Some of you may have read the recent comments by serial restauranteur Jeremy King with regard to Brexit. I could be really brief in this post, and pose the reply of: 2 words Mr King; the second one is off, chose any prefix you like. But I won’t, it deserves a proper reply.
There are several things wrong about the article, firstly Caterer editorial team, it isn’t news – it’s opinion and should be filed as such. News, by definition is: “newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events” – the results of the referendum were known over a year ago & Article 50 happened six months ago – This is not new & neither is Mr King’s opinion.
Mr King clearly sits in an ivory tower, pontificating to the unwashed masses, as he sees them. He calls the decision that 17 million+ voters (or nearly 52% of the vote) arrived at last June as:
so stupid, so short-sighted, so xenophobic, so myopic, to actually go with Brexit…
So Mr King, here’s a thought. If you are so against it now, then where was your voice during the campaign? Your silence was deafening & presence not missed. A quick Google search shows not one article pre-referendum interviewing you, Mr King, voicing an opinion – so now it’s more like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
The long & short of why 17million+ people decided to vote for leaving the EU is a complex issue; some saw it as a case of ‘sticking it to the man’, others are about control, for some it’s about immigration and so on. But ultimately nobody wants to make the UK a 3rd world country and cripple our economy etc. But don’t call those that voted for this ‘Stupid’.
Mr King clearly has another agenda, hmmm what could it be?
In his interview he states:
I saw on Friday that 43 restaurants are opening in London in September. I don’t know where they are going to get the staff from and I certainly don’t know where the customers are going to come from. We are so brittle, I just don’t understand it.
Maybe the competition is getting fierce, and having minor celebrities frequent your restaurants isn’t a big enough pull any more for the public. After all, most just follow them on instagram or other social media. Let’s face it, after the media & PR buzz of the latest Corbin & King opening has passed, most restaurants fade into the background.
The problem with Mr King’s outburst is this; he has a voice, one, as this article clearly shows, is listened to. So why doesn’t he use it to help the industry? He even said it himself in a Caterer interview:
We need our professional associations to stop hiding behind the parapet and speak out a bit more.
Except the only time Mr King appears to have put his head above the parapet, is to slate potentially one in every two of his customers.
But the long and short of Brexit is this; The Hospitality sector is the 4th largest employer in the UK, is it not a reasonable assumption that this would be taken into account during talks. With unemployment at record lows and staff (chefs in particular) in incredibly short supply, why would you try to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?
Ultimately Mr King, if you don’t like where the UK is going, then leave & become a tax exile, like a former 3* chef.