Tuesday 23 June 2009

Outbreak Of Common Sense In SW1

Tuesday morning at 11am. An odd time to be in a Central London pub but who's complaining? Especially if it's for a good cause.

Save Our Pubs and Clubs amendthesmokingban.com is a cross-party campaign attempting to hammer a bit of common sense into the numbskulls who instigated the blanket smoking ban.

The official launch saw Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, and David Clelland, Labour MP for Tyne Bridge, argue for an amendment along the lines of that enjoyed by bar owners in Spain. Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson also spoke, as did UKIP leader Nigel Farage making an impromptu appearance. Even the Illiberal Undemocrats have a representative in favour in John Hemming MP, and although he was unable to attend, Mark Littlewood of Progressive Vision, a fellow LD, was able to fill in eloquently.

More impassioned, though, were the pub-owning speakers. We can argue for an amendment because we know it makes perfect sense, but hearing these guys tell of their fear of closing down if something doesn't change, is sobering indeed. For them, it is not just desirable, but vital.

With a large turnover of MPs to come at the next election, it might be worth pointing out to the prospective legislators that this is a live issue, and perhaps they should help pull government's head out of its collective smug, self-important arse, by applying common sense to a vile law.

The site explains how you can show support via e-mail or text. Most importantly, though, spread it far and wide.

Right, now where did I leave that pint?


Screaming Banshee said...

Well said DP.

I will be sending my email right now.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Sobering"? :o)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yes, Obo, I was rather proud of the placement of that word, myself. ;-)

Unknown said...

Would you Adam and Eve it? (Sorry, went all cockney for a minute.) A cross party of MPs dared come out of their ivory towers and stand up for common sense?

Freedom To Choose has told the 'wrapped in cotton wool' overpaid malingerers that govern us, way back when a blanket smoking ban was muted, that the hospitality trade, pubs and clubs in particular, would suffer drastically from the madness called The Smoking Ban Experiment but they would not listen to the people this stupid law hurts, in more ways than one!

This is a wake up call to all you other MPs, dismiss it at your peril.

(You big southern softie Dick, around these parts there would have been a queue a mile long at 10:30 outside the local pub waiting for the doors to open. Well that was when there was no such thing as this childish smoking ban of course.)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Still here, TBY, lasting well for a softie. ;-)

Unknown said...

Go on my son...oh chit, i've gone all cockney again! I'm having a Guinness whilst reading your blog, out of sympathy you understand.

Mrs. P will be down in a minute to tell you that your lunch is in the dog. :)

Anonymous said...

UKIP did well in the EU Elections because many smokers voted for them and our MPs should bear this in mind when it comes to the General Election next year. Remember smokers are voters too.

Helen said...

Let's just hope that the common sense spreads quickly across the rest of the country.

Many people are just hanging in there now with their jobs because of this ridiculous ban.

Look what happened when the landlady in the NE offered a smoking room for a few days - her business quadrupled, and her non-smoking customers didn't complain either.

david said...

This'll get the antis fuming.....

Anonymous said...

Good article DP i shall be sending my email forthwith.

Unknown said...

David, don't forget that ASH (spit) are running an email campaign to MP's to encourage them to vote for hiding tobacco displays in shops and supermarkets as well as a complete ban on cigarette vending machines. The former will lead to small shop closures on a similar scale to that of pubs and clubs, throwing a lot of people out of work and the latter will kill, stone dead, a legitimate business.

I don't think, for one moment, that ASH (spit) et al will try similar tactics to derail this initiative.

MarieC said...

Great Blog Dick. We have to spread this everywhere there is pro-choice support.

B7 said...

Lets hope that this is a true outbreak of common sense, we need to save our pubs from further destruction by this vile administration.

Choice of Smoking or non Smoking establishments please.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Hold on, B7, this is a non-political campaign. The fact that Labour proposed a blanket ban in contravention of their 2005 GE manifesto is irrelevant. ;-)

To be fair, the Labour MP did say some good things today, but he wasn't happy when a club member from Luton suggested that the Health Act vote was 'whipped'. Yes, it was a free vote, but the fact is that the vote as it was presented was entirely different from the proposals in the 2005 Labour manifesto.

Once the legislation was amended, whip or no whip, there was going to be no other outcome ... MPs, in general, being selfish numpties and all that (see expenses).

Filed under Ochlocracy.

Frank Davis said...

Perhaps Illiberal John Hemming didn't show up because the bastard voted for the smoking ban.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good spot, Frank. He made his position clear here in 2006. It's where he talks of a liberal alternative to an illiberal ban he subsequently voted for.

He lets himself down by talking about 'protecting the workforce', a smokescreen if ever there was one, and contrary to anything I would understand as 'liberal', but he does say that a simplistic ban is wrong, especially with clubs. It's a form of consistency, I suppose.

Right, being apolitical, that's Labour and LD done. Anything on the Tory? ;-)

Ex-Pubbite said...

Oh for an ounce of common sense in these dark and bullying days. The common ground IS the pub and the club where social cohesion is founded on enjoyment by those who care to enter and spend the bit between taxes. Please don't raise my hopes and then dash them.

