You didn't see me, right?
Frequent pubs regularly enough and you'll have seen him. The guy who props up the bar boastfully stating that he 'really should be at work, but the boss will never notice'.
Some pub near Westminster has one called John Healey.
Britain's first Pubs Minister - John Healey MP - has been picked by Gordon Brown to lead a task force charged with saving a national asset: the local.With gusto, did you say, John? Well, since you were appointed at the start of February, let's see how you've been getting on then, shall we?
"I've always enjoyed the camaraderie of good pubs, the sense of community that thrives," he insists. "That's why I'm taking this role forward with gusto."
Westminster Hall debate entitled 'British Pubs', 23rd February:
Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative)Where's Healey?
It is a pleasure to introduce this debate, Mr. Gale. I declare my interest as vice-chairman of the all-party group on beer, and as a member of the Campaign for Real Ale. I am delighted to see the Minister here, but a little surprised that the Government are not represented by the newly appointed pub supremo.
House of Commons debate, entitled 'Alcohol', 10th March:
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West, Liberal Democrat)With over 30 references to pubs in that debate, it was definitely something for a Minister for Pubs to get his teeth into, yes? Or would have been if he could have been bothered to attend.
There has been a cultural change in the on trade, too. The sector of the on trade that is particularly suffering is the traditional community pub that has a particular role not only in being somewhere for people in the area to meet but in being a controlled sociable atmosphere where people of all ages will go.
Meeting to discuss the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, March 30th:
Last night, two weeks after it was confirmed that pubs minister John Healey would meet two MPs - Greg Knight and David Clelland - and me to discuss our campaign to amend the smoking ban, Healey's office got cold feet and decided that I couldn't attend today's meeting after all.Too much like hard work, obviously.
A Minister for pubs who dodges every opportunity to actually do something to stem the tide of pub closures? Quite a problem if the issue is to be addressed, I'm sure you'll agree. Still, as long as there is at least one alehouse left in which to rest his indolent arse, I suppose he's not too fussed.
If you see Healey's gurning features anywhere near SW1, do us all a favour, eh? Tell the lazy malingering pillock to get back to work.