Wednesday 3 March 2010

Gillian Merron: Screw Constituents, Her Party Comes First

He may have been declaring victory as US tanks trundled up Main Street, Baghdad, but Comical Ali still has nothing on Lincoln Labour MP, Gillian Merron.

This is what she had to say about the effect of the smoking ban on pub closures during a health committee meeting last week.

Merron said: “The pub trade does have challenges and I am aware of that but it isn’t the case that the ban had led to pub closures.”

She went on to describe the smoking ban of 2007 as a “tremendous success” and said it had the support of 80 per cent of the public
That's right, none at all. No closures have resulted since Labour re-classified community pubs to the same category as crèches and public libraries. No closures have occurred since Labour enforced the equivalent of making you eat your fish inside the restaurant but your chips outside.

I'm not sure when, if ever, Merron last pulled a pint, but those who spend their lives doing so think her statement is, quite frankly, risible. One columnist in the trade paper, the Morning Advertiser, described her as 'laughable', 'ridiculous', and 'shows a severe lack of knowledge of the problems the pub trade is facing right now'.

Gillian Merron: "Pah! Comical Ali was always an amateur"

Alistair Darling was in 'no doubt' that the smoking ban had had an effect on pub closures, and even Martin Dockrell, Policy Director of ASH, put the decrease in footfall attributable to the ban at 50%.

The only excuse is the Tom Harris defence, that no-one had expressed any disquiet to her about the law, so therefore everyone must be happy.

However, Gillian cannot even remotely claim that. Because she was visited, at her constituency surgery, by two local publicans chosen to represent Lincoln businesses who were suffering under her party's legislation.

Here are some extracts from an e-mail one of them sent to me yesterday describing their meeting with Merron over a local surgery table.

I can’t remember what month it was but it was late 2007 about Nov/Dec when I asked for a meeting with GM to bring in petition from about 20 different pubs in the city, that were all feeling the effect from the smoking ban, I know that my petition alone had over 100 signatures, which would have been more, but quite a lot of my customers were not coming in any longer.

A fellow Landlady and I went to present our petitions to GM and also had a discussion with her, as she seemed really keen to know how we were coping and we had a really good talk.

We let her know the problems we were having because of the ban. She was told of the downhill takings because of people’s refusal to come in a pub any longer. We let her know that this was non-smokers as well and we also let her know that all the pubs submitting petition had not had the honour of welcoming any new non-smokers into their establishments.

It was told to her that my takings were down from £6,200 a week average to £5,200 a week, but bills had stayed the same, £1,266 rent, £400 rates, £2,500 beer bill, £100 spirit bill, £450 staff wages, £230 gas/elec, £150 entertainment and all the other expenses i.e. water, rubbish disposal, beer gas, TV licence, sanitary etc, had to come out of the remaining £100. She seemed so concerned.

The other landlady then said that it was worse for me because I could lose my home as well and by then the discussion had got to quite an emotional stage, because of our struggle, but that was the first time I had actually realised that I could lose my home. I started crying about that thought, which set my fellow landlady off and when we looked round Gillian was also shedding a tear.

Gillian said she would pass the petitions on.
Whether she did or not is debatable as all this landlady received after the meeting was a letter detailing the dangers of second hand smoke.

Remember that. 20 pubs in her own constituency took time to petition her to represent their views, yet last week Merron stated that she knew of no evidence of any pubs suffering as a result of the legislation her party bludgeoned, undemocratically, through parliament.

The landlady concerned isn't a landlady anymore.

Since then, my takings carried on going down, I tried spending more on weekend entertainment to try to encourage people in, but none of it worked. I tried doing meals, which worked for a week and finished with just one plate of chips sold a day. In the end our outgoing always exceeded our income and we finished up owing too much and on 1st July 2009 we had to declare bankruptcy and close the pub.
Perhaps Gillian might like to revise her estimate of pub closures upwards by at least one, then?

One would have thought that such an emotional meeting would ring a bell with Merron when she boasted of the 'tremendous success' of the ban. This was a face to face meeting after all, and MPs do like to tell us how hard working they are for their constituents. But Merron simply dumped the heartfelt petitions on a researcher or DoH civil servant and got on with the job of defending her party instead.

Fortunately for Merron, and other shameful MPs who boasted of the huge benefits of interfering in private property rights, she isn't forced to live with the consequences of her party's actions. Sadly, others have less scope.

I am now paying £800 a month Mortgage as we took a remortgage to take the pub on. (The mortgage was only a manageable £350 a month before we took the pub on) We are waiting for the interest rates to go back up and then we will probably lose the house, our home. Thanks to the smoking ban.
If you live in Lincoln you have one chance, and one chance only, of gaining the support of your local MP. You must be fully in adherence with Labour party policy or you might as well be whistling in the wind.

For Gillian Merron, party comes first. Constituents are just a necessary evil.


Anonymous said...


She is currently a supporter of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Holocaust Educational Trust and an Ambassador for Girlguiding UK. Furthermore, Merron is a member of UNISON, Co-operative Party, Cats Protection League and Amnesty International.[1]

Now let me proceed to the outside
lav to wretch up my chicken and
mushroom pot noodle

Her interest in dogs for the deaf
comes as no surprise.

