Thursday, 21 March 2013

Budgets, Boredom & B****x

Smoking bans kill businesses - fact!

     Congratulations to George Osborne for seemingly appeasing the people with this latest attempt at juggling the figures but yet again we are left in a great big stinking financial hole called debt! The Sun today trumpets yesterday as a 'Hangover Budget' as Osborne scraps the beer tax exscalator and also reduces the price of a pint by a penny so as to appease drinkers (funnily enough the Morning Advertiser trumpeted similarly!)- we will return to this later.

     Osborne also  handed out a £100-a-year income tax cut by raising the personal threshold to £10,000 a year by April 2014 — 12 months earlier than the Coalition initially promised. The “historic” action helped 24.5 million people and takes the 2.7 million lowest-paid workers out of income tax.Wowee!
But, yesterday’s blueprint will leave the 'average man in the street' — a single person in full-time work on £19,000 a year — around £75 a year better off. (is the 'average person' on £19,000 per annum then? I'm afraid that I know an awful lot of nurses etc that would simply love to be on £19K per annum!)                
     However, official statistics show real wages will be 2.4 per cent lower in 2015 than in 2011 — the equivalent of £630-a-year less for the average Brit. Debt to rise to £1,64tr, more austerity & at least another 5 years of financial misery. Cleggs starting point was to cut the subsidies for MPs boozing! The man is unbelievably astute when it comes to cutting back and saving money, after all it is public expenditure (our money) he is saving!  Oh, and 'International Aid' (which we may need soon) has been ring-fenced, so no matter how poor we become we can still give money to the likes of Pakistan if it rains or Rwanda if they fancy a war etc! Bloody ridiculous state of affairs. So was it a joyous budget or simply another "BBB" budget?
     Let's kick off with the beer escalator which has been claimed as a success by the Sun, the Morning Advertiser and a few others but I tend to heap praise where praise is due, and that is on the 'quiet' lady of Cornwall who has bludgeoned MPs, from any political party, into listening to her cries to save her beloved but dying pub industry. Importantly she has gained the ear of Greg Mulholland MP, probably the only sane ilLib unDem in parliament,  who has considerably 'upped his game' in affecting the removal of the beer escalator. I talk of course about Inez Ward, my very good friend and founder of Justice for Licensees, who lost her own pub courtesy of dubious dealings by Enterprise Inns who, with Punch Taverns, agreed to this ridiculous total smoking ban that has crippled the industry. 
You love your pub and want to keep it trading(?) then contact Inez at            +44 7816 899 742 or e-mail Inez  on
     Now although the shock waves rippling throughout the industry may at last be settling somewhat, let's look at the reality of this situation. The escalator has gone, beer to be cheapened slightly but to whom is that 1p per pint going to make any difference? This is the first sign that government has finally realised that the pub industry has been severely damaged by law-a poorly implemented law at that! Last year we find that beer sales had dropped by another 1.5m pints per day and that beer sales had decreased in each of the past 5 years too! We can easily see that our 'beloved and most generous' Chancellor isn't exactly giving much away when demand is already dropping through the floor at an alarming rate of knots. Perhaps, misguidedly, this is his own "pubs rescue package" - poor deluded fellow.
     We have lost 12,000 pubs & clubs since that terrible day, July 1st, 2007 and more will follow - CAMRA declare that eighteen per day are still closing which is proof enough that 1p per pint less is not going to make a ha'porth of difference to an industry smashed to pieces by the most absurd piece of legislation since the "Clockmakers tax" of the 1790's. 
     If another eighteen close this week and another eighteen next week, that'll be thirty six boozers gone, approximately 300 more people on the dole and claiming every benefit possible - and remember the figures (?), every 10,000 unemployed cost this government £1.53m per WEEK in Jobseekers Allowance; hilarious really when you think about the 2.49million already unemployed! Even more hilarious when you contemplate the soon to be arrival of 'x,000' amounts of Bulgarians & Romanians.
     Naturally, CAMRA will hail this small and basically useless victory as a landmark moment in getting our pubs back on their feet, but it is no such thing in reality. It has proven to be a Pyrric victory of some magnitude as thousands of pubs have needlessly closed since the escalator was introduced-and they have mainly been courtesy of the smoking ban.
     I am watching closely for the millions of drinkers to suddenly start returning to the beleagured pubs, but I'm not holding my breath while I wait! I'll die in the process. They claim that public health has improved in the past five years-but they can't prove it. Even more amazingly it now transpires that the Alliance for Human Research Protection has published findings which prove how corruptly this law was forced into being, as:
"100 Amgen scientists were astonished to find that they were able to replicate the results of only 6 of 53 widely cited landmark cancer research papers."  
Wow! Six out of 53 studies..... let it sink in..... a mere SIX out of FIFTY THREE studies can be replicated yet we have a smoking ban that is costing this country an absolute fortune (that we cannot afford at all) and will continue costing as long as the ban continues.      
     Hang your heads in shame ASH-pointless statement actually as such organisations have no shame whatsoever! And if we continue losing pubs at the rate of eighteen per week we will lose 936 per annum - so in about 55 years time we should be virtually publess & clubless. What a joy that will be folks! Our social outlets gone forever, consigned to the dustbins of history and all down to a bunch of lying, scheming, coniving people who dcided they didn't like tobacco..... and worse still, decided that no one else should exercise their freedom of choice and possibly enjoy such a natural plant! 
     Worse even than that, cancer rates will contiue increasing; we are now on 889 per day at the moment but we'll soon be up to the magical thousand! What will liars like ASH et al say when the truth finally dawns upon our shambolic MPs (Stephen Williams et al) that smoking has very little to do with causation, even less so Second Hand Smoke! This is the man that considers worldly matters like financial depravity, poverty & destitution to be totally innocuous compared to peoples enjoyment, especially if that enjoyment includes smoking a nice relaxing fag or two! His blog on the totally corrupt practices surrounding his favoured Plain Packaging-what an embarrassment for a government-has reached epic proportions regarding responses!
Mr Williams problem is quite simple, he cannot answer three simple questions:
a)... Death certificate confirming SHS please ?
b)... Proof of one case of longevity, with dates & times
c)... Prove that the smoking ban has not damaged our economy (Traitor)
So there we have it folks, a Budget that is totally Boring and is, yet again, a waste of space load of B****x as it does nothing to address the nations biggest problem of needless expenditure.


  1. Was it not CAMRA that told us that the Smoking Ban was a good thing for our Pubs, just shows how Little they know and the Anti smoking Quango's who told us that the Pubs and Clubs would be Full of Non smokers, Wrong AGAIN. The fact is that the ones that told the government that the Smoking ban was a step too far and a very bad idea for the Industry have within time been Proven completely RIGHT. The Conservatives did Not vote for the Ban so it should be easy for them to see sense and Reform it to allow Choice and help Save the Industry.

  2. The scrapping of the escalator is more than a pyrric victory if it signals the start of a real change of attitude by Government. As usual, however, it was a botched job leaving out wine spirits and cider. You said when the smoking ban came in that the bigots would force their views re alcohol. You were right, but at last there are signs that sense is beginning to prevail and that could just possibly be good for smokers and our pubs and clubs. Keep up the pressure!!