Alex Proud’s Lawyer Denies Truth of Victim Transcript.

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Four years ago this blog first published details of an interview with five victims, who alleged Alex Proud regularly assaulted them at Proud’s Camden venue.

From there, multiple and separate sources have contacted The Secret Bartender, some from his inner circle to confirm that the stories of assault on an endemic scale were true, others to report their own experience of Alex Proud’s degrading behaviour.

Below is a page from a transcript of an interview recorded in late 2014. We are publishing this as a rebuttal to the claims by Mr Proud’s lawyer, that he is a ‘professional with good standing in the community’.

Just one page from one of a total of six interviews conducted at the time of our initial investigation.

Aside from that, the regular emails regarding his poor business practices, refusal to pay staff and constant verbal abuse arrive in my inbox on a near weekly basis.

Today however something new arrived. An email from a solicitor claiming that Mr. Proud is ‘a professional, with a good standing in the community.’

I therefore thought it would be only appropriate to remind Mr. Proud of some of the reports recorded by The Secret Bartender, which seem to be more accurate in demonstrating his character, than the claims made by his lawyer.

Despite his public profile, regularly appearing on talk radio, television and writing for national newspapers, Alex Proud has not once offered a word of contrition with regard to the wake of destruction left in his path.

Despite having the time to organise a legal team to make efforts to have this blog removed, not once has he sought to take responsibility for his actions.

Despite claiming to be the model of a liberal conservative, a friend of the gay community, a pillar of London’s progressive and forward thinking social scene, never has this man been prepared to say: ‘Hey you know what, I’ve been a horrible slime, and I think we should talk about it.’

When Alex Proud sees fit to come forwards and acknowledge the suffering of his many silent victims, when Alex Proud steps up and admits that it is time for change, then maybe these posts can be removed.

There are now several national news agencies investigating the allegations against Mr. Proud. Indeed the atmosphere across industries that harbour predators like him has sharpened considerably since I first published information regarding his behaviour.

Many news outlets, such as buzzfeed, are actively searching industries for the victims of such men. Perhaps this is why Alex Proud is now trying to have this information removed from the internet, before it’s cumulative effect forces him to publicly confront his own behaviour.

A message for Mr. Proud’s legal team: I have no plan to remove any of the information regarding the incidents of assault documented on this blog. As long as I believe that the accusations are true, and as long as people are prepared to discuss his predatory behaviour, I will continue to record what victims have to say and publish it here. It is my firmly held belief that it is in the public interest that victims are given a voice, and for there to be a record of what is alleged to have happened, in the public domain.

Finally, I think that if you did go to court in an effort to have this website taken down, the media coverage of such an event would finally give a platform to the people you have harassed and tried to silence, proving my public interest defence.

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BARTENDER HAS SH*T DAY, TAKES DRUGS

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A bartender from the United Kingdom has invested in a plethora of self medication this evening after having a substantially sh*t day at work.

Forced to pick up extra hours after extreme competition in her chosen industry left her underemployed, Julie Vern, 28,  a molecular mixologist based in York, selected several opiates and narcotics totalling a value equal to her days earnings. 

More than your jobs worth

The dose,  suspected to be a heady mix of cocaine, gin, and that half acid tab left over from summer, is now being injested as Vern, a PhD graduate,  waits for her wider friendship circle to respond to her unprovoked suggestion to ‘pop over and get on it’. 

Vern had her first inclination that the day was a potential write off during an afternoon event at a conference centre on the outskirts of Slough. 

Initially expected to be a ‘quick in out’ job, issues soon piled up,  including: ‘Where is the fucking stock mate?’, and ‘No,  we said 150 not 15’.  

She reported:”A cold sweat materialised over my body as I realised I was going to have to wing the fuck out of this and cover for my boss at the same time.

That sweat soon dried however, leaving a vaguely unwashed odour,  unreflective of the true amount of time Julie usually goes between showers.

The full extent of tonight’s damage is thought to positively correlate with the distinct lack of organisation exhibited by Julie’s employer, a captain of industry with a penchant for zero hour contracts. 

However the longer lasting health and wellbeing issues pertaining to workers on lower and less secure incomes remain unmeasured. 

BARBACK RELATIONS ON ICE OVER XMAS STRIKE THREAT. 

