Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Attention Stony Stratford businessfolk.

Sell up quick. Take the money and run.

This is especially the case if you run a pub, club, restaurant, cafe, hotel or B&B. You know those customers who still visit even though they have to go outside to smoke?

Well, your councillors want to ban them from smoking outside your premises too. They have the full backing of ASH in this absolute ban on your customers venturing anywhere near your business.

Don't believe it will affect your business? Hate smokers anyway, and would be glad to see them banned from the town entirely? In that case, sit tight. In fact, buy up the businesses that are selling because you know, don't you, that a mysterious army of antismokers will flock to your town once the smokers are gone. Just as they did with the pubs.

All I can tell you is one smoker's experience. Before the ban I made use of cafes and restaurants and was in the pub at least once a week. I'd shop in the high street, have lunch in a cafe, and call in for a beer on the way home.

Now I shop in the supermarket or on the internet. I visit the town when I have to, to use the bank or post office and that's it. Straight there, straight back. I don't often even take my tobacco with me because even though smoking on the street isn't yet banned here it's just too much bother finding somewhere to smoke. Since I can't smoke with a beer or even a coffee, it's better to go home or call in at a friend's house on the way home.

My weekly pub visits are now annual visits and I don't care if I miss one. As for cafes and restaurants, I have not been in either since the ban. It's not just the pubs, you know. Shops are closing here, no matter what they sell, because the town is such an unwelcoming place for twenty percent of their customers that we are just not going there any more.

So, Stony Stratford, I encourage you to ban smoking entirely. Go on. Do it. The absolute destruction of the economy of one small town is the only way to get the point across, and you, Stony Stratford, are chosen to take the hit.

Not by smokers. We didn't choose any of this. I'm sure you'll blame us as the antismokers did when pubs closed. "It's the smokers' fault. They refused to keep supporting the pubs we banned them from, so it's all their fault the pubs died." Believe it if you want to. I don't care. It's your business and you are perfectly entitled to make clear that you don't want smokers spending money in it. You can even whine about us not supporting you after you've banned us if you want. You'll still be bust. We'll still be smoking. We'll still buy stuff, just not from you. The choice is yours.

Apparently Stony Stratford has some tourist industry. It lays claim to the origin of the 'cock and bull story', which does seem somehow fitting. However, pubs and the like cannot survive on a few summer weeks of trade. Once the regular customers go, the pubs go, and when the tourists arrive and find more and more premises boarded up, they stop coming too.

I know, I know, the smokophobes always respond with "When you smokers are banned, we antismokers will have clean diesel fumes to breathe and our businesses will thrive." Because it's only the smokers who will be affected. Smokers go around in little smoky groups. They don't have families or social groups in which some smoke and some don't. So it's just that twenty percent, nobody else, right?

Amanda Sandford, spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health, today praised the proposed ban.

Remember that name, Stony Stratford businesses.

‘Passive smoking is very unpleasant and we are already seeing the health benefits of the indoors ban with a fall in heart and lung disease.

This is an outright lie. Antismokers believe it because they want to and I say let them. Let them close all their local businesses. I don't care.

‘An unintended consequence of the indoor smoking ban is that more smokers are on the streets dropping litter and this ban would prevent that.

Unintended? It was an obvious consequence which even a retarded amoeba could have predicted. It was not unintended. It was a deliberate maneouver to the next stage. The next 'unintended consequence' will be parents smoking at home all the time and kippering the cheeeldren. That, also, is not unintended.

‘We have heard of councils banning smoking on play parks and beaches but this would be the first blanket ban on smoking in Britain.’

Bring it on. Turn that place into a ghost town. Send every business bankrupt. Show the rest of the country what such a ban really means.

Stony Stratfod is not New York. It does not have the mass of industry New York has. It does not have so much commerce that it's really difficult to move away or shop elsewhere. The New York public have ignored the outdoor ban and nobody is enforcing it. Who imagines that this will happen in Stony Stratford? There are smokophobes oiling up their cricket bats as I type.

