Our industry raises a huge amount for both national and local charities and the quid pro quo is the charities trying to remove over 16.5% of our trading year, I’m not sure that I can see the fairness in the relationship.
All across the country we see pubs reducing hours and closing down. Trying to take another month of our trade away is hammering yet another nail into a coffin that is already getting close to airtight.
Since Gemma Peters, Macmillan’s CEO, seems incapable of original thinking, I have an idea for her. Let’s ditch ‘Sober October’ for ‘Don’t Pay in May’. Across the country people can be sponsored to not pay their energy bills. Rather than targeting the poor performing months this would propel the campaign into summer and increase participation.
The campaign would also benefit from a wider audience, rather than just targeting those of us who enjoy a drink, after all everyone has energy bills. With the current cost of living, one month’s less energy bills would provide more benefits than Sober October (better sleep, sense of achievement, etc).
Supporting local charities
But the real winner is that this campaign's negative impact would only affect the energy companies, currently posting insane profits, and not the beleaguered pub trade.
I look forward to talking to Ms Peters about how we can take my exciting idea forward, Ed please don’t hesitate to pass my number on. In the meantime, I am not sure if Ms Peters still has the front to visit her local pub and enjoy a tipple but if she does then I can assure her that she is less welcome in this establishment than the Diageo CEO.
Here at the Plough, we will continue to support local charities and will not host anything supporting Macmillan or others that seek to damage our trade. This year, like every other, any proudly stated ‘I’m doing Sober October’ will be met with ‘good for you, see you in November’. Remember people, a pub is for life, not for 10 months of the year.