Sue said...

I'm all signed up and spreading the word by blog, email and word of mouth!

Your tenacity amazes me, you are a crusader!

Anonymous said...

Don Quixote

This old gasping foolish barbarian
crawled round my once happy town
last night , a fine warm English
evening, the sun slipping under the Mancunian haze.Four pubs
boarded up, three closed seeking
new idiots to manage them . Oh
wait a moment, some life , of a kind, in three venues which could
easily have staged a backdrop for
a Dante's Purgatory.
The first a Wetherspoons " Inn of
Despair" where throwing up a burger rivals Dianas funeral for
furied debate. The frowning dozen inmates eye the clock for the moment of deliverance.
The second a small haven for the unwanted,where words with more
than four letter are frowned on.
Muster six or seven could be eight.
Third ,hope now much reduced.
two years ago the busiest pub for miles on a Monday, now an empty
shell just ten or so mutants
applauding a rendition of Nessun
Dorma by a fat alcoholic waving
a pool cue. Old Doris 86 stood in the doorway having a smoke ,shaking her head.
Who did this to the least of us
she asks
PS The local MP says he can now
enjoy the fresh air with his few
remaining stool pidgeons,but where.

PS How much longer?

Sue said...

This article in the speccie about Obama shows how bad the "leper" syndrome has got Dick

Michael McManus UKIP said...

I think a lot of people are starting to see that the smoking ban just isn't working for that industry. When I was back in the UK for the Euro campaign, I was genuinely shocked by the number of pubs I saw which were either boarded up, or had a 'For Sale' sign outside. Interesting to see other parties trying to steal UKIP's clothes on this issue.

By the way Dick, good to see you again. I think we met at the TICAP conference in Brussels. I have, as yet, been unable to find the footage of Clinton basically owning up to the Lewinski "incident" but the search continues lol.

I also have my own blog now, which I encourage you to have a look at/link to at the following link


Its not strictly political, more a take on the state of society (both Belgium/UK) but hopefully you will find it interesting.



Unknown said...

I wish the campaign (SOPAC) every success, and there were some big guns there too, politicians from all parties, and Antony Worrall Thompson who has a high profile. I wonder if there was anybody there from Freedom2Choose, who have been instrumental in helping our cause.

Could this be the light at the end of the tunnel?

Did the campaign group contact any of the main stream media, with a view to having the event covered?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Thanks for the compliment, Sue, and yes, Obama's apologising isn't attractive in a world leader. Show some balls, Barack.

Chris: Yes, there was F2C representation at the launch.

Michael: Thanks for alerting me to your blog. When are you finishing your book on charities? Remember you promised me a copy. ;-)

Unknown said...

I read the article in the independent. I just wonder, are the antis getting so bored of their own drivel which they pound out time after time that they have to resort to the totally irrelevant comment about AWTs taste buds? Well answered, Dick. I have to say that made me laugh.

As to the campaign, I do wish that people would read things before they comment. This is a very sensible suggestion (my non-smoking friends think so too). It isn't to allow smoking all areas. The comments on any of the articles just show how people see the words 'amend smoking ban' and go off on one without looking at specifics. Perhaps it should have been called 'new ventilation law proposal' They would be halfway down the page before they realised it... :-)

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that we will almost certainly have a Tory government after the next general election when we throw out the Nanny State.
I have always been a 'socialist' (my father was a miner and I saw at first hand the 'slave labour' attitude of the government in the 1950's, when miners had to strike to even have showers for them to wash after coming out of the pit filthy). But, my whole thinking was that the objective of the Government should be to try to create the conditions where the working man (or woman) receives a proper reward for his labour. It never crossed my mind that a 'socialist government' would decide to attack the very people who, in principle, support it.
What I have specifically in mind is this MP, Caroline Flint, who produces nothing of any value whatsoever, forcing grown-up people, who DO produce stuff, to live their lives according to her dictats. THAT is the problem, and it does not matter how many MPs vote for, say, the smoking ban - it is still a DICTAT. We do not want DICTATS.
It seems to me that there is little point in bothering with Labour MPs, or indeed, Tory MPs, who are in place in Parliament at the moment. The majority of them will be replace in the next election.
No, the really important people are the Tory front bench. If they say that silly, nanny-state dictats, which diminish the freedom of the people to live their lives as they wish, will be re-considered they will be elected with, at least, a working majority.
The question is, Mr Puddleduck, how much influence do you have with the Tory front bench?

Dick Puddlecote said...

I once met Oliver Letwin, jimbob, does that count? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Reading my last sentence again, it now seems to read rather sarcastically. I did not mean it to be so.
It is just that I think that you need INFLUENCE to make a difference.
I read the letter in the daily telegraph re 'Amend the smoking ban' today. I think that the telegraph does have influence with the Tories and so I wrote a letter/email (dtletters@telegraph.co.uk) in support. I think that it is worth all of us doing likewise even if only to be counted numerically. Damn it! Just write an email and say, "I would like to add my support....". That's all there is to it.