It’s reported that the Passionate Pub Company, a seven-strong pub operator in the North-East, has gone into liquidation after its bank RBS withdrew its support.
Passionate, which has traded since 1999, said it had been severely affected by the smoking ban, changes in the market with the move towards food sales, and price competition from supermarkets.Are you listening, Gillian Merron? Probably not. What does she care now she’s lost her seat?
“It is hoped that the policy makers and the legislators can see the consequences of their actions on a beleaguered but important sector of the economy.”Well, precisely. And will they?
On the same day, new Labour leader Ed Miliband expressed his support for pubs – but if his chief weapon is to increase off-trade prices, that is simply a blatant attack on the living standards of the less well-off. Who was it Labour was supposed to represent again? And it is an exercise in despicable hypocrisy when he supported the measure that has ripped the guts out of the pub trade, especially in working-class areas, over the past three years. I wonder if Ed has spent much time going round the pubs and clubs of Doncaster North asking ordinary drinkers why trade had fallen off a cliff.
The damning verdict of Mr Eugenides on his defeated brother is equally applicable to Ed.