Monday, 8 March 2010

Smoky drinky, non-anecdotal for the CAMRA linker.

There was a referral from CAMRA's discussion board in the stats. I went over for a look but didn't sign up. Smokers aren't welcome in CAMRA's pubs, not even by CAMRA members who smoke.

One put up the breathtakingly arrogant view that his tobacco was 'quality' tobacco and he didn't want to have to endure other forms of tobacco that he doesn't like. So he supported the smoking ban because it keeps the plebs out. It keeps him out too but he didn't mention that.

We all have preferences. Some prefer a pipe, some readymades, some rollups, some cigars. I once brought back a supply of seriously cheap cigarettes from Yugoslavia which I'd grown used to while over there. They made other smokers recoil here. Some kinds of readymades have a smoke that I find a little harsh, but then others might find my rollups not to their liking. To state that only the one you like is good and that all others are harmful is, frankly, bizarre.

Another of his comments was the astoundingly dim observation 'You do realise the difference between active and passive smoking?' Which suggests he believes that his 'quality' tobacco is okay, but catching a whiff of someone else's is dangerous. I really can't think down to the level required to deal with that.

The link I followed referred to one of my posts on the smoky-drinky places. True, my own experiences are anecdotal and so are easily dismissed by the chronically self-important. Even the similar anecdotes posted by commenters can be waved away.

So, should the linker find his way back here, I have a little present he/she might want to drop in Mr. I'mthebest's lap. Courtesy of Leafar at F2C forums, here's something a little stronger than a mere anecdote:

London's official smoky-drinky place organising website.

Pubs are back, but not in Weatherspoon's, and not under CAMRA's dictatorial control. Pubs are back where they started, in private homes. Until the Dreadful Arnott comes shrieking through the front door with her stub-it-out stormtroopers and the rest of her useful idiots, that's where they'll live. When she bans smoking in private homes, we'll clear out our sheds. If it comes to it, we'll dig an underground bunker.

I like real ale. I much prefer to drink it in a pub than at home. Whisky is good at home but beer just never tastes quite right out of a bottle. The snow that arrived before Christmas has only just melted so I have hardly visited a pub in three months. If there were smoking and non-smoking pubs, or smoking rooms within pubs, or even heated, covered smoking areas outside, they'd get a lot more business from me - but pubs aren't allowed those things.

Even a covered area is no use in the wind because they must be less than 50% enclosed. Even though the only people in there are smokers and therefore pose no imaginary threat to non-smokers (or 'better quality' smokers) at all.

If pubs could choose, some would allow smoking and I'd go there in winter. They cannot choose. Shrieking banshee Arnott won't let them. CAMRA seem fine with that, it keeps the plebs out. This winter, two more pubs closed here. Nothing to do with the smoking ban? One of those pubs was always stuffed with the benefits brigade to whom the recession is an irrelevance, but smoking is not. So what closed that pub? Three months of sub-zero temperatures and a largely smoking clientele.

Perhaps CAMRA would like to do a bit more of the Dreadful Arnott's work for her by pretending it was something else? Quick now, before the Shenkerites declare you a subversive right-wing drink-promoting group and ban you. You might not like smokers (inferior ones, anyway) but what you do like is also on the non-approved list.

The war isn't against smokers. That was just the first battle. The war is against pubs. If you refuse to see that then you're not going to be any help at all.

36 comments:

Corrugated Soundbite said...

My house is already my pub. I would've been happy heading out for a stroll in the night air as a means to partially sober up on the way home but they don't like pubs in any guise or any case. Sadly for them, I don't like telly and I don't like Facebook. So we fix our own nights. And I've got a decent shovel should it come to the bunker idea.

We'll be back, LI. There's surely too many of us to lose. Surely...

hangemall said...

I have a vague memory from doing history at school over fourty years ago about an act that was passed in the 19th? 18th? Century forbiding people to congregate in groups of more than two or more.

We are getting close to that now.

JuliaM said...

"One put up the breathtakingly arrogant view that his tobacco was 'quality' tobacco and he didn't want to have to endure other forms of tobacco that he doesn't like. So he supported the smoking ban because it keeps the plebs out."

Divide and conquer. The oldest trick in the book.

Wouldn't you think more people would recognise it when it's used against them?

Anonymous said...