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A barback in London threatened strike action today over an ongoing dispute regarding the collection of cubed ice in preparation for tonight’s shift. 
The North London venue, which cannot be named for legal reasons,  has in recent weeks taken the controversial step of making bartenders responsible for the initial ice stock up, rather than barbacks as is traditionally the case. 

Trouble maker

A bartender, unaware of the logistical switch, requested ice upon being asked by a barback if any support was required. 

The barback was quoted as responding, 

“That is exactly what barbacks strike over. ”

The bartender who received the threat then replied by exclaiming that he only wanted barbacks to do one  thing, and that was to fill up the ice. 

The unprecedented shift in responsibilities may be the start of a change in the balance of power between tender and back, one the spine of the operation, the other, the face.

The tense relationship between the two, usually amicable colleagues,  has historically been fraught with potential conflicts. With envy and sloth on one side, reckoning  against egotism and narcissism on the other. 

More as this story develops… 

GET YOURSELF A PAYRISE. NOW.

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I’ve had an idea. I’m far from an exemplar of business acumen, but hear me out.

So the London Living Wage is £9.40. But the sad truth is that most bar staff don’t get anything close to that amount of money. Night clubs in particular, with the most unsociable and longest hours are probably the worst off. Brixton Jamm is currently advertising on facebook for bar staff to work until 6am for the amazing rate of £7.50 per hour. I have emailed them these thoughts and I’m looking forward to writing a blog post later this week about their response.

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People on London Living Wage.

People are queuing up to work for less because times are hard, particularly since the relaxing of  employment laws by successive governments puts the ball firmly in your bosses court.

HERE IS ANOTHER KICKER FOR YOU. Having been knocking around the bar industry for a while I can tell you that getting paid about £7.50 for a bar job in a club was average even back in the late 90’s. BUT the prices of shit has increased since then. So what does this mean for your dollar in REAL TERMS?Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 01.54.31

WELL, £7.50  per hour in 1998, according to this retro wage calculator is actually worth £12.20 per hour today. But because the average bar wage hasn’t gone up by much at all since then this means that earning £7.50 today is actually a wage cut relative to earning the same in 1998. Being paid £7.50 now is the equivalent of being paid £4.61 in 1998. Simply put, this means you can buy far less for your bar job pay cheque than you could back then.

SO HERE IS MY IDEA. Tomorrow, go to your bar job with this sum in mind…

(Please click the text and then take a moment to digest the figures below)

It costs £750 to employ 10 people for 10 hours at £7.50. It costs an extra £190 to pay those 10 people the London living wage of £9.40. If a bar sells 1000 drinks during the shift, and you added £0.19 to each of those drinks, it would raise £190 and therefore cover the wage rise for all the staff.

It’s scalable too. So if 2 staff work in a bar, and they sell 200 drinks, the cost per drink is still 19p per drink. I would suggest taking an average over the course of the month, or better yet the year, to really find out how many drinks your bar would sell, to get the most accurate figure possible. You may earn £8, in which case if you sold 100 drinks in a night the cost to the customer would be 11.5p. Do the the sum for your bar, count how many drinks you make, it’s always good to have details here.

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I wanted to make a funny flow chart but it’s now 2.46am

Tell your colleagues about the sum. Discuss it. Start asking the customers, ‘Hey, would you mind an extra 19p / 7p / 10p on your drink if it meant I got the London Living Wage. I know what they will say. Then, tell your boss the idea. Your boss will first try and shoot you down. Be resilient. As a rule, ignore the first 4 times they say No. Ask them in front of customers.

Wait for the real response once they understand that you wont be fobbed off. Tell them you asked customers and they seem positive. Write down their issues with the idea. And LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET ON.  Email me at Thesecretbartender1@gmail.com and we will try and work it out.

1) Understand this sum.

2) Tell your workmates.

3) Ask customers their thoughts.

4) Tell your boss what you think.

5) Email me the results.

ONE MORE THING. If you earn the London Living Wage or above already, then back up your colleagues that don’t.

Peace x

DIGITAL DEMOCRACY. PREPARE FOR THE QUANTUM LEAP.

