Thursday, July 09, 2009

Pub trade split on new trade body

As with everything else in this damned business this is a compicated kettle of fish. Everyone knows very well there is no such thing as pubcos doing anything without strings being attached. Even the suggestion that an independent representative body could exist while having core funding from pubcos and actually be INDEPENDENT is naive in the extreme. For decades the tobacco industry vociferously funded 'independent' research into the effects of smoking. That kept the hounds at bay for thirty or more years. It was only after forensic dissection of what had been held back from research findings that the notion of 'independence' was torn apart and legislators properly got their teeth into the industry.

Ted and Giles are direct competitors and they are in no way naive men. When they align with each other it is not for sentimental reasons or coincidence, it's for the benefit of their businesses' mutual survival. Their survival does not revolve around seeing lessees have a fair business deal; it revolves around maintaining the status quo. They cannot in any way defer from the view that a credible independent body is needed to represent the interests of lessees. What route is left to them other than to suggest that they should fund in 'independent' body? At worst it makes them seem like benevolent uncles at best it will get them favours they do not deserve.

At the very least, IF pubcos are involved with such funding, the 'independent' body will be in an invidious position where their long term interests are aligned with pubcos' because the income for the 'independent' body will dry up if their actions lead to pubcos' having reduced profits or failing.

edited by: J Mark Dodds at: 09/07/2009 11:43:04

From info man

Exactly an empty gesture trying to get sway the decisions. It has to be members over corporations, for too long it has been the other way round. The ststus quo is not an option. I stick by my first point, if this offer is without strings why not make a donation to Fair Pint?

This post replies to J Mark Dodds > RE: Pub trade split on new trade body

Right on info man... there may be a way ahead with the offer the pubcos are making after all.

Considering Neil Roberston's view, he is absolutely spot on: Ideally there needs to be a consolidation/rationalisation of groups rather than yet another one to increase confusion. But then the problem is how to rationalise what we've already got? And how to establish a new version of our existing mix of representation that is genuuinely independent and not in some way tainted by the past?

Also Robertson's view on the level of funding needed is realistic. It takes a lot to administer and operate a mass membership organisation. So substantial, steady long term stable income - without corporate interests strings attached - is needed to support any such initiative. This cannot come from anywhere other than by subscription.

Seed money is needed to start up any group, no matter if it's new or a metamorphosis of existing bodies, and this is where the pubcos' apparently magnanamous offer could be taken up without fear of potential misuse or abuse: if each pubco were to deposit a substantial one off payment into a ringfenced Trust which was administered entirely separately; with pubcos having no say in how the money were spent, other than it must be for the establishment of a lessee' representative body, their donations would be taint free and provide the working capital needed to get such an organisation to the point of independence and working with long term sustainable income gathered through subscription.

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