I believe it's more to do with breaking up congregations of people who might discuss government operations in a way not supportive of the government - and more to do with that than banning smoking. It's to ban a culture. It's to extinguish a spirit that has historically been of people who don't conform easily, are independent minded and thus everything the government doesn't want. They want conformity, uniformity, controllability. That's what the smoking ban is on about. And those who don't smoke - that tiny puff of smoke gone from the air is your absolute insurance policy, someone standing front guard insuring a generally acceptable level of freedom and liberty is also been removed - and with that, your freedoms and liberties removed too. Do to another and you've done to yourself. Spiritual/religion lesson #1 - and why Nanny keeps winning - because people are essentially doing to themselves, thinking it's only to others, because people are foolable, given enough unrelenting propaganda and infiltration by enforcers and useful tools.

Anonymous said...

By all accounts the enthusiasm for control is happening globally. My theory is that some Endtimer dipsticks have persuaded Those at the Highest Level that the Apocalypse starts at 14.02 on April 20th 2017 and the control measures are now underway to handle the fallout.

(I'm joking, although American Endtimers do meddle politically and, even as we speak, there are stores selling survival kits - yes, really.)

Jay

Anonymous said...

Or else not entirely American Endtimers but more likely USSR Ex-Bureaucrats with nothing left to do and so with the Wall down, have migrated into the West and meddled amongst the top, Labour being on the left and Labour being our scourge and source for this sort of government control freakishness for fourteen very long years. The whole think reeks of Stalin or the East German Stasi more than some religious fanatics from the States.

Chalcedon said...

When I used to smoke I smoked a pipe mostly, or cigars (relatively cheap ones). However, I always enjoyed certain cigarettes, such as passing clouds and Balkan Sobranie. Now I understand that Turkish fags have been banned by the EU. So I was told. Pity as they along with Capstan full strength were a good smoke. These light cigarettes are tasteless and have no 'bite' to them.


Pubs should be allowed to have ventilated smoking rooms with an air curtain at the bar. that was staff are protected and everyone should be happy. I do not understand the government's stance on smoking and pubs. an outright ban is stupid IMO. I reckon it is just showing that they can and will control people especially regarding behaviour they don't agree with. It is hypocritical to ban smoking yet take billions in tax. I just hope cheap tobacco buggers up their tax take. How much is a packet of fags?

Furor Teutonicus said...

hangemall said...

I have a vague memory from doing history at school over fourty years ago about an act that was passed in the 19th? 18th? Century forbiding people to congregate in groups of more than two or more.

We are getting close to that now.


If I recall the P.A.C.E act, it is an offence, or can be, if three or more are gathered in public, without the permission of a police inspector or above. (For a particular purpose (?))

It depends on case law as to what "public" and "p√ľarticular purpose" are decided to mean.

You are not sleep walking into a Stalinist Britain. You are already there. They just have not turned the machinary fully on yet.

Simon said...

Camra has always been a self-serving bunch of nerds, it's a shame that it does promote something I love, real ale.

Camra actively joined the fight to ban smoking in the pub, bizarrely thinking that there were going to be hoards of non-smokers suddenly finding out that the delights of a pub menu exists.

Now it does a save-your-local campaign - doh!

I have mentioned to people in the past that this does seem like a deliberate policy to destroy the British pub by the worthies, after all it is the only institution where as long as you stood your round, the plumber, doctor and what-not could be on equal footing.

And it is in the pub where dissent and debate can be utilised!

Gareth said...

Simon said: "Camra actively joined the fight to ban smoking in the pub, bizarrely thinking that there were going to be hoards of non-smokers suddenly finding out that the delights of a pub menu exists.

Now it does a save-your-local campaign - doh!"

Few campaign groups are willing to do themselves out of business. Campaigning has become the goal rather than a means to achieve the goal. Once you have reached your target the only way is down. A constant change of 'cause' keeps your profile up and your revenue coming in.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Leg Iron

“The war is against pubs.”

And next will be coffee houses, tea shops, restaurants ... anywhere where people get together for a bit of a chat.

A party at home? That will require planning permission, Health and Safety certificate, insurance, police permission, fire brigade permission, ambulance service permission, food and drink inspectors on site for the duration ...
Oh happy days.

Chalcedon said...

"How much is a packet of fags?"

http://www.the-tma.org.uk/page.aspx?page_id=42


RRP Tax Burden Tax Incidence
£ per 20 %
2008 5.44 4.18 77
2009 5.67 4.34 77
2010 6.13 4.67 76


Furor Teutonicus said...

"If I recall the P.A.C.E act, it is an offence, or can be, if three or more are gathered in public..."

PACE is the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60)
http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1871554

which has been so much amended as to look like confetti.