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As I write the final count is being tallied on Jim McMahon’s substantial win in Oldham West, a majority of some 10,000 votes. This victory flies in the face of what most of the press deemed a close fight, with the by-election being framed as a referendum on Corbyn himself. Tonight’s success in Oldham West and Royton will scare the heebee jeebee’s out of the UK’s right wing.

Jeremy Corbyn’s proclivity for ‘asking the audience’ is the start of something revolutionary in our political system.

Elements of the traditional media once again proved out of touch, sensationalist and incapable of being relied on for objective reporting when it comes to JC. The print press (left and right) is barking as it’s influence wains, whilst online ferments a melting pot of grassroots conversation, ideas, feedback and opinion.

A week back I was consulted via email on whether our nation should go to war. I felt privileged to have my opinion canvassed. I moved from being witness to a decision, to being a part of the decision making process. My opinion it transpired was ignored by sixty-six MP’s. Never the less. Jeremy Corbyn’s proclivity for ‘asking the audience’ is the start of something revolutionary in our political system.

When Ed Milliband led the Labour party to a different decision two years ago I was proud the PLP made the right call. Yet somehow I felt oddly dislocated from the process, a witness rather than a participant.  This new method of online involvement from Jeremy is very deliberate, it’s ground breaking, it levies more responsibility on the party member, and is yet to be recognised as the significant step forward it is.

A lot of people will be down hearted after the government’s successful mission to begin bombing a fourth Muslim country in thirteen years goes ahead. Bear in mind this is the second time Cameron has asked parliament to go to war, (and assist with BAE share prices whose value has increased 14% since the Paris attack) he would no doubt visit parliament whenever opportunity arose until he got the results required.

You can’t bomb for peace. You can’t verbally abuse for it either.

If by some miracle we had restrained ourselves from ‘doing our bit’, we would have been turning back the clock on over one hundred years of violent interventionism. It was close, as Cameron’s ‘terrorist sympathiser’ comment reveals. But in order to make this change possible something new is required.

Historically governments are afraid of asking for public opinion. Referendums in the UK have been generally limited to questions surrounding devolution and/or the statehood of the entities that make up the British Isles. We the great unwashed are unpredictable and egalitarian and as such would never be granted a referendum on something as important as Trident.

The unruly masses often move with an instinctive impulse, as has been demonstrated by the vitriol unleashed on Labour parliamentarians voting with the government on Wednesday evening, something akin to online trolling. Surely anyone engaging in such harassment can see how much it undermines Jeremy’s leadership and goes against his core values. You can’t bomb for peace. You can’t verbally abuse for it either.

Despite that set back the Labour Party under Corbyn is having an instant effect on national politics, but it will take more than the informal lobbying of the last few days to roll back the bloodthirsty tide of our history. Corbyn’s polling of party members was a smart move, but the utilising of this mandate was unconvincing and clumsy, growing pains I believe.

The current form this email dialogue takes appears somewhat ad hoc and rudimentary. Extracting concrete data from an open form text window allows for not much more than a yes and a no pile, perhaps the copy / pasting of some highlights. But utilising Labour members as a vast think tank come opinion poll is a genius and bold move, and once taken to its logical conclusion, it could be a quantum leap for the democratic process.

As this medium develops I hope the number of members responding increases. The notion that 500,000 party members could be directly consulted on important matters as they occur is exciting and furthermore a very literal manifestation of the impact the Internet is and will have on policy formation and future governance.

In the light of a clear mandate from party membership MP’s would find it difficult to stray from their responsibilities to constituents. It will be harder in future for newspaper owners to marginalise new political thought and manage the direction of the political mainstream. It will be harder to ignore ideas that do not fit the status quo if they can be backed up by quantitative data.

Once Labour has polished up this system, perhaps giving us some multiple policy choice, perhaps pre empting political hot potatoes, perhaps feeding back breakdowns on the data, other parties may well start sitting up and taking note. However a shell party like the Tories may struggle to find an audience from which to create data and midterm mandates, or find their membership want a lot more Millibandism than the parliamentary wing cares for.

‘The national conversation’ traditionally dominated by the print press, more recently exposed to the impulsive tide of twitter, is now growing up and becoming measurable, harnessable and producing results that can be implemented. This is something Labour should make a part of any future manifesto. It’s a paradigm for party structure that could be implemented in left wing groups around the world. It could lead to the formation of global and implementable left wing consensus.

