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« Government consultations: why bother? | Main | Why so many rules and regulations? »

What does Gillian Merron know about pubs?

Gillian Merron has certainly put her foot in it. I was in a meeting yesterday morning when someone arrived hot foot from the meeting in which the public health minister declared: “The pub trade does have challenges ... but it isn’t the case that the [smoking] ban has led to pub closures.”

According to Merron, the ban has been a “tremendous success” with a 95 per cent compliance rate and the support of 80 per cent of the public. (The Publican has the story HERE.)

Now, I can understand why the government might think that the ban has been a great "success" (see above), but to suggest that the ban is not responsible for any pub closures is unbelievable. I would have far more respect for her if she said, "We accept that the smoking ban has resulted in some pub closures but we believe that this is a small price to pay for the sake of the nation's health." Or words to that effect.

It would at least have a ring of truth to it. Instead, like so many politicians, she tries to brazen it out and ends up, well, lying.

Describing Merron's statement as "slightly laughable", licensee Mark Daniels has this to say:

Of course, the smoking ban isn't the only reason pubs are closing at the moment ... But the smoking ban has certainly caused most pubs, especially those that were traditional drinking outlets (like mine, for example), a lot of pain - and it has caused a lot to close, too.

To say it hasn't is, frankly, ridiculous and shows a severe lack of knowledge of the problems the pub trade is facing right now.

I can't speak for every pub, but I'll use mine as an example: before July 2007 my pub had a steady, successful trade. Figures fluctuated, but not wildly, and even in the depths of winter and the heaviest rain we knew we would have customers through the door.

These days we experience more of a 'tourism trade', which can only be attributed to the smoking ban. In the depths of winter the place will be empty, we'll struggle to make our numbers work and we have to severely reduce staff. If it's pouring with rain when we open the doors I can guarantee nobody will walk through the door.

Give them a modicum of sunshine, however, and the smokers pour out to bask in the sunshine and enjoy a long-awaited freshly drawn pint. Our figures soar and we have good days. Sadly, there are more rainy days than sunny ...

Full article HERE.

Additional reading:
The missing interview with Lincoln MP Gillian Merron (The Linc)
Progress on alcohol labelling 'disappointing' (BBC News)
Public health marketing campaigns will not be cut, says minister (Marketing Week)

Reader Comments (27)

When Gillian is out voted at the next General Election, it WILL be due to the smoking ban.

February 26, 2010 at 11:14 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Gillian Merron - the Punchable Face of a Blockhead.

So (in answer to one of my perpetual questions) 'success' IS to be defined in terms of the level of COMPLIANCE, is it ?

Well, that's clear enough.

And thus (again, forgive the repitition) the Nuremburg Laws, which stripped the German Jews of most of THEIR rights and liberties, were STAGGERINGLY 'successful'.

As,of course, was the Women's Camp at Auschwitz: all targets met, and NO reported cases of 'obesity'-related illness.

Any SS Doctor will be happy to confirm this.

And hardly a pipsqueak of protest from the Respectable Classes - the INFALLIBLE litmus test of a Just Law and a Just Society.

Thank God we have such worthy Servants of the State as Our Gill (loads, in fact), courageous enough to meet the 'challenges' of our Society.

If only she'd been born six decades earlier, among a rather more Efficiency-Minded people.

Or - to put it another way:

Gillian Merron - the Shining Face of a Blockwarden.

(Oh Martin - you DO exaggerate !)

February 26, 2010 at 11:29 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

If the Right Honourable Gillian Merron MP actually did her job and asked the publicans of Lincoln whom she is elected to representwhat is killing their trade she might have the correct answer. Instead of doing that she clearly prefers to sit in her office reading ASH memos.Sadly Lincoln has got what it voted for.

February 26, 2010 at 11:30 | Unregistered Commentersoapy

A fine example of an MP representing the warped agenda of a small bunch of health nuts rather than the wishes of the silent majority.
ASH have a lot of power over these weaklings don't they.
Besides she's been on the fiddle (A Daily Telegraph all star)
I don't think any of that sort(thieces)sorry spelling mistake (thieves)will be re-elected.

February 26, 2010 at 12:06 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Are you guys even ASH admit that 50% of pub closures are down to the smoking ban? This is Martin Dockrell acknowledging the AC Nielsen report.

"AC Nielsen, the market research group, has reported that beer sales from pubs fell in 2007 and that around half the decline could be ascribed to the anti-smoking law."

February 26, 2010 at 12:13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Whatever the cause of pub closures, and we all know that the greatest cause is the smoking ban, as far as these imbeciles in government are concerned, the end justifies the means!

Not only that, but more and more pubs closing it will assist them in their efforts to now stop people from drinking - excessively or not!

Warped liars they may be, but along with that they are vicious, thieving, calculating, moronic bullies, which scares me far more than just plain stupid!

February 26, 2010 at 13:19 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Mein Gott, Martin V, you mentioned the the Nuremburg Laws, German Jews, SS Doctors, and Auschwitz: and you have been allowed to stay on here?

My own fault I suppose, as I did once mention that I had Jewish blood in me.

February 26, 2010 at 14:19 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Excellent, Dave A -

Copy to Mizzzz Merron, perhaps ?

Perhaps, not.

February 26, 2010 at 14:20 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Lyn -

Make no mistake about it:

Behind that mask of bumbling, stumbling incompetence, there IS a REAL Intelligence at work.

IT knows where it wants to take us.

WE can only GUESS the destination, however.

