Thursday, January 17, 2008

Labour Blame Publicans For Failing Pubs

“Publicans should really learn to shut up whingeing about the death of their business due to the smoking ban or cheap alcohol from off licences. The smoking ban made their premises more habitable for the vast majority of people.” Says Labour Home ...who else

This piece of profoundly misinformed hectoring arrogance are from Labour Home ( where else) under Tony Hannon’s ten ways to improve Britain. Well allow me to retort. Firstly 80% of pub goers are smokers secondly there was no desire anywhere for an outright ban and thirdly it is no business of the government to undermine institutions that in many cases predate Parliament.
In my own town Publicans tell me they are not going to be able to continue with the horrendous downturn in trade and in place like Lewes , our cultural and social life will be dealt an irreparable blow . Where else to the heterogeneous denizens exchange views ? No where. Pubs like churches are a vital components of our civil lives and the outrage of Labour’s attack cannot be forgotten or forgiven. Compromises were available for those who do not like the smell and as for the passive smoking myth that is precisely what it is
Christopher Booker
“In 1998 and 2003 came the results of by far the biggest studies of passive smoking ever carried out. One was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation. The other, run by Prof James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat for the American Cancer Society, was a mammoth 40-year-long study of 35,000 non-smokers living with smokers. In each case, when the sponsors saw the results they were horrified. The evidence inescapably showed that passive smoking posed no significant risk. This confirmed Sir Richard Doll's own comment in 2001: "The effects of other people's smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me".
As ever our supposedly Liberal MP Norman Baker did nothing to save us from this Stalinist act of aggression whose face was Bimbo Flints but whose true author is the miserable bossy life hating people despising Brown.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely Mr N. One of the reasons I got out of the Pub trade was the smoking ban. A partial ban. Fine if it was that there must be non-smoking areas, but the total ban was bound to finish off a lot of pubs, which are often pretty marginal 'lifestyle' kinds of business anyway. Whats to be done? Will a future Tory Government reverse even partially the ban? It would be best if they allowed for 'smoking pubs' to be over 18 only...but I doubt if they will address this issue at all.

Newmania said...

Will a future Tory Government reverse even partially the ban?

In think so but it is the sort of thing that is terribly hard to undo because everything will be gone by then ? They would never have introduced it obviously

Travis Bickle said...

Is there no end to the ill informed sht that is spouted by this government? The world and his dog know that the smoking ban has seriously damaged the pub trade.

Still, when a "treasury spokesman" can be quoted as saying that the level of taxation (in real terms) has gone down 50% over past 10 years nothing should surprise anyone what rubbish these wnkrs come up with.

Steven_L said...

Boris's smoking forum is closed for re-furbishment at the moment, but idlex has uncovered some interesting information on the smoking ban thats worth a read when its back online.

He has reached the conclusion that hatred of smoking is as non-partisan an activity as smoking itself is, as he points out, his Tory MP voted for it, as did many others and most 'liberals'.

It turns out we signed a UN treaty on tobacco control years ago. Being one of the few nations that actually bothers to do anything about the treaties we sign we have ended up with a total ban.

Most countries have paid lip-service to it with partial bans, the Dutch haven't even gone that far.

Saudi Arabia once signed a treaty that stated:

"All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations."

Why we don't ignore all these treaties like the rest of the world is beyond me - we are mugs, that's my explanation for the smoking ban. We just roll over an daccept whatever is foisted on us.

We've also signed up to one on alcohol - years ago now. This recent murder case has renewed the clamour for government interference in the pricing of alcoholic beverages.

Newmania said...

All true SL but it would not have happned under the Conservatives

Newmania said...

TB that is an eye watering lie , the overall tax burden has gone from 38% GDP to 43% appx but it falls much more on the working population and in anycase in 15 years of growth we should have had cuts. The period started with large unemployment while the economy was realligned which inflated the proportion.

God knows what he is talking about

Travis Bickle said...


Unfortunately they've caught on to the fact that whatever the question the can quote a never ending list of figures and statistics, make outrageous claims , and the great British public remains sleepwalking between episodes of the current reality "talent" show of the month.

The other Treasury response, when you know they have been caught bang to rights is, "we don't recognise that set of figures"

Newmania said...

