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« Nick Hogan featured on SunTalk | Main | Iain Dale on tomorrow's leaders »

Free Nick Hogan ... how you can help

There has been a lot of online activity over the weekend concerning Nick Hogan, the former landlord given a six month prison sentence for refusing (or being unable) to pay fines in relation to people smoking in his premises. (See earlier post HERE.)

Old Holborn, in particular, has been very busy. According to Anna Raccoon:

His wife, Denise, is now managing their present pub in Chorley herself. Their trade is so low that they don't even bother to open the downstairs bar. Nick is bankrupt, and had gone to court intending to argue that he could not afford the £500 a month payments demanded by the council towards their £11,600 bill for prosecuting him.

He has already paid off £1,600. The court gave him a six month sentence instead, and he is currently in Forest Bank prison in Pendlebury, unable to help to earn the money which would ensure his release.

Denise has not even been able to speak to him since he was sentenced. She has merely been told to phone the prison on Monday to enquire when she might see him. She is confused, frightened, and feeling very lonely.

If all the people who disagree with the smoking ban contributed a few coppers, then Nick would be released ... Denise has just said to me 'All the people who disagree with the ban - where are they now? - and my Nick is in prison'. Quite.

Denise has no idea how to use the Internet, she has no idea how many of us are against the smoking ban. Let's show her.

Full post HERE.

Old Holborn has set up a PayPal account where you can make a donation towards Nick's unpaid fine and costs. Click on the link above for more details.

I have made a donation and I have asked OH to keep us informed of the running total. I understand that £10,000 is needed to get Nick out of prison so all contributions welcome.

Later today we will be sending an e-newsletter with news of Nick's plight to the 2,000 or so Forest subscribers. A similar bulletin will be sent to the 2,500 registered supporters of the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign.

More info to follow.

Reader Comments (26)

Chipped in.

March 1, 2010 at 10:39 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

I've just put in.

March 1, 2010 at 11:02 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

I expect we shall see some donations from ASH UK too, as a little bird has told me that some of them have smoked cigarettes in pubs.

March 1, 2010 at 11:25 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

What a total waste of money to put a bloke in prison for smoking. Disgusting.

March 1, 2010 at 14:43 | Unregistered Commenterkarl

what a commentary of the evil state of modern britian

March 1, 2010 at 14:56 | Unregistered Commentergeronimo.

I'm outraged by this. This man was only trying to save his business that's been decimated by the smoking ban. I've just donated a tenner. I urge everyone to do so if you can. Nick can become a man to unite around.

Nick, I hope you read this: I salute you.

March 1, 2010 at 15:15 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

donated - Nick is a hero and martyr to the cause of freedom. Its time the worm turned, let the party that wins the next election be the one that puts reversing the smoking ban on their manifesto. Smokers vote to.

March 1, 2010 at 15:33 | Unregistered Commenterjohn m

How much have Forest donated?

March 1, 2010 at 15:35 | Unregistered CommenterSally

Sally, fair question.

Forest has not yet donated anything (although I made a personal donation of £50 this morning). We have given it serious thought but we think it best if this campaign is driven by donations from private individuals in order to demonstrate the power of the online/blogging/social network community.

We will review the situation in a day or two when we will speak to the organiser of the fund (who has not asked Forest to contribute).

For the moment we believe the most helpful role Forest can play is to publicise Nick Hogan's situation as widely as possible and encourage our friends and supporters to make an individual donation towards his release.

March 1, 2010 at 16:23 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark

I now live in tenerife. The last straw was the smoking ban. I go back home to newcastle for a couple of weeks per year. I cant see why we can smoke over here in all the bars and most cafes. Who wants to live in the UK now..?

March 1, 2010 at 17:33 | Unregistered Commenterbarry armstrong

I agree Simon. No offence, Forest is all we have in terms of big guns, but antis always turn people against our cause by saying that Forest is a "tobacco stooge". Personally, I don't care about Forest being funded by Big T. It balances out ASH being funded by Big P.

Simon is right that this has to be something that we, the little people, do by ourselves. That way, no-one can question our motives are anything other than justice and fair play.

March 1, 2010 at 17:54 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I am sorry being a pensioner I can't afford to send any money, but my thoughts are with him and his wife NO-ONE should be fined for allowing a legal activity to be carried out. My parents were non-smoking publicans and I know that they too would have ignored this ban. My father once said letting children in pubs would end with no swearing, no smoking and eventually no drinking. How right he was, you only have to watch tv to see the adverts against drinking to see that alcohol is heading the same way as smoking. Drinkers beware, we smokers are villified its you next.

March 1, 2010 at 18:00 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Sharp

Let's hope he's smoking a hamlet right now.....

March 1, 2010 at 19:26 | Unregistered Commenterukipwebmaster

What has happened says everything about this sad country.By defending the preference of 90% of your customers, that you end up with a prison sentence.The ban is nothing less than dictatorial meddling by the government.

March 1, 2010 at 20:37 | Unregistered CommenterJim

An injustice has been done here and to Nick, I am glad someone was able to set up a donate button, thank you. Nick does not deserve to be in prison, the donation figure is rising and so is the anger. I can only think of this quote because this ban/law is so unjust, Although it was a differant time and a differant reason, I think it is still relavant.

