My young friend Sam has sent me a link to a new column written by Paddy Shennan in the Liverpool Echo, "Support Our Great Merseyside Pubs". It's quite interesting but doesn't come up with any new insights about the problems facing pubs, a topic I've covered several times, but on the other hand it is written for the general reader. It does assert that, "While pubs continue to close across the country – particularly in inner city areas and the suburbs – there has been evidence that Liverpool has been bucking the trend." I'm not convinced that's true, because if you get out of the city centre, many Merseyside pubs are holding on by their finger tips. Besides, it does seem slightly odd that an article encouraging people to use their locals states that those in Liverpool aren't doing too badly, but I suppose they've got to seem upbeat.
However, the article does go on to say that "it is scandalous that ... the Great British pub (and, therefore, the Great Merseyside Pub) is under attack – and not just from this money-grasping government, even if the coalition is merely continuing the penalise and punish regime of previous administrations." Good plain speaking there. The Echo interviewed Liverpool CAMRA who trotted out their usual comment about Liverpool being the Real Ale Pubs Capital of Britain. (Perhaps Southport should claim to be the Real Ale Seaside Town of Britain, as I've never been to a seaside town with a better choice of beer.)
Still, my earlier quibble aside, it's good that the Echo is publicising pubs and their problems, and as someone who drinks regularly in Liverpool, I do know that the city has some splendid pubs. In fact, I intend to do another Liverpool pub crawl fairly soon to add to my previous one of the Dale Street area.