Pubs to allow tenants to buy their beer from other suppliers, what next McDonalds can have a guest burger from Burger King

Ladies at Beer FestivalThis morning on Reuters they announce that a new code of practice is to be released for the pub industry. The last thing the pub industry needs is more regulation.

Quote from Reuters

Business Secretary Vince Cable said that pressure also comes from powerful pub companies who lease property to tenants with the condition that they also buy beer from them, often at high prices.

The statement may well be slightly true, but one of the problems here is that the landlords own the pub. The tenants do not, it is a franchise system. They pay in to the brand and as such must meet the terms of the brand. Not a complicated practice. If it is a Free House then it is not tied to any brewery. The tenants know this when they buy the lease. Those that do not meet the terms of the lease with selling beer, usually those who are selling tinnies under the counter, are vacated from the premises.

If the Government would like to push forward with the genius idea of allowing a pub franchise owner to buy their stock from a different supplier, how exactly is the franchise model supposed to work?

Were this to be rolled out throughout the pub industry then what is to stop other industries forcing a legal challenge? Then we could walk into a McDonalds and buy a Burger King Whopper, some may say a good idea, reality is though the whole business model of a franchise without the uniformity is pointless. If one franchise is poor quality then the reputation of the others is hurt by brand association. The same will happen here.

The comments say they will help businesses be able to sell cheaper guest beer. Looking at the Sam Smiths model then it could well be that they could sell more expensive worse quality beer.

The Government should not be regulating the destruction of the franchise industry and should have a hard look at tin pot ideas from the Business Secretary.


Fat man on the run for Mental Health

thom kebabWell after a few drinks I was talked into running in the Jane Tomlinson 10km for a charity that does a huge amount for the people in York in an area that is often regarded as taboo to talk about or just brushed over.

For many, including most in my family, a 10km run is seen as not a challenge. However I am a bit different to that, as first thing I have to do is get fit. Something I have tried before, but with my erratic work it is often something I struggle to keep up with. This certainly has given me something to focus my efforts on and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t manage it. So ultimately it is an exercise regime that I have to do to be able to get by.

I hope there will be plenty of support for me in the build up and the race. Mainly though in the fundraising for York Mind. I will be keeping people informed of what I am doing and a little bit on mental health over the next few months.

Please feel free to donate by following the link.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Youth PCC, right idea… but what about their background?

The online world has been full of quips over the Youth PCC who was given a £15,000 a year job out of over 150 applicants and it turned out she tweeted dumb things.

There have been calls that someone so young shouldn’t be in this position, well this is a role to engage with Youth problems. So quite frankly the age aspect is not relevant. This is a really good idea to look at ways in which to engage with younger people, after all in York one of the big issues is Antisocial Behavior. Youth crime is a problem throughout the country and having someone on a similar level is a great way to look at tackling the problem. After all the usual people who come up with policies have absolutely no idea what it is like for modern younger people, which can be sown in the dramatic failure of most policies.

The other side has been saying there shouldn’t be such a racist, homophobic drug taker standing in the role. However we are dealing in a whole different world with the online tweets there for all to see and often forgotten. Her tweets were stupid, she knows that, every single media outlet has been saying it and the online communities have been sneering at her. These weren’t recent tweets, these were form when she was 13/14/15, 2 years prior. This may not be a long time for older people but it is a significant change in peoples lives from 15 to 17.

There have been people out there saying she should resign over her past comments, yet I don’t recall many people calling for Ed Balls to resign over his past when he dressed up as a Nazi.

Ed Balls as a Nazi

So should a persons comments when a young teenager set out the future of our lives? Absolutely not, I don’t think there will be a single person who could claim they hadn’t said dumb things as a teenager. They’re teenagers, that’s what they do!

Should the PCC have vetted her properly, absolutely.  Inn a modern world where things can come and bite you in the bum it is good to know what is ahead. However I would be more worried if the person hired was someone who had never done anything wrong, never said something stupid and was a perfect citizen. They will be as useful as a 60 year old lecturer in the role, as there has to be a relationship between ordinary younger people and themselves.

So before everyone else starts to dig at Paris Brown, did what you say when you were a 13/14/15 years old represent who you are in your current life? I think not.

Minimum pricing, how about clamping down on existing laws?

As it stands in England and Wales the alcohol minimum pricing is dead in the water. Scotland is going through a legal battle, but in the long run it is going to go ahead. The aims of this policy is to price out of the market the low earning heavy drinkers, as those who can afford will not worry about low priced drinks increasing. Ultimately to crack down on street drinking, antisocial behaviour and other drink related crimes on the crime aspect. On the other hand is the health aspect of over drinking.

My focus is on the clamping down on drink related crime. The minimum pricing policy quite simply will not help those who drink in pubs, bars and clubs.

Already there is the policy of fining those who serve alcoholic drinks to those who are drunk. Clearly this doesn’t happen, with virtually no fines in the last year. Also anyone who has been for a late night drink can see the visible evidence strewn across the streets in the form of drunks and violence, the hospitals also see no evidence as the beds are filled on weekends with drink related problems. If the existing Act was actually enforced it may well have the desired effect. What is the point of introducing another policy to curb heavy drinking and drink related crimes if the existing policy hasn’t been tried in day to day life?

