Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's time to stub out the smoking ban



The website The Smoking Ban is Shit reports:

Pubs are closing down at a rate of nearly four a day because of poor sales and the effect of the smoking ban, the organisation which represents the industry has warned.
Last year, 1,409 pubs shut their doors, according to the British Beer & Pub Association.
"Britain's pubs are grappling with spiralling costs, sinking sales, fragile consumer confidence and the impact of the smoking ban," said Rob Hayward, the organisation's chief executive. "Pub closures at this rate are threatening an important hub of our social fabric and community history."


It's not just pubs that are closing. It's social clubs, bingo halls and snooker halls too.

Those of us who opposed the smoking ban warned repeatedly that this would happen.
But of course, the fanatical, obsessed minority got their way, as they so often do in our so-called 'democracy'.

Peter Hitchens once described the abolition of capital punishment as the most snobbish piece of legislation that Parliament had ever passed. But the smoking ban pushes it very close. It was, as I argued here, a piece of legislation motivated primarily by New Labour's middle-class hatred, both for the working classes whom they despise with a passion and the so-called 'toffs' who enjoy a post-prandial cigar in their West End clubs.

New Labour is dominated by anally retentive, prissy, puritanical, snobbish, socially insecure middle-class control freaks (Patricia Hewitt and Margaret Hodge being classic examples), who loathe the very idea of people enjoying themselves.

They never go to pubs, bingo-halls, or working-men's clubs, so what do they care if these institutions close?

18 comments:

olching said...

In Bavaria, the ruling Chrisian Social Party introduced the most draconian smoking ban in Germany on 01st Jan 2008 and got hammered in the elections a couple of weeks ago. They are revising the smoking ban (not completely, but still...).

Charles Pooter said...

Quite right. My suggestion is that we ignore the ban and prohibit entry to our pubs and clubs to any agents of the state.

Snitches should be dealt with in the time-honoured fashion...

Jock McTrousers said...

"New Labour is dominated by anally retentive, prissy, puritanical, snobbish, socially insecure middle-class control freaks (Patricia Hewitt and Margaret Hodge being classic examples), who loathe the very idea of people enjoying themselves."

You know I disagree with you about the smoking ban, but you're spot on above. So too, with their attitude to prostitution; they obviously despise prostitutes - their claim to be motivated by concern for their welfare is laughable.

But I see the whole trend as more than an expression of the warped psychologies of the NuLabs. It seems to be part of a general assault on the right of association, on any informal networks that could give rise to social solidarity. Look what their licensing act has done to live music, already suffering from giant tellies and robot electronic music. It's especially hard on traditional folk music - where else can fiddles, banjos, whistles, pipes get together for an informal session? If you can't control it (or make money out of it, destroy it. These prissy repressed school-prefect types are just the perfect sort of personality types to enforce such a strategy with a vindictive enthusiasm - they were probably never welcome anywhere anyway.

Neil Clark said...

"If you can't control it (or make money out of it, destroy it."

I think that sums up New Labour's philosophy perfectly, Jock.
And it explains their policy towards Iraq and the rump Yugoslavia too.

jolies-couleurs said...

It should be up to individual establishments to choose to be smoking or non-smoking and for people to choose likewise. It is called exercising adult responsibility and accepting the consequences.

Neil Clark said...

jolies: I couldn't agree more.

Roland Hulme said...

A nice bit a bile-venting their, Neil! A cracking read.

NEw York had the smoking ban and saw a drop off of 30% of business, but it did eventually pick up again.

But one thing New York enjoyed and England doesn't is a budget that didn't see drinking getting more and more expensive year on year.

Pubs are being taxed out of existence - quite possibly by a party that hates people enjoying themselves.

It'll only be a few years until alcohol faces the same hurdles as smoking. Then fatty foods. Then idleness...

Eventually, we'll live in a homogenized police state more like communist Russia than a so-called Democracy.

Case in point - Hunting ban. Totally ridiculous and unDemocratic.

Steve said...

The trouble is that having told everyone that the ban would be a great success, the politicans are not going to admit, less than one year later, that it has been a complete fxxxxing disaster.

