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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Quote Of The Year

If there was ever a quote which encapsulates the Freedom2Choose ethos, it was uttered during this morning's Today programme on Radio 4. Disappointingly, it came from a German social commentator who understands all too well what is so very wrong with the UK.

One can only hope that our own politicians will wake up soon and see the international laughing stock we have now become thanks directly to their bullying policies.

"It's a matter of letting grown-ups do what grown-ups want to do, and that doesn't seem to be the case in the United Kingdom"

Clemenz Betzel

You can listen to the full audio report on European smoking attitudes, by BBC correspondent Caroline Wyatt, here.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

ASH, the BBC, and the government money pit

Smokers, it is now to your misfortune that you shall forthwith be officially derided beyond all realms of respect. If you need anything more to convince you of such, you need look no further than a report today on the BBC web site.

Labour MP David Taylor dies following heart attack

Now, Taylor was no friend of smokers, in fact he was a horrendous bansturbator who apparently valued his misconceived self-righteousness over your self-determination and private property rights.

However, any death, even amongst those with whom you disagree, should not be used as a political tool. The BBC obviously have different ideas though, considering their first port of call outside of Labour party colleagues was Deborah Arnott of ASH.

Deborah Arnott, director of the anti-smoking campaign group Ash, said Mr Taylor was "crucial in getting the smoking ban legislation through parliament".

The oven has barely cooled after Christmas 2009 yet Arnott has already been wading in with press releases embargoed for minutes past midnight on Boxing Day, and now sees it acceptable to make political capital for her taxpayer funded organisation when the death of an MP offers column inches.

And the BBC thought a politician's death was an appropriate opportunity to elicit quotes, from the hideous mouthpiece of a publicly-funded fake charity, on a deeply divisive subject.

If we had mentioned the disgraces of David Taylor we would have been roundly castigated as heartless or offensive, so there was no mention, and nor would there have ever been except that ASH seem OK with making a point on the back of a person dying.

Government take your taxes, both directly and indirectly, at pain of hefty punishment. So do the BBC. They funnel these taxes through many channels, one of which is the quite astonishingly heartless ASH.

When someone dies, it would seem that the tripartite anti-smoker system sees it as a great opportunity to make some mileage at your expense.

If you're not yet convinced that you, as a consumer of tobacco, is now considered worthless, this should be a timely, if sickening, wake up call.

We had our differences with Mr Taylor, many of them, but it would be less than human not to offer condolences to his family on such a sad occurrence. May he rest in peace and best wishes to his family.

Hungover? I’ve got the perfect hangover cure…


H/T to that English refugee in Scotland Captain Ranty.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Today is the beginning of the end for…

…Dr. Who of course.  Well not exactly, just the end of David Tennant’s tenure as guardian of the blue police box, (bloody hell, I’m old enough to remember them!)
Ok, I’m a huge fan and you’d think, at my age, I’d know better but I’ve grown up with that strange BBC electronic workshop music since it’s inception in 1963 (when I was a gangly 11yo) and the original Dr, William Hartnell.

Today, Christmas day, is the beginning of the end of the latest Time Lord incarnation, David Tennant…


The man credited for bringing Dr. Who back to life is Russell T. Davis and, as far as I know, he wrote a TV series called Queer as Folk, which I never watched, as anything to do with *homosexuality is not “must see” television for me. Indeed he brought “gayness” into Dr. Who when he brought Captain Jack Harkness into the show. But despite my little prejudices I think Russell T. Davis is a genius. His gift for comedy is inspiring, (who can forget "Blink" where the Dr explains the space time continuum as “wibbly wobbly bits.”)

And don’t forget the subliminal political messages in Dr. Who. More than once the Dr. mentions how great the human race are but so prone to not thinking for themselves, (thinking of the Cybermen here but can’t remember the direct quote.) One thing I’ve noticed though, you never, ever see someone smoking, not even in the background, (well, I had to get smoking in somewhere in this homage.)

David Tennant is arguably the best incarnation of the good Dr. and I shall miss his performance after next weeks final swansong.

I’ll be watching tonight with baited beery breath.


The Dr. is dead, long live the Dr.

*No homosexual (I refuse to use the word “gay”) was hurt in the making of this blog, not even Mrs. Iain Dale, ooh ahhh Mrs.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to all our readers


A Merry Christmas from the Save Our Pubs & Clubs team

Thank you for supporting the Save Our Pubs and Clubs: campaign. Please forward this e-card to family and friends and encourage them to join the campaign too. For the latest campaign news go to Happy Christmas!

* In 2009 52 pubs closed each week in the United Kingdom, up from 20 per week prior to the introduction of the smoking ban in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007. For further information go to

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Parliament of shame-Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

As a third winter bites these shores how much longer do we have to suffer at the hands of these scoundrels?  Thank you very much you vipers of parliament.  Your Christmas cheer will cut no ice with the newly unemployed and their families that have lost everything just because you all hate a wisp of smoke.  You knew it was nothing to do with health.  I hope you all rot in hell.


Labour MPs voting to ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:

Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington) Nick Ainger (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South) Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East) Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South) Graham Allen (Nottingham North) David Anderson (Blaydon) Ms Janet Anderson (Rossendale & Darwen) Ms Hilary Armstrong (Durham North West) Ian Austin (Dudley North) John Austin (Erith & Thamesmead) Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) Ed Balls (Normanton) Gordon Banks (Ochil and South Perthshire) Celia Barlow (Hove) Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) John Battle (Leeds West) Hugh Bayley (York, City of) Mrs Margaret Beckett (Derby South) Ms Anne Begg (Aberdeen South) Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough)

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) Joe Benton (Bootle) Dr Roger Berry (Kingswood) Clive Betts (Sheffield Attercliffe) Mrs Liz Blackman (Erewash) Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham) Tony Blair (Sedgefield) Ms Hazel Blears (Salford) David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside) Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) Lyn Brown (West Ham) Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend) Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway) Des Browne (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) Chris Bryant (Rhondda) Ms Karen Buck (Regent’s Park & Kensington North) Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield) Colin Burgon (Elmet) Andy Burnham (Leigh) Dawn Butler (Brent South)

Stephen Byers (Tyneside North) Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill) Richard Caborn (Sheffield Central) David Cairns (Inverclyde) Martin Caton (Gower) Ian Cawsey (Brigg & Goole) Colin Challen (Morley & Rothwell) Ben Chapman (Wirral South) David Chaytor (Bury North) Michael Clapham (Barnsley West & Penistone) Katy Clark (Ayrshire North and Arran) Paul Clark (Gillingham) Charles Clarke (Norwich South) Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) Ms Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) Vernon Coaker (Gedling) Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk) Frank Cook (Stockton North) Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) Ms Yvette Cooper (Pontefract & Castleford)

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) Mary Creagh (Wakefield) Ms Ann Cryer (Keighley) Mrs Claire Curtis-Thomas (Crosby) Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) Wayne David (Caerphilly) Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) Ms Janet Dean (Burton) John Denham (Southampton Itchen) Jim Devine (Livingston) Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester) Andrew Dismore (Hendon) Jim Dobbin (Co-op Heywood & Middleton) Frank Dobson (Holborn & St Pancras) Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire) Frank Doran (Aberdeen North) Jim Dowd (Lewisham West) David Drew (Stroud)

Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich) Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) Ms Maria Eagle (Liverpool Garston) Clive Efford (Eltham) Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) Natascha Engel (Derbyshire North East) Jeff Ennis (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Canning Town) Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South) Ms Caroline Flint (Don Valley) Paul Flynn (Newport West) Ms Barbara Follett (Stevenage) Michael Jabez Foster (Hastings & Rye) Hywel Francis (Aberavon) Mike Gapes (Ilford South) Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow) Dr Ian Gibson (Norwich North) Mrs Linda Gilroy (Plymouth Sutton) Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East) Nia Griffith (Llanelli) Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh South) John Grogan (Selby) Andrew Gwynne (Denton & Reddish)

