Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

They'd let you shoot them, so long as they could sell you the gun themselves

There’s an interesting article in this months ‘What’s Brewing’, the paper for members of the CAMpaign for Real Ale. Twenty years have passed since the mergers & monopolies commission looked into breweries and their tied estates. In short, any brewery that owned over 2000 pubs had to make a ‘foreign’ beer available in any of the pubs over the 2000. Breweries aren’t stupid and instantly went into mutual back scratching mode. Almost overnight every pub in the south of England had Newcastle Brown while drinkers in pubs owned by Scottish & Newcastle estates could enjoy Charles Wells Bombadier as a trade off. Obviously since then most major breweries sold all the pubs to unscrupulous Pub Co’s who in turn cared little for the beer, their publicans, social problems arising from drunk culture and now, ultimately, whether pubs should be pubs at all.

What they all cared for was profit over the spirit of the legislation.

And now it’s happening again.

Different arena, different policies, same Capitalistic response.

The Workplace Parking Levy is due to hit the car parks of Nottingham in the next couple of years in order, so we’re told, to fund the increase in public transport.

Now, there’s no arguments from me in the desire to increase public transport, in the same way as the disappointing acceptance that Johnny Carowner doesn’t want to use public transport if they can get away with sitting in THEIR protective box every morning.

Thousands of businesses were asked about the upcoming levy. Dozens of them replied, the rest didn’t, probably in the assumption that it’d never happen.

Now it’s had Government approval and suddenly there’s uproar in the Nottingham Chamber of Commerce. A non-elected body is using tax-payers money to hire solicitors to block an incentive put forward by the elected City Council to reduce the amount of traffic on our roads every day. 30 of them attended their own meeting over the weekend. 30 out of thousands of effected businesses. It’s like mafia families getting together to defeat the new law enforcer in town.

Unfortunately, this completely ignores the spirit of the legislation, that in order to reduce the number of cars on our roads, we have to both increase the availability of public transport, but also make it harder on those who selfishly want to carry on themselves.

But like dog muck on pavements and extra injury time at Old Trafford, Capitalism it seems is always trying to find a way.


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