Via the Pub Curmudgeon, it seems someone has had the nerve to post in the Grauniad with an objection to the banning of Electrofags and the denormalisation of smokers.
The Predictables have, naturally, filled the comments with 'You are all filthy' and 'You stink' and 'I am so much holier than thou' and the rest of the useless, futile arguments from useless, futile people.
Although I did have to get to page four of the comments to find this:
williamfish 24 June 2011 11:17AM This article is manipulative and constructs a straw man. I wouldn't be surprised if it was funded by British American Tobacco
Yawn. The old 'anyone who doesn't like the ban is obviously funded by the tobacco industry' nonsense. I'd love to be funded by the tobacco industry. They have pots of cash. I'd have a private pub in my house, complete with cigarette vending machine and just enough space between the ashtrays to put down your glass, if they were paying.
It also took until page 4 before Roy Castle's name cropped up. Oh, and the old 'lumpy barmaid' line.
skinhead69 24 June 2011 11:28AM Whilst I miss smoking fags in pubs, you should really look at cancer rates in barmaids and realise what this 'little luxury' is capable of. Roy Castle never smoked and he died of lung cancer due to playing in smoky clubs. It's really not that hard to troop outside and have a woodbine in the open.
This from, apparently, a smoker. Cigars clearly don't count as smoking, and a non-smoking-related lung cancer is caused by smoking. Many of those 'smokers who support the ban' reveal, in conversation, that they know sod all about smoking. They've never tried it. Sham smokers abound in comments. This might be one, or maybe he's just a dunce. They never expect sham antismokers on their sites, you know. They're so clever, in their own minds, and smokers are too dim to try their own tricks back on them. Which is useful.
Going outside is no hardship? Depends where you live. Have a look at midsummer in Dundee and ask yourself if it would be worth opening a pub there.
I didn't bother reading further. Calls for the deaths of all smokers, for the Final Solution, mixed in with pompous declarations of 'Nobody minds if you smoke, there is no hatred, you're just a smelly idiot' and one utter cretin even goes so far as to stick signs up in his house saying 'No smoking or I'll kick you in the balls'. Why? I know non-smokers who don't like smoking in their houses. I don't smoke in there. They know I smoke, they'd rather I didn't smoke in their houses, no problem. I mean, I don't force them to smoke when they visit me. If I saw a sign like that in a friend's house, they would be an ex-friend in a second.
Second, third and fourth hand smoke is well received by the hard of thinking, they truly believe it will kill them and you can be sure I make full use of that. The more dilute the smoke, the deadlier it gets, apparently. So the trace I leave on the handle of the supermarket trolley... then a smokophobe's child sits in the basket... ha ha ha. I think, next time I'm in Tesco, I'll make sure to carefully inspect all the healthy foods. I'm getting old so I have to pick up the packs to read the labels. I'll also be extra-considerate and be sure to hand things down to children who can't reach them. If you believe you will die from this, then you had better do so, decrease the surplus population and increase the country's average IQ at the same time.
One of the dribbling morons even blames smokers for the pub closures. Yes, it seems that the smoke in pubs kept the Holy Ones away so the landlords should have banned smoking years ago and pubs would now be thriving. The Olympics are coming up and I think we have a certain gold in the Missing the Point event. Reading those comments, we should easily take silver and bronze too.
As usual, there are plenty along the lines of 'I object to you vile creatures smoking when I'm paying for a meal'. It's been banned for four years, five in Scotland, and still they bleat. There is no point attempting anything to please these people. It simply cannot be done. Make them suffer instead. It's what they want. Forget compromise, they don't want to even discuss it and anyway, it's gone much too far for that now.
Supermarket booze causes pub closures because it's cheaper even though it always has been. The recession caused pub closures before it even started, through a wormhole in time. The invention of the Xbox is why people no longer visit pubs that have never, as far as I know, had Xboxes in them. The smoking ban has had no effect at all. Oh, and let's not forget that 'smokers are in denial'. Reason with these people? You'd have better luck putting a brick through your TV and then trying to talk it into fixing itself. There is no point providing clues to the clueless.
Oddly enough, Smoky-Drinky evenings have no video games. The most that will be on is the TV (like in the pub). We don't even have slot machines. What we have is a semblance of the pub, but without the pretend-coughs, the whining and the smoking ban. Unfortunately we don't yet have proper beer pumps but we might yet manage to pick some up from a closed-down pub. Have to be quick, there seems to be a fair bit of competition for old pub fittings here. Optics? No, the measures are far too small.
Someone once worried about the staff of these illicit Smoky-Drinkies. There are no staff. There are no children. It is not open to the general public. No idiots allowed, so nobody worries about second hand smoke, even if they just come along for the drinky part. No membership and no sales. Not a business, not open to the public, no staff. No sign outside and variable location. ASH - you can't touch this.
Real pubs? I used to visit at least once a week, every week, for many years. I was on a pool team for a few years but was never a great player and preferred the drinking to the game, so I gave up my place as soon as someone better wanted to play. Since the ban I rarely visit pubs. It has nothing to do with supermarket prices, nothing to do with the recession, and nothing to do with video games machines (I don't have one). I have been in a pub less than five times in the last three years and on none of those occasions did I stay long. There was a time when pubs felt welcoming. Now they just feel like bus station waiting rooms.
I recently went back to that country pub where I played pool. It no longer has a team. The pool table is ripped and won't be repaired. Not enough customers to make it worthwhile. They also no longer have draught beer because it goes out of date before the barrel is finished. Half the bar area is cordoned off, the lounge bar is closed and still nobody goes without a seat. It used to be a thriving pub, but most of the customers smoked. They have made other arrangements now.
I haven't been in a restaurant or even a cafe since just after the ban came in. Even though I wasn't smoking in them, the atmosphere in those places soon became intolerable. Everyone is now watching everyone else in case they're a smoker. Or a paedo. Nobody strikes up conversations, nobody even makes eye contact. Those places are ruined and they cannot be fixed. Let them die.
I, and a growing group of hard-drinking smokers, no longer need the pub. We have Smoky-Drinky. So let the smokophobes pretend pubs aren't closing down. Let them pretend the closures are due to anything but the smoking ban. Let them pretend the ban has had no effect at all. Let it all die.
Smokers still meet for coffee and a smoke. We still have our boozy evenings.
In fact, I think it's rapidly working out that we have the better end of the deal. So I expect the whiners will want to put a stop to that soon.
Let them try.
Update: had a browse through more comments and picked up this link, in which ASH demonstrate that false connections, strawmen, and absolute out and out lies are all perfectly okay by them.
So they can't complain if a *cough* smoker *cough* uses a real-sounding alter ego to wind up their zealots on their own sites, now can they? Lies are an acceptable tactic. Their game, their rules.