Come on Imps see the silly cow off
in May


Anonymous said...

The only excuse is the Tom Harris defence, that no-one had expressed any disquiet to her about the law, so therefore everyone must be happy.

Fucking lying bitch !!

She has had plenty of contacts from me and many other people I know.
I hope she dies an agonising death.

Anonymous said...

But how many voted her in against how many of you?

Barking Spider said...

The people of Lincoln need to let the obnoxious bitch know exactly how they feel about her righteous pomposity on 6th May and vote her out to fuck!

Leg-iron said...

Those who voted for her to get rid of smoking - did they also vote for her to get rid of pubs, cafes, restaurants, corner shops etc?

The pubs were the first casualties of the Smoking Inquisition, but not the last.

It's not just smokers who are affected. One day that realisation will dawn on a lot of this revolting party's voters.

If Cameron had a brain, he could make massive mileage out of this.

Anonymous said...

Cameron is either keeping his powder dry on issues like these till closer to the election or he's a complete f'ing idiot.

Sadly, l fear the latter.

John Pickworth said...

Gillian Merron. The woman who voted FOR the amendment of the Freedom of Information Bill to stop us finding out about the £1050 she spent on a new television and stand. The £659 on a new washing machine, £765 on a stool, £179 for a home entertainment system and £450 for some wall brackets.

She doesn't give a damn about ordinary people losing their businesses or homes just so long as we continue to richly fund her's.

JuliaM said...

"She doesn't give a damn about ordinary people losing their businesses or homes just so long as we continue to richly fund her's."

And sadly, enough people are likely to vote for her to continue doing it. Or, to put it another way, enough people will not vote that she'll get in regardless!

Bucko said...

If I was so blatantly fucking demonstrably stupid and pig headded at work, I would get fired.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I'm not sure when, if ever, Merron last pulled a pint,

I would be surprised if anything that ugly had ever pulled ANYTHING.

Besides a dray wagon.

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily, Julia :)

Merron's election record:
1997 - 25,563 (54.9%)
2001 - 20,003 (53.9%)
2005 - 16,724 (45.4%)

Dick is spot on with this post. Merron is a party stooge, and the people of Lincoln know it. They haven't forgotten how she voted on post office closures - in favour of!
(Sorry. Don't know how to embed these things.)


Anonymous said...

She also voted strongly for the Iraq war.
Quite some distance from Lincoln I believe.

Pat Nurse MA said...

I am very proud to say that here is one Lincolnian who has NEVER voted for Merron!

I've voted against her in the last three elections but this year I am voting FOR a party for the first time since 1997. I daren't say which one in case I get accused of politicking!

Anonymous said...

I am afraid I voted for her, but in life we live and learn

Unknown said...

Gillian Moron more like...the bitch. (yeah, I know I'm being sexist.)

Anonymous said...

Hey guess what darlin !

You just won first prize in a grimmy contest !

Frugal Dougal said...

Not only has the smoking ban led to pub closures, but people are now taking their fags home (as well as cheaper alcohol from supermarkets) and smoking in front of their children.

Craig Ranapia said...

To be fair, Merrion may have been misquoted and actually said "The pub trade does have challenges and I am aware of that but it isn’t the case that anyone I take at all seriously or can even be bothered listening to has said the ban had led to pub closures.”

It's even defensible, yet excessively candid, to say: "I don't give a rat's arse how many pubs have closed as a result of the ban, I think there are compelling public interest and health arguments for it."

But I think every MP should think twice about sending a message that their constituents shouldn't bother opening their mouths unless they'll say what you want to hear.

JuliaM said...

More Gillian Merron fun:

"Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said it was vital to help every child 'get a decent amount of exercise if they are to avoid serious health problems'.

She said: 'By being physically active now through play, games and sport, children are far more likely to go on to be active, healthy adults.

'Although childhood obesity is levelling off, the Government will do everything it can to support those children most at risk.

Active lifestyle coaches will help these children find a fun way on to the right track.'"

What's an 'active lifestyle coach', you say?

Someone paid by the government to give four-year-olds 'free running, breakdancing and Brazilian martial arts' lessons, of course. Paid for by us.

Nice, eh?

budgie said...

what's happened to PE teachers and compulsory cross country runs in the middle of January?

There weren't many fat kids at any of the schools I attended.

Proper school dinners as well...chips once a week, pink custard and water in (almost clean) bullet proof tumblers...

'For what we are about to receive we should be truly grateful' (or,if cabbage is involved - 'the pigs have just refused')

thespecialone said...

As a life-long non smoker who detests everything about smoking, I have always been completely against the pub smoking ban. As an adult who likes the odd pint of ale or 9, I believe that it is my choice to go into a pub and stink like hell. I dont want some twatting politician telling me smoking is bad. I know that. I am not a child you f*cking idiots. I eat healthily and exercise regular so I also dont need a frigging healthy lifestyle coach. I am 50 yrs old and been to war and seen friends been killed. What have you done GM? I hope the people give her a good kicking (figuratively speaking of course) at the election.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Imps!