I doubt the council will do it but I really, really hope they do.

Smokophobes, I know you don't believe a word of this and that's okay. I don't want you to believe it. I want you to invest in the smokefree land of Stony Stratford with every penny you can borrow. It will be a great success, you will live entirely smoke free and you'll never get cancer, asthma or any lung disease and you'll never die. Here is your chance to create an entirely smoke-free-town where not a whiff of tobacco smoke will ever be smelled. Go for it, it might be your only chance at Utopia.

For those who put business success above personal prejuduce, sell up quick. Before the story gets too widely known.

Best get the for-sale sign up tomorrow, because this story is making the rounds pretty fast now.


Mark Wadsworth said...

They covered that on Sky News just now.

"Oo-er" is all I can say.

Yes, the town will die, as you say it will. So we can spot the next argument before it's even reached the brow of the hill, and it goes like this:

"Sadly, some small-minded and anti-smokers have not supported Our Great Initiative and taken their business elsewhere, to the great detriment of SS (fitting abbreviation, think ye not?) so all we have to do now is to ban smoking everywhere else as well, then the trade would come back!"

Anonymous said...

Years ago when I was a mere boy I bought from one of those magic comics all boys loved to peruse at the time some fake cigarettes. They were, basically, tubes of cardboard with a painted filter on one end and talcum powder inside which puffed out what appeared to be smoke from a distance.
I am going to have so much fun again.
Oh my god youtube here we come.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

Flaming 'eck. When's it all going to end?

Xopher said...

Stoney Stratford will still champion their claim to being the Cock & Bull capital of Britain (and beyond).
They've a champion COCK spouting BULL?

Shinar's Basket Case said...

"All I can tell you is one smoker's experience."

It's not just your experience. Mirrors mine and every smoker I know. The internet is now my emporium and the coffee in my kitchen is cheaper and better than any cafe's.

I know of one smoker who turned down a dirty weekend, a hotel liaison with a beautiful but married woman, and not to him, because the Hotel in question doesn't allow smoking in their rooms.

Anonymous said...

"Councillor Robert Gifford, chairman of Stony Stratford Town Council, said the idea of a smoke-free town is ‘appealing’.

He said: ‘A result of the smoking ban is that smokers now go outside and drop their cigarette butts all over the streets."

"Amanda Sandford, spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health, today praised the proposed ban.

‘An unintended consequence of the indoor smoking ban is that more smokers are on the streets dropping litter and this ban would prevent that."

No shit, Sherlock(s).

So now Amanda is more concerned with the supposed litter her ban caused.

Fuck off and die.

Leg-iron said...

Mark - the commenters have already suggested it.

Anon - I remember those joke cigarettes, and the sweet cigarettes too.

£60aweek - it's not going to end until they go too far and even their drones are forced to say 'Hang on...'

That's a while away yet.

Xopher - soon they'll be the origin of the cockhead who talks bullshit. I look forward to that page on their website.

Leg-iron said...

Shinar BC - yes, I can point to a lot of friends who don't bother with the town centre any more too. If there was any honesty left in science, someone would study the effect. Although it would be an end-of-career publication. ASH would see to that.

Leg-iron said...

Anon - the issue of smokers outside was so predictable I can't believe that even the dopes in ASH hadn't forseen it.

So I don't believe it was an unintended consequence. I think it was part of the plan all along.

smokervoter said...

They could always convert the last surviving business into the Museum of Tolerance UK. The one in Los Angeles brings in oodles of visitors. Or how about the Museum of Entirely Predictable Unintended Consequences.

I hear that spiderweb silk is useful for artificial ligaments and tendons. That might work too.

Budvar said...

The way I see it is TPTB will like in this case push things too far.

The only reason pubs don't ignore the ban is come licence time the council will deny a landlord said licence.

