Labour’s Parliamentary Killjoys

From yesterday’s post about Haringey’s outdoor smoking ban:

“Now Labour’s municipal killjoys have been caught with a smoking gun, trying to ban adults enjoying their local pub garden. If implemented, these ill-founded proposals would lead to massive pub closures.”

To which Joe L responded:

Well, it’s good that they openly admitted an outdoor smoking ban “would infringe on people’s freedom and lead to pub closures,” but they conveniently ignored the effects of the indoor bans. Are we supposed to believe that the indoor bans had none of these negative effects?

Very good point.

In fact, I think we may deduce that Marcus Jones, the Minister for Local Government, almost certainly does think that the UK indoor smoking ban, which was voted into existence by Labour’s parliamentary killjoys, infringed on people’s freedom, and led to massive pub closures.

How massive? Pub Curmudgeon keeps a tally in the top left corner of his blog, which I reproduce here. To date, 16,955 pubs have closed since 1 July 2007. From memory, there were about 65,000 pubs in the UK in July 2007. So about 26% of them have closed over the past 10 years. Or maybe at least 26% of them have closed. Not long ago I read that 25% of the pubs in Ireland had closed after the smoking ban of 29 March 2004. So 25% looks like it’s about par for the course.

Actually, I’m surprised that more pubs haven’t closed. Back when I lived in Devon, before the ban I used to head for the pub nearly every day for a single pint and a few meditative cigarettes. After the ban I only ever went to sit outside in the garden, beside the river, on warm, sunny days. That meant that from October to March, I never went at all.  And for the remaining 6 months of the year, I probably only went there on one day in every four, because the English climate in summer isn’t warm and sunny every single day. So I personally went to pubs at about 15% of the rate I had before the ban. Some smokers never went back at all.

But pretty much all the pubs re-invented themselves as pub-restaurants. They lost most of their former smoking clientele, and replaced them with families. The River even had its own French chef for a while. And in Herefordshire where I now live, it’s exactly the same. All the Herefordshire pubs whose gardens I frequent are now pub-restaurants. Only a few of them retain a small residual clientele of smokers. Most of their custom comes from people who stop by for lunch, and leave immediately afterwards, quite possibly never to return.

But the residual population of smokers are undoubtedly valuable to the pubs. I noticed last week that one of my local pub-restaurants had set out a new set of ashtrays on the outdoor tables. They did the same last year, but they were all promptly stolen. This year they don’t seem to have been stolen yet. And if the residual population of smokers makes up 20% of UK pub customers, pub garden smoking bans would indeed result in another massive wave of pub closures.

If I’m surprised that more pubs haven’t closed, I’m equally surprised that the Conservatives haven’t used pub smoking bans as a very big stick with which to beat both the killjoys in the Labour party, and the killjoys in the Lib Dem party. Because 90% of Labour MPs, and 95% of Lib Dem MPs, voted for the indoor smoking ban. By contrast only about 30% of Conservative MPs did. I can imagine any number of jibes along the lines of “Vote Labour if you want to kill off the rest of the pubs and clubs in your constituency” or “Vote Labour if you want to destroy what’s left of British culture”.

Because, as far as I can see, and said so yesterday, that’s exactly what the Labour party of Jeremy Corbyn want to do. They want to completely destroy the entire culture, and replace it with something else.

But Conservatives seem to be unable to argue against “health measures” of any kind. Public Health trumps everything, even if the health measures are killing people in droves.


About Frank Davis

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16 Responses to Labour’s Parliamentary Killjoys

  1. Fred says:

    Thanks for the link. So many sad deaths, so many portrayals of self-righteous sadism.

  2. Vlad says:

    I find this quote by George Burns (when he was 98) very funny: “If I’d taken my doctor’s advice and quit smoking when he advised me to, I wouldn’t have lived to go to his funeral,”

  3. Rose says:

    H/T Wyatt in the comments on Taking Liberties – Groundhog Day

    Now I didn’t know this.

