Investigations carried out by various prominent specialists in constitutional law throughout Europe indicate that the smoking ban for HoReCa in Europe can no longer stand. “This is good news,” indicates Frederick Matthaei, President of Horecaclaim Netherlands and Vice President of Horecaclaim Belgium…
If the State of the Netherlands will not agree to a compensation payment for HoReCa, enough resources are available through the Private Investment Fund Horecaclaim for a claim against the State. A professional claim organization has been created. “The authorities win almost all the battles against citizens, because citizens don’t have the time nor the resources to successfully engage in the struggle. We have the resources, so the authorities cannot ‘fumigate’ us,” says Frederick Matthaei…
HoReCa traders are invited through a mass mailing to inform us regarding the damage to their businesses caused by the smoking ban. The registration and inventory of thousands of claims in The Netherlands will take another two to three months. After verification by an accountant, the State will be summoned in order to start the claim procedure, unless it is ready to agree to an arrangement.
HoReCa is a business term which refers to a sector of the food service industry, to establishments which prepare and serve food and beverages. The term is a syllabic abbreviation of the words Hotel/Restaurant/Café.
So what’s happening is that a bunch of rich investors are putting up the money needed to claim compensation from the state for losses in the hospitality industry resulting from smoking bans. This is something that no individual bar owner, with limited financial resources, would be able to do.
If they win compensation, the investors will get a fraction of the damages paid out. So for them it’s a straightforward business proposition. There is, of course, the risk (as there is in any business venture) that the claims for damages will be thrown out by the courts, or that the damages awarded will be small, and they won’t make any return on their capital investment. But if the claims are accepted by the courts, and the damages are substantial, then they could do very well for themselves. Clearly the participants believe that they can make a very strong case. And this time it will be heard in court, rather than in the propagandised mass media.
And if they win in one country – say, Holland or Belgium -, then that will lead to an avalanche of claims from all over Europe. Which is probably why they’ve already moving onto a European footing. They will want to be able to cash in before any competitors start offering a better deal.
I must say that I like the logic of this a very great deal. This isn’t an emotional appeal or anything: it’s a business enterprise. And when the investors have won (or lost), they’ll go and put their money into some other, completely different venture. They’re not philanthropists. They’re just looking for a good return on their capital. And they think they’ve found one.
It could be said that Tobacco Control is a business venture too, which makes a lot of money for its shareholders, mostly in the form of tobacco taxes. Tobacco Control claims that its antismoking measures increase longevity, and improve productivity, etc, etc. And that the world will be a better place once its measures are enacted. Those are the supposed benefits from investing in Tobacco Control Inc.
But I think Tobacco Control is actually a purely predatory organisation that does no good whatsoever, and an enormous amount of harm. It’s like a herd of animals feeding off a defenceless tobacco crop (or off tobacco revenue), while claiming that their feeding promotes plant growth, and keeps the plants fit and healthy, and they’re really just doing a bit of much-needed weeding. But they’re essentially just a bunch of thieves. And their numbers have been multiplying seemingly exponentially in recent years. And HorecaClaim might be seen as a tiger that aims to feed off the multiplying, rampaging animals. If it can succeed in bringing down one, the rest will be at its mercy.
Tobacco Control is quite likely to be rather worried about this development. For if HorecaClaim is successful, and it’s proven in court that smoking bans do considerable damage to hospitality industries, then governments are going to think twice about imposing further bans. They may even revoke existing ones. And Tobacco Control will become a pariah, and its tax funding dry up, as a wave of court actions sweeps the world. TC will scream blue murder if that happens.
Which will be a very good thing. We need a bit of blue murder.