Selling England by the pound

From The Publican

Start a new threadBy Hamish Champ , 01-Mar-2008

Related topics: Company & City News

With pub and brewing sectors contracting under the weight of recent corporate activity there's been much beating of chests over what some see as the country's national heritage being sold down the river. In particular, rivers leading to overseas buyers.

 

Along with everything else, the blame for Great British Names being snapped up by any old Tomas, Dirk or Hermes is being laid at the door of the 'shower in power', New Labour.

 

We should have protectionist policies in place, patriots argue, to prevent the likes of Scottish & Newcastle from falling into foreign hands. Other countries have them, so why not us?

 

Sadly for those guardians of all things British we live in 'enlightened' economic times, in which cash - or equity or, when you can get it, debt - is king.

 

What I find ironic is that many advocating protectionism would, if pushed, place their political affinities to the right of the centre, where the exponents of free market forces traditionally reside. I always thought illiberal economic policies were the preserve of the 'economically illiterate' Left.

 

Then again, the political landscape has been turned on its head in recent years, what with Labour privatising chunks of the NHS and the Tories highlighting the plight of the poor. Alice In Wonderland or what?!

 

Back in the early eighties, as the privatisation of state-owned assets gathered pace, I recall Tory grandee and former Prime Minister Harold MacMillan giving Margaret Thatcher a ticking off for, in his words, "selling the family silver".

 

Many regard Thatcher's legacy as that of radically reforming a once-moribund UK economy, though I suspect few in traditional manufacturing industries, not to mention the miners, would agree. And then, of course, there were those 'choice-enhancing' Beer Orders.

 

So if you must seek an architect of the current carpet-bagging, I'd start with her…

Find us on Facebook

Spotlight

The cost of Premier League copyright violation

The cost of Premier League copyright violation

There is a saying that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but if you are...

David Beckham to launch a whisky

David Beckham to launch a whisky

David Beckham is to launch a whisky in partnership with Diageo.

Explosion in e-cigarette use presents dilemma for pub operators
Feature

Explosion in e-cigarette use presents dilemma for pub operators

It’s the biggest thing to happen to smoking since the ban. Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are on...

Speak up if you're suffering

Speak up if you're suffering

Depressed and overworked licensees should seek help, argues Pete Brown.

Follow us on