A post by Phil Johnson, Chairman, Freedom2Choose.
The once proud home of Ray & Jill McHale who successfully ran this lovely little pub for 5 happy years, followed by 3 years of smoke ban misery-which finally forced them out of business.
Ray & Jill refused to accept that the smoking ban was right for it intervened in their own business, forced them to lose business and forced confrontations with the local council EHO’s.
One Saturday Ray informed them (EHO’s) that he told the locals that smoking was illegal within the confines of the pub but refused to go any further than that as neither he nor his wife could bear to watch the elderly & infirm struggle outside in the cold, wet weather to enjoy that which is perfectly legal-a cigarette!
However after 2 years of trying to prosecute the McHale’s and failing to be able to do so, the council finally built a case against them for smoking in their own pub! Even (and just how low can you get) their own customer/s reported them for doing such, which I find absolutely disgusting - but such is the sewer mentality of some anti smokers. Congratulations to them for they have not only ensured the financial boot being well and truly stuck in they have lost a damned fine watering hole!
Enterprise Inns finally ‘pulled the plug’ on the pub as being non-viable, so Ray & Jill were forced to leave their job, their life and their home behind and walk away virtually penniless-after 8 years of hard work.
To add to their burden Ray appeared in court a few days ago and came out with financial penalties of just over £5,000-no job, no prospects & no hope! Can you see the similarity between Ray McHale & Nick Hogan beginning to appear? The council claimed a ridiculous amount in costs-£4,540 immediately awarded. They are supposed to pay at £x per month but now being jobless & homeless, this looks a tall order. Nick Hogan could not pay because all he ‘earned’ each week was ‘job-seekers’ allowance-a state benefit!
These people have fought this law with all they have got and will continue to fight it until choice & fairness wins the day but they need our help, your help as Nick Hogan did. We do not need another landlord imprisoned because he no longer has the means to pay fines/penalties imposed upon him by the very system that took his means of earnings away from him. We need to raise half as much as we did for Nick Hogan earlier this year and , despite Christmas being just around the corner, please think of what sort of Christmas this poor couple are going to endure thanks to their local council being hell bent on revenge. Smokers Justice already has the facility for a regular small monthly donation to help fight injustices, as we did on behalf of our elderly pensioner v Sandwell Council – they soon backed down when faced with the absurdity of the situation!
Smokers Justice has already set up a PayPal account for your kind donations. Nick had to suffer the ignominy of imprisonment before blogosphere got to work to free him-please do not let this happen to Ray & Jill McHale. They face a bleak enough yuletide as it is but with our help we can make it at least enjoyable.