Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'd like to point out to several people posting above whose scepticism about the mediation process justifiably leads them to ask "who is actually going to talk to tenants" that Fair Pint was set up by and IS still run by little nobody lessees - we are tied publicans who have been ripped off rotten owning tied leases - just like you guys.

When we set up Fair Pint we had very limited funds and a steering group of committed lessees (with a couple of trade experts who have been standing up for fairness in this trade for a long time too) who have all been mangled by the pubco lie and were utterly fed up with nothing left to lose if we finally stood up to out freeholders and said "THIS ABUSE HAS TO STOP".

We were all running our pubs (more than full time - as you guys all know too) and had a choice:
1) make a Campaign to target the tie and make legislators fully, shockingly aware of the gross inequity that has been going on underneath their noses for a couple of decades or
2)set up a Trade Organisation which would take subscriptions and represent Licensees - tied or free - and work towards making a better playing field for everyone, including going for a fairer deal with the tie.

Ideally we would have done both but practically, financially and in terms of what little spare time we had between us - the campaign was the only pragmatic route.

We reasoned that as long as we kept to facts/stats/figures/examples of wrong doing about the tie which we could back up, prove and never be contradicted on by the other side - it would not be too long before the gigantic wall of ignorance there was about the tie would begin to crumble. IF people who matter who have been told for decades by BBPA and pubco ceos that the tie supports pubs, the trade is vibrant and successful and its lessees enjoy earnings way over the average - just look at our performance as a pubco running our 'franchises' with all our loving grateful tenants fully behind us... IF we could persuade these people they have been duped; they will not take it lightly.

So there you are - Fair Pint is a campaign and its members are lessees. We pay stupid levels of rent to pubcos and even more crazy prices for our beer. Those of us whose interests and work are entirely committed to running a pub are, effectively, BROKE without pension schemes or any realisable assets - or any security for our future.

SO when it's 'take this back and talk to your members' WE are the members. WE ARE TIED PUBLICANS. We cannot reasonably send out a questionnaire to all the people who have signed up or made modest donations to the campaign because that would be a breach of the confidentiality agreement everyone involve with the mediation agreed to stick to.

So now is a year and a bit down the line since Fair Pint set up. Now we need to start raising money - because we cannot afford to go on doing more pulling in favours of friends and getting discounts on all the work some rather wonderful people allow us because they too want to see the end of the inequitous tied system.

We must fund raise.

Anyone fancy helping out?

Anyone interested in representing Fair Pint at regional level?

Anyone interested in putting in a regular donation by standing order? Like £3 a week or fifteen quid a month? Email for more info. Fair Pint now has a fund raiser for the first time.

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