Something is ROTTEN in the state of Ostend. Beneath the delightful aroma of coffee wafting from Brendan Mooney’s mobile coffee stall there’s an nastier stink. The stink of cronyism and unfair repression of trade.
Why is Mr Mooney trading from the car park outside the Ostend bakery today instead of his usual spot on the causeway? He has, after all, paid the council for a permit for a seven day week. So why is he suddenly being restricted to only weekdays? If it were not for the kind offer from the bakery owners he’d be sitting at home twiddling his thumbs right now.
Why is he being threatened with legal action? All he’s doing is selling a few cups of coffee. But apparently that’s not acceptable in some quarters. It represents competition to those who would prefer not to have any.
Now ok, I know a lot of you don’t want to believe in a free market but personally I do. I run a business myself but if some other keen brewer wanted to start up on the island and add yet another brewery to the mix I wouldn’t complain. Why would I? I certainly wouldn’t try to get them stopped. That would make me a…..well, ‘Bit Of A Bastard’ frankly, and I’d deserve to be criticised for it.
The answers to all these questions I’ve raised are out there and we ought to know what they are. It’s hard enough to make a living what with all the red tape and so forth without being leaned on by other local businesses. The food and drink trade on Waiheke is difficult enough without adding this kind of pressure to operators.
So go forth and ASK. And keep on asking until you get the answers. Why has Brendan Mooney had to relocate and become dependent on the kindness of others to make his living? Who is putting the pressure on him to do this? What makes them so bloody special that they can behave in this foul way? And above all, whose INFLUENCE are they depending on to make it happen?
Oh, and stop by and get a coffee. It’s damn good.