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".
"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".
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?"
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.”
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 :- http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/36464/beer-garden-smoking-ban-draconian
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!