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« Big Society? It's all a blur | Main | Raise a strawberry to Adam Smith »

MP wants smoking ban lifted

Another Conservative MP has called for amendments to the smoking ban. Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, said he would use his new position as vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group to lobby the Government to allow pubs to have separate rooms for smokers. Binley (who voted for the ban) told his local newspaper:

"I think if pubs can prove they've got proper extraction fans or a room set aside for smokers, they should be allowed to operate in that way, not shove people outside in all weathers into these shanties and so-called smoking shelters.

"It's just crazy that people are being forced to stand outside and people who live near pubs are left complaining about the noise generated by them.

"So I'll be calling on the Government to ensure that if pubs have proper extraction systems or special smoking rooms, smoking should be allowed in those rooms.

Full story HERE.

JTI supports Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign

Reader Comments (37)

Good news and you can comment in the newspaper, drop him a line or read his blog.

June 15, 2010 at 11:10 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I'd rather he considered the critiques of the 'science' on which the ban is based and denounced it for the nonsense that it is. Instead, then, of murdering smokers being magnanimously accommodated out of harm's way in separate areas, we could all acknowledge that smokers cause only discomfort to some non-smokers who might be accommodated by business owners willing to install extraction systems. To me that represents a huge shift in a balance of power which has become grotesquely distorted by the lie of passive smoking. We might have many business owners deciding to remain smoke-free. Fine - at least their decision would not be based on The Big Lie.

June 15, 2010 at 12:02 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

You really think the matter rests with The Big Lie, as you term it? Hasn't it really moved on to people realising they don't like their environment being polluted, whether it causes health risks or not.

A side effect of the smoking ban in pubs has been an improvement in some people's personal hygiene - never realised they stank so much until the cloak of smoke was removed and they became aware of it.

It's going to be as hard to sell to pub companies that they need to install heavy duty extraction fans and hermetically seal off certain rooms, as it was to get them to obey the Disability Discrimination Act and install ramps and grab rails. Pub interiors are easier (and so cheaper) to clean, food is more palatable and can enjoy a higher mark-up. There are too many reasons for the pubs that have survived not to go back.

June 15, 2010 at 13:36 | Unregistered Commentersimon

You are right simon, of course we don't want our environment polluted any more like it used to be before when we had unleaded petrol and large cars poisoning our youngsters. Today we can take our children out in the knowledge that they stand at last a 50-50 chance of surviving the fumes, whereas a few years ago you could be sure of them catching some sort of bronchial disease.

You are also right about people not smelling so much either. We now have marvellous aerosol sprays that disguise all sorts of smells, from B.O to farting, and I must say that I am one of those that use these on a daily basis, so well done there, the pharmaceutical trade.

As for pubs going back to the bad old days, I agree with you, why should they? Who on earth wants pubs that only sell beer and spirits, where people sit around smoking and talking to each other, when we can have nice open plan pubs with hardly anyone in them, giving us plenty of space and no nasty beery smells?

I'm with you all the way simon.

June 15, 2010 at 14:28 | Unregistered CommenterTony Clarke

Personally, simon, I'd be very grateful if The Big Lie were exposed - I'd prefer non-smokers to realise that I'm not murdering them with my cigarettes and to hear the last of further restrictions based on such grounds.

If the pubs that have survived so far would have too much to lose to go back, I wonder why there's a campaign at all - unless the ban has nothing whatsoever to do with pubs closing down. That's patent nonsense, too. Some places will choose to remain smoke-free, others which had a largely smoking clientele, will welcome smokers back and damn the cost of cleaning! No need for hermetically-sealed rooms if smoking doesn't damage others' health nor for heavy-duty extraction systems (unless customers are now intolerantly sensitive to the smell of alcohol polluting their pub environment).