The development of this medium may become Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest contribution to politics, enabled by Ed Milliband’s extension of party democracy. Two gentle politicians, who quietly opened Pandora’s box and enabled the public to contribute more fully to the democratic system than ever before.

 

 

 

YOUR BAR’S NAFF PLAYLIST. IS IT TIME TO GROW UP?

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Musical taste is always subjective. But too often in a bar, it’s an after thought or the personal preference of the bar manager, and both of those calls can have an adverse affect.

Recently I had a guest shift in a fantastic gem of a bar in East London. The conditions were right, a local friendly crowd that recognised me as a new face, an extensive product list from which to draw on, great bar support and a very warm and bustling atmosphere.

There was however a drawback, music was neglected. For the most part it wasn’t bad so much as lazy. Several tunes repeated throughout the night. Including that one. Whose name I refuse to remember. That somehow gets away with being consciously overplayed. Everywhere.

I had to ask a staff member, “Is this that one. Again? The one being sued for ripping someone off?”

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Just because these guys are enjoying it…

Often the opposite of neglect occurs. I often arrived at a previous venue I managed to hear the owner raiding Spotify for the EDM world’s latest and greatest. I’m not anti that music per se, but unless you are at Global Gathering or in the West End, I question the efficacy of their use.

That’s it. Uptown Funk. I am most definitely anti Uptown fucking funk. Efficacy is the key word here. Define your goal. Is it to…

  1. Not offend people.
  2. Increase and maintain sales.
  3. Associate your venue with relevant cultural symbols.
  4. Offer guests something unique.

That list in works A) from top to bottom in order of importance & B) from bottom to top in order of difficulty. You can achieve this without scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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Sorry lads. Not tonight. Especially you.

If maximising sales and customer satisfaction is key be aware that by playing the lazy drone of pap that people hear in most places, you associate your bar with a whole load of other establishments that don’t have the great drinks you do, don’t have the great staff you do and don’t have the (otherwise) great vibe that you do.

Most bars exist in a grey area where the music is neither the main event or irrelevant, and as such your background should reflect that. In other words, make your picture complete and actively choose a sound that compliments your venue. Do not leave it to chance.

Furthermore, if you can actually hit point 4, then the cultural nodes amongst your crowd will walk away and tell people about your venue, which puts you in a very nice place indeed.

So how? Music research is laborious and time consuming. Here is an awesome trick I use, which will help you populate your bar with original, good quality sounds.

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FIP: Great taste.

  1. Download the app TUNEIN to your phone. That app gives you free access to nearly every online radio station  and thousands of FM stations across the world. The spectrum of music is phenomenal, and sometimes awful. Well done, you have just expanded your exposure to new music by 5000%
  2. Download Shaazam.
  3. Download Spotify.
  4. Now in Shaazam’s settings link Shazaam to Spotify and allow it to create a playlist.
  5. Now spend time surfing radio stations on Tunein and Shazaam anything interesting. Everything you Shazaam will appear in a spotify playlist. I have embedded mine below as an example.

The point here is not to become a connoisseur of the weird and wonderful but rather to stop patronizing your audience and offer them something other than the can of Heinz tomato soup you have been. I also like the fact you can Shazaam what you are listening to even with headphones on.

Below is a selection of music I garnered from famous French radio station FIP (which broadcasts around Paris and Lyon) using this technique. It has had a cult following among music fans for a long time and is actually available on FM in Brighton via pirate broadcast. Yup. Cool.

I’m reserving bragging rights on this lovely selection, but to be honest, it is the french DJ’s that found most of it. Furthermore, the playlist is live and I will continue to add to it regularly.

Enjoy the tunes.

COMPETITION BARTENDING. IS THIS THE FUTURE?

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There are several ideas of what the purest form of bartending may be and how to measure that. Long may that conversation continue.

For many behind the sticks, point on a Saturday night gives the mixologist an opportunity to flex intellectual muscles in conversation and knowledge, as well as testing the physical demands and stresses exacted over the body when delivering premium service at a relentless pace. Could that ever be measured in competition?

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Mike / Gopro up this room and let the analysis begin.