Peter Hain (Neath) Mike Hall (Weaver Vale) Patrick Hall (Bedford) Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East) Ms Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham) Mark Hendrick (Preston) Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow) John Heppell (Nottingham East) Stephen Hesford (Wirral West) Ms Patricia Hewitt (Leicester West) David Heyes (Ashton under Lyne) Meg Hillier (Hackney South & Shoreditch) Mrs Margaret Hodge (Barking) Sharon Hodgson (Gateshead East & Washington West) Jimmy Hood (Lanark and Hamilton East) Geoff Hoon (Ashfield) Phil Hope (Corby) Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) George Howarth (Knowsley North & Sefton East) Dr Kim Howells (Pontypridd) Ms Beverley Hughes (Stretford & Urmston)

Mrs Joan Humble (Blackpool North & Fleetwood) Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) Ms Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate) Sian James (Swansea East) Diana Johnson (Hull North) Dr Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak) Martyn Jones (Clwyd South) Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton) Ms Sally Keeble (Northampton North) Barbara Keeley (Worsley) Alan Keen (Feltham & Heston) Ms Ann Keen (Brentford & Isleworth) Fraser Kemp (Houghton & Washington East) Piara Khabra (Ealing Southall) Sadiq Khan (Tooting) David Kidney (Stafford) Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool Walton) Jim Knight (Dorset South) Dr Ashok Kumar (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East) Dr Stephen Ladyman (Thanet South) David Lammy (Tottenham) Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith) David Lepper (Brighton Pavilion) Tom Levitt (High Peak) Ivan Lewis (Bury South) Martin Linton (Battersea) Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central) Andy Love (Edmonton) Ian Lucas (Wrexham) Steve McCabe (Birmingham Hall Green) Mrs Chris McCafferty (Calder Valley) Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) Sarah McCarthy-Fry (Portsmouth North)

Ian McCartney (Makerfield) John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) John McFall (West Dunbartonshire) Jim McGovern (Dundee West) Ms Anne McGuire (Stirling) Ms Shona McIsaac (Cleethorpes) Ms Ann McKechin (Glasgow North) Ms Rosemary McKenna (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East) Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) Tony McNulty (Harrow East) Denis MacShane (Rotherham) Shahid Malik (Dewsbury) Ms Judy Mallaber (Amber Valley) John Mann (Bassetlaw) Rob Marris (Wolverhampton South West) David Marshall (Glasgow East) Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway) Eric Martlew (Carlisle) Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton) Ms Gillian Merron (Lincoln) Alun Michael (Cardiff South & Penarth) Alan Milburn (Darlington) David Miliband (South Shields) Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port & Neston), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby) Ms Anne Moffat (East Lothian) Ms Laura Moffatt (Crawley) Chris Mole (Ipswich) Ms Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) Ms Jessica Morden (Newport East) Ms Julie Morgan (Cardiff North) Elliot Morley (Scunthorpe) George Mudie (Leeds East) Chris Mullin (Sunderland South) Ms Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley) Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire)

Paul Murphy (Torfaen) Dan Norris (Wansdyke) Eddie O’Hara (Knowsley South) Ms Sandra Osborne (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) Albert Owen (Ynys Mon) Nick Palmer (Broxtowe) Greg Pope (Hyndburn) Ms Bridget Prentice (Lewisham East) Gordon Prentice (Pendle) Ms Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South) Gwyn Prosser (Dover) Ken Purchase (Wolverhampton North East) James Purnell (Stalybridge & Hyde) Bill Rammell (Harlow) Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich) Andy Reed (Loughborough) Jamie Reed (Copeland) Linda Riordan (Halifax) John Robertson (Glasgow North West) Terry Rooney (Bradford North) Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd) Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford) Ms Joan Ryan (Enfield North) Martin Salter (Reading West) Mohammad Sarwar (Glasgow Central) Miss Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Devonport) Jonathan Shaw (Chatham & Aylesford)

Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) Ms Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood) Alan Simpson (Nottingham South) Marsha Singh (Bradford West) Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) Andrew Slaughter (Ealing, Acton & Shepherd’s Bush) Andrew Smith (Oxford East) Ms Angela C. Smith (Sheffield Hillsborough) Ms Angela E Smith (Basildon) Ms Jacqui Smith (Redditch) Anne Snelgrove (Swindon South) Sir Peter Soulsby (Leicester South) Ms Helen Southworth (Warrington South) Dr Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes South West) Ian Stewart (Eccles) Howard Stoate (Dartford) Dr Gavin Strang (Edinburgh East) Graham Stringer (Manchester Blackley) Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston) Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) Mark Tami (Alyn & Deeside) Ms Dari Taylor (Stockton South) David Taylor (Leicestershire North West) Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) Stephen Timms (East Ham) Paddy Tipping (Sherwood), Don Touhig (Islwyn) Jon Trickett (Hemsworth)

Paul Truswell (Pudsey) Dr Desmond Turner (Brighton Kemptown) Neil Turner (Wigan) Derek Twigg (Halton) Kitty Ussher (Burnley) Rudi Vis (Finchley & Golders Green) Ms Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) Lynda Waltho (Stourbridge) Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test) Malcolm Wicks (Croydon North) Alan Williams (Swansea West) Mrs Betty Williams (Conwy) Michael Wills (Swindon North) David Winnick (Walsall North) Ms Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central) Mike Wood (Batley & Spen) Shaun Woodward (St Helens South) Anthony Wright (Great Yarmouth) David Wright (Telford) Iain Wright (Hartlepool) Dr Tony Wright (Cannock Chase) Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne & Sheppey)

Tories voting to ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:

David Amess (Southend West) James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East) Tony Baldry (Banbury) John Bercow (Buckingham) Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley) Peter Bone (Wellingborough) Tim Boswell (Daventry) Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) Julian Brazier (Canterbury) James Brokenshire (Hornchurch) Alistair Burt (Bedfordshire North East) Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells) Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)

David Curry (Skipton & Ripon) Mrs Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid) Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East) David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford) Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) Ms Justine Greening (Putney) John Greenway (Ryedale) Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East) Michael Jack (Fylde) David Jones (Clwyd West) Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury & Atcham) Robert Key (Salisbury) Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North East) David Lidington (Aylesbury) Peter Luff (Worcestershire Mid) Anne Main (St Albans) Patrick Mercer (Newark) Anne Milton (Guildford) James Paice (Cambridgeshire South East) Michael Penning (Hemel Hempstead)

John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare) John Randall (Uxbridge) Andrew Rosindell (Romford) Lee Scott (Ilford North) Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West) Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) Sir John Stanley (Tonbridge & Malling) Gary Streeter (Devon South West) Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West) Rob Wilson (Reading East) Jeremy Wright (Rugby & Kenilworth) Sir George Young (Hampshire North West)

Other MPs voting for the blanket smoking ban were:

Democratic Unionist Party Gregory Campbell (Londonderry East) Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley) Rev William McCrea (South Antrim) The Rev Ian Paisley (Antrim North) Mrs Iris Robinson (Strangford) Peter Robinson (Belfast East) David Simpson (Upper Bann)

Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) Independent Dr Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest) Plaid Cymru Adam Price (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) Hywel Williams (Caernarfon) Social Democratic and Labour Party Mark Durkan (Foyle) Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) Ulster Unionist Party Lady Sylvia Hermon (Down North)

Liberal Democrats voting to ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:

Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) John Barrett (Edinburgh West) Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington) Ms Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North) Malcolm Bruce (Gordon) Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam) Mrs Lorely Burt (Solihull) Dr Vincent Cable (Twickenham) Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East) Tim Farron (Westmorland & Lonsdale) Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)

