Pub Bitch: And one for the dog?

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Related tags: All-party parliamentary beer, House of lords, Liberal democrats, Plaid cymru

The miscellaneous party Anyone still unclear as to who holds the reins of power within our coalition government need only look as far as the list of...

The miscellaneous party

Anyone still unclear as to who holds the reins of power within our coalition government need only look as far as the list of MPs who've signed up to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group - that gaggle of politicians whose love of the Great British Pub knows no bounds. In a register issued by the House of Commons showing the group's 20 qualifying members, there are 10 Conservatives — including a peer of the realm — listed under the heading 'Government Party'. Meanwhile six Labour MPs' names appear under the heading 'Main Opposition Party'. And under the column marked 'Other' one finds the names of Elfyn Llwyd, a Plaid Cymru MP, and those of three Liberal Democrats, including Greg Mulholland, whose tangles with the pub industry have passed into legend, etc. Someone at the House of Commons seems to have forgotten that the Lib Dems are actually in government. Well, sort of…

Buying friends?

More on the All-Party Beer thingy… as well as effectively sidelining Lib Dem MPs the group's register reveals the scale of benefits received from what it calls 'sources outside Parliament'. Five companies each coughed up nearly five grand - pubco Enterprise Inns, Suffolk brewer Greene King, drinks giant Diageo, Heineken UK (formerly Scottish & Newcastle), and Carling concocter Molson Coors - though for what end, I know not. The conspiracy theorists among you might be tempted to arrive at the conclusion that these are companies that may have had differences with the British Beer & Pub Association in the past and might want to establish more… 'direct' relations with those close to policy-makers. But of course that's not what I think...

Nice pants

Arriva, the train company, has a novel way of reminding people to be well-behaved when using its services. The 'Supertwerp' poster, photographed by Paul Ingles at Port Talbot station, is one of a series extolling people to be more considerate. Now I'm sure I've seen that court jester somewhere…

Dog beer all the rage in London

Judging for The Publican Food & Drink Awards is an intense business and the finalists such a competitive bunch that every year they come up with increasingly innovative ways to impress. A special mention this year has to go to Cask Ale Pub of the Year finalist the Hand in Hand on Wimbledon Common, South London. Thanks to a recent beer festival, it nearly exhausted the supply of cask beers and ciders it could offer its human customers, and decided to give itself a point of difference by ordering in some beer for its canine customers too. And rightly so in my opinion. Bottled Dog Beer — a tasty mixture of water and beer extract — is not actually alcoholic, but provides welcome refreshment for dogs after they have taken their owners for a brisk trot on the nearby common.


You've got to be able to laugh at yourself, I always say. And if you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at someone else. Gone on, it's brilliant. This week the chuckles are at the expense of our very own news editor, Matt Eley. Eley wrote a story for in which he covered the forthcoming Best Bar None National Practitioners Conference, taking place in Durham next month. Only it didn't quite appear like that, as you can see (see pic, right). Unfortunately it was only after an eagle-eyed reader - ironically the licensing projects officer for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea - contacted our editorial team that the cock-up was noticed and duly and red-facedly amended. In a further twist Eley's howler was cut 'n' pasted by several other news websites. Oh how we larffed…

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