Friday, 19 November 2010

Not another Nick Hogan is it.....???

Ever had the feeling that life is about to kick you right between the legs?
Ever felt like the system is out to get you no matter what you do?
Ever felt that the only thing left for 'them' to take is your dignity?

Well folks, I would think that Ray McHale, ex-licensee of the Painters Arms up there in Bradfordland must be feeling pretty low by now after all he has suffered over the past 3 years thanks to the smoking ban and all that goes with.
Now don't get me wrong, Ray and his wife Jill are as law abiding as the next couple, I mean to say, they've run a good steady ship (The Painters Arms) for 5 happy years with no financial problems whatsoever. They even had the audacity to have holidays! But then that nasty ban came in and, as it has done for every pub in the land, turned a kosha business upside down.
Ray & Jill could not see their elderly & infirm customers cast out into the freezing cold nor the wet to enjoy the simplest of all pleasures-a cigarette. They didn't put ashtrays out on display either. What they did do was inform their loyal, elderly regulars that smoking indoors was illegal since July 1st, as he was obligated to do and...err...sort of left it at that! If they brought their own little tin foil ashtrays then fair play to them, neither Ray nor Jill were going to cast them out.
As you can imagine the local council were not too happy with this arrangement and poubced on Ray one fine saturday with two policemen as escorts. Ray politely informed them that he had upheld the law by informing customers they could not smoke indoors and that was that. Basically he invited the EHO's to go nforth and arrest the smokers-which of course they would not do for they do have the powers of arrest!
To add insult to injury Ray then barred both EHO's from his pub and asked the policemen to escort the scumbags off the premises - as his rights entitled him to do
You see folks, that is where the battle lines were obviously drawn. Ray & Jill had made their stance all too clear and the EHO's didn't like it one tiny little bit. I suppose for them (the EHO's) it was a bit like having the old nose rubbed in shite!
That was 2 years ago and the battle has raged ever since with licensee refusing to back down and EHO's unsure of a successful prosection. Amazingly, not once did they issue a fixed penalty notice to any smoker!
The council changed tactics and concentrated on the licensee and his wife and sure enough as time passed they built up an impregnable case against them both-for smoking in their own home, the pub! They had all sorts as witnesses, even a sodding magistrate to ensure the case was strong enough against them and so took the McHales to court.
Let me briefly explain here that two weeks prior to the court hearing Ray & Jill had been forced to leave their home (the pub) as it had been closed by Enterprise Inns supremo's as "non viable". It had been for 5 happy years but one law changed all that!
So Ray went to court and pleaded for himself and on his wifes behalf (Jill was too upset by losing everything to attend)expecting a slap on thewrist for pleading guilty, not wasting the courts time and their current unemployed, homeless status. The magistrates fined the couple approximately £700 on five counts of smoking (in their own home!) which i suppose in this day and age of judicial poverty could be seen as about right-but then came the big boomer!
The council popped up and asked for costs amounting to £4,540 for all their diligence in bringing this/these lawless scoundrels to court.
Anybody thinking back to the Nick Hogan scenario yet?
Nick ruffled feathers and got lumped up with over £10K in costs and then plagued to death by the authorities because he could not pay the monthly penalties from his meagre job seekers allowance!
Anybody joining up the dots yet?
The magistrates have set a monthly sum to be paid by Ray & Jill, irrespective of the fact that they now have no home, no jobs, no savings at all and worst of all, not a lot of hope either!

The organisation Smokers Justice
has stepped in to help Ray McHale stave off the same fate as Nick Hogan suffered. Imprisonment for committing no crime!
Please pop over to and hit the donate button with whatever you can afford folks for Christmas is coming and Ray wants to enjoying his dnner with friends not inmates.
I do know that they have received no state benefits as yet and have not been rehoused so they have rather a lot to contend with don't you think. We need to raise just over £5,000 from blogosphere.....let's go for it folks.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

We sat around the campfire listening intently as the old man regaled us with events of almost 20 years on this strange little island that was now, irrevocably split in two. Although set in the Carribean ocean somewhere between Haiti and the Bahamas it wasn’t a volcanic eruption nor a hurricane that had split the island in two. It was politics. We looked at him intrigued for how on earth could politics cause a watery divide to appear between the now two halves of a beautiful, almost tropical paradise? It seemed impossible that anything could blight the wonderful island of Heaven.
‘This island is still ruled by English law, as it had been since the 1700’s’, he started as we all craned forward to hear every word, ‘and it still is; both halves of it’ he smiled ruefully.
‘Back near the turn of the century there were terrible times back in Britain when the “Nannies” took over in power. Everybody thought that they would be the best thing since ‘sliced bread’ with their promises of ‘gold, frankincense & myrrh’ for those who wanted to work. The ousted government were shocked at their demise at the hands of the people, after all the “Steadies” had kept the country solvent, unemployment at a moderate rate and crime had actually diminished to an acceptable level; well that is if there is such a thing!
In came the “Nannies”, trumpets blaring, promises galore, the euphoria seemed never ending but things soon started to change and people became increasingly restless for what the people did not know, and the “Nannies!” had failed to inform them of, was that they were now backed by the all powerful medical industries-‘Pharma’-whose seemingly endless source of money virtually carried them into power at the last election. Sure the “Nannies” spent money like wildfire, created jobs for white collar workers and everything seemed on the up, but dark clouds were gathering as the sceptics looked on in dismay. What the rank and file did not know, for the media was capped as never before, was that hundreds of new laws were being sneaked through – all of them costing the people money in fines for the most innocuous of reasons!
Pharma meanwhile, were implementing their strategy as backers of the “Nannies”, through the “Nannies”. A smoking ban was brought in to supposedly protect the workers but it had far reaching effects that the “Nannies” had not even dreamt of No sooner had the smoking ban been implemented than Pharma started the same manipulative strategy on alcohol and drinking, with rumblings that the overweight would be next on their list. You see my friends (the old man paused to sip his beer) Pharma knew that if they could get their ‘quit smoking’ products into the market place they would earn £billions from sales to the ignorant and unknowing. They also knew that in promoting ‘quit smoking’, the government would also spend £billions as a thank you for getting them into power-perfect Win Win situation. The government even set up groups (quangos) to create the pretence that people were voting for all these restrictions, after all, public consultations were a name only. Government, especially the “Nannies” had their own way of producing the results they wanted from the ‘public’-except they no longer needed to ask the public!
Well naturally this smoking law was brought over to Heaven, which is rather bizarre as we grow tobacco plants here and export the leaves as soon as they are ready to go. Apart from tourism the tobacco growing industry here is the mainstay of our economy. How on earth could you have a smoking ban on a tobacco producing island? Of course the English government sent agents over here, armed with ‘no smoking’ signs that had to be displayed virtually everywhere anyone worked except in the fields! Even the ‘thunder-boxes’ at the top of each field had no smoking signs all over them. (The assembled all smiled with the old man at the very thought.)
It didn’t take long before open dissent began, Heaven wasn’t built on hard and fast rules such as this. Bar owners complained about losing custom as soon as the cooler nights came in and the casino was almost devoid of custom from the day the signs went up! Big Alf was not a happy bunny, his business had been killed off in one fell swoop but he was not a man to be deterred by some law imposed thousands of miles away. He went to the island king, Guy.Rumpole Hatsoffu, for advice. Worse still, with the island being 80% smokers the islanders no longer went to the bars at night-time so smoked more at home whilst drinking the local cheapo beer. This in turn begat other problems as family nights included the children partaking of the cheapo beers at an age when far too young to be interested in alcohol! The kids, not to be outdone by their elders also took to sampling the local tobacco produce! Even 8 year olds were trying their hand at rolling up cigarettes on the sly and many competitions were held away from the prying eyes of ever cautious parents. The local doctor was considerably concerned at this drastic downturn in the islands normally healthy standards, he had never treated so many youngsters that had suddenly developed the ability to fall foul of any virus or bug going. He was perplexed. He finally decided that he must consult with the king, although young, G.Rumpole was the man to talk to.
Rumpole was a wise old bird (for one so young). Educated in an English public school he returned to Heaven shortly after finishing so as to sit at his father’s side to learn that to which he was born to learn-to rule his people. His father, Obe Bailey Hatsoffu, was a tolerant man, a wise man who mainly kept his own counsel until providing judgement on island disputes. The one thing he had from all his subjects was complete respect, something he was adamant that his son should earn. Hence he sent Guy.Rumpole out to the tobacco plantations to learn how the people worked, lived, breathed; in other words a crash course in leadership! Obe died two years after his son’s return leaving and island in mourning and a new king of a mere 23 yrs of age.
Guy Rumpole listened intently as Big Alf laid out his plan to thwart the evil smoking ban that threatened the equanimity of the island.
Unbeknown to the casino owner the king had also entertained the island doctor some 24 hours previously and already he had a disturbing feeling the two visits may well be linked.
The island was longer than it was wide with tobacco plantations to the north and south and narrowed inwardly approximately 4/5ths of the way down-similar to a misshapen egg timer. Where it narrowed was also the lowest point of the island, which actually made Big Alf’s plan very simple to execute. G.Rumpole retired to deliberate the proposed plan of action. True, he was now king, supreme ruler of his people, but more importantly he was his people’s protector.
Work began exactly one week after the visits of Alf and the doctor. Guy Rumpole Hatsoffu had deliberated long and hard before coming to a decision. He had checked up on all the old island laws before confirming his decision to himself. He was very fortunate indeed that his father had seen fit to send him to England to forward his education for he had learned much about the way governments worked and the twists and turns used to get what they wanted. Indeed, he was the only man on the island with internet access which kept him up to speed with developments in England. More importantly he was able to keep up to speed with the detractors of the “Nannies” new regime.
He had tons of sand and cement flown into the islands airport plus numerous other necessary materials. The islands one mechanical digger was fully serviced and set to work along with half the tobacco planters from both plantations. He had already sent out a ‘royal command survey’ asking each household if they would rather live in a smoke free/alcohol free environment or remain as the island had been for centuries. As expected approximately 17.5% opted for the life of celibacy. They worked on the south side of the island. Those from the south that wished to continue as they had for time took their families to the northern side, houses were swapped, belongings exchanged and the work continued.
At the end of 3 months sweat and toil the work was almost completed. A concrete dam had been built on each side of the island with a giant trench sitting between. The agents, due to return to England soon had already been moved to the southern tip of the island so that they could complete their work of ensuring that smoke free laws were being observed. They were delighted to find that there was 100% compliance. They never noticed that no drinking went on either! Wondrous reports flowed back to England where the “Nannies” used every media outlet possible to exalt and promote the tremendous work and results achieved by the diligent Environmental Health Officers sent half way round the world.
The great day came. Crowds assembled either side of the great divide. The ‘agents’, safely ensconced 0n the northern shore of the now southern island watched with incredulity as the first dam was opened and millions of gallons of sea water charged along the new channel to smash into the dam on the other side of the island. It was designed, very cleverly, to crumble under the immense pressure thus water poured in from that side too. In a matter of seconds there was a deep channel some 50 feet wide between the two islands with no means of getting across on foot. A couple of muffled explosions saw the other dam slide into the raging waters. There was now a complete separation.
King Guy Rumpole Hatsoffu smiled contently as he saw his tiny nations flag raised on the southern island and then gave the signal for his own newly designed flag to be unfurled and hoisted aloft-without any sign of the Union Jack-but there were two half moons instead of one emblazoned upon it! He turned to his people and announced his welcome to the new island of “Second Heaven” where the people had chosen the path they wanted to follow. New government was already in place and messages had been sent to the British Prime Minister, Mr A.B.Liar that “Heaven” had survived tidal waters but that a new nation had emerged from the storm, totally independent from British rule that had been named “Second Heaven” in honour of the British Empire. It was added that if Mr Liar wished to reclaim his agents from “Heaven” it would be advisable to do so by boat as the airport was now resident in “Second Heaven”.
Within weeks Second Heaven returned to its former equable (Heaven) self as bars flourished, Big Alf’s casino saw a plethora of customers and the doctor mysteriously lost patients as quickly as he had accrued them. The new nation prospered as tourism flourished once more. There were boat trips once a day to Heaven to let people sample the almost monastic life led by the people left there. Industry had virtually died as the tobacco plantation had been mysteriously burned out-the day before the English ‘agents’ had been picked up by the Royal Navy. Fishing in the clear Carribean waters was the mainstay of the ‘Heaveners’ and their lifestyle was simple and impoverished. There was a general air of gloom about the place; no longer a place deserving the grandiose title of Heaven.
King G.Rumpole had survived his first test to be true to his people and he was justifiably pleased with himself. The cost? Enormous, but he knew that tourism alone would repay all that had been spent gaining freedom. He chortled as he switched his internet connection off that night. ‘Who needs “Nannies”’, he chuckled to himself, ‘stick the Nannies and their nanny state where the sun don’t shine! Second Heaven needs none of it’.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