Don Foster (Bath) Andrew George (St Ives) Mrs Sandra Gidley (Romsey) Julia Goldsworthy (Falmouth & Camborne) Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South) Dr Evan Harris (Oxford West & Abingdon) Nick Harvey (Devon North) John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley) Paul Holmes (Chesterfield) Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) Chris Huhne (Eastleigh) Mark Hunter (Cheadle) Paul Keetch (Hereford) Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber) Susan Kramer (Richmond Park) Norman Lamb (Norfolk North) John Leech (Manchester Withington) Michael Moore (Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk)

John Pugh (Southport) Alan Reid (Argyll & Bute) Willie Rennie (Dunfermline and Fife West) Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North) Paul Rowen (Rochdale) Bob Russell (Colchester) Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine) Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) Matthew Taylor (Truro & St Austell) Sarah Teather (Brent East) Steve Webb (Northavon) Mark Williams (Ceredigion) Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire) Stephen Williams (Bristol West) Ms Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central) Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge)

And now for those MPs who had some spine and fought against the whips:

Labour noes

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) Alan Campbell (Tynemouth) Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) David Clelland (Tyne Bridge) Ms Ann Coffey (Stockport) David Crausby (Bolton North East) John Cummings (Easington) Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) Bill Etherington (Sunderland North) Frank Field (Birkenhead) Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central) Bruce George (Walsall South) Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath) Mrs Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland)

David Hamilton (Midlothian) Tom Harris (Glasgow South) Doug Henderson (Newcastle upon Tyne North) Keith Hill (Streatham) Ms Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) John Hutton (Barrow & Furness) Dr Bian Iddon (Bolton South East) Adam Ingram (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahgow) Brian Jenkins (Tamworth) Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle) Kevan Jones (Durham North) Ms Tessa Jowell (Dulwich & West Norwood) Eric Joyce (Falkirk) Ms Ruth Kelly (Bolton West)

Ms Jane Kennedy (Liverpool Wavertree) Thomas McAvoy (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) Ms Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden) Ms Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr) Alan Meale (Mansfield) Ms Kali Mountford (Colne Valley) Mike O’Brien (Warwickshire North) Bill Olner (Nuneaton) Ian Pearson (Dudley South)

James Plaskitt (Warwick & Leamington) Stephen Pound (Ealing North) John Prescott (Hull East) John Reid (Airdrie and Shotts) Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) Ms Geraldine Smith (Morecambe & Lunesdale) John Spellar (Warley) Emily Thornberry (Islington South & Finsbury) Mark Todd (Derbyshire South) Keith Vaz (Leicester East) Robert Wareing (Liverpool West Derby) Phil Woolas (Oldham East & Saddleworth)

Tories voting against banning smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:

Adam Afriyie (Windsor) Peter Ainsworth (Surrey East) Peter Atkinson (Hexham) Richard Bacon (Norfolk South) Gregory Barker (Bexhill & Battle) John Baron (Billericay) Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West) Richard Benyon (Newbury) Brian Binley (Northampton South) Crispin Blunt (Reigate) Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West) Mrs Angela Browning (Tiverton & Honiton) Simon Burns (Chelmsford West) David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate) Sir John Butterfill (Bournemouth West) Douglas Carswell (Harwich)

William Cash (Stone) Christopher Chope (Christchurch) James Clappison (Hertsmere) Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe) Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold) Derek Conway (Old Bexley & Sidcup) Sir Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire South) Geoffrey Cox (Torridge & West Devon) David TC Davies (Monmouth) Philip Davies (Shipley) Quentin Davies (Grantham & Stamford) Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood) James Duddridge (Rochford & Southend East) Alan Duncan (Rutland & Melton) Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green) Philip Dunne (Ludlow) Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks) Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster) Eric Forth (Bromley & Chislehurst)

Dr Liam Fox (Woodspring) Mark Francois (Rayleigh) Christopher Fraser (Norfolk South West) Roger Gale (Thanet North) Edward Garnier (Harborough) David Gauke (Hertfordshire South West) Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton) Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham) Paul Goodman (Wycombe) Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) Chris Grayling (Epsom & Ewell) Damian Green (Ashford) Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) John Gummer (Suffolk Coastal) William Hague (Richmond (Yorks) Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge) Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings) David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells) Charles Hendry (Wealden) Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs) Mark Hoban (Fareham) Philip Hollobone (Kettering) Adam Holloway (Gravesham) John Horam (Orpington) Michael Howard (Folkestone & Hythe) Gerald Howarth (Aldershot) Jeremy Hunt (Surrey South West) Nick Hurd (Ruislip - Northwood) Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) Bernard Jenkin (Essex North) Boris Johnson (Henley) Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove)

Greg Knight (Yorkshire East) Mrs Jacqui Lait (Beckenham) Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire South) Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) Oliver Letwin (Dorset West) Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater) Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden) Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham) Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York) Andrew Mackay (Bracknell) David Maclean (Penrith & The Border) Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire West) Humfrey Malins (Woking) Michael Mates (Hampshire East) Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead) Maria Miller (Basingstoke) Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) Malcolm Moss (Cambridgeshire North East) Dr Andrew Murrison (Westbury) Brooks Newmark (Braintree) Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury) Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) Owen Paterson (Shropshire North) Andrew Pelling (Croydon Central) John Redwood (Wokingham) Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington & Chelsea) Andrew Robathan (Blaby) Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Kent Mid)

Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) Keith Simpson (Norfolk Mid) Nicholas Soames (Sussex Mid) Sir Michael Spicer (Worcestershire West) Richard Spring (Suffolk West) Anthony Steen (Totnes) Desmond Swayne (New Forest West) Hugo Swire (Devon East) Robert Syms (Poole) Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle) Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) Andrew Tyrie (Chichester) Edward Vaizey (Wantage) Peter Viggers (Gosport) Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) Charles Walker (Broxbourne) Robert Walter (Dorset North) Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne) Mrs Angela Watkinson (Upminster) John Whittingdale (Maldon & Chelmsford East) Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone & The Weald) Bill Wiggin (Leominster) David Willetts (Havant) Sir Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield) Tim Yeo (Suffolk South)

Liberal Democrats opposing the smoking ban in all pubs and clubs in England were:

Colin Breed (Cornwall South East)Jeremy Browne (Taunton) Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton) David Howarth (Cambridge) Mark Oaten (Winchester) Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) Adrian Sanders (Torbay John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross)


Monday, 21 December 2009

Hamish Howitt-man of the people-forced to give up trading as a pub landlord…

…Thanks to the UK smoking ban experiment!
Smoking rebel Hamish Howitt’s two Blackpool boozers have closed as he battles the spectre of bankruptcy.
Both Delboys and the Crazy Scot have been forced to shut amid crippling debts.
Hamish blames the smoking ban for his troubles, although his doomed attempt to overturn the ban by letting punters smoke in his pubs saw him hit with huge legal costs.
Both pubs were not what you’d call classics, but had a kind of cut-throat charm.
I wouldn’t rule out Hamish getting back on his feet one day. He’s s real character and the SD salutes him.
Oh, ta very much The Southport Drinker, Your support is appreciated.

I need a bloody hero!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sunday sermon

I hate to be bearer of bad news, especially on a Sunday, but it would appear that we're not going to heaven.

If one out of four was good enough, I might have a chance (though that would depend on a strict interpretation of the word 'sleep').

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A Pub Co Christmas Carol


A Ghostly Pub Tale for Christmas

From The

Pub Lovers Blog

It was 11.30 pm Christmas Eve 2009, a foul night, freezing with sleet and snow, gale force winds roaring across the West Country.

The M5 was blocked and a few diversions were in place, the North Coast Road was the only one open to Cornwall and that was blocked on Countisbury Hill.  Two cars were pushing along, one following the other and the one in front kept going because the other was behind.  The diversion from the M5 had taken them through Minehead from Taunton, not an easy drive, Porlock Hill was just manageable with loads of salt and grit.

