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« This media bias really hacks me off | Main | Woo-hoo!! Government unblocks Forest website »

Nick Hogan - target reached!!!

I am delighted to report that our combined efforts to raise £8,669 to release former landlord Nick Hogan from jail have succeeded. And it took less than seven days. Old Holborn has an update HERE.

Please note: the nature of PayPal is such that it will take a few working days to access the money - and as I reported a couple of days ago, the authorities want the money in cash before they will release Nick.

Everything has gone very smoothly. Anna Raccoon, who wrote the post that kick started the campaign last Saturday, has spoken every day to Nick's wife Denise. Nick too has been kept informed and all is well. We look forward to seeing him when he is released next week.

Congratulations to Anna Raccoon and Old Holborn for a fantastic effort, and thanks to everyone who made a donation or publicised the campaign on their blog or website.

More to follow next week when Nick is released from jail. The process is well under way. Please be patient - and please leave everything to OH and Anna Raccoon.

PS. As Anna says elsewhere, thanks too to Guido Fawkes for help with the final push.

Reader Comments (110)

Well, let's hope he does not play the heroic martyr again. If he can't run his pub within the law then he should stop being a publican. I trust the licensing authorities will consider stripping him of his licence at the next review.

March 5, 2010 at 18:37 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

Brilliant news on a brilliant Spring-like day (despite the wintry overtone above) !

Well done to all concerned.

Bloody well done, in fact..............

March 5, 2010 at 18:44 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Well done everyone :)

March 5, 2010 at 18:48 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I am in favour of the rights of smokers but with rights come responsibilities and the primary obligation of a publican is to obey the law. I have not contributed to his fund and am disappointed that Forest has supported him.

March 5, 2010 at 18:50 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

It would appear Freedom2Choose have sprung Nick this evening, after demanding that I transfer all monies donated to them.

I didn't. I couldn't. I wouldn't.

They are not very happy about it though

March 5, 2010 at 18:59 | Unregistered CommenterOld Holborn


No-one asked for your opinion. Insensitive as it is.

What happened this week was a victory for common sense. This is something you clearly do not possess.

Is your hatred for smokers, and their supporters, so intense that you feel the need to scribble your bile here?

Just. Go. Away.

March 5, 2010 at 19:20 | Unregistered CommenterColin Grainger

Nicik Hogan could have been safely home tonight, enjoying a pint or three in the company of his loving wife. This why he remains in HMP Forest Bank:-

March 5, 2010 at 19:31 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Johnson

No he couldn't Phil

The funds have not yet been released by Paypal due to money laundering legilslation (see my latest blogpost). Your demands that I hand it over to an un-named and unknown person immediately are frankly remarkable.

When the funds (£9712) are cleared through Paypal they will be used to release Nick or if your anonymous "gentleman" has paid in full before, refunded to the large amounts of donors. Not before. If you have a problem with that, speak to Paypal. I have moved Heaven and Earth to raise this money for a man I have never met and want nothing more than to see him released.

Do let us know how much you and F2C have raised because from where I'm sat, it appears to be the grand total of nothing. Your demands for unlimited access to the funds donated by my readers in the last four days are frankly bizarre.

Free Nick Hogan is exactly what I intend to do. When funds are cleared. Should you wish to discuss the matter further, please feel free to call me.

March 5, 2010 at 19:48 | Unregistered CommenterOld Holborn

well said Colin...couldnt have put it better myself...People like Archie may be what Labour needs but who needs labour ?
And well done to all of said earlier a victoy for the common sense pary ( ie real everyday people) !

March 5, 2010 at 20:00 | Unregistered Commenteranon anon

Errrrrr Phil you did know before all this began that you need to set up a CONFIRMED paypal account of your own to receive the money and it might of taken a day to move over 5k.

March 5, 2010 at 20:02 | Unregistered CommenterJust Passing Through

Colin Grainger,

I am a smoker and if you can read you will note that I am in favour of smokers rights. But, as is frequently pointed, with rights come responsibilities and Nick Hogan has behaved irresponsibly. Firstly, by flouting the law and secondly by not paying the fine which was lawfully imposed on him. Childish tantrums by you will not change my mind or discourage me from expressing my opinion.

March 5, 2010 at 20:03 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells


With friends like you.....

March 5, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterColin Grainger

Now - the squabbling starts...

Frankly from all accounts Nick Hogan's experience of stir will discourage him from playing the heroic martyr in future. And let's hope his story discourages all the other brain dead attention seeking publicans from taking on the law.

