I drank an entire bottle of champagne last night. And I had two or three whisky chasers as well. So I was feeling a bit furry this morning. And actually I’m still feeling a bit furry.
It’s all a bit of a blur now. But the party went well. About 10 minutes before it started I was wondering whether anyone would come. I needn’t have worried. And I even have the mandatory Embarrassing Photos of the occasion:
We broke the attendance record of the Smoky Drinky Bar last night. It had been 8 people. Now it’s 9. And technically it held up pretty well: everybody could see and hear everybody else, pretty much. It will probably work just as well when there are 12.
All the usual suspects were there, of course. But there were a couple of new faces. Castello was one. And Wiel Maessen was another. I’d been vaguely thinking of emailing Wiel. No need to do that now. He found his own way to the bar.
I’ve stopped worrying about the Smoky Drinky Bar. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been worried that it would be empty all the time, and people would stop coming. But last night it was still buzzing at 2 am after I’d spent 7 hours in it. It’s a bit eurocentric at the moment maybe, but I think that will gradually change, once the Indians and Chinese start showing up.
Because the Smoky Drinky Bar never closes. And a succession of people will arrive in waves. When the Chinese smokers show up, the conversation will be conducted in Cantonese or something. It’s going to be one long party. It’s going to be a party that lasts forever.
The other thing that happened yesterday was that I got myself in the Guardian. They quoted a bit of what I’d written in response to their questionnaire :
It was possibly the blackest day in my life. We smokers all trooped out of the pub with beer glasses in hand and stood around bewildered in the car park. Somebody that I didn’t know came up to me and said, “It’s not a free country any more.” And he was right. My little circle of acquaintances, with whom I regularly drank and smoked and played pool, vanished on 1 July, never to return. The pubs emptied and never refilled. And I only sat outside them, alone with beer and cigarette, on warm sunny days thereafter. My circle of friends, some of them of 40 years standing, took longer to disperse. There was no longer anywhere to meet them. And most of them had banned smoking in their homes as well. I now usually vote UKIP because Nigel Farage is a smoker who stands up for smokers.
That was interestingly selective. Here’s what I actually submitted:
Please tell us about your memories of the smoking ban in 2007*
Possibly the blackest day in my life. We smokers all trooped out of the River, with beer glasses in hand, and stood around bewildered in the car park. Somebody that I didn’t know came up to me and said, “It’s not a free country any more.” And he was right.
He’s still right today.
What impact has the ban had on you in the years that have passed since?
My little circle of acquaintances, with whom I regularly drank and smoked and played pool, vanished on 1 July, never to return. The pubs emptied, and never refilled. And I only sat outside them, alone with beer and cigarette, on warm sunny days thereafter.
My circle of friends, some of them of 40 years standing, took longer to disperse. There was no longer anywhere to meet them. And most of them had banned smoking in their homes as well. It was 10 years before I bid goodbye to the last of them.
For decades I used to vote Lib Dem. But given that 95% of Lib Dem MPs voted for the illiberal and undemocratic smoking ban, I stopped voting for them after 2007. I now usually vote UKIP, because Nigel Farage is a smoker who stands up for smokers.
I don’t trust any health “experts” about anything any more. I no longer believe anything they say about tobacco. Or alcohol. Or sugar. Or anything else.
I no longer feel welcome anywhere in my home country, so I don’t go anywhere. I no longer travel or stay in hotels. I don’t go to cinemas or theatres or museums or art galleries or any other social or cultural events. I don’t read any newspapers or watch any TV channels. Why should I, when none of them speak for me?
How do you feel about the ban now, in 2017?
Exactly the same as I did in 2007: very, very, very angry.
I think that the smoking ban has brought about a social and economic and political catastrophe. But the political classes and the mainstream media and all the great and the good are completely oblivious to it. And they will probably remain oblivious.
The smoking bans that are being enacted all over the world are going to have consequences that will reverberate for the next 100 years or more.
Future generations will look back in amazement and wonder, and ask: “Why were they all so stupid? Why were they all so easily fooled with such egregious lies?”
The smoking bans will all be repealed eventually, much like US Prohibition a century ago.
Please add any extra information if you wish
I don’t believe you’ll publish anything I say. The mainstream media are completely under the control of Tobacco Control.
I guess I was wrong about them not publishing anything. But their commenters were incredulous. Some of them didn’t believe that I existed.