Just before Culbone Stables another diversion to the left, down into the Doone Valley where there was very little snow and some icy roads, by-passing Countisbury Hill.

The two cars picked their way carefully down the narrow lane, one a dark grey Aston Martin and the other a silver Mercedes.
It had taken ten hours to get this far from the Midlands, both drivers hoping to get to Cornwall for Christmas.  Both cars were slipping on patchy ice along the lanes, their speeds far slower than the speeds that they were built for, stupid driving was not on the agenda. They passed through a hamlet and up an incline beside the East Lyn River, which was in full flood and not a place to skid into on a dark night.  The incline flattened and then descended down, both cars slowed to a crawl and inched down the hill to a pub with a car park beside the river.  The road immediately started to rise on the other side of the pub and they realised that neither would be going anywhere with the ice on the road and gently reversed into the pub car park overlooking the river.

The lights were on and it looked like a haven in the wilderness with a big fire flickering through the windows.

There were no cars in either car park.

Both drivers climbed out of their cars with hats pulled down and collars up and dashed for the pub door, they stepped in and shut the door quickly.

A large jovial man dressed as Father Christmas, behind the bar chortled “Happy Christmas”, both drivers grunted about how foul the weather was and made a beeline for the seats on either side of the fire, removing their coats as they sat down.

The bar was decorated with holly and festive decorations, carols were playing quietly in the background, the subtleties of Christmas celebration were wasted on the two exhausted drivers.
The jovial Father Christmas brought over two large glasses of mulled wine and several mince pies and said that they were on the house, since all his usual customers were long gone.

The two drivers looked at each other and one said “You’re Ebenezer Tuppense from Titanic Inns”, the other said “You’re Silas Morley from Judy Taverns, we haven’t talked since that disaster at the Select Committee.”  Ebenezer said “I think we will drink the mulled wine and forget that episode”.

They both drank the warming wine and lapsed into a near totally relaxed state, in fact any movement was an effort.

Both men felt a gentle squeeze on their shoulders and came to.
The large jovial Father Christmas said to them “I am the Ghost of Christmas Past, come and join me.”  The door opened, the wind had stopped blowing and all three stepped outside.

They were both bemused but in a fuddled state and the jovial giant picked them up and they all three zoomed upwards and Eastwards.  Neither felt cold or terrified as they sped back across Exmoor, Taunton with the lights flickering, the M5 snaking Northwards covered in snow with lines of stationary cars with twinkling lights.  Swinging West along the A303, over Andover, Basingstoke, the River Thames was shimmering in the moonlight meandering through the white countryside.  They finally floated down on to the car park of a pub in a small village called Laleham on Thames.

The pub was called “The Ash Tree”, it didn’t look inspiring, there were some very old cars parked outside, all covered in snow and not a place that either would frequent.

All three walked into the pub, nobody even noticed them, the pub was packed, everyone was singing carols and having a fabulous time, the staff were all working like mad, the landlord Frank was everywhere, the two had never seen a pub as busy as this for years.

The Ghost of Christmas Past eased them out of the door for a short walk towards the centre of the village and the “Saracens Head”, this was a much smaller pub, but again, this was packed with people enjoying themselves and celebrating Christmas Eve, they were all local people, the same as those in “The Ash Tree”.  The Ghost eased them once again out of the door, they appeared to be invisible, nobody noticed.  They walked round the corner by the village church and a hundred yards further on was the “Five Horse Shoes”, there were some wonderful old sports cars parked outside, again covered in snow.  They walked in, again the pub was packed with young people and a few older ones all enjoying themselves celebrating Christmas, it was a beautiful pub with genuine beams, polished brass and a big fire.  Stanley the licensee was dispensing hospitality to everyone.

The two looked at each other, their thoughts were the same what incredible businesses.

The Ghost once again eased them out of the door again and said that they must get back because time was limited, they flew West to Exmoor and back to their seats in front of the pub fire.

They both immediately started to doze, the door flew open and a lady in a long white cloak with fur trimming came in clutching a book, in fact she looked just like Bridget Jones with her Diary.  She looked at our two weary travellers and said, “I am the Ghost of Christmas Present, come and join me.”  She took them both up and over Exmoor, in exactly the same way as the Ghost of Christmas Past, finally landing in “The Ash Tree” car park, there was one car in the car park and a fairly old one at that.  All three walked into the pub it was looking tired, there were three customers and a manager from the Management Company running the place.  They were discussing how many people had failed in the pub, because the rent was too high, the discounts were non existent and people couldn’t make a fair living.

All three moved out very quickly the whole thing was totally depressing, the “Saracens Head” further down the road towards the village centre was boarded up, with a tired business agents sign hanging off the wall saying business opportunity, and looked as though it had been there for a long time.  Once again they walked round the church and could see the illuminated sign of the “Five Horse Shoes”.  Three cars were in the car park, the door opened and a scruffily dressed man walked past them.  They entered the bar that had been so vibrant and fun, the air was subdued, piped pop music was blaring out with about six customers and a tired barman.  The conversation once again was about greedy landlords or Pub Co’s, the difference was the same, nothing had been invested in the pub, a succession of inexperienced people who had all failed miserably because the landlords draconian demands had been too much for any to survive.  All the time the Ghost of Christmas Present was scribbling in her Diary, she finally took them outside much to their relief and transported them back to the West and the comfortable chair by the fire side in the Exmoor pub.

They sank into the chairs almost exhausted, she gently opened the door and departed.

It seemed no time at all when the pub door opened and a large man in Prison Warders Garb came in, he looked familiar and could easily have been mistaken for the Chairman of the Select Committee who both our weary travellers had managed to incur some scathing comments from.  He approached our two very weary travellers and said, “I am the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, please come and join me”.  They both pleaded that they had driven miles and been transported miles and their systems had reached breaking point and they had no desire to see the final ignominy of what had been three brilliant pubs.  He said, “You won’t, you are going into the future in another direction and have no option.”

They staggered to their feet and walked outside the Ghost whisked them upwards and Westwards, across Barnstaple, Okehampton.
Tavistock was away to the right, they were crossing the centre of Dartmoor, the prison loomed up, with Princetown beside it.  They floated down through the prison wall on to a walkway with rows of old cells in front of them.

Two grey haired and bearded figures were peering out of the cell, the doors were open, they looked familiar, their hands were gnarled and callused, they appeared to stoop with premature old age.  The terrible premonition that these two sub normal beings might be them, sent shivers down both their spines, the Ghost looked at them both and nodded having read their minds.  Their legs and hands were shackled, they shuffled out of the cell and joined a queue of other convicts, who were then chained into gangs.  All the gangs moved through the security gates and doors eventually getting on a flat top behind an engine on the narrow gauge rail track heading for the Prison Quarry.

Having arrived at the quarry the tools were handed out and they all started breaking rocks in their respective gangs.  Only one did not and he drove the engine, they realised that it was Sid Mayell the Chief Rent Negotiator for Titanic Inns, he always loved trains. They both looked at the ghost dressed in his Prison Warders outfit and mentally asked the same question, “What happened?”  “It’s a long story, the Select Committee were furious that nothing was done and got the new Government to bring in legislation to outlaw increasing rents and over valuing the freehold without considering true business viability and declared it a Ponzi Scheme, since so many people had lost billions of pounds buying leases that were not viable. Every Pub Owning company that followed that method, at least one director, accountant or valuer whose idea to follow suit was held liable.  The Government directed that all people with a justifiable claim against the company even retrospectively could do so, this caused the total collapse of the majority of large Pub Co’s, the directors were held personally liable because it was deemed a criminal act, consequently you both lost everything and were sentenced to fifty years hard labour without reprieve.”  They both said, “What happened to our families?”  “They are living in high rise Council Flats in the Midlands on Social Security with many other prisoners families.”  Silas said, “What happened to my house in the Caribbean?”  “That got flattened in a hurricane and your insurance had not been paid.”  The Ghost said, “ Have a look at some of your fellow convicts and the guards”

Again the terrible realization that there were loads of corporate Pub Co Directors breaking rocks and the guards were all ex licensees, they actually made more money as guards than running pubs.

