Most publicans are proud of serving a wide range of choice that includes well made locally sourced beers. The contrast between a real ale from a local supplier and a cask ale from an international corporation pretty much sums up the Green Party's approach. We favour small and local businesses and want to limit the power of large corporations over those businesses.
Naturally this means that we campaigned for and supported the removal of some restrictions associated with tied houses. We'd like to see negotiations of leases conducted on a more equal basis as well, so that when a publican is successful it doesn't result in an immediate increase in the rent with much of the profits being siphoned off by breweries that are often part of huge drinks industry conglomerates. It can't be right that these companies can sell beer so cheaply in bottles and cans to supermarkets that they can seriously undercut the price of drinking it from the cheaper-to-supply kegs in your pub.
Banks have done publicans no favours. In the run up to 2008 the Labour Party allowed banks to gamble with people's savings and lend more money than is earned by the entire world economy in one year. The exotic financial derivatives that they bought then collapsed in value. Now banks are scared to lend to help businesses develop and are charging intimidating rates to pubs that try and expand.
But the biggest threat to publicans is the austerity policy imposed by the Coalition government. People whose wages are frozen or whose jobs are at risk simply cannot afford to come to your pub regularly. Austerity has had a direct impact on the trade of many pubs and has driven an awful lot of good pubs to the wall. Yet austerity isn't a necessary or efficient economic policy and in the 1930s it produced the Great Depression. In a boom governments should cut back state spending and pay down debt, to restrain excessive growth. In a downturn that is the very worst thing they can do. If people can't afford to spend then businesses like yours lose custom, staff get laid off, wages and hours are reduced, so tax revenues go down and government has even less money and demands even more austerity. Austerity is pain inflicted on you and your customers as a result of seriously flawed economic policy. Yet we are the only political party in England that opposes it.
As someone who likes a pint and has always appreciated the attractions of a good pub I am standing for parliament because I think that we need significant change in the way we approach things in this country. I would value your support at the election in May.