March 5, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

I understand that Nick Hogan was bankrupt and could not pay the fine. He went to court to ask if the agreement to pay £500 per month could be reduced. If this is not the situation I stand corrected.

March 5, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterAstor

Archie watch the blood pressure mate we don't want you to die at the keyboard from a coronary.

March 5, 2010 at 20:11 | Unregistered CommenterJust Passing Through

I support the Conservative Party. Never have voted Labour and never will. They are the party that encourages people to believe that they have rights without responsibilities. Society is broken because too many don't appreciate that their behaviour has consequences. Nick Hogan won't make that mistake again.

What we must do is protest against the law but NOT break it. If it were universally opposed that would be a different matter. What we have to appreciate is that there are many people in favour of the legislation. We have to convince them they are wrong.

March 5, 2010 at 20:13 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

No stress at all, JPT. I keep myself fit and got perfect cardio health. How about you?

March 5, 2010 at 20:14 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

I could cut down on the bacon cobs and daddy sauce in the morning mate, I can still make the missus scream like a banshee though so it can't be too bad.

March 5, 2010 at 20:17 | Unregistered CommenterJust Passing Through

Will Nick be writing a book on his experiences?

Nick Hogan: My life behind bars

March 5, 2010 at 20:19 | Unregistered CommenterShoop Da Whoop


Keep it up! (as the actress said to the bishop...}

March 5, 2010 at 20:20 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

I don't understand why Freedom2Choose didn't do something sooner. They do not update their website very often in my experience. Why did they not ask people to donate last weekend? Why did they only announce today that they had found a source(s) for the costs and fine?

March 5, 2010 at 20:27 | Unregistered CommenterAstor

a shame that Nick coulnt do the time as he would have gained more respect from the public.
the first few days are the worst in the nick, but after a week or two you realise that its easy.
pity the fund didnt go to making an appeal and getting some decent brief.
this offense that got him jailed has been overturned in the States and all those barkeepers will get their fines bac.
when that reaches here Nick would have got some compensation for wrongful imprisonment

March 5, 2010 at 20:30 | Unregistered CommenterPete

A hollywood movie could be made about this, it could be the next shawshank redemption.

March 5, 2010 at 20:38 | Unregistered CommenterShoop Da Whoop

The prison sex scenes could have added realism now Nick has been broken by the inmates in real life as well.

March 5, 2010 at 20:40 | Unregistered CommenterShoop Da Whoop

I've just read F2C's front page piece which I find astonishing but, enough said.

It's wonderful news and Archie, how about you organise that lawabiding protest you'd rather have?

March 5, 2010 at 21:09 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce


I support Forest and believe they are in a better position than me as an individual in organising protest.

On that note: what are you doing to make your objections to the law known? Relying on others to break the law? Donating a couple of quid to the Nick Hogan fund? Or donating nothing and doing nothing at all?

Do you think Nick Hogan's protest will any effect on changing the law? If you do, then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. He was irresponsible, misguided and an irrelevance.

March 5, 2010 at 21:35 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

Archie says that he is a Conservative but I notice that he was the first one to make a comment - a trademark of Labour trolls, (get in there first and hijack the thread). If the law wasn't so biased and discriminatory, no-one would break it - what right have Labour to stick their noses into the business of private clubs - what right do Labour have to interfere in all of our lives - pubs are dying at the rate of over fifty a week because of this obnoxious legislation - give people the freedom to choose with smoking and non-smoking pubs - that would be democracy, but Labour don't do democracy - and as for all the non-smoking hypocrites who made such a big deal of being "able, at last, to go to the pub without having to breathe all that awful, cancerous, second-hand smoke" - pub landlords are still waiting for the fucking, sactimonious, righteous cunts to show up! Now fuck off!

March 5, 2010 at 21:48 | Unregistered CommenterBarking Spider

Barking Spider

Excuse me! I am a smoker. I support Forest. I vote Conservative. I do not agree with the smoking ban. I just don't happen to agree with the approach of Nick Hogan and his supporters. Nor do I approve of your foul language - that is something I would ban in pubs! Using the c-word on a public discussion board where we should be trying to influence opinion is frankly disgraceful and counter-productive. Do you really think anyone is impressed by your 'mastery' of expletives?

Your plea to democracy is pure hypocrisy. If anyone does not share your view you harangue them and tell them to f*** off. You sir are no democrat. You are a bully.