There's rebellion afoot

Over the past couple of weeks a new log has been appearing in Blogosphere. The Skull & Crossbones, except that the 'bones' are swords.
Johnny Rebel has caused a stir in Blogosphere with his no-nonsence approach to kicking back at a government that is fleecing smokers to pay for the quangos trying to banish smoking. Tax deprivation. Pure and simple.

To digress slightly, "Smoking Hot" describes the monstrous amounts this government takes from smokers in one of his blogs. £4.40 on 20 fags and £8.60 on tobacco (50 grammes). Now I'm sure that everyone will agree that on those figures we have got one almightily greedy government. No wonder they get about £11m per year.
Back to Johnny Rebel who's tactic is very simple. Tax deprivation. By that he means restrict the amount of tobacco tax this (or any other British Gov't) can collect. And, the simplest way to do that is to buy all your tobacco needs abroad. Let Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany amd others collect a bit of revenue from you and not this lot who want it by the bucketful! greedy Bar-Stewards!
Johnny Rebel has also set up a blogspot here:-
To get some momentum going it appears that some 'peel & stick' stickers have been produced for smokers (and sympathisers) to stick here, there and everywhere The message is quite clear

Join the Resistancee
Stop ASH from using YOUR money against YOU-the smoker
Stop CRUK from using YOUR money against YOU-the smoker
Stop this government from using YOUR money against YOU

Smoking is legal, smoking is enjoyable to millions, tobacco is a multi -£billion industry worldwide that employs hundreds of thousands of workers. Don’t let them use your tobacco taxes against you. Buy your tobacco & cigarettes from abroad. It is perfectly legal to do so for personal usage!
The Resistance.
Stop funding the Smoking Ban. Buy your tobacco Abroad.

It couldn't be much clearer could it! This government (well, the schoolboy half of it) couldn't give a toss about smokers rights so why should smokers give a toss about government coffers?
I'm sure that details of sticker availability will soon appear on very soon. Have fun!

Monday, 26 July 2010

ASH have now caused WAR!

We all know exactly how the fake 'charity' Action on Smoking and Health ensured the smokeban came in, but it was a bit late in the day to do anything about it, especially as the majority of MPs were hoodwinked in the process.
But bringing in the vending machines/tobacco display banishment has seen ASH, CRUK (& the DofH) house of cards come tumbling down. Our very own Chris Snowdon (Velvet Glove, Iron Fist) has uncovered all their dastardly little subversions, all their devious plots to get the bill through parliament. They even resorted to using absolute lies, but a series of e-mails (under the FOI Act) has shown them up for what they truly are:-
Lying, cheating bastards! Nothing charitable about them at all, they are simply hell bent on curtailing smokers enjoyment and, at the same time, keeping the vast sums rolling in to further their lavish lifestyles.
The display Bill went through but in the light of the truth surfacing, much to the chagrin of ASH et al, it is very unlikely to be implemented by this coalition government. Now, where does this leave a red faced ASH & Co@
They've immediately attacked stating that a 'sudden' survey has shown that 80% of the population want further smoking restrictions; ie, we must be talking about beer gardens etc here surely?
But wait a minute, the last proper survey conducted showed that 82% of licensees had seen the light and wanted CHOICE!
If 25% of the popup=lation smoke, how did ASH manage to attain an 80% figure? Of course, the answers simple really. 5% of smokers wanted to restrict themselves even further! Silly me.
At a time when the economic damage of smoking bans are becoming apparent to the new Prime Minister and his schoolboy sidekick (who incidentally rated the smokeban alongside bringing back hanging-now there's a thought for Arnott/Duffy & Co) we have found a new champion amongst all the champions of smokers rights! Step up to the plate one "Mr Johnny Rebel"
JR has opened a new facebook page for fellow rebels-and he just might get a few followers! (sic)

The battle cry is eminently simple:-
"The Resistance. Stop funding the Smoking Ban. Buy your tobacco Abroad."

Now I have done for ?????years. Can't remember how many years now but will continue to do so until I depart this despotic nation of 'PC', nannyistic farts.

However, the thought of all smokers getting their 'baccy' from abroad has immense appeal as financially it can totally ruin this country-then what are 'call me Dave' & the schoolboy going to do?
Buying your smokes abroad is NOT illegal, therefore, this absolutely bloody perfect as a form of LEGAL REBELLION! don't you just love it! Just think about this logically for a minute. I get through 3 50gramme packs of celightful Goden virginia per week and each one denies the government of £8.60p. So I cost THEM £25.80 per week and that equals £1,393.60p that I deny HMG getting their crawly paws on to fund such turds as ASH & CRUK. Bloody hell, now I've worked that out I'm quite excited by my legal rebellion.
Now if I, little old Simple Simon can do that on my own just how much can the roll-up smokers of this once proud nation cost HMG? I dread to think. If there's a million fellow 'roller-uppers' doing the same then this Government is in deep shit before we even get to the 'tailor-mades brigade. With such a deficit they wouldn't be able to fund ASH, CRUK, slimy Smokefree NE, NW, Yorkshire or any other so called charitable anti smoking bigotted shower of shite.
So people, the call to arms has been made. The Pirate Flag of mutiny has been hoisted aloft-sticky backed productions should soon be available for distribution-I know not from where, but somewhere! let the politicians know that we do hold the power and we do not like our elected (that we elected) ignoring our wishes. We might be a minority of 25% but by christ we make life intolerable for the 75% that don't enjoy the humble weed. Where-ever you see this sign smile to yourself and think 'I'm part of the biggest uprising this country's ever seen'.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Enterprisingly Punched !

