I see my son Stonch has been laying the blame for the rash of recent pub closures at Wetherspoon's door.
Actually, it's about time the whole issue of pub ownership and management was tackled in this country. The big pub chains have been ripping their publicans off for years.
Not content with charging enormous up-front sums for leases on the pubs they own, the big pub chains have the nerve to then charge rent for the premises on top of that. They also dictate that the lessor "keep the standard of the pub up to their specification", so that a publican is not even allowed to decorate his own pub without their approval.
Finally, and by far the worst imposition on the person foolish enough to lease a premises from them, they "tie" the pub to their own beer supplies, charging the lessor inflated prices for their stock and fining him/her if he/she buys elsewhere.
I understand that the E.U is looking into the whole question of pub ownership and management in the U.K.
About time! It's a wonder that these crooks have been allowed to get away with it for so long.