Thursday, 8 April 2010

Government-sanctioned violence.

There was once a woman who smoked. She went outside to smoke because if she didn't she would be fined and so would the establishment she was in. Outside, alone in the dark, she was attacked and raped.

Apparently, the deadliness of second hand and third hand smoke does not deter rapists. There has been no word from ASH or the government on this issue. They are still partying because a smoker was attacked as a direct result of their actions. Make no mistake, the Dreadful Arnott is delighted at the news. (Debbie dear - you have no way out of this one. Please, make the attempt.)

If that premises had not been forced by law to be non-smoking, if it had had a choice, it might still have been non-smoking anyway. Therefore you might argue that this attack would have happened anyway. You would be wrong.

If the premises had a choice, so would every other. The smoking woman would not have visited the non-smoking premises if a smoking premises were available nearby. No such premises exists, nor is it allowed to exist by law. Anyone attempting to set up such a premises will be prosecuted, even though it would only be frequented by smokers and would therefore not trouble the delicate nostrils of those who don't like the smell.

Frank Davis draws a parallel with the Protestant/Catholic battle of 1549. He is exactly right. Catholicism was banned, but some Catholics held secret Catholic masses in private. They could not possibly offend the Protestants, they could not even be seen or heard, but they were attacked nonetheless. It was banned, and even if everyone on the premises wants to do it, even if nobody at all is troubled by it in the slightest, it is banned and that's that. Dissent from State decree invites punishment, even if the action causes no harm or inconvenience to anyone else.

Here it is again. All I hear as justification is 'I don't like the smell'. Well, that's fine. I have in the past proposed setting up a smoker's club, staffed by smokers with only smokers allowed as members. That is not allowed. No antismoker would be even slightly troubled by its existence but they will not allow it. We must do as we are told and soon, just like those priest holes in houses from the 1500's, we will have smoker-holes in our own homes so we can hide when the authorities come to arrest us. So the time for compromise has passed. We tried, you refused.

There are even those who seek to make this draconian ban retrospective. JuliaM points to the story of the taxi driver who was arrested for refusing to let a passenger smoke in his cab, over twenty years ago. At that time, a cab that was effectively not available for hire was breaking the terms of its licence. The cabbie wants retrospective exoneration because now, it is not illegal for him (or anyone) to tell a smoker to clear off and it would in fact be illegal for him to allow anyone to smoke in his cab.

Well, if he succeeds, every past and present publican can be prosecuted for allowing smoking before the smoking ban. Publicans, even if you no longer own a pub, beware of Labour's retrospective lawmaking. They have form.

But, when you look at that story in detail, some interesting things emerge. Firstly, he did not refuse to take the customer. He refused to allow smoking in his cab. That sounds fair enough, it's a private cab and therefore private premises. The customer wanted a smoke on the way to where he was going, the cabbie had asthma, so the two actions were incompatible. From reading, it seems that the customer accepted the cabbie's reasoning and agreed to wait for the next cab. The customer did not initiate any prosecution. It was an amicable arrangement between two individuals and there was no need for the State to be involved at all.

A traffic warden, a State employee totally uninvolved in the discussion, saw what happened and it was he who decided on the prosecution. The State, just like in 1549, could not accept that two adults could come to an arrangement that benefited both and harmed nobody, because it was against their rules.

I agree that the cab driver should never have been prosecuted but under the law at that time, he was prosecuted. Several bar owners are being prosecuted now for allowing their adult customers to engage in an adult pastime on their premises, harming nobody. Neither is fair, neither makes any sense, just as it made no sense to raid private homes in 1549 and arrest people for praying in Latin. The law is, and always has been, an ass. Even so, changing the rules and making them retrospective makes the law a complete irrelevance. If the law can change tomorrow to make whatever you do today illegal, then nobody has any idea what the law is now. That is worse than anarchy.

Worse, the NHS contains doctors who decide whether you live or die based on your lifestyle choices. Tipped by Dick Puddlecote - A doctor has been revealed as withholding oxygen treatment from smokers. Now, I just bet there are a few out there thinking 'Good. Let them die'. They will also be rejoicing at the rape of that woman smoker. Just like the Catholics in 1549, we are not really human, are we? Go on, admit it, you want to drive the trucks, and help dig the mass graves. The thought really gets your juices flowing, doesn't it? Aren't you so looking forward to being the one who turns the tap on the gas chamber? I bet you even have the uniform all pressed and ready to wear. Remember, when the time comes, all you have to say is 'I vos only obeyink orders'.