Many is the time I wander through the internet on the hunt for interesting snippets about our pubcos. You know who they are, especially the big 2! They are the ones that complained to the government that by allowing some pubs to smoke it would create an unlevel playing field and that as they were the biggest two in the land they demanded a level playing field.
So, you see, we can thank Punch & Enterprise for the situation we have now with in excess of 6,000 venues closed and more going on a weekly basis!
What did they mean by a level playing field? Did they mean that they thought smoking pubs would thrive whilst those turning to food orientated pubs would suffer? If so, then by their own violition they know that smokers equals revenue.
Did they think that by creating a level playing field all pubs would then be equal? Surely not for landlocked pubs stood no chance of survival if smokers were cast outside. People do not want to walk past hoards of smokers on a street corner, or anywhere else for that matter, just because they can't smoke inside. likewise, smokers do not want to stand outside on cold, wet, miserable nights for a fag-hence they stayed at home and pubs suffered greatly!
Whatever their reasons for wanting a total ban, their reasoning has come back to haunt them, or to put it more succinctly:- bite them on the arse bigtime!
Punch & Enterprise both welcomed the total ban but are probably now ruing the day they made such a decision. Pub after pub closes through lack of business. Deals are being done with property developers as one great institution after another is reduced to rubble and then becomes a block of flats etc.
Share prices plummet and show no signs of recovery, dramatic or otherwise and the pubcos fight tooth and nail to stave of bankruptcy-for the interest repayments on borrowings are colossal.
Tenants are squeezed for every penny that can be wrought from them-and a good percentage of them cannot make a living anymore; but they are trapped in financial web of possible misrepresentations and contracts.
Which brings me nicely to the point of todays offering. My good friend Inez Ward has posted the following on her facebook page:-

Inez Ward Calling all Punch tenants, need your help please! Can you please email your current product price lists to Apparently Punch have said that prices have only risen by 1% and this may not be quite factually correct across the estate. It would appear that the Sun want to know the truth and that can only be a good thing

Now, knowing inez as I do, there is no way she would post such a request unless she was certain of her facts therefore I can only conclude that Punch Taverns are telling 'porkies' in order to keep face. Further to that thought, what have The Sun newspaper found out that warrants them to start snooping around? are they about to uncover another can of worms that the pubcos don't want opening/exposing? With Inez urging all tenants to contact The Sun I fully expect that a can of worms may well be opened and that Punch may well be in for a rough ride.
But do I care? Not a jot for a friend of mine invested a lot of money when taking his pub on 4 years ago: the business was valued at £120,000 at the time-which he happily ploughed in and Punch gobbled up. Last week his 'business' was valued at "you might get £80,000 if you're lucky"! So he's £40,000 out of pocket thanks to Punch wanting a total ban (level playing field), can't afford to sell the 'business' and can't really afford to stay open full time. What sort of situation is that? All his staff have been released to other possible employments and his wife is now the pitifully paid cleaner!
Watching another blog I read that enterprise are trying to sell pubs that are not fit for purpose! Apparently they are suffering from what is known in the trade as 'delaps'; ie, the property is so run down that it is classed as delapidated, yet they have already charged previous tenants for the required work-which still has not been done.
It would seem from all the above that there are dark and devious goings on behind closed pubco doors and I, for one, echo the call sounded by my friend Inez.
Expose these bastards for what they are and for what they have done to our Great british pubs!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Despair & desparation

Conversation with a disallusioned landlord:-

SS=is Simple Simon, LL is Landlord

SS...Hi John

LL...Hi Simon, how's it going?

SS...So so John. You've not got many in tonight (quick eye count totalled 4 forlorn looking souls)

LL...Better'n most night I can tell you (eyes rolled skyward)

SS...But this place used to be heaving at the weekends John!

LL...Yeah, 'used to be' being the operative words. Now it's like a f*****g morgue. I used to love it here but now I just can't seem to do anything to attract custom anymore.

SS...What happened to the live music every weekend John, jesus, it used to be packed out!

LL...Oh bugger that for a game of soldiers! They stopped coming here cos most of the drinkers were outside smoking or with the smokers! They said they weren't playing to the ten or twelve that stayed indoors-and anyway, I couldn't afford to put them on now so bands are a no no.

SS...Where did that 'dollybird' go, what was her name? karen was it? She was a cracker she was.

LL...Same place the other 5 went Simon - other jobs. Just me an' the missus here now kid, certainly can't afford to pay any bugger to work here so we do the cleaning as well (eyes rolled skyward again)

SS...Some turnaround John, I can't believe it's so quiet mate.

LL...That f*****g smoking ban has killed this pub and many others like it. just look at that poxy thing out there (he pointed through the window at the 'smoking shelter'which took up most of the tiny backyard) A 'Pig in a Poke' that f*****g thing is. £600 that cost me, and for what? Nobody uses it cos you don't get any protection from the weather - you might well stand on a f*****g mountain top with an umbrella as use that lump of shit!
Me dinner time crowd have all gone, you remember old Arthur, Len & 'the boys' don't you Simon? They stay at home now, don't even go down the club on a saturday night anymore! Jesus Christ, it used to be a crime if one of them missed the club out one week-sick certificate needed an all that (he briefly smiled at the thought).

SS...Has the smoking ban been that bad then John?

LL...Worse kid, you'll never understand what it's done to this country (now I smiled to myself), it's f****d it up good an proper kid. Just look at this (he nodded in the direction of his 4 customers, one of whom was readying to depart). What use is that to me to try and make a living from? This place pissed all over £12 grand a week until the ban came in, now me and the misses can't even earn a wage from it. Bet you didn't know we put it up on the market 18 months ago? yeah we did you know! Not one interested party in all that time and we've dropped the price by £40K-still nothing. Even the local football team avoid us on saturdays now as they can't have a fag in 'ere. What a joke.

SS... Most definitely does not sound good at all John, I offered.

LL...Good? it's all bad Simon i'm tellin' you kid. The punters have gone, the bands have gone, the bookings for upstairs have gone, the staff have gone. basically the business has gone! We've put too much into this place just to walk awsy so summat's gottan happen soon or we'll be joining the other 6,000 plus businesses f****d by Blair and his health lobby mates. I'd set fire to it but I won't cop for the insurance on the dump! Anyway with my luck the f*****g fire brigade would be just round the corner and would save the friggin' place!

SS...How's the other half then John? (thinking I'd lighten the gloom)

LL...F*****g terrible Simon, she's on anti depressants now kid, it's all been too much for her.We sunk thousands into this place to get it right, and got no chance of getting a penny back now; f*****g health twats! Smoke? Secondhand smoke? All bollox. Give me a pub full of smokers anyday!

I left John to his endless list of complaints and thought about the monster nights we'd enjoyed there before the ban came in. When you see pubs (and landlords) like this, it really does make you wonder what this country is doing to its people.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Jamrozicnon smoking related ?

Apparently, Konrad Jamrozic, arch enemy of 15 million British smokers and ex great friend of 14 of the SCOTH Committee has succumbed to a 'sarcoma' which brought about his demise yesterday. Aged only 54 he has left behind him many healthy, still breathing, unhappy smokers who have been smoking for as many years as he managed to exist. Quite ironic really!
Being the "scientist" who managed to manipulate statistics to such a level that the SCOTH Committee were so horrified we 'had to have' a total smoking ban, Jamrozic rose from relative obscurity to instant stardom in the eyes of the anti smoking brigade. Such was his elevation that 'his' study was considered far more important & conclusive than the top twenty studies in the world-including the WHO, Enstrom/Kabat and our own Health & Safety mob!
In fact, Jamrozic's cherry picked data (for his own statistical manipulation) was 'cherry picked' by the SCOTH Committee for their own people manipulation! Almost ironic that Labour no longer sit in power and Jamrozic no longer does anything!
Jamrozic died as he breathed:- anti tobacco and the illnesses it is reputed to cause. But there is a magnificent twist of fate to Jamrozic's demise.
Haveing googled 'Sarcoma@ I was enlightened by this page:- - and the first line clearly states "The cause of bone cancer is unknown". Aha! so smoking has not been attributed to Jamrozic's demise. It goes on to say, " but the tendency to develop it may be inherited." Aha! so we might be able to find the disease attributable to the mater & pater or even further back!
So, we have a great anti smoking zealot dying of a cancer that is not attributable to smoking-nor even SHS! Quite bizarre then that he should be the curse on our lives that ensured SHS be the cause of widespread business closures, countless bankruptcies, rocketting unemployment and the death of our internal economy!
I have no doubt that ASH et al will find a way to blame SHS for Jamrozic's demise but ask yourselves this. Would this man, in applying his 'scientific expertise', be seen anywhere near a wisp of smoke? or even a lighted candle? No. he would have spent the majority of his life in the most sterile of conditions, yet still succumbed to the BigC!
Jamrozic has proved, beyond reasonable doubt that we don't need to smoke to die of cancer-but isn't it strange just how many of us smokers are now outliving Jamrozic!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Bigotted Blogger

