To the bemusement of many people, Wetherspoons boss (and ardent Brexiteer) Tim Martin appeared on BBC Radio 4 this morning to discuss the government’s policy toward coronavirus.
The pub baron criticised the government’s approach, and said eating/drinking establishments should be kept open for the foreseeable future.
“I think it’s a question of balance,” he said, before suggesting that pubs could implement “social distancing” measures – such as preventing people from congregating at the bar.
He didn’t divulge how people would order.
“Parliament is open… I think it’s the same,” Martin carried on to say.
People are consequently absolutely baffled that Martin believes pubs are as important as Parliament in the present crisis.
Former Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato tweeted: “Please don’t give airspace to self-interested, ignorant businessmen like Tim Martin. His nonsense about ‘social distancing within pubs’ is itself a risk to public health.”
Indeed, Martin has been accused of putting his staff and customers at risk – all in the effort to maintain his £300m+ fortune.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the government’s advice is to avoid unnecessary social contact – including going to pubs, theatres and restaurants.
Martin’s response directly flies in the face of this advice.