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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New-ish kids on the blog

From the early days of the outragous UK smoking ban I started this blog with the help and encouragement from the good members of Freedom2Choose. Five years have passed and this madness continues and indeed thrives due to the vagaries of anti smokers and the likes of ASH et al.

Anyway since my wife's passing my interest in all things smoking ban have waned although the smoking ban still makes my blood boil. Thankfully the good bods at Freedom2Choose decided to take over the mantle and have built an excellent site here. Please give them a visit and do comment.

I am thinking about changing the name of this blog and continuing at some later date. Of course this blog will remain stoutly against the ban and for the smoker and any freedom lover who partakes of tobacco, wine or good food.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Much Ado about “Snipers and Flappers!”

A recent post entitled ‘Sniper the Flappers’ appeared here. The purpose of the post was to be satirical and the author meant it to be light hearted. If some readers took the post seriously and were offended then it is a matter of regret.

Some of the offence can only be described as faux. A recent report* from the Department of Health authored by Professor Hilary Graham has criticised anti-smoker organisations - by implication, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) - for turning smokers into lepers, stigmatising them and making them into a despised underclass. Quite rightly this situation would never be allowed to happen to ethnic minorities and gay people.

Not only that: since Kenneth Clarke was Chancellor in 1994, tobacco taxes have specifically been ring fenced to pay for the NHS via the Department of Health. Hence smokers’ own taxes are being used to demonise their pastime against themselves, and to offer anti-smoker groups like ASH an income to discriminate against a lawful product and its customers.

Any offence is regretted, but similar regrets would be welcomed from the anti-smokers for the appalling way they have treated and are still treating people who smoke.

*Smoking, Stigma and Social Class.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The domino effect and the demise of The Publican trade newspaper.

I have been out of the loop recently as far as all things smoking bans are concerned and you all know why. Freedom2Choose and it's members have pulled me back to reality and out of my grief in such a short time, but they do not know it. I will start anew with a tweet I received from that esteemed blogger Dick Puddlecote today. The tweet refers to one Pete Robinson who ran a blog on The Publican.

Pete Robinson was a lone voice to his employers and was treated with comtempt, I am sure, by The Publican's shiny new (as was) City and Business Editor of The Publican Hamish Champ, an ex smoker. Pete Robinson was a must read by us who opposed the smoking ban and made strident calls for the ban to be amended, again to deaf ears so far. Pete Robinson had his ear to the ground and knew what would make or break a pub whereas Hamish Champ, an ex smoker remember, championed landlords/ladies who went Gastro and served food as their savour. Just like the anti smoking myth and lie that non smokers would flock to pubs after the ban and keep them afloat this too was a downright lie. Where is Hamish Champ now? Pete Robinson explains:

And what of Hamish Champ, the smoke-hater's friend? Poor Hamish now edits Plastics & Rubber Weekly, a mind-numbingly boring industrial rag based in glorious downtown Croydon. The only excitement comes on Thursday afternoons when the new paperclips arrive. A hotline to The Samaritans comes as a perk of the job.

You can watch and listen to Hamish Champ speaking in 2008, just shortly before the so called "credit crunch" took center stage and knocked the smoking ban into a cocked hat. He waxes lyrical about food led pubs, which Pete Robinson reasonably poo poos.

'Embrace' the smoking ban we were told. Just do food and everything will be okay. Up your game, open a library/post office/cinema in your pub. Set aside a lunchtime for expectant mothers or an evening for transvestite grandads.

Just offer 'excellence' then watch the customers come running.

How do you 'evolve' to a 33% to 80% drop in takings? Even if it were possible for the country to sustain 40-odd-thousand foodie pub-restaurants, for many it was madness to invest a fortune in pricey catering equipment when local competitors were offering £2.99 two-for-one deals.

In truth the customers we've lost don't want excellence. Most pub goers couldn't give a toss about fine dining, health emporiums, creches, drop-in centres or gymnasiums. They simply want to be treated like adults. They want their old pubs back, warts an' all.

Exactly Pete, my Mrs, god bless her, loved the experience of being taken out to a country pub somewhere and having a drink with a nice lunch or dinner and seen it as one of the treats of life but when she went shopping or wanted to go to her local then all she wanted to do was have a drink and a smoke in comfort, despite the local dickheads that the landlord/lady gave short shrift to. She liked a game of pool (she was very good at pool) and talk to friends she had built up over the years at the local...all that was taken away from her and she couldn't understand why. But you did Pete..
I have taken a couple of paragraphs from Pete's eulogy to The Publican out of context but you can read the full story over at the Freedom2Choose front page, it makes excellent reading and forces you ask "why did these trade papers bury their collective heads in the sand?"