They were both in total shock, much to their relief the Ghost whisked them away from that awful scene and dropped them back in their chairs in front of the fire on Exmoor.

They were woken by the jovial Father Christmas saying the gritter had been through, the weather had warmed up and they could continue their journey.  They both looked at each other and said that they had had the most dreadful dreams and realised that they were both exactly the same, both were in a state of shock.  They put their coats on and walked out of the door thanking the licensee for his generosity and walked to the railings around the car park over looking the river.

They both said, “Were we really that bad?” and sadly they agreed, “What can we do to make amends?”

“We can do an awful lot if we really try, we need some people that really understand the industry and licensees, we also need to listen to licensees.”

“Let’s see if we can put the clock back, I would prefer to have pubs like those in the past and make honest money for everyone”
The lights had been turned out on the pub and it was very dark as they climbed into their cars.

They started their engines and the lights came on, showing a boarded up pub with a sagging sign with a faded Titanic Inns Freehouse sign and a sagging banner acquired by Judy Taverns, closed until further notice.

They both felt a cold shiver run through their bodies as though something had just walked over their graves.

It must have happened they still had the after taste of the mulled wine in their mouths.

Looking at the dashboard clocks in their cars it said 11.30 pm????

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Smokers pollute London with cigarette butts

From Simon Clarke’s blog, Taking Liberties, as the video below surely does take liberties, comes this from Keep Britain Tidy campaigners.

Yet more denormalisation of smokers!

What the Carter Ruck?

As we smokers and climate change/global warming sceptics are only to well aware, any reporting of the true facts are non existent in the mainstream media. Of which, that government mouthpiece the BBC, are only too willing to buckle under to pressure from outside influences.

From the BBC’s Royal Charter on independence:
 6. The independence of the BBC
(1) The BBC shall be independent in all matters concerning the content of its output, the times and manner in which this is supplied, and in the management of its affairs.
(2) Paragraph (1) is subject to any provision made by or under this Charter or any Framework Agreement or otherwise by law.
Now the libel lawyers are threatening free speech, of which this country used to have as it’s cornerstone.
The BBC are at it again as they pull all mention of Trifigura from their website under threats from libel lawyers Carter Ruck, in the case that has come to be known as “TrafiguraGate”.
Here is the Newsnight video that Carter Ruck did not want you to see:

Laws are being made every day in this country to keep you, the public, from getting at the truth, whether that truth be about Tobacco, Climate Change or or Human Rights abuses. The public are being blinded, deafened and made dumb by rule of law.

Constantly Furious and Banned have both given their opinions on “TrifiguraGate”.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Why are we not surprised?

From the Telegraph.

Health Department spends £2,500 on Christmas tree

The department, headed by Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, spent £2,485 on an 18ft 'dressed tree' for its Skipton House headquarters, where 950 of its staff work in Southwark, South London.

It spent a further £750 on three small trees at Richmond House, in Whitehall, to replace a larger tree that fell into disrepair, taking the total spent on trees to more than £3,200.

Not too surprising considering the Department of Health is so awash with money they are struggling to find ways to spend it.

This is where I'd normally tell you about the multi-tens-of-millions pound spend on anti-smoking adverts, but it seems the link has disappeared. I'm sure that the government-funded National Social Marketing Centre, whose paymasters partners include the Department of Health, have a perfectly reasonable explanation for that.

For the record, it's £43m per year.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Smoking - a simple way to prevent or cure Swine Flu? By guest author Kin Free

Our guest writer today is known on the Freedom2Choose forum as Kin Free. He does what investigative journalists in the MSM should do (scientific in this case), investigate. Here’s what he’s found, and it’s food for thought. Over to you Kin Free.
index Arnica montana (The tobacco plant)

I can hear the response to this statement already; “Okay, Yeah, whatever, Pigs might fly too” (rolls eyes).. Or... “Another evil Tobacco company ploy”... Well, read on and look at the
science ... Don’t be too ‘phased’ by the medical terminology!

Ever heard of the medical term ‘Cytokine storm’? No? - me neither, not until recently that is. Yet it seems to me to be one of the most important medical theories produced in recent history.

Normal cytokine production by the immune system contributes importantly to both health and disease. The nervous system, via an inflammatory reflex of the vagus nerve, can inhibit cytokine release and thereby prevent tissue injury and death. The efferent
neural signalling pathway is termed the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.

I am no medical expert, so don’t expect me to go into precise detail, but my understanding is that‘ Cytokine storms’ result from the body’s failure to control, via the vagus nerve, the auto-immune response to infection. Producing a virulent immune response with the production of large amounts of the immune system hormones, causes inflammation that can produce acute
respiratory distress syndrome and eventually lead to multiple organ failure. (the body is killed by its own immune defence system).

While it is still, I believe, considered to be a theory, it is backed up by a fair bit of scientific observation and experimentation. It is believed that ‘cytokine storms’ are one of the characteristics of swine flu where the vagus nerve fails to react correctly to the infection. Nicotine (and smoking) is thought to stimulate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and ‘kick start’ the vagus nerve into action, preventing an excessive immune response.

Art Ayers article on ‘Suite 101’ explains the smoking/swine flu/cytokine storms/ vagus nerve connections; of course the article, as with almost any article on smoking health benefits
nowadays, has to have the obligatory ‘but smoking is bad ’ comment! (Absolutely necessary for anyone who wishes to continue to comment on a health website or remain part of the medical scientific community).

The article states;

“The rapid high temperature produced by Mexican H1N1 suggest that some of the deaths have resulted from cytokine storms.”
“nicotine, although one of the most addictive chemicals, can have beneficial effects on inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and perhaps, H1N1.”

“Smoking cessation may contribute to more severe symptoms of H1N1 infections.”

A more comprehensive document can be found in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, authored by Kevin J. Tracey of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA (2007). He outlines various aspects of the cytokine theory of disease, therapeutics and studies such as;

“The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway has been studied by several groups using animal models of sepsis in which a perforation is created in the cecum in order to induce lethal peritonitis. Treatment of these mice [was done] with nicotine, .... Notably, nicotine administration did not begin until 24 hours
after the onset of lethal peritonitis in this model, indicating that the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway can control cytokine responses even when the disease process is already established.”

“ Administration of nicotine to these animals restored the cytokine balance, reduced influx of inflammatory cells, and attenuated tissue damage in the liver”

Oh dear! How will healthism reconcile this? Evidence that nicotine and therefore, smoking can cure cytokine storms!! Cytokine storms are strongly believed to cause deaths in the Mexican HiN1 epidemic, ergo, unless my logic is defective, smoking can cure Swine flu!!

“Cigarette smoking confers some increased risk of the development of rheumatoid arthritis but is protective against osteoarthritis. Alzheimer disease and other brain degenerative disorders are characterized by cholinergic deficiency and decreased vagus nerve activity. Our recent evidence
indicates that centrally acting cholinergic agonists used in the treatment of Alzheimer disease can modulate peripheral immune responses by stimulating brain networks to activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.”

This goes some way to back up and explain why many smoking studies indicate that smoking delays or prevents brain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and possibly atopic conditions such as asthma, these are also apparently linked to vagus nerve activity.

“Cytokine overproduction has been implicated in the development of tissue damage and organ injury
during hemorrhagic shock” ... “A high-fat diet also activates increased efferent vagus nerve activity,
which decreases TNF levels and confers significant protection against hemorrhagic shock”

Wait a minute, What was that?...“A high-fat diet”… also protects against cytokine storms!! Another blow to healthism?