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law".[Martin Luther King Jr.]

March 1, 2010 at 21:15 | Unregistered CommenterMandyv

Good decision on FOREST. If they donated you'd have that little harpie Arnott from ASH saying it was a stunt orchestrated by the tobacco industry. There again, she probably will anyway.

March 2, 2010 at 0:42 | Unregistered CommenterSpartan


I agree that it's best if FOREST doesn't do anything financially. The point of this campaign as I see it (other than getting a hard-working family man out of a violent jail ASAP, of course) is to show the likes of Arnott and her new Labour stooges that despite their rigged surveys most people in this country, smoker and non-smoker alike, loathe this Ban with a passion and will even dip into their hard -earned savings in time of a recession to get someone who they see as being bullied by them and victimised by their lies, out of prison.

Of course, one would think that people voting with their feet by not going to the pub would be obvious enough - it is in most countries (who seem to be amending or repealing their bans left, right and centre or, even more tellingly, using the UK's example of a (literally!) decimated pub trade as an example of what NOT to do). But still, even they cannot ignore true "people-power".... with little covergae by the MSM individuals from all over the country, smokers and non-smokers alike, will hopefully see Nick walk free within a week or so.

We must keep that money rolling in! And while I agree with Forest's stance on keeping out of this financially I applaud Simon in letting people know about what has happened here. As with all smoking-related issues the MSM seem to have other things they want to talk about.

March 2, 2010 at 0:46 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

I've just donated. Let's hope that government(s) are watching the publics reaction to this outrageous injustice.

Release Nick Hogan NOW!

March 2, 2010 at 9:17 | Unregistered CommenterAnts

I want to donate, but have give up on Paypal. is there another way? This should be easier?!

I am so utterly disgusted at what has happened with Nick. We have a totally dysfunctional (alleged) prime minister and govt. hell bent on control, which is more related to OCD in my book than anything approaching justice.

Please let me know if I can donate another way.

March 2, 2010 at 9:46 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Martin

Thanks for your stance and guts Nick. £5.00 on its way for your release. What a stinking hell hole this country has become.

March 2, 2010 at 11:19 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Davies

I think it is disgusting to put a man in jail just because he has had a fag.
But at least he can smoke in his cell which is one conselation. But we are all week and need to stand up to the government. If we all smoked in pubs still what could they do. Send us all to prison. There's not enough room. And by the way our money pays for these prisons to be run and the hospitals. Without us they would be in a far deeper dept than they are now.

March 2, 2010 at 13:55 | Unregistered CommenterDil walters

I don't have (and don't want) a Paypal account - can I make a donation by credit card instead?

I don't smoke, and never have, but I am totally against the smoking ban. A government that believes that it is justified in imposing laws on a minority because it's "for the minority's own good" or because the majority feel the need to impose their prejudiced views on the remaining minority is very dangerous. I'm sure that only a minority of people drive SMART cars - shall we ask for a law that imposes upon this minority a requirement that they pay more tax - to reduce the tax burden of the majority or because I think that they shouldn't be allowed on the roads ? At this rate, our Government will feel justified in outlawing the traditional English fried breakfast being served in any pub or restaurant - after all, the majority don't it eat and it would be "for my own good" that they'd be stopping me. And the inconvenience caused to others by the bacon odour that clings to the clothes of the other people in the restaurant would be eliminated. It's a slippery slope from here.

Seriously now, perhaps we should ask those MPs who are intending to stand again at the forthcoming election to clarify their own position on the smoking ban and the principle of outlawing minority activities based on the prejudices of the remaining majority.

March 2, 2010 at 17:09 | Unregistered Commentersteve titcombe

@steve - I am writing about Nick to my own MP (and copying the letter to Alan Johnson and the Shadow Home Secretary).

It's encouraging that people are seeing this as the political issue that it really is rather than a 'smoking' issue and I think that many more people are waking up to the real nastiness of the ban.

Labour will be praying that this story is kept quiet because it provides a focus for the unhappiness felt by many people in this country which it's responsible for.

March 2, 2010 at 18:12 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Pleased to be able to donate and show support for someone who has had to courage to defy the dictatorship. The only requirement for evil to flourish is for good men (& women) to do nothing!!

March 2, 2010 at 20:24 | Unregistered CommenterBeryl

I'm going to make a donation as soon as I've written this comment. Just want to say I'm also sick of this country and our politians and all their BS, I'll be voting outside the mainstream this year. I'll also recommend this link/article to all who have me as a facebook friend to try to get more support, I hope everyone else will do the same if they can. The amendthesmokingban crowd need a leader, perhaps now we have one?

March 3, 2010 at 20:38 | Unregistered CommenterPaul McDonagh

Have I missed something here? Did he murder soemone as well as smoke a cigarette? How can anyone be in jail for such a trivial thing? When you think of all the thugs and muderers out on the streets this offence is about as important as dropping litter. What sort of country am I living in now? There's so little I'm allowed to do without offending someone! The complete ban on smoking is an outrage. They should be forced to withdraw it and allow smoking in certain establsihments, they could have done that in the first place. If not, let's have a SMOKE IN outside Parliament util they get the message that it seems that smokers have less rights than an immigrant!

March 5, 2010 at 17:06 | Unregistered CommenterJan Andersen-Page

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