Well after yesterdays masterclass from Herr Brown on how to "win" voters over-especially when they are lifelong NuLiebour supporters-the gloves are off folks!
Here in the somewhat overcast Midlands I dread to think what he would have called my mate 'Pete' for what he would have said. In fact I can't see, no matter how polite he may have been, how he would have made the news with his views! Perhaps Gordon (the 'grinning jackernapes' doppelganger extraordinaire with the plastic smile now firmly pasted on the countenance, no matter what the circumstance!) would have been honest, for once, and simply told him to f**k off as in his world these things didn't happen!
Immigration is a sore point with many British born & breds for it is the european immigrants that are bringing this country to its financial knees (in part) due to the great disparity between monetary power in respective countries.
5 years ago my friend, a kitchen/bathroom fitter, could earn a decent wage without ripping people off in the process. He was happy with his lot, not too happy that he sometimes had a 3 week break between jobs but generally happy. Nor was he an exhorbitant pricer of jobs for the trade had already determined that it was £'x' per cupboard fitment, or £'x' per electrical socket moved/removed/created - whatever.
Well, work started drying up and he seemed to spend more time at home than not, more time in the pub than not (until July 1st that is!) and was generally now pissed off with 'his lot'
The household budget was cut month by month and paying for the normal things we come to expect was getting to be a real struggle as the months went by. Even the modest family holiday got the sack as finances did not allow such an illustrious pleasantry. He was worried, he was concerned for with a good few years of 'working life' left my friend was not a happy bunny at the prospect of more years of struggling to even get a job.
One fine day salvation came from the telephone. Mr Asraf phoned him-18 months after my friend (Pete)had been round to quote for his kitchen fitting in a reasonably large extension. "I am smelling gas all the time Mr Pete, please come to my house and help me?" Not unaturally 'Pete' was pissed off but intrigued at the same time thus agreed to go and see what Mr Asraf was moaning about.
To simplify matters here, the new gas cooker was situated on the opposite side to where it originally was due to the new extension, thus the proverbial 'mile away' from the inlet connwction.
It didn't take Pete long to ascertain the nature of the "I'm smelling gas Mr Pete" for, after removing 3 of the kitchen plinths he spotted the glorious sight of 23ft of green hosepipe connected, either end, by 'jubilee clips'. That was the gas supply to Mr Asraf's newwly refurbished kitchen! Class job folks. Class Job!
Pete dutifully told Mr Asraf what the problem was and pointed out that it was only a matter of time before the pipe perished and Boom-Boom, "new kitchen in sky-and probably half the extension as well!"
"Mr Pete, you are very good man, you fix for me-please?" Pleaded Mr Asraf.
"I certainly can Mr Asraf, but you are looking at about £'x' to do it properly in copper pipe and affixed to the walls correctly as 4 of your base units have to come out to get the bloody pipes in!"
The hands went up in horror at this idea, "oh no, non, no" he cried, "I pay these mens £500 to fit my kitchen, I not paying anymore-you do for me, please?"
After a bit more conversation Pete found out that 2 Kossovans had been touring the area, picking up jobs willy-nilly and charging £30 per day-no matter what the job was! To top it all Pete knew them and had actually used them as labourers (when they first got here) for a small extension build. As Pete had said at the time, "by God, they can dig!"
But now, after nearly 2 years of living here it seemed that their 'talents' had evolved somewhat and there was no end to their repertoire! They were both living in a small, cheapish hotel at the taxpayers expense, getting dole money and sending money home to their village in Kossova every single week-unbelievable. Pete decided to catch up with them for he knew that every saturday night they would enjoy a drink in the Polish Club near the hotel.
He told Mr Asraf that it was his own fault the gas pipes were of such a standard and that if he didn't want to pay proper money to have the proper job done it was up to him. Plinths replaced, tools in box-gone!
Forward to saturday night:-
"Hi Bissan, how's it going mate?"
"Ah, Mr Pete, you have job for me? yes?," replied the Kosso' as Pete smiled at them and accepted the frothing pint. During the next hour Pete found out that as his workload had decreased, theirs had, naturally, increased. Well, at £30 per day labour charge it would! Pete also found out that they were leaving "your very good and kind country" as they had now accrued enough money "to buy my village!"Between them, accepting all the benefits this country affords such people, they had managed to send almost £25,000 back to their homeland, live here for nothing for almost 2 years and live in state aided funded hotel to boot!
Pete had seen his mortgage rise & fall like a yoyo, struggle for work, forget about holidays and had almost contemplated 'signing on', so desperate were things becoming.
Who was the idiot here?
So Mr Brown, when your 66 year old pensioner cornered you like a rat on the immigration problem, why was she such a bigot? Why did you not heed the voice of the people-God knows you need to. You thought you had got the perfect model to make your disastrous walkabout/talkabout a massive PR success-except for the fact that you are so out of touch with reality you didn't even think your team needed to prompt the 'subject' with the correct answers to your questions! To top it all, you even managed to completely upset a lifelong NuLiebour stalwart! You are a walking disaster man, you are a thorn in your own side. You have killed your own election chances for good-and all because a little old lady brushed on the subject of immigration-whereas Pete would have torn you to shreds on the subject !
The problem here is that, are the other two 'head in the clouds' leaders of your ilk-or do they actually listen to the voice of the people? I somehow doubt it so just where will this country end up.
As for Mr Asraf, there was a flurry of action re fire engines and ambulances a few weeks ago in his part of town. Pete doesn't know for certain but when the local paper reported the event he had a wry , almost satisfied smile on his face.
The power of immigration people! Immigration!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Bookmakers & Smokers-Bad, Bad Day!

On the day the nation looks forward to with no little anticipation it seems as if the Gods have conspired against the two arch enemies of millions. Bookmakers? you either love 'em or hate 'em-that's the way of it.
When you lose to the 'old enemy' some (very few actually) treat the loss as 'just another day at the office', but many treat he loss as a personal affront to their pride, their skills as a 'winner picker', their pocket. This feeling of ill-will grows, slowly but surely as time marches ever onward. Anger and resentment grows against the dreaded 'bookie', who although probably just an average man/woman with limited means (no! not everyone is like Ladbrokes) trying to make a living each day, is the butt of all acrimony in the world of punters.However, today when all punters rejoiced. Today was the day when the bookie got severely spanked, hammered into the ground, mercilessly pounded by their thousands of clients, for Tony McCoy, champion jockey for the past, seemingly, ten decades finally won the Grand National on the 10/1 jt favourite "Don't Push It". Aptly named, the horse was tenderly eased into the race 6 fences from home and it was easy to see from there that Monsieur McCoy was about to ride the perfect race (barring a fall of course) an ease his way past the front running Black Apalachi-himelf very well fancied by the punting brigade. In fact, had Tony McCoy decided to "push it", Don't Push It would more than likely have thrown the towel in and refused to run on-much to the despair of his legion of followers.
The race could not have turned out much worse for our bookie friends as the 2nd & 3rd were 14/1 & 16/1 chances with the 4th being the other 10/1 jt favourite. A total disaster for the bookmakers nationwide. We are talking of £millions paid out on this one race alone-a bad, bad day for the bookies!

On another topic, probably somewhat nearer to our hearts, our intrepid colleague Dave Atherton has yet again been published in the British Medical Journal. In response to supposed medical, scientific expertise Dave has cast doubt upon the methods, results and conclusions of several of the findings. Indeed, dave has, to his credit, basically demolished the above and reduced it to nothing less than junk science. Be a smoker or not, looking at what these 'eminent professionals' have produced I am in full agreement for Dave has taken each argument apart systematically and simply destroyed the lot. 'The boy dun good'
The RCP report, quite obviously benefitting greatly from imput from ASH-or at the very least strong guidance-came under fire from Dave for as we all know, it is/was full of estimated deaths for this , that and the other. These physicians even blame smoking for middle ear infections. What next? ingrowing toenails? This whole anti smoking crusade is becoming more farcical by the day as more and more absurd claims spew from the mouths of the so called righteous ones.
However, despite Dave's brilliant destruction of these 'learned & wise people' it is the following response that inspired that same anger as punter to bookie illustrated above for a Mr Stephen Black (Management Consultant) of London responded with this absolute gem!
Quote:- I'm sorry to disappoint Dave Atherton, but he clearly doesn't understand the rules of argument when "just causes" such as the campaign against smoking are being debated.
The medical profession knows that smoking is very bad and it is therefore happy to use any means--no matter how illiberal or illogical--to reduce it. Since smoking is bad, passive smoking must also be bad. The scientific quality or credibility of studies about the effects of passive smoking are entirely irrelevant: only the propaganda value counts.
There are no public health brownie points in fighting for truth and high quality science.

Excuse me?

