself with.

Then, of course, there is the whole question of what having a wedding in a pub does to the solemnisation of a Christian marriage. Particularly as we have a Prime Minister who wishes to show her Christian credentials by being photographed going to church each Sunday.

And, before people start on about Britain being a multi-cultural society, I would contend that there is unlikely to be a rush of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and many others wanting a pub wedding.

Another thought that comes to mind is the mountain of research that has shown that those with a pre-disposition to aggressive behaviour have it heightened by alcohol. One can imagine that the increase in punch-ups at weddings may not be confined to the reception.

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to attend a wedding without the need for a pint of ale or even a dartboard for the time when the signing of the register is conducted in the snug of the Dog and Whistle. Next thing we know divorces can be finalised with the groom throwing a double top in front of the landlord!

The other part of this stunning proposal is the idea of considering legalising outdoor weddings. Now I realise that I have spent little time in the UK of late, and the weather has been a major influencing factor.

According to some statistics, there is a 50% chance that it will rain on any particular day. Moreover, summer is the popular time for weddings, and July and August are the wettest months of the summer. So who would risk the possibility of a wedding washout by choosing an outdoor location!

I certainly look forward to wedding invitations where raincoat, wellies and umbrella is the dress code. It may reduce the cost of attending, although it may also see an increase in fashion items such as Jimmy Choo Rain Boots at £250! I am not sure that suggesting a trip to the local hardware shop will suffice for the bride’s mother!

Finally, of course, there is the small matter of the Law Commission itself. It is quite common for their reviews to take two years or more. So any chance of the wedding being solemnised with a crisp and a medium sherry outside the George and Dragon, somewhere on the moors is unlikely to challenge the Caribbean Islands for a while!

However, what this does do is to make you despair of any sensible, entrepreneurial ideas emanating from government. When the man in charge of the Nation’s finances spends all that money on a two-year study, it does make you want to remove his credit card.


Originally I was going to compare Hammond’s idea with that of Edison’s concrete piano. However, that would have been unfair on Edison. At least for a short while in 1931 these concrete pianos were made and sold.

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