June 15, 2010 at 14:30 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I,m of the opinion that the number of people who are obsessively against being anywhere near a whiff of smoke are in the minority and it should be them that should be accomodated in separate rooms however any move towards having some places inside for the smokers are to be commended. In reality I,m sure a lot of pubs will want to stay as they are at present , perhaps more the foody pubs, but it,s a start and hopefully would include the provision for the small pubs to choose whether to be smoking or not.. Meanwhile the irregularities of the science can still be looked into and eventually exposed for the lies that they are.

June 15, 2010 at 14:36 | Unregistered Commentersheila

If your name is Simon and you wish to comment on this blog please add your surname or an initial or use another name so there is no mistaken identity. Thank you!

June 15, 2010 at 14:59 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark

Simon's comment is similar to many I've read. He and many people in favour of the smoking ban obviously don't want to spend time in smoking rooms: that's fair enough; but on top of that, don't want smoking rooms to exist. I can even accept that: they feel that smoke leaks out and, if they can smell it, it disturbs them. What I think is totally unreasonable, is objecting to completely separate smokers' pubs and private clubs, with powerful ventilation and where children are not admitted and so do not come into contact with smoke. The only possible fear with these is that they will be popular and that, with good ventilation, even some nonsmokers might venture in. In fact, what they fear is spending their leisure time in a soulless room reeking of microwaved lasagne and full of screaming children. I haven't much sympathy: if nonsmokers drank more they could keep their own pubs in business; yet I think their fears are groundless. There are now, particularly within the middle classes, complete social circles where nobody smokes: those of my two sisters, for example. There must surely be now be sufficient drinking nonsmokers for nonsmoking pubs to exist without the need for legislation. As to the cleaning issue: extra cleaning and air extraction cannot possibly cost more than 5p on each drink sold; and I and many other smokers are quite prepared to pay that; and once pub owners realise that , they will quite happily charge it.

June 15, 2010 at 15:11 | Unregistered Commenterjon

I wouldn't worry too much about people like 'simon', there is always going to be people like him somewhere, and if they haven't got the cigarette to whinge about then I am sure they'll find another prop to hang their sorry hat on.

There is a great, but terribly sad story in today's Daily Mail, about a picture of Churchill which has been doctored, to take away his cigar before it was displayed as part of a museum exhibit.

A member of the public spotted the airbrushed picture and reported it, and has commented thus: 'Viewing the now disfigured image reveals just how unhinged the vociferous anti-smoking lobby has become. So much for the notion that only communist tyrants airbrushed history'.

I thought that was a very good summing up of these type of people, the 'simons' of this world.

A good point in smoker's favour by the way, is that the Mail has also featured this in their 'Comment' column, where they end by saying 'This was the man (and incidentally he lived to be 90) who led the fight to keep us free. In this new age of ludicrous censorship, his ghost must be wandering why he bothered'

Well said the Daily Mail!

June 15, 2010 at 15:39 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

You don't want Deborah Arnott to use her real name do you Simon?

June 15, 2010 at 17:11 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik

"Binley (who voted for the ban)..."

For why then?

Where did he think the smokers would go, sit on the roof?

June 15, 2010 at 19:05 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph K

Have you ever heard, Joseph K, of turning over a new leaf?

What would you prefer, some dick-headed Labour MP who says the ban is a good thing?

June 15, 2010 at 19:49 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Simon - I agree. This issue has moved on. People, and politicians, do now recognise that prejudicial intolerance is totally unacceptable and choice is right and fair to both sides of this debate.

June 15, 2010 at 20:02 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

@ Joseph K

I too noticed that (voted for the ban). What I surmise is that he did not know just how Draconian the ban was intended to be. We must remember that the regulations which banned reasonable shelter outdoors were only published after the Act had been passed. Perhaps he envisaged something like the provisions in holiday areas abroad where plastic sheeting around outdoor seating areas provided shelter from the elements.

I have just been to the site and commented. We should note, on reading the comments there, that the vast majority of people against the idea of separate, well ventilated rooms for smokers still continue to bang on about the effects of passive smoking on them, when the whole objective is avoid that situation.

