Thursday, November 27, 2008

Of course the Whisky boys have more clout - there's not a lot of them, they're in a relatively small geographic area, and they have a vested joint interest in working together - even though most of the time they're in competition with each other. So they can get their act together sharpish and make a difference.

The BBPA is the only body in the UK with enough resources to properly represent the pub trade but the problem there is they aren't interested in representing the whole of the pub trade. Their agenda is solely to polish the rather grimy unpalatable truth of the pubco model and strive to create the illusion of a silk purse out of a huge hairy hog's bewaxed ear.

In the beer business this is not the case, here the tail wags the dog... The brewers are in competition with each other but when it comes to defending their position in the political market their voice is stifled by the presence of the middleman wholesalers - the pubcos - who really don;t give a flying pig for whether or not the publican is being crippled by government policies. Because the more duty increases, the more smoking bans, the more legislation that binds lessees, the more opportunity for the pubcos' real agenda to be hidden in the confusion and diversions from other sources.

The credit crunch is biting deep at pubco headquarters. Some might like to think it's Karma. I prefer to think it's divine intervention. But have no illusions as to where the blame lies: it's the CEOs.

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