Friday, 2 March 2012

It's over.

It is now eight days since I said goodbye to my lovely wife, first at the church where we were married and then at the crematorium. I am adjusting, in just a short time, to being single again.

But first I must thank all the readers of this blog for the heartfelt sympathies I received from you all, both in the comments section of my last post and private emails.

I must also thank all the members of Freedom2Choose who, through the committee, sent a lovely wreath which my sister took a photograph of, and I will cherish for the rest of my life. And I'd like also to thank those from the Freedom2Choose forum who sent me condolence cards, you lovely lovely people, I love each and every one of you.

Lastly, but not least I would like to thank my dear friend Phil Johnson (aka Handymanphil), the last chairman of F2C, for his unselfish support to me in my time of anguish and mourning whilst he battled his own personal problems. Phil, you are indeed a man that commands respect, mine at least. Thank you Phil.

Once I have gone through officialdom to sort out my finances and looked for work I will again be able to concentrate on that that has been a thorn in my side, the smoking ban here in the UK, indeed, in the rest of the world. But that is in the near future.

Once again, thank you all for your words of condolence and support, you lovely, lovely people.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

I will always love you.

Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.

On Thursday the 16th if February 2012 my beloved wife of over forty years passed away after a long fight with Alzheimer's. My lovely, beautiful wife, a light smoker, hated no one but had many dislikes, like most of us do,  but would never, ever condemn anyone who has walked down that long road of life because of their lifestyle choices.

Beryl loved life and was against those that took life away, especially through wars. It was surprising then that she married me, a soldier at the time.

She was appalled at the attitude of people who disliked smoking. During her illness I had to explain to her that we were sat outside of our local pub because of a law that discriminated against us that smoked and we had no choice and nor did anyone care. Often we went outside in the cold and the rain to smoke, an action I feel sorry about as I should not have put her through such a thing. We eventually stopped visiting our local pub as it was so cruel.

Beryl was a gifted artist and music lover who is no longer dancing with the wolves of this world but now dancing with angels. She loved her ballet.

Rest in peace my lovely, beautiful wife, the hounds are no longer out to get you. I will always love you.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Loud voices in the anti-smoking wilderness. The Audrey Silk story

Audrey Silk walks and talks like any other down to earth, working class woman. She looks as though she has seen the darker side of life and could recount many stories that would make me and you feel sick to our very stomachs, and she most probably can. You see Audrey used to be one of New York's finest, a policewoman in that world wide iconic city, supposedly so 'good' they named it twice.

Now retired Audrey has another criminal to fight, a corporate criminal who does his work under a cloak of respectability, the billionaire Mayor of her city, Michael Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg has a penchant for banning all things that the public likes so that he can take away freedom of choice for the average New Yorker and instead of making life that little bit easier for them he criminalises lifestyle choices whilst neglecting real crime. But this is not about the omnipotent Bloomberg and his quest for a place in the self righteous hall of fame, this blog is about freedom from tyranny and a one woman Goliath throwing stones at an ogre, that woman is Audrey Silk, founder, in 2000 of NYC C.L.A.S.H. Audrey, you make me think of our very own Boudica who waged her own war against roman tyranny and won.

You are awe inspiring and I have put you in my select band of hero's, hero's who fight this onslaught on freedom of expression and choice.

Hat Tip to Wiel Maessen, who is fighting successfully he smoking ban in the Netherlands on behalf of bar owners, for the link to this video.

R.I.P Whitney Houston, you will be sorely missed.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

To the anti-smoker I say this! Guest post by John Watson

I do not need to change your minds, nor do I wish to. But anyone who believes in freedom believes in these words of Voltaire:
‘I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.’
It was Abraham Lincoln who in 1858 said:
‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
These words have stood the test of time: the anti smoking lobby seek to divide the world. If they succeed then evil wins: in the words attributed to Edmund Burke:
‘All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.’
Continuing with Edmund Burke, he also says that:
‘In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority’ and that ‘Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.’
The last quote was echoed centuries later when George Santayana said:
‘Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.’
Those quotes could have been written today; they all apply as much today as when their illustrious authors penned them. I do not address such words toward the anti smokers for that would be equal to casting pearls before swine, but to those who smoke and those non-smokers who are tolerant and caring of those who smoke, whom I believe make up the majority of non-smokers, decent freedom loving people so unlike those anti-smokers who breed hatred and intolerance, who seek to pass laws on the back of such evil.

