Sunday, October 01, 2006

Campaign for Real Nick

A few remarks concerning Nick on "The Demise of the Canonbury Tavern, And How The Liberal-Left Are Probably To Blame" (this is the equivalent of Stan Boardman never getting over the bombing of his favourite chip shop).

1. As Captain Cab (or it might have been Matthew) pointed out to me in email, perhaps the problem with the modern boozer is that it is full of people taking up space drafting political manifestoes and not ordering beers.

2. Nick implictly contrasts the welcoming, friendly efficient service at the Canonbury with the snobbish and slow staff at Guardian local The Eagle. In fact, a glance at the reviews suggests that the appalling quality of the staff and management are what knocked the Canonbury over into insolvency in the first place; it is one of the few pubs in North London to have a beer garden, but has been complacently trading off this fact for far too long.

3. The implication that it is a characteristic of the Great British Boozer that it has lots of boisterous children running around is perhaps curious.

4. Also suggested to me by email is the frightening prospect that Nick is a) in the habit of meeting "interesting strangers" in pubs and talking to them and b) on the lookout for a new local. Nick if you are reading this I entreat you to stay out of the NW1 and NW3 postcodes, nothing of interest awaits you therein. None of the reviews actually say "my evening was ruined by a nutter who kept on ranting about the Muslims and George Galloway" but you get the feeling that they might have done.

By the way, the Sunday col is just dreadful. Lotsa boilerplate "ooh you Europeans think you're much better than the Americans but you're not" stuff, presumably left over from the Standard col in midweek (Watching of this was outsourced to Blood & Treasure, btw), attached to a barely coherent rant about creation scientists sending out a couple of publicity packs.

The theme that links the two is "Nick not really bothering to do the research". The Canonbury is "probably" going to open up as a gastropub. The creation science packs are "likely" to appeal to trendy BBC-guardian types who want to teach both sides. Maybe they are, maybe they ain't, but Nick is going to continue to rant as if the point had been established by a dozen New Yorker fact checkers. There's a quite popular newspaper in which this kind of journalism is rife, produced by Associated Newspapers.

Oh yes, and that David Cameron? He doesn't have any policies! Yes that's right ladies and gentlemen, no policies! Golden Groundhog duly awarded.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Camra North London pub guide, May 2005:

"An identikit refurbishment with the ubiquitous leather effect sofas and low tables has done this pub few favours."

Which rather gives the lie to the idea that the Canonbury in 2006 bore much resemblance to Orwell's ideal.

10/02/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More reviews:

"I used to live directly opposite the Tavern in the 60`s when it was without doubt the best pub in north London. It had the most amazing collection of patrons,from working class labourers to university professors,actors, city gents etc.Tom and Cynthia were the landlords, and the place was always full.I visited it last year and this on my annual pilgrimage from Australia to UK and cannot tell you how awful and souless it now is. The inside is stark and drear,luckily the Garden is still there .Advice,give it a miss."

10/02/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the one more:

"What a waste. I love the beer garden at the Canonbury Tavern but the tap beer was sour and tasted like the pipes had not been cleaned.

The food took 50 minutes to arrive and was stone cold. If the garden did not exist, the Canonbury Tavern would be empty. There are no Londoners there now, just Aussies who don't know better."

And Nick, of course. And Nick.

10/02/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I agree with the complete lack of pubs worth Nick visiting in NW1, and would like to add W11, W10, W9, NW6, NW8, NW10 to that list. I hear there are many nice ones in areas where the postcode starts with S, and suggest he looks there*.

* Oh god, this would mean lots of 'Cor, blimey, Gov, you can't get a taxi for love or money to go to South London after 9pm...Livingstone's fault...he supports Muslim terror' articles, wouldn't it?

10/02/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so is anyone going to dare to listen to Nick talking to Michael Gove about Celsius 7/7 on the observer audio sight, eh? eh?

10/02/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We did that a month or two ago. Basically the sound quality is terrible but it's mostly Nick congratulating himself on having heard of the Muslim Brotherhood while agreeing with Gove that the archetypal right-wing analysis of Islamist terrorism is the only one an informed person could possibly hold.

10/02/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh right, thanks - I don't read the observer very often and so assumed it was a new thing. I'll check back...

10/02/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Another thing from Nick's column. When I listened to the Today interview with Abu Izzadeen I assumed that John Humphrys was using the time honoured trick of giving Abu enough rope to hang himself rather than deliberately giving him a "shockingly soft" interview.

10/02/2006 10:22:00 PM  

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