Thursday, January 10, 2013

Parliament Gives Pubco's A Kicking They Deserve

Yesterday was good fun, like being a fly on the wall watching a lot of little schoolboys having a go at Flashman once the Beak fingered him for trousering the tuck shop change.

It's half baked and doesn't really solve the whole problem. It's aimed at companies who have more than 500 tied pubs. Meaning Fuller's, Shepherd Neame and the other filthy 'family' bandits like Marston's and Greene King get off totally scot free.

Basically, having been briefed accurately for years by people like US - that's tied lessees at the coal face - and having comprehensively ignored everything we've been saying - yesterday most of the politicians finally got the courage (stimulated by Vince Cable's lead on legislation) to stand up and spend five minutes pontificating about pubs gathered round the metaphorical carcasses of the big pubco's.

The fundamental problem is that government is scared of making a cack up of everything. They know they let the the bankers off the hook so here they see an opportunity to kick the Private Equity barrow boys of British business in the knackers with a bit of populist legislation which in the long run is just speeding up the inevitable - the implosion of the bully boy pubco's. It leaves the real issue of the Tie - which is that it is being roundly abused by dozens of smaller companies in exactly the same way as the bigger bullies - completely untouched.

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