"I don't want my taxes paying for filthy smokers to use the NHS". I am a filthy smoker. I pay tax and NI. I have made no use at all of the NHS for about twenty years. I do not want to pay for you to use it, but I have to anyway. It is not my choice to fund it, as it is not yours. You have no choice. Someone takes that money from you by force. That someone is not 'the smokers', 'the drinkers', 'the fat people'. Can you see who your real enemy is yet? No? Maybe, one day, you will. Until then, you have chosen me as your enemy and it's game on.

The nurse who revealed this doctor's decision to play Lifestyle God has been sacked. The doctor has not. So, let's hear the old 'it's just a few individuals, not the whole establishment' line and then tell me how such a doctor could still be in post while the woman who actually tried to save lives is out of work. She also spoke of nurses saving up excess medication and using it months later. That stuff has expiry dates, you know. It's not just smokers who will die from out-of-date medications. It's one of the reasons I don't go there. Aside from the fact they charge me to tell me I'm scum, of course.

The NHS contains, and defends, doctors who withhold treatment from smokers that they would give to the real people. We are not considered worth saving by the NHS. Oh, we are definitely considered worth squeezing for the cash to pay for it, but if we ever try to use it, "we are costing the taxpayer money". Let me try to put this in simple terms for the extraordinarily simple antismokers out there.

I AM A TAXPAYER.

I pay income tax, NI, council tax, and a load of duty on cigarettes and booze - more than average - with VAT on top. Do not presume to tell me I am costing you money. I am not using the NHS. I do not claim benefits. I am paying for you to use it and in some cases, antismokers, I am paying your benefits, your child support, your tax credits and pensions too. So take your 'you are costing me money' whine and shove it where the smoke don't blow.

We can be refused employment because we smoke. We can be refused entry to anywhere because we smoke. We cannot object to that, although anyone else can. We are not permitted to set up smokers-only licenced premises. As soon as it has a licence - bam - smoking is banned. We are restricted in what sort of businesses we can run and in which buildings we can enter. With third hand smoke, we will be refused entry soon enough. The NHS can just let us die and that's fine with the antismokers. Smokers can be attacked and raped and the antismokers cheer. Does any of this sound familiar yet?

You antismokers are turning into Nazis and Communists and the Inquisition and Witchfinders and those early Protestants who dragged Catholics out and killed them. You are the same thing, all over again. You are the start of the next great pogrom. You are the SS guards and the camp kommandants. You are Matthew Hopkins's sidekicks and the East German Stasi. You are the red-caped cardinals of 15th-century Spain and the vicious killers of Pol Pot's regime. You are the ones who knit at the guillotine and cheer at the burning stake. You are all these things because although you have not realised it, they were all, all of them, ordinary people.

Just like you.

All it took was a clever campaign to convince you that one group of people - doesn't matter who - are evil and out to get you. You are frightened and you believe in the enemy you have been told is coming for you.

This government has turned you into a mob, and the next will continue on the same lines because you are useful to them. When a smoker is attacked, you are there, knitting at that guillotine. When a landlord is prosecuted for allowing smoking, there you are again, cheering as the stake burns. The government says it's okay to do these things so you do them. Soon, you come to enjoy them. Violence is such fun, isn't it? The only reason humans don't do so much of it is because there are consequences. Well, the government protects you from those consequences so you can play at the games you see in films like 'Hostel' and 'Saw' and the government will pat you on the back and smile. As long as you do it to one of the groups they hate.

Look into that mirror. There is an evil afoot in this land. There is an especially vicious breed of people, a new mob of witchfinders and Stasi and SS and Gestapo and Thought Police and Sandmen and Inquisition and every rampaging, unthinking mob throughout history. Every one of them, real or fictional, was Government sponsored. Ordinary people do the deed and take the blame. Ordinary people rip the entrails from the victims and those who nudged them forward can say 'Not me'.

Look deep into that mirror. Antismoker. Witchfinder. Stasi. Gestapo.

Look hard at the face you see there. Antismoker. Thought police. Inquisition. Kommandant.

Look into your own eyes and tell yourself - not me, yourself - that this time it's different. This time you have not been duped by a government bent on total control. This time your enemy today was not your friend yesterday. This time you have not turned on your own family members because they are the 'wrong type of human'. Tell yourself those things.

And believe it.

Then decide who you will vote for.

