Reports in local newspapers have their interest, but are not normally the subject matter of ‘worldwide’ blogs. Frankly, had not Harleyrider and Frank Davis not picked up on this event, I doubt that I would have mentioned it. Having said that, being Bolton Smokers Club, I suppose that I should talk about it a little, even though it is so petty.
So here is the story:
“The court was told the pub was visited at 1.25am on May 13 by council enforcement officers and police as part of a routine inspection.”
You can read the article at:
A routine inspection at 1.25am by environmental and police officers? Pull the other one! This event was a sting! It was a deliberate entrapment. Someone must have ‘grassed the publican up’, that she was permitting smoking on the premises. The exact phrase used in court was “A LANDLADY who broke the law by allowing people to smoke in her pub”
Right. So at 1am the publican closed the doors and locked them and drew the curtains. At 1.25am, a raiding party composed of police officers and environmental officers knocked on the door and were admitted. They smelt tobacco smoke. There were four ashtrays in view containing 18 used cigarette filters. One person was standing at the bar smoking. Another was sitting with the publican smoking a roll-up.
What a filthy, disgusting crime! A raid by the police and environmental officers was fully justified. Think how much harm was being done to the bar staff! The police must have found dead bar staff bodies behind the bar, surely, since the pub must have been thick with tobacco smoke. My God! It could not have been worse had it been zylon B (the gas used by the Nazies to exterminate Jews).
And so the legal process began. Statements, lawyers, magistrates, attendances at court, etc. Remember that the event occurred in May 2012 and reached court just in time for the Christmas festive season. Funny that…..
But we must ask ourselves how vile the crime which prompted police action was. Are we talking about pedophilia? Are we talking about hard drugs? Are we talking about a terrorist cell? Are we talking about MPs’ expenses cheating? Are we talking about people smoking near a hospital entrance? Are we talking about people smoking in a car in the presence of children?
NO! We are talking about the innocent act of a publican closing her pub and having a drink and a fag with her friends.
“Ms O’Reilly, who was defending herself, said the evening had been very stressful.”
Why was she ‘defending herself’? Where was her ‘union’? Where were her regulars and supporters? Ah… The shame, you see. The shame. Only in this country would such shame occur. Innocent, ordinary citizens are going to have to get used to being dragged before magistrates. They have to stop feeling ashamed merely because they are arraigned in court. There are, of course, offences to be ashamed about, like stealing from old people, but there are offences not to be ashamed about, like smoking in ‘public places’. Such offences are artificial offences. It is a little like accidentally driving down a one way street in the wrong direction. “Shit!”, one cries, when one discovers what one has accidentally done. Yes, you have committed an offence. Yes, you may be tried and condemned, and, Yes, you may have to pay a fine. But do you feel ashamed? If you do, then you should not.
And yet, potentially, driving down a one-way street in the wrong direction is far, far, far more dangerous than smoking in a pub, after time, when the doors are locked and the curtains closed, and the pub has stopped serving.
We have entered strange times. We are rapidly approaching a time when putting your socks on inside out is a crime. Perhaps a person seeing that your socks are inside out could report you to the police and your home could be raided at 1.25am. I see no reason that not – especially if the person reporting you believed that your feet stink, with all the consequences of that person having to shower, wash its hair and wash all its clothes.
But there is a slight silver lining. At least the Bolton News quoted Ms O’Reilly’s comments about the damage that the Smoking Ban is doing. Also, it quoted the words of another publican, Sara Moorcroft, landlord of the Cross Guns. She also complained about the effect of the Smoking Ban. (For some reason that I cannot remember, I often visited the Cross Guns in the past, but I cannot remember going to the Gilnow Arms)
Now…. that is odd. The Bolton News is normally right on message, so what is going on?
There are weird things afoot. Certain committees have been created in the Bolton Authority as a result of a decision of the Expert Government, which persecutes us, to decentralize “Wellbeing”. I commented on it here:
As I understand it, these committees are perfect examples of the ‘New Democracy’. In these committees, by Expert Government authority, local councillors have no say, or not much say. Half of these committee members are appointees (from Tobacco Control and such). It astonishes me that elected councillors put up with it. WHAT ARE THEY DOING? They are not elected to be pushed around by Expert Central Government, they are elected to protect the people of the borough from sharks. Be in no doubt that the borough is always in danger from sharks who would wish to profit from public gullibility. For example, it would be quite possible for a person to set up a stall in the market supposedly selling genuine Gulliane ladies handbags. The Authority has inspectors to ensure, as best possible, that such practices do not occur.
But serious problems occur when it is the Local Authority itself which is supplying and selling counterfeit goods. I speak, obviously, of the benefits of Smoking Bans. THERE ARE NO SUCH BENEFITS. The harm from SHS to a bar staff person is entirely theoretical. It requires a computer program which is set up to attribute X amount of harm per hour. The computer will then work out what accumulated harm will occur over, say, forty years of working a 48 hour week in a smoky bar – statistically. It will, of course, only predict that Y number of bar workers will get lung cancer after working in a smoky bar for Z number of years full-time. But Tobacco Control will quote these computer produced figures as though they are FACTS.
I wonder sometimes whether or not any staff at the Bolton News look at the comments on any particular story. I see no reason that they should. But if they did look at the comments on this story, they would observe that the Zealots always get in first. Moreover, they tend to distract attention from the actual story. They start on about stinks and such.
What then is the point of people like us commenting?
I think that there is a valid point, which is that other people look at the comments. There may not be many, but they exist. They will be either cemented into their understanding or loosened. Many of the comments are from Zealots who want to provoke childish arguments. In my opinion, when commenting on these stories, we smokers should resist any temptation to get involved in personal insults. Stick to the facts, but by all means accuse the Local Councillors of acquiescing in the persecution of people who enjoy tobacco.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying tobacco, just as there is nothing wrong with enjoying a bottle of wine, or a steak. It is not unlikely that, had the Doll ‘Doctors Study’ been about drinking alcohol, the correlations would have been similar to smoking correlations. Doctors who drank whiskey were probably more likely to suffer liver problems than wine drinkers, and wine drinkers were probably more likely to suffer such problems than beer drinkers, and all of them would be worse off than teetotalers.
It does not surprise me that Expert Government has decided to turn us all into teetotal non-smokers. What does surprise me is that the people we elect to protect us against the Expert Government are silent.