The truth is now out in the open smokers! in this world of supposed political correctness & transparency it seems the medical profession are exempt from both-and more. It seems that the medical profession have free range to print whatever they like in the name of 'worthy causes'! Smoker bashing with blatant lies, fabrications, manipulated statistics & total junk science seems to be eminently acceptable to members of this profession. no wonder Campix & Zyban were promoted with such alacrity before they were even properly tested, resulting in many bizarrely airborne humanoids!
Now that Mr Black has openly stated that any means are fair when combatting those dirty, smelly smokers is it not time for smokers to uite and fight back? If governments are reliant upon such fraudsters then what chance have the weighty population got in the coming months and does their number include our clinically obese Chief Medical Officer Sir (why and for what?) Liam Donaldson or is he automaticall exempt being 'one of them'?
Dick Puddlecote's excellent blog "Burn The Fat Bastard!" spells out the insensitivity afforded to others by these health freaks
£thousands of our money being wasted on a 40' high effigy of a rather tubby 'Bunteresque' boy being burned 'at the stake' for such heinous witchery as of eating a rather large quantity of burgers! Apparently Barnslet Council see this as 'fair game' in the war against the overweight brigade. never mind peoples feelings, never mind that this may cause stress and mental disorder among a section of our society it is fair game because the righteous have decreed it so.

So, smokers, I urge you all to write to your MP and copy in Mr Blacks obnoxious but truthful reply to our man Dave's protestations. Show your MP what is going on behind the scenes. Open HIS/HER eyes to the injustice that is occurring in this country. Spell it out as to just why this country is rapidly 'going to the dogd'. Ask them if they believe in human rights & dignity for all or if they are part of this 'great exempt' body of so called medical experts?
Be a Tony McCoy, don't push it, gently warm to the task and keep chipping away at them until they 'ease' past the front runner and have a clear view of the winning line.
Today was a bad, bad day for the bookies!
Today was a bad, bad day for smokers!
But at least we now know the truth-these overpaid zealots don't need to be of scientific knowledge they merely need to be on the side of the righteous!
But hang on here a minute, surely we are the righteous (?) for it is us that speak the truth to defend ourselves against the lies, fabrications, manipulated statistics & junk science used against us by the 'pretend to be' righteous!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Sublime to the Ridiculous

Nick Hogan update

Today we are greeted with the news that our imprisoned, but now happily freed licensee, Nick Hogan has been confronted with a knife weilding lunatic for simply obeying the law that put him in prison in the first place!
Apparently a customer (male) was highly upset at being ejected from The Swan With Two Necks, in Chorley, for smoking inside the pub. Correct procedure according to the law! The law does not actually state that a licensee should throw a smoker out in bodily fashion but it 'expects' the licensee to ensure that no smoking whatsoever takes place inside the designated area. (Hmmmmmmm!)
You can imagine the shock when this extremely agitated 'ex' customer returned at about 3am brandishing a large carving knife, obviously intent on venting his wrath at the previous indignity.
Blogosphere collected more than £9,000 in a mere 5 days to secure Nick's release from a totally wrongful imprisonment which just goes to show the strength of feeling amongst smokers & non smokers in this country of ours. ASH, on the other hand did not amass half that amount from public donations in an entire year! The true strength of feeling s about the smoke ban methinks!
When you remember that Nick Hogan was forced to sell both Bolton leases due to dismal takings since the smoking ban was enacted and went to prison because he allowed customers the right to choose-smoke or chew NRT gum, it is a ridiculous scenario whereby this government forced him into poverty, forced him into renovating his present pub into some gastro haunt with what monies he had left and then imprisoned him after bankrupting him through extortionate 'costs' incurred by the council in pursuit of their prosecution.
Had Nick called out the Environmental Health Officers to deal with this knife waving lunatic he would have been waiting all night (and probably all the next day) for they could not prosecute a licensee in this instance - only a smoker, which represents a £50 penalty. Chicken feed.
Also, it must be noted that these officious little Hitlers are not empowered to make an arrest, chuck bodies out of pubs - or anything else actually. They are simply overpaid, reptilious revenue collectors for HMG!
Now, a question arises here folks.
Had Nick HAD to confront this cretin and his carving knife and been injured, would the Victims of crime support agency have awarded him nearly £9,000 for upholding the law - far and beyond the call of duty? I don't think so.
The police are now searching for the nutter-good luck there then!Where were they when they were needed to perform their duty?
Yet again this idiotic law, at the behest of the likes of ASH, CRUK etc has proven to be totally unsafe, ludicrously implemented and yet another licensee could have been seriously injured. but the anti smoking lobby are rubbing their hands together in glee as their anti smoking strategies divide the people more and more, close more businesses and put more licensees in danger of severe physical harm.
The people need to start banding together to defeat these zealots before this country is totally ruined and all our freedoms have been obliterated. ARE the very basis of the people power that is needed. How many of you simply sit back and say, " I wish i could do something about it"? You can. Join with the nations leading PRO-CHOICE organisation and help to stop this destruction of our communities, our businesses, our freedoms & our human rights!

Link to story:-

Monday, 15 March 2010

Baiting the Brainwashed

Today I accompanied a friend to the Leicester Royal Infirmary as he was somewhat nervous. The department he needed was situated on the first floor, which was not good for escaping for a fag - until we discovered an open door leading to a delightful patio'd area with benches & tables etc.
Well, an hour into this inevitable time warp of waiting around saw us testing the door and escaping onto this patio. Fag tolips, ignition, sheer heaven! We watched as the breeze whipped the exhalations away from the building and over the car park until it disappeared form view. Our bit towards 'global warming' no doubt.
Half way through this most enjoyable exercise another door was suddenly flung open and a young, rather excited nurse appeared and the following exchage took place:-

N:- Put those cigarettes out immediately, this is a no smoking hospital.

Yours truly (YT):- Indeed it may be sweetheart, but you can see we are actually outside.

N:- That doesn't matter, it's against the law to smoke on hospital grounds.

YT:- Err, wrong babe. Check it out.

N:- I'm telling you it's against the law, the hospital don't allow it.

YT:- Ah, now you have defined things correctly babe, "the hospital trust don't allow it" is more like the 'law' you think you are talking about. (she stared to look less confident)

N:- You cannot smoke out here, look, the signs say so.

YT:- Indeed your delapidated, weather beaten signs indicate such but they only transfer the wishes of the hospital trust upon the people, they do not state the law of the land. We are outside babe, not inside - smoking is only forbidden inside enclosed spaces and from my reckoning we have one solid wall with a door in and then 3 open sides, a guard rail and no roof.

N:- But your smoke is entering the windows and the patients are having to 'smell' your smoke. (My friend looked at me a bit concerned here!)

YT:- Come with me I offered, and walked over to the balcony. There's our 'escape' door onto this beautiful patio, it's shut. There are 6 windows along the balcony and all 6 are shut. There are no vents open and worse still, the wind is taking the exhaled smoke away from the building and over the car park so I don't quite see how any of your gallant, but totally erroneous assertions are true! And what do we have we out here - 9 signs affixed to walls and balcony? Just imagine the valuable resources wasted by the NHS on them! They are irrelevant.

(She was certainly not happy with that!)

N:- I shall report you to the security people if you don't stop smoking.

YT:- Sweetness, I don't really care if you report me to the Illinois National Guard, they are not empowered to do anything about it - we are outside! Outside is outside, we are obeying the law. What the Hospital Trust decides 'it' wants as policy is another matter for that is NOT law, now be a good girl and go tend to your patients while I have the last two drags on my most delightfully stress relieving cigarette and then I'll put it out and place in relevant receptacle.

She was not a happy bunny but retreated nonetheless, muttering something or other to herself. We finished our fag and left not a trace of the heinous crime that had apparently just taken place.
Back inside we were greeted by my friends name being called out by a middle aged nurse. He announced himself with a wave of the hand and she smiled,"twice I've called you" she informed us, "been out for a fag have we? - it's amazing how many do!". The twinkle in her eye told us that experience of life was a great thing in reality. She knew the situation as opposed to our young 'eager beaver' nurse full of the indoctrinations of the anti smoking brigade. Ah well, she'll learn I suppose!

I think what this has taught me is the power of mass brainwashing. The hospital say so, therefore it must be. The hospital say you (staff) must stop smokers smoking on hospital grounds so you (staff) put yourself in a position of authority when espying a smoker. It occurs not, that these actions cause resentment (amusement in this case) and could result in another 'Dartford train' incident, balcony ejection or some other equally horrible event. It is the bigotted leading the blind into murky waters by not telling them the truth in the first place.
This can only lead to one conclusion - the anti tobacco brigade are simply immoral!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

