It's A Sad Day When I Have To Defend Wetherspoons (And CAMRA) But...

I’m sick of those CAMRA types telling me all about pubs and beer. It’s a good job we’re not all slaves to the machine. Thank God I’m here to put things right. Particularly as it’s been infiltrated by Trotskyite tendencies in the shape of Australian Tim.

Now officially a CAMRA weirdo and certified pub snob, Tim, is having a go at Wetherspoons. Now if he just said he doesn’t like them, ok, but no, that would be too simple. He’s on a mission and is outraged that his beloved CAMRA is in cahoots with the Antichrist. But will any of his accusations survive the scrutiny of the Spanish Inquisition?

JDW are Lucifer personified because:
The drinking barn/warehouse like atmosphere.
Pub snobbery at its worst. Working class boozers aren’t good enough for the likes of CAMRA, eh. A lot of them aren’t the prettiest, but they tend to be in town centres where space is a premium. No more guilty of this charge than the likes of Yates etc. And some of them are quite ornate.

The fact the toilets smell better than the pub interior.
Pure nonsense. JDW have won many awards for their loos and are by far the best of the bunch in that regard. They’re one of the few that I’ve found that do regularly have toilet roll available. Individual exceptions may exist, but there was a landlord in Radcliffe who used to boast that he hadn’t cleaned the toilets in 5 years.

The impersonal nature of the venues.
Bit vague this but basically more pub snobbery. Again no worse than many other operators. Do we want one size fits all pubs? You can always vote with your feet.

The business model which relies on low cost/high turnover of sales.
Like the supermarkets. Or the market stalls I used to work on. A standard free trade business model that is replicated the world over. And the problem is?

Hypocrisy in promoting responsible drinking, but selling cheap booze in high qualities.
Being successful is hypocrisy now? I don’t see Tim Martin setting himself up as some moral guardian. If you mean serving people who are drunk that would be refused elsewhere, say so. Or is it about underage drinking? Let’s see the proof. Mere speculation.

Antisocial behaviour of some customers.
Is this based solely on London again? Because outside of there, I haven’t heard that there’s a particularly problem with them. Again there are far worse venues. Mere generalisation.

Low quality food.
More snobbery. Cheap yes. Not Cordon bleu perhaps. But low quality? No worse, and far better, than a lot of places. British beef, the first chain to use only free trade eggs, sustainable fish-doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Freezing temperature of cask ales (some venues)
Guilty on this one...but hardly the worst of crimes. Far worse is all the pubs serving too warm beer-particularly in London.

Being alcoholic friendly (well they are in London anyway)
London again, sigh. And is this a serious criticism? Hardly a damming indictment and shades of even more snobbery.

So all in all, it turns out Wetherspoons is doing a pretty damn good job. Tim wants us to email Tony Jerome and I agree. Email him and tell him how great Spoons are!

It’s easy to pick out Wetherspoons-they’re clearly branded and an easy target. And yet they’re only tiddlers compared to the likes of Punch and Enterprise. I don’t hear any criticism of them. Hmmm. It’s also interesting to note that nearly all JDWs sell real ale. And their customers drink a lot of it. This is something that CAMRA member Tim doesn’t appear to like. Mind you, he's not that interested in real ale, full stop.


gail said…
And don't forget they do fantastic beer festivals. Their commitment to real ale is second to none in terms of pubcos amd to knock them is nothing but snobbery and ignorance.
phil said…
surely it's an april fools wind up? who doesn't like cheap beer!
camragirl said…
Sadly no joke I fear.Camra will only be damaged by stupid attacks on companies that are supportive of real ale. I've contacted HQ but if its a case of letting people in, regardless of their intent,them I may have to think again about renewing my membership.
linda said…
Sounds like this Tyson is right and this Tim has ulterior motives. We went through all this in the 80s with the Trots infiltrating themselves into mainstream organisations. Looks like it's Camra's turn.
Gazza Prescott said…
"We went through all this in the 80s with the Trots infiltrating themselves into mainstream organisations"

You say this as if being a Trotskyist is a bad thing. Considering the state Capitalism has got the world into, this seems a very narrow-minded and blinkered view to me.
linda said…
It's not a question of actual politics and certainly not a go at the "left". It's a question of tactics. Trotskyites were famous for infiltrating organisations without declaring their true motivation-to do a "Trot". This is the context I meant in this particular case.
Tyson said…

