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« Rod Liddle: things can only get worse | Main | Government consultations: why bother? »

Smoking ban costs landlord his liberty

I know some of you will want to comment on the six-month jail sentence given to Nick Hogan (left) for refusing to pay fines for allowing people to smoke in his Bolton pub after the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007. The Daily Mail has the story HERE.

I'll comment further, when I get a moment.

Reader Comments (31)

They have gone too far.
This is wrong.
I'll go too.

February 27, 2010 at 13:51 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

"I am a non smoker but if all smokers smoked in pubs they have not got enough room in the prisons for you all.
Are you men or mice ?
I see you standing outside pubs in the pouring rain and I laugh at you.
Get some backbone and stand up for yourselves.
Look at the tax you pay Browns lot and stand firm.- Lone star,"

Above comment is from the Daily Mail article.
He's right. All it would take would be for Forest to secure the agreement of the pubs that have signed up to the SOPAC campaign to get the word out to their smoking customers and at a predetermined time All Light Up. Everyone then refuses to pay the fines. Can you imagine the outcry when 'real' criminals are released and their places taken by smokers?

Simon asked on the consultation thread, why bother? We all know that the official, formal routes of resistance are closed. I think it's time for direct action.

February 27, 2010 at 14:25 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I agree Joyce.
This is a brave man standing up to Labours PC nanny state.
Why should we be dictated to by there commisars ?
England Expects is right this man is indeed a political prisoner.
We must do anything to support him .
I'll watch all the other sites as well to see how they want us to help.
I'm in.
They just crossed the line.

February 27, 2010 at 16:45 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Dick Puddlecote links to the 'justice for Nick Hogan' facebook campaign (started by f2c?).

February 27, 2010 at 17:20 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Done signed it.

February 27, 2010 at 17:34 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Who will stand together in protest for Nick outside his jail? I am willing to take my shifts. We need people to do shifts 24/7 for a man who is undoubtedly a political prisoner. Now is the time to put action where we have put so many words. Who is with me?

February 27, 2010 at 17:44 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse the judge lost patience with Mr Hogan?

The judge should have lost his/her patience with this unjust law which he/she was bound to implement.

The irony now is that, as I understand it, Mr Hogan will be asked whether he requires a smoking or non-smoking room for the next 6 months!

You couldn't write the script!

Off to sign the support letter...

February 27, 2010 at 17:49 | Unregistered CommenterPensioner Ellie

Paedophiles in Aberdeen get protection from the State, but Nick is sent to prison because people smoked on his property.
Under Common Law it is only a crime when somebody harms or defrauds an other. By allowing people to smoke on his property he has not harmed or defrauded anybody.

February 27, 2010 at 18:51 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Over on Pat Nurse's column just now someone is saying that Nick belongs in jail for refusing to pay the fine because a law was broken. In other words he is saying the law is the law, no matter whether it's just or not. And that might be the argument some are thinking. I disagree, but saying the comment's been posted.

February 27, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

What people seem to forget in all this is that the "law" he has broken was put in place by the worst bunch of criminal thieving fraudsters to govern this country for many hundreds of years. We are governed by the equivelant of an organised crime syndicate with equally corrupt "opposition" parties that are just as bad. One wonders whether we should obey any law that was passed by this bunch of political gangsters.

Worse still is the fact that it is absolutely irrelevant who wins the next election because they are all as bad as each other. A Hung Parliament seems to be the best we can hope for at present. At least that may stop these crooks from passing any more laws for a while. As someone else said it is becoming increasingly obvious that the only way to rid ourself of this scum is some form of direct action.

February 27, 2010 at 21:36 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Trent

Nick's deliberate heads-on collison with the Law may be wrong-headed (tactically, if not morally) in the eyes of some.

And the result entirely predictable.

But the man has courage.

And I salute that.

To frame and implement such a repressive law is ITSELF an Abuse of Power, in my opinion - though scarcely the first by this wretched Government of All the Vices.

We should ALL support Nick.

In whatever way we can...................

February 27, 2010 at 21:44 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V


And don't you just LOVE Deborah Arnott's cackling response:

"Many pubs have shifted their focus to serving food, so they have changed their nature."

THAT, Dear, is the point: WHO asked US whether we wanted the 'nature' of pubs to be compelled to change in the first place ?

When Witches start working WITH the Vatican, we've got a problem.................

February 27, 2010 at 21:52 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Nick's 'mistake' was to try and do it alone. If publicans had all stood together, and there had been properly co-ordinated action, they could have saved their pubs.

The same would be true of direct action by smokers. I'd like to see a militant smokers' union.

February 27, 2010 at 21:58 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Joyce -

A Smokers' Union sounds like a great idea.

But let's avoid the 'militant' tag.

It's the Militants that have taken over our Land.

Donkey Jackets to Ermine in a single generation................

February 27, 2010 at 22:10 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

To 'Baz' on Pat's blog

You’re a brainwashed moron, the very type of person that Statism looks for. You believe, think, say, and do as you’re told by the State.
If you’d like to disentangle some of your deranged thinking, see The Godber Blueprint
Don’t even bother posting until you get some sensibility into your thinking. At the moment you’re just a Statist, bigoted 'parrot'.

February 27, 2010 at 22:25 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Baz's comment is clouded by his prejudice on smoking but it doesn't stand up. He equates what Nick did to a pub landlord selling alcohol to minors, and tobacconists selling to underage kids. He's off the mark. The two cannot be compared in my opinion.