For others, a potent format of the game is dispense. The removal of the guest from the equation allows for concentration on the drink production alone. Man or woman is pitted against machine as tickets are churned out and mathematics, logistics, memory and technique become the bartenders best friends.

Remove the guest from the bartending game however and you have an incomplete picture. Any bartender when judged in terms of proficiency must have their knowledge, their service standards and their ability to look after customers examined, and as yet, as far as I am aware only the first two of those elements are inspected in any formal competitions worldwide.

The ‘best bartender’ competition we have nearly all witnessed at some point, consisting of somewhat hokey chit chat,  a joke and a magic trick, along with the required brands name drop, reduces even the best and most socially adept of our species to a talking billboard.

Below is the highlight reel from the 2015 World Class Bartender of the Year Competition. It’s somewhat ‘Apprenticed’, and I don’t get to see anyone working at their capacity. There isn’t really any traditional bartending, there isn’t any solid analysis. The decisions seem to be subjective. Without wanting to belittle the talent of all of these finalists, I can’t help but think that their skill has been obfuscated by a smear of glamour and the attempt to create a life changing tv experience.

Mixology competitions are, whilst incredible for inspiring new recipes and distributing brand media, for the most part, somewhat dislocated from the warm hubbub of a real bar environment.

Flair competitions, while opening up bartending as a spectator sport to the public, still adhere to the format of the bartender at distance. Pedastalled on stage, interaction reduced to cheering. Where is the bartending competition we all dream of? What format could possibly allow bartenders to examine, analyze and enjoy the production of tasty beverages under pressure, as the sport we all witness it to be on a saturday night?

What the true connoisseur of bartending enjoys is the conversation that flies back and forwards over the last cigarette of the evening, the ‘in depth’ analysis of the shift. The examination of service style, of product usage, of historical reference, of customer management. The ability of the bartender to roll with the punches, to handle tricky situations and to use those situations to create a great atmosphere.

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TGI’s, originators of the ‘best bartender’ format.

We have all been battered over the bar by a relentless swathe of punters. And for me, how one deals with such constant pressure, whilst maintaining the standards I mentioned earlier, whilst keeping great conversation going is the measure we all love to discuss but could never witness in competition form. Until now.

Over the weekend I worked in a bar without a license, without a menu, and without a break. On Friday I served 50 covers in an 18 seater basement between 6pm and 1am, on Saturday 44 covers. I was accompanied by a bar back. Her responsibilities were to keep me stocked up and to sit my tables, and also to ensure guests adhere to the 2 hour time allocation they are given.

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Ready Steady Cook: Intense.

Many in London will already be familiar with BYOC. Guests book a table and bring their own booze along. Bottles varied from a single 50cl helping of blueberry liquor on one table, to an array of vintage miniatures on another, to a litre of Smirnoff Red on another. It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.

The object is simple, give the guests the best drinks and service possible by combining the spirits and liqueurs they bring with the products on a provided cocktail trolley. A sort of boozey Ready Steady Cook. On the trolley there are the usual plethora of juices, a selection of homemade bitters, freshly made syrups, fresh fruit, herbs and spices and  smattering of appropriate bar equipment.

Two GoPro’s and some microphones later, we could have our first interactive and live sporting bartender event. I served 44 people in six hours but 25 in three may be more appropriate to the sporting calendar. You could have two commentators watching the bartenders moves over the service period. Marks could be given for the calibre of the drinks but also, service performance and interaction. If you can do it with poker then surely…

Live streaming the competition on Youtube would be simple. I think it would be the first time full bartending was made truly competitive. I have a venue for the competition to take place, I have commentators and equipment ready for online broadcast. I even have a couple of competitors. Do I have a sponsor? Please email me at Thesecretbartender1@gmail.com

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The trolley.

I’ve done work on and off for this bar over the years as well as working in some other seriously busy environments and can safely say that this format is rewarding, intense, knackering and a serious test of ones own abilities.

The standard of service required to keep the room going for a full shift is such that the venue are struggling to find bartenders strong enough to carry their weekend shifts. If you think a shift is something you could handle or would be interested in, I recommend getting in touch with Jeremy at The London Bartenders Collective for more details.

