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« Smoking bans and the Spanish inquisition | Main | Postscript to passive smoking and the price of propaganda »

CIU joins Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign

Further to rumours and reports, I am delighted to confirm that the Working Men's Clubs & Institute Union (CIU) has agreed to join the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign.

Together with Forest, the CIU will lobby MPs to change the law to allow separate smoking rooms in private members' clubs. (Forest will of course continue to fight for smoking rooms in pubs as well.)

The CIU's National Executive agreed to the proposal last month following our extremely productive meeting with general secretary Mick McGlasham in November.

Specific initiatives will be announced shortly. In the meantime I have accepted an invitation to address the CIU's annual general meeting in Blackpool in April. Greg Knight MP, a leading supporter of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, will also attend the conference dinner to demonstrate his support for working mens' clubs.

The CIU describes itself as "the largest non-profit making social entertainment and leisure organisation in the UK, representing the interests and views of four million club members".

Above: yours truly with Mick McGlasham (general secretary, CIU) and Geoff Whewell (chairman, West Midlands branch) following a Forest/Free Society event at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham last year. Below, publicans from East Anglia demonstrate their support at the launch of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign in London in June 2009.

Reader Comments (14)

Excellent news, Simon. Whilst some people are sneerily snobbish about these venues, there are millions of people for whom they are a means of socialising in a safe environment, with a sense of community and shared history. Hopefully more club going smokers will become aware of FOREST's work, realise they are not alone, and arm themselves with some facts about 'passive smoking'. Great to have such a well known, established and respected organisation on board.

January 10, 2011 at 16:37 | Unregistered Commenterdunhillbabe


January 10, 2011 at 16:57 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Excellent, excellent. Simon, you're a star. Years ago, I had it down in my circle that the earliest for an amendment would be 2012. For the moment, I'll still stick to it.

However, it should be completely bloody scrapped and never have been voted through in the first place!

January 10, 2011 at 17:23 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Well done Simon, happy new year good luck with everything in 2011 regards Gary.

January 10, 2011 at 19:16 | Unregistered Commenterlisa symmons

That is good news. The more the better.

January 10, 2011 at 22:08 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Brilliant news Simon, all the hard work has paid off. With the backing of the CIU consisting of 2,400 private Working Men's Clubs generating over 1.5 million members mabye, just maybe we can at last make the politicans listen to us.

Sean Spillane

January 11, 2011 at 7:16 | Unregistered CommenterSean Spillane

Yes, that really is good news. Good for Simon, FOREST, our friendly MPs - and everyone else involved. She Who Must Be Obeyed will be spitting feathers right now. Frankly, the bitch can choke as far as I'm concerned............................(and I speak as one constitutionally opposed to grudges - as a rule).

January 11, 2011 at 10:25 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

I "like" too. Well done.

January 11, 2011 at 12:31 | Unregistered CommenterRose W

Congratulations Simon and to your colleagues at FOREST - this is fantastic news.

Also many thanks to Phil Johnson, chairman of F2C, who has campaigned tirelessly to raise this issue with the CIU. I would like to think that his efforts have helped to achieve this significant result.

As ever, the key to success is unity. The more that rally on behalf of the cause, the greater the chance of eventual success.

The tide is turning.

January 11, 2011 at 14:33 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The organisation freedom2choose have been instrumental in getting the CIU involved in the smoking debate.
Phil Johnson is the unpaid chairman of freedom2choose and he has been talking to the CIU for months and has worked tirelessly to get them to oppose this spiteful ban that has seen their profits drop dramatically.
I am glad that they have now aligned themselves with FOREST as hopefully they will now get a voice in the right places.
Let's get as many organisations and pressure groups on board as there is strength in numbers. in opposing an unjust and unfair Law.

January 11, 2011 at 14:40 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

I agree with Brenda and David (above) - very well done and this is a marvellous achievement. However, we must not forget the amount of effort Phil Johnson, Chair of Freedom2choose, has put in liaising with the CIU. Like the other posters on here, let's hope that significant progress is afoot! Marvellous news!! :)

January 11, 2011 at 18:22 | Unregistered CommenterJenny of Yorkshire

Great news- and applause to F2C :)

January 11, 2011 at 20:38 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

In response to Brenda's post.

The C.I.U. has always been against the smoking ban, infact Geoff (pictured above) and the West Midlands Branch Executive wrote an open letter to all the sitting West Midland M.P's at the time of the ban.
The few that deemed it important enough to reply, were, to say the least non responsive and some were totally negative in our appeal.

Whilst now we have now got new M.P's I personally think now is the right time to have a go at these people who seem adamant to kill all social intercourse and activities and still have laws to prosecute people for antisocial behaviour.!

January 12, 2011 at 11:19 | Unregistered Commenterjohn hope

All this talk and no action.
When will we see the smoking ban relaxed?

So far since the smoking ban was introduced in 2007 we have had the Save Our Pubs And Clubs group,Forest and many other groups saying they will fight the ban.

Also we have had MP's from all over the country saying they will stand up for the people trying to relax the ban.

And yet in 2011 we still have the same Smoking Ban as we did in 2007 and its getting tighter instead of getting relaxed.

We should be protesting outside parliment and getting ourselves heard.

All these Idiotic MP's in parliment now still want to keep the Nanny State that Labour started.
I voted Tory for the first time in May last year after voting Labour for god knows how long with the hope that Cameron or Clegg would be better.

Sorry if i'm waffling on But i really don't think that because the CIU has decided to joined the fight for an amendment will change anything and i think we will still have a smoking Ban in place in 2015.

But i hope im wrong.

January 12, 2011 at 20:10 | Unregistered CommenterJames

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