Monday, 14 June 2010

New Smoky Blogs.

I haven't been on the Freedom2Choose forums for ages. Real life takes up too much time. I must get back in there and see what's been happening.

In the meantime, here are two new smoky blogs. Nothing2Declare keeps us up to date with what you can and cannot bring in from the EU and should be required reading for HMRC because they obviously have no idea, even though it's their job to know.

Stand FAST is a well written smoky blog, worth a visit. This article is especially interesting. Apparently, all those small-shop owners are upset because we smokers buy our stuff from Man with a Van at cut-price, instead of paying tax in their shops. The small shop owners' solution? Get the government to force Man with a Van to stop selling to us, and fine us if we buy from him.

Okay. Most publicans were happy to have us leave their premises and are now bleating that we don't support their pubs. Small shop owners, who will soon be forced to hide the cigarettes behind expensive screens so we smokers won't realise they sell any, are likewise not going to support us.

So where are all the antismokers who can now rush to the small shops without fear of being tempted by shiny packets that exude fiftieth hand smoke? Where are they? I've no idea. They're not in the pub, that's for sure.

Pubs depended for a lot of their income on smokers. Small shops depend for a lot of their income on smokers. Small shops are going to go the same way as pubs and like pubs, they will blame the smokers because we aren't going there any more. That's right, they will accept the antismoker rules as inevitable and then blame the people they have excluded from their business for not spending money in their business.

Smokers are not closing pubs. We'd love to go back but we are not welcome. In any pub, anywhere. if anyone tries to make us welcome, the Smokefinder General will bankrupt them. We are not doing that to the pubs. We cannot stop it. Publicans, if they united, could. There is nothing smokers can do to save the pubs because we are not allowed inside.

Smokers will not close down the small shops. It's great to be able to buy your tobacco along with a newspaper, crisps, chocolate, bottle of fizzy pop and sometimes even whisky without having to go to separate counters for it all. Yes, it costs a bit more in there but it's convenient. You don't have to trek all the way across town to the supermarket. Yet now that their income from smokers is threatened,. what do they do? Do they say 'No, you must not boost the tax because the smokers won't pay any more'?

No, they say 'Fine the smokers who buy from Man with a Van, and then arrest Man with a Van. Smokers must be forced to pay the huge tax because we need the income to keep our shops alive. Customers must have no choice.'

Well thanks for your support, small shop people. You can count on exactly the same amount of support from me in future.

The government needs the billions it takes from smokers in tax. Pubs need smokers' business. Small shops need smokers' business. And yet they are all happy to spit on us and kick us around.

Man with a Van is our friend. Organised crime? It's the only bloody thing that is organised in this country. I don't care if Man with a Van is pure-blood Mafioso and has a sub-machine gun where other people keep a spare wheel. As far as I am concerned, he sells tobacco at reasonable prices and does not sneer at his customers while selling it. So the pubs close, the small shops close, and the government loses revenue. I can't really bring myself to care about any of them.

None of them show any sign of caring about me.


Captain Haddock said...

I agree with everything you say L.I ..

Other than the occasional Lunch-time, when I feel like a change from cooking for myself .. I haven't been in a Pub in the last 6 years ..

They became dreary, soul-less places .. best avoided ..

As for "small" Shopkeepers .. their attitude appears to be that of the "dog in a manger" ...

I find it totally convenient to buy my Pipe tobacco from the kiosk in my local Supermarket, before doing my main shopping ..

To date, I've not heard of any "white-van man" who sells Pipe tobacco .. more's the pity ..

Dick Puddlecote said...

White van? I buy mine from a milk float. Seriously. :-)

banned said...

I was in W.H.Smiths the other day, chap in front bought some cigarettes and was offered some sort of free gift by the bovine assistant, "It's to help you give up smoking" she cooed.
He replied, sharply, "I don't want to give up smoking, thank you".
"Neither do I" I said as I paid for my paper. She wasn't smiling by then.

Like you Captain Haddock I would gladly support the Man With The Van but sadly they do not deal with my preferred brand of cigarettes.

Captain Haddock said...

Bit of a bugger isn't it Banned ?

Even when I've been across the Channel to visit my Belgian (Flemish) friends .. the only Pipe baccy I could see was "Clan" .. and that stuff is like smoking "Dolly Mixtures" .. Lol

Its high time someone got the old "white van/milk-float" men sorted out, priorities-wise & advised them that there's more to enjoying tobacco than Roll-ups .. He heh ..