Of course, I agree that Freedom to Choose is what we all want, but, surely, just to get back inside would be wonderful in the short term.

June 15, 2010 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

It's not about passive smoking to the anti's it's about "smokers".
Your quote...
"They need to install heavy duty extraction fans" ..
They did !
Then after they (publicans ,restuaranters)had made that investment ,which must have cost 1,000's ,they turned round and banned !
Oblivious to a complete lack of solid evidence I may add.
Or the fact that Pubs estimated 41% of custom came from smokers.
Besides, smoking areas for smokers ?
This is the real test between compromise and bigotry.
A smoking area where smokers can go.
A smoking area that had at least three walls to protect from the elements ,the same as the DEFRA recommendation for the minimum walls to protect a pig from the elements.
Or a complete ban.
Simple if you do not like the smell of smoke do not go into the smoking area .
Unfortunately that is not enough is it.
Smokers must not be seen inside with the non smokers ,who by the way never turned up anyhow.
It's prejudicial in nature and nothing more.
It's called bigotry.
Try a pillow slip with eye holes cut out and a gas mask,it would probably suit you.

June 15, 2010 at 22:27 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Actually a smoking are is only allowed by law to have one wall to the elements unlike a PIG PEN which must by law have three.
Apologies ...

June 15, 2010 at 22:30 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

I was only trying to illustrate my surprise at his comments about feeling sorry for all the faggers out in the cold,

Junican gets what my cheap gag was about, and also goes further, I don't think many who voted for it had a clue how draconian it is, or didn't give a shit.

Remember Charles Kennedy smoking out a train window, he expressed surprise it was "illegal", what a farce!

Still nice to see one converted MP, keep 'em coming.

June 15, 2010 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph K

Brian Binley voted against the smoking ban where we are in Dartford. If the smoking ban is not amended, 40% of the pubs will close in the next two years. My husband stood in the last general election for the English Democrats and got a lot of support from pubs as he was the only candidate who brought the smoking ban to light.

June 15, 2010 at 23:18 | Unregistered Commenterlisa symmons

sorry i made a mistake regarding the above Brian Binley voted to keep private members clubs exempt.

June 15, 2010 at 23:34 | Unregistered Commenterlisa symmons

Listen, everyone. I have just been back to that site again and made another comment. While I was there, I looked through the list of names of commenters. I only recognised one or two.

I think that it is important to comment on these sites, especially this one, if only to lend a little support to Binley MP. If he can say that comments in favour outnumbered comments against by 3 to 1, it gives him a bit of leverage with fellow Tory MPs.

Go comment! Just click HERE in Simon's article, click 'register' and enter email address, location and password. There seems to be no moderation of sensible comments. Both of mine appeared straight away.

June 16, 2010 at 0:40 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"Smoking rooms" have always been discovered to be engineering turned on its head. What is required is the comfort of a relative few in the community, teased by statistical gymnastics, to believe that short term exposure to second hand smoke will do them harm. It is almost impossible to serve the needs of fanatics who promote smoking bans and cigarette patches. So the rooms have always been shouted down by those who measure decades old sediment off gasses outside the room, in the most extreme sub pico gram ranges and conclude that the room is leaking and thousands will die as a circumstance.

Following the requirement; what needs to be constructed are non-smokers rooms with newly painted walls which accommodate the most extreme of investigations. Rooms that will be cleaned of not only tobacco smoke but a great deal of more urgent concerns found in outdoor air. The rooms will not require as many seats, they will solve the problem with the minimal of fuss and people who are not concerned with the smoke in the vast majority, will be free to make their own choices, on the finally legitimate "leveled playing field" solution.

With that solved we could move on to a real world problem associated to all of these medical mafia fairy-tales, which are driving the neurotic to chronic status in record numbers. MPs should be asking for investigations, in place of writing extortion checks to criminals.

