Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pass the sick bag!

In the sidebar there’s the following quotation from Chris Snowdon, author of the Velvet Glove, Iron Fist blog: “If I see one more politician who voted for the smoking ban crying crocodile tears about the state of the pub industry, I may throw up.”

An Early Day Motion has recently been tabled in the House of Commons to suspend the beer duty escalator to help reduce pub closures. So far, it has been signed by 97 MPs, of whom the following 47 voted in favour of banning smoking in pubs:

Peter Bottomley (Con), James Clappison (Con), David Anderson (Lab), Adrian Bailey (Lab), Kevin Barron (Lab), Clive Betts (Lab), Tom Brake (LD), Annette Brooke (LD), Lorely Burt (LD), Menzies Campbell (LD), Martin Caton (Lab), Tom Clarke (Lab), Rosie Cooper (Lab), Jim Dobbin (Lab), Frank Doran (Lab), Jim Dowd (Lab), Louise Ellman (Lab), Paul Flynn (Lab), Don Foster (LD), Mike Gapes (Lab), Andrew George (LD), Mike Hancock (LD), Stephen Hepburn (Lab), David Heyes (Lab), Jimmy Hood (Lab), Martin Horwood (LD), George Howarth (Lab), Gerald Kaufman (Lab), John Leech (LD), Tony Lloyd (Lab), Steve McCabe (Lab), John McDonnell (Lab), Alan Meale (Lab), Austin Mitchell (Lab), John Pugh (LD), Linda Riordan (Lab), John Robertson (Lab), Dan Rogerson (LD), Bob Russell (LD), Dennis Skinner (Lab), Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab), Mark Tami (Lab), Joan Walley (Lab), Robert Walter (Con), Hywel Williams (PC), Mark Williams (LD), Mike Wood (Lab)
What a contemptible bunch of hypocrites! If any of them have since publicly recanted their support for the ban, then they may be partially excused, but I’m not aware any have.

Hopefully Chris isn’t feeling too queasy this weekend.

(h/t to Simon Cooke)

12 comments:

  1. And the most contemptible of them all is Kevin Barron who is also a despiser of alcohol and wants it taxed to high heaven. He thinks a bottle of spirits should cost between £38 and £60.

    How that's supposed to help pubs, God only knows.

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  2. Yes, another one who peddles the income equivalence fallacy, when anyone with any sense knows that, compared to incomes, pretty much everything is cheaper because people are much better off.

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  3. AS usual Curmudgeon spot on ... talk about bandwagons!

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  4. It is possible to support the smoking ban and yet also call for the tax accelerator to be suspended. It doesn't necessarily make them hypocrites. Pubs that have survived for this long without smoking need help to continue in business. Also, pubs that have survived this long really should stop blaming the smoking ban for all their ills - it is almost 5 years old.

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  5. If you claim to support pubs, and yet at the same time support a measure that has been devastating to pubs, that seems very much like the stance of a rank hypocrite to me. And, as I have argued before, the smoking ban is still closing pubs. When the property market picks up, a lot of pubs that are currently bumping along the bottom will close.

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  6. If you claim to support pubs, and yet at the same time don't see the world through Mudgies eyes, that seems very much like the stance of a rank hypocrite to me.

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  7. A lot are bumping along the bottom, trying this and that, changing frequently. Punch are the classic example, seeing the ban as an 'opportunity'. That's what you get for trying to give an apple to teacher. They'll never learn.

    The corrosive effect the last Govt. had will take a while to overcome.

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  8. Yes, "bumping along the bottom" is a good description for the state of many currently open pubs. The fear must be that when the property market turns up again, we'll see a lot more closures.

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  9. Fewer and fewer people are smoking - this is a good thing. Pubs cannot rely on smokers for their future business model so they have to deal with the situation as it is: you can't smoke in a pub, fewer people are smoking anyway, and that trend is only likely to continue. So, what is a pub? A meeting place for the dwindling number of smokers, or something else? Don't conflate the two battles. The smoking ban is a fact, it isn't going away, get used to it. It's also old news. Now the battle must be against the stealth alcohol ban - or at least the pricing out of reach - that is threatening pubs' core trade.

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  10. You are being very short-sighted if you fail to see the intimate connection between the smoking ban and the stealth alcohol ban. And there is no reason why pubs can't at the same time accommodate smokers, tolerant non-smokers and the small minority of militant anti-smokers.

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  11. "Fewer and fewer people are smoking - this is a good thing. Pubs cannot rely on smokers for their future business model so they have to deal with the situation as it is: you can't smoke in a pub, fewer people are smoking anyway"

    But as the health secretary admitted, the decline has stopped over the last few years, maybe, people dont like being lied about and bullied, so they dig their heels in?

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  12. Anonymous,
    Smokers as a population sub-group are about the size of the population of Ireland,Scotland and Wales put together, give or take a million or two. Clearly, those countries can support a lot of pubs between them. Now if you consider that this population is about twice as likely to use pubs you can chuck in a population the size of the Netherlands ~16,000,000 too. So about 30,000,000 people give or take a few million.
    Now , I don't know about you but chucking that many people out on the streets was never going to be a bright idea. Given that 21st century smokers have fantastic life expectancies, even if no one took up smoking to replace them, the smoking ban will be a big headache for pubs for decades to come.

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