And it won't be marked on any of the official maps, either.

"In Politics, NOTHING happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was PLANNED that way."

(Franklin D Roosevelt)

February 26, 2010 at 14:29 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Yea there is real intelligence at work.
But it is not coming from puppets like that "creep" pictured up there.
Their just the mouthpieces.

February 26, 2010 at 14:35 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Peter T -

"you mentioned the Nuremburg Laws."

Yes - and quite unashamedly.

THEY (like Jerry Adams' SinnFein/IRA) didn't go away in 1945.

Just changed their address, and moved to a more salubrious neighbourhood.

Bought a new set of clothes, too.

Got themselves a new style.

The Ultimate Makeover, in fact....................

February 26, 2010 at 14:45 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Voted strongly for the invasion of Iraq ?
Yep she's a child killer as well as a thief.
Thought so.

February 26, 2010 at 15:12 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Now that pubs are disappearing faster than you can say Ash Nazis, the Bat faced Gillian Merron will have to start changing her rant.
Maybe she could put her meddling hands into the reprecussions following pub closures and start reading up on domestic violence, which is on the increase.

February 26, 2010 at 15:37 | Unregistered Commenterann


Like this:

"Police chief blames smoking ban and cheap alcohol for rise in domestic violence

Last updated at 11:23 21 April 2008

A police chief has said the smoking ban and cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets are to blame for an increase in domestic violence.
Chief Superintendent Peter White, based in Preston, Lancashire believes a change in people's social drinking habits following the implementation of the smoking ban last year, and some supermarkets selling alcohol for as little as 23p per can, is to blame for the increase in certain areas.

Figures for the last quarter reveal domestic violence accounts for as much as 40 per cent of violent crime in some suburban areas in the east of the city, with 23 per cent being the overall average in Preston."

February 26, 2010 at 16:05 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

What else did they expect, Dave.
Guess they never thought that one through either.
Like its better to be maimed or murdered rather than inhale tobacco!!

February 26, 2010 at 17:03 | Unregistered Commenterann

I guess you are right Martin V, it is just a shame that the idiots that front those with the real power and are their mouthpieces do not see the harm that is being done.

Of course, I bet those that do the bidding of those behind the scenes are assured a wealthy future, so what have they got to lose? You can more or less do as you want if you have enough money in the bank!

February 26, 2010 at 17:41 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Between today and 2028, a land-developer's and millionaire investor's dream come true - more properties freed up for gentrification for the wealthy.

That is another angle of the smoking ban never thought much of too.

February 26, 2010 at 19:19 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Lyn - they DO see that harm which is being done. All this is deliberate - it's called 'social engineering' - all part of the control process. I do hope some folks can get to the Lincoln lot, inform them of all this and get the woman voted out!!

February 26, 2010 at 19:23 | Unregistered CommenterJenny of Yorkshire

The majority of smokers are working class
The majority of working class vote Labour
Labour MPs vote in a total smoking ban.
The ban angers the majority of Labour voters.
The majority of the working class look to the Tories
What do they see,the same POLICIES

The Labour party is gaining ground on the Conservatives, and could even win more seats in an election due by June, according to an opinion poll published in the Daily Telegraph on Friday.

Clearly the Tories are obedient to an hidden agenda,
the same as Labour it would seem.

How do you deal with dictatorial politicians?
But where are Henry II's Knights

Last Chance Saloon

February 26, 2010 at 19:32 | Unregistered CommenterLast Saxon

"But where are Henry II's Knights ?"

Or a new Elizabeth - to kick all those Jesuits, with their ambitions for global dominance (read the manual), where it hurts ?

Otherwise, it's going to be bonfires in Smithfield again, before too long.

Albeit 'smokefree' ones.................

(Again - no offence intended to Catholics)

February 26, 2010 at 21:45 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

What does Gillian Merron know about pubs? answer= NOTHING!!

February 27, 2010 at 9:18 | Unregistered Commenterclif e

Just read the Mail story on Nick Hogan.
The man is a hero.
Shame on the evil Slime like Deborah Arnott and this thieving criminal Merron and the rest of the thieving parasites at ASH and Nulabour.
You sicken me, you are the lowest evil pigs this country has ever had to endure.

February 27, 2010 at 9:19 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

I, too, have just read that Nick Hogan has been imprisoned over at Leg-iron who has a typically restrained, rational rant.

I've also read some of the comments on the Daily Wail, many of which confirm that its readers can't see further than the end of their own noses.

February 27, 2010 at 9:45 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Most of the Mail comments re: Nick Hogan are in favour of him and what he believes in/stands for. Obviously, you get those usual nasty comments from antis. 160 comments on there so far - I've tried to put a comment on, but don't know if it will be printed.

This is the beginning of the 'give them enough rope and they will go and hang themselves' scenario.

February 27, 2010 at 10:01 | Unregistered CommenterJenny of Yorkshire

This is no longer a campaign ,these evil bastards have gone too far this time.
This is now a bloody war !

February 27, 2010 at 10:14 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

I cant stand to see the face of that sneering hag at the top of this page .

February 27, 2010 at 10:16 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Yes, Specky -

'Evil' IS the word to use.

And to those who still baulk at such a dramatic expression, I ask one simple question:

How bad DOES it have to get - before YOU use it, too ?

It's high time we stopped pussy-footing around with Polite Language to decribe what's happening to our Country.

Our ancestors were rather less inhibited.......

February 27, 2010 at 22:02 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

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