11 hours ago
Monday, 23 November 2015
Pub Campaigner and LibDem MP Greg Mulholland, has got himself into hot water by going along to the Tenanted Pub Company Summit, a £600 a head do, and proceeding from his guest speaker's vantage point, to piss on all their chips. He didn't as expected take the chance to say that with a victory in the House of Commons over Market Rent Option for PubCos, the slate has all been wiped clean now and all will be sweetness and light in the tenanted pub sector, as the audience apparently hoped. Instead he tore into them as dedicated recidivists (my interpretation) who still wanted the lion's share of everything happening in the trade - in other words, they wished to carry on as before wherever they could. The Morning Advertiser didn't like what he said one little bit and perhaps being a little less than even handed, lashed Mr M as "a self appointed Pubs Champion" and, in an opinion piece by the Deputy Editor Mike Berry, called him out for "overstepping the mark."
To the MA's credit though they have given Greg a right of reply, which our Pub Champion has put to good use, berating Mr Berry as "never overstepping the mark in his professional life" - translation - a bit of a wimp - and countering with Berry being more interested in having his back slapped - translation - being a bit of a toady.
Of course I'm no fan of the pub companies, so tend to side with Greg Mulholland. He adds in his right of reply, that at this £600 a head thrash that tenant profitability wasn't mentioned once by the panel that was discussing the various subjects and that it was doubtful if anyone that is a pub tenant was likely to be there given the cost. Both are telling points. The whole background to why the PubCos failed the industry lies in overweening ambition, saddling pubs with immense debt, wiping out shareholder value and squeezing the tenants until their pips squeaked. No wonder they want to say "Let's start again with a clean sheet."
They would wouldn't they? Tell it like it is Greg. More power to your elbow.
You can read both Morning Advertiser articles, here and here. They are brilliant knockabout pieces which makes you wonder how they read before they were (presumably) toned down.