The relevant Act appears to be the Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64).
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1986/cukpga_19860064_en_1

Part II s.16 (Interpretation)

“public assembly” means an assembly of 20 or more persons in a public place which is wholly or partly open to the air;

So know you think you know, or might think you know, depending on whether this has been amended by statutory instrument or a section tucked away in a later act or one they are debating now.

DP

Dave H said...

"Police fail to stop Strawberry Fair going ahead
Cambridge - Strawberry Fair 2009
Police at last year's Strawberry Fair

A DVD showing revellers at Strawberry Fair vomiting, bags of confiscated cannabis and people smoking rolled cigarettes failed to persuade councillors the event should be banned."

I shit you not.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_cambridge/displayarticle.asp?id=486400

Algernon Grundle-Futtock said...

In the days when we had an Empire we British would face adversity with nothing more than a stiff upper lip. In these namby pamby days of fitted carpets and soft toilet rolls the country has gone to the dogs. Nobody has any backbone anymore. Even smokers don’t have the discipline to go without a cigarette for an hour or two to be able to enjoy a drink. Shame they don’t put coupons in cigarette packets anymore (or do they?) as you could each save up for that all important big girl’s blouse that you so clearly need.

Fausty said...

I concur with those who say it's about preventing congregation.

Don't think the Tories will be any better. Each day, they prove that they are closet socialists.

Today, we find that Cameron want's to nationalise independent schools and remove their ability to select on ability.

That's about control, too. They've said they want to protect home-schooling, but I find that hard to believe, given the above.

Anonymous said...

Dave H said...
"Police fail to stop Strawberry Fair going ahead
Cambridge - Strawberry Fair 2009
Police at last year's Strawberry Fair


-- Haight Asbury, San Francisco, birthplace of the hippie and the Summer of Love.

Haight Ashbury street fairs - beer banned. Outdoor smoking banned within 25' of any building and across the street at Golden Gate Park, thus essentially - banned.

And since outdoor smoking banned with threat of $500 fines as per the huge signs and the gold-plated ones, I imagine it is essentially banned at the Haight Ashbury Street Fair beginning this year too.

Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, birthplace of the dippie and the Summer of Hate - coming to a neighborhood near you, next.

Times have changed now that leftists are fully in control and have won the power and control they sought out beginning in the 1960's - very quick to adapt Stalinist control practices on the population - the masks falling down.

Leg-iron said...

Algernon - welcome to the world of those willing to put up resistance against a ban on their way of life. Look well, for this is coming your way now.

Nice twist in that comment, but let's play:

In the days when we had an Empire we British would face adversity with nothing more than a stiff upper lip.

True. We were not constantly scared of everything that might cause a slight inconvenience. We insulated and fireproofed things with asbestos, we burned coal in our homes, we let kids out to play all day and knew they'd come back when they were hungry, we didn't need seatbelts and airbags and ABS, and we would never collapse in a gibbering heap at the sight of half a gram of burning leaves rolled in paper. Now? Bunch of scared weaklings. I can halt public transport by threatening to light a cigarette. Should I consider myself the weak one?

In these namby pamby days of fitted carpets and soft toilet rolls the country has gone to the dogs. Nobody has any backbone anymore.

True. People are scared of a smell. They run like frightened little piggies from a tiny fire as if they expect Satan to pop out of it at any moment. One whiff of that smoke and they are straight to the doctor to get themselves scanned for lung cancer. So scared are they that they regard smokers as agents of Hell and make crosses with their fingers whenever one of us appears. I can bankrupt a pub and drive every customer screaming into the street just by lighting a cigarette. And you think I'm the weak one?

Even smokers don’t have the discipline to go without a cigarette for an hour or two to be able to enjoy a drink.

We do, you know. We have to. We can't take drinks outside unless there's a beer garden. What you wilfully ignore is that for many of us, the enjoyment is the combination of a drink and a smoke. Not one or the other. Both, together. You're happy for us to no longer do that in your delicate sight, so we do it elsewhere. We're going to do it anyway. It means we spend far less time and money in pubs. Publicans realise this and many are not happy with it. You're happy with it. Okay. We have our own places now where your fitted-carpet nostrils and soft-paper lungs need not fear us.

Shame they don’t put coupons in cigarette packets anymore (or do they?) as you could each save up for that all important big girl’s blouse that you so clearly need.

You don't like smokers. You like pubs. You don't want us in your pubs. Don't then complain that we are not supporting the pubs you've thrown us out of.

