A Working Class Hero

Thanks to the Pub Curmudgeon for drawing my attention to the recent attack on Wetherspoons. There seems to be a growing trend of bloggers attacking “soft targets”, although the Spoons conundrum has been a bone of contention for some time. To say “They're a big part of Britain's problem drinking culture” is pure nonsense. For one thing, they simply aren’t big enough to have that sort of influence, even if they do sell proportionally large amounts of beer. I tend to avoid my local one simply because it’s poorly run and I can easily get to better pubs. However, there is nothing wrong with their premise and name-calling of them wholesale smacks of beer snobbery.

Speaking of which, it appears I’m one. I know what you’re thinking-what you, Tyson? The anarchist beerhound? The class warrior? Yes. Thanks to a tip-off, I see that antipodean blogger Tim is still (trying) to put me down. “Pure beer snobbery. A bit like that Tyson blogger.” Hmmm.

The problem with Timmy is that he doesn’t like criticism. Even the mildest questioning of his somewhat bizarre theories will earn you a Stalinist labelling. And may Vishnu help you if you actually dare to disagree with him. First you’ll be dismissed as a Camra reactionary. And if that label doesn’t fit, you’ll be castigated as a little Englander, as bad as if you were Camra. You obviously don’t appreciate or understand foreign beer-otherwise you’d agree with him.

But hold on, Tyson, you haven’t got a drop of English blood in you, have you, I hear you say. Aren't you the direct descendant of bloodthirsty cossacks? Haven’t you pissed out more Polish lager than Timbo has ever dreamt of? Ah but grasshopper, he is an outsider who asks questions no one else has. Well maybe some of us did twenty years ago, but hey, some people like reinventing the wheel.

Some might even say, it’s a bit rich of someone drinking in the poncy suburbs of London, who lives, in his words, in a “posh village”, to persistently call you a “beer snob." Especially when you’re out there in the real world, drinking in the real pubs, day in and day out. You might say that-but I couldn’t possibly comment.

In the words of John Lennon
"And you think you're so clever and classless and free, But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see."


Curmudgeon said…
It's quite instructive how Stonch thinks Spoons are downmarket drinking dens whereas out here in t'provinces many of them (not all) come across as pretty tame and genteel, so long as you avoid late Friday and Saturday nights.
Anonymous said…
I left the following comment on Stonchs blog and here was the response.

ME; "I'm aware you dislike Spoons with a passion but to say
"They're a big part of Britain's problem drinking culture."
is plain wrong.
Why is it plain wrong? People use 'Spoons pubs to get tanked up on cheap booze before going somewhere else. I think most people drink in 'Spoons purely to become inebriated, and I think that kind of drinking is what's wrong with Britain's drinking culture. 'Spoons pubs aren't pleasant, so people don't go there to enjoy the environment or the atmosphere.

If you look at any city centre 'Spoons early on a Friday or Saturday night, you'll see people filling up on booze, purely because it's cheap. They tolerate the lack of music and atmosphere and the presence of the old alkies because they're moving on somewhere else afterwards, once the job is done.

People are always criticising offies and supermarkets for offering cheap drink deals, saying that the binge drinkers who wreak havoc drink at home before going out, so it isn't the fault of the on-trade. Well, I agree with that, but I'd put 'Spoons in the same category as the off-trade in terms of responsibility for binge drinking.
March 24, 2009 11:52 AM

Tyson lets face it we are right and they are wrong.Simple.

Tyson said…
Yes I can't help but notice the difference in attitudes to Spoons. What I can't really grasp is why they are so despised. I visit London regularly and they are far from being the worst places in town.
sean said…
All these attacks on JDW are pathetic.It's just lazy thinking to blame one pub chain for the ills of Britain.Stonch & co are self opiniated know alls who actually know nothing,but think jumping on a bandwagon will give them some credibilty.Save me from London bloggers.
Tandleman said…
It's funny isn't it that while braying City types noisily filling pubs and paying top dollar are completely acceptable, those, often with a financial need to have an eye to a bargain, filling the odd corner of some of the shabbier JDWs are beyond the pale? It is one thing to have a personal view, but to extrapolate that personal view into spurious social comment about binge drinking and being "tight" is another.

As Tyson says, those who drink in the real world are unlikely to hold such precious Marie Antoinette views.

There are good and bad Wetherspoon's like all pubs.
linda said…
I think it should be remembered that wetherspoons have done a lot for wine as well. They sell some excellent stuff at very reasonable prices and even have wine festivals. Stonch, as usual, is talking out of his hat.
black flag said…
This "Stonch" guy is unbelievable.Does anyone read his shite? I run a pub in the city and wethers are yuk seems to be his attitude.I tried to post a comment on his blog but it never materialised.

As for that Tim:Australia must be the only place big enough to fit his ego on.

Tandleman said…
Problem with Stonch's blog is, if he doesn't like what you say, he just cuts it out.

Pity. He is a very decent guy in person.
black flag said…
Tandleman said "Pity. he is a very decent guy in person."

Yeah,that's what they said about Hitler.
Tandleman said…
Now c'mon. That's a bit silly.
camragirl said…
Never mind Stonch, has anyone else read what Tim has to say about JDW and CAMRA? Tandleboy, surely he can be brought up before some disciplinary committee for bringing the organisation into disrepute?
He's just trying to rip CAMRA apart from within.Frankly I don't want to be in the same organisation as him.
Tandleman said…
camragirl. Sorry, but in my view Tim has a right to call it as he sees it and we have a right to disagree. At least he has joined CAMRA and is saying what he thinks in public. Let's give him a chance and respond to him in the same domain.

If he is there purely for mischief making, he'll be tripped up in public view.
black flag said…
Ok.Fair enough but Hitler was a jumped up nobody who bordered no dissent.Stonch has many things in common with Mr H.
Tandleman said…
On the dissent front, he could do better. Or worse? You know what I mean.
Paul Garrard said…
In the rurally urban conurbation that I reside in two of the JDWs are really good and the others are okay. I suspect that they reflect their surroundings/environment!
toni said…
Paul, I think you're right.Spoons fill whatever the local space is.But to write then all off is just sily.

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