Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have you been bullied? Part II

Steve. I was just about to respond to the implications being bandied about above about Fair Pint - YET AGAIN even though exactly the same questions have been answered completely openly before - and there you are.

LOOK you people who like conspiracies and dark nefarious suggestions and cloak and dagger nonsense - Fair Pint is a non constituted campaign that is run ENTIRELY voluntarily by a few tied licensees.

We've worked incredibly hard to move the conversation about the tie forward with government and all the bodies presiding over the pub sector who haven't been totally tucked up like kippers by the pubcos and BBPA.

We've made a MASSIVE impact on this trade and it's all been down to posing a few simple, intellectually robust, arguments that contradict the whole myth of the tie being a benign, or even positive, influence in the pub sector, putting them forward logically and precisely then backing up our thesis with proof of our position. We don't need to consult a 'membership' or do anything like that because, manifestly, what we are doing is just exposing myth and nonsense.

The second tier of work is simply looking in detail at all the propaganda and misrepresentations that are rife in the official coffee table book presentation of the pub industry and unpicking it all to expose it for the baloney that it is. Like the CSR statements of all the pubcos and their 'codes of practice' WHAT A CROCK of fairy tales that all is!

People can sign up the the campaign via the Fair Pint website - it costs nothing to 'join'. If people want to support what the campaign is doing they can donate money as a gift and some people have done that.

Any money that comes into the campaign (my parents and I both set up once a year standing orders for example) has gone toward bills - for legal opinion, for admin, bits and pieces. What has come in is WAY below the amount charged. We spent our own money according to our means. That means some of us have put a few hundred quid in and some have put nothing in and some have put more in. There's nothing to be transparent about.

After that - we put time in according to our means as well. A few people have put a huge amount of technical work and research into the foundations of Fair Pint. The main body of work is done purely in spare time around working hours running pubs, working on the bar, doing what publicans do. Steve and I have been pretty high profile from a blogging point of view just because our life schedules have allowed us to do that. The Campaign needed a presence on forums and we naturally became the people who would be doing posting. Others have NEVER posted on forums, or only a handful of times, because a) they do not have the time b) writing isn't their thing c) they find the nasty approbrium flung around about all the work we've put into Fair Pint freely - which benefits everyone who has a tied lease - too spiteful, mindless and distasteful to want to put up with so they don't put their heads above the parapet. Understandable.

Steve and I have been in the firing line of pubcos (as tied lessees) for a very long time and have developed thick skins in the process. Steve particularly does a massive amount of work for lessees who have been and are being totally screwed by their pubcos. As he says above, it's two to five pleas for help / advice come in every day (all gut wrenching stuff) -

It does seem that some people find it difficult to believe there's no hidden agenda to Fair Pint and the people behind it - THERE ISN'T. Some people seem to believe that no one does anything for altruistic reasons. Some people find it impossible to believe that anyone would work for nothing - no matter how great a cause.

The truth of the matter is that Steve does all that work for other people who have been SHAFTED - JUST BECAUSE HE CARES. Helping them is reward in itself. I've seen the emails thanking him. I've got emails thanking me.

Everyone involved in Fair Pint CARES. It might be difficult to believe but caring for each other and supporting each other - and helping other people who find themselves out on a limb and scared to death by their circumstances and the bullying and betrayal they experienced at the hands of their BDMs, Brulines 'technicians and so on, is what keeps us going. And it's what makes Fair Pint such a fantastic thing to be involved with. It's why we've all been doing Fair Pint like this from the start, BECAUSE WE CARE.

It's been an education, a growing experience and an honour to be involved with such a bunch of marvellous people.

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