Her is a speculative competition format:

Table layout is 2 x 5 seater tables and 4 x 2 seater. 25 guests are seated over a 2 hour period and sit for 120 minutes. There is a 10 minute interval between sittings. Each guest must be delivered a minimum of 5 drinks. Guests provide alcoholic spirits and liqueurs of their choice. Guests drink quickly and always want more, how this is managed is crucial.

Provided by the bar: range of syrups (eg raspberry, chocolate, triple sec) , bitters (angostura, whiskey, pineapple and cardomom), juices (fresh citrus, pineapple, cucumber) and a limited range of vermouth, other bits and pieces like eggs etc.

Entrants judged on: Originality of recipe, conversational flair, service etiquette, logistical delivery, guest management, drink detail, room atmosphere, guest cross chatter.

Again, sponsors and anyone with ideas or a will to make this happen please get in touch at Thesecretbartender1@gmail.com.

It could be a lot of fun.

Peace x

 

SECURITY ALERT AS BARMAN PHLEGMS IN TOP POLITICIAN’S DRINK

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“Three corrupt public figures walk into a bar.” It sounds like a joke, but in fact this is the start of an interview held recently between SBT and a London bartender, as he confessed to an act reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk’s Cult urban terrorist novel Fight Club.

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Waiters kidnap a politician in Fight Club.

The bartender, referred to here as Simon, came forward with his story once guaranteed anonymity, and detailed to us the events surrounding a lavish Christmas party hosted by scandal ridden Tory donor David Ross in December 2013.

Simon claims,

“There were loads of politicians and celebrities there, it was an opulent affair. And then out of nowhere, Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Jeremy Hunt were stood in front of me and asked for three peach bellinis.”

“I remember how angry I got in that moment. How brazen it was for the three of them to be bantering together at the bar like that, entirely unconcerned that for most normal people, those three are manifestations of everything that is wrong with how this country is run. All of them on Murdoch’s payroll in one way or another, all of them above the law, all of them scratching each others backs and getting away with it.”

Astute readers will recall that Rebekah Brooks was chief executive officer of News International from 2009 to 2011, having previously served as the youngest editor of a British national newspaper at News of the World from 2000 to 2003, and the first female editor of The Sun from 2003 to 2009. Brooks was somehow acquitted of criminal charges in relation to the News of the World phone hacking scandal in 2014 upon a defence of incompetence. Two weeks ago she returned to the fold as Rupert Murdoch’s UK commander in chief.

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Funny pic someone else made.

Andy Coulson was editor of the News of the World after Brooks. Coulson was charged with a myriad of offenses relating to phone hacking and perjury, and following his successful stint as editor at now defunct rag News of the World, became David Cameron’s communications director. After his conviction he served five months of an eighteen month sentence.

The triumvirate of media corruption was completed by NHS annihilator Jeremy Hunt, mixed up in back room deals on many occasions, and great friend of the Murdoch empire.

Simon continues,

“They must have thought they were in a safe location, because any journalist that saw the three of them together laughing and joking like that would have had a field day. I’ve never done it before or since, but I just felt like it was the only time any of them would ever see any justice dealt out. I was so angry. Before I knew it, I was hocking into three champagne flutes and then they were sipping them at the bar in front of me.”

SBT would never publicly condone the contaminating of a customers drink with bodily fluids under any circumstances. An act which technically constitutes assault. SBT put it to Simon that the act, which would be considered a terrorist attack by some, was the wrong thing to do.

“I’m not sure I would do it again. But people who think they are, and actually are above the law need to realize that justice can come in many forms and from any direction.”

Is vigilante bartending a new form of bar service? That remains to be seen. We asked Simon what he did next?

“I felt better.” He said

More SBT bad guy take downs?

More politics?

MULTIPLE ORDER SERVICE: THE ART OF FAST

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The premise behind Multiple Order Service (MOS) is simple. By serving four or five guests at once a bartender can minimize walking back and forth, double up on certain drinks and increase their production capacity. Increase your skill level by grasping this process and you will increase your sales and your tips and commission. You probably already do some of this unconsciously, but learning the theory behind that instinct can only help.

You don’t need to be working in some jazzed up swank pit to use this system, it is applicable to every venue and is simple to get going in a club situation on a huge scale.

The theories detailed below are always applied on a busy dispense bar (and kitchen) to tickets as opposed to guests. When the principle is stuck to it is very possible to produce the same number of drinks as two or three barman on front bar.

