Where Are All the Enraged Business Owners?

Where Are All the Enraged Business Owners?

As we all know, Jeff Bezos is well on his way to being the world’s first Trillionaire. Probably in no small measure to lockdown restrictions that benefit his business model.

I’m sure we won’t be relying on him to protest against the lockdown any day soon. Similarly, companies like Deliveroo are having a boom bonanza. What of every small and medium sized operator out there trying to earn a crust? Specifically in the hospitality trade, who’s plight we would regularly hear about BEFORE the covid calamity.

According to food service and hospitality research agency MCA Insight the pub sector alone in the UK was worth around 23bn in 2019. That’s a powerful lobby and a big constituency. Why is it that anyone who has visited a pub in the UK lately would be forgiven in thinking that they were all in competition with each other… to see who could provide the most ghastly and unpleasant customer experience? Even dropping in to a normally customer friendly Wetherspoon’s was about as enjoyable as visiting someone in prison.

“It’s not our fault, it’s the government.” I hear them cry. Well I can only agree up to a point. It’s the regulations you implemented without a fight. Some establishments were falling over themselves to go above and beyond the call of duty, with restrictions that were a boon to lazy bar staff and little Hitlers alike. Sometimes both attributes embodied in one person. Trying to get table service, frantically waving and “excuse me” – ing, while the staff paid more attention to their mobile phone, was an all too common occurrence. It didn’t encourage patronage.

I have attended three different lockdown protests in Edinburgh. The largest attracted over 600 people. Academics, politicians(though thin on the ground), some students, but mainly ordinary working people, all represented. Where was the hospitality trade? Where were the Tim Martins? Were were the infuriated mobs of brewers, publicans, licencees, bar staff, restaurateurs and cafe owners? Sorry, but even more thin on the ground than the politicians.

So now the government introduces curfews. “Harumph, mumble, moan, groan, whinge.” No action. Now it closes you down again when you were just picking up. “Whinge, groan, moan , mumble, harumph.” No action. Apart from some individual acts of defiance and the dumping of ice outside the Scottish Parliament. Nothing. What are you going to DO about it?

You may think you are quids in with the government’s Super Dole or “furlough” program. But government funny money will take it’s toll on you all eventually. If you think hospitality was on the bones of it’s backside before, then just wait till the full consequences of this idiotic, useless and totally unnecessary lockdown kick in. It will be moribund. Apart, of course, from the big players like Bezos who will move in when the smoke clears and buy up all your pubs for pennies.

Wetherspoon’s brought to you by Amazon.


Last orders at the bar!!






Tam Laird is Leader of the SLP and stone cold sober

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4 Comments on "Where Are All the Enraged Business Owners?"

  • george morton says

    A very good question, Tam. What are the various small-business and self-employed groups doing about it ? Have we tried contacting them ? They should be organising demos, to the extent that that’s allowed right now.

    • Tam says

      Jonathan has contacted a few

      • Jonathan Rainey says

        Hoping that you, Tam, could do the same especially with the Caley Picturehouse (for Wetherspoons) and many others in Edinburgh and many others loving elsewhere across the country can do the same. Getting in contact with places you have personally visited yourself always works better in building rapport because the owners would value your appreciation as a customer that went there. Bear in mind that some pubs and bars and restaurants & cafes cannot always be contacted via their e-Mail or websites – they would only be contactable via telephone or if you actually went to the premises in person. You can post an SLP leaflet to the premises along with a note saying that their concerns are understood and here is a leaflet for the party, hence an alternative can be provided. One pub and Inn in Balloch said that there needs to be proper opposition. However, with that said, you will encounter those that believe in the guidelines being followed and not in alternatives that either would tell you directly what they think or just ignore you. At least the effort to show there’s an alternative works best.

  • Tam says

    It seems pubs would rather grass up their patrons,


    Customers. Tchah! Who needs them?

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