The smokers and the tolerant non smokers have a choice: to live in freedom and tolerance of each other, or to live under the tyranny of the anti-smoker. I remind all those that believe in freedom and tolerance of Burke’s words already quoted:

‘All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.’
John Watson

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The cost is now immaterial

As we enter yet another year of smoke ban frenzy and new sets of figures continue to praise the 'great success' of the worst law ever passed since the 1790's we find that the cost of quit smoking implementations last year (alone) was £84.3m-absolutely unbelievable! That's yet another massive chunk of the nations finance gone to waste.

One wonders (on many, many occasions actually) just how low these anti smoking zealots will stoop to ruin many a smokers enjoyment but today's news article gives you some indication as we now have market stalls springing up to attract smokers to become non smokers. It is well known that Jan/Feb are the major 'quit campaign' months as people still adhere to the old fashioned rubbish of New Year resolutions-99% of which are quickly broken. I can't really see people queueing up after they have bought their veg & salad to sign up for a quit smoking course on a freezing cold day can you? "A pound of Golden Delicious, 2lb of Brussels, a packet of tomato's and a 'quit kit' please - doesn't really ring true does it!

One has to contemplate the fact that perhaps, just maybe, there is not a soul in this country that is not aware that we are in the middle of the biggest persecution era of modern times. Now, it seems, shoppers are to be harassed as they wander around their local market place thinking of the necessities needed to accompany the roast beef the following day!
Apparently ' Between 2010 and 2011, 377 people living in Furness and Millom quit through their GP, pharmacy or the stop smoking service, but smoking rates remain higher than many parts of the UK. '

Given that it is governmentaly accepted that a smoker has quit at a minimal 4 week period but in actual fact only 5% of original 'quitters' actually succeed, it means that only 16 or 17 people actually managed to completely quit smoking. Wowee-what a stupendous achievement that is!

On the other side of the coin, whilst these anti smoking bigots wage their relentless war on the smoker yet another social outlet has gone into administration. 'Calco' who operate 79 pubs in the west Midlands have suffered the fate of thousands of other pubs - they can't afford to exist in the present 'smokerless climate', engineered by the social engineering by the likes of ASH, CRUK et al. Falling sales, lack of customers as smokers keep walking have wreaked havoc within the industry yet such as Cecilia Farren are relentless in their pursuit of a smoke-free nation and care nothing for the poverty & homelessness they cause.

Cecilia Farren, a very ripe big cheese in Tobacco Control.
If we look at the fight for justice we can easily see that the legal system has been corrupted in favour of the anti smoking brigade as smoking related offences have been financially penalised far more severely that any other minor crime brought to the courts attentions these past 4 years. A Manchester shisha bar was fined £5,000 + £2,174 costs,

a total of £7,194 for allowing smoking in what was a bar set up for smoking! Some lunatic, out of his head on drugs smashes a shop window and ends up being fined £60! An Irish bar has been similarly slaughtered as a Killarney licensee has been fined £2,000 + £1,750 costs & (to cap it all) £500 "witness costs"-what the hell are they and where did they emanate from? And just to tot it all up he now faces losing his licence altogether. The courts are merciless when it comes to smoking orientated persecutions/prosecutions.

Whilst in Ireland we have heard the sad news that our friend and fellow anti ban warrior Chris Carter has finally been rejected by the High Court in Belfast. His story started 4 years ago when he closed his business down as he couldn't build a smoking room on the side of his offices (another 5 people rendered jobless) so, in protest, he went and smoked a cigarette in the council offices-yes, Shock! Horror! (but nobody died as a result of their exposure.)

Chris has fought a long and tedious battle with the Irish courts as they have pulled every trick in the book to thwart him-even disallowing his right to call Irish Ministers (then) to the witness stand as they knew that Chris would unveil them as the liars & cheats they are.

It seems not to worry these people either that the dole queues are extending, every single time a pub closes (don't forget that every 10,000 new Job Seekers claimers cost the government £1.53m per WEEK), in fact they do not care about the costs anymore, the costs have become immaterial! Economists have assessed the cost to this country thus far at £19bn, give or take a tenner-what sort of lunacy is this we are witnessing?