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More transparent drinks guys?

MOS is not entirely simple, but it is definitely something that with practice will improve your bartending as well as give you more time behind the bar. It is also an amazing brain training game.

Bartender rule #3 has always been: “Work smart. Not hard.” Never has this been more true than when indulging in the art of MOS. Completing all points of service in the least number of moves possible equates bartending with chess in terms of applying intelligence to problem solving. Sound fun?

So let’s begin…

Frequency Vs. Distance

First off, a simple rule that should apply to all busy bars: In set up there is no space at all for ego. It’s a simple case of frequency of use Vs. distance. By all means keep your cardamom bitters right next to you if it is close to your heart but the truth is that you want your liquor, juices and modifiers grouped in a manner that allows you to pick up two or three objects in one hand to use several times before replacing back into there place of origin and you want the objects you use most, closest. A friend of mine often refers to the pivot rule, you should be able to reach everything you need without moving the ball of one of your feet.

The underlying principle of dispense service and MOS is…

THE WORKING ORDER

Most bartenders are aware of something called the working order. It looks like the list below and appears obvious. However, when busting out MOS this is the only way you can work and it requires a little practice to stick to it.

  1. Glassware & equipment
  2. Ice
  3. Working drinks >stir>blend>muddle>shake>build>pour>pop
  4. Garnish
  5. Sell

When the bar is extremely busy everyone wants their drink quickly and efficiently whilst you are simultaneously being charming and witty. If you set your guests up correctly it will be obvious that you are performing something special and the act of MOS itself more often than not becomes the entertaining factor in your work. In order to get your guests to fall into line you must first establish a…

Rhythm

My favourite way to get into a rhythm with MOS is utilising 4 tip trays. By all means start with less. I serve in groups of four and aim to stick to a beat that the crowd on the other side of the sticks can easily pick up on. It becomes clear to those waiting that if they get with my program everyone get’s looked after.

Lovely painting by Norman Stansfield Cornish of an 11 person MOS round.

That’s when MOS gets really fun. What you will also notice is that when you serve twenty drinks at once there is instantly more community between the people waiting. They watch you together and there is a distinct increase in crossover chatter, which is something I always aim to create.

First I choose my four guests. I take the first order and tell the guest there drinks will be two minutes. Then I ask the next person and tell them there drinks will be three minutes, four minutes for the next person and five minutes for the fourth person. The truth about the delivery time is irrelevant; I’m establishing a pattern and an order of service. These people all now know they have been acknowledged and production has begun, they relax.

 Give yourself mental cues

As I am taking the orders from the four people the first thing on my working order list is glassware and equipment. The trick at this point is to remember all the drinks being ordered for the duration of the four rounds. In order to do this I collect all the glassware required for all my orders and set it up on my build mats alongside any other equipment I may need. By doing this I have prepared myself mental cues for every drink on the list.

The set up for the glassware tends to be a blend of keeping drinks as close to the guests that ordered them as possible and grouping together sets of drinks that all the parties involved have ordered. (It’s quite fun to prepare eight cocktails and then split them at the very last minute between three or four groups).

Then I will ice all the glassware in the required manner. Icing everything at once is an obvious time saver.

Next I begin the process of making the drinks using the working order. Every menu is different and so every bar / bartender is going to have there own idea of what should come where but the basic principle is always the same. Things that take the most prep are started first. Put very simply a chef would always put a fish pie in the oven first and then put the accompanying salad together just as the pie come out of the oven. This ensures the salad is fresh, the pie is hot and everything is ready together.

Order together, produce together, bill together, tip together.

When presenting the drinks to the different guest groups I again try and create a rhythm. Here you are, now here are yours, now these are your drinks. It links things back in the guests head to when I told them 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes. They understand that this has been the plan all along. I go back down the line of guests and tell them the totals for the bills one by one. Then I go back down the line again collecting the money from each guest in turn. Then I repeat the process a final time when delivering the change. It looks great, is very quick and teaches your punters to shape up a little in terms of how they order. With four piles of potential tip at a time it is way, way, way, way more likely that a few of them will tip you well.

