A MAN who was kicked out of smoke ban rebel Nick Hogan’s pub for lighting up returned brandishing a knife.Unless you've been on an extended potholing holiday, you'll be aware that Nick Hogan was jailed at the end of last month for non-payment of fines accumulated due to contravention of smokefree legislation.
“The customer swore at him and was ejected, but he returned about 20 minutes later with a huge carving knife and was brandishing it at them. Luckily the security staff locked the doors and the man went off. The police are now looking for him."
Nick argued that it was up to the authorities to police the smoking ban, and that it was wrong, and dangerous, to force him to be an unpaid enforcer. Both Anna Raccoon and Old Holborn highlighted this unfair delegation of authority as they raised the near £9,000 required to free Nick from prison.
This incident makes it crystal clear that Hogan's concerns were far from unfounded, and that his argument has now been conclusively proven as valid.
Despite the fact that there has still not been a single identifiable death, worldwide, from passive smoke, smoking bans very quickly establish themselves as instigators of violence in their own right wherever they are applied.
For example, a mere two weeks after the New York ban was implemented, a bouncer was killed enforcing it. In England, the first murder caused by the ban occurred just 23 days after it came into force on July 1st 2007.
These were both well reported, coming as they did so soon after the infliction of an unpopular law but, as we see with Hogan's case here, the division, violence, and occasional death still occur. In the main, such crimes are not picked up by the national press, and sometimes not even locally, but are merely subsumed into the figures for anti-social behaviour.
But the constant threat does exist, and is a danger to pub and club owners, and managers, the length and breadth of the country.
Cowardly MPs can't even buy a kebab without a police escort, are continually talking of the violence which accompanies alcohol, and would never dream of tackling such a problem themselves.
Yet they are happy to see others put themselves in danger by policing the state's ideological ego trips at pain of crippling fines and, as we witnessed in Hogan's case, imprisonment.
And politicians wonder why we hate them.
Fines for not 'enforcing' the smoking ban should be repealed, immediately and without question. They have already led to more violence and death than passive smoking ever will, and they will continue to do so.