Tiny Victories

I sat in the sun outside a pub today. It’s one of the nearest pubs to where I live, so I go there quite often. It’s also a pub that for the entire time I’ve been living here has never provided a single ashtray on any of the numerous tables in its gardens. One result of this has been that there have always been cigarette butts littering the grass.

Recently it changed hands, and has been refurbished, and is now selling rather more upmarket (and expensive) food than before. But when it re-opened a month or so ago, the zero-ashtray policy continued.

But a couple of days ago, there’d clearly been a rethink. Because every single table had a couple of little glass ashtrays on it. The management clearly doesn’t want to do its bit in the global war on smokers, and has decided to look after them a bit better. And that’s a tiny victory.

In other ashtray news, a month or two ago I was sitting outside a pub that does provide ashtrays, and was noticing that the number of ashtrays had declined. In fact, there was only one left.

They were simple clay dishes of the exact same kind as are used under flower pots. So the next day I bought a few of them at a local garden centre, and every time I’ve gone back to this particular pub, I’ve brought one with me, and discreetly left it on one of the tables. In this manner I’ve been slowly increasing the ashtray population back up to its former level, without the management seeming to notice.

It’s a tiny victory to find “my” ashtrays still in use whenever I return.

I might take to carrying around a few ashtrays for when I visit other pub gardens. At a quarter of the price of a pint of beer, they don’t cost much.

Ashtrays aren’t just useful for cigarette butts. They’re actually little waste bins. And they fill up with all sorts of bits and pieces.

A couple of things I came across today. John Pilger talking on Counterpunch, and more worried about a Clinton presidency than a Trump one (as am I).

And, H/T The Last Ditch, Camille Paglia in an illuminating conversation about the travails of feminism over the past few decades, appalled at today’s university “snowflakes” and their need for “safe spaces”.

 

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About Frank Davis

smoker
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9 Responses to Tiny Victories

  1. junican says:

    Off topic, Frank, and I hope that you don’t mind.
    For some days now, at the Bolton Smokers Club:
    https://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/
    I have been asking what we voted for when we voted for Brexit.
    That is a huge problem. None of the politicians, from all sides, actually tried to define what we were voting for or against. In fact, as far as I can remember, they went out of their way to avoid the definition. In the end, we voted instinctively for ‘sovereignty’.
    But we are still in a mess of uncertainty because no one has been talking about our Constitution. A critical thing about our Constitution is that ‘The Powers That Be’ cannot give away The People’s powers. That is what Magna Carta established. The King is not supreme. The People are supreme.
    So what parts of the European treaties are we going to annul as a result of the Brexit vote? That is what matters. It is the treaties that matter, and little else.
    I just wish that ‘the reality’ could be seen. It is very simple. Everything depends upon the treaties and nothing else at all. It might well be reasonable to say that there is no such thing as the EU, despite all the magnificent buildings, since the EU has no territory.
    And so I ask again. What treaty created the EU specifically?

  2. Lepercolonist says:

    Very thoughtful of you to bring ashtrays to the pub. Brought a smile to my face. My wife and daughters buy old beautiful glass ashtrays for my birthday or Christmas. It is very difficult to find nice ashtrays at local department stores. They usually buy them at second hand stores or flea markets.

  3. mikef317 says:

    Off topic

    I have major issues with Donald Trump, but here is a minor (??) question that has come up in the past – is he “smoker friendly?”

    Below is an article from the left leaning / Democratic Party supporting New York Times. The author appraises the quality of several Trump properties. He mentions that ALL Trump hotels are non-smoking. (You have to be careful with The Donald. Sometimes he actually owns a hotel that carries his name; other times he just “manages” [hires and supervises staff] for a property that other people own, and still other times he just collects a fee for using his name on a building.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/travel/donald-trump-hotels.html?_r=0

    I checked the Las Vegas hotel (but I don’t know Trump’s financial stake in the property).

    Vegas is the gambling capital of the U. S., and for years there has been considerable fighting about its smoking laws.

    Below is a link to Trump’s website. If you look at the center, under the “book now” arrow, you’ll see: “Large non-smoking, family-friendly hotel rooms.”

    https://www.trumphotelcollection.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-hotel-suites.php

    ======================

    I didn’t want a third link to toss me into the dungeon. Below is some information that I copied from another website. (Link upon request.)

    If you smoke, and if you’re planning to visit Las Vegas, I’d suggest you hire a lawyer when you get there.

    From the webpage:

    Due to new laws voted into existence by the residents in Jan 2007, the following smoking rules currently apply. All floor spaces inside ALL large casino (generally those casinos exceeding 15 slot machines), strip clubs and standalone bars not serving food are exempt from the law and SMOKING IS PERMITTED. Restaurants inside casinos are non-smoking. Nightclubs and lounges are not required to ban smoking as long as they do not serve food. For all other stand alone restaurants, bars, convenience stores, grocery stores and airport facilities smoking is banned in all establishments which sell food other than prepackaged snacks. This ban will be obvious in most places by the absence of ashtrays and the required clearly posted signs. In most cases smoking areas may be provided outdoors, always ask your server as various options are almost always available. The penalty can be a $100-$600 ticket if caught by authorities. Although, to be honest, at this time, in practice there is extremely lax official enforcement in most informal off-strip locations due to a lack of enforcement personnel and some locations will even offer ashtrays “at your own risk” if you ask for one.

