Having recently touched on the appeasement policy favoured by the drinks industry over Government-approved alcohol unitary intake, it seems I was exasperated at their combined lack of cynicism without being fully up-to-date. I should have checked the excellent Pub Curmudgeon blog first.
There’s an interesting interview with Tim Martin, head of J. D. Wetherspoon, in today’s Sunday Times. While I'm not a great lover of Wetherspoon’s pubs, you have to admire Tim Martin for defying the conventional wisdom of the industry, and it cannot be denied that the company has been very successful within an overall declining market. It is apparently poised to become Britain’s biggest pub chain in terms of sales value, if not number of outlets.
Also good to see him cocking a snook at the ludicrous official guidelines on safe drinking levels, rather than meekly going along with them like his counterparts in other companies:How much? Probably about 40 alcoholic units a week, he says. He finishes most days with “a couple of pints of Abbot, a couple of glasses of wine”. He rails against the government’s 21-units-a-week dictum. “The doctor who came up with it said there’s no medical foundation to it; 70 to 80 units a week.” As a limit, or a recommendation? He laughs.
I'm with the Curmudgeon in not caring too much for JDW establishments, especially since Tim Martin was sucked in big-time by the anti-smoker hype, but in the drinks war against the clinically-obese Donaldson and his equally puritan chums, Alan 'Let's Boogie' Johnson and Dawn Prim'n'Proper, I'm right behind him.
To paraphrase a Not The Nine O'clock News joke about the Yanks in the world wars, perhaps he has realised he was late for the last battle, and wants to make sure he is nice and early for this one. Keep it up Tim.