Saturday, 2 January 2010

This... is an ex smoker.

Vicki Woods is an ex-smoker. One day I'll do a 'Dead Parrot Sketch' version of that. This smoker is no more. He has stubbed his last dog-end. Bereft of baccy, he's learning to smell again. This.. is an ex-smoker.

It needs a lot of work. However, to get back to the point, Vicki Woods is an ex-smoker but without the piety and superiority that ex-smokers too often acquire. She is against the smoking ban because while she smokes no more, she still likes to visit the local pub once in a while. Oh, but the smoking ban must mean it's easier for an ex-smoker to stay an ex-smoker while still going to the pub, surely? Ah, no, because the pub has closed.

Her article is a good one and well worth a read. At the time of typing, there are three comments and they are all Righteous.

Here's John.

I would also like to see the law updated. My suggestion would be to lower the price of drinks in non smoking pubs for example, 25p and increase the prices in smoking pubs by a similar amount.
The amount could be reviewed to get a balance between smoking and non smoking pubs. I would then have a choice.

Why does John require a 50p difference in the price of a pint between non-smoking and smoking pubs? Well, because otherwise the non-smoking pub will die from lack of customers. The non-smoking pubs are closing now because they can't make enough money, John. The smoking pubs, in your scenario, would make a fortune. The non-smoking ones would die faster. Idiot.

Then we have Clive Warner, who had a long comment so I won't use all of it:

If The Oak's takings dropped by 90% after the smoking ban took effect, logically, this implies that 90% of the Oak's customers were smokers?

No. That's simplistic logic. The smokers stopped going and therefore their non-smoking drinking buddies stopped going too. Their non-smoking buddies never objected to the smoke otherwise they wouldn't have been buddies, do you see? Now they all visit a local smoky-drinky place and are finding out that socialising does not have to involve pub prices and half the company going outside for a smoke. They might never visit a pub again. Any of them.

"foulest" Summer, "wettest" Christmas 2007 - isn't this a good reason why takings might have dropped? Along with the recession?

Sigh. Smokers have to go outside to smoke. The connection is there if you spend a moment looking for it.

How about the also-mentioned ". . . our real-world Oak is tied to a pubco (Enterprise) from which it must purchase its beer. Fewer pubs means less beer must be sold at ever-increasing prices."
Not to mention other factors such as supermarkets selling alcohol as a loss-leader.

Something supermarkets have always done. The local corner shop sells at below pub prices too. We went to the pub for the company and the socialising. It was always more expensive than drinking at home. Always. The only difference is that now we can't smoke in the pub and we'd rather set up our own socialising networks than stand in the rain. The 'supermarket cheap booze' is not an argument, it's a rather sad and feeble attempt at an excuse.

And finally, Steve Griffin appears, to trot out the standard ASH propaganda:

These smokers who feel their liberty is trampled on by dogooders preventing them poisoning the atmosphere of a persons place of work should try practising their habit at home -being sure to not subject their children to the noxious fumes they would like to foist on pub staff and the general pub alike.

Steve. You already have every public place to yourself. You can stand on a railway platform and enjoy the heady aroma of poorly-combusted diesel from a hundred-ton engine without worrying it might be contaminated with a milligram of burning tobacco. You are still playing the pompous bastard even though you have won every round. You are the sort of person who should be tied to a waterwheel for a week during grain-harvesting. You are the sort who will fully support a ban on smoking in people's own homes and you will support Stasi checks on those homes without realising that they will check you too. You, Steve, transcend the mere 'idiot'. You are a total and utter arse of a man with not the slightest redeeming feature within your character at all. You are a waste of space in the most literal sense.

Steve, I'm going to roll myself a big one now. Just for you. I will blow the smoke into the air in the fervent hope that at least one particle will reach you, lodge in your lungs and be the particle that causes you a slow and painful death. Because you, Steve, believe I can do that and have already blamed me for it, so I will put all my effort into making it happen.

It's what you want, after all.

I think I'll buy Grant's Ale Cask blend again. It's inspirational. Cheap, too.


banned said...

Sadly Vikki is part of the problem, people who "We trotted down at 11 o'clock as usual" do the pub trade few favours and indeed cause landlords problems on special nights such as NYE. My own local had a busy night with many customers passing through on the way to the town centre with about 35 locals still there at midnight. 'Comfortable' is how he described it.

Public Houses started off as just that, people inviting 'the public' into their house to pay for alcohol.
What is to stop a group of like minded people extending the idea of 'drinky smoky places' by establishing a private space (a garage, outhouse, spare room) to meet, by invitation, for the free exchange and consumption of alcohol and tobacco since it is not a public place and no-one works there?

The only thing missing from the old arrangement is the profit motive.

subrosa said...

That sounds a great idea banned, but somehow it won't work. I'm too tired to think of the umpteen laws which would be brought into action but elfandstupidity are sure to have a few.

Glad to hear you've found an accommodating tipple LI. I'm off to do a search for it as I've to restock the press now.

Junican said...

From Junican.

I have read and comented on the Vicki Woods article.

The more that you think about the smoking ban, the more that you realise that there are UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
I feel sure that the people in the USA who were the first to define a public place as any place where any person, regardless of whether or not they have any right to be there, can possibly be, were motivated by their consciences. The mere fact that a burgler can claim to be affected by the tobacco smoke in your home, it becoming a public place when he enters your home, would never enter their minds. But........the law of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES dictates that bad law will reveal itself through UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

Politicians can stick their heads in the sand if they wish, but the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES will grow and grow until this prohibition has to stop.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your tipple LI am finishing off my xmas bottle of Southern Comfort tonight then its back to the ordinary Grants blend tomorrow (9.99 from Tesco) can`t afford fancy whisky but I`m happy

Leg-iron said...

As long as no money changes hands in a Smoky Drinky place, it's a private gathering and not a business. It can't be run for profit or it would need to be licenced premises.

It's strictly BYOB and share it out. Just a few folk sitting around drinking and smoking, just like we used to do in the pub. The mobile aspect of it is useful - any of us can designate our houses as Smoky Drinky places for the evening. Having a fixed space dedicated to the activity risks, as Subrosa mentions, the attention of the Safety Elf.

Although we do tend to meet at the same house most times, there's nothing fixed about that. Like those speakeasies where the drinks were replaced with coffee if the police came round, a Smoky Drinky place can vanish in an instant.

It's not illegal, not yet, but it's going to annoy the Righteous and they're bound to try to crack down.

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