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Monday 4 August 2014

Tory MP’s Beer Hypocrisy

Stephen Mosley, who represents the long-suffering people of the City of Chester, is not backward at coming forward with attempts to publicise Himself Personally Now. The latest example of this is his being named a “Beer Champion” by, among others, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). But Mosley’s deeds do not match the spin, and the local CAMRA branch was not even consulted over his award.
Cheshire Today told that “Chester MP Stephen Mosley has been labelled a ‘beer champion’ for his support of beer drinkers. The MP received his award at a special Parliamentary reception recognising the MPs who worked hardest to secure last year’s historic cut in beer duty. He was presented with the ‘Beer Champion’ award along with a truly unique new beer brewed especially for the occasion”.

So let’s see just how Stephen Mosley has been “championing” the cause of beer drinkers, both locally and nationally. One penny off the price of a pint, for starters, means having to sup rather a lot of beer before seeing any discernible effect. More important to drinkers, I’d suggest, is to have a thriving pub sector in the first place, and that means tackling the grip of the PubCos.

Many licensees see little more than £15,000 profit in a whole year. Their rents are fixed by the PubCo. The price at which they buy in beer is fixed by the PubCo. Their freedom to buy in different beers is strictly controlled by the PubCo. And they risk PubCos increasing their rents, or, worse, selling the business from under them as some pubs are cashed in as property chips on a giant Monopoly board.
So what is Stephen Mosley doing about that? He is doing precisely sweet jack about that. Like so many Tories, and Astroturf lobby groups like the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, he wants everyone to “look over there” at a piddling duty reduction, rather than the crippling costs and restrictive practices of the PubCos. And he’s equally shy of getting off his jacksy and taking action in his own back yard.

Local campaigners have been trying to stop the demolition of Chester’s Ship Victory pub, by having it declared an Asset of Community Value. Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) council refused. The Chester CAMRA forum noted “A formal complaint procedure has now been started by the branch with CWaC. We have listed 8 reasons for complaint. This is Stage 1 of a rather drawn out procedure so we won't expect to hear anything for a while. Stephen Mosley MP for Chester has been copied in on the complaint. So far he has not shown any support for the cause”.

So that’s another lack of championing beer drinkers. And, just to rub salt into the wounds, in Cheshire Today, Mosley is shown drinking ... Worthington Creamflow, a cheap and nasty nitro-keg brew, and definitely not real ale.

With friends like Stephen Mosley, beer drinkers are not in need of any enemies.

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