Apparently it's on March 10th this year. Must get some decent cigars in for the occasion. We don't yet have a 'no drinking' day but it won't be long before we do, along with 'no pies', 'no fat', 'no driving', 'no salt' and all the rest. A day of abstinence for every little sin. It'll be like living life in instalments.
Old Holborn's appeal to cover Nick Hogan's fine is, at the time of writing, over halfway there. It has taken less than 36 hours to get this far. If it goes way over what is required, I don't want mine back. Leave it in there for next time. There will be a next time, and another and another and I'll contribute every time.
Some have complained that the tobacco companies are not helping. I don't want them to. Sure, any one of them could pay this fine out of petty cash but that would be a bad idea. Dreadful Arnott would appear in all her banshee-wailing finery to claim that Tobacco are undermining her lovely, lovely ban and spoiling her control-freakery fun. No, this has to come from the troops. The ordinary smokers, the non-smokers who see the unfairness in this, the pub-goers of both smoking and non-smoking persuasion who are angry at the closure of their locals and all those who can see where this type of control will inevitably lead.
For the same reason, I am glad that the tobacco companies have not mobilised against the smoking ban. They are easily shouted down by the Dreadful Arnott and her hideous hordes because they are the suppliers of the evil stuff that can kill a non-smoker merely by the sight of the packet. The tobacco companies have, and must continue to, stay out of this. It's our problem. We have to sort it out. Finally, it has begun.
Perhaps all the pubs that haven't closed down will eventually reopen. Then Ranting Debbie can claim pubs are not reopening at a rate of fifty a week. She actually believes we are not seeing pub closures with our own eyes, you know. If she shouts 'No it isn't' loud enough, she really thinks we'll just accept it. Dreadful Arnott, the tar and feathers await. With added nicotine just for you.
Can we win? Is it possible? Against the might of ASH and their army of little goblin helpers? It would, in fact, be easy, if only we could co-ordinate. Suppose, just suppose, that on National No Smoking day, every pub in the land opened for smoking. Could they fine them all? They are sure to try. Suppose, on that day, every bus and train in the land was brought to a halt because someone was smoking and refused to get off? You just know the drivers would refuse to move until the smokers were ejected. Suppose every one of those smokers lit up while in the dock. Imagine the apoplexy on the judge's face, especially if they had a few smokers in the jury box too. Even better if the defending council happened to have his cigars with him.
We are fighting cowardly bullies. That is really all they are. All those Dreadful Arnotts and Dumb Shenkers, all those pseudoplods, all those petty officials with their books of fines, all those police who won't tackle real crime but prefer to arrest the easy target, all that anti-tourist legislation to harass photographers. It's all bullying. Many have complained that the police won't even arrest teenagers who cause trouble. It's because they are cowards.
Bullies are used to getting their own way by threats and by force. Remember the ones at school? A flat palm to the sternum once floored one of ours. Lucky for him, I didn't know how to do it properly back then. He retreated in tears and the teachers did nothing, because they knew he was a bully, he had started the fight and he had lost it. Too bad.
Now, of course, the victim who defends themselves is punished and the bully given a reward. That is why photographers continue to be harassed and why teenage gangs feel quite free to attack anyone they choose. There will be no punishment. If anyone tries to defend themselves, they will be punished. The thug will find his superiors making excuses for him just as teachers do for the proto-thugs being nurtured in Labour's schools.
The bullying is not just in Downing Street. It is endemic in the society Labour have made. I don't think the Tories realise this, nor do they realise what simmers below the surface, because they propose to continue the bullying in much the same way.
It will still be a while before it blows up, but it will blow. The Tories should pay attention because whoever is in power at the time is going to bear the brunt of it. Turn down the heat, Davey boy. The pressure gauge is well into the red. It will simmer down a little over the election but unless there are real changes, pressure will build again, faster than before.
Some say the kettle will never blow. That the British are now too soft and supine. Besides, what good will it do? Those in authority will never admit they are wrong. They just make excuses and carry on as before. That has certainly been the case for a long time, but there are signs of cracking. And as Captain Ranty points out, 'No' is a very powerful word.
A mass defiance of the smoking ban would be most effective on National No Smoking day. A festival day designed purely to punish the likes of me, a day in which smokers are not yet burned in effigy, but soon it will come to that. A mass defiance on that day would be very symbolic indeed.
It's a week away. Can it be arranged? No. Smokers are not an organised group. We come from all walks of life, across all the gay/straight, black/white, christian/muslim and other barriers the Righteous have set up. Such a disparate band cannot be organised within a week. Then there is the Terror to overcome, the fear of reprisal instilled by the State in pub landlords, restaurant owners and many, many more. Even in those bus drivers, who will stop the bus until the smokers leave. He has to. If he does not do everything in his power to stop us, he will be punished. So yes, you can hijack public transport with nothing more than a little bit of leaves in paper and a match. It does not even have to be a real cigarette. A roll of dried parsley will work just as well.
However, one week and one year from now, who knows? If the Tories don't stop the culture of bullying, then smokers might just have to stop the country.