This is why the smoking ban is pretty much self policing, as if there was no come back on a landlord for allowing smoking and only said smokers were fined, the ban would be unenforceable as any pusilanimous little shit writing out tickets would end up in a untidy pile in the gutter.

Any outside smoking ban is totally unenforceable for precisely the reasons outlined above.

Anonymous said...

Never really thought about it but I've not been to a cafe or restaurant since the smoking ban either. Unforseen consequences.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Amanda Sandford, spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health, today praised the proposed ban.

Retarded Amoeba Sandford, spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health, today praised the proposed ban.

Google an image of Amanda Sandford. Makes you want cancer, doesn't it?

Slamlander said...

Hey Leggy, it's already affecting tourism. They're already not getting my Swiss Franc and most of the brit ex-pats here ain't going back unless they have to either. Us non-brits have no reason to go there and is business requires it, we try to get them to leave the UK rather than us go there.

On the Continent, the UK is becoming both a laughing-stock and a pariah.

BTW, the icon that I use everywhere is a charicature of myself, smoking. A drawing of a person smoking that is made by that person, is that 7th hand smoke?

Nox said...

Well, I guess that means no more gigs at the Bowl then, (the only reason to go to MK if you ask me). Shame really.

selsey.steve said...

From a commenter over at Freedom-2-Choose:-

The man has always been a cunt, it seems.

Humph said...

This country is just shit.

It is turning into the living definition of a Kafkaesque dystopia, it just makes me feel like my head is going to fucking explode.

smokey bacon said...

me and my smoking mates have started playing a game.
On the rare occasions we venture into town,we'll go into an empty cafe,order 4 huge fried breakfasts,4 puddings,4 teas - and wait for the guy to calculate the total - then ask him if smoking is allowed - of course it isn't - we apologise, cancel the food and walk out.In a voice loud enough for the cafe owner to hear - we say something like - "wow chef just lost 40 quids worth of business there - its a wonder he can carry on".
We've done it in pubs too - but it can get a bit shirty because barmen tend to start pouring drinks as soon as the order is given.
They need to see their lost trade.Just staying away from their businesses isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

I remember those fake ciggies. They were brilliant. My mum even thought I was really smoking and gave me a right wallop.

I am an ex-smoker but don't judge those who still choose to smoke. When I go down t't pub wiv me mates I don't care if they have a fag - sometimes I go outside with them and enjoy the waft of smoke and the smell of the odd Marlborough Light ;).

RIP Stoney Stratford. If it happens it's just another nail in the coffin of freedom.

Remember death cigarettes? What an hilarious bit of branding.

Bill Sticker said...

Better move your business to Birmingham, just down the road. Local MP's are trying to get the pub ban modified or even lifted.

Tattyfalarr said...

"I know of one smoker who turned down a dirty weekend, a hotel liaison with a beautiful but married woman, and not to him, because the Hotel in question doesn't allow smoking in their rooms."
Wow, that's one idiot smoker...note I am not judging the affair part just the reason for not indulging.
Couldn't he have just smoked in the bathroom with the shower on hot water only and a can of strong air freshener at the ready the rest of us do ? Premier inns have signs up warning the steam may set off the alarm anyway.
I don't think hotels give a toss whether you smoke or not and will turn a blind eye to the smell of smoke after you've left. It's just that IF they catch you they are legally obliged to deal with it which tends to piss people off and they lose custom.

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for this having done it myself, the shower on hot, lots of steam and fag away.

Of course you can still find hotels that having smoking rooms, if you look hard enough.

Paul said...

Funny, I always wanted to go to Stony Stratford. I don't think I want to go any more, if that's how they think down that way. What utter arseholes.

They really couldn't have made it more obvious that they hate smokers if they had put a huge banner up saying "FUCK ALL SMOKERS - WE HOPE YOU DIE OF CANCER".

Or something. I say this as non-smoker getting a bit nostalgic for the smell of a pub with smoke, the pints of mild being poured, the pork scratchings on the bar...