    Activist Butts In on Londoners
    Britain: UC San Francisco professor urges city panel to adopt smoking curbs.
    July 27, 2001

    “LONDON — Waking up reeking of cigarette smoke after a night out on the town may be a thing of the past for Californians. But smoking remains an integral part of Britain’s pub culture–and it’s allowed just about everywhere else.
    Perhaps not for long, if a determined UC San Francisco professor has anything to do with it.

    Stanton Glantz, a key player in passing California’s ban on smoking in bars, workplaces and public buildings, urged London on Thursday to implement similar regulations.
    “The fact that these laws have worked so well in California means they can work anywhere in the world,” Glantz told a committee of the Greater London Assembly–the equivalent of a city council or board of supervisors. “It’s ready to happen here in London.”

    The hearing was a preliminary inquiry into curbing smoking in public places in London. Right now, no laws restrict smoking in bars, restaurants or other places, although many eateries choose to have nonsmoking sections.”

    Simon Clark
    “Well, I got an enormous sense of deja vu last night because I found myself going head-to-head with arguably the world’s leading anti-smoking campaigner, Dr Stanton Glantz, who insisted, on Five Live, that smoking outside presented a serious threat to the health of non-smokers.

    Presenter Stephen Nolan sounded sceptical and I declared the claim to be “nonsense” but Glantz was his usual bolshie self and became quite aggressive when I had the temerity to interrupt.”

    Sinister or what?

    I did know that James Repace had meddled in British affairs.

    Passive smoking ‘killing workers’
    7 April, 2003

    “Study was carried out by James Repace, who has previously conducted research into passive smoking for the California Department of Health.
    He said: “More people died in 2002 from passive smoking at work in the UK than were killed by the Great London smog of 1952.”

    “This study shows that previous research has seriously underestimated the number of people killed by second-hand smoke at work.”

    Now who invited the Californians to take an interest?
    It would seem strange for Haringey Council to do that on it’s own.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Tobacco control is a global initiative. Glantz is one of its key frauds. Promoting increment smoking bans is part of the strategy for imposing a ‘smoke-free’ world (read prohibition). These lifestyle controllers seek to enhance their reach and expand their power. Once done with smoking they will seek a return to prohibition of alcohol, restrictions on sugar and soft drinks, restrictions on processed meats (banking bacon and sausage) and ultimately forced vegan diets. To do so they will lie, manipulate studies, divert public funds to lobby government, suppress dissent, and use relentless propaganda to silence their adversaries. They do not seek a reasonable accommodation, they seek submission to their ideology and persecute all that interfere with their cult.

  4. Tom says:

    Basically, it leads to this, which is ubiquitous in nearly every single city, town and county everywhere all over the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento to Lake Tahoe to Santa Cruz to Monterey and to every place in-between – EVERYwhere – pretty much all the SAME outdoor smoking ban LAWS, where-ever you go.

    What you need to know about Cotati’s new smoking laws

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016
    In Cotati, smoking is prohibited in all attached multi-unit housing developments with two or more units sharing one or more walls, ceilings, or floors (e.g. apartments, co-ops, condominiums, common interest developments, etc). This includes areas such as private decks, balconies, and porches of residential units.

    Smoking is also prohibited in all indoor and outdoor common areas except within outdoor designated smoking areas that conform to the ordinances provisions for designated smoking areas.

    For more information see the brochure: Smoke-Free Laws in Cotati
    (Link to .pdf brochure.)

  5. Monty says:

    I gave up six weeks ago Frank, and took up vaping instead. I still come to this site every day, hope you don’t mind visits from this turncoat.
    The thing is, smoking turned me into a recluse, and that’s something I don’t reckon I can ever give up. I have no desire to be welcomed back into the social fold of folk who were quite happy to tolerate the banning of those landlords, staff and customers who merely sought a room of their own, away from the non-smokers. Besides, that very same demographic remain happy to ban vaping indoors, so I’m still beyond the pale.

