Car Parks


Pubs allowed to turn car parks into beer gardens under plans to bolster hospitality industry

Is this something new? For it conjured up a vivid memory of visiting a large ivy-covered pub with my parents on the 1950s. and sitting in the car with our drinks, because my brother and I were too young to go inside, and so my father brought the drinks out to the car park. It was something we did quite frequently.

On the other hand, I don’t remember anyone else doing the same thing.

In fact I hardly remember any other cars in the car park. Back in the 1950s hardly anybody seemed to visit English pubs. My mother had something of a terror of alcohol. and regularly regaled me with tales of ancestors who had drunk themselves to death, frequently expressing the fear that I would do the same as soon as I got the opportunity to do so, and imploring me not to. My father had no such fears, and it was a source of regular bickering between my parents.

In the event I never got anywhere near drinking myself to death.  And pub car parks are now full of cars. And so are the roads, which were largely empty in the 1950s. And cars were smaller back then, everyone crammed inside like sardines. My mother also had a terror of any speed above about 40 mph, and this was also a source of regular bickering between my parents. My father was far more adventurous than my mother – but he was a sailor, and sailors are naturally adventurous.

There was no terror of tobacco in 1950s Britain. Over the next 50 years, tobacco seems to have replaced alcohol as the principal cause for alarm. I don’t remember my mother ever recounting tales of relatives who had smoked themselves to death. And now alcohol is easy to buy, and tobacco far harder. The locus of terror has moved on.

And perhaps it has now moved on to coronavirus, and we will all start wearing masks and practising social distancing and  washing our hands – until some brand new terror alights upon us.

About Frank Davis

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16 Responses to Car Parks

  1. Rose says:

    Today’s news

    June 23, 2020
    Coronavirus Cases:

    23 Jun 2020

    “Smoking rates in the Middle East kingdom of Jordan have become the highest in the world amid what public health advocates say is widespread interference in policy-making by multinational tobacco companies.

    More than eight out of 10 Jordanian men smoke or regularly use nicotine products including e-cigarettes, according to a government study carried out in 2019 in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Jordanian men who smoke daily consume an average of 23 cigarettes a day, the survey found.”

    “The Jordanian figures contrast with those in Europe, the US and Australia, where smoking has been drastically reduced over the past three decades with the introduction of limits on tobacco companies’ power to lobby and advertise, as well as through awareness campaigns about the dangers of smoking.”

  2. Chris says:

    Now, since Jordan is predominantly Muslim, is there a trade-off with alcohol? If one plans a holiday there (whenever in the distant future on can plan holidays anywhere) because it’s smoker-friendly, would one be chagrined to find out it’s drinker-unfriendly?

    • Rose says:

      I suppose it depends what you want to do.

      Drinking Laws in Jordan

      “Please note that it is illegal to drink on the street in Jordan and this can lead to arrest. It is also highly frowned upon to show public displays of drunkenness. This includes all public spaces such as beaches, cafes, and public areas of a hotel. The best way to drink alcohol in Jordan is at a bar, hotel, or restaurant. The country also operates a strict drink driving law and if visitors are driving in Jordan, they should always check the drinking limits first.

      Where to Find Alcohol in Jordan

      As alcohol is forbidden under Islam, finding alcohol can prove difficult in smaller towns and villages. Most markets and small cafes across the country will not serve alcohol. If you would like to have a glass of wine with your meal, you will need to visit a larger restaurant. Alcohol can also be found in most supermarkets and hotel bars and restaurants. In the cities of Amman, Aqaba, and Madaba visitors will find a number of bars that cater to international visitors and serve a range of alcohol. Outside of these cities, it will become more difficult to find alcohol, except in large international hotels.”

    • Rose says:

      Nitric Oxide Inhibits the Replication Cycle of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

      Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Measuring Exposures and Assessing Health Effects. 1986

      “Freshly generated tobacco smoke contains nitric oxide, but not nitrogen dioxide. On release into the environment, nitric oxide is gradually oxidized to nitrogen dioxide. The estimated half-life of nitric oxide is 10-20 minutes, depending on the degree of air dilution. Table 2-6 shows concentrations of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide in smoke-polluted environments and indicates means ranging from 9 to 195 ppb for nitric oxide and 21 to 76 ppb for nitrogen dioxide. Generally, the nitrogen oxide values reported in Table 2-6 are significantly in excess of those observed for outdoor atmospheres”

      Anti-tobacco was quite keen on nitric oxide until they discovered it was useful.

      Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade

      “Previously, nitric oxide was regarded as an environmental pollutant and little else: at best a chemically reactive nuisance, at worst a poison. In the exhaust fumes of cars it reacted readily with oxygen to produce smog, increasing the risk of asthma. When discharged into the atmosphere from power station chimneys it contributed to the ecological damage from acid rain.”

      “Consequently, a response bordering on disbelief greeted the discovery that cells lining the walls of blood vessels, endothelial cells, intentionally synthesised nitric oxide as a muscle relaxant. The molecule is short-lived, and a constant supply is generated by endothelial cells in response to the sheer stress of the blood flow on the artery wall. The notion that such a noxious little molecule should also hold a key to a healthy body and mind was counter-intuitive, and is still disconcerting to some people.”

      Can Inhaling Nitric Oxide Treat — Or Prevent — COVID-19? MGH Wants To Find Out
      April 10, 2020

      “Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are studying whether inhaling a gas called nitric oxide can help treat patients with COVID-19, or even prevent people from getting the disease.

      Although nitric oxide is widely used to treat patients with respiratory failure, MGH is the only hospital in the United States, and one of the few in the world, studying it for the treatment of COVID-19, according to the CDC. (MGH is conducting one of the studies in cooperation with teams in Alabama and Louisiana.)”
      https: //

      It costs a lot to treat someone with nitric oxide from a tank, the only place you can get it for free is in a smoky bar.

