Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Auspicious take over time - what with Barack Hussein Obama taking the reins in the ' States. So - a good start for a new BII era - sorely needed few people would disagreee - but what's the take regarding pubcos and THEIR involvement in the retail chain? BBPA has not represented publicans' views, No one has represented individual publicans' views, certainly not BII - as more or less acknowledged at the BEC inquiry by John MacNamara, the now ex boss - and this is one of the reasons that pubs ARE such sitting targets - the industry has not been gogently represented by any one body that has a holistic overview of the industry and how it interacts with society.

Societally we take pubs absolutely for granted yet they are one of THE defining aspects of British culture, recognised World Wide as such, yet we harp on about the need for a 'cafe society' when we have just that sitting right under our noses in our pubs - our own very much overlooked and dreadfully under developed cafe culture.

Pubs have not in large enough measure moved with the times. 'Pub' is still, in many people's perception a perjorative term because of their history of serving crap warm beer and undrinkable coffee when they got modern.

Pubcos are a big part in sustaining this perception. They starve the industry of cash, demotivate 'entrepreneurs' prepared to work ludicrous hours for the love of the job, and have no care to encourage the evolution of the retail experience because their only motive is profit.

This self evident reality has brought the pub industry to the brink. Pubcos have taken the lion's share of profit out of all levels of the industry and taken everyone with them.

BII and many others are complicit in this dire position we find ourselves in - where pubs are boarded up all over the landscape and towns and villages are losing their main community hubs - pubs - because of decades of underinvestment has left them incapable of keeping up with the times and becoming prey to insane property values outstripping their true worth.

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