Thursday, 12 March 2009

Smoking Ban Not Only Amended In The UK, But Hushed Up Too

It would appear that the issue of smoking lounges at the G20 summit in London next month isn't something Labour or Comrade Beeb want to talk about.

Following this article in the Mail, BBC Radio Five Live had scheduled a piece on the Drive show this evening, but it was dropped.

Now, I'm only guessing, but these possible reasons come to mind.

1) Comrade Beeb couldn't verify the truth of the story.
2) Comrade Beeb couldn't make a 'balanced' story due to non-participation of government or event organisers
3) Comrade Beeb were told to drop it

Regarding 1), the Mail seem quite happy to leave this on their web-site:

But the Foreign and Common Office, who is hosting the event, said it was aware of the smoking rooms and has launched an investigation.

Local authority Newham Council is also looking into the matter as environmental health officers in charge were not aware of the amendment.

Being firmly in the public domain, that evidence would be enough for an investigative broadcaster to at least raise the issue, so that just leaves 2) & 3) - and others mentioned in the Mail piece could be involved in 2)

If 2) was the problem, why were the government, the F&C Office, Newham Council, and the Excel Exhibition Centre all unavailable for comment?

Perhaps it's because if the piece ran, there would be some questions to answer, namely ...

a) Patricia Hewitt said in 2006 that "there is absolutely no safe level of exposure [to second hand smoke]". If that is the case, why are G20 delegates allowed to take their chances, while the rest of us are not?

b) The suggestion of separate smoking rooms for other, less important buildings (or even the Excel Centre on another day) has been dismissed because non-smoking workers would have to enter them for cleaning purposes etc. Are the smoking lounges at the G20 summit magic 'self-cleaning' ones? Likewise, the ones in the EU Parliament and the UN building? If not, the government (and EU and UN) is deliberately harming the health of the cleaners for the sake of their buddies, obviously. (remember, this is the most dangerous gas on the planet we are talking about here. There are safe levels of exposure for every substance known to man, including radioactive materials, but not for second hand smoke)

It's quite clear that they don't want to talk about this, hoping it will just go away. Whichever way one slices and dices it, it screams hush-up.

Admitting that the smoking lounges exist, which they most definitely do, will mean that three courses of action are available (running out of bracketed symbols here).

i) Ban them (actually, they are already banned, so that should read 'rescind the amendment').
ii) Allow the same for all of us.
iii) Do nothing.

It would seem that Labour have chosen iii).

Labour, the 'Do Nothing' party.

Thinking about it, there is a iv). They could admit that the smoking ban is donkey cock legislation ushered in by small-minded bigots who are too cowardly to admit that it's just because they are selfish and don't like the smell; that the clinically-obese Liam Donaldson and his chums are lying the big one about what is really only a negligible risk; that their idealistic cockmongering has contributed to the misery of almost 3,000 pub closures since July 1st 2007; and that this Labour government are the most inept collection of authoritarian cunts the country has ever had the misfortune of being pissed on by since the Palace of Westminster was built ...

... which is much nearer the truth.

UPDATE: ASH are not happy bunnies, I think they believe that a Newham Enviro Officer should stomp in there and slap a £50 fine on Obama. Deluded morons.

Smoking Ban "Amended"

Editorial Note: The Department of Health said "The simple fact is that the Health Act 2006 does not make any exemptions for diplomats or diplomatic events."

The people responsible for the premises (which are enclosed public premises and workplaces and therefore should be smokefree at all times) are responsible for making sure that no smoking takes place. The relevant local authority (Newham) is responsible for enforcement for premises within their borough. Those responsible for this event should be aware that there are no exemptions under the Health Act 2006 for this type of event. If there is a breach of the regulations the local authority enforcement officers will need to consider appropriate enforcement action.


Anonymous said...

Will Newham council apply this exemption to all the public buildings on this day ?

DaveA said...

As the F2C person due to go on Radio5 and spoke to the BBC researcher you maybe a little harsh on the BBC. They busted their balls to get the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to put their hands up. It seems the FCO and Labour have been caught bang to rights with thier fingers in the till.

I further understand for another source that the FCO have silenced Excel (and its suppliers) and the London Borough of Newham. If you phone them up they will direct you to the FCO.

The FCO has stated that smoking will take place within British law.

Yep and I've got a date with Angelina Jolie tonight.

timbone said...

It could be interesting to see what happens when two friends argue. ie HMG and ASH.

Unknown said...

Dave, do you mean the British law that has the tiny bit in it that allows smoking in parliament buildings?

Enjoy your date with Angelina

Just another thought. After these folks have been in conference all day then go out for their posh dinner and go afterwards to a posh bar to drink £300 a glass brandy, will they have to go outside with their cigars/cigarettes during the evening or is there another teensy little amendment to the 'law' there too? Perhaps the Excel smoking room news 'slip' was to keep us from finding out that there was amnesty in certain restaurants and bars which would have created more of a reaction (if possible)

I wouldn't put it past them.

banned said...

Oh what joy to see a Newham Civic Enforcement Officer trying to barge his way into Excel and slamming a ticket on Obama and his cabal of smoker-terrorists !

Alternatively one of the catering staff could sue G20 for giving him cancer ( and if they forced them to sign a disclaimer that in itself would make interesting reading ).