More labour shite to come

Having taken a small interest in the way Labour face our so called alcohol problem, I was directed to a debate on 10th March in the House. Quite interesting actually, when you actually comprehend what they are babbling about in such pompous tones-US!
We have someone called Stoate blathering on about a committee report stating that alcohol causes 40,000 deaths per year and something needs to be done-now!
Hang on a minute, last year we were saving 40,000 lives per annum thanks to the smoke ban! Popular figure then, this 40 grand!
Up steps Mr Philip Davies MP (Shipley, Cons) and wades in like a good'un. Bless him, he's already had a bollocking for joining the debate late but says he's watched on the monitor-fair play to him for that. he states:-
"The report is certainly a useful contribution to the debate on addiction-not, unfortunately, on addiction to alcohol, but on this Government's and the Health Committee's addiction to the nanny state. They have already helped to dismantle the pub and club industry with their smoking ban. Pubs are closing at the rate of 50 a week-many because of the ban on smoking in public places-and the same fate is being felt by many clubs, such as working men's clubs. It seems that the Health Committee, not satisfied with dismantling the pub and club industry, now wishes to direct its fire in other areas, such as at cinemas and commercial broadcasters, to try to close down those industries. Many sports will also be adversely affected if its recommendations are introduced."
My new hero in a suit!
He is absolutely right of course. Labours new strategy is to destroy anything that may cost the NHS more than 1 shilling and 6pence per person so alcohol comes very high on the list. he further says:-
"All that would not be so bad if I thought that, in the end, if after all the Committee's recommendations were introduced, its members would say that they were satisfied. The problem, however, as with all these matters, is that the report panders to the zealots in society who are never satisfied. I guarantee that if all the recommendations were introduced, Committee members would, within a few months at most, come back with further recommendations because the previous ones had not gone far enough. This lobby is impossible to satisfy."
This lobby is impossible to satisfy
Well, of course, our new hero is absolutely spot on because it appears that the health lobby are never satisfied; in fact they never will be!
He further goes onto 'happyslap' his opponents with:-
"The problem with the political classes generally, particularly in this House, is that when they are faced with a problem-there is no doubt that there is a problem with excessive drinking of alcohol-the solution that they propose has to be constituted of two particular themes. The first ingredient in any solution that politicians propose is that it must show that they are doing something; they have to be seen to be doing something. The second ingredient, which we always see, is that the proposal must not offend anyone and must be superficially popular. Once again, that approach applies to many of the recommendations, most of which would not make a blind bit of difference to excessive or under-age alcohol consumption.
I was particularly struck by the speech of Pete Wishart, who made the best speech that I have ever heard in support of a Scottish Parliament. I have never been particularly in favour of it in the past, but now that I have heard that there are so many sensible people in the Scottish Parliament who oppose his zealous drive for minimum pricing, I think that is a strong argument for it. Perhaps if the Scottish Parliament were closed down, however, we could have some of those people down here and then we might have a more sensible debate."

I am truly beginning to admire this Shipley Stoker of fires.

James McGovern (Dundee West, Labour)decides to weigh in:-

"The hon. Gentleman mentioned the nanny state earlier, but Scotland is becoming something of a dictatorial state. Is he aware that the Scottish Executive are now saying that cigarettes cannot be advertised or put on the counter and even that sweets cannot be put on the counter because they might damage children's teeth? How much of a nanny state, or a dictatorial state, is that?"

Aha! so the state is protecting teeth as well now-OMG, where will this lunacy end?

Our man Philip Davies retorts with:-
"I agree with the hon. Gentleman. My problem is that those are the sort of measures that his Government are keen to introduce as well. We appear to have a Dutch auction between the Scottish Executive and the Westminster Government as to who can introduce the biggest nanny state of all. I am afraid that both are going in completely the wrong direction. I agree with the sentiment behind his point, but I do not think that his Government are any less guilty than the Scottish Executive."

Correct - the biggest nanny state of all - what a pathetic title to 'win'!

Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour) decides to put the government side forward with this gem:-

"It is clear that the hon. Gentleman and I come from polar opposite positions, but he is making the classic freedom speech. He is saying that we have the freedom to do what we want, without intervention from the state."

So we can take it from Mr Hopkins that labour ARE against freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of actions, freedom of enjoyment, freedom of expression, freedom of thinking for ourselves, freedom from.....everything!

I can see another SCOTH Committee being formed only this one will be called SCAIH (Select Committee on Alcohol Injury & Health). We already know by the SCOTH committee shambles of mistruth that SCAIH will present a case where drinking alcohol will be considered more dangerous than necking arsenic!
The minimum pricing structure is already being considered, this debate proves that much. What bothers me is that these numpties in parliament can only see that increasing unit price will affect the millions of low paid workers who simply enjoy a drink. It will not affect the hardened 'Diamond White' substitute crap who will simply pay the extra to get pissed as newts. Yet again, the health Lobby have a one track mind, but with alcohol they dare not ban it-could you imagine the uproar? So, what will happen is simple folks. The Health Lobby will make all the representations they can possibly make, they will spend £millions on public awareness adverts etc and will force more businesses out......of business!
It seems that the cost in benefits to this government matter not one iota compared to the wishes of the Health Lobby. Our new friend, Philip Davies has already pointed out the obvious to the House but it seems opposition is rife to his ideas.
I mentioned freedom of choice earlier. When election time comes, please don't hesitate, exercise your freedom of choice and vote this shower of lillylivered shite out of power. If you don't, the Health Lobby will be running the unhappyest country in the western world!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Deb's Mantra

Immediately after the "No Smoking Day" which saw Nick Hogan released from his disgracefully manipulated prison sentence by a government that engineered his bankruptcy I bring you Deborah Arnott's mantra for the coming years!

Entitled ASH: The Third Sector's Vital Role, it lays out the dream of the anti tobacco zealots to rid this country of what is a perfectly legal past-time: smoking! I'll begin with this bit:

"Our information function is to change the climate of understanding, opinion and awareness about the ‘tobacco epidemic’ through effective use of the evidence base."

Tobacco epidemic? What epidemic is that then, Debs? Since the 1960s, smoker prevalence has declined by the decade! The 1950s and 1960s may have been an epidemic but 2010 sees a mere 23-25% of the population as smokers.

"There are concerns that tobacco control has slipped down the public health agenda now that advertising is banned andsmokefree legislation implemented throughout the UK."

Do you have any idea why, Debs? Perhaps the colossal cost to this country of interfering with people's human rights may have something to do with it? Perhaps the rapidly swelling dole queues from the hospitality sector may have something to do with it? perhaps the number of empty pubs & clubs now boarded up may be causing concern to government for boarded up businesses bring in no revenue.

In September’s David Hunter, Chair of the UKPHA, looked forward to 2027 when “smoking will be well on the way out and will have become ‘denormalised’ as a legitimate socialactivity”. There are many other issues crowding to the top of the public health agenda – alcohol, obesity, sexual health – and allrequire urgent action."..... "Pardon me? What was that?

Dear David, thanks to your (in part) ill advised total ban, smoking is very much NOT well on the way out. In fact, the people have been so disgusted at your so called denormalisation programme that tobacco sales are up, smoker prevalence is up and many councils now invest their pension funds in tobacco shares!
As for your other issues 'crowding to the top of the public health agenda' we all know that you (the government & health lobby) are trying to save the NHS expenditure by 'denormalising these activities' as well. But, don't YOU understand that all the tobacco tax raked in pays for smoker related treatments, alcohol related treatments and even our weighty friends' treatments? Plus a few quid left over to have an 'anti-tobacco party' with! Perhaps, being associated with the medical profession you should see an NHS 'shrink' and get your thinking straightened out David for you must understand that people retalliate to bully state tactics.

"Despite the squeeze on public health budgets it’s still important that smoking retains its fair share of funding and we mustn’t end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. For if smoking continues to decline at the current rate of 0.4% a year it will be a long time after 2027 before smoking will become ‘denormalised’. At current rates of decline some 16% of the population, nearly 7 million adults, will still be smoking in 2027."

Debs, when are you and others like you going to realise that smoking is an individual's freedom of choice? When are you going to realise that people are basically born to be smokers or not, as the case may be? When are you going to realise that you will never eradicate smoking at all? If you did actually do this, just think how much the extra 30p-35p on your income tax is going to hurt you in order for government to balance the books from the lost TT revenue! Quite ironic really Debs, you get paid for wiping smokers off the face of England and then pay the government back in tax – what a hoot!

"However, the Stop Smoking Services can only realistically make a modest contribution to the reductions in smoking prevalence and health inequalities and this is not, and cannot be, the prime reason for their existence. Professor Robert West has calculated that the DH target of 800,000 four-week quitters over three years represented at most 160,000 long-term ex-smokers who would not otherwise have given up smoking during that time frame. This represents a prevalence reduction of only 0.1% a year."

So government is spending all this money to reduce 'smokers' by 0.1% per annum-well just how much per smoker does that equate to Debs? And the latest announcement from your pal Burnham has gone up in smoke too, for he wants the smoking population reduced to 10% well before 2027! Oh dear me, what has gone wrong, have the smokers had the audacity to retalliate by smoking more?

"In order to make major inroads into smoking prevalence the whole range of tobacco control measures need to be fully implemented, not just NHS Stop Smoking clinics. As set out by the Department of Health there are six strands including: helping smokers to give up; second-hand smoke (and now the legislation is in place the priority must be protecting people in private places such as cars and the home); education and media; reducing tobacco promotion; labelling and regulation (including under-age sales, smokefree legislation and the ad ban); and taxation and smuggling."