What of the ‘tissue damage and organ injury during hemorrhagic shock’ ? Sounds uncannily like the Ukraine swine flu mutation that is apparently Tamiflu and vaccine resistant and characterized by
bleeding lungs! Does that indicate cytokine storm too?

Now, most people have never heard of ‘cytokine storms’ nor the beneficial effects of nicotine/ tobacco smoke on its severity. Why is this the case, when it is potentially life saving information? It may not be the ultimate ‘holy grail’ of medicine and these findings are in the early stages of research, but it strongly suggests that public health would benefit to some, possibly a substantial, degree.

The conspiracy theorist may argue that this information was being suppressed as part of the New World Order where the elite desire a cull of the world population and that it is all part of
the grand plan for world domination. There may even be some mileage in that. After all, rather than making this information available, the politicians and medical community worldwide are, in fact, going ‘all out’ using all kinds of debase tactics, to increase the non-smoking population as quickly as possible, which may indicate some hidden agenda!

I think that there is a much simpler explanation however. First of all, the anti-smoking movement always refuses to acknowledge that smoking can be anything other than damaging to health! If science does not agree with that dogmatic premise, then it must be wrong in their eyes and must have been produced by the evil tobacco companies. Could it also be more about the
control of supply and delivery of that wonder drug - Nicotine! There would be no profit in it for Big Pharma if the swine flu pandemic could be solved by merely taking up smoking and eating a high fat diet, is there? Is it not beyond the bounds of possibility that they want the monopoly to supply everyone with nicotine based drugs, without the competition posed by tobacco, and, what would happen to all those millions of doses of (useless?)swine flu vaccine?

If this information is seen and accepted by the general public, can we expect a run on Boots the chemist battling for a rapidly dwindling stock of NRT products? Possibly, but it may be that the
best response to the swine flu pandemic and the solution to preventing ‘the end of the world’ scenario, could be down to the humble, but reviled cigarette with it’s efficient nicotine delivery
system, enjoyed with a pint or two of disgusting beer and a greasy Doner Kebab to follow, before collapsing in your stinking pit for the night - Oh the irony!!
Kin Free

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ireland the brave?

While Scotland cowers like a tim'rous beastie at the merest whiff of a health fanatic, and sporran-jockey Alastair Darling imports his country's cowardly nature to England with the sly introduction of the biggest duty rises in alcohol and tobacco for a decade, Ireland's Finance Minister is made of sterner stuff.

Big cuts in excise duties on alcohol have been announced in the Budget.

Duty on beer and cider falls by 12 cent, while there is a 14 cent drop in duty on a half-glass of spirits. A bottle of wine falls by 60 cent.

There will be no change in duties on tobacco as the Minister said the high price was giving rise to tobacco smuggling.

Give that man a pipe, deerstalker and violin for such detailed detective work.

At least Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has finally recognised that the loss of €500m per annum is something that isn't going to be tackled by further increasing the disparity between Irish tobacco duties and others on the continent. Previous strategies have led to Ireland boasting the most draconian tobacco taxes in Europe, bar none.

Incredibly, anti-smoking nutters believed the way to tackle the problem would be to massively incentivise the motivation for smuggling with huge tax hikes.

Yet people still listen to these quite insane delusionists as if they have a valid and reasoned outlook on the tobacco issue.

Congratulations, Mr Lenihan, for getting a whiff of the common sense coffee. Now, if you could just apply the same logic to a smoking ban which is systematically killing off your world famous pub culture, and tourism into the bargain, your place as the saviour of the Irish economy would be set in stone.

Just a hunch, but I reckon Lenihan's keen, and brave, magnifying glass will be conveniently obscured when directed to focus on that particular elephant.

Life, the universe, and, err, smoking

Crikey! And you thought the UK anti-smoking lobby had some money to throw around. Check out this offering from les ranteurs hystériques de France.

One could never accuse them of over-exaggeration, eh?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I do not believe it!

onefootinthegrave_4_124x69I don’t bloody believe it!
What! This is a windup, surely? Dick Puddlecote, via Taking Liberties, informs us that ASH Scotland (spit) has just secured a large wedge of [your] lottery pounds (that’s on top of your tax money) that goes to these shysters! Kerbloodyching!

Look, I like a punt just like the next man but even I baulk at putting one penny on a one legged horse! (Who was it that coined the phrase “The lottery is nothing but a fools tax”?)

OK, I don't gambol a lot, a pound on the Grand National every year (I gave up on the football pools yonks ago) and a £ every week on  the lottery (using the same numbers) and yes, sure I realised that some pennies from that pound went to the poor blind one legged black Muslim feminist that I did not realise existed but hey, I could win zillions and solve the economy overnight! So, those good causes apart, my  pennies are now going to the ASH’ITES!

It doesn’t matter a jot whether you play the lottery game, they still have me you by the short and curlies:
Do us all a favour ASH Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and the USA (spit) and all you other Cnuts out there:


And now a word from our mega-rich ambulance chaseing sponsor, John F. Banzhaf the III Turd.
I still DON’T BLOODY BELIEVE IT!...But I do now.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Stating the bleeding obvious

You don't say.

... smokers are dropping more litter outside pubs, cafes and offices since the smoking ban was introduced.

There really is a very simple solution to this, if there was anyone in government with the mental capacity to envisage it. Let's leave Keep Britain Tidy with that intricate conundrum for the time being, though. They might work it out once they have finally solved the 12 piece Bob the Builder jigsaw.

If that baffles them too much, why not just blame smokers instead, eh? Rather than the self-absorbed morons who forced them all outside in the first place.

God forbid that the smoking ban experiment should be backed up by an increase in strategically placed outdoor ashtrays. You know, the sort of thing that Keep Britain Tidy might find useful for such a pressing problem. But perhaps that would cost too much money to service a mere quarter of the adult population.

No. A much better use of resources is to pay £millions to smoking cessation officers, council anti-smoking snoops, snitch-lines, and wall-to-wall TV advertising.

Then blame the smokers for costing the country a few quid in street sweepers who would still be employed to do the same job if we all quit tomorrow.

In other news, Keep Britain Tidy are advertising for the position of "Chief Kettle Operative", salary £45k pa. Such new-fangled devices are complicated and they're becoming increasingly thirsty.

Saturday, 5 December 2009


TICAP (The International Coalition Against Prohibition) came into fruition in May 2008. TICAP was founded with the British Smoking Ban Experiment in mind, but not exclusively, because the founding members saw the writing on the wall, they knew this did not exclusively include smokers, they knew that drinkers, and those that do not fit into the BMI factor, would be on a “hit list.”  of the “I hate you” brigade.  They knew that this was an international war!
We are regional, national, and international organisations, now bound in solidarity against the damaging prohibitions which in most cases serve to enrich special interests through scientific fraud and political manipulation*, where adults are treated as children and freedom of choice is brushed aside.
Following the planning conference in Holland of May 2008 that produced the Aldebaran  (Aldebaran is the boat where they signed the treaty) Treaty, we now have the vehicle with which to cooperate, nation with nation, group with group, and people to people, united and yet different, against a philosophy that sees the state as the dispenser of rights and social discrimination and the citizen as merely an obedient production unit.
Such a conception of state and citizens diminishes us all, and TICAP will fight for a free and just society where individually established quality of life -­ not collectively established quantity of life -­ is the paramount value of that society. Where the individual - ­ not the bureaucrat -­ establishes the rules of personal behaviour and where the parent -­ not the state or the school - has the power to teach our children the ideals and values that will shape their dreams and futures.
Aldebaran Treaty
(The signatories to the The Aldebaran Treaty. The only people I can recognise, because I’ve met them, are, left to right: John Gray (standing) Bill Gibson (sitting and waving) behind him Nick Hogan,  and wearing the glasses is the Chairman of Freedom2Choose, Andy Davis)
TICAP held their first world conference in May 2008 which was due to be held in the European Parliament Building but the Anti Tobacco thugs, who did not want to hear from dissenting scientific voices (where have I heard this recently?), and banned the conference from going ahead a few days before it was due to start. That did not stop freedom of speech, a nearby hotel was only too willing to have us there. So much so that [the conference] was a roaring success!  TICAP cannot be stopped, it would appear, as they have just announced there second world conference on the 15th of March 2o10, all are welcome.

