RE: Bob Neill, minister in charge of community pubs, is dropped in Government reshuffle
God knows why this government bothered appointing anyone in the first place. Even the token cuddly Bob Neill who wasn't interested in anything other than getting a free pint of real ale and being able to pontificate about great pubs he knows in Wales that have been shut down by their pubco owners without Bob realising anyway.
'Bob, you know the pubcos always blame the government for all the problems in the pub trade; taxes; rates; red tape; escalator; not clipping supermarkets' wings; smoking ban and all the rest while all the time it's actually THEM overcharging their tenants on rent and double the wholesale price for beer and other supplies that's making the financial impact of all the other factors impossible for publicans to accommodate in their business plan don't you?
"Well, yes I do believe so".
'And you know that pubcos behave like Feudal Landlords towards Serfs as far as their tenants are concerned don't you?'
"Well, yes, I have heard some pretty terrible stories about them and, believe me, we WILL act upon it. But what we need is evidence. Evidence is what we need. It's EVIDENCE that we need you see. Give me evidence and we'll act on it"
That was downstairs in the Red Lion after the last Select Committee hearings where we'd seen all the evidence from years of lessees working hard to provide it. What did the government do? SWEET FA. What did Bob do? SWEET FA.