Now we are getting to the dastardly plans that are being hatched-despite protestations to the contrary from certain overpaid anti tobacco zealots.
Helping smokers give up...OK then, that would be by NRT products that have a 98.4 FAILURE rate, I assume?
Second hand smoke (SHS) has never been proven to have killed a single person yet – unless of course you have the death certificate Debs!
Education and the media: well,, government has spent an absolute fortune on the media yet it has made no difference to smoker prevalence except to increase it! I would have preferred my kids to have learned their "times tables" rather than how many carcinogens might be in a cigarette-a lot more useful in future years methinks!
(reducing tobacco promotion; labelling and regulation (including under-age sales, smokefree legislation and the ad ban); that's it Debs, you go fo the jugular! Don't dare let pretty packets be seen, tell everyone that the horrible pictures tell them what smoking does to them-excepting why is it that 49% of lung transplants actually came from smokers? get 'fags' under the counter so that small shopkeepers find making a living becoming a struggle-let's start closing them down along with the pubs shall we?
and taxation and smuggling..of course, the easiest way to stop people smoking-added tax on tobacco products-as if extra tax ever stopped any smoker enjoying smoking. However Debs, the added tax would certainly help out the government funding you receive on a yearly basis so I suppose that this is really a self supporting strategy!
Smuggling... Now this is hilarious Debs, it really is! Do you not see that by bleating on about raising the tax to frighten smokers off with another 10p-15p per pack is actually leading us into buying more smuggled tobacco products? Do you actually think that the 'great unwashed' (admittedly not as erudite as your eminent self) are going to care whether a packet of fags is £5 or £6 when they can buy the same for half the price abroad? Check out S. Ireland wher the government is now screaming from the rafters that they have considered 'they' are losing out on £1m per week in tobacco tax. Wow Debs...£52m per annum not going into government coffers-some damage that is girl! Well done, you've really helped out a small countries economy there then! I know what your simplistic answer will be Debs, employ more Customs Officers. Yeah, why not put more strain on our rapidly shrinking resources Debs. Most of Europe is taking note of the financial disaster smoke bans cause whereas you seem to be oblivious to the obvious.
(and now the legislation is in place the priority must be protecting people in private places such as cars and the home) Ah! now we are getting to it Debs. So you do want to invade our property rights after all. Why?. What has our private home got to do with you, ASH or anybody else? We buy these places to live in live in them as we wish to do so. It is certainly not for any overpaid lackey of the health lobby to intrude upon our home & lifestyles. An Englishman's home is his castle Debs, remember that. start invading man's private property and you may well start a revolution-could you handle that I ask?

Cars come under the same banner as homes. I brought my car to enjoy, to drive about where and when I wished. I also brought it as it had an ashtray in it - as smoking helps me concentrate. I also brought the beast to transport my tools to work opportunities so if you decide to bend government into legislating in such a manner I shall be forced to sell said car and retire to the dole queues-along with 120,000 ex hospitality workers! Can you see what your zealotry is doing yet Debs?

"This December all local authorities are consulting on new LAA outcomes frameworks, so now is the critical time. We need your help. The clock is ticking."

What these 'new LAA outcomes frameworks' may consist of is anyone's guess but I would imagine it will be to the detriment of a minority factio; ie, smokers. Where you have hit the nail on the head is "The clock is ticking." It truly is Debs, for your charitable organisation (though uncharitable to your fellow man) organisation is working diligently to bankrupt this country-and is succeeding nicely! No tobacco revenue coming in, income tax raised, social outlets closed by the scores weekly, income to government from such businesses diminishing weekly, dole queues lengthening-oh yes Debs, you are leading England into financial oblivion my girl. i see a true Dickensian case of the MicCawbers coming on here Debs-and all through your diligence and lack of foresight for you are blinded by the need for power over others (smokers) and the ability to maintain your yearly vastly inflated, income. and you enjoy getting paid for making the lives of others miserable. Obviously, being a most charitable uncharitable soul at heart, you cannot live and let live, which is what the bible supposedly teaches us!

Just to cheer you up after this tale of woe Debs I will finish on a note of despair for you. The "Justice for Nick Hogan" appeal in blogosphere raised more money in 5 days than ASH received in public donation for the entire year. Wouldn't that tend to make you feel a little insecure re your continuing employment of removing peoples human rights one by one?


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Greg Mulholland-No Thanks!

In the wake of Andy Burnham's last ditch proposals to kill off smokers, pubs and entertainment we find an absolute gem printed in the Oldham Evening Chronicle from Mr Greg Mulholland, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group. I quote:- "Just when pubs have got to grips with the smoking ban and have found ways to cater for non-smokers and smokers alike, this nanny state New Labour Government wants to ban something else".

Excuse me!

"Just when pubs have got to grips with the smoking ban...."
So pubs have now got to grips with the smoking ban have they? And since when was that then? I don't know of any pubs in my area that would now refuse the option of choice if it were offered as they are all suffering horrendously from the ravages of the smoke ban. Even pubs that now cater for OAP cheapo meals at dinner time would now snap up such an offer as they have found that cold weather puts off OAP's fancying a £3.50 dinner time food binge! Snow, rain and/or cold is plenty enough to keep them at home!
He goes on to state, "This really is quite ludicrous as well as draconian and will cause more damage to pubs that are already hard hit in the current climate".

Excuse me!

Greg, just for information purposes, the Draconian bit came in on July 1st, 2007. It was called a blanket ban, for this was the day that the death knell for thousands of pubs was signed by your fellow MPs riding on the back of the most dubious SCOTH committee report-you know the one Greg, it was THAT report set up by a government to ignore 83% of world studies into SHS, possible harm & mortality so as to base this Draconian ban something. It's all the Dept of Health bleat on about when stating the reasons for the ban-and it is utter crap!
Further stating:- “It is as if members of the Government wake up and think ‘What can I do to damage the pub trade today?"

Excuse me!

No Greg, as stated above, that happened on July 1st, 2007 or rather Feb 14th, 2007 when the muppet brigade actually voted on the proposal without knowing the truth of the SCOTH Committee report. The sheep merely followed the head bleater into the 'ayes' dept, thus the dye was cast for 12 million soon to be leperised citizens of this country.
To cap it all:- “It is high time Ministers woke up to the positive role that pubs play in communities and as a controlled, sociable drinking environment are actually an important part of the solution to problem drinking, rather than treating people as naughty children and trying to ban everything.”

Excuse me!

Why was this not stated prior to the 'free vote' exercise then perhaps we might have had the option of choice-yes CHOICE Greg! In a democratic society, which we once were, choice would have been offered to all parties. Smoking rooms, non smoking rooms, licencees able to make decisions for themselves and consumers able to go where they felt most comfortable. So simple to enact. Instead we have the ludicrous situation where, having allowed the puritans to get a major foothold people like Mr Mulholland are now fighting to preserve what little dignity smokers and licensees have left! Stable-horse-bolted spring to mind.
I've added the link to this article :-

You really do need to check out one of the 'comments' as it just shows how avaricious (and basically how thick some people are) when it comes to smoking areas.
I quote:- "I agree entirely that there should be a smoking ban in beer gardens. Last summer while dining outside at various pubs in the area it was a pain as everyone who smokes were also sat outside next to family's eating food.Bring it on the sooner the better!" (Courtesy of 'Saddleworth')
This poor misguided fool must live on another planet! Why does he/she think the smokers were outside enjoying a fag with their pint? Surely he/she should have been inside savouring the atmosphere of all that had become his/hers since July 1st, 2007. Surely this creature of contempt must realise that to sit outside was to invade the only area left open to smokers or does this person seriously consider that the ban applies to a 50 sq metre area around where ever it chooses to sit?

There are some seriously sad people on this earth and this smoking ban has brought them to the fore in no uncertain terms. I remember a similar scenario occurring last summer (well, on one of the four warm days we enjoyed at any rate). The young barmaid/waitress served our meals outside but the two 'ladies on the next table complained about people smoking on the patio'd area. The barmaid politely pointed out that if they didn't like it they could sit inside and she would happily serve them there. The two 'ladies' rounded on her in no uncertain terms and reported her to the management for insolence! Happily, on this occasion, the manager backed up the barmaid/waitress completely, only to be told "you can be sure we will never eat here again!"
Such is the single mindedness of some folk.

But back to our 'champion' of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group I have to ask the question, "what is the point of fighting for our outdoor spaces when you haven't got the balls to fight for any indoor rights Greg?" The battleground is not beer gardens Greg, the battleground is sectioning pubs so as to allow smokers and non smokers inside where it is warm, cosy, protected from the elements on a cold winters day. It is only by doing this that you will get the punters back in pubs on a regular basis. SHS has never killed anyone (unless you know better Greg) but smoke bans kill businesses.

I wonder if you value your seat at all with the General Election looming for if I was in your constituency it would be "Greg Mulholland?-No Thanks". My vote would go elsewhere!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Figures don't Lie - Zealots do!