* Talking about “scientific fraud and political manipulation” here is something that I, as an ordinary person on the street, who took scientists at their word, say… no more, especially after the Climategate fiasco, where the scientific community have come into disrepute!  And they are in  disrepute, there is no argument about that.
Even that bastion of political integrity, the BBC? in their news programs, they, have belatedly decided to listen to the public about Climategate, first reported on the blogosphere, and had to listen to the public in the end.  But they [the BBC]  still cow towed to their paymasters…no, not us, the licence payers, the goberment! What’s new then?
Well there’s TICAP, who not only moved on to the next World Conference but have made The Brussels Declaration !

In the global crusade against alcohol, tobacco, and “unhealthy” foods, health politicians have drawn on alleged scientific evidence that does not adequately meet minimal scientific standards. The following Declaration reminds us of these
standards. The Declaration also calls upon politicians to avoid abusing questionable statements by selected and sometimes quite biased “experts” in order to deprive people of their free lifestyle choices. A prohibitionist society cannot be a free society!

Whereas science and the scientific method have been responsible for the unprecedented progress of knowledge about the physical world during the last few centuries, and for the consequent unabated progress in the material, intellectual, and
social conditions of humankind.

Whereas objective evidence is the key for the success of science and the scientific method, and whereas this paramount feature of science imposes a new ethical standard of objective evidence in the assessment and presentation of material evidence in social human affairs.

Whereas in free societies the policies and regulations pertaining to physical realities must be objectively validated according to the requirements of the scientific method.

Whereas conjectural statements wrongly claimed to be based on objective and validated scientific evidence are increasingly made to encroach on public opinion, government policies and regulations, legal proceedings, educational curricula, and
individual choices and behaviors.

Whereas this trend gravely compromises the integrity of science, and is the harbinger of dire consequences for the intellectual progress, the material welfare, and ultimately for the individual freedom and the physical and mental health of people on this planet.

It is thus resolved that we, the signatories of this declaration, pledge ourselves to defend and promote the objective scientific integrity of public statements presented as being scientific representations of events in the physical world, and that affect
government policies and actions, the media and public opinion, legal proceedings, educational curricula, and other activities of individual and social significance.

To this end we, the signatories of this declaration, highlight here certain fundamental concepts that characterize the nature and the integrity of science and of the scientific method, which we hold to be true and self-evident principles for the identification of authentic, objective, testable, and valid scientific statements.

Principles of scientific integrity

  1. Science and the scientific method move from observations to the formulation of cause-and-effect hypotheses, leading to study designs that objectively and honestly test the validity of those hypotheses.

  2. Science and the scientific method rely on the language of numbers and mathematics in order to attain the needed quantitative precision.

  3. Science and the scientific method do not claim to obtain absolute truths, but rather best estimates within the probability limits of explicit margins of error.
  4. The quantitative precision of science and the scientific method depends on measurements that are accurate and precise with margins of error small enough to be inconsequential.

  5. Science and the scientific method depend on measurements that are relevant to the task at hand, and that warrant to be authentic representations of what it is said to have been measured.
  6. Scientific observations and experiments must ensure that observations and effects are specific and internal to the matters at hand, and are not confounded, corrupted, or biased by spurious externalities or by financial and political interests.

  7. Valid observations and cause-and-effect conclusions must be reproducible by independent investigators.
  8. Studies should be properly published and open to peer and public scrutiny before their results are released to the press for political purposes.

We, the signatories of this declaration and its annexes pledge ourselves to publicize detailed examination of the scientific validity of public policies and statements, to suggest remedies compatible with valid science where possible and appropriate, and to act politically to ensure that only scientifically validated
statements and policies are promulgated by governments and other public institutions.

Your rights, your constitutions, your very lives are being played around with and taken off you without you realising it and what for?…The better good???  Think again, think TICAP!
Intel: and
Declare yourselves here:

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

E-Petitions...and what they produce!

Reproduced with the kind permission of Dick Puddlecote

As quite stunning lies go, this nugget from the response to a Number 10 e-petition suggesting the provision of separate smoking rooms in pubs and clubs takes some beating.

Survey data, anecdotal evidence and reports in the media seem to indicate that the impact on the hospitality trade as a whole has been at worst neutral and in many cases positive. We have seen no significant evidence to date that implies that smokefree legislation, either in this country or in others where it has been in place for some years, will create any long-term economic problems for pubs or the hospitality trade in general.
(I have used green as I am truly jealous of their ability for producing outright lies!)
I just add here that this is exactly the same tripe that was spouted pre-ban, even though 2 countries (Ireland & Scotland) had already been slaughtered!

Yep. Nothing but positive news from the hospitality industry since July 2007, eh?

And, of course, according to Number 10, the disaster for pubs, which kicked in well before the economy imploded, has certainly not escalated since.

UK pubs closed at a rate of 52 per week in the first half of the year - a third more than the same period in 2008 - the British Beer & Pub Association said.Yet while all but the most bigoted anti-smokers within the industry admit that the smoking ban has had a deletorious effect, the Department of Health are still rigidly clinging on to a hearts and flowers view.
Try not to laugh as I repeat this bit.

"... the impact on the hospitality trade as a whole has been at worst neutral and in many cases positive." (oops! green again)

Now, it was always clear that such a petition would be ignored, despite the fact that the provision of smoking rooms could do nothing but improve the chances of pubs staying open. Moreover, there would be no effect on the health of non-smokers as they would have no need to be in the vicinity of smoking should they choose not to be. It is a 100% win/win.

But a little more honesty in the reply would be desirable (not to mention actually tackling the meat of the petition rather than merely responding to the first sentence).

Why not instead say, truthfully, that the EU & WHO are committed to blanket bans and it is out of Westminster's hands? I dunno, perhaps it's an idealistic view, but isn't the point of a democracy the fact that the electorate should be given straight and honest answers by their representatives and assistants? Or are bare-faced, transparent lies the order of the 21st century?
Actually, don't answer that.

Money & Power =Misery-for us!

A quick note to let you all know about the "Obama Deception". My son found this on U-Tube and although lengthy you seriously need to listen to every single word.

This is so horrific that I now truly fear for my childrens futures-and if they are daft enough to produce their own there is no hope for them!

Permission to Speak and The Relevance Paradox

Once again I am drawn to the writings of Frank Davis and once again I feel compelled to share his words with our readership.

The piece below reaches out to me on so many levels.

Permission to Speak

By Frank Davis


A day or so back Tom Harris quoted from a Labour List piece by Michael Merrick - Culture clash: how Labour can look to reconnect with the poor -, wondering why people were deserting Labour and what could be done to get them back.

Often, the response is that the party needs to reconnect with its core vote, that it needs to reach out to those who feel abandoned. I absolutely agree. The problem is that any return to the 'core vote' is only ever conceived in economic terms. Whilst there is undoubtedly value in this strategy, it can only ever have limited impact, because it only ever addresses a limited part of the problem. The truth is that for those who feel alienated, pushed to the outside of public life, the dispossession is cultural every bit as much as it is economic...