I'm also against militant when referring to smokers. Sounds too much like terrorist and we already get accused of being that!

February 27, 2010 at 22:34 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

How about 'assertive', then?

Baz's point seems to be that you can't go breaking laws with which you disagree - the unjust law must be complied with as much as the just law. That kind of thinking sleepwalks into dictatorship.

February 27, 2010 at 22:49 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Well - being of a somewhat poetic nature - I think the word PASSIONATE wouldn't come amiss, either.

An antidote (of sorts) to the prissy BLANDNESS of this Age.

Has History ever witnessed such a COLOURLESS Dictatorship as this ?

February 27, 2010 at 23:02 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Commisar Arnott's comments sicken me.
Who elected you Arnott ?
Another jumped up Tin Hitler.
We need to act.
We need to combine, Joyce's union idea is sound.

February 28, 2010 at 10:18 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Former UKIP candidate for Chorley and well known publican Nick Hogan was today sentenced to 6 months for breech of the smoking ban.

Paul Nuttall MEP said,
"Nick Hogan is a normal man, who, when his business was driven to the brink by draconian legislation decided to oppose it. He is being imprisoned for allowing his customers to have the choice whether to smoke or not. It is typical of the vindictive state that he now finds himself in gaol. He is in prison for a political offence".

Yes he should be behind bars, but those where he is the publican".

Nigel Farage MEP quoted Edmund Burke and said,
"When the law becomes the enemy of man, then man becomes the enemy of the law".

The UK Independence Party oppose the outright ban on smoking in public places and its policy on the ban can be found here.

Nick Hogan was sentanced to 6 months for non payment of a £10,000 fine levied for breech of the smoking ban in his Bolton pub.

UKIP press release above - plus link to pub policy which clearly mentions smoking choice!

February 28, 2010 at 16:27 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

How do you think the Mail got hold of Nick's story and court case?

February 28, 2010 at 16:28 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Old Holborn ha started a secure paypal and card fund to help Nick Hogan. here :

Click on the link "donate - justice for Nick Hogan" and pay. I've done mine. OH is asking for a £1. from 10,000 of us. Denise, Nick's wife, has no knowledge of the internet and has no idea of how much support Nick has. Let's show her!

February 28, 2010 at 18:44 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I've asked readers of OH if they're interested in a 'union' to register support here.

February 28, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Actually - forget this organised stuff. As OH points out (which I'd forgotten) it isn't illegal for a smoker to smoke in a public place - it's illegal for the owner to allow it.

As from now, I'm lighting up indoors in a public place and waiting for the owner to ask me to leave, which I will.

But if another smoker sees me lighting up perhaps they will, too, and another, and another...

Good God, I never expected to be a rebel in middle-age - ain't life strange - but here we have a man imprisoned for, in effect, allowing his customers to use a LEGAL product in his own property. Are you prepared to go to prison if you refuse to pay an extortionate fine for refusing to stand X feet away from the entrance to a doorway?

February 28, 2010 at 20:36 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Joyce - which pub, when and where?

February 28, 2010 at 21:20 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Pat - I'm just going to do it wherever I am. It's a protest. Within one minute someone will ask me to put it out or leave, which I will because I don't want the owner getting fined. But if I - or anyone else - just does it then so will other people, if only because they think the law must have been changed! At any rate people will just start lighting up again. It might be gradual - I might never be in that place again but the smoker who saw me might be in next week with a friend and have the courage to do it. I think it was Peter who posted a link to the Forces article which said that New York clubs are just simply now ignoring the ban!

That's all that it would take - smokers to just refuse to comply until there is an amendment to the blanket ban.

We pay BILLIONS to a bankrupt Treasury. The Government is cynically taking this money - over which we have no control - yet is indirectly criminalising us. Could anyone EVER have imagined that, in Britain, with its reputation for justice, a property owner could be imprisoned for longer than those convicted of violent crime for offering the hospitality that his customers' want? Sorry, I'm now ranting to the converted!

I'm just going to do it.

February 28, 2010 at 21:47 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

P>S If I have to muster courage for the first time, I'll go into a place where no-one knows me and pretend I'm foreign and don't understand the law LOL

February 28, 2010 at 21:55 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Pat -

Thanks for the 'Old Holborn' link.

I've sent a little something.

But I still don't think Our Dave is QUITE yet ready to face his "We'll fight them on the beaches" moment.

Do you ?

Joyce -

Where's the 'here' at which we register support for your splendid idea ?

(Sorry - it's been a LONG day)

February 28, 2010 at 21:59 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Well, Perhaps we could all co-ordinate and share among us a time and then all go into a pub wherever we are at that time and then we all light up and see what happens!

February 28, 2010 at 22:17 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Martin - the 'here' is this thread but, as I've just posted - sod it, if we wait until we're organised... (we'll wait forever).

Simon Clark does sterling work and it can't be easy being mocked or ignored, but he might as well take his talents elsewhere - nobody is listening to smokers or their defenders..

The furore over climate change has hit the MSM but no-one seems interested that there are direct parallels between AGW and the SHS scam and I think that Forest, as the only recognised defender to smokers', rights is unable to debunk the myth (through no fault of Simon).

I therefore, think that official, traditional channels are closed. Had they been open, this ban wouldn't have been enacted in the first place.

I've thought for some time, now, that direct action is the only course.

I'm prepared to take direct action - I'm just going to light up in prohibited places "pour encourager les autres".

February 28, 2010 at 22:45 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Joyce -


If only Admiral Bing had shown your resolve !

March 1, 2010 at 6:32 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

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