    Smoking IS still permitted in any stand alone bar or club (with or without gambling machines) which do NOT serve food other than pre-packaged snacks (i.e. chips, pretzels, candy bars). Although a gray area, many smoking-permitted bars which do not serve food will not “object” to you “carrying” food in from adjacent/attached non-smoking restaurants. Ask. Many stand alone restaurants now also provide a physically separated (i.e. separate entry doors and separately ventilated) non-smoking dining area and a smoking-permitted bar/gaming area to accommodate both smokers and non-smokers.

  4. Rose says:

    I had been inclined towards Michael Gove or Andrea Leadsom rather than Theresa May for PM, now I’m not so sure.

    H/T Smokingscot
    https://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/ash-put-their-pennyworth-into-the-brexit-debate/

    All votes about smoking bans:

    On 13 Oct 2010: Andrea Leadsom voted not to relax the smoking ban and allow smoking in pubs and private members clubs where no food is being served.

    On 22 Jun 2011: Andrea Leadsom was absent for a vote on Ban on Smoking in Private Vehicles

    On 10 Feb 2014: Andrea Leadsom voted in favour of a new law requiring private vehicles be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.

    On 11 Feb 2015: Andrea Leadsom voted to make it an offence to for someone in charge of an enclosed vehicle to fail to prevent smoking within it if someone under 18 is present.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24829/andrea_leadsom/south_northamptonshire/divisions?policy=811

    Key votes about smoking bans:

    On 14 Apr 2003: Theresa May was absent for a vote on Smoking (Restaurants) Bill

    On 14 Feb 2006: Theresa May voted no on Health Bill — New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions — as amended

    On 13 Oct 2010: Theresa May was absent for a vote on Public Houses and Private Members’ Clubs (Smoking) Bill

    On 22 Jun 2011: Theresa May was absent for a vote on Ban on Smoking in Private Vehicles

    On 10 Feb 2014: Theresa May voted against a new law requiring private vehicles be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.

    On 11 Feb 2015: Theresa May was absent for a vote on Offence of Failing to Prevent Smoking In an Enclosed Vehicle in the Presence of Someone Under 18
    http: //www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10426/theresa_may/maidenhead/divisions?policy=811

    Key votes about smoking bans:

    On 14 Feb 2006: Michael Gove voted no on Health Bill — New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions — as amended

    On 13 Oct 2010: Michael Gove was absent for a vote on Public Houses and Private Members’ Clubs (Smoking) Bill

    On 22 Jun 2011: Michael Gove was absent for a vote on Ban on Smoking in Private Vehicles

    On 10 Feb 2014: Michael Gove voted in favour of a new law requiring private vehicles be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.

    On 11 Feb 2015: Michael Gove voted to make it an offence to for someone in charge of an enclosed vehicle to fail to prevent smoking within it if someone under 18 is present.
    http: //www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11858/michael_gove/surrey_heath/divisions?policy=811

  5. Bucko says:

    “I’ve been slowly increasing the ashtray population”

    Brilliant :-) I would love to see how much the management are baffled by the reproducing ashtrays.

  6. Rose says:

    In other news.

    Controversial £7.5 million NHS database scrapped quietly on same day as Chilcot Report
    6 July 2016

    “A controversial scheme to share the health records of everyone in the country has been quietly scrapped by the government on the same day as the Chilcot report.
    Under the care.data scheme, the medical notes of everyone in the NHS were to be pooled in a vast central database which could be accessed by doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
    Medical experts and charities backed the database claiming it would help them understand the causes of disease, spot side-effects to new drugs and detect outbreaks of infectious diseases.

    But data protection campaigners warned that individuals were at risk of being identified and claimed notes were often inaccurate.
    The Department of Health was also criticised for failing to inform people they would be automatically opted into the scheme and would need to fill in a form if they wanted their medical records removed.

    Many doctors were so incensed that they opted out their entire surgeries from the database, and the roll-out was eventually aborted in 2014.
    On Wednesday Life Sciences Minister George Freeman announced that the project had been scrapped following a review into data protection by the national data guardian Dame Fiona Caldicott which recommended a rethink.

    Data campaigners said it was a “not inconvenient coincidence” that the decision had been taken on the day that the Chilcot report was published. They also warned that health services were continuing to share medical records even when patients had opted out.
    Phil Booth, Coordinator of medConfidential said: “The toxic brand may have ended, but Government policy continues to be the widest sharing of every patient’s most private data.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/07/06/controversial-50-million-nhs-database-scrapped-quietly-on-same-d/

  7. beobrigitte says:

    It’s also a pub that for the entire time I’ve been living here has never provided a single ashtray on any of the numerous tables in its gardens. One result of this has been that there have always been cigarette butts littering the grass.
    It is something I noticed during my recent travels. The staff at the hotel was quick to provide me (and the other smokers) with ashtrays when I put my cigarette out on the glass table, telling staff that I’m a rather clean person.
    Only the limited will think that the lack of ashtrays will “persuade smokers not to light up”. I do own a little travel ashtray which I usually empty. It may well be on a table again next time an ashtray does not appear. Ironically, the hotel staff appeared to be on my side. A trip to the bar for more drinks after the cigarette butt statement earned me a quality and volume (!) of cocktails that was priceless. And, I did find an ashtray after that on my balcony, too.

    Something else has been decided and implemented by our friends from tobacco control behind the population’s back. May it fire back everywhere!

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