Smoking Hot said...

Capt Haddock, Banned ... what brands are you talking about? There's almost every UK brand in Belgium etc ... and no, l haven't got a milk-float/white van. :)

Thanks for the heads up LI

Captain Haddock said...

Wot ho Smoking ..

I couldn't lay hands on either Ogden's "St Bruno" (ready rubbed) or Benson & Hedges "Mellow Virginia" for love nor money ..

I also used to enjoy a brand called "Black Mixture" from P.G.C Hajenius of Amsterdam , which I occasionally found .. but I understand that is now defunct too ..

Smoking Hot said...

50gm St Bruno rr 5.75 Euro

Captain Haddock said...

Thanks for that Smoking ..

That's an incredible price (half what I pay in Morrison's)..

I'm hoping to get across to Zeebrugge & Antwerp later this year & if needs be, I'll get one of my friends to give me a lift to this place ..

Smoking Hot said...

Cap'n .... lf you do Zeebrugge drop these guys an e-mail and they'll almost certainly get what you want. No money upfront required as you pay when you pick up. V good service from them and will reserve your order for 2/3 weeks.

saucepan said...


you might like to take a look at this:

I'm sure you can find something to say about it.......

Smoking Hot said...

Cap'n ... look on my blog and see if you know/remember this tobacco. :)

Leg-iron said...

captain Haddock - the van man usually only stocks what he can shift quickly. Normally Golden Virginia for roll-ups. It's neither too strong nor too mild so it sells to everyone at his prices.

I don't know about the readymades, never buy them, but I think it's biased towards the Lambert & Butler end of the market. Again, not the strong nor the mild, the in-between.

I've never noticed pipe tobacco on sale in the van. I'll ask next time.

These guys can't carry a wide range, it has to be sell it quick and restock before the rozzers spot you.

Leg-iron said...

Banned - to 'help you give up' sounds chillingly like the pod people from Bodysnatchers.

To help you become one of us, one of us, one of us...

Leg-iron said...

Saucepan - that is a good one. She didn't die of lung cancer, she died of organ rejection. The donor's smoking is irrelevant.

Well screw them. I no longer give blood and I don't carry any organ donor card. I have to take enough abuse as it is, I will not accept further abuse after I'm dead.

There's nothing wrong with my organs, they could all be used but none of them will be. I will not be blamed for someone getting my corneas and complaining the world looks nicotine-stained. Nobody will get my amazing regenerating liver. Nobody will get the lungs that let me lift 50 kg without wheezing at my age.

Sure, some will say 'Oooh, he's so selfish' but tough. I have to take abuse from those same people daily. I can't go into pubs any more because of those people. If I smoke outside in the summer, those people will insult and debase me and feel it is their right to do so even though I have been out there all winter too.

I don't want to extend their lives. I want to shorten them.

When I die, it all rots with me. Not one fingernail will get transplanted into anyone else. Not even the yellow one.

Selfish? Too bad. You made me, antismokers. You created me. You left me with no other options.

Live with it. Or preferably, don't. Certainly not with my help.

banned said...

"Embassy Filter" which are the closest to Players No. 6 that are still available having failed to being suckered into King Size. Sadly a minority interest and I even have to take my own supply when going abroad.

Captain Haddock said...

SH .. Ta for the link .. I had a look but have to say .. that particular Baccy is a new one on me ..

I also bookmarked your site & will read it in depth later, with a Pipe full of "Bruno" & a cup of "Sarn't Major's" ..

LI .. I appreciate the associated problems in stock levels & speed of distribution etc .. I also appreciate that we Pipe smokers are sadly, a genuine "minority" .. but we always seem to be the ones rarely catered for, I'm not belly-aching .. just saying ..

I've never smoked a cigarette in my life .. I started on a Pipe when I was just under 18 (my first "foreign" draft to Aden) ..& have stuck with it ever since ..

ArtCo said...

'Fine the smokers who buy from Man with a Van, and then arrest Man with a Van.'
That happened to my 'Man with a van' and i just purchased my baccy from the van behind him.

Leg-iron said...

ArtCo - as long as the duty keeps rising, there'll never be a shortage of vans.

Higher duty makes the risk Van Man takes more worthwhile, not less. He can't raise his prices until the UK duty rises. All he needs do is keep his price at the same level below the rising duty and his profits will increase.

So no, increasing duty won't put Man with a Van out of business. It'll have exactly the opposite effect.

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