‘Grandad’ and ‘Stubbornness’

Grandad is an Irish blogger. He has written a post about smoker stubbornness. You can read it here:


Grandad puts it quite simply – no one likes being pushed around.

I’m sure that he is right, but it isn’t just mindless stubbornness. Different people will have different reasons for being stubborn. When Arnott said, “Smokers will be exiled to the outside”, I suspect that she thought (or had been led to believe) that being forced to go outside would humiliate smokers so that they would accept the situation in order to stay inside with their non-smoking friends. Instead, after a few months of ‘humiliation’, smokers departed. I have a little theory which is that high increases in taxes on cigs have persuaded some smokers to stop paying pub prices for their beer, especially as pubs became unwelcoming places to smokers, so that they can afford to smoke. That would almost certainly be the case for the poorer person who did not really go to the pub for company.

And, eventually, would also apply to those who did enjoy company, but lost interest when the company disappeared. What I am saying is that there was an arrow which pointed in only one direction. Not only the smoking ban, but everything else, consequentially, pointed in the direction of mass eviction of people from pubs. The winter of 2007, the first winter of the smoking ban, saw people, especially young women who like to wear flimsy, flattering clothing, having to venture out into freezing or wet conditions. When the young women stopped going, so did the young men. The opposite would happen if, for some reason, the young men stopped going. It happened, though quite slowly. I guess that there was a bit of a battle between the attraction of a fun pub and and the horrors of the smoking ban. In the end, the horrors of the ban won.

Is the stubbornness of smokers born of addiction? I don’t think so. As I said the other night, when I determined that it would be better for our family outing to the posh restaurant if I eschewed smoking for that period of three hours, I had no problem with it. If the idea of having a fag popped into my mind, I just pushed it out again. It is surprising how easy it is to do so. I do exactly the same thing on an aircraft. Once you get used to doing it, it is very easy: self-discipline at the time and in the place.  I don’t want to go to a pub and have to exercise self-discipline. A pub is not intended for such practices. That is not what it is about. It is not a place to flagellate yourself.

I think that the stubbornness of smokers is borne of the ideas of pleasure and habit. The ‘walk of shame’ to the place of exile outside a pub only reinforces that stubbornness. The smoking ban on flights reinforces the determination to light up as soon as possible thereafter. It certainly isn’t some form of addiction. In any case, the Zealots redefined ‘addiction’ to suit their own purposes. Addiction to drugs used to be a serious matter. Failure to get the ‘fix’ resulted in horrendous physical consequences – vomiting, shaking, convulsing, bleeding, visions, etc. Tobacco has no such effects. At worst, you might say that wanting a smoke is not dissimilar to wanting a drink of water when you are thirsty.


It is an interesting fact that, despite Ireland having the most draconian anti-smoking laws, it has almost the least reduction in smoking. Here is a graph:

Ireland is second from the right. Between 1990 and 2010, smoking rates in Ireland hardly changed at all. No wonder that the Zealots are tearing their hair out trying to find something, anything, that will change the statistics. Think about it. How long will it be before someone will point out that the Irish treasury has lost billions of euros, that tobacco control is costing a fortune, and that smokers in Ireland are as stubborn as stubborn can be. Surely, politicians cannot be totally blind? Think also of all the effort and cost involved in trying to intercept illegal imports. How many customs officers are being paid to do so? What do they achieve when they do confiscate tobacco products? Are they put on sale? Surely politicians know that the profits in tobacco, as a result of the ridiculous taxes, are such that it it does not matter if the occasional consignment is confiscated? In any case, how do we know that there is not sufficient corruption for the seized consignment not to find its way onto the black market? “Yes, Surr. I took it all to the incinerator myself, Surr. Showed the packets to the boss. Yes Surr. All burnt. Here’s the invoice for the job, Surr”.

I think that Nigel Farage should widen his net. It is not only the EU which is a corrupt cesspit of fascists, it is also the WHO and the EU. The Ebola farce is proof positive, as is the global warming farce.

The EU, WHO and UN need to be disassembled and reconstructed, if they are needed at all. Half a century of mounting corruption needs to be cleared out like the Augean stables, and the first step is to stop paying. It isn’t difficult – the PM refuses to sign the cheque (or equivalent). Cameron does not have the nerve.


I sent in herself’s and my postal votes today. We have voted UKIP. Our constituency is a Labour stronghold, so no change will happen. But the incumbents need to be scared, and that is what I hope for.