Chris Carter, smokers freedom fighter.

In refusing Chris's case, the judge has decreed that it is quite OK to forgo our sovereignty, our human rights and our freedoms in order that this law may prevail. It has been now ordered that Chris pays the £1,250 fine imposed 4 years ago or trots off for 47 days in prison. We cannot let that happen folks so simply nip over to and help Chris avoid the indignity of such a fate. A special fund has been set up for him over at SmokersJustice so we must do our best for a man that has given all he had to give in fighting this despicable ban and now has serious heart problems to boot!

The legal system has been turned on its head by this draconian law as the persecution & prosecution of smokers increases week by week. But even saying that it is increasing is showing that more and more people are against this law and what it is doing to our nation as it is only the fanatical loons like Farren, Duffy, Arnott et al that keep beating the dying drum that SHS is the worlds biggest killer (mind you, if I were on their wage scales I suppose I would too). The fact that SHS has never been proven to kill anyone (yet carbon monoxide has) seems to have nothing to do with their arguments!

But, to go back to where we started, such is the furore about smoking that it not only seems that smokers have NO rights, the costs of obliterating smokers is immaterial!

Monday, 16 January 2012

'Be Jaysus, they've got it'!

 Another bar gone, it's enought to drive you to drink!
A report has been published today, online. showing that Ireland is losing a substantial number of drinking venues; ten percent actually-since 2007. Now being Ireland there would have to be a good reason for all these closures and the 'Drink Driving Laws' have been cited as the main cause! Yep, you read that right my friends, it the combination of the drinking and the transportation to & from said watering hole that is the main cause. Amazing!

A junior minister has weighed into the argument stating that tourism is being affected by all this and says that the government need to do something to avert a tourism disaster: hilarious.

Meanwhile, Padraig Cribben, president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, said lifestyle changes and other factors were to blame. Hmmm, let me see now. The only lifestyle change that has been effected is the smoking ban, but more people smoke now than before the ban, so how the hell.....?

Of course, silly me, more people are smoking but they can't smoke in the pubs & bars anymore in case bar staff drop like flies from the deadliest form of gas known to man SARIN GAS, oops, sorry, SHS!

He also blames cheap supermarket beers, just as the same pathetic people do in England, but they fail to see that had smoking indoors NOT been banned in the first place the supermarkets would not be profiting from the pubs miseries!

He also said that 7,000 jobs were lost last year with the severe prospect of another 4,000 this year, which is not good news - especially for a country that was 'force voted' into the EUSSR Titanic and was given 1st place in the race for EU bail-out funds. Quite simply their economy cannot withstand a continuous rise in unemployment - but that's what they are seeing. The best of it is that they cannot see what is happening under the guidance of their EU masters who are destroying the very economy they are trying to set up; they might as well call it the 'eurodolemoney' because the smoking bans will slowly but surely strangle most economies, except of course the Netherlands who have shown absolute common sense and saved their nation!

"The Government needs to sit up and take stock of what is happening here. We are a major asset to this economy and all we are looking for is a level playing field," Mr Cribben added.

'Be Jaysus, they've got it'!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Humiliation of we happy breed.

In my last blog post called We happy breed. We who enjoy smoking are on our own! I waxed not so lyrical about the tobacco companies running scared of the display ban and refusing to fight it last Saturday and one of my commentators, sillyusername, pointed out that Norway has had a display ban for the past two years and gave some observations:
I don't know if this is relevant, but it is worth considering. A display ban has been in operation here in Norway for about two years now. This has had no significant effect on tobacco sales at all. Perhaps in the light of this experience and similar experiences in some Canadian provinces the tobacco companies, having lost no money to display bans feel that challenging them is a waste of money. It's all about the money on both sides of the tobacco divide.
 In reply I agreed with sillyusername that money was, and always has been, a tour De force in shaping the denormalisation of smokers, both for the recipients adversely affected by such bans and the businesses that have to employ them on pain of financial suicide or even jail time for daring to fight for their businesses or principles and the bodies that call for such draconian measures. They were in the minority as the majority of landlords and pubcos rolled over and said "kill me quickly." To my mind both the anti smoking fake charities, as they are fondly called by us smokers, and the tobacco companies are two sides of the same coin, as long as the money keeps rolling in they shortsightedly cannot see that one side is sliding a noose over the others neck.