Still, the local bottle shops are doing well out of the idiotic short-sightedness of the pubs...

Anonymous said...

@ Paul, it's only one arsehole Independent Alderman, how he would get powers granted is a moot point no?

Still doesn't stop him being a real cunt's cunt.

James Higham said...

This is in the area of vicious now.

Ann said...

Can anyone tell me how on earth you can ban something what is perfectly legal? I wonder if he wants to ban all the motor cars from his town too. The man's a complete moron.

Anonymous said...

Well, as it happens, I'm just planning a short break away in this country for a few days. No prizes for guessing where I won't be going, then!

Thanks for the tip, Leggy!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Leg-iron

In half an hour it will be National Smoking Day.


I'll cadge a few from a friend and share them around all my other non-smoking friends.

I wonder if there is a market for candy cigarettes and chocolate cigars?


all over the bloody shop said...

i opened my wardrobe this morning and found it had been converted into a tesco express - absolutely fucking marvellous.

bourne free (megalomania-in-law) said...

An unintended consequence of the indoor smoking ban is that more smokers are on the streets dropping litter and this ban would prevent that.

there are many ways to eradicate littering - multi-racial genocide springs to mind - and it would eliminate quite a few other annoying habits too.

gregor samson said...


bet you're not even allowed to smoke in the cunt.

mayfair's law said...


I know of one smoker who turned down a dirty weekend, a hotel liaison with a beautiful but married woman, and not to him, because the Hotel in question doesn't allow smoking in their rooms.

clearly a man of principle - the sort on which britain was built. nevertheless, the most probable fate of this hotel is a catastrophic inflagration caused by an illicit smoker attempting to conceal his burning crime of passion from an interruptive chambermaid - i'd stay well clear of the joint, if i were you.

jack the puffer said...

full-marks stony stratford, this legislation must surely lead to a better safer society - personally, i always felt a hideous guilt after smoking in taverns and violating the bodies of young ladies with my second-hand fumes.

Anonymous said...

The smokers of this Stony place should act NOW! They should be reporting the sight of every piece of litter to Milton Keynes local authority, and demanding its removal IMMEDIATELY on the grounds of health risks. Also, of course, all birds should in the Stony place should be shot because of the health risk of bird poo.

Go for it, smokers of Milton Kynes! Start NOW! Email the local authority about the crisp packet you saw under a hedge. DO IT! "Alderman Wet Blanket has drawn my attention to the dangers of spittle on cigarette ends. I was not aware of this. There is a cigarette end in xxx street. Kindly remove it at once. I have a photograph of it with the date. If you do not remove it at once, I will report the matter to ASH"

That'll sort them out.

Anonymous said...

Junican - that's a brill idea. For good measure smokers could also inform the local rag of all complaints about non-tobacco litter and the reasons why they're complaining (potential tourists faced with mountains of litter even if smoking banned, loss of revenue in these hard times etc)


Anonymous said...

I actually know Stony (as its known to most of the locals) extremely well, having lived in the area for about 50 years.
It's an expanded market town on the edge of Milton Keynes that's managed to retain a sort of independence and identity in spite of the new city.
There's no industry there. Its economy is service-based with lots of pubs, restaurants, fast food outlets, hotels and various other places you can stay.
As you suggest, I can see this smoking ban as a death sentence for the town.
I am really fucking glad we moved to France and away from the growing nightmare of prohibitive, prescriptive and authoritarian Britain.
OK, you can't smoke in bars or restaurants here, but I really can't see a ban extending to whole towns here. I also believe that the idea just wouldn't occur to anyone - the French mindset wouldn't entertain it for a second.
I know of Bartlett - he's a cunt. Always was and always will be. It doesn't surprise me that he's doing this but it saddens me that such a shithead can have the power over basic freedoms, quote junk science and be allowed to spout so much fucking garbage.

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