Whole communities feel dispossessed, trapped in a country that is changing at a rapid pace - a transformation that affects the poorest communities more than anyone else, but over which they feel they have had less of a say than anybody else.

Further on Merrick writes about New Labour's new ideology:

the disillusionment of the electorate is at least partly down to the fact the Labour Party has embraced an ideology that actively undermines the beliefs and culture of ordinary working people...
the general beliefs of vast swathes of the electorate are demonised and ridiculed by an elite interested only in securing the dominance of their own particular worldview

He identifies the problem as a clash of cultures:

[This] does little but demonstrate with crystal clarity precisely what it is people are angry about - 'these are our concerns, but none of you will listen'. And of course they won't. Because at root this is a clash of cultures.
...the Labour Party has chosen to sacrifice its traditional roots in defence of a shiny new social creed it likes to call 'liberalism'. Truth is, the cultural underpinnings of this creed, originating in the post-1968 student 'resistance' movements, are thoroughly middle-class, individualistic and bourgeois...

So there all these ordinary working people who feel culturally dispossessed, and nobody in the Labour party will listen to them. It's not just about immigration that they're not listened to, but also school/parental discipline, capital punishment, patriotism, euro-scepticism, and morality. And the reason that nobody will listen to them is because the Labour party has abandoned its traditional roots for a liberal (that'll be 'liberal' in the American sense, and not in the least bit 'liberal' in the traditional English sense) ideology which grew up in the aftermath of the 1960s.

I won't disagree with a word of that. I think it's almost exactly right. The Labour party has been taken over by latte Guardianistas and champagne socialists who have little or nothing - and want little or nothing - to do with the working men having a beer inside (and a cigarette outside) a traditional English pub, and who voted Labour into office 12 years ago. A cultural war has been launched by the New Labour establishment upon the Old Labour voters they're supposed to represent.

But as I read the piece, it was the smoking ban that came sharply to mind. For what better exemplifies that cultural war than the smoking ban? The smoking ban has been the very spearhead of that cultural war. Yet it wasn't mentioned at all by Merrick. But then, the smoking ban is never mentioned anywhere ever. Immigration? That's a genuine, valid issue. The EU? That's another one. Schools? Another biggie. The health service? Certainly. But the smoking ban? Ha, ha. You must be joking. You cannot be serious. The smoking ban is trivial by comparison with the weighty issues of immigration, the EU, housing, education, healthcare, and so on.

But is it?

I'm single, childless, in good health, not quite penniless, and I live out in the Devon countryside. So my interest in schools and education is approximately zero. And my interest in hospitals and healthcare not much greater. And my concern with immigration is nearly zilch. And my interest in the EU is pretty minimal as well (yesterday excepted). None of these things have much of a real, tangible impact upon me. My interest in them is abstract. In order to think about them I have to ask myself: What if I had children? What if I was unwell? What if I lived in Bradford? What if the EU did this or that?

But the smoking ban has had a colossal impact on me. It's estranged me from my local pub and its little community. It's taken away a sense of belonging. It's made me feel like a stranger in my own country. It's made everyday life extraordinarily uncomfortable, as I look for places where I might enjoy a smoke. It's cut me off from friends who no longer go to the unwelcoming pubs. It's divided me from non-smoking friends in ways I never was before. It's bringing me a gradually deepening isolation and alienation. In my entire life I've never known anything so profoundly cruel and divisive - and so utterly unnecessary.

In my life, the EU doesn't matter much. Nor does education, healthcare, or immigration. In my life, the smoking ban matters more than all of them put together. What can the EU do to me? Take away my country and its traditions? The smoking ban already has already done that. What can immigration do to me? Fill up the country with aliens and strangers who usurp my place? The smoking ban has already done that too, as I sit outside banished from my pub. What does it matter to me what becomes of hospitals and healthcare? As a smoker I'm likely to be denied any access to them anyway. What concern should I have for education and morality, when schools are places where children are taught intolerance for smokers (and little else as far as I can see)?

The smoking ban gave me a whole set of problems where there weren't any problems before. And it hasn't even stopped me smoking, like it was supposed to. Nor even reduced it in the slightest. In fact it's made me determined to carry on smoking regardless. It's made me angry, and when I'm angry I smoke more, not less.

And the smoking ban has made me not only angry but also increasingly intolerant. Why should I continue to be tolerant now that I am no longer tolerated? Is intolerance a one-way street, so that only antismoking bigots are allowed to practise and promote intolerance, while smokers must suffer in silence? No, of course it isn't. The intolerance of antismokers for me results in my reciprocal intolerance for them. And official state-sponsored intolerance of smokers has made me intolerant of the state and of officialdom in all its forms. And particularly this parliament and the MPs that voted for the smoking ban that's made my life so hard for me. And the EU too, which just looks like another layer of crushing bureaucracy. In fact the smoking ban has made me more intolerant of absolutely everything. I don't have any genuine immigration problem in my life here in rural Devon, but I'm less tolerant of it anyway. And I'm markedly less tolerant of Islam, even if it's another personal non-problem. The health service and the medical profession? Don't talk to me about that crew of rabid antismokers, or I'll burst a blood vessel.

So if anyone came and asked me what I thought about immigration, Islam, the health service, the EU, the UK parliament, I'd come out with markedly more intolerant and hawkish views than I would have only 3 years ago, when I was a tolerant Lib-Demy sort of person. But it wouldn't be because I had a real problem with any of them, but because the smoking ban has made me into a generally far more intolerant person than I once was. But nobody will ask me what I feel about the smoking ban. People with clipboards will ask me my views on immigration, Islam, the EU, and all the rest of it, because those are regarded as genuine issues of concern. But the smoking ban is not regarded as something that merits equivalent attention. It's supposed to be just a successful public health measure, which everyone loves, particularly smokers.

And everyone knows that they're not supposed to mention the smoking ban. It's supposed to be a trivial non-issue. Not as important as real, bread-and-butter issues like immigration and the EU. People don't feel they're allowed to talk about the ban. Asking his constituents about immigration, Tom Harris reported that

...they’re talking about their concerns now because it’s only now they feel they have “permission” to do so.

Why do people feel they need, like Corporal Jones in Dad's Army, 'permission to speak'? Because everybody knows what they're supposed to think. They're told every day by the righteous on TV and radio and in newspapers. And while they don't have permission to speak freely, they'll just parrot what they've been told they should think, rather than what they actually think. And if they think that they now have permission to say what they feel about immigration, that's because a few politicians (mostly BNP) have been brave enough to drag it into the public arena of debate, and in so doing 'permitted' everyone else to speak their minds.

But nobody has permission to speak about the smoking ban. That remains a no-no. No politician has managed to haul that one into the public discourse as a serious issue in its own right. Any politician who tried would probably get howled down by irate health lobbyists and doctors, much like climate change sceptics today. And Michael Merrick didn't mention it either, although he must know about that particular elephant in the room.

And yet my own guess is that the smoking ban has had by far the greatest cultural impact upon Britain over the past 3 years than anything else. It's been during that time that UKIP and the BNP (both of which are against the smoking ban) have begun to make significant electoral progress. It's been during that time that the public esteem for MPs (who voted for the ban) has collapsed. And EU scepticism has continued to mount. And respect for authorities has plunged.

One day people will get 'permission to speak' about the smoking ban, and say what they really feel rather than what they're supposed to feel. And I bet there'll be an eruption of protest at it. All sorts of horror stories will be told. And I also bet that it will be found that, just like with me, anger at MPs' expenses and the EU and immigration and everything else will turn out very often to simply be 'impermissible' anger at the smoking ban redirected at 'permissible' targets. And maybe then politicians and pundits and media will finally wake up and realise what how enormously socially and culturally destructive the smoking ban has truly been.

The Relevance Paradox link provided by WS on the comments section at Franks place.


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