An example round

So six people walk in to a bar (G1-6), there are two bartenders (BT1 & BT2). BT2 is using MOS. BT1 is not. They both approach their first guest at the same time. Both G1 and G2 order a beer from BT1 & BT2 respectively. BT1 goes to the fridge and gets the beer, where as BT2’s next move is to move on to G3, who also orders a beer as well as a vodka tonic. BT1 hands over the beer to G1 and charges them £1 for the beer.

While that is happening BT2 asks G4 what they are drinking, they order 2 more beers, another vodka tonic and 3 shots of tequila. BT1 returns from the till with the change and moves on to G5 to take an order, it is the same as G2’s order, a beer and a vodka tonic.

While BT1 is taking that order BT2 collects 6, sorry, 7 shot glasses and 2 highballs, ices the highballs then grabs 3 beers from the fridge. At this point G2, G3 & G4 are looking at each other a bit funny until BT2 says to G2 & G3, “Hey G4 are having tequila’s, do you want some too?”

During that BT1 has got one highball, iced the glass, poured the vodka tonic and then moved to the fridge for the second time to get the second beer. BT2 is now pouring 7 tequilas in one hand and 2 vodkas in the other hand. The 3 beers are being drank by G2, G3 and G4.

BT1, now at the till for the second time, charges G5 for a vodka tonic and a beer. G5 however is looking at G2, G3 & G4 enviously as they are all engaging in a round of shots with the bartender. BT2 tells G2 they owe £2, G3 they owe £4 and G5 they owe £7.

BT1 pours himself a shady tequila on the side and then wanders over to a very thirsty G6 who orders 2 beers, 2 VAT’s and 3 tequilas. BT1 goes to the fridge for a third time and collects the beer, again. Then BT1 goes to the highballs, again. Then BT1 goes to the ice well, again.

BT2 returns with the change for G2, G3 and G4 on three tip trays. They leave it behind because BT2 is awesome. BT1 is still fucking about finishing G6’s round. BT1 is rubbish. BT1 serves drinks with the pace of someone high on LSD.

Worst joke ever?

I’ll stop there.

I think you get it. Of course the three rounds detailed above are simple ones. But you can imagine the difference this service style could have if implemented throughout a night.

Please do try this out and let me know how you get on. Please do comment and ask if some things don’t make sense. Please do let me know if you have techniques you use for MOS that I have not included here.

Next time in The Art of Fast: MOS pt 2 I’m going to delve deeper into the science behind more complicated rounds and reveal a few secrets utilized by top dispense bar geeks. I’ll also be going into how your support staff can best help an MOS bartender and answering any questions this first post has raised.

Thanks for reading.

ROYAL FAMILY AND PRIMARY COLOUR STRENGTHEN HISTORIC BOND.

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the-duke-and-duchess-of-cambridge-tour-australia-and-new-zealand-day-14-2

Heir line.

Britain’s ruling bloodline has this month raised the profile of it’s preferred primary colour, reminding the nations public of the special bond shared between those in power and the colour blue.

The colour, seen frolicking in the British countryside with some of those in line to the throne was happy to reaffirm it’s connection to the crown. Blue commented,

“It was great to get the call. Knowing I’m associated with winners like this, when greens, reds and yellows tend to win fuck all.”

The colour blue is a huge part of royal family life, “You need it in your blood or you won’t get a look in”, said George, “I’m set.”

Royalty free image.

Royalty free image.

The effects of Blue’s connotations when used over several centuries are purported by palace insiders to have a calming effect on the masses, delaying and subduing any notions of regicide the populace experience.

Often adjoined by the words ‘Royal’, ‘Regal’, ‘Naval’ and ‘Blood’, Blue has enjoyed sponsorship from the royal family since time immemorial, however it hasn’t always been plain sailing.The post WW2 campaign gave rise to a surge in support for Red, and left some Royals flushed.

I like it too George but I don’t think it’s gonna fly.

The Duke of Edinburgh, a big Peter Kay fan, has in the past polluted the brand with his own unauthorised blue outbursts. In recent times however these releases have been incorporated into the long term media campaign.

Prince Andrew was also infamously banned from using the colour last year after it was revealed he loves hanging out with billionaire peadophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York claims this cannot in any way be ‘Blue’ behaviour as it is in fact beyond the pale.