Tuesday, 3 June 2014

"Clegg and Cable pub visit show of unity"

From the BBC:

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have put on a show of unity with a visit to a London pub.

The event, to highlight the fact that Vince is Nick's best mate and he loves him like a brother, came after Mr Cable was forced to deny fancying Mrs Clegg.

The younger of the two men caused confusion behind the bar by asking for a glass of the house white before sitting at a table in the pub, watched through the windows by bored commuters at a bus stop. The older man settled for a cup of tea with milk, noting that bitter "went straight through him".

As they left Mr Cable said they had talked about going on to a club, but Mr Clegg said they had had a "very nice drink and it was time he got back home to the wife and kids".

The rare joint appearance by the two men began with Mr Clegg taking on the wingman duties, trying to pull a barmaid while Mr Cable eyed up her better looking colleague.


DBC Reed said...

Your version is more believable.

The Stigler said...

I'd have liked a fight in the style of The Quiet Man, with Clegg and Cable going through the streets, people standing around betting on the result, taking a quick breather for a pint and eventually making up.

Pablo said...

Action for Land Taxation and Economic Reform
"To improve the understanding of and support for Land Value Taxation amongst members of the Liberal Democrats; to encourage all Liberal Democrats to promote and campaign for this policy as part of a more sustainable and just resource based economic system in which no one is enslaved by poverty; and to cooperate with other bodies, both inside and outside the Liberal Democrat Party, who share these objectives."

Dr Vince Cable MP

Nick Clegg MP
Lord Fearn
Edward Davey MP
Adrian Sanders MP


DBC Reed said...

A lot of the press managed to miss the big pub story which is a tinkering by the government with the tied pub arrangements and action on the pubcos extorting high rents to pay for their massive borrowings.
There might be some scope here perhaps for the old idea of a progressive land tax in this case increasing for the more pubs in a chain?
Pub chains are the best example nowadays of rack rents putting people out of business.

DBC Reed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, you want it, you write it!

P, we are aware of the irony.

DBC, having LVT and cutting VAT makes everything better, including pubs.

And lifting the smoking ban will increase the rental value of pubs, so brings in more revenue. Win-win.

On a real life point, I was told about a small company who runs pubs and makes good money (I've seen the accounts and they do).

Wot? I said. No small companies running pubs make money!

The answer was, at the slump of the pub freehold market five years ago, they bought the freeholds from pubco and got rid of the tie. Now they are doing fine.

DBC Reed said...

As to real-life points: I don't know about anybody else's experience, but I remember pubs being rammed in the 70's & 80's with people having a much wider social circle.
If you wanted to see somebody you could go to their local and meet up or ask around for them.(Once I was told that a missing friend had died and that my informant had gone to his funeral and met his wife .He was ,in fact,staying in Bristol and never had a wife).But I miss those days and see the present Science fiction house-and-car life we now endure watching Austerity television, as part of the Homeownerist conspitacy to lock people up at night in their overpriced, very small houses.
As a born again Stalinist (according to some people on here) I favour nationalisation of pubs under the old State Management Scheme.The go-to bloke for this is Phil Mellows and ,in particular, his article on the People's Pubs.
Or as the polar opposite there is the Henry George solution: getting rid of licensing completely so you can buy and consume a pint down the newsagents or waiting for a hair cut etc. This is one George's best pieces in my view.
You are right about the smoking ban: why can't you have complete Smokers pubs where any non smokers have to sit outside?(Non-smoker myself.)

Bayard said...

"You are right about the smoking ban: why can't you have complete Smokers pubs where any non smokers have to sit outside?(Non-smoker myself.)"

Because the smoking ban is part of the neo-puritans' global war on fun. The intention is to discourage smoking (and, as an added bonus, drinking). Non-smoking bar staff are just the human shield. Also the authorities don't want people like us getting together and talking sedition.

The Stigler said...


The smoking ban utterly destroyed "pubs as pubs" in a way that nothing else ever did.

This wasn't a steady decline, like what had been happening for a couple of decades. My local went from a busy drinking pub to a pub with almost no-one in it within weeks of it. It used to do a bit of food (mostly at lunchtimes and early evenings).

I've seen good, solid pubs that were in business for 150 years go to the wall with the smoking ban. The Red Lion in Landlord has switched landlord at least 3 times since the ban, each giving it a go and realising that it's not working.

Most of our pubs are erzatz pubs. They might have the building and the name and either some of the decor left, but they're really restaurants now.

Far from Clegg's "envy of the world" statement about pubs, we've actually, rapidly converted to something closer to what France has where you have bars, nightspots and restaurants.

DBC Reed said...

The Red Lion where? (I know the Swindon area.)

The Stigler said...


Not sure why I wrote Landlord. That was supposed to say Faringdon.