Monday, May 05, 2008

RE: New campaign against pubco power

Responding to a long thread by Wardy here


But at the same time well said and while I empathise with where you are coming from I am absolutely sure there are no PubCo people empathising with you. You are a rational person with a strong sense of fairness. And your whole argument about altering the PubCo model derails on this point – because you are a compassionate and rounded and caring person, you cannot comprehend that PubCo's are NOT in any way equivalent. There is NO fairness and there isn’t going to be any either.

When have you experienced any fairness from your PubCo? NEVER, have you? This will not change. If you do not comply with everything they want they will bully, threaten, cajole, be friendly, short term bribe you until you do. I’m sure I’m right because I’ve seen no evidence of any other type of behaviour from any PubCo in thirteen years. I don’t know any detail about what’s happened between you and your PubCo yet I know your experience is the same as mine because this is what they do with anyone who doesn’t do exactly what THEY want. And you are one of those. Am I wrong?

PubCo's are not people they are organisations. These organisations are set up to make money, maximise profit, out of people like you and me. Pure and simple. There is no other reason for their existence. The people who run these organisations do not EVER allow a 'sense of fairness' to creep into their business dealings.

If the people running the organisation personally 'feel' anything for publicans, empathy, sympathy, compassion - any human emotion, they simply subjugate it to the greater need of servicing the corporate body that pays their salaries, their pensions and their bosses – the shareholders. Their job is ONLY to look after the interests of the organisation and the shareholders and themselves... Not you, not me, they do this by squeezing every last drop of profit from their estates – from you and me. They do not even care about the condition of their estates. They never have. If they cared about the condition of their estates we would see a lot of well looked after pubs up and down the UK. But we don’t we see a lot of falling apart, run down and scandalously neglected buildings called public houses. How do you know if a pub is tied or not? If it’s looking tired and falling down it’s tied. If it’s in good nick it’s Free. Why is this? PubCo’s don't care about ANYTHING other than profit, growth and market competition with other PubCo's and standing side by side with other PubCo's the moment their practices are brought into public scrutiny.

This is precisely why we are in the situation we are in right now. Pubs closing left right and centre and the PubCos doing nothing about it. Why should they? It doesn't affect them. They are well ahead of the game. They saw this coming years ago Wardy. They've been carving up this market between themselves for the best part of twenty years. They are total cold blooded profit hungry mercenaries.

They have no emotions, no social conscience, no passion, no compassion, no Corporate Social Responsibility, no responsibility to the community or to the environment or to ethics. Why do you think the remaining brewers with managed estates are following the path of the PubCo model and beginning to market long leases? Because all the obligations of a business - like pastoral care of workers, human resources departments, paye, ni payments, pensions, career development, training, maternity pay, sick pay, public liability insurance, promotions and marketing, adhering to incoming government legislation - all the things that cost money, all of this is passed on to the lessees who effectively run the whole shebang on behalf of the PubCo.

And as the PubCos don't even have to be bothered about other irritating details err. LIKE brewing and making beer, for example, a number of the remaining brewers have been getting rid of their breweries. Why brew beer and employ people and pay for the upkeep of a lot of property when you can sell it all off and make much more money much more easily by managing the remnants of a pretend tradition? Care? Values? Fairness? Compassion? All that is left up to the tenant...

Why are PubCo's are going for REIT status. Profit. Profit. Profit. They are landlords of bricks and mortar. It’s all just a drag that humans have to be involved somewhere along the line. They don't give a damn about fairness or altering the way they do business.

That's for Jessies and for people like us Inez. People who do give a damn, people who do care about people and the planet – they are the ones who end up running the estates for the PubCos. Losing money all the way.

If PubCos were going to be fair, if the model were capable of fairness, IT WOULD ALREADY BE FAIR. PubCos have had ample opportunity to change since the committee hearings and they have not. They will not. EVER. They cannot be fair. It is not in their makeup.

I guarantee* that the PubCo's simply cannot believe their luck. They cannot believe they've got away with it for so long. They cannot believe they have not been legislated against already. They have been making hay while the sun still shines and that is why they have been turning the screws tighter and faster on their estates since 2004 and the recommendations. They knew their time was up then – it was only a matter of time. The time is NOW.

* Lawd... I forgot about my guarantee. What can I offer if I'm proved wrong? (I'm not worried really, I'm just teasing, no one can ever prove me wrong, not even with barristers and all the cash in China can anyone prove me wrong on this one). But, if the world turned inside out, pigs flew, and teapots were made of chocolate and didn't melt and someone proved that a PubCo CAN change and introduce fairness into their modus operandi. What would I do to honour my guarantee?

Well, first I'd go and work for the PubCo. And second I'd make bacon sandwiches for tea (with vegetarian and vegan options of course) and invite everyone round and say sorry I was wrong. Hip Hip Hooray!

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