As for the display ban I now have first hand experience of it when I visited my local ASDA store today. The tobacco display had two sliding doors on it that it did not have on it yesterday and on the counter was a list of tobacco products that I had difficulty reading even with my bifocals on, the writing was that small. And the display ban is three months away before ASDA has a legal duty to hide tobacco products. If I was not so angry I would have felt humiliated and shamed but I did not, and never will as I fight such legislation, I will not be made to feel dirty for enjoying tobacco so well done ASDA for kicking your smoking customers in the teeth before it was necessary, customers who only buy tobacco products AFTER spending shit loads of their well earned money in your stores.

Anyway, enough of my rant about this, I'll let Dave Atherton speak on behalf of smokers and anyone else denied their freedom of choice about their lifestyle choice as he is interviewed on radio.

The first person interviewed is one Paul Hooper, a well paid ASH propagandist who is well known to Freedom2Choose,Tony Blows and his wife. Paul Hooper attended court where Tony was handed down a £17,000 legal bill for defying the smoking ban and while Tony was being sentenced Hooper gave a hangman sign to Tony's lovely wife, using his tie as a noose, while she waited for Tony's fate outside, lovely man, ain't he. Here is some info on Paul Hooper:

Contact: Paul Hooper
c/o Warwickshire Primary Care Trust
Westgate House, Market Street
Warwick CV34 4DE
Tel: 07836 631 597

Saturday, 7 January 2012

We happy breed. We who enjoy smoking are on our own!

There's nobody to defend smokers but themselves!

What a bunch of lilly livered bastards the tobacco companies are!!!

You faithfully buy and enjoy their products year in, year out. But when it comes to you being treated as a second class citizen because you do enjoy their product or when it comes to you being treated as a pervert for wanting to see the legal pornography goods being sold on the shelves so you can make an informed choice before buying that legal product, who cares? Certainly not Big Tobacco. Any company that is facing mind numbing legislation on the back of fear and intimidation doled out by their opposition who have powerful lobbying agents at the heart of government would, surely, fight for their customers rights and their very own livelihood? Not the leading big tobacco firms for sure. What do they do when faced with a tobacco display ban? Give up, that's what they do:
The Government will no longer face a legal challenge from four tobacco firms over its plans to ban tobacco displays from English shops, ministers have revealed.
The planned challenge has now been withdrawn by Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris, the Government confirmed.
 For anyone that has been asleep for the past few years here is some catchup news:
The Coalition Government plans to prevent tobacco displays from appearing in large shops and supermarkets from this April with the help of a new law. The ban will apply to other tobacco sellers from April 2015.
And of course the Tobacco Control elites are brimming with confidence now that the big four tobacco companies, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International   shat all over their loyal customers and turned tail and ran like cowards and ashamed smokers like Nick Clegg and David Cameron.
Commenting on the withdrawal, public health minister Anne Milton said: "Removing tobacco displays from shops will help to stop young people from starting smoking and help smokers that want to quit. Withdrawing this legal challenge is a victory for public health."
No Milton, you sorry excuse for a conservative politician with a small 'c', the prevalence of the youth taking up smoking will not diminish and neither will smokers give up because of the ludicrous ban on displays designed to show off each companies product for ADULTS to make a choice! Smoking prevalence was on a downward spiral long before the draconian smoking ban came into being on the 1st of July 2007, now where is it at?

 And they are moving on to the next 'logical' step:
"The Government will soon be consulting on putting cigarettes in plain packaging so that all tobacco products look alike, with no distinctive branding and with large picture health warnings. The tobacco industry will be making similar claims that the policy is illegal, but we expect that these claims will come to nothing as well."
It shames me to say you are right. WTF is happening in this once proud country?

The Torch of Freedom march

Freedom, Hard won, easily lost by stealth.

To quote Abraham Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand” a fact that that some charities, the medical establishment and the BBC are deliberately using to divide smokers, drinkers and the obese from the state sponsored ideal person, a master race if you accept that such a being exists.

On March 31st there is a march planned from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square in London starting at Noon until 3 o‘clock, It is aptly called The Torch of Freedom march, the original March of that name having occurred on March 31st 1929 in order to gain equality for and end discrimination of women smokers. Details are on Facebook .

