It is a simple fact that areas like the one I live in a a very deep red on any electoral map; in my particular part of London the only competition that Labour have is from the left (from a group whose name is so stupid I can’t even bring myself to type it). And that means that the general refrain once anything happens is that one arm of the state should ride to the rescue.
Case in point: a nearby pub is apparently under threat of closure; apparently the landlord has applied for planning permission to turn it into flats. Which is a crying shame, in my opinion – the area needs more decent pubs.
So I’m all for saving it. But what pisses me off is the way that people are talking about trying to save it: from local blogs, to the local MP, to the current people who run the pub, they’re all doing the same thing. Demanding that the council stop any planning application to change the use of the building. Hell, the main information page for the campaign lists seven ways that people can apparently help. In order, they are:
- Email the council planning office
- Email the local MP
- Email the local mayor
- Sign the petition (to be sent to the council planning office)
- Email the local paper
- Write to the landlord
- Email the campaign with some support
Seven ways to help, and four of them are directly trying to get the state to stop the landlord having any say over how he uses his property. Only the fifth is really a sensible way to go about it: try and convince the landlord to keep the pub in place. Or, even better, get the people that run the pub to make a sensible offer and bloody buy the place off him…