I admire your stance. When someone with contrary interests joins an organisation, instead of helping to shape it, they fight against it. There lies big problems.
camragirl said…
OMG Have you seen his latest rant "my opnion is just as valid as yours or Tandleman." This from a guy who's been in Camra for literally 5 minutes talking to someone who's been working away for years.Unbelievable!
camragirl said…
Looks like Tim has thrown his rattle out of the pram.He's disabled new comments on the Wetherspoons thread.
This is rather amusing. The CAMRA know-it-alls tripin' over opinion from the opposition. Why can't you freaks just give it a rest? Join APRK, wear APRK t-shirts to all CAMRA events, and stop being idiots over extraneous co2. Then we can talk.
camragirl said…
What opposition? Camra know it alls? If you mean Tim, wake up you sad twat, he's in Camra now-he 's one of the "freaks" now.Thats whats amusing!
CAMRA man said…
I think you guys are being too harsh on Tim. I have been reading his blog for the last 12 months or so and he is obviously a fan of beer, ale included.
I can see why he joined CAMRA as he believes in the cause. He just dosnt like all the myths and misleading marketing terms.

Obviously CAMRA is not entirley made up of freaks and anoraks, but you wouldn't know it from the types floating around in the blog world. I for one am looking forward to what he has to say. It's a but like that chap from Marston's - sometimes the truth strikes a little bit too close to home.
He's also a member of APRK, so what does that tell ya, toots? Get off your high horse, CAMRA bullshit and face reality.
camragirl said…
Are you on drugs? What reality? Stick to your KRAP campaign and leave the rest of us alone.
The crap campaign is your beloved CAMRA. How's the fight for a full pint going?? You dorks are just like the retards who tried to teach intelligent design in school, but in your case it's not about a grand architect, it's about stupid campaigns and extraneous co2.
camragirl said…
Camra Man-The point is that Tim spent a long time ridiculing Camra and then hey presto,he joins it.And surprise surprise,he doesn't like what he finds.I have read his blog from beginning to end and yes,he does drink SOME real ale.However,he mainly doesn't and doesn't prefer it to any other style.Hardly the credentials for someone truly interested in real ale and Camra.
camragirl said…
Worst-why are so bothered about Camra campaigns? You come across as some sort of beer geek obsessed with something you're not even a part of-Camra.You're welcome to start your own campaign
-hold on you have.How's that going?
CAMRA man said…
Camragirl - have you really read Tim's blog? he not only ridiculed CAMRA, but the taliban, people with silly beards and other stereotypes. the posts are actually quite funny.
OK, he drinks lager and keg ale as well as real ale but that does not take anything away from his opinions. The comments on his post generally support his arguments. I don't see your problem, and I happen to think he is making a lot of sense.
But what would I know, I have only been a CAMRA member for 15 years
Oh, you mean APRK! Army for Proper Real Keg! It's going well, not only with people emailing me how great it is, but an owner of a brewery has also chimed in to the excellence of my efforts. I GUARANTEE that in the future, you will see someone wearing a APRK t-shirt at one of your old world beer festivals. They will be able to provide you with all the literature on Proper Real Keg, give free haircuts, beard trim, etc. Each APRK member will be equipped with a portable salon for modern day grooming. Feel free to argue your old world CAMRA views with a free beard trim(or removal?)
How about a stylish hair cut? The drink experience of APRK starts with looking your best. We are currently experimenting with botox injections in the lips. We feel there's a potential to aid in the aroma of Proper Real Keg. With the lips slightly enlarged, it allows for more extraneous co2 to be brought up into the nose, thus bringing out all the lovely hop and malt aromas from the beer. Oh, and in regards to punishment, we don't WATERBOARD like Die Talismann. We only FLOG.
camragirl said…
Camra Man-yes he is entitled to his opinions but he tends to present them as fact.Something which is really annoying.And the reason posts tend to support his view is because he censors them.Another reason not to trust him.
CAMRA man said…
Camragirl. It's his blog, so it will project his opinions. If you don't like it you should start your own.

It looks like his latest post may be aimed at you.

Popular posts from this blog

The Kimberley Club

British Guild Beer Writers Awards & Camden Brewery

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Suke Quto Coffee IPA