I think it will take another couple of years to get the ban reversed, by which time there'll probably be no bingo halls or working mans clubs left.

snowbird said...

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation -
from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of
unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have
actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local
bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be
answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
his
own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
intrusion of government into our lives.

We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.
They are in office to serve us, not vice- versa.

snowbird said...

Government power real health hazard

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: If it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than trying to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Smokers are a numerical minority, practising a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Laprade,
480 Rupert St.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph.807 3457258_________________

snowbird said...

Smoking bans that are based on lies, half-truths and slanted surveys are 'bad' laws and should be revocted

Anonymous said...

I agree. I would like to jack-up in pubs but I have to do it behind closed doors. I think all drug addicts should unite against the government and stop this insanity.

Neil Clark said...

last anonymous: silly point. tobacco is a legal product, unlike drugs.

Gibepregiba said...

I think the only way to save people's health is to put much higher prices on cigarettes.

And in pubs to make non smoking area and one area for us, future lung's cancer fans :)

Anonymous said...

Neil Said:last anonymous: silly point. tobacco is a legal product, unlike drugs.

..but Neil it ( tobacco) would certainly be illegal if it "discovered" today. Interestingly, Heroin, which is illegal of course, taken in its pure form ( no talcum powder or arsenic*!) has no side effects (apart from constipation). Why not campaign to legalise heroin Neil?, that would be far more sensible.

I am afraid you are not a reliable witness in this matter, because you are an addict and would use any spurious argument you could to justify your addiction. I would ban smoking FULL STOP. Why should I have to breathe in the disgusting noxious fumes of the drug addict who is walking in front of me in the street puffing away? I have perennial allergic rhinitis and it is mad far worse by just a whiff of cigarette smoke. What about my right to be free from your anti-social habit Neil?
I wish you good luck in giving up the deadly weed when you come to your senses.
*which cigarettes have by the way!

Anonymous said...

You write:

"Peter Hitchens once described the abolition of capital punishment as the most snobbish piece of legislation that Parliament had ever passed."

So blood lust is a positive human quality? No wonder people like you did a 180 degreee turn in the Tony Martin case.

Ofcause, in "The Abolition of Britain" Hitchens points out that Roy Jenkins' father was a miner, as though Jenkins' attendance at Baillol College, Oxford was mythical. A sign of snobbery surely is the clear preference of social origins over ability. One might add Hitchens' regular dismissal of television, something you (and most of the population) find so wonderful. All signs that Peter Hitchens is really the biggest snob of all.

Puffin 'ell said...

Spot on about New Labour in general, but wrong about the smoking ban. I smoke. Like most smokers, I wish I had never started and if I could wave a magic wand and never have the urge for another fag, I would wave it.

I don't have a magic stick, but I do have a responsibility towards today's young people not to light in front of them. We all know how we started; the odd fag cadged outside the school gate or the occasional OP* in the pub after work as a packet gets passed around the table. So let's not pass on our sins to the next generation.

I find having to stand outside in the rain as annoying as the next smoker. Sure, I secretly wish that I could still light up inside, but, rather like speed limits or drink driving, I know deep down that the law is right.

I freely confess to a degree of personal hypocrisy. When the landlady of my local announces during an after hours lock-in that we can illegally smoke, I light up too. It's a bit like parking fines and income tax. You don't like paying either (and probably wouldn't unless forced to), but you wouldn't seriously argue for their abolition.

*OPs, abrv of 'Other Peoples', were the first brand I smoked.

Anonymous said...

Here come the smokers ,well too little too late , the Goverment gave you one year to protest and organise against this ban but where were you smokers ,where were the landlords of the pubs ,where were the breweries and where were the tabacco companies,
You all sat around the pubs saying we'll worry about that when it happens
Well Shit Happened and you blew it, live with it and get a life
The hardest thing to do here in UK is to repeal a law ,it just wont happen dont think all these little comments will change anything they wont
Personnally I dont agree with the law but I dont smoke anymore so I dont care
Like I said TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
The Englander