45 comments:

Mr. A said...

Brilliant post.

Anonymous said...

You write very well. You explain the situation quite clearly. It's a very good story. In olden days you might have been writing for the press, back when the papers actually wrote something worthwhile, not like today's garbage in the mainstream papers, magazines and TV written by witless morons.

apocalypse nowish said...

Great post, as usual. I also noticed that a diplomat from Qatar caused a bit of an uproar trying to smoke onboard a Boeing 757 yesterday.

Anyway, not that I’m saying you or anyone else should give up, but doing snus instead of smoking, as any real Swedish male, have several positive attributes smoking don’t. You can do snus everywhere without harming anyone around you, and it actually has a positive effect on your teeth, it don’t affect your lungs and little or no effect on the possibility of cancer.

So of course it illegal by EU decree except for personal usage. Sweden almost didn’t become members of EU so they changed EU laws for us and so we voted yes. Without snus we wouldn’t have.

60 Minutes - Lesley Stahl tries to understand the phenomena of Snus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8r9gJVLJ90

TheBigYin said...

I just have to repost this LI, I just have to, with your kind permission. All the frustrations and tensions I have build up since this fucking ban came into being poured out of me when reading this today and the tears are welling up in my eyes as I type.

Superb, truthful, insightful piece of writing. BRAVO.

Simon Fawthrop said...

But you miss the main point - if this woman hadn't been an eeeevil smoker inflicting 50th hand smoke and smells on us all she wouldn't have been outside and therefore wouldn't have been raped. So smoking not only causes all those horrible diseases it causes rape as well.

So, in the interests of you eeevil smokers all women of rapeable age will be banned from smoking anywhere other than their own home, unless they have children, or grand children, or might have children or might have friends who have friends who might have children......

You have nowhere to hide from their logic.

PT Barnum said...

Powerful stuff. Those ubiquitous black and red signs (Smoking is not permitted yada yada) remind me more and more of the No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs signs of yore. How much longer before the word 'smoking' is replaced with 'smokers'?

Uncle Marvo said...

Good stuff there, Mr Leg.

Only thing I'd take issue with is that you've been suckered, you say "I pay tax and NI".

They are the same, but I think you know that.

BTW I'm a filthy smoker, and the tax I pay on fags alone is enough to run the NHS. I expect to be at the front of the queue if I need treatment, those clean smokefreers can get to the back.

Snakey said...

You are, of course, absolutely correct in your assessment.

Speaking of Nazis - The Digital Economy Bill was passed last night. The bill isn't about copyright of course (smoke and mirrors) - it's about squashing freedom of speech, using copyright as an excuse. Wikileaks, blogs and other dissenting sites are now under threat. Check out Clause 18.

Uncle Marvo said...

That Clause 18?

Oleuanna said...

I can't help but feel there are some anti-smokers out there muttering *she got what she deserved, see what happens when you smoke!*

prm said...

Someone with more time on their hands might find the exact figures, but when the usual 'should smokers pay more/be denied' questions came up once someone looked into this, and found that smokers pay more tax then their treatment cost (might have been twice as much).

TheBigYin said...

PRM, the figures have been done. Tobacco taxes ten billion, cost to health services for so called 'smoking related' diseases 2.7 billion although the likes of ASH are trying to inflate this to around 18 billion by taking into account such rubbish as time taken off by workers, smoke breaks etc.

smockr said...

absolutely brilliant.

add to the deadliness of smoking people falling out of hotel windows (trying to smoke, 2 in my country) and brainwashed doctors lecturing people on their smoking habits instead of listening to what they're saying. (1 dead child, doctor overheard parents concern about the child possibly having swallowed a battery)

@apocalypse nowish: although your alternative is a viable one - i use tobacco bits myself when i have to - you miss the point: we want to smoke, we don't want to be lectured about our choice of lifestyle.

prm said...

TBY, cheers. I imagine that that 'smoking related' diseases figure is inflated bullshit too; it'll basically be anything that can plausibly be attributed to smoking, or any illness had by a smoker.

Uncle Marvo said...

@smockr:

"we don't want to be lectured about our choice of lifestyle"

At the risk of being branded homophobic, I don't want to be lectured about putting lit things in my mouth and sucking them, by someone who is sticking part of his anatomy in a part of a Brazilian's anatomy where it doesn't belong, while the dog watches.

Now, take your Clause 18 and try to do something about THAT.

Ἕκτωρ said...