I think in enviroemental debate the fiction really gets going

Mrs Smallprint said...

Well Mr N.

I love the smoking ban. Whatever the so called studies on passive smoking say I (like many of the population) suffer from asthma. The ban means I can enjoy a visit to the pub, eat my lunch and return to my office not smelling of smoke. I have no objection to people smoking but it is unpleasant for the 70% of the population who don't.

There is no going back and any party who put it their manifesto to undo the ban would have to be mad.

tory boys never grow up said...

Your tax figures are wrong - look here to see what the Institute for Fiscal Studies says -

Tax burden under Labour since 1997 has been lower than it was under Magaret Thatcher - fact!

There are other reasons why most people do not like smoking in pubs and restaurants other than it may/may not kill you. That said I tend to be with John Reid on this - and I would have no objection to pubs allowing smokers in defined areas providing that the staff are not forced to work in them and smoke free areas are provided for the majority who want them. Not sure how you would legislate or enforce this however.

Ed said...

Tory Boys - if people liked smoke-free pubs so much, how come virtually no pubs catered for their trade?

Cameron could win a lot of votes by announcing a review of the ban. He could find a compromise such as insisting on smoke-free areas or something or paying a higher minimum wage to staff working in smokey pubs.

Newmania said...

TB under Margaret Thatcher the tax burden was declining from the near Soviet levels of the Callaghan period and coping with the unemployment brought about by years of suicidal socialist economic Policy and Union intransigence. You are , in any case talking about tax as a proportion of GDP which has grown astronomically from the Major period onwards.

During such a period tax should have fallen considerably. Taxes were also higher as a proportion of GDP during Winston Churchills last premiership. A meaningles fact but still a fact and if you are into that sort of thing , if expenditure was now at the same level ( adjusted) as in 1997 income tax could be abolished


(I don't pretend this means alot other but there we go FACT)

the word FACT is a slippery one ...FACT

Newmania said...

Not sure how you would legislate or enforce this however.

Thats you only answer isn`t it bossing people around . Smoke free areas were already being provided where there was a demand for them. There are no "other reasons " to object to smoke , no more than I object to Ginger hair or Val Doonican , it does not need a law
At least 80% of pub goers , who smoke , wanted nothing of the sort and the end of working men`s clubs and now pubs is a tragedy.

Even a determined bossy boots like you didn`t actually want to chuck evryone outidse their own pub , its insane

Mrs SP there we differ , I`m sorry for your asthma but I`m afraid the law is not there to make life perfect for everyone and you have been unlucky. Why not bann gardens because of Hayfever sufferers ? Same thing
Someone always gains when you order peole around in some new way and its important that those who believe in freedom as am ideal stick together.
Why not bann loud music because of the people (like me ) with Tinnitus . I go elsewhere Mrs SP
Sorry but there it is. The majority of pub goers by a long long way did not want the bann and it is a detestable piece of law routinely hated by one and virtually all and it will hurt Brown.

Anonymous said...

Newms -

Phwoar! After all that pneumatic female totty you've posted you've finally found a decent pic. Vintage Brando at his best, when men were indeed men. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh yeah, good post, too.

tory boys never grow up said...

Are you denying the IFS figures on tax take - they are different from yours whatever you might say, and they certinly don't support your dramatic hyperbole. As for the increase in GDP - well perhaps the increased level of public spending has played some role in that - Brown is a Keynesian rather than a monetarist (or Marxist for that matter).

The argument that because no one was providing smoke free pubs before meant that people didn't want them is fallacious and is based on a belief that the market will always provide the right answers. Perhaps they just wanted a drink/company more. You could use the same argument for allowing smoking in restaurants and on public transport, cars without seatbelts, bearbaiting, slavery etc - but I some doubt that most people would now want to reverse those improvements. That said I don't have a problem with people smoking - but I would prefer not to put up with their smoke.

As for the Ginger hair argument - the difference is that you don't have to ingest Ginger hair if you don't want to - with smoke you have little choice. As for the pubs with 80% smokers - well I never saw them in the last 20 years - but if such hell holes exist perhaps they could be given a smokers only licence or they could set up as private clubs if there was the demand of course!

Newmania said...