All the main parties are asking for our votes while simultaneously telling us we are subhuman baby-eating monsters. You, and CAMRA, are doing the same. Do you really think you will win converts to your cause by sneering at and belittling people?

I am not going to change my way of life to suit your narrow prejudices. If you ban me from one place, I will go somewhere else. I will face down this arrogant Nazi attitude with a stiff upper lip and I will not run crying to Nanny every time someone does something that makes a bit of a smell that I don't happen to like.

No doubt you will think up some further arrogant put-down. I look forward to it.

There are no fitted carpets and soft toilet paper here. Just sawdust and the Labour manifesto.

hangemall said...

F.T. @11:14 and anon (DP)? @12:52

"...“public assembly” means an assembly of 20 or more persons in a public place which is wholly or partly open to the air;
..."

Bus queues anyone? Think of all that lovely revenue.

I did download a few files from .gov concerning PACE but I'm not sure if it's worthwhile reading thoroughly now. There'll be a pile of new statutes on the subject when next we wake up.

Umbongo said...

I'm not surprised that CAMRA is in the vanguard of the socialist anti-smoking brigade. After all, one of its leading lights - from time immemorial - and editor of The Good Beer Guide is Roger Protz. He might be wonderful in person (I've no idea - never met him). He might even be vaguely tolerable when he restricts himself to discussing or writing about beer. But his political opinions are, simply, disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:32: “I believe it's more to do with breaking up congregations of people who might discuss government operations in a way not supportive of the government - and more to do with that than banning smoking.” Spot on with that one, and something which, if I say it myself, I’ve been saying for years - way before the smoking ban was a serious proposition, which is actually quite a long time, now. But “breaking up congregations” as you describe does actually tie in with deliberately trying to destroy the “real” pub trade in the UK because it’s in “real” pubs, primarily, that most of such “subversive” conversations take place here. That is, of course, why alcohol is next on the list – for all the witterings about banning salt, and fat, and sugar and God knows what else, the writing is clear on the wall for anyone who wants to see it, that booze is going to be the next big bad-guy. Then, once the traditional local is all but extinct, remaining “crumbs” where people might still meet and debate and chat will be easy to clear up because there are so few other places in the UK where such a wide interaction amongst friends and strangers alike takes place. Think about it – when was the last time you last struck up, and got involved in, a world-righting conversation with someone you hadn’t arrived with, in a restaurant or in Starbucks? Exactly.

Also, Hangemail (and others)l: “I have a vague memory from doing history at school over fourty years ago about an act that was passed in the 19th? 18th? Century forbiding people to congregate in groups of more than two or more.” I confess I don’t know about that one personally (lousy History student, me), but didn’t Mrs Thatcher’s Government try something similar in the 1980’s? I remember there being a big hoo-ha about some proposed law which would mean that you’d have to inform/get permission from your local police force if you were proposing to throw a barbecue for more than about six people. Aftermath of the Miners’ Strike, I think, or maybe it was because of the Greenham Common protests. I don’t think it got passed, but maybe someone else on here can enlighten me further …..

hangemall said...

anon 19:58 Can't remenber the Thatcher bit. Maybe I'm getting so old I can't recall the more recent events. :)

paulo said...

Anon post 4 @ 5:32 is spot on.

I have espoused his argument among my drinking buddies for months now and the message is getting through - to some. But yes,that is what the smoking ban is about. The intention is to close the pubs and thereafter the intention will be to shut down other meeting places. Bingo halls perhaps?

As LI has so succinctly put it before - CONTROL.

paulo

Dick Puddlecote said...

I see Paul Garrard has been talking shite again.

Plus ca change.

Leg-iron said...

Dick - I don't get many trolls here, no matter how much bait I put down.

I must be doing something wrong.

Spartan said...

ln the summer months we try and utilise our garden as much as possible ... weather permitting. The garden opens out onto the seafront where holidaymakers pass frequently.

The seafront has one of these alcohol drinking bans in place. Alas our garden does not and the music, drinking, smoking and general merriment attracts much attention. l tend to sit at the end of the garden talking to many a holidaymaker.

Frequently they go and purchase alcohol and return to join us which we have no obection at all. Some have returned in later weeks but had difficulty remembering where we are. So now we fly the Jolly Roger at all times.

Winter tends to take it's toll on the flags so they have to be replaced every year.

Today the new flag is up ... so here's to another enjoyable summer and more attention from the local council jobsworths.

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum ... and a pack of Marlboro's (from Bulgaria @ £1.90 a pack).

Leg-iron said...

