We went to an Indian restaurant. A bloody good one of 35 years standing, too, but obviously a bit low-brow for yer average pretentious ladder-climber on such an auspicious day as a fabricated marketing opportunity. Although fairly quiet, with barely a quarter of the 20 tables occupied during our time there, something happened which was both a surprise and emotionally warm.
People from different tables actually talked to one another.
How about that, eh? Social interaction. Remember it? People getting along and genuinely enjoying each other's company. All part of the moment together. Wonderful stuff.
Except that the dead hand of the state was still there stifling the reverie. One group turned up with an old woman who had recently broken her ankle but was determined to carry on regardless. She painfully took an age to reach her table, I mean about 5 minutes, and her beam of satisfaction at finally being able to sit down was a delight. At one point during the two hours we were there, she needed to visit the loo and the staff helped her as all other diners watched supportively while she struggled there in supported pigeon steps. Blessed with a great sense of humour, she returned making jokes about her recent frailty which cracked us all up.
The meal over, she weakly stood to go outside for a postprandial smoke. As we were all getting along nicely, many were calling for the restaurant owners to give her an ashtray to save the evident hassle of going outside where there was nowhere to sit. There were no objections whatsoever, in fact the sentiment was unanimous. Of course, the restaurant were forced to decline. They did so very politely and apologetically, emphasising that there was nothing they'd like more at that moment, but it wasn't their decision to make. As we all now know, it was decided back in 2006 that they, and their customers, are not allowed the choice.
The woman must suffer. Labour said so.
It reminded me of Hairy's hideous pomposity last year, where she attempted to turn generosity of spirit into a party political attack on a Conservative club who tried to accommodate its frail customers.
Some Tories just can’t help themselves. Is it really so difficult to obey the law and not smoke in public places?The linked article pointed to a report about a club in Wales where pensioners were allowed a modicum of shelter from the February cold.
He said the three people caught smoking were pensioners and had been standing just inside an external door.As Hairy says. How difficult can it be to throw pensioners out into the bitter late winter weather, eh? How difficult can it be to eject a woman who can barely walk when the entire clientele, and the owners, would rather she wasn't made to do so?
Not difficult at all if you're a Labour politician who isn't hampered by disabilities or age (remember when they used to defend such people?). They love making laws which do exactly that.
Like other Labourites who continue to dub the Tories as the 'nasty party', Hairy nevertheless believes that it is atrocious for anyone to make allowances for the old or infirm if they smoke.
And not only do they believe that, they actively promote it with appalling legislation.
Additionally, our hosts threw in a free post-meal liqueur for our table, and others it seemed to me, which could arguably be in contravention of Labour's ban on drinks promotion.
Because, you see, Labour administered the government which officially banned 'Happy Hour'. How apposite.
Now. Please remind me. Which is the really 'nasty party', again?