Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Damned If You Do ...

From Big Brother Watch. In case you can't read the hand-written note, it says "Please don't remove no smoking sign. Camera watching".

So, let's get this straight ...

... despite the smoking ban being 'hugely popular', this sign has presumably been repeatedly removed. The owner of the premises fears vicious government threats designed to maintain the 'hugely popular' smoking ban, so must employ veiled threats of his own.

And down we spiral.

Did I ever mention that LABOUR'S ban (never forget that) is the most spiteful and divisive in history?


JJ said...

Yes have mentioned it before and quite right you are too!

Now then - hasn't he defaced the original sign...and does this mean he could be prosecuted?

banned said...

On a par with a local roadside sign reading

"Important Sign Ahead!".

Junican said...

I do not undrstand why the guy is bothering. The external signs 'No Smoking...' have disappeared from the outside of both my local pubs and not been replaced. It is about three weeks since I first noticed their absence. Isn't it a CRIMINAL OFFENCE not to display the signs? I do not think that it is possible that the staff have not noticed. I think that there is some unofficial official colusion (if that statement makes sense). I am not going to say anything to the publicans - it amuses me to see what might happen, although I might just take my mobile on Friday and take pictures, just for fun.

banned said...

Junican, a mate of mine tells me that people smoke quite openly at a live music venue that he frequents; presumbly the owners are relying on the fact that the ban is only enforced following a complaint and hoping that none of his punters will complain?

On the other hand, perhaps "they" are pretending to relax in the hopes of a smoking cessation blitz sometime in the future?

Anonymous said...

The bans only as good as the jobsworth inspectors.
Maybe with the recent regime change in time they may just disappear.
Perhaps the ban will end with a whimper after all.
Just ebb away another redundent unadhered to law.
However I will never forget what Liebour did to us smokers,never.

Captain Haddock said...

As I understand matters, the signs themselves are in fact meaningless ..

It is not illegal to smoke inside any building & by doing so, the smoker is not committing any offence ..

It is the legal responsibility of the owner,manager etc of said building to ensure that you don't smoke inside that building & by not doing so, it is He/She who committs the offence ..

So ... if what I'm led to believe is correct, then the sign itself is totally irrelevant .. mind you, I suppose they could have you for Theft if you nicked it .. but not if you merely hid it (say,under the doormat) .. Heh heh ..

JJ said...

@ CH this raises something quite interesting…what if the owner of a building say can only be identified by trawling through a web of offshore companies. What could the authorities do then?

Pat Nurse MA said...

@ Anonymous "The bans only as good as the jobsworth inspectors.
Maybe with the recent regime change in time they may just disappear."
I wouldn't bank on that with the ilLibDems holding so much power and influence over the cowardly and power hungry at any price Cons

Anonymous said...

Talking about the universal fascist swastika equivalent nowadays of the no-smoking sign, there is in San Francisco, USA, a new high-cost advertising campaign on display beginning this week as the sides of most of the buses are adorned with huge no-smoking signs, large enough to stretch from bottom to top of the buses and lengthwise filled with words to indicate Smoke "Free" San Francisco. Whoever's funding it, government or quango, maybe UCSF out of Glantz's budget, must have spent a pretty penny. I imagine like most public transit campaigns it will run for several months as the huge no-smoking signs travel through all the neighborhoods, terrorizing its intended victims. Be on the lookout for something similar once it's declared a "big success" in San Francisco then exported out to the rest of the breathless world awaiting salvation.

The Travelling Toper said...

We need to face up the fact that the
people resonsible for the war against smokers, drinkers etc will never go away.... not, that is, of their own accord.

BTS said...

ASH have just released a statement saying that the regular removal of the no-smoking sign is further proof of their popularity. Apparently, all the kids want one. A bit like those VW signs on chains* in the eighties. I'm not sure whether it's rap-related.

*And clocks. Don't forget the clocks.

Leg-iron said...

I have a 'no smoking' sign above my desk as required by law. It's turned a bit yellow though.

Anon 15:50 - that would be a laugh here. The buses are mostly ancient so the 'no smoking' message would be obscured by diesel fumes in no time.

The antismokers won't see the joke though. That would involve irony and humour and they don't do those things.

Junican said...

@ Capt Haddock.

I'm afraid that you are wrong. I have a copy of the Health Act 2006 which clearly states that 'it is an offence to smoke in a smoke-free place'. However, the Act goes on to say that it is a defence (in law) not to know that the place in question is a smoke-free place. BUT, (and here is the sting in the tail), the same paragraph says...'or could not reasonably be expected to know..'. In other words, you might say that you did not know that the place was a smoke-free place (for example, a long, open railway station platform), and that would be a reasonable defence, but, the politicians STILL get you by forcing the owners of places to put notices up. Since there are notices, you can...'reasonably be expected to know'. That is the whole point of the notices.

I still say that this law is full of holes. For example, has anyone considered a geometric shape of an external shelter which can conform with the law and yet still afford decent shelter? Imagine this: You construct a gazebo type thing - a roof on poles. You make this roof 3 meters wide and 20 meters long (remember, we are just using our imagination). You enclose HALF of the sides and the back, leaving open half of the sides and the front. Thus you have a volume (the space under the roof) of which only half of the sides are enclosed. That gives you space 3 meters wide and 10 meters long in which you can put heaters and tables and chairs and TVs if you wish.
The nearest thing that I have seen which comes something like this was in Bolton town centre. This particular cafe has a construction outside which has a roof and sides all round, BUT the sides are only half way up to the roof (about 4 feet)! Thus, anyone sitting in this area is sheltered from the rain falling from above, and, if they are sitting down, sheltered from the wind and rain from the sides!

However..........holes or no holes, the probability is that it is better not to go in that direction. If you do, you are playing into their hands in that you are, in effect, agreeing that this draconian, nazi, illiberal measure is acceptable. IT IS NOT! And that is why there really must be no retreat.

There are things that can be done. Easy things, really. But these things would require smokers to become organised. One wonders how, for instance, smokers in Bolton, Lancs, where I live, could form an association. A simple, on-line association - just to talk, in the first instance. Maybe action could follow. For example, if a hospital says that smoking is banned in its grounds, the association could have a 'meeting' in the hospital grounds and smoke IN THE FRESH AIR. We must always remember that the ban applies IN premises and not ON premises. There is nothing in the ban which, in itself, allows any organisation to ban smoking in the fresh air.

Certainly, in my opinion, small associations need to be formed.