If you do just one thing this year to preserve the freedoms of your fellow citizens, your children and grandchildren then attend the Torch for Freedom march, make this country a better place to live for them, the healthists scream it is for the children, ask yourselves this, what is better for my children a free happy life or the life of a health slave? Give your child the greatest gift of all, freedom.

John Watson

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Freedom come, freedom go.

H/T to C.A.G.E Canada on Facebook.

Every day, each of us makes choices that influence our own health: what we eat, how much we exercise, whether we take our medications. These are by nature private choices and private responsibilities.
Some health choices, however, are collective. Outdoor air quality compromised by industrial pollution or mosquito control are good examples of health issues that are by nature public choices and public responsibilities.
Where does smoking in bars lie?
Good question professor Bohanon, a question that has baffled me for a myriad of reasons.

In my humble opinion, no one is forced to enter a saloon; nor for all but the shortest duration is anyone compelled to work in such an establishment. Second-hand smoke in a bar is a health issue but no more of one than second-hand smoke in a tobacco shop or a private residence.What is at stake, then, is not public health or business vitality. Those are -- pardon the pun -- smokescreens. Rather, personal freedom and personal responsibility are the issues. If you want to avoid second-hand smoke, good for you: Don't go to bars and don't work there. You are free to encourage, cajole and persuade smokers to change their behavior, plus those who choose to be around second-hand smoke.
Interesting argument prof but I question two of your hypothesis here. Even from within my own freedom2choose freedom fighters writings worldwide I have difficulty in their argument that "no one is forced to enter a bar where smoking occurs" and "nor for all but the shortest duration is anyone compelled to work in such an establishment." As I am of a libertarian bent I can see that a non-smoker who is irritated by second hand smoke but still wish to frequent any establishments that takes their fancy believe that they are indeed  forced or coerced and as a smoker I know how that feels. And as far as employment is concerned necessity dictates where we work or not (and when) and I find it anti freedom of choice in a capitalist society to hinder that basic freedom.

What is at stake, then, is not public health or business vitality. Those are -- pardon the pun -- smokescreens. Rather, personal freedom and personal responsibility are the issues. If you want to avoid second-hand smoke, good for you: Don't go to bars and don't work there. You are free to encourage, cajole and persuade smokers to change their behavior, plus those who choose to be around second-hand smoke.
Anyone with an ounce of the 'old Gray cells' can see that smoking bans have never been about health and everything to do with political lobbying groups that have their heart set against tobacco and it's users. The words Tobacco Control says it all and nothing will deter them in their goal of ridding the world of tobacco and it's users by ritual denormalisation and humiliation, their hatred is that intense. As for "business vitality", well, you are way off base and I find that hard to say as you are a professor of economics. The British hospitality trade has went into sharp decline since the smoking ban came into effect her on the 1st of July 2007. Why couldn't businesses have the basic freedom to choose whether they went non smoking or not?

What is being considered instead is coercion, using force and threats of state-sanctioned violence to make one group of people do what another group wants them to do. And whenever we use coercion to protect people from harms from which they can protect themselves, whenever we allow public force to replace private persuasion, we give up a little bit of freedom, defer a little bit of individual responsibility and give up some of our precious heritage of liberty and take one more step on the Road to Serfdom.
One group of people using force and coercion, and the smoking ban and it's many spin offs are very forceful, as any pub landlord that dares to fight the smoking ban here will tell you, is as old as sin itself. I saw this type of tyranny time and time again In the army. If you did not conform to the bigger groups diktat then you were routinely punished. I thought we lived in enlightened times but apparently not.

Finally, I have never quite understood the argument that we should pass a law because people in California or New York have passed one. Are we so insecure, so afraid of being labeled hicks, rubes, that we feel compelled to ape what our "betters" are doing?
You and I both Cecil Bohanon, I've never understood any of it either. Once your states fell, one by one like a layer of dominos, on the sword of your smokaphobic legislators then other countries smokaphobic, tobacco hating, legislators wet themselves with glee and turned freedom of assocciation on it's head with draconian communistic laws that threaten everyones liberty and freedoms.

SHS is not harmful to the non smoker, never has been and never will. Invoking theiGodber blueprint he suggested that the anti smoking fraternity should make non smokers think that they would be harmed by a smokers SHS, a blatant lie to further the anti smoking, anti tobacco activists and their cause. The debate on SHS is not over as some anti organisations insist, the fight continues.

You can read anything I missed out of Cecil Bohanon's musings here.


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