There is an old shell game that was once very popular with the street con artists, until the local constabulary cracked down. The same methods of bait and switch have been used by the ASH [Anti Social Hyper-boil society] centric fanatics, to promote the divisions of communities internationally. And the financial rewards enticed by coercing elected officials with emotional blackmail to pay, trillions now, into the promotion of nicotine patches and chewing gum are legendary.

Here is the rub.

If you take all the health ailments known to man and test to see if they are associated to those who smoke, in more significant numbers than in those who don't smoke, you find the arguments against smoking.

All the rest are obviously associated to non-smokers and you categorize those as the effects of second hand smoke, with an assumed universal exposure.

A win win no matter how you judge it.

The fanatical mind always finds a way to promote self sanctimony. Money is the primary motivation here however.

You have all been taken to the cleaners and only self denial and shame, will hold you back from demanding the prosecutions of the lot of them.

June 16, 2010 at 10:14 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

From an article in The Publican - March 09 - the author commenting on a visit to Brussels

"So how was it to take a trip down memory lane? To be in a bar where smokers and non-smokers rubbed shoulders? Frankly? Disgusting.

From someone who, only five years ago, smoked 50 cigarettes a day and who enjoyed the company of smokers the realisation was that from the twenty minutes exposure to a smoky environment means I am now sitting here with clothes that stink and with sore eyes. Maybe I developed a tolerance before. I certainly don't have it now.

There is no doubt, in my mind, that Belgian smokers know that their days are numbered. In light of other countries' positions their stance is less and less tenable. But even so, in a country where smoking is so much part of their culture, there is also a feeling that even if the change came through legislation many bars would have stopped voluntarily. There was no evidence whatsoever that smoking bars were more popular than non-smoking bars. Indeed the evidence I saw would be to the contrary."

Simon - happy to avoid confusion. Will this do? Speccy - why sp hostile? Did I waggle a stick in your nest? Peter - absolutely agree with you about the airbrushing of history. It's Stalinist. The present has to learn from the successes and mistakes of the past. We get nowhere by pretending these things didn't happen; there is no way that a picture of Churchill with a cigar will 'promote' smoking.

June 16, 2010 at 10:19 | Unregistered CommenterSimon (NSC)

Just read the above news, following a few days' break.

Could it possibly be that AT LAST The Message is starting to get through ?

I like to think so.

And when some of those MPs who voted so unthinkingly for the Ban begin to express a change of heart - in favour of a sensible amendment - then we'll know for certian that we're making progress.

June 16, 2010 at 11:04 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Simon (NSC) -

Thanks for the enlightening quote from the (presumably) Reformed Smoker about the Joys Of The Smoke-Free Environment. Glad he's happy, at any rate.

Some years ago, my city's Labour-run council decided to close our wonderful (and hugely popular) Lido, built in the Thirties.

And allow it to be used (for a while) as a skate-board rink.

Well, skate-boards were very 'now' - at the time.

A brilliant and imaginative piece of thinking - as you'd expect from a Labour council.

Especially when you consider ALL the side-benefits:

No more danger of people's drowning ('Water Kills !)

No more semi-naked fatties to distress one's Aesthetic Sensibilities.

And - perhaps best of all:

No more of that ghastly Chlorine which many non-swimmers found SO offensive (sticks to your hair, makes your eyes water etc etc).

My Dear, the SMELL of it............................................

It's now a multi-storey car park.

If only more of our political masters - and their citizen lapdogs - were to display an equal capacity for such forward-thinking and creative originality.

I mean - it doesn't take THAT much intelligence, surely ?

Which is probably just as well............................................

June 16, 2010 at 11:35 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Kevin -

Nice post, by the way.

Now, back to painting the house - before Mr Sun goes on holiday again.

