Friday, January 11, 2013

In truth and reality this needs editing.

But I don't have time right now. I have to apply for a job. It was onto Facebook off my phone so there's a lot of typos and I think it could do with some refinement.
"ON anti pubco legislation a lot of MP's have begun to go with the flow. They're only human. The vast majority didn't understand the impact the smoking ban would have on the pub trade and they just went with the flow on that as well. The band did have a dynamic and deep impact on pubs but that's largely because most of them were grossly unprepared to cope with no smoking indoors and had nothing in place to substitute for smokers comfort outside. And that's because most pubs couldn't afford to spend anything in preparation for the ban as they are grossly under invested in because they have been comprehensively asset stripped by their pubco freeholders for the last twenty five years - leaving the people who run the businesses, the lessees, penniless devoid of profit and vulnerable to any form of downturn in trade.

MP's en masse have just been innocent, poorly informed bystanders to a nasty dirty game of Private Equity plundering of the nation's pub stock in a process that has not been understood even by the principle victims - the publicans whose work, effort, investment, endeavour, blood, sweat and tears has been the only thing that kept so many pubs open this long.

The insidious cynical process of financial attrition of the pub sector has been going on systematically under our collective noses as we've pontificated about red herrings thrown into the public realm by the self serving Family Brewers and Pubco's marketing and propaganda departments - and their industry publicity poodle the British Beer and Pub Association - stories about changing demographics, swathes of the populations tastes changing from beer and crisps to wine and bresaiola or to cappuccino and biscotti, cut price product competition starting with cheap booze cruises moving latterly to the naughty supermarkets, Red tape, unfair business rates, taxes, minimum wage increases, beer duty escalator, rising utilities - even the bizarre notion that the nation is simply 'over-pubbed'.In truth and reality the smoking ban is just one of a blizzard of diversionary fripperies thrown around by suited masters of deception to distract all external attention away from the fact that the dominant business model in the pub sector since 1989's widely trumpeted Beer Orders, supposedly designed to free the market, provide greater competition and more consumer choice, actually created a closed, unsupervised tightly restricted Feudal Feifdom whose extraordinary financial succeed revolved around large property owning companies enticing hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting new 'entrepreneurial' lessees into the trade, essentially 'lambs to the slaughter' who would provide ALL future investment in the tenanted sector whole taking on ALL responsibilities, liabilities, training, product research, pub sector innovation and development while paying the freeholders (the pubco's) for the privilege of running their own 'low cost entry' businesses and making ALL the big small and indifferent decisions about where the pub trade would go as consumer expectations changed and cafe society developed all around us.

All the Pubco's needed to do was sit back and take ALL the money from the shop floor and pay the dinner bills for industry shindigs at board level and sector supervision level where they could tell the politicians, policy works and 'trade associations' how everything and anything else apart from the people at the top of the trade - the Pubco's and Family Brewers - are responsible for all the trade's problems. When all the stories ran out of steam and the spotlight began to fall on the guys at the top, they simply started to blame the publicans for not investing enough, for not enough innovation or diversification of offer.

"Not our fault, Government, in fact it's YOUR fault" has been the mantra that perennially got Pubco's off the hook.

Of course while the obfuscation went on the pubs became dilapidated, run down, out of touch and irrelevant to contemporary consumers through decades of under investment while the innovation in the retail catering market that would have taken place in Britain's pubs, had the sector been responsibly managed, a 'cafe culture' worth £6billion a year sprung up around us in the former of Starbucks, Costa, Nero et al.

If the British pub sector had been properly run for the last thirty years instead of being treated like a giant shoal of minnows fit only to be attacked by sharks we'd have a vibrant forward looking pub industry instead of a holed, sinking hulk about to be another part of the gloomy wreckage of our culture, heritage and tradition along with all our lost bakers, post offices, church halls, corner shops, chemists and tea rooms.

The people who've presided over the catastrophic decline of Britain's pub sector, the ones responsible, are not our politicians, not our publicans, they are the CEO's of our private equity pub companies.
They are responsible for directly, wilfully committing a cultural crime of unprecedented national proportions and should go down in history as such and should go down the nick, banged up and shamed, guilty as charged with the keys thrown away and their personal assets seized to recompense the victims and to reinvest back into the embers of the noble industry they burned."

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