Invitation To A Party

Everyone’s invited to the Smoky Drinky Bar tonight at 7 pm UK time. We’re having a party. I’ve even bought a couple of bottles of champagne.

We’re celebrating. We’re celebrating the demise of not just the UK smoking ban, but every single smoking ban in the world. All of them. Every single one.

And to this end, at very great expense, an army of contractors are hard at work refurbishing the Smoky Drinky Bar. My thanks go to RdM in New Zealand who has supervised the dismantling and shipping of the entire Thirsty Dog bar in Auckland, New Zealand as a replacement for Foxy’s Tamarind bar. I am now in process of directing an army of interior decorators  to fill it with vintage cigarette ads. Here’s the current state of it. With luck it’ll be ready by 7 pm.

Today ought to be black day, but it’s not. It’s the 10th anniversary of the UK smoking ban, and lots of people have written angrily and bitterly about these last 10 miserable years.

But I’m not going to write anything like that. I’m going to celebrate.

I see that you’re puzzled. You ask: Have all the smoking bans been repealed?


So what has changed? Has anything changed at all? What’s there to celebrate?

Well, I’m celebrating the opening of the Smoky Drinky Bar. And I’m celebrating all the future online bars that are soon going to be opening, and filling up with people from all over the world, eating and drinking and smoking, and conversing in their own languages. The Smoky Drinky Bar is just an early prototype. A bit like the Wright brothers first airplane was the prototype of thousands of bigger and faster and higher-flying aircraft.

The world’s smokers may have been exiled to the outdoors, and dispersed. But soon they’ll all be meeting up again online, and drinking and smoking and talking just like they used to do, only now with people from all over the world. And the bars in which they meet will never close. And they’ll be full of cigarettes and cigarette ads and overflowing ashtrays. There’ll be No Antismoking warnings on the walls. And Deborah Arnott dartboards. And the secondhand smoke in the air will be so thick that you won’t be able to see the ceiling.

It’s going to be a disaster for Tobacco Control. It’s going to be an absolute catastrophe. They made such a big effort, for so long, to kill pub and bar culture everywhere in the world. And now they’re going to see all the smokers and drinkers simply walk out of their new “smoke-free” pubs, and walk straight into the riotous new smoke-filled online pubs and bars, and carry on exactly as before. And so while the killjoys are busy denormalising smoking in real bars, smokers will be renormalising it in online bars. Smoking is going to become more normal than ever before.

All their work will soon prove to have been wasted. Utterly wasted.

What are they going to do about it? Call for smoking bans in online bars? On what grounds? Health? Safety? Are they going to claim that 137th hand virtual smoke clogs the arteries of the internet?

Real bars will start to close even more quickly than they were already doing, as people desert them for the new thriving, buzzing online bars. Bar owners will complain that real bars are losing out to online bars, because people can’t smoke in the real ones, and can smoke in the online ones. Well, they let the bastards in Tobacco Control do that to them, and they deserve everything they get. They’ll start calling more and more loudly for the repeal of smoking bans.

It hasn’t happened yet. But it will. And very soon.

And that’s why I’m celebrating. And that’s why you’re invited to the Smoky Drinky Bar to join in the celebrations tonight. And may the Smoky Drinky Bar never, ever, ever close.

About Frank Davis

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43 Responses to Invitation To A Party

  1. Rose says:

    It is a brilliant idea and I suggest you advertise this solution to ASH – related social isolation far and wide, Frank.


    Rob Lyons: Ten years on from the smoking ban, the Tories could gain by rolling it back
    July 1, 2017

    Which, allegedly being consevatives, is exactly what I expected them to do in 2010.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Looks like the anti-smokers are pretty scared!! The good ole blabb has been dug up; starting from:
      I am an ex-smoker, who grew up with a mother and father who both smoked. As a result I suffered asthma as a child which got worse when I smoked. Since giving up and being able to avoid second hand smoke my breathing has improved immensely.
      I’ve never smoked, avoid secondary smoking like the plague, and feel that vaping in public – even in the street – is anti-social. But I’m relaxed about pubs making some accommodation for smokers. I want to see our pubs survive. And, for the same reason, we should avoid a reduction in the drink-drive limiit.
      bringing in vaping. Interestingly, this guy/gal has no problem with drinking and driving?