In the 30 months since the most Draconian law ever was implemented in this country at the behest of the likes of ASH, the WHO & Big Pharma (who have reaped rich dividends from it) we have seen nothing but misery heaped upon the people of this once great country. I say 'once great' because that entitlement has now vanished into obscurity along with our freedoms!
The smoking ban in it's idea stage was a fair enough notion to divide smokers from objecting non smokers-though there wern't many of them until the smoke ban fever set in. But, when deliberating the implementation of the smoking ban not a thought was given to businesses, nor the smokers themselves.
Why were smokers suddenly leperised, thrown out onto the streets, cast from our hospitality sector en masse? Simple really. It is because the mass hysteria whipped up by years of carefully thought out propaganda had done its job...people now believed that SHS was more deadly than sarin gas! This has never been proven to be-and never will be.
This law suddenly created a massive divide among the people as smokers found themselves publicly ridiculed, abused, injured, even killed because of their chosen past-time. Non smokers now feel they have the right to castigate any smoker coming within 10ft of them-why? they cannot be 'infected' by SHS, it has been proven too many times to be harmless-unlike everyday vehicular toxicity-now there's a problem for governments to tackle!
Yes the smoke ban has created 'clean air' pubs & clubs-but at what cost?
More than 3,500 pubs have closed forever, including 37 unnecessary bankruptcies, 32 evicted homeless couples, 100,000 unemployed and, of course the not insignificant matter of 4 suicides by former business people unable to cope with enforced closures caused by this law. Some law!
The WMCIU, whom we strongly represent in all matters smoking, are now in dire straits as losses in bar takings are approximately £13.1m per annum. Gaming machine takings are well below that of 30 months ago & Bingo sales have fallen off the 'Richter Scale'! Clubs have resorted to 'line dancing' nights and 'Sunday market' type events to try and stave of the inevitable closures. The whole thing has got out of hand.
However, common sense is now prevailing as this ban slowly but steadily slaughters our economic structure. people do not go out to the pubs/clubs as much as they used to (nothing to do with recessions by the way-the 70's recession saw pub/club trade peak) because of the smoke ban therefore money in circulation is considerably lessened. The money that is spent on booze is finding its way to the likes of ASDA, Sainsbury'e, Morrisons etc. The first named is simply making WALMART 9American owned) richer by the can!

The WMCIU survey returned a resounding 98% in favour of CHOICE, ie, a smoking room set aside for their customers. Common sense prevailes. As Pub & Club Liaison Officer for I am appalled that the exemption for private clubs (Labour Manifesto pledge) was dismissed from mind. These clubs all have facilities to separate the two factions, why should they suffer so much hardship when the answers were already there? The primary reason of 'protecting the staff' has long since been exposed as a complete sham as most of the staff smoke themselves or are not bothered in the slightest about smokers; and the "no smoking at the bar" rule obviated any concerns they may have had.
Now we find an even wider survey that totally backs up the WMCIU survey as the Conservative Home Blog asked the question:-
"Should private clubs be allowed smoking rooms?"

A resounding YES from 73% of the respondents

Now this is not a survey for one institutuion to complete, this is a survey open to all people of this country, this is a Conservative website survey. This survey totally backs up the truth that CHOICE should have been afforded-and not only to private members clubs!

How many licensees run a one room pub?
How many licensees (if they do run the above) would be able to drop a simple 'stud wall' in and provide a connecting door?
How many licensees would welcome the chance to save their floundering businesses?

There should always have been choice for no choice was discriminatory from the outset. licensees who despised smokers could easily have put uop signs stating "This is a no smoking Establishment" and then watched as profits fell away. Those who erred on the side of caution could have easily signified "smoking & non smoking" areas within their establishment and those who know their traded too well could have simply had a sign stating "This is a smoker friendly Establishment".

What this devious government didn't tell the licensees was that 68% of regular drinkers are actually smokers! They live a more carefree lifestyle than non smokers, therefore by removing 68% of their business core what did they expect to happen? Or, were they too full of pomposity at the 'single biggest revolutionary step in health care' to even bother about that? Flint, Hewitt, Johnson all banged the drum that they had no evidence of harm to businesses but where did they actually look? Patagonia perchance? Not S Ireland or Scotland that's for sure!
30 months into the worst law ever implemented and we are in dire financial straits. people are not spending because they haven't got it to spend, they are not spending it on drinking & socialising simply because they are no longer an integral part of our social structure-they are social lepers.
Allow CHOICE and you will soon see pubs with customers in again, not pubs turned into family meal bars at pathetically reduced rates trying to turn round diners/tables at as fast a rate as possible. Me? I like 5/6 pints when I go out but can only eat one meal-with a glass of water thank you!
It is obvious that this law is wrong.
It is obvious that this law is unnecessarily killing businesses.
It is obvious that it is not saving lives as stress related heart attacks are rising due to unemployments caused.
The Conservatives will form the next government so let's ensure that 'home problems' are sorted out before we yet again try and set the world to rights!
Freedom of choice for all people-a basic human right
and figures don't lie!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

When will sanity prevail?

Written to Ewan Turney (MA) on the back of the MA snapshot survey of Pubs & Christmas-just thought I would share this with you all.

Dear Ewan
I write to you on the back of your excellent 'snapshot' survey of the festive pub situation and find myself drawn to this line..."Despite the tough outlook for the year, 66% expect to be at their pub next year.""66% expect to be at their pub next year"...which basically means that 34% do not expect to be at their pub next year! A damning indictment of what the smokeban has created-a loss of hope.

The people of this country must realise that for whatever so called 'health reasons' the smokeban was introduced, it is nothing more than a social engineering exercise. There is no concrete proof that passive smoking kills just as there is no evidence that this spiteful, restrictive and socially destructive law is saving the purported 40,000 lives per annum! Name one of either group I say.

My local pub, a happy community pub (was) welcomed the smokeban as they were sucked in by all the spin & hype surrounding the 'new clean air customers' waiting to invade. They (licensees) had shares in Punch (it is not a Punch pub by the way) which I fervently pleaded with them to sell pre ban. They are still awaiting the arrival of the 'clean air hoardes' and have seen their prized 'pension fund' drop from £12.68 per share (approximately) to a ridiculous 00.75p in the space of 30 months.

Disallusioned? Yes!
Disheartened? Absolutely!

I popped in on Monday night (4th Jan) at 8.45pm to find a brace of geriatrics donning hats, scarves & thick winter coats before trudging out to their car. On the table they left behind them 2 empty half pint glasses-the single staff member had already been sent home; shift curtailed due to inactivity. I endured the splendid solitude of this once thriving community pub for 35 minutes before my friend came in to claim his nightly pint. We retired outside to the best smoking shelter in the area. The Brewery provided such but promptly added more monies to the monthly rent! Two other friends turned up within minutes, both non smokers I might add but they enjoy the company, and we spent the next 2 hours alternating between interior solitude and exterior pleasures; ie having a cigarette!

30 months ago there would have easily been 40 people in my local at this time of year but you see this government, using the simple 'divide & rule' tactic, ensured that the majority of those 40 would troop off to the supermarket and simply enjoy 'house parties'-where they could smoke to their hearts content.The licensee has had a change of heart and asked me "how the campaign was going?" I told him that was fighting vigorously to have the ban reformed but without the support of himself and thousands of licensees it was an uphill struggle. A simple truth.

He now agrees that he would happily entertain smokers for he has witnessed, at first hand, the devastation of this ban.How many other licensees would now be of similar mind?He did make the point that non smokers had a right not to be in a smokey environment-and fair play to that- but I quickly pointed out that he has two rooms and both with bar facilities in! How simple was the solution to his problem? That problem being the dearth of regular customers!

Ewan, you know as well as I do that many moons ago we had such a thing as a "SNUG" where smokers happily enjoyed both smoke & beer. Neither complained about the other, never was a hatred by one of the other spawned, and never was there violence created by one against the other, yet in this day and age one single badly executed law has created a hatred and intolerance between the factions. It has set man against man. It has caused colossal losses to industry. It has caused more bankruptcies than enough. it has rendered many couples homeless as a result of closure and it has caused 4 suicides for unfortunates that could see no way out of their desperation & misery.

Add to that approximately 100,000 job losses within the hospitality sector and you begin to see that all that maybe glittered was certainly never gold!

As we approach the 'death knell' period for many pubs & clubs (Jan-April), just how many would happily invite smokers back through the doors? Just how many could, with simple alterations & ventilation, cater for smokers & non smokers alike. How many thousands of businesses would this save from annihilation?

We had to listen to the Pubco's 'sucking up' to Government spin-we had no choice as the clean air fantasia drum was furiously beaten. How the likes of Mr Thorley & Mr Tuppen thought pubs would profit from such a move is totally beyond me-and many others-for 68% of regular drinkers have always been smokers! They are a different breed to non smokers in the main, they don't seem to worry about every last penny (unlike thousands of licensees these days!) and were always happy to lean against the bar with a pint.

Having 'leperised' 68% of their customer base pubs/clubs are now finding that approximately 20% of smokers non smoking friends have also deserted, preferring to enjoy house parties with their smoking friends. So just where do the new clean air pubs fit into all this?

"During these difficult times....." Food orientated! So now we have pub after pub portraying fantastic food offers. Good for them I say, but, when all pubs have resorted to food they are going to suffer the same fate as there will be too many food outlets to cater for the small minority that can actually afford to eat out on a daily basis! And most of them will not venture out in arctic conditions.

There has to be choice, there is no other answer, for without choice it is just a question of how many more pubs will close this year, just a question of how many more ex employees join the dole queues, and just a question of how many more commit the ultimate sacrifice: suicide through stress.

The WMCIU have thrown their support behind f2c, for they know that CHOICE is the only answer to survival. Freedom2choose are there for all the hospitality sector but are the licensees prepared to possibly irritate their Pubco masters in order to save their livelyhoods?

If 34% feel they won't be here in 12 months time just what have they got to lose?Phil Johnson,
Pub & Club Liaison Officer,
T: 0116 2997760
M: 07773 926818