In last week’s edition of the Brighton and Hove Independent, Dan Wilson wrote a column that made wild and outrageous allegations about me! Here is my response which was published in today’s edition.
Dan Wilson says in his column (20th March 2015) that “latent snobbery” lies behind my objections to a Wetherspoons coming to London Road, and that I am a member of a “muesli-fuelled NOletariat”. All entertaining stuff but I demand the right of reply so that I don’t get labelled, unjustly, as someone who eats muesli.
For the record, I am an enthusiastic carnivore. As a South African, I am never happier than when I have a supply of ostrich biltong, boerewors and droewors, supplied by the non-organic Susman’s Best Beef Biltong Company in Newhaven.
And what on earth is a “Fairtrade cotton jute bag”? I’m a rather boring middle age man in a grey suit, the complete antithesis of trendy, according to my daughter.
As for the charge of “latent snobbery of Brighton’s ruling class”, I have a tendency to be a local ‘rent-a-gob’ but my views are often so out of step with the Brighton elite that I attract the wrath of the likes of the Eton-educated Dan Wilson.
‘Wetherspoongate’ is a good example of this. I have lived, shopped and worked in and around London Road for 25 years or more. I have seen its decline and its recent resurgence.
London Road is the up and coming area of Brighton. There has been tens of millions of pounds invested in the area, including in new student accommodation, the fabulous refurbishment of the Open Market, and new housing, as well as the arrival of some new great places to eat, including Alcampo Lounge, the quirky Emporium, and the wonderful Semolina (you must try their Sunday roasts).
The Cascade Recovery Cafe in Baker Street is a very welcome addition, providing a safe and dry environment for men and women in recovery from addiction. Brighton Housing Trust’s Addiction Services is just five minutes walk from the proposed Wetherspoons.
For the record I did question the licences for Alcampo and the Emporium but was satisfied that neither would be a ‘vertical’ drinking establishment. A Wetherspoons or any large alcohol-focused venue in London Road is the last thing we need.