Thursday, 29 August 2013

There is nothing to cheer in pubs closing...


Oh it's-a lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the campfire at night we'll hear the wild dingoes call
But there's-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer

Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come
And there's a far away look on the face of the bum
The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer
Oh what a terrible place is a pub with no beer

The Good Pub Guide sets itself up as a promoter of the fine pub - although one suspects at times one without beer. And the book is useful so long as it's a particular type of pub you're looking for.  However this doesn't justify the glee with which the editors of said book describe the closing of pubs:

The closures may be bad news for staff and customers, but it is high time "bad pubs" went out of business, giving visionary and energetic licensees a chance to open new ones, the Good Pub Guide 2014 argues. It predicts that more than 1,000 new pubs will open next year, often in former hostelries that have been shuttered for years. Between 2,500 and 4,000 will go out of business, but the guide quotes a successful landlord saying there are too many pubs in the wrong place, chasing the wrong market. 

The truth is that the traditional idea of a pub - somewhere to go have a drink, a banter and maybe a game is gone. Killed by the pub companies, the smoking bans and the snobbishness of the sorts who write The Good Pub Guide. There are no reasons - bar the interference of politicians and the neglect of PubCos - for these traditional boozers to go and for Sally Maclennane to be thrown out into the cruel world.

The man from CAMRA (for once) is right:

Roger Protz, editor of the Campaign for Real Ale's 2014 Good Beer Guide, added: "How bizarre that a book called the Good Pub Guide should welcome the closure of as many as 4,000 pubs. Pubs need to be saved, not thrown on the scrapheap.

"We welcome the new Localism Act that enables pub-goers to save pubs threatened with closure, get them listed by local authorities and protected as community assets.

“We want to save pubs, not axe them." 


1 comment:

Curmudgeon said...

Protz refuses to acknowledge the presence of the elephant in the room, though. And protecting pubs as community assets will do nothing to save them if the demand isn't there.