June 16, 2010 at 13:12 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

I am not sure Simon (nsc) whether you are here, like others before, to try to provoke knee-jerk reactions from posters, in the hope that they will become so angry that they will provide you with ammunition to fuel your argument that smokers are selfish, ignorant people that deserve absolutely no pity whatsoever.

And before you let fly with you did not say that, I know you didn't, but by aligning yourself with the anti-smoking lobby, you are also aligning yourself with their views in general, and that is their general consensus of anyone who smokes.

If on the other hand, you do hold genuine views, then why not put those views forward and encourage sensible discussion on why you believe people should not be allowed to smoke? Instead of this you use dialogue set to inflame and abuse ordinary people who chose to use a perfectly legal product.

You quote from an article where a man visiting a bar in Brussels supposedly says that because smokers and non-smokers rubbed shoulders, it was disgusting. This character goes onto say "I am now sitting here with clothes that stink and with sore eyes.

If you would like to have a sensible debate on this, maybe you would care to tell us why this person's clothes stunk so much and why their eyes were sore? My clothes never "stink" and believe me, I have an extra fine sense of smell, and I have never been told that my clothes stink either. As for my eyes, they are certainly are never sore. These examples are pure myth. I have even conducted an experiment in my own home, leaving a brand new face flannel beside an ash tray for a period of two weeks. I then offered it, alongside one that had not been in the room and asked a number of non smokers to tell me if either had been near cigarette smoke. I did not get one correct answer from them.

The character you quote also states "Maybe I developed a tolerance before. I certainly don't have it now". I think that statement sums up the average anti-smoker perfectly, i.e. "anti-tolerant".

If a person does not like the smell of tobacco smoke, or is frightened that it might cause them some harm, then that is their prerogative, but do you honestly think that any person's human rights should be taken away from them just because you do not like the smell? Smokers are not asking to mix with anti-smokers, thus enforcing their smoke onto them. They are asking for designated places in which to smoke, and designated places that are smoke free.

There is no excuse possible for anyone to say "you should not do this or that just because I don't like it".

Lastly, you try to inflame again, by stating (I think from your character) "There is no doubt, in my mind, that Belgian smokers know that their days are numbered". The last time I heard such an inflammatory statement was in a movie about the Warsaw Ghetto, the only difference was it was the Polish Jews who knew that their days were numbered.

June 16, 2010 at 13:20 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Dear me, Peter - back on the Nazi comparison again? Tsk tsk.

I don't see why what I quoted is seen as an attempt to provoke or inflame - it was merely an opposing view from an actual publican, from a publication aimed at publicans. It is a contrary view to the one expressed here that publicans want the ban lifted. There seems to be little evidence that pub companies (and it is in the big corporates that the power lies) want to lift the ban even if some individual license holders do. Managed houses like Wetherspoons certainly won't change, and tenanted pubs - the majority - won't be allowed to by the property owners.

I am not in the habit of 'letting fly' - but, please, in the words of Adam Boulton - 'don't tell me what I think'.

June 16, 2010 at 22:11 | Unregistered CommenterSimon (nsc)

An amendment is entirely do - able and any pub that does not want to have smoking would not be under any compulsion to do so. Moreover - they could have been non smoking at any time BEFORE it became illegal - so why didn't they ? Scared they'd be inundated with hoards of new, non-smoking customers ? I think not.
As to the dimwit reporter mentioned - why did he not simply take his sensitive eyes and designer clothes off to a non smoking bar? That one reporter has a fit of the vapours does not mean ALL non smokers are ( idealogicaly or physically) intolerant of smokers OR smoking, If they can enjoy a pint (litre?) with their smoking pals without needing an eyebath on hand it's their good fortune that (for now) their government has not decreed that they are no longer allowed to do so by law.

June 17, 2010 at 1:28 | Unregistered Commenterdunhillbabe

@ Simon (nsc).