I don't think you can draw the lines as clearly as smoker / non-smoker. I don't smoke cigarettes and hate the smell, etc, but that's not to say I'm in favour of it being banned. Like any sensible person I can decide whether there is too much smoke somewhere for my liking. Also, I do occasionally like a cigar and remember being accosted by a guy in a club who was smoking a cigarette (before the ban, obviously), asking why I had brought in this horrible, smoking, foul smelling object to ruin everyone's night. I laughed in his face at the irony. Even within smokers there are different levels!

I can also back up ANowish with the snus. It's great stuff and doesn't make your snot all black like snuff....

Frank Davis said...

we will have smoker-holes in our own homes so we can hide when the authorities come to arrest us.

I hadn't thought of that!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Leg-iron

Smokers are now terrorists:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100408/twl-plane-toilet-smoker-causes-terror-al-41f21e0.html

Expect one to be shot imminently.

DP

blame the rapists and muggers just for a change said...

Leggy.
Why is it always someone elses fault when we are the victim of crime and never the perpetrator ?
Get your car nicked. Oh you twat why didn't you park it under a lampost or get that tracker system fitted. Mugged in the street. Silly old woman ,imagine carrying her pension home in broad daylight why didn't she get a relative to escort her. House broken into. Idiot where's the alarm system and automatic lights ?
Knocked down in the street by a speeding driver. FFS why didn't you look before stepping out onto the road ?
Why don't we JUST FOR ONCE , blame the fuckin robbin murdering raping scum who infest our streets ?
Just a question.

The Merry Man said...

Excellent post Mr Iron,

Withholding oxygen eh,well some one should withhold his oxygen and see how he like`s it.

@-blame the rapists and muggers just for a change...

I think the point is that if the Government were not so draconian and authoritarian in their nannying the poor woman would not be put in a position were she had to go outside alone in the dark to lawfully smoke.

blame the rapists.... said...

The Merry Man..

Yes I can see leggy's point but I've never been able to go into pubs ( well for the last 10 years )due to emphysemia and have had to sit outside with friends getting the usual abuse and banter from passing drunks. With the occasional bout of violence. I can now go into pubs and do feel safer.
I feel sorry for the lady but smoking isn't an addiction but something people do through enjoyment. She could have refrained from smoking for the evening. If eating crisps inside a bar became illegal then although I enjoy eating crisps I wouldn't go outside to eat them as it's too dangerous especially at night in a town .
There are sadly thousands of rapes each year in the UK and to pick on this rape as an excuse to ban people like myself from bars isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

So, smokers (who smoke because they enjoy it) should quit for the night to avoid getting raped or beaten up.

Unbelievable..

BTW, what law bans you from entering a bar?

John L said...

I understand your frustrations and anger - I am just as frustrated and angry at the way this country has been destroyed in recent years.

But - I am a non-smoker, never smoked, never wanted too - and I am getting pissed of at all this being done in my name on my behalf. It isn't. AS A NON-SMOKER I DID NOT ASK FOR ANY OF THIS, I AM AGAINST THE BAN AS MUCH AS YOU ARE.

I used to got to smoking pubs, never bothered me. I have friends that smoke, doesn't bother me. If smoking was still allowed in pubs I would still go. I would eat at a non-smoking place or in a non-smoking area if I could but drink in the smokey pubs. Now pubs aren't the same, they are lifeless, soulless and empty.

I work with smokers, doesn't bother me. All I ask is that you please don't smoke in my office/house/car - but as these are "my spaces" then please respect my wishes. When I come to your office/car/house smoke all you want, I won't complain as this is "your space" so I respect that. Simple really.

I work a lot in Europe. they have sensible compromises that work so what is it about the UK psyche that breeds the socialist, control freak, interfering, do as I tell you, busybody, do-gooder, everything-enjoyable-must-be-banned idiots? Can someone please tell me?

Anonymous said...

Ditto

Fellow NS

blame the rapists said...

Anon


I was effectively banned from bars due to my ill health.
With smokers having to go outside to smoke they should be aware of the dangers of sitting outside in the UK when there are no deterrents to criminals.
Similar to the dangers of walking home, standing at a taxi rank, not locking your doors, walking in a park etc.
I was attacked waiting at a taxi rank once. I was only getting a taxi because of the new drink driving laws. Previously I just drove home pissed up. I was safer driving pissed up than standing at a taxi rank but I had no choice as I didn't want to lose my licence. Sometimes I don't drink so I can drive home afterwards.

