Monday, December 17, 2012

User Profile from the old Morning Advertiser

USER PROFILE from the old Morning Advertiser

I worked in busy bars and restaurants in the real world for over fifteen years and managed a West End nightclub at the end of the eighties.

I then became a landscaper. I studied and worked hard. I designed and built over fifty gardens mostly in the home counties and London. I worked with John Brookes, Geoff Hamilton and Dan Pearson among others. Was deputy editor of The Garden Design Journal for a couple of years. I interviewed Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, whom you've never heard of, not long before he died. He was one of my gurus.

The Sun and Doves is 'my' pub (it's actually owned by a totally disinterested RBS and 'operated' by a bunch of hands off S&N/Heineken employees who I'm TIED to), The successes of The Sun and Doves are ENTIRELY the result of my vision, my investment and my hard work. The pubcos have only ever hindered progress. They are blind and stupid as far as operation is concerned.

Hard work includes bringing other people along with you and I have some great people running my pub for me. This allows me time to work on other things as well as doing sixty hours or so a week for the pub and having a family life which makes some kind of sense.

I'm a founder member of The Fair Pint Campaign

I set up SE5 Forum for Camberwell to represent the under valued part of London where I live and work with a £5K grant from UnLtd:


The Sun and Doves., Camberwell London SE5. Tied lease with S&NPE. Now named S&NPC

I had a bio on the previous MA website but it was erased when this site came live. This is a free flow ramble.

It's a multi award winning pub. That is not by chance, it's something to do with me. It's my money I invested, my ideas, my graft, my flair and skills. I send out at least 4,500 emails every week and promote more actively than any other pub I've ever come across that doesn't have DJs and door staff. Yet S&NPE believe that a competent operator would achieve an 18% net increase income over the money The Sun and Doves takes now. When I signed the lease it was doing a grand a week. There have been many shootings, stabbings, other gun and knife crimes, (the most recent is a murder 60 metres away from our front doors at 1pm yesterday as I write this on 20 December 2008) crack houses, whores, prostitutes, aggressive beggars and all manner of other scumbag activity right on our doorstep. We're slap bang in the middle of two of the most deprived wards in the UK and S&NPE treat me like I'm on High Street Kensington.

I have been stressed out beyond belief through my relationship with pubcos. Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises for the last ten years. Only long term medication and one to one therapy has enabled me to cope with the crass stupidity of the system, the ignorance, the lies, deceptions, misrepresentations and down right charlatanry of the pubco system. It's Dark Ages stuff.

I am a founder of the Fair Pint Campaign and I will not rest until the pubcos are brought to heel and hell. This is a rational position - based on logic, experience of the free of tie real world and a deep sense of right instilled by parents who are Methodist/Quaker in belief and educators by profession.
2400 forum items posted by this user


  1. Morning Advertiser

    Top 10 stories of 2011

    View 2 posts13-Jan-2012

    Related topics: General News

    With the PMA website receiving more than 1.5m visits in 2011, here are the top 10 most-read stories of last year on

    Karen Murphy's victory in the European Court of Justice was the PMA's most read news story of 2011

    Karen Murphy's victory in the European Court of Justice was the PMA's most read news story of 2011

    1 Karen Murphy wins European case against Premier League (3 October)

    The European Court of Justice has ruled against the Premier League, stating that pubs can show football matches via foreign (European) TV decoders. The ECJ ruled that restricting the sale of European foreign satellite decoder cards is “contrary to the freedom to provide services”.

    2 Enterprise wins Brulines case against Fair Pint founder (24 November)

    A company owned by Fair Pint founder Karl Harrison has been ordered by the High Court to pay Enterprise Inns an initial £65,000 in costs after it lost a legal battle with the pubco over use of the Brulines flow-monitoring system.

    3 Britvic launches Glitter Berry (4 September)

    Britvic has launched a limited-edition variant, J20 Glitter Berry, in an effort to boost sales over the festive season. J2O Glitter Berry is a combination of red grape, cherry and a hint of spice with edible gold glitter that sparkles once the bottle is shaken.

    4 Fair Pint founder Dodds faces eviction (18 September)

    A founding member of Fair Pint, Mark Dodds is to be evicted from his pub after falling behind on a repayment scheme. Dodds, lessee at the Sun & Doves in Camberwell, south London, was involved in a dispute with Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC) over a proposed rent increase at the pub dating back to September 2005.

    5 RBS sells 918 pubs to Heineken (1 December)

    Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has sold 918 freehold pubs, the portfolio known as the Galaxy estate, to S&NPC, a subsidiary of Heineken, for £422m, in the largest deal in the tenanted pub sector for eight years.

    6 Government eyes alternative pubco reform (6 October)

    Pubcos have been told to deliver meaningful reform or the Government could support a Private Members’ Bill that calls for a mandatory free-of-tie option and an open-market rent review.

    7 Beer duty up again (22 March)

    The pub trade has been dealt another devastating blow — with the price of a pint set to rise another 10p — after the Chancellor stuck to plans to increase duty by 7.2%. The rise in duty is the third price increase of the year following January’s VAT hike and brewery rises in February.

    8 Punch lessee case goes to full trial (27 September)

    George Scott, licensee at the Eastcote Arms in Towcester, Northamptonshire, is fighting a case for forfeiture against Punch over a sum of money for unpaid rent and beer sales.

    9 Orchid under threat of bank takeover (9 October)

    The Orchid Group, the 300-strong managed chain, is under threat of being taken over by its banks. The group admitted it is likely to breach the covenants on the terms of its bank loans, forcing it into discussions with its main lender — Lloyds Banking Group.

    10 Enterprise ‘tenants being misled in lease disputes’ (30 November)

    Enterprise has hit out at organisations and individuals who, it claimed, are giving misleading advice to tenants over lease disputes. This comes after the pubco secured its second High Court victory in as many weeks over a tenant on a tie-related issue.


    Pub chain chief slams beer tie ruling as 'ridiculous' From The Publican By James Wilmore , 20-Oct-2010

    Related topics: General News, Company & City News

    A high-profile multiple operator has slammed the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) beer tie decision as "absolutely ridiculous", arguing there is clear evidence the beer tie is strangling competition.

    Tony Brookes, managing director of the eight-strong North-East based Head of Steam, has written to the OFT claiming the body is "too heavily influenced by the big guns in the licensed trade and don't care about workers on the coal face".

    He has also copied an email with the letter attached to host of MPs - including Home Secretary Theresa May and Business Secretary Vince Cable.

    The OFT last week concluded the tie is good for competition and does not harm consumers.

    "Your organisation has concluded that there are no competitive issues in the licensed trade regarding the drinks tie and see no reason for further investigation. What an absolutely ridiculous conclusion," Brookes writes.

    "Those of us who spent a lot of time and energy working to provide you with evidence will feel suitably astonished and angry."

    Brookes said his company's submission showed "very clear evidence, in numerical examples, of how the beer tie operated by the big pub companies strangles competition".

    He added: "Do you not think it anti-competitive that Wetherspoons' pubs sell drink often at lower prices than our tied pub can buy for; or that supermarkets can sell to Joe Public products that cost tied licensees three times the price to buy? How do you not regard those practices as uncompetitive?"

    Following the OFT's ruling, trade groups - including the British Beer & Pub Association and Independent Family Brewers of Britain - urged the industry to move on and unite over other issues, such as changes to the licensing regime and promoting cask beer.