The Death Of The Local
Several things are causing the death of the traditional british pub.
1. The assinine stubbornness and lack of enterprise of landlords and brewers, who want the public to buy their out of date service out of a sense of duty. the smoking ban was in fact an opportunity for governors to expand their clientelle, but instead they merely sulked.
2. Demographic changes- the arrival of cultures which do not rely on alcohol was a similar opportunity to diversify and expand, but was again missed because of parochialism and stupidity. The recent development of Halal pubs demonstrates the market for social drinking exists, it just needn't depend on drunkenness for commercial viability. The same market, only bigger, exists for young people, who at present are driven on to the streets to kill each other out of sight of drunken adults.
3. Pure market forces. The big chains swing such a degree of bulk buying power that they can easily outprice the local back street pub and the independent. And we're all in favour of devil-take-the-hindmost capitalism, no?
4. Property values. Again, who can argue with those lovely rising house prices? Not quite so appealing when they're cleansing communities of pubs, post offices, churches and schools, are they? when homes are merely a way of making money, communities disappear, and with them any need for communal experience and culture.