March 5, 2010 at 22:08 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

Congratulations to all concerned raising the money to free Nick Hogan I look forward to seeing him reunited with his family as soon as humanely possible.

To those who are intent on discorde within the community fighting the smoking ban I will just say that the potential damage that could be done to the campaigne to ammend/repeal this divisive and unjust law will outweigh anything that Old Holborne and Anna Racoon have acheived, Please settle your differences quickly and quietly then lets get back to fighting the real enemy.

Archie Wells I do not like your opinions, but then I am not required to, I do however respect your right to express them, I have and would again put my life on the line to defend that right, would you do as much for smokers or anyone else who disagrees with you?

March 5, 2010 at 22:09 | Unregistered Commentersoapy


Thank you for your considered and considerate response. Of course I respect your right to express your views and those of others. And of course I support the rights of smokers. I am a smoker and have just this very minute stubbed out a cigarette.

I do not however agree with the use of foul language by the likes of Barking Spider

March 5, 2010 at 22:22 | Unregistered CommenterArchie Wells

Our differences are settled

Nick will be free

I will see to it personally

March 5, 2010 at 22:25 | Unregistered CommenterOld Holborn

Nick is not the only landlord to flout the smoking ban. In the town where I live 3 pubs have lock ins at midnight and out come the ash trays and smoking commences. Good luck to them I say, they have to earn a living some how. 3 working men clubs and 2 pubs have closed in our town since this hideous ban came in,putting more on the dole !!!

March 5, 2010 at 22:31 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Archie - I'm not rising. I don't intend to allow you, or anyone else, to detract from the achievement of the past week.

March 5, 2010 at 22:33 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Phil & OH

Please sort your differences out and stop behaving like a pair of drama queens. The cause is bigger than anyone's ego for crying out loud.

I am a paid member of F2C and sometime reader of OH's blog. I donated my £50 to the cause of Nick Hogan - not to F2C nor OH.

Neither of you has the right to speak for me, and yet, perversely, both of you do.

So seriously guys. Shake hands! Then get Nick out of pokey!


March 5, 2010 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterBrianB

Nick Hogan broke the law, so did the Pudlicote Martyrs, so did the victims of the Peterloo Massacre, so did the Suffraggetes, so did.....I could go on and on. I am sure there are many more landlords who would have done the same had they not been tied by the UK pubco system. An unjust law to satisfy the peronal dislikes of people who don't have a social life, based on pseudo science invented to justify their selfish desires.

March 5, 2010 at 22:40 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

"primary obligation of a publican is to obey the law"


What a bizzare comment!

If anything, the primary obligation of a publican is to the customers and that's a real stretch!

Primary obligation indeed!

You are a mischievous fellow!

March 5, 2010 at 23:19 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

Thank you Archie, the issue of swearing is between you and Barking Spider, From my own experience I learned a long time ago some people actually do express themselves in such terms rightly or wrongly.

Old Holborn, I assume your 22:25 post was in response to my post, Thank you for clarifying your position, I look forward to Nick's release. I hope now that we can all go forward to end this travesty of justice and the law that spawned it.

I note in my post that I misspelt your name, and while I am sure that you are not particularly upset by it offer apology anyway.

March 5, 2010 at 23:19 | Unregistered Commentersoapy


I wholeheartedly agree. I hope this misunderstanding between OH and Freedom 2 Choose is cleared up soon. I'm a member of F2C and a daily reader of OH's blog. I became aware of the issue through F2C who've been following Nick's case since his first run-in with the State in 2007 and I became aware of Nick's imprisonment through F2C. However, I donated money to free Nick, and I did so through OH's blog (because he so generously offered to put in the toil and effort to get the account set up). However, to say F2C "did nothing for a week" as he does on his blog tonight is disingenuous of OH as most F2Cers are readers of OH's blog and/or were directed there through the F2C site or the F2C set-up Facebook page. That said, no-one is denying what OH has done here - he's put in a lot of work and he's got the job done in under a week. But this spat is unbecoming and I hope will be sorted out soon. Both are good guys as far as I'm concerned and I'd rather see both taking it to ASH and their ilk (as per usual) rather than squabbling.

On a different note, is there any MSM coverage of this yet? I want to see what ASH's Arnott has to say about it. Or the New-Labour puppets who always go on about how popular the ban is.

Good work to everyone involved, regardless of what's happened in the last few hours.

March 5, 2010 at 23:53 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

In my view the whole thing should be viewed as success rather than anything else. Congratulations!

It seems it's time to move to the next logical step" :)) What should it be?

