Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clegg backs pubs and beer tie reform

I'm comfortable with my level of maturity Ken, particularly if it gets you riled so easily.

What hero worship are you alluding to? I'm under no illusions and worship no one. I do not trust pubcos, who would given the freedom they have to act like prefects in a tuck shop? But when it comes to politicians as a class, the wool has been firmly pulled right over their eyes for decades. They have been extremely poorly informed about the pub trade, getting all their information FROM the very pubcos no one trusts via the BBPA for as long as anyone can remember.

The story politicians were seamlessly fed for years is: "the pub trade is extremely robust; able to cope well in times of hardship, responding nimbly to economic downturn, the tie operates rather as a franchise where the strength of the pubcos' buying and lobbying power protects individual tenants from the worst excesses of everything". blah blah blah. And when politicans noticed pubs closing like a virulent rash all over the country they were told 'it's the free trade that's suffering, tied pubs are not closing so quickly - because pubcos support their tenants and it's not in pubcos' interest to see them suffer' and, when awkward questions were asked, they said 'well, the country's changing, we have too many pubs, fifteen or twenty percent of them will close as part of natural evolution'. Blah blah blah.

That is WHY politicians have not stuck up for the pub trade. The people who run the pub trade have brought all the political opprobrium down on themselves. Individual lessees, free or tied, have just had to take the flack until politicians and their mandarins became better informed by sources other than BBPA.

What's your solution Ken? Where were you when the politicians needed better quality information in order to get something right about the pub trade?

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