      • Rose says:

        I am a lifelong artichoke and I am delighted that artichokes are now sold in most supermarkets so that more of us can be boiled alive and then eaten dipped in butter.

        Next up, a moving letter from a carrot that longs to be grated

        • nisakiman says:

          Don’t be surprised, Rose, if the estimable Blocked Dwarf is along soon to provide you with a link to some dubious porn site where those fantasies are played out in real life. His knowledge of what is available on the internet is unsurpassed. :)

        • Rose says:

          Thank you for the warning.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Of course a cadre of astroturf antismokers attacked the notion with vengeance. I’m surprised the orchestrated nature of the response (especially given the written tobacco control guidance to do so) goes unnoticed.

    • nisakiman says:

      The comments on that piece by Rob Lyons seem to be an orchestrated assault on the very concept of relaxing the ban. Apart from Junican and myself, there seems to be almost no opposition to the barrage of “the smoking ban is the best thing which ever happened” comments.

      Where are you all?

      Over a hundred comments, and at least 90% of them of the “love the smoking ban in pubs” variety. The TC army has obviously been mobilised. This is where Harley would have been right in the thick of it, tearing the comments limb from limb, in his inimitable way.

  2. Lecroix says:

    “The smoking ban is the wound that won´t heal”

  3. garyk30 says:

    Have created to handle the overflow of people.

  4. beobrigitte says:

    And so while the killjoys are busy denormalising smoking in real bars, smokers will be renormalising it in online bars.
    It isn’t only the denormalisation of smoking in real bars/bingo places etc. etc. etc., it’s also the denormalisation of a cohesive society that followed this vile smoking ban. I must say that I’ve spoken to more people in the past week than I have in a long time. It has been quite a revitalising experience going to the Smoky Drinky bar in the evenings; I laughed a lot, learned a few new things, talked rubbish – just like I used to when I could visit real pubs without being kicked out the door in wind and weather.
    I can’t speak for everybody else but I feel a lot happier (I hadn’t realized how miserable I had become in this tobacco control induced isolation I have to live in) having the option to visit, albeit online, a pub in which there are ASHTRAYS available.

    I’ll definitely be there tonight!!!
    *Excitedly sorting out my hair….. Looking to find some decent clothes….. *

  5. Mark Jarratt, north of Broome, Western Australia says:

    Haha yay and totally excellent! Especially like the D Arnott dartboard suggestion, and note other suitable candidates would be our local Australian ANTZ Chapman and Daube, although the latter is a ring in from Blighty.

    Regret I can’t be there virtually as I am still in remote NW Western Australia (amazing I have one bar, none, phone reception) but all the very best for this signal event to free choice barman our indomitable host and catch you soon on the other side of the world, I mean drink coaster! 🥂

  6. Rose says:

    ‘It has had a real social impact’: readers on the smoking ban ten years on

    90 comments so far, fairly evenly balanced.

    Prague Andy, currently 7th comment down, seems unaware of the social damage caused and thinks that Frank must be a made up person, which I found quite amusing as I post regularly on his blog.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Gosh! They have quoted me!

      I bought a Grauniad today, but I haven’t yet taken it out of its cellophane wrapper. £2.90!!!

    • C.F. Apollyon says:

      Frank IS a made up person.
      If you wanna know what he is made up of, I’d suggest asking Frank himself.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Currently engaging PragueAndy in polite conversation. He seems to think I exist now.

    • Joe L. says:

      Great comments, Frank and John, and congrats on actually getting them published!

      @John: Your conclusion is direct and powerful, “If there was a huge market for non smokers, pubs would have changed by themselves without the need for a ban. This legislation is draconian, pointless, divisive and very childish.” Well said!

      @Frank: I’m especially happy you included the line, “I now usually vote UKIP because Nigel Farage is a smoker who stands up for smokers.” Hopefully this article makes its way to the desk of some politicians and causes them to realize there is a very real, large, untapped voter base comprised of smokers that they could leverage by repealing smoking bans and supporting pro-choice legislation.

      Also, it’s very interesting to note that of the memories they chose to publish, only three are written by people labeled as ex-smokers, and their quit dates are listed as follows:

      Gave up smoking last year
      Smoked 20 cigarettes a day but gave up shortly after the ban
      Gave up smoking three months ago and started vaping

      Mind you this is not necessarily a random sample, but of the three, only one quit shortly after the ban, whereas the other two quit smoking only recently, nearly ten years after the ban had been in effect. Just more evidence with which to doubt whether smokers actually tend to quit in droves once smoking bans take effect, as Tobacco Control loves to claim.