March 6, 2010 at 0:14 | Unregistered CommenterBrankach

A good citizen has a duty to break an unjust law.
Only a fool believes that every law is just per se.

March 6, 2010 at 0:45 | Unregistered CommenterShaftmonde

Good to see all differences are now settled.

Now on to the next order of business, getting Nick out!

(Then of course, getting the story in the MSM. For once I actually want to see ASH comment on a story.)

March 6, 2010 at 1:10 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

I'm so glad the differences are settled too.

It will be great when the people actually give a salute to this nanny state and the brainwashed when Nick gets out.

Well done to everyone involved for getting this sorted so quickly.

Best wishes to both Nick and Denise, whose current circumstances I cannot begin to imagine. Please hang in there, as the ordeal is almost over.

March 6, 2010 at 1:38 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Mr A, I already know Arnott's opening line, somthing like - 'It is obvious that so much money raised in so short a time has support from the Tobacco Industry'.

What is worse however, is that the media will accept the statement without argument and the public will believe it.

March 6, 2010 at 1:39 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Archie Wells,

Having spent a year during my law degree studying jurisprudence, the position from a philosophical point of view is nowhere near as clear as you state. You are evidently of the view that the law is the law and must be complied with, regardless of how bad it is.

Well, you are entitled to that view, however you are not entitled to impose that philosophical view point on others. There is, equally, a perfectly valid legal philosophy which argues that a law can be so bad that it should not be complied with. There are many other competing philosophies, as well.

From Wikipedia:

Writing after World War II, Lon L. Fuller notably emphasised that the law must meet certain formal requirements (such as being impartial and publicly knowable). To the extent that an institutional system of social control falls short of these requirements, Fuller argues, we are less inclined to recognise it as a system of law, or to give it our respect. Thus, law has an internal morality that goes beyond the social rules by which valid laws are made. Fuller and scholar H.L.A. Hart were colleagues at Oxford University. One of the disagreements between Fuller, a natural lawyer, and Hart, a positivist, was whether Nazi law was so bad that it could no longer be considered law.

I, personally, believe that some laws are particularly abhorrent and should not be complied with, even at personal risk to one's self.

In the present case, you view Nick Hogan as foolish, while I view him as principled and heroic. I am as entitled to my view as you are to yours. People much smarter than either of us have been arguing the point for centuries.

March 6, 2010 at 4:11 | Unregistered CommenterAno

If I may put Imo’s words in a more simple way, it has long been a ‘philosophical law’ that, “I am not my brother’s keeper”. This quotation comes from the Bible. Contrary to what one might immediately think, this phrase DOES NOT mean, “I do not have to look after ‘my brother’. It means that I do not have to tell my ‘brother’ (not real, related brother) what to do or how to behave.

Nick Hogan was imprisoned because he would not agree that the Labour Government could pass a law which made him become ‘his bother’s keeper’. If we let the state get away with this as regards publicans having to force people to behave as the State requires, then we will all have to become ‘our brother’s keeper’. This is not on.

I read somewhere, that in the USA, a similar case has been thrown out. Of course, being the USA, the guy probably had a decent solicitor/lawyer.

What are our politicians doing allowing these laws which are contrary to ‘natural justice’ through? The fact is that, in the legislation, there was never any expressed intent that publicans (or whoever) should in fact be required to act in this way.

March 6, 2010 at 4:47 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

After not raising money to help Nick repay his £10,000 fines from 2008, this is what freedom2choose chairman Phil Johnson posted last night -

