Commenting on the impact of the smoking ban on the pub industry, columnist Vicki Woods - the recipient of a Forest Christmas card promoting the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign - has this to say in today's Daily Telegraph:
In a year when the postman brought me fewer handwritten, stamped and posted Christmas cards, the corporate ones stood out. I liked a depressed Santa sitting under a pub sign saying NOBODY'S INN. It was a Merry Christmas from Forest (the pro-smoking people), hand-signed in different biros by Nicky, Sue x and Squiggle.
On the back was the business: please Save Our Pubs and Clubs by visiting amendthesmokingban.com. I duly did, and found a campaign pleading for some flexibility over the UK's blanket ban on smoking in public places. I approve of flexibility (and David Hockney, especially when guest-editing on Today) and disapprove of what my late mother called "tin Hitlers", ie people with a statutory authority to boss you about.
Full article HERE. Please comment.
PS. The aforementioned "Squiggle" is, er, me. Note to self: must make signature more legible in future.
Lots of comments in response to Vicki Woods' article in the Telegraph (above). I particularly like this one:
I am joint licensee of an unspoilt country freehouse. There are no machines, pool table or jukebox. Our customers like it that way. They also used to like being able to smoke when enjoying a peaceful pint or two. We had a separeate non smoking dining room for those that wanted to get away from the smoke. Our trade has fallen considerably (50%) since the ban, this coupled with cheap supermarket booze will be the death of us.
Our younger customer tell us that when they are going out for an evening in town they get cheap vodka and beer from the supermarket and drink this at home before they go out, so they can drink less and are probably completely trollied before they get there. Then of course its the pubs that get the blame for binge drinking.
The way forward as I and several other publicans see it is:
1. For the smoking ban to change and let it be the publicans choice. (After all if smoking is that bad why not ban it altogether - but silly me the government would lose all the revenue.)
2. Supermarkets to be forced to sell alcohol at a proper price (lets face it pubs can't buy it for what the supermarkets are selling it for)
3. Sort out the pubcos who are being too greedy.
And for your information neither myself or my partner or any of our bar staff smoke but we would all much rather have a smoking smelly pub full of happy customers rather an an empty one.
Click HERE to read all the comments.