It is good to have someone here arguing for the ban. But be careful, because most of us who comment on this site know the socialogical and scientific facts. Briefly, these are that a) free people can decide for themselves about how healthy they want to be, and,
b) that 'second hand tobacco smoke is harmless. These two 'principles' are all that matter. The first is self-evident. The second is open to dispute, but is becoming more and more evidently (by that I mean 'having evidence') sure.
Propaganda is the most wonderful thing - if you back it up with force. That is why we refer to Nazism. It is about THE METHODS that are being used, along with the swingeing penalties.

If you, personally, wish to believe that, by going into a place where smoking is allowed, your clothes and your person will become filthy, then you have the right to do so. Carry on as you wish. I, personally, as a putative non-smoker, do not think that my clothes and my person stink - I find no evidence of such a thing. But, of course, I wash myself and my clothes from time to time.

June 17, 2010 at 4:35 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

'Careful'? Am I in some danger? Free to be as healthy as we want to be - agree (although I would hope you would take some notice of those who love and depend on you). I do have some difficulty with your claim that it is a scientific 'fact' that second hand tobacco smoke is harmless. It can't be a fact if you concede it is open to dispute.

But it is more that that isn't it? Sure you have Enstrom and Kabat, you have Steven Milloy, and a numpty decision in remote North Carolina court, subsequently overturned. But like all of these, really, is there anything you can bring to the table that is truly independent of a business with a huge interest in selling tobacco? Of course you can dispute the motivation of governments and WHO for funding their studies, and ponder the fine line between education and propaganda, but you can hardly claim a moral high-ground when the 'science' you rely on is funded by BAT and Phillip Morris.

June 17, 2010 at 8:56 | Unregistered CommenterSimon (nsc)

Oh dear Simon (nsc), did I hot a cord with you by mentioning the Warsaw Ghetto? I never used the word "Nazis" by the way!

If you seriously do not want to be roped into the same class as these people, then why do you insist on using their rhetoric?

As has been pointed out by other posters on here, all "real" evidence points to the fact that second hand smoke does not cause any harm, and if you remember correctly, the whole premise of the smoking ban law was to supposedly protect non smokers and bar and restaurant staff from second-hand smoke. It was "not" to protect a few namby-pambies from a smell they didn't particularly like.

You say that you don't see why what you quoted was seen as an attempt to provoke or inflame. If that is really the case, then why are you on this site? You certainly do not make any attempt to indulge in debate of any kind!

Here are a couple of questions for you, if you feel like answering:

1. What is your main objection to smoking?

2. If someone was smoking in another part of the building to where you were and you could not smell it, and all tobacco fumes were contained to their part of the building, would you still object to it?

By the way, nowhere in my post did I, "tell you what to think"

June 17, 2010 at 9:36 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

I would have hoped Peter that you could afford me the respect as a free-thinking individual (given that you don't know me!) and not make assumptions that 'rope' me in with a 'class of people'. Why does it have to be all 'them and us'? I didn't say 'what TO think', I said 'don't tell me what I think'. Go by what I say, not what you assume, from others, I might also say. As for Naziism, no you didn't use the actual word, but nothing is won by such hair-splitting But references like the one you made seem to be common currency here. They make you look like extremists, and you're not going to persuade anyone with such silliness. Let me, calmly, politely, take you back to what I was saying.

To answer your second question first - no, I have absolutely no problem with that. And in a country, like Belgium, where it is still legal, it happens without comment. But it isn't the position here, and I was trying to get you to understand that it is unlikely to ever be so. To answer your first question (and here you have leapt to an assumption that I am a non-smoker), I don't object to smoking at all.