But the scaring needs direction, which is not easy to accomplish. The scared politicians will almost certainly try to dictate what the reasons for adverse votes are. Erm…. No. They do not know. When a person votes for UKIP, the labour candidate, although elected, has no idea why those who voted UKIP did so. What UKIP seems to have done is pushed hard about immigration, the EU, lifestyle control, waste of money.

It is to be hoped that UKIP get a few seats, but that may not be the most important thing. It may be more important, in the long run, that it gets a substantial share of the vote. If it does, then it will become a force to be reckoned with. It will not go away.


Cleaning the Augean Stables was seen as a massive task which only Hercules was able to accomplish. Cleaning up the UN, WHO and EU are similarly difficult. It is possible that the EU could be saved, but not in its present form as a nazi, totalitarian, fascist bureaucracy. As such, it is far too corrupt. It might be said that The Council of Minsters, appointed by EU Governments, ensure democracy. Erm… No. It only ensures obfuscations and power-play. That is, ‘if we give you this, then you must give us that’. That is how treaties work, but such treaties just run out of steam eventually. In the case of the EU, the treaties have become tyrannical. They are no longer treaties but have become some sort of law.

They are not law. They are temporary agreements, and we should never forget that. The UN is nothing but a temporary agreement. It has no authority or force. No one in the UK Parliament can state that the UK is ‘legally required’ by some UN edict to do anything. That is a lie, and such a lie was promulgated by the silly, ignorant Tory health minister, Milton MP, when she said that the FCTC ‘legally bound’ the UK. No wonder that she was sacked – stupid cow. Is it any wonder that the next health minister, Soubry MP, was also ‘moved on’ when she did not know that ecigs were still a target of the EU tobacco directive?

But I blame the weakness of the Cabinet, partially because of the LibDem involvement. Cameron said that he would serve a full term, and a law was introduced into Parliament that the PM could not terminate a Parliament without a vote. I cannot help but feel that that was a condition of the LibDems for taking part in the coalition. Cameron must have been desperate to agree. It was ALWAYS, in the past, one of the powers of the PM to dissolve parliament and call a general election. We can see why. It may well be, at any particular time and for any particular reason, that the PM can see no way to continue government because of internal strive within the majority party.

The GE is likely to produce a mishmash of political party persons, such that no obvious coalition is on the cards. We all know that. I wonder if the Queen, representing all the People, could demand a rerun of the election in England, assuming that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland produced solid results? EG. If Scotland produced almost all Scottish Nationalist MPs, Wales produced Labour MPs and N Ireland produced Whatever MPs, could a rerun of the election in England change the impasse?

You see, it is the Queen, as the representative of ALL THE PEOPLE who invites the leader of the party with the most MPs to form a government. We often forget that the Queen represents ALL THE PEOPLE. She has little or no power, except that. Suppose that there is no consensus? Who should she invite, on behalf of ALL THE PEOPLE, to form a government? Should she invite Nicola Sturgeon to be PM, supported by Labour? Why not?

Jacta est alea. [The die is cast] We await events.


6 Responses to “‘Grandad’ and ‘Stubbornness’”

  1. Grandad (@headrambles) Says:

    Here in Ireland, Arnott’s “walk of shame” became more of a gathering of the downtrodden few. As the majority of pub goers were smokers it wasn’t unusual to find more outside the pub than in. Non-smokers began to complain that they were being isolated and “left to mind the drinks” and a common sight was the lone person with a table full of pints in front of him/her. In quite a few cases the non-smoker would go and join the crowd outside as that was where the “craic” was, and a few even took to the odd puff not to feel left out.

    The Anti-Smoker Pogrom has had many unintended consequences without achieving anything. Pubs are closing at an alarming rate, excise revenue is being lost to the smugglers and there hasn’t been any extra decline in the rate of smoking here.

    I reckon that if they reversed all their daft laws and reverted back to the old ways, smoking rates would continue to decline and we would make a killing from UK tourism!

    • junican Says:

      The outside ‘craic’ used to exist here but so many people have stopped going to my locals that little is going on. Frequently, in the evening, only half a dozen people are there.
      For several years on the trot, a group of us from the golf club went to Ireland for a trip, usually around Dundalk. There was a pub called Moran’s in the village where we were based. A very small place which was a grocers or something similar during the day. It was said to be the oldest pub in Ireland, but I suppose that there are hundreds of similar claims! We had some great fun there.
      All very yesterday, I’m afraid.

