Friday , 27 May 2022

Gay club boss fears Yes vote would be a ‘disaster’

Nightclub owner says Yes vote would be a 'disaster'
Nightclub owner says Yes vote would be a ‘disaster’


AXM Haydn 2
AXM owner Haydn Pope

As the Polling Places close and Ballot boxes are sent for counting, we hear from nightclub boss and owner of AXM Club in Glasgow, Haydn Pope, who says he fears a Yes vote will be a “disaster” and could hurt business with an increase in operating costs.

The Welsh businessman, who also owns AXM in Manchester as well as other licensed venues, told KaleidoScot, “I have HUGE concerns for the business should we get a Yes vote. I would need to split my payroll system, as the PAYE and taxes would be going to different ‘exchequers’ and possibly at different rates. I would need to change my currently national suppliers, as suddenly my supplies up to Glasgow would be classed as exports. And I would need to reprogramme all my tills, advertising, pricing and costs.”

Asked how he felt about big corporations being accused of scaremongering about increased costs for them, he said, “I think they’re dead right. Not only for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, but by definition things like mobile and Internet costs are higher up here due to the much further spread of population for a lower return. Are supermarkets going to have to pay import taxes to deliver stock to their stores? Can the banks maintain a profit margin without a UK wide customer base to collate as a whole? Utilities will of course become more expensive, because its pretty obvious that to supply energy to some sparse and remote places is costly.”

AXM supports Pride
AXM supports Pride

In these late stages of the campaign, both sides of the Yes / No debate have praised Scots voters for being the most engaged in any political decision in the nations history. “I think the whole debate and process has been remarkable” Haydn went on to say, “and regardless of which side your voting for, the fact that it has engaged so many people [about] our democracy and politics is outstanding.  I think people want to see a change, and they see this as a chance of change. The LGBT community has been screaming for change for decades, but changing the entire political, financial and ethos of the country will not necessarily give them the change that they want or expect.”

AXM operates from the former Bennett’s nightclub on Glassford Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City. The club, which opened in 2012 has recently sponsored Pride Glasgow and is a popular scene venue with regular theme and party nights.
Haydn concluded, “My view is that a Yes vote would be a disaster. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen. I’m a very proud and patriotic Welsh man, but I’m equally proud to be British. Cry freedom as loud as you like, then wake up and realise that this isn’t and shouldn’t be an ‘us versus them’ decision. It’s a financial, business, social, practical and common sense decision.”

About Stuart Duffy

Stuart Duffy
Stuart is a Glasgow-based journalist covering LGBTI issues and has been published in ScotsGay Magazine, Gay Star News, Pink News as well as numerous local publications over the past 18 years. Brought up in his hometown of Cowdenbeath in Fife, he has studied Radio Broadcasting and Event Management and has worked with leading businesses such as BSkyB and most recently Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has a keen interest in politics, current affairs and entertainment and when he's not writing Stuart is usually found in the City shops with his partner and young daughter.

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