This is a policy born of people who clearly have no set goals of what they want to achieve. As to think that minimum pricing would have a direct impact on the alcohol related crimes is a little bit naive and could only come from people without experience. Merely coming up with a policy to sound like they are doing something. As if they did want a clamp down then the current fining system of serving drunk people would be actively promoted and acted upon.

Councils, Why do you need to know about my personal life in a consultation on bins?

On a recent consultation into Labour getting rid of the Garden Waste Collections, or charging residents I was faced with the usual public sector bumff of unnecessary details.

An entire section of the consultation was purely about me and my personal life. HEre are the questions included.

  1.  What age range do you belong to?
  2. Are you… ? (male/female)
  3. Do you identify yourself as trans?
  4. What is your ethnic origin?
  5. Which of the following best describes yourself?
    1. Bisexual
    2. Homosexual/Gay Man
    3. Lesbian/ Gay Woman
    4. Heterosexual/Straight
    5. Prefer Not To Say
  6. What is your relationship status?
  7. What is your religious beliefs?

There was more to do with disability and carers.

First of all it is a waste of both mine and their time, it has no relevance to the consultation.

Second of all, why do they need to know my sex, race, sexual preference and inside leg measurement on a consultation to do with sending garden waste to be disposed of, or throwing it in the landfill with the other general waste?

You would think the council had more pressing matters than who I am sleeping with or whether I am trans, but it seems the public sector must carry on this pointless question asking so they can racially and sexually profile the respondents  The respondents personal details are irrelevant and should remain irrelevant and more importantly why do we need the local government to pry on our lives.

Just ask the questions about the and leave the personal details out, it is wasting your time, my time, internet bandwidth and we don’t need the state nosing in.

That just reminds me of the old poster against Socialism

Inspectors all round - Socialism

My home is indeed my castle and too many inspectors are just a waste of my tax money just to unnecessarily profile who is interested in what happens with their Garden Waste.

Lib Dems In Self Destruct Mode… Cockroaches and Nutters

As the Lib Dems enter their 25th Anniversary at their Spring Conference, it makes me wonder how they manage to get buy with their PR.

I have been quite vocal about the fact the Conservative Party need to become more like Labour when it comes to PR and how to publicise policies.

Tim Farron being trotted out as the spokesman for the party is the equivalent of someone like Nigel Farage being rolled out to defend the Conservative Party, their is a conflict of interest. Since 2010 when the Lib Dems realised they held the holy grail of power at Westminster, there have been winners and losers. My god the losers don’t like it.

The problem is that there seems to be a focus on the negatives, not on what they are trying to do to fix it. This isn’t good for the Party as a whole, but Tim Farron could become the most popular member of his grassroots party the more effort he gives into his negative campaigning… against his own party. The ones that are not coming out well in all this is all the other senior Lib Dems, yet still them let Tim Farron speak on most issues. A man who is not in the cabinet, who has been overlooked and has ambition.

The problem is, as I continually point out, negative campaigning results in one thing… losing trust of the voters. The problem here is that Tim Farron is focusing his negative campaign on the Lib Dem Party. This could end up with him focusing his efforts on getting a low turn out by his own party.

Maybe time for those responsible to hold their hands up, and maybe they start talking positively before Tim Farron becomes a leader of a minority party on a similar standing to the greens.

York Not In Running For City of Culture… Quelle Surprise?!

Ed Vaizey today unveiled those that are running for the 2017 UK City of Culture, York is not to feature.

It is no great surprise that a city of York’s standings is not to feature in this with the competition of Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Southend on Sea and a joint application from Portsmouth and Southampton. All very different cities, none as great as York, obviously.

However with the current actions from the City leaders and the City bureocrats it is never going to be able to have any culture. Many tourists love the fantastic range of street performers that add that extra little something to the City Centre and always gives a buzz around them. The other day with an army of public clipboard holders and 2 policemen they were on a mission to stop a very serious offence from happening. A busker had the audacity to offer CDs, not for sale, but in exchange for donations. Shocking to many I know that such crimes against humanity should be committed. If he wanted to sell CDs then he would have to pay a £40 fee for the privilege, nearly double what the market traders have to pay. Link To Article on Streetslive.

This doesn’t surprise me, when we have councillors trying to shape what kind of new business can be set up in the City Centre. When they say we need more shops being opened up rather than bars and restaurants maybe they should put their money where their mouths are? The real world is not some kind of social experiment; the powers that be should not be in a position to even suggest what is the ‘right kind of business’. There is a single factor that shows whether it is the right kind of business and that is the profits the business makes. If there is a demand, then offer a supply and this then brings to the city growth and ultimately jobs. The oft trotted out phrase that Ed Milliband likes to say on a loop  of  ‘Jobs & Growth’; will be solved. The City will thrive on it’s own without the interference from an army of clipboard holders, the only help the council should be giving is in cuts to start up costs for businesses.

At the very least the City of York should have been entered into the pot to be considered for the City of Culture. But for this to be a genuine thriving City of Culture, the council needs to back off and let the city just be. Be it from buskers to a cafe bar; York can sustain it all, without interference from elected and unelected officials.

EDIT It seems that the Council have taken it too far and revoked the buskers permit of Jonny Walker, all over a £40 tag for donations. York Press Link