  2. Rose Says:

    The winter of 2007, the first winter of the smoking ban, saw people, especially young women who like to wear flimsy, flattering clothing, having to venture out into freezing or wet conditions

    Not only that humiliation, up until the Smoking Ban, ladies would never hang around outside smoking a cigarette, it could attract unwelcome attention.
    I suppose ASH considered that having to hang around on the pavement like a prostitute looking for business yet another incentive for women to give up smoking.

    Of course, I was a young woman in the days of the Yorkshire Ripper and remember the sheer terror of those days, it was scary enough waiting alone at a bus stop as night fell.

    That any British Government could so thoughtlessly create a law whereby women are forced to stand outside at all hours of the day and night is shocking beyond belief

    For those who don’t know or don’t remember.

    • junican Says:

      “…ladies would never hang around outside smoking a cigarette, …” I think that the operative word there is ‘ladies’. Let’s not go there!
      In the summer of the first year of the ban, 2007, lots of the youth smoking outside the pub were women – possibly the majority. I got the same impression in Magalluf a few weeks ago. Not much has changed in that respect. Of course, in Magalluf, the evening weather was quite temperate, though not exactly warm.
      It seems to me that young women are more ‘gam’ than the young men. I do not know why. The seem to be more aware than the guys that they are being subjected to propaganda. They seem to be more inclined to resist.
      There is still hope. Long live the strong females! All my aunties were strong women. My uncles solved the world’s problems but my aunties ruled the present with iron fists.
      Funny, innit, how the feminista have have overturned centuries of matriarchy.

  3. Jude Says:

    Good post, Junican and Grandad. I stopped going to the pub, except when I was working there, after the smoking ban came in. It was easier, and far more pleasant, to have people come to my house, or me go to theirs, where we could smoke and have a few drinks, and enjoy good company, without the cats bum faces and finger wagging of anti-smokers. We mostly spent time on various patios and outdoor areas, of the various homes we met at, but these were comfortable, dry, and in winter often warmed with a nice wood fire. Much more pleasant and welcoming than the concrete area out near the toilets at the pub, where there was no protection from the weather and the overwhelming smell of stale urine and disinfectant.

    The people who came to my and others homes, were the same friends we used to hang out with at the pub anyway, so why subject ourselves to standing around outside a pub.

    The losers were the pub owners, but then its hard to feel sorry for people who never fought any of this nonsense, and didn’t have the sense to see that if they treated the majority of their customers like shit, they would stop visiting their businesses.

    As a vaper, I am still exiled at the pubs in town, so have not bothered to return. They are trying to make up for lost custom by selling food, which has a much lower profit margin, and people only eat out during the summer months anyway. They have tried to make pubs “family friendly” , but who the hell wants to go out and mix with other people’s bratty children at a pub?

    There used to be some wonderful old characters that would go to the pub, old guys that stopped coming when they were forced to go stand in the weather to have their rollies. One regular was 92 years old, but they still forced him outside, he doesn’t go to the pub anymore, but meets with his mates at their homes.

    You’ll never hear any of these stories from those in tobacco control, or their unofficial army of mouth foaming anti-smokers/vapers, but this is the reality of their nasty puritanism.

    As our country sinks further into recession, and the treasurer, old Sloppy Joe, begs people to spend their money and get into ever more personal debt, they continue to push for more and more draconian and senseless legislation, and stupidly sit on their fat bums and wonder why people have stopped listening to them.

  4. junican Says:

    Jude. Face it. Australia is a basket case. On the one hand, the sale of ecig liquid containing nicotine is forbidden, but the sale of cigs, containing nicotine and millions of other chemicals, is legal. How much more hypocritical can you get?
    Your weather lends itself to outdoor leisure. Stubbornness is much encouraged thereby. I see that Simple Simon Chapman has been sneering. He reckons that chop chop and such cannot be that popular. He opined that, if loads of people knew where to get the stuff, then why is it that the magnificent Australian police force do not also know? Clearly, he does not know that the supply of maryjane and cocaine has operated ‘under the radar’ for years and years. It isn’t difficult to know how the system works. The people who organise bulk imports are well hidden. Communications are by word of mouth only. ‘Trust’ is a paramount quality. “My word is my bond”.
    Imagine a situation. A person (A) has found out from a friend (B) that another person (C) can obtain cannabis. B introduces A to C. C says, “Certainly not!” But suggests that he might know someone else who does (D). C then takes A’s phone number. After a day or two, C phones A and tells him to go to some place where A might be approached by D. After a few similar transactions, A might become trustworthy enough to have a position similar to B, and thus have the ‘authority’ to bring others into the circle.
    How much time and effort can the police force put into chasing such mirages?

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