  7. Oi you says:

    I heard some governmental dimwit on the news this morning talking about the smoking ban in such smug terms. To them it’s a total success. Millions of people have been saved from the dreaded tobacco. Oh, how wonderful! Pats on the back all round. Of course they don’t like to mention the millions who are using far dangerous substances like heroin or cocaine. Funny how they don’t seem to do much about those kind of habits.


  8. Vlad says:

  9. Clicky says:

    I’m blocked from following CRUKs on Twitter. I wonder if that means my vote doesn’t count…

    • Joe L. says:

      Wait … if there exists so much “settled science” created by “experts” “proving” that smoking causes cancer, why in hell would Cancer Research UK care whether the general public would reverse the smoking ban if they could?

      This poll seems more like a testing of the waters in order to gauge how effective their deceptive propaganda has been thus far.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        This is an excellent point. The science isn’t settled but they have created the dominant meme. The lie that second hand smoke is accepted by nearly all despite its lack of scientific foundation. They report the lies (even when they are exposed as such) relentlessly and suppress all dissent. Their propaganda campaign appears to meet or exceed their expectations. Their lies must be exposed.

  10. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    Somewhere I have the necessary bits to hear and be heard, see and be seen on teh webbes – I did it on Skype many years ago. Unfortunately I don’t know where they are – not in my car, so probably in someone’s garage loft.

    Ho hum.

    Is it possible, like Jail on the Monopoly board to be ‘just visiting’? To watch and listen? (Apparently not – just looked in.)

    About to go and consume my National Smokers’ Day cigarette, and drink some alcohol – originally scheduled to be Team GB Strike Gold vintage cider (expires 31 July 2017), now found a bottle of Sharp’s Doom Bar under a pile of Beck’s Blue. Much more appropriate (Doom Bar not Beck’s).

    I shall withdraw to the great outdoors to await the launching hour, and light up at 7pm BST on the dot.



  11. legiron says:

    Damn, I missed it! Next time…

  12. Some other Tom says:

    Fun time smokydrinkybar – pleasure to meet so many great people. Thank you Frank, for setting up a great place!

  13. Smoking Lamp says:

    Well another anniversary article with a poll and rash of antismoker astroturf propaganda at the Sunderland Echo: Poll: “10 years on, was England right to ban smoking in public places?” at:

    The poll at: “Smoke-free East Baton Rouge gears up for next vote” is dominated by antismoking/antichoice position.

    The Cornwall Live poll is now 66% against the ban

  14. waltc says:

    Good God, the first two pages of comments on the BBC article are a compendium of hosannas for the ban, wishes it would go further (those killer doorways, infested sidewalks and ruined picnics) and every cliche of secondhand fear and loathing. Anti-tobacco seems to be a virulent contagious disease but (unfortunately) not a fatal one.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      They are clearly astroturf perpetrated by tobacco control partisans and echoed by antismokers. That’s why getting pro-choice perspective out there is imperative.

      • Rose says:

        I was disappointed to read the same tripe they came out with in 2007, you’d expect that they would have honed their arguments somewhat after ten years, they are not exactly worthy opponents in a battle of wits.
        Still, overall I enjoyed it.

        • Joe L. says:

          Yes, the astroturfing in the Guardian article comments section is unoriginal and blatantly obvious. There’s the usual handful of commenters who push the SHS myths, the usual handful who witnessed their entire family trees die from smoking-related diseases, the standard few pathetic “smokers stink” commenters and the occasional couple ridiculous “smoking makes you look 10-20 years older” commenters … none of whom ever cite sources.

          These astroturfers serve to normalize this divisive, hateful rhetoric and encourage a handful of readers who have pent-up insecurities to spew their vitriol on smokers, such as the one lunatic who pops up occasionally (he showed up again in the Guardian comments) to claim that he should be allowed to urinate on smokers because it’s the equivalent to him being exposed to SHS.

          For us, it’s not difficult to distinguish the shills from the few crazies they bring out of the woodwork. I used to be more pessimistic about the rest of the public, however, but with the recent widespread loss of trust in mainstream media, I hope it’s a sign that a growing number of people are opening their minds and thinking (if not also researching) for themselves.

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