Spartan -

Some have returned in later weeks but had difficulty remembering where we are.

I, too, have been drinking with people like you. ;) And will again. If I can remember where.

Winter tends to take it's toll on the flags so they have to be replaced every year.

Talk to Stewart. He does good quality flags and might offer a discount for stocking-up purposes. I don't yet have a Jolly Roger but I suspect it might be almost compulsory for all of us soon.

As might a beard and cutlass.

And one of these.

Pieces of fuckin' eight.

Spartan said...

Leg-iron

:-) We got one ... he's called Boris but he doesn't talk much. Maybe that's because the music is almost always on!

hangemall said...

L-I, I have a comment to make but it is too long to do it the normal way. Is there another way to get it up?

Mrs Rigby said...

“public assembly” means an assembly of 20 or more persons in a public place which is wholly or partly open to the air;

Huh! Sounds too much like aload of people in a "smoking shelter"!

Anonymous said...

This is Leafar.

Mate, I'm so flattered. I want to cry, seriously, this feels so weird. I feel like I'm famous or something. I can't believe you've put up a link to my website. I've pretty much given up on it because no one seems interested (it's still active, I'm not going to close it down). I tried so hard on facebook, and on the f2c forum. Seriously, this is such a good idea and everyone is asleep. I can't believe that I've had to rack my brains to find the words to explain to people that this is such an effective way to get around the ban when it's just too obvious. It would be nice to have a few hundred members who are genuinely interested in my idea. I'm surprised no one (as far as I know) has thought of doing this. It's simple : If we can't smoke in pubs, then we'll get organised and create "pubs", makeshift setups, places for people to go to and meet each other. I know that people are going to each other's houses to party or whatever, but I want them to seriously get organised and cause a scene. Shit, it's so easy. A place where there's very little chit chat, and just people organising house parties, or simple get togethers, or anything in between, where they're free to smoke.I want this to grow, and I want it to become well known, and notorious. There's nothing "they" can do about it, and if they want to bring in some kind of ban or other measure to try and stop this, that's great. I want it to get worse, I want the law to become so bad that peple actually wake up. "What, I can't have a gathering of people in my own house? Fuck that!" - That's what I want. People just haven't understood the idea, but I can see that you get it, and I haven't even explained it to you. The usual reaction I get is "yeah, people are already doing that". No they're not! They're not meeting people other than their own friends, they're not meeting new people like they would down the pub. I could just keep typing and telling you how glad I am that you get this and that you've publicised it. I love you man. Yes, I'm pissed. I'm so tempted to give you the password to the website and just let you take over, I really don't mind, although you don't live in London. You have the means to reach people.

Wake up you fuckers! If you live in London, join my network!

Leg-iron said...

Leafar - you are more famous than you know. People are scared that what you propose might be illegal. They know about it but are too worried about the Bogienanny to sign up. It's happening everywhere. Setting up an organisation for it is great. Build it, wait, it could be a while but they will come. As soon as they realise they have nowhere else to go.

As the rather weak Algernon said, people have no backbone any more. He just doesn't see what that means.

Speakeasies were once illegal but flourished anyway. Smokeeasies will do the same.

We cannot lose in the long run. Just slap the buggers down with defiance.

I love you man

If you're female you'll have my address in a second,. If you're male, well, 'harumph' we might one day meet in a very public place , perhaps a pub if there are any left (but never one with a CAMRA sign) and either way, we'll get very, very drunk.

Anonymous said...

Leafar again...

I'm a dude, dude. Our love will never be.

Why am I more famous than I know?

Anonymous said...

Great idea from Leafar!

You might also like this:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/alexmassie/5814511/life-in-donegal.thtml

Jay

TheBigYin said...

These members of F2C LI have their own 'pub' in their own house and make plenty of videos of them enjoying themselves with their mates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDdhDVqdJls

Leg-iron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leg-iron said...

BigYin - yep, we do that here.

The difference is that in the old days, I could just go into a pub on my own and strike up a conversation with someone I've never met. Now, well, I already know everyone at the Smoky-Drinky places and it's not common to see a new face.

What Leafar is suggesting would lead to much more mingling than the current group-of-friends arrangement. Back to striking up conversations with strangers.

Another step back towards real pub life.

Leafar said...

I've just left a mesage on Simon Clarke's blog (he'll be on radio 5 live tonight at midnight) asking if he could mention my network (http://londonsmokersvenues.ning.com/). Maybe he will, maybe he won't, but I wonder if there's anyone else with a popular blog who could mention it.

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