What I have been pointing out, in this thread, is that there isn't the great pressure that some assume, from owners of pubs, to rescind the ban. I don't say this lightly, but as one who has spent a life working in the pub industry (if you didn't get my hint!). This is the sentiment at the top of the pub companies, not necessarily the landlords, but there are many reasons for it. In essence the 'model' for the future is to get UK pubs closer to the place bars enjoy in society on the continent: more relaxed, more family orientated, less binge-focused. They want drinking to be seen as 'healthy' and so can't associate themselves with tobacco lobbying. The motivation is obvious - a genuine fear that after tobacco restriction the focus will turn to alcohol, coupled with a utopia that if they can improve the image of pubs, make them community, family orientated, places that little old ladies are happy to go to (and with their 9 - 1am cheap beer-with-food policy Wetherspoons are getting close) then some day licensing restrictions will be reduced. Naive maybe, but you can see why it is a viable business model for shareholders. It is a case of putting forward an image that makes them fit to survive. Reversing the smoking ban in pubs is genuinely seen by those in power in the big pub companies as a retrograde step, almost akin to reintroducing sawdust for people to vomit into.

June 17, 2010 at 10:46 | Unregistered Commentersimon (nsc)

"In essence the 'model' for the future is to get UK pubs closer to the place bars enjoy in society on the continent: more relaxed, more family orientated, less binge-focused. "

In other words, less pub-like ?

WHAT a gruesome prospect !

June 17, 2010 at 22:55 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

"...get UK pubs closer to the place bars enjoy in society on the continent: more relaxed, more family orientated, less binge-focused."

I don't wan't to drink in a Kindergarten, thanks.

"The motivation is obvious - a genuine fear that after tobacco restriction the focus will turn to alcohol"

Bit late, its already started.

"...coupled with a utopia that if they can improve the image of pubs, make them community, family orientated, places that little old ladies are happy to go to (and with their 9 - 1am cheap beer-with-food policy Wetherspoons are getting close) then some day licensing restrictions will be reduced. Naive maybe..."


The Scottish Par-lia-mint have already denied our old ladies and gents of a cheap pint or nip in the afternoon, so too late again Mr. Simon.

June 17, 2010 at 22:58 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph K

Sorry Simon (nsc), but you have lost the debate, or perhaps I should say 'lecture' on your part.

Do you really think the people on this site have never been in a pub or do not care if pubs survive or not?

Why do you think there is a campaign called Save our Pubs and Clubs, (associated with this site) with hundreds, if not thousands of supporters? These supporters are not just people that smoke Simon, they are in the majority, people in the pub trade, as well as prominent MPs and well know celebrities.

The campaign is not asking for the ban to be overturned, it is fighting for an amendment to the ban, so that fairness can once again raise its head in our country, so that people who smoke can also be catered for, along with people who do not want to smoke. In other words, a fair choice for everyone, and not the draconian law that is 100% biased against approximately 25% of the population of this country.

This,Simon (nsc), is why the anti-smoking lobby, which you seem to be now trying to distance yourself from, is often cast alongside extreme right wing organisations. It is no good you raising your hands in mock horror either, and screaming "oh no, not the old Nazi thing again" because oh yes, it is the old Nazi thing again, and who Simon (nsc) is using that methodology? Certainly not the smokers and the libertarians amongst us, who want a free choice for everyone, but the anti-smokers, who wish to deny us a free choice in exactly the same way that the Nazis did. And you have the gall to say it makes "us" look like extremists?

I suggest you go away and study your history Simon (nsc).

June 18, 2010 at 11:03 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Peter -

Happy to agree with what you say.

But - PLEASE - not that old canard again about the Nazis' being 'Extreme Right Wing'.

Extreme - certainly.

But the National Socialist German Workers' Party was LEFT wing in spirit, and revolutionary in practice.

As the nomenclature rather suggests.

With just enough Teutonic blood-and-soil romanticism to distinguish it from its Slavic rival to the East (with its lovely tradition of anti-Jewish pogroms).

And the fact that it wasn't quite EVERY Leftist's notion of what a nice left-wing party SHOULD be didn't (and doesn't) make it any less so................................

June 19, 2010 at 21:33 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

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June 29, 2010 at 12:41 | Unregistered CommenterElectronic Cigarette

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