      • Joe L. says:

        Your hypothesis that nitric oxide in cigarette smoke has a major protective effect against COVID-19 is pretty sound, Rose.

        I don’t know about you, but it boils my blood that so-called “scientific experts” can only equate cigarette smoking to nicotine, and thus that is the only thing they are studying, by testing the effects of nicotine patches against COVID-19.

        It’s almost as if they (or their medical-industrial complex heavyweight funders) know that nicotine is not the responsible compound, so they purposefully test it only, knowing full well the experiments will fail so that they can say, “See? Smoking tobacco has no protective effects whatsoever. Dozens of independent studies from around the world are coincidentally all flukes. Smoking kills. The science was and is still settled.”

        • Rose says:

          I drives me nuts, Joe.

          There are so many well-meaning scientists trying to understand the benefits of tobacco so they can use them to treat non-smokers, but the only thing they’ve heard of is nicotine and so they end up on a wild goose chase.
          The tobacco plant is said to be the most researched plant ever, but that was mostly done to try and make it cause harm to small animals.
          So all you get to read about is nicotine and “tar”

          And it doesn’t take much research to discover that nicotine is not the magic ingredient, after all, we burn it first.

          However, on the suject of nitric oxide, look at how many pharmaceutical companies are investing in new nitric oxide systems, gaining patents and conducting clinical trials to treat Covid-19 lately.

  3. Joe L. says:

    There was no terror of tobacco in 1950s Britain. Over the next 50 years, tobacco seems to have replaced alcohol as the principal cause for alarm.

    Yes, it has. And don’t forget marijuana. It was almost universally reviled from at least the 1930s until very recently. Now, it is not only socially acceptable, but it seems a substantial number of people believe it is a miracle drug and can cure every malady from glaucoma to cancer.

    Just like big-name designers can influence fashion the trends of the clothing, the Progressives have purposefully made marijuana fashionable and forced tobacco to fall out of fashion. To me, alcohol seems to be in limbo. If it weren’t for the disaster that was Prohibition occurring in the not-too-distant past, I believe they would target alcohol just as much–if not more–than tobacco, but for now it’s semi-untouchable.

    Look at what is currently happening around the world: Progressives are tearing down historical statues. Why? Because they believe they’re special. They want to live in a world that is completely different than the world that existed before them. Everything that was considered good must now be considered bad, and vice-versa. Everything that was considered normal must now be considered abnormal, and vice-versa. They’re too lazy and entitled to be bothered with learning from history; it’s much easier to simply erase it.

  4. RdM says:

    Vaping still to be verboten in Australia, I see:

    But also still this frankly factually incorrect idiocy (my bold emphasis):

    “In March 2018 the Liberal MPs Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson and Andrew Laming voiced support for vaping in dissenting reports of a House of Representatives health committee inquiry.

    Zimmerman told Guardian Australia he had done so because he was “convinced vaping could play a major role in moving people from tobacco to a safer product”.

    “It is inexplicable to me why the government would act during a pandemic – when all evidence is that smoking increases the health risk for those who catch coronavirus– in a way that could result in more people going back to smoking,” he said.

    The Nationals senator Matt Canavan described as “overkill” the move to impose fines “for importing what is in most countries a legal product”.”

    Well, I think he got the “all evidence” part re covid-19 completely backward.

    I was going to link to Chris Snowdon’s permanent link on tobacco-covid data, but I see now he’s posted recently twice on this mad Oz proposal, although I’m not into vaping at all myself…

    I prefer my nicotine to come from real tobacco, ideally organic with no additives.
    But I’ll take lower priced slightly flavoured RYO if the above is unobtainable, as recently.

    • Mark Jarratt says:

      More barking mad prohibitionist interference, with no consultation, or rationale except forcing cigarette not vape consumption. Couldn’t be connected to the Big Pharma bribery from “medicalising” a recreational pastime, or extortionate punitive tobacco taxes, could it? More illiberal counter productive bullying, doomed to failure like all bans, seeking to stop activities people want to do. Gullible greedy politicians show similar misplaced faith in medical bureaucrats in the hysterical CoVid19 authoritarian over reaction, based in fear, unreliable data, and worst case scenario speculation. 😳

  5. I’m pretty sure every area of a pub is regulated as to what you can do in it. Sitting in the car with a pint might be overlooked, but if a pub started filling the area with tables and such, they would probably get a visit
    I’m not sure how much it has changed since your day. I know they don’t serve foaming mead anymore :-)

  6. A general comment I want everyone to see: Rose, you are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

    – MJM, who just wishes he could tap into your brain!

    • Rose says:

      Obsession is the only way to get things done, MJM.
      And reading something like this would get any keen gardener’s undivided attention.

      4 August 2004


      “Many commonly and widely consumed vegetables of the nightshade family (Solanaceae)
      such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums naturally contain low levels of nicotine.
      Nicotine has also been detected in cauliflower and tea – two non-solanaceous plants.
      Recently there have been a number of attempts overseas to deliver nicotine medications
      presented as food, such as in bottled water or in lollipops.

      A concern expressed by health authorities is that the addition of tobacco or nicotine in food may promote or legitimise the smoking of tobacco or the use of smokeless tobacco products.
      VicHealth proposed a modified Option 2 – Allow the use of Nicotiana species in all foods but restrict the level of nicotine to the level demonstrated to be safe and not to be therapeutic or psychoactive.” ?

      “The option was raised to prevent foods such as the nightshades, known to naturally contain low levels of nicotine, from being banned.”

      Click to access P278_Nicotine_FAR_Final.pdf

      The fact that they consider themselves so powerful that they could ban our staple foods should send a shiver down any normal persons spine.

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