Steven Simon, a fighter for smokers rights.
Steven is a quiet, placid man who comes out of his shell whenever the smoking ban is mentioned. In fact he is passionate about it because he hates it with venom, as do most of us tolerant smokers.
I first met Simon at the very first meeting of the North of England regional group around the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008, my memory for dates has dulled somewhat, at the Tardis pub in Redcar which is now a cafe. He attended subsequent meetings at the Painters Arms in Drighlington and talked passionately about the ban and how to fight it. After a year and half at those meetings I had to stop going for family reasons and lost touch with Simon. Today I have found out he has resurfaced on my radar and he is still fighting the smokers corner:
A CAMPAIGNER is planning to open a pro-smoking shop in Kendal to support his bid to get the law changed.
Steven Simon hopes to obtain a lease for a small unit in the town to sell T-shirts promoting his campaign while offering a place for smokers to meet and chat.
Funds raised would be used in his drive to urge the Government to overturn the smoking ban.
Mr Simon said smoking generated £17 billion for the economy and wants pubs to be able to offer ‘smoking rooms’ so people do not have to go outside to light up.
Slogans on the T-shirts would include ‘l would rather be a smoker than a fascist’.
“The smoking ban has to be amended because it is achieving nothing,” said Mr Simon.Well said Simon, the smoking ban experiment has achieved absolutely nothing and nor will the impending Tobacco Display Ban, starting with supermarkets on the 6th of April 2012. And nor would smoking bans in your car, vending machines, playgrounds, hospital grounds or even your home, something I wrote about not so long ago.
“Give us an area inside — why should I accept that I am forced outside in winter to smoke?”
Anyone with one ounce of 'sink estate' intellect can see that all these draconian measures are for one purpose, and one purpose only, the dehumanisation and denormalisation of the smoker and their enjoyment of tobacco and to pit the majority against the minority, albeit a very, very large minority, but a minority, without status nonetheless.
Recently other bloggers, particularly Junican from the Bolton Smokers Club and Frank Davis have been asking "where have all the wealthy smokers gone?" A question I have asked myself many a time since before the ban came in and was let down by my findings. Simon Cowell, for instance, a celeb smoker who says absolutely nothing in case it upsets his money grubbing empire. And there is Dave West (where has he gone now?) who famously said he had Cherie Blair as his council to challenge the smoking ban at the european courts in 2008??? And there was Tony Benn, whom I sent an email to asking him to support F2C against this foul ban. He, who gives lectures to us plebs in our town halls about his 'illustrious' career whilst smoking his famous pipe said, and I paraphrase: There are more urgent world events that need sorting".
So don't look to the rich and famous smokers to get us oik smokers out of this draconian mess, it's the little people like Steven Simon, Junican, Frank Davis and yes, you and me.
The fight continues!