TB wasn`t able to find what you were on about in your link . In Britain 2008 run by the slightly left leaning Economic and Social Research Council ( see blog roll)they note that im 1999 the figure was 38% and in 2007 itw as 42% which is a little less of a shift . Niall Ferguson refer to state governed expenditure which covers various ways of hiding the truth and he (In Cash Nexus ) gives the figures I have indicated which was what I was thinking of. neither are jaundiced references ?

" perhaps the increased level of public spending has played some role in that "

The growth that is common to most of the world is conspicuously faster where Govermment is small. I can see all sorts of good arguments for taxes but taking money from earning parts of society and giving it to those who do not cannot help the economy. Does anyone really belive that now ? Its not as if I want to dismantle the welfare state or even shift to US levels ...move cautiously in that direction is all I would advocate.

On tax ...I don`t think I have used hyperbole. Expressing the shift as a % of GDP is about the least true and most Labour friendly way of thinking about it I can imagine ,and it is not mine.

I am building up to a 'State of that nation address' :), based on all the figures in Britain 2008 which give a good picture of the slow squeeze placed on the mass of ordinary working people by Labour`s largesse to their Union, welfare and Public sector proffesional support. House prices , security of tenure , pensions , hours , disruption and so on are part of the picture by which our "Happiness/ GDP per Head ratio is very much lower than comparable countries. That these include Sweden is a problem for me but one I have an answer to.

Newmania said...

The argument that because no one was providing smoke free pubs before meant that people didn't want them is fallacious and is based on a belief that the market will always provide the right answers.

I am not a great fan of the market in that sense I am ambivalent about it ,. I am A Conservative not a Libertarian or “Liberal” in the old sense. I was saying what I noticed to be true . In Islington there were a lot of smoke free areas at weekend lunchtimes ie for families. We used them. I do not believe there is going to be a society that is “right” and I do not therefore concern myself with the lack of a utopia ( This is a species of quasi religious unbalanced thinking at all times in my view). It is worse than it was that’s all. Much worse

“You could use the same argument for allowing smoking in restaurants“- I would , what was the problem ?

“On public transport,”- Well I would prefer it and I pay for it but I `m an easy going sort and as we are all stuck on it I would be happy to consider others personally
“Cars without seatbelts“- Seat belts have not improved road safety which has been doggedly indifferent to speed cameras , seat belts and the whole bossy booted industry of empire building .This should be a choice …I think. I don’t bother
“Bearbaiting “-You will not be surprised to hear that I have an ingenious distinction between Bear baiting and fox hunting based on the idea of deriving relative values from Communities and the anthropomorphism that is the true objection (and one I respect). I expect you would like to stop Bears from eating rabbits as well?
“slavery etc” - I detest slavery and abhor New Labour’s attempt to reduce me to that level inch by inch by removing my choices. You are right “stealth slavery “ is indeed loathed. This amazingly early discovery of the wrongness of slavery for which our country is justifiably thanked by the African peoples springs from its reverence for the free human spirit . The very thing Labour wish to crush. You should think more about slavery.

Your view seems to be that all new rules are good and only time is required fro the recalcitrant bucolic rump to catch up . You are wrong , because you believe in that triumph of conceit “Progress” . new is often worse. I wonder if there is any point at all when you would stop or do you feel the more rules the better?
TB , 80% appx of pub goers smoke and you probably have not seen the scenes of forlorn shivering and suicidal Landlords because you go to poncy bistros and latter day Chicken in the basket humous chomping theme pubs called “ Disgrace land “ .Or faux Irish Seamus O’Timing Device diddley dee pits of suffering . The ability to start a club was specifically thrown out by Labour on the basis that they would all do it.

And what the hell am I doing typing this ….damn!!! Cheerio

Newmania said...

Ahem ...Lud... do I take it that you and I may not share the same taste in partners for play ?

I merely seek clarification...oh I should explain that depsite being a bit camp I like girls

Anonymous said...

Newm -

do I take it that you and I may not share the same taste in partners for play ?

LOL No, we do. Or should that be yes, we do?

My attempt a humorous comment was achingly funny last night when I got home from the pub. Utterly, ridiculously funny, in fact. In the (ahem) sober light of day I'm not sure it even makes sense.

Newmania said...

Sounds like a good time L

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