    Just wanted to pass on a report from a fellow giver-upper. He works in an office in Thames Valley, and has set up a vaping support group for his workmates. He put together an info-pack on vaping, included explanations of the substrate fluid, and how that is the same stuff that forms the basis of the asthma inhalers and some nebulisers, (but those things are “seeded” with additional active additives like Salbutemol, or Becotide, it’s actually rather interesting when you get into it).

    Some zealot on the staff got hold of his presentation, and she has submitted a health & safety complaint demanding inhalers be banned on the site, the same as vape pens, on the pretext that she is at risk from the secondary effects of those inhalers. She wants asthmatics to be forced to go offsite to use their inhalers so she doesn’t have to breathe their escaped or exhaled substrate or salbutemol. Can you believe that? I reckon she will get slapped down, but that’s not the point.

    Here’s the situation. Two asthmatics on the staff are plunged into anxiety. Sticking up for them are the smokers and the vapers, plus a couple of staff with unrelated disabilities. The bulk of the workforce, who don’t want to get involved, are sitting there saying nowt. Venal, craven, unprincipled cowards to a man, and woman.
    I ‘d rather stay a recluse.

    • Frank Davis says:

      hope you don’t mind visits from this turncoat.

      I don’t mind vapers. I think I’ve got quite a few readers who are vapers. And I’ve got a couple of e-cigarettes that I hardly ever use. I saw them as a great alternative to smoking in places I couldn’t smoke. But since vaping looks set to be (already is?) banned along with cigarettes, it no longer looks like an alternative.

      I’d be interested to know what made you stop smoking. I can imagine any number of good reasons, including cost alone.

      The only vapers I don’t like are the ones who’ve become as antismoking as any anti. Those are the real turncoats. And you don’t sound like you’re one of them.

      Anyway, interesting that the zealots now want to ban medical inhalers used by asthmatics. Sounds like inhaling anything at all is now verboten. Many years ago I used to occasionally use peppermint mouth sprays along, with other deodorants. I wonder if they’ll be banned too.

      • RdM says:

        deodorants. I wonder if they’ll be banned too,/i>
        Just Google halifax perfume ban

        • RdM says:

          oops, typo, no preview, obviously italics intended only for your quote!
          Fix, delete this? Thanks!

      • Monty says:

        Thank you Frank, you’re very kind.
        I had been chain smoking for more than 40 years, and all my attempts to give up had failed. But the advent of vaping has provided that magical way of stopping without suffering. I’d developed a very annoying and depressing cough, which completely disappeared during my first week of the vaping-only regime.
        One of the benefits I always got from smoking, was the ease of mental concentration. When you work in an intellectual discipline, that’s a great boon. Now approaching retirement, I no longer need to worry about losing my edge in that respect.
        But I still literally cringe when I drive past workplaces where they have evidently banned smoking and vaping from the entire site, including the car park. One establishment in this neck of the woods decided to exile their sinners to the only free space within reach, which is the median refuge of the neighbouring dual carriageway! (They got a visit from the police- good.)

  6. Joe L. says:

    Some zealot on the staff got hold of his presentation, and she has submitted a health & safety complaint demanding inhalers be banned on the site, the same as vape pens, on the pretext that she is at risk from the secondary effects of those inhalers.

    The persecution started with smokers. Then they added vapers. Now it’s the filthy asthmatics’ turn! Stories such as this, where the unbridled zealotry of these puritanical pieces of shit has extended to encompass habits other than smoking, are good for our cause. It shows how reckless these assholes are at banning things they perceive to be “unhealthy” with no solid scientific evidence to support it. I hope the asthmatics sue the hell out of the company and this story receives wider press, because the more incidents like this occur, the more people will realize (if only subconsciously) the fraud that is Tobacco Control.

  7. Pingback: Bleeding Obvious | Frank Davis

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