Willy said...

btrs

If you drive pissed on a road you share with sober drivers and pedestrians,they would logically object to you putting them at risk.

If you smoke in a smoke room, or cigar bar, with other smokers, who don't object to the risk....

Do you see the difference?

Willy said...

My dad tells the story of a non smoking pub that operated just down the road from him, before the smoke ban.

It used to do good business as all the people who didn't want to be in a smokey pub went there.

Ironically the pub closed down recently, another victim of the smoking ban.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, Leggy. I just wish that your blog could be got out to an even wider audience. This article should be printed off and sent out to all non-smokers, everywhere, right now. And not just the antis, either, because to my mind almost as culpable in this whole sorry episode of the triumph of bullying over humanity are all those non-smokers out there who simply did NOTHING in the run-up to the ban and have done nothing since. Most of them just weren’t “bovvered” (“Doesn’t affect me, so why should I care?”) and of those who could see the way things were going few if any (and none at all that I know of) actually did anything to stand up for those people who, let’s face it, in these “smoker = invisible” days, simply aren’t in a position to stand up for themselves.

As I said a while back in a post on one of Frank D’s blog items (and I’m copying here, so I’m cheating, but hey – I wrote it all out the first time!), down through history, no matter what’s written about Women’s Lib, Gay Pride or the Black is Beautiful movements, all the exhortations and protests of persecuted minorities wash over those in power like water off a duck’s back – no matter how large those groups are or how unhappy and angry they might be – until, that is, members of the public who are not part of those groups start speaking out, loudly, on their behalf. Then there’s change. Without the support of fair-minded men, women would still be stuck in the kitchen popping out babies and wondering what to do for the old man for his tea; without publicly-displayed tolerance and acceptance by heterosexual people, all but the very boldest of gay people would still by and large be firmly in the closet; without the vocal and active support of the white population, segregation would still rule in the southern states of the USA and it would still be legal to have “no coloureds” signs in B&B’s. Who knows what a different turn of history there might have been, for example, if large numbers of non-Jewish Germans had spoken out against the increasingly draconian and cruel prejudice against their Jewish friends, neighbours and colleagues, rather than simply staying silent or, worse still, colluding with it?

Non-smokers, no matter how “smoker-tolerant” they like to believe they are, should all, to a man, be forced by law to read this item, for make no bones about it, the future of their own consciences depends upon them recognising the part which they have played in this State-legitimised discrimination and the part which, if it continues unchecked, they will find themselves playing in the future. And to all of those non-smokers on here saying that they agree with your sentiments – which I don’t doubt for a second – I would ask them to consider, when push comes to shove and the canvassers come knocking on their door over the next four weeks, how many of them agree with those sentiments enough to make it a specific issue which they, as declared non-smokers, will be taking up with whoever is tasked with the job of “harvesting” their particular vote?

PS: Oh, and Leggy – just remind me never to fall out with you ……..

Leg-iron said...

John L - the Muslims have never asked for Christmas to be banned, most gay people don't want Stonewall stirring things up, women did not request women-only shortlists and most black people don't want to live in little ghettoes. Most of those groups just want to get on with their lives and get along with everyone else.

I know the non-smokers are not the ones who called for the ban, I use Frank Davis's distinction now and refer to 'antismokers'. Nonsmokers are not all antismokers, just as Muslims are not all Jihadis.

It's not an easy distinction to make clear but I hope it will become clear as this progresses.

An antismoker is, in effect, a crazed fundamentalist nonsmoker. Sort of the Westboro Baptist Church of nonsmokers.

I'll have to work on a definition, unless Frank beats me to it.

Leg-iron said...

Ἕκτωρ - see above. In all groups there are a range of people. I can chat with the Muslim owner of the kebab shop after I've been in the pub and he has never shown any sign of any problem with me having been boozing. I don't like kebabs but he does a fantastic pakora and chips. The perfect businessman in fact - he does pizza too. If there's a demand for it, he'll get it. Which is why he's outlasted most of the other shops in the high street.

Some Muslims would have me whipped for drinking. Most don't care at all.

Nonsmoker/antismoker - there's a big difference.

Leg-iron said...

Blame the rapists - if you have emphysema, bronchitis, any lung disease, you are sensible to stay clear of smoking. Just as anyone with milk intolerance should stay away from cheese. It's just common sense.