Nick Hogan-Inhumanity of Man
Phil Johnson
5th March 2010.
Please read this people and weep for Nick Hogan!
Please read this people and weep for Denise Hogan!
Read this again and weep for both of them, for what has happened today is totally beyond the comprehension of this humble writer. It is beyond the comprehension normal folk, it is beyond comprehension .... full bloody stop!
The "Nick Hogan Fund" reached it's target by early this morning thanks to the marvellous generosity of not only smokers nationwide but non smokers who cannot abide the injustices that occur to everyday folk in this country.
We have,as our Champion in the Nick Hogan (honourary member, f2c) corner, one Hamish Howitt (honourary member, f2c). Hamish has moved legal mountains to secure Nick's release on bail pending further hearings. His actual release has not been forthcoming due to being unable to get a barrister 'on site' - 'at the drop of a hat' and the fact that Bolton Courts have decided to take strike action next Monday/Tuesday - farcically, they claim they are being 'mistreated' (whatever that means to clerical workers in courthouses)
With permission I impart the knowledge that Nick is not bearing up very well to his present 'home' situation. Not surprising really as this 'underworld' environment is a totally foriegn to the likes of Nick Hogan who is simply a businessman, defeated by the laws of this country and suitably bankrupted for his efforts. All this before he was finally imprisoned for ridiculously high fines and absolutely unjustifiable 'costs', apparently incurred by the local council in their vigorous pursuit of this most heinous of crimes - giving people/customers the choice to smoke or suck NRT Gum!
Hamish Howitt was permissioned to speak with Nick yesterday concerning legal matters afoot but today spoke to me and asked "can we get Nick out today? He cannot cope with this situation anymore Phil, I am seriously worried about his health (mental health we are talking here folks!)
After nearly 50 phone calls to various people I found the source of the £8,774.18p required to be placed in the hands of HMP Forest Bank custody officers (amount checked via phone call, cash only accepted!). The 3rd party in this wishes to remain anonymous - I totally respect that wish.
The money has been transfered to another account for immediate collection so as to get to the prison by 5.30, today, at the very latest. As time scales went it would have been much sooner and Nick Hogan would have been a 'free' man by 6pm (latest) tonight.
So here we are folks, thanks to all the good offices and generous donations, Nick Hogan could be freed. He could be back in the arms of his beloved Denise instead of stuck in some exceedingly dingy, unwelcoming 8' x 6' cheerless room at the pleasure of HMP service. The power of the people had done its job. Well done everyone for your magnificent response to this outrageous treatment of someone who dared to stand against all that destroyed his businesses. The people who care turned the system upside down to protect one of their own through their own magnificent gestures.
Unbelievably, and I cannot fathom the reasoning behind this most inhuman act, the holder of the PayPal Account where all funds have been pouring in has REFUSED to pay the donated monies into the willing 3rd parties bank account in order that the 3rd party is fully re-imbursed, stating that HE will be travelling up to Manchester (with a gentleman from another organisation) and a media entourage, to 'pay the prison & spring Nick'.
This act of with-holding the funds (publicly collected funds I might add) is the most disgraceful act I have ever had the displeasure to comprehend, for a man that is seriously troubled by his situation (wouldn't you be with murders, rapists, jugheads and coke orientated mentailities around you?) could have been released back into the community today but instead, because of some other manifestly unfathomable reason (?) now has to endure more mental anguish and inner turmoil due to the stubborness and unbelievable selfishness of the 'donation button holder'. What can I add?
Denise is mortified, she wants 'her man' home, behind his bar not prison bars. She cannot believe this turn of events and is basically in bits, now being comforted by the "3rd party" who is equally shocked into disbelief.
Hamish Howitt, with whom I have been in constant contact with all day, despite his continuous meeting with judges and other legal people etc has stated, " I cannot believe that anyone could do this to my friend who is severely depressed, on suicide watch and could have been out of this hell hole tonight. Denise will be distrought when she hears about this refusal to forward the donations to the 3rd party who has so kindly offered the money today. I dread to think of Nick's mental state come Tuesday. I am disgusted, totally disgusted."
I'm afraid that I cannot add to those sad, sad words.
Nick, I know you cannot read this but I send you the best wishes of all at freedom2choose - and all those donators - plus the strength to endure HMP Forest Bank until sometime Tuesday when, apparently, you will be 'allowed' to be released!

March 6, 2010 at 8:40 | Unregistered CommenterDisaffected Freedom2choose member

Old Holborn is right i'm with him on this.
The idea was to get Mr Hogan out.
I've known people in the past who have been inside and on the rare occasions they ever metioned it and the situations that can occur in prisons,frankly i'm glad he's out.
I am still disgusted at the cynical stance and bullying tactic used against this man by the Labour government and the judiciary.
Making examples of people like this to prop up an unpopular law is the tactic of despotic regimes.
Obviously we are enduring one.

March 6, 2010 at 9:12 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky


The front page story has been withdrawn. Mistakes have been made. Why are you trying to stir them up again?

March 6, 2010 at 9:35 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

I do think it was a little unkind of F2C yesterday to ring Denise (Nicks wife) telling her that a mystery donor was on their way to prison to release nick immediately.

And then not bother to tell her they weren't.

March 6, 2010 at 9:47 | Unregistered CommenterOld Holborn

That you would have to take up with Phil Johnson OH, he knows more about what was said to Denise than this humble blog writer does.

March 6, 2010 at 10:00 | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYin

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