Sunday 6 December 2009

What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dump like this?

Given that this is a blog whose main themes are pubs and beer, a recent poll showed a surprisingly high proportion of people who had not been to a pub at all in the past month. So, as a commenter suggested, I thought I would ask people what was the main interest that led them to read this blog.

With some polls you have a good idea of what the answer will be, with others you may be looking for a particular response, but with this one I genuinely had no idea of what the outcome would be.

There were 65 responses, and the results were:

Beer: 16 (25%)
The pub trade: 12 (18%)
The smoking ban: 27 (42%)
General lifestyle freedom issues: 10 (15%)

So make of that what you will...

As I’ve said before, this isn’t wholly or even mainly a blog about the smoking ban. But I think being the only “beer blogger” to take a strong anti-ban stance does give the blog a unique selling proposition which is probably what accounts for that result.


  1. At least this site gives some profile to the devastation caused
    to the British way of life by the
    silly total smoking ban. We dont
    expect any interest from the other
    frothy ale sites as they are the
    domain of widgets,whiskers,fell
    walkers,goblins,town hall snitches,
    male nurses,prancing clog dancers
    and various other species of
    parasitical smooth handed untermensch.Back stabbing the working class was once a Bloomsbury
    and Hampstead Heath pastime,seems
    now to be popular with the lower
    middle class "Hebden Bridge"sub

    Cant wait for the Budget

  2. Whatever your view of the smoking ban, I think most sane people would agree the rant above is the work of some kind of obsessed, conspiracy-theorising fanatic. It doesn't make sense, not even in its own terms.

    And it's anonymous, as usual: what are you frightened of?

  3. Oh, I thought it was poetic in a strange kind of way...

  4. "parasitical smooth handed untermensch" f*ck me, that's a turn of phrase that sends shivers down the spine. Anonymous is showing off his choice of reading there, and it's not pretty (or poetry). Incidentally, when did legislating for workplace safety (and that's what all this is about), become anti "the working class?" (If you believe there is such a thing)

  5. Martin, Cambridge7 December 2009 at 13:27

    Anonymous sounds likes someone from Todmorden who'd like to live in Hebden to me (as would I, only a bit away from the water).

  6. Incidentally, when did legislating for workplace safety (and that's what all this is about)

    No, it is quite untrue to say the smoking ban was wholly or mainly about workplace safety. The prime objective was to reduce the incidence of smoking in society; protecting the health of workers was never more than a secondary benefit.

    If that had been the sole or prime objective, then there were other ways of achieving it without a total blanket ban. After all, smoking continues to be permitted in private homes, hotel rooms, care homes and prisons which are all environments in which other people may work for short periods of time.

    In any case, there has never been any scientifically robust evidence that secondhand smoke is harmful to health - people may find it distasteful (as they do with many other things) but it isn't really going to do them any harm.

  7. "Incidentally, when did legislating for workplace safety (and that's what all this is about)"

    Hook. Line. Stringer. ;-)

  8. The contention that exposure to secondhand smoke exacerbates some pre-existing conditions (asthma, for instance) and increases risk of developing others (coronary heart disease, for instance), is nowadays widely accepted among health care professionals and researchers in the field. This consensus is underlined by the 2004 monograph from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the 2005 report from the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) in the United States of America and the 2006 report of the United States Surgeon General. Which I'm sure you're familiar with. And others.
    If there was no public health argument, then the workplace safety argument would be (let the public decide - have they? probably) sufficicient. You may contend that the choice of the smoker / proprietor outweighs the rights of the majority. This is a perfectly valid position (The argument against the "Tyranny of the majority" - I'd contend that you're wrong, but whatever...) But the evidence for harm is strong, and lightly discounting it doesn't strengthen your position.


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval by the blog owner. See here for details of my comment policy.

Please register an account to comment. Unregistered comments will generally be rejected unless I recognise the author. If you want to comment using an unregistered ID, you will need to tell me something about yourself.