It seems to me that smoking is pretty much like any other vice. Overdo it and you get sick. If you're sensitive to it, avoid it.

If I'm trapped indoors for extended periods by the weather (as recently) and it's not a good idea to open the windows, and I'm smoking more than normal, I'll get a cough. If I cut back on the smoking and/or (as now) it's mild enough to open a window and spend some time outside, the cough goes away.

If I drink too much it will hurt the next day. If I overeat I'll put on weight. But how much is too much?

It's different for everyone. Half a bottle of whisky, for me, will slow my typing. Some people it will kill. Others will not even be tipsy.

I use a lot of salt, but I have low blood pressure so that's actually a good thing. If I had high blood pressure, the salt I use would be too much.

If I had a lung disease I would avoid smoke. If I had lactose intolerance I would not eat cheese. If I had a peanut allergy I would avoid peanuts. If I had hepatitis I would have to cut back a little on the whisky.

Some people have multiple cats. Being near a cat gives me symptoms like the flu. Fortunately, cats don't like me very much anyway.

The trouble is, our government and our health service see us as if there is a Haynes manual for the human. Interchangeable parts and every unit the same. It's not like that.

It's nowhere near like that. Blanket legislation is always going to annoy a large chunk of the population.

They just can't see it.

Leg-iron said...

Blame the rapists - I don't want to ban you from bars. I know how that feels and it's not pleasant at all.

What I want is for those bar owners to be able to choose. Non-smoking (partially or entirely) bars existed before the ban. The Crown at the bottom of Penllwyn Hill in Wales (showing my age!) had a non-smoking section many years before the ban. It was surrounded by a triangle of main road, and had a no smoking section...

But you do miss one point. You say that the woman could have refrained from smoking - she did, inside the bar, because she was obliged to - and enjoyed the evening without doing something she enjoys doing. Do you see?

For we smokers, smoking and drinking are things that go together. We want to enjoy the combination of a drink and a smoke.

Without being attacked.

Are we asking too much? Keep in mind when you say that you don't want to be effectively banned from pubs, that you are speaking to people who are, right now, effectively banned from pubs.

We don't like it either.

Leg-iron said...

Frank - if you can work those smoker-holes into that novel of yours, please do!

Leg-iron said...

Anon - everything on this blog is free to copy anywhere. Modify it if you like.

It's all just words, and I know loads of them ;)

Leg-iron said...

The smoking diplomat took an interesting turn...

Anonymous said...

BTR,

You’re confusing “not being able to go somewhere” with “being banned from somewhere”. In the first instance you are prevented by circumstances from being able to go where you choose; in the second a rule imposed by someone else prevents you from going there. Can you see the difference?

Think about it this way. If the Government had decided not, after all, to ban smoking in pubs, but had thought instead that “for the good of their health” people with lung conditions such as yours should not be allowed to go into them, the net result would be no change for you in terms of your behaviour – you weren’t able to go into pubs anyway. But can you honestly say - hand on heart and on your loved one’s lives - that you would feel the same way about your situation after any such ban had been brought in as you did before it?

Ἕκτωρ said...

Leg Iron, I understand, but a lot of smokers who say they don't understand why there is such a fuss will suddenly become very whiney and anti-smokery if you shove a big cigar in their face. I suppose I am trying to defend the non-smoker position, as John L said.

As far as standing up for smokers, why bother. My girlfriend runs a pub and it is a massive headache. The local residents don't want people outside making noise and it is illegal for them to be inside smoking. It has got to the point where the council put the pub on review and only because there is always someone outside telling people to be quiet have they not had their license revoked. The company she works for is not doing anything, despite owning 000's of pubs, smokers haven't managed to rally around any sort of common flag. How are non-smokers supposed to lend their support to a load of disparate individuals with a spectrum of smoking tolerance themselves?

Snakey said...

@ Uncle Marvo

Re the DEB: "The Bill will pass without the hugely controversial site-blocking clause 18, but in its place will be a convenient and even more worrying amendment to clause 8. This will allow the Secretary of State for Business to block “a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright”."

blame the rapists said...

Leg iron. You haven't been banned from pubs. You enjoy a cigarette with a pint. I appreciate that. But it used to mean that I couldn't go into a bar because of this.
Cigarettes are non addictive and are purely for enjoyment so what harm does it do to you to refrain from smoking on your night out ? If having crisps with a pint was banned then I wouldn't bother with crisps. I certainly wouldn't go outside for a packet in the pouring rain and forced to put up with drunks and god knows who else fighting or arguing with the bouncers to get into the bar.

