BY TOBY PORTER
Two bitter opponents face each other across a dusty street at High Noon, ready to battle it out for the future of South London.
But one, a hard-bitten pub landlord with a grudge, and the other, a plumber with attitude, are not fighting it out to the last, over who rides off into the sunset with the loot and the gal.
They have already traded harsh words over their differences. And this time, the battleground is the most contentious issue facing them, their gals, their gangs and the country – Brexit.
Because the landlord, Tim Martin, who created pub chain Wetherspoons, is on a tour of 100 of his pubs, and this time is trespassing right into the plumber’s back yard – because for Charlie Mullins, managing director of Vauxhall-based Pimlico Plumbers, this is his part of town.
Mullins even put up a sign outside his Vauxhall headquarters proclaiming: “B******s to Brexit.”
Mr Martin’s visit to Streatham is asking for comment from Mr Mullins, who said: “I will not stand by and let the UK sleepwalk into a nightmare.”
He has been vocal in his disdain for a no-deal Brexit, stating on his plumbing blog: “I will not rest until I have done everything I possibly can to stop Brexit, and I would urge everyone, especially businesses, who have the slightest concern about the road we are about to travel down, to say, ‘B******s to Brexit’.”
Mullins wants to mobilise South Londoners to ‘play a part, and that means abandoning silence and speaking out’ against Brexit plans.
The pair have traded barbs before, on a radio talk show when Mr Martin likened Mullins’ Brexit ideas to the Python Lee Jackson classic, which featured Rod Stewart, In a Broken Dream.
Mr Martin, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Stewart himself, said of Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal: “It keeps the UK tied in to the protectionist EU customs union.
“Now that the details of the appalling deal, negotiated by the Downing Street kitchen cabinet, have become clear, it is certain the UK will be financially far better off by choosing no deal.
“The hard mathematics demonstrate beyond doubt that no deal leaves the public and the UK better off on day one after Brexit.” What’s for sure is the pair do have one thing in common – both hate Mrs May’s deal, but for entirely different reasons.
Tim Martin will be visiting The Crown & Spectre in Streatham on December 7 at 11.30am for one hour.
Mr Mullins is not thought to be a customer. Neither is there a regular Rod Stewart tribute night.