Is saving “British Pubs” like saving the “British Sausage”?
We all, I’m sure, remember the great episode of “Yes Minister” when Jim Hacker sought to change the media narrative by launching a campaign to “save the British sausage”.
I just wonder whether Labour leadership front-runner, David Miliband, has found his equivalent with a been a big campaign just launched to save Britain’s pubs which he says are closing at about 40 a week.
Before the election, he notes, Labourâ€™s Minister for Pubs, John Healey, set out plans to help more pubs survive and thrive. “But the Tory-Lib Dem government has failed to appoint a dedicated Pubs Minister.”
He goes on in a pure Hackeresque manner: “.. For too long we have tolerated this decline as the result of inevitable market forces. But we can and should stand up for the local pub â€“ and the community links and civic life they sustain. Local pubs are great British institutions â€“ and as Labour leader I would stand up for them.“
I’m sure that there is a serious issue here but doesn’t this come over as being a tad trivial? I know it’s hard for the contenders to command media attention but, surely, there are greater current issues that should be raised at this time than pubs?
I can see this being picked up by his rivals.