Anon...

I was effectively banned from going into pubs. Whatever way you say it. Smoking is non addictive and something people enjoy. Can't you appreciate that the smoking ban has allowed people like myself access to bars ? There's no need to stand outside a bar smoking. Enjoy a cigarette when you get home.

Leg-iron said...

Blame the rapists - Well, how about going out for the evening and not drinking? Would that be enjoyable for you?

It would make it a bit pointless, wouldn't it? Because you're going out to relax and enjoy yourself.

You don't like smoking, I enjoy it. Going out for the evening and not smoking is, to me, like going to the cinema with a blindfold on. It's only half the experience.

You can have a non-smoking pub and I don't object to that. I can't have a smoking pub. Not one, not anywhere.

Sure, I can cope without smoking when I need to. On buses and trains, in a non-smoker's car, even at the airport where they pen the smokers in for hours with no choice but to be bored. There used to be smoking areas, well away from anyone who might not like it. Before the ban there were smoking areas with such strong ventilation that even if you were in there, you couldn't smell smoke. Now, we just have to sit and be bored.

When I go out for the evening I want to enjoy myself. If you make sitting in the pub just like sitting in a departures lounge, it's not enjoyable.

Before the ban, there were non-smoking pubs and cafes. We had a choice.

Now, you have it all, you have the force of law and the full weight of the Righteous backing you up. and you really can't be surprised that we aren't happy about that.

We've tried asking for compromise. There is no compromise available. We have tried talking but nobody is listening. So now we have no choice but to go all out and fight for it all.

It was never my preferred option, but no other option is now available.

blame the rapists said...

leg Iron
I often go out for the night and don't drink. If it's my turn to drive. It's ok. Especially with the clean air in pubs these days.
I'd be happy with smoking and non smoking pubs.
For centuries smokers have been able to enjoy a pint with their tobacco in the warmth of a bar. People like myself have missed out on the pleasure of just sitting in a bar and enjoying a pint. You aren't so selfish as to want your cake and eat it are you ? And ignore people with asthma etc ?

John said...

LegIron,

I understand and agree.

It's all about 3 words - divide and conquer.

You and all the other bloggers keep up the good fight against the "Righteous" (I can think of other names but yours is a good one) and spread the word. I do what I can in small ways arguing with authority (annoys the wife though), I just wish more people would but they are now sheeple just as our glorious leaders wanted, dumbed down and stupid and fed on reality TV, celebrities and sport.

Pisses me of and depresses me at the same time to see what has happened to a country that once dragged the world out of the dark ages has become in a few short decades.

Leg-iron said...

Blame the rapists - see, now you are telling me that I am selfish for wanting to smoke in a pub, a pub which it is likely you have never heard of, never visited and never will. You tell me I am selfish because I don't agree with having that pub and indeed every pub available for your personal use should you ever happen to visit.

In fact, it is available for your personal use even if you never become aware of its existence.

I would also be happy with smoking and non smoking pubs. We cannot have that. Our opponent will not compromise and is in fact pushing further forward all the time. They have enforced a ban on private business, next they want that ban extended into private homes.

They will not compromise. They will not stop. It is not my preference to fight for total removal of all non-smoking areas but I have no option. No possibility of a middle ground exists. The enemy is bent on eradication and will not contemplate a truce.

The only way to fight them is with their own methods and on their own terms. So, no compromise.

I don't like those terms of combat but those are the enemy's terms and if we don't respond in kind,we are finished.

Anonymous said...

BTR,

I can only assume from your not-very-direct answers to my previous quesions that the answer to both is, in fact, "no." So, thank you for that. I guess a heavily-veiled answer is better than none at all.

No matter, though. Within a much shorter time than you think, the Righteous will be onto your own, sinful pint of ale. Every night will be a "driving" night then, even when you're not driving - but then, as you say, you don't have a problem with that, do you? Cherryade all round then!

PS: Don't you think, also, that it's a touch - well - hypocritical, really, to style yourself "Blame the rapists" and then go on, effectively, to cast at least a portion of the blame onto the tourist who was attacked because she couldn't "refrain from smoking?" I do hope she wasn't wearing a short skirt as well ......

Canadian41 said...

Great Post Leg Iron!

I prefer to call them tobacco prohibitionists. People have some
dim memory of prohibition over here and their goal is to remove tobacco from the planet.

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