Monday, 8 December 2008

Media interview

As far as I can work out part of this clip went out on CFM on Wednesday and perhaps some other radio stations.

Radio Interview

The picture on the right was taken as I was being interviewed. As you can see Mike Benner is quite clearly more untested in doing a good job of disposing of my surplus beer at this point. But to be fair, he had just made a rather good speech

The synopsis

"MEPs in Brussels were sampling Cumbrian real ales at a mock-up version of a Lake District pub last night (Tuesday night)(02/12/08). The owners of Eskdale’s Woolpack Inn and Hardknott Micro Brewery were pulling pints from a scaled-down version they’d made of their own bar. It was a fun stunt with a serious message. Dave Bailey and Ann Wedgwood were trying to raise awareness of the plight of the industry, with 5 UK pubs a day closing down. CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – wants a change at EU level that would allow the UK government to put lower excise duty on draught beer sold in pubs than on supermarket bottled beer. That’s an idea the Woolpack’s Dave Bailey is backing."

Update 09/12/08 also a nice piece in the NW EveningMail

6 comments:

Jeff Pickthall said...

Supermarket bottled beer? Surely cheap cans are the problem.

Woolpack Dave said...

Well yes, you're right. This fact has been somewhat playing on my mind since I did the interview.

When one gets wrapped up into these things you realise that you need to give the media sound-bites that make them broadcast stuff.

I must have done at least 5 times the length of that interview in total to various media type people. I mention taxation less than legislation and regulation because I think these are bigger problems. I now understand why politicians can so easily say something that they later regret.

Is it a good thing to have a different duty or VAT rate for different packaging? I don't know. It might make a good debate though.

Tyson said...

I don't think you need to get bogged down with different package tariffs. It's not just cans-supermarkets also offer very cheap Becks, for example. I think we need to work to get the government to recognise the diffeence between the on-trade and the off and do something about it. There has to be an end to penalising soft targets such as pubs, whilst turning a blind eye to supermarkets.

Woolpack Dave said...

Thanks Tyson,

The reason different rates for different packaging was suggested during our time in Brussels was to give draft products an advantage. Clearly that would disadvantage quality bottled products which are not part of the "alcohol problem" we supposedly have.

How you practically give the on trade an advantage I don't know. My concern might be increasing complication to an already complicated taxation system.

Tyson said...

As usual the devil is in the detail. One does have to worry about mudding the waters-although the government never seems to. All I know is something needs doing and sooner rather than later. The first step surely must be to get recognition of the problems facing the on trade. Maybe minimum pricing is the route to go down? I’m attending a meeting of local licensees soon to see if there’s a general consensus on what can be done.

Woolpack Dave said...

Minimum pricing might encourage more cross channel smuggling. But you're right we have to do something and we have to consider the options.

I do hope you have a good meeting. I'd like to hear how it goes.