Well it doesn’t get any plainer than this.
Hi Russell, I am so sorry to hear this. I count myself very lucky to have met you and hope to see you again soon. Once again, thanks for the recipe for that wonderful slow cooked Beef and Onion dish I loved so much. I have Tarragon growing outside my front door now. Millbrook and the people of Rame would be so very much the poorer if you and the D&C were not there.
Several years ago, while on a visit to friends in Millbrook, Russell and I had a chat about the methods of the ‘pubcos’ and how one-sided their partnership turns out to be. These companies were playing this game then and no amount of TISC, BISC or BIS persuasion and cajoling have done anything to curb the immorality of this bunch of usurious bastards. They are still proving on a daily basis that self regulation was never going to work. When Ted Tuppen unguardedly described MPs as ‘moronic’ just prior to one of the several BIS Committee appearances, it came as no surprise to people working in the industry. He has no respect for anyone but himself and his ill-gotten gains so why are the government so naive as to believe that ‘self regulation’ will work – it hasn’t since the first TISC 2004.
Between Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns these companies are carrying something in the order of £6bn of debt in bonds, loans and overdraft facilities. This debt is being serviced by property sales and the ‘Churn’. The executives of the these ‘busted’ companies with their bankrupt business model are systematically destroying the social fabric of rural and suburban Britain. Following these companies behaviour through the pages of The Publicans Morning Advertiser and their performance on the Stock Market tells the story. Neither company has paid a dividend to shareholders (ETI 2008) because the only profit in the business is keeping them just on the right side of the Covenant agreements. The ‘Churn’? Week after week you can read of how yet another publican has been forced into bankruptcy, only to be replaced by a fresh one with a redundancy cheque or some such pot of cash to sink into the progressively more dilapidated properties and so to be bled dry and spat out.
There are currently 103 pubs businesses for sale in Cornwall alone. Nationally this figure is 4005 this morning. Some of these are freeholds where the Landlord Publican is free to operate his business and make a living but the majority are ‘pubco’ leases and tenancies being driven further into destruction.
The ‘Cafe’ culture is a lie. It’s all very well when the sun‘s out and a cup of coffee or tea with friends is a nice thing to do, but for real social intercourse, openly expressing one views and feelings, sharing good news and celebrating family good times the British Pub cannot be bettered.
It comes as no surprise that we hear that David Cameron has broken his election promise to do some good by the pub trade and is now defying the will of parliament over the issue of providing an independent review body to monitor the on going performance of the pubcos. Without our suburban and rural community pubs Mr Cameron's ‘Big Society’ will have nowhere to meet, to care, to give and support our communities.
While all this is going on the executives of these companies are walking away fat cheques bought with the life savings of good, honest, hardworking publicans like Russell in Millbrook.
Chin up mate and hang in there.