The Price of Bravery

Shortly after the Smoking Ban in 2007, a couple of brave publicans stood up and refused to comply. One was Nick Hogan in Bolton and the other was X in Blackpool. I suppose that there were others who never made the headlines. Certainly, several publicans were fined, although not to the full extent, for permitting smoking after time when the pub doors had been locked – what is known as a ‘lock in’. In theory, the idea was that anyone staying behind after the end of legal serving time was a ‘personal guest’ of the publican. I vaguely remember a publican asking me, sort of secretly, if I would like to stay behind as one of his ‘personal guests’. I said, ‘thanks but no thanks’ – I did not want to get pissed, tempting though the offer was. Such ‘lock-ins’ were targeted by the Zealots and raids were made my Local Authority Enforcers supported by the police. Headlines in local newspapers. No one ever pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ of the crime of ‘permitting smoking in substantially enclosed, public premises’. I suppose that their lawyers told them that they had no chance of succeeding. They may have been well aware that the Smoking Ban was much the same as a declaration or war. It had been a long time in the preparation, and all angles had been covered. The Big Battalions of The Law were primed and ready for the war.

But Nick and X stood out because they did not just permit ‘after time’ smoking. They made a terrible error. They said, “Smoke at your own risk”. Erm, no. They did not understand that it was THEY who were at risk. It was THEY who were targeted by the legislation. THEY became serious criminals (in the sense of being fined very large sums) for not enforcing the wishes of the Zealots. AND IT IS SHAMEFUL BEYOND IMAGINING THAT THE LAWMAKERS AT THE TIME PERMITTED IT. For example, suppose that road designers made a mistake which resulted in fatal crashes occasionally. The mistake might only been seen in retrospect. It might not of been visible at the time. That reminds me of The Comet aircraft. It was a beautiful jet aircraft, but no one knew that the welding of the structure could not stand the forces imposed upon it.

The same applied to Concord and Concorde (the Russian version). I think (ignore my ignorance) that those aircraft were subject to forces, at supersonic levels, which were unknown. Whatever, super-sonic aircraft no longer exist.

Is it not odd that airlines using Concord or Concorde did not collapse into bankruptcy.?How did they stand the cost of obsolescence? Who paid to scrap the aircraft?

We ‘crowd funded’ the collection of £10,000 to free Nick Clegg. He was grateful. I am sure that he has done his best to repay that trust. Perhaps we should expect nothing more that gratefulness. But we funded him to make a point, which was that we would not be cowed. It did not matter what he did thereafter.

Did Nick Hogan and X do well for themselves after the ignominy? I do not know. If they did, then that is great news. It is important to accept that when we crowd-fund something that we do not expect a reward for doing so.

Readers will know that I have been reading ‘The Gulag Archipelago’. I still have not finished it. Millions of Russians paid the ultimate price for their bravery in opposing the more outlandish demands of The Soviet. Failure to achieve a target was YOUR fault, and not that the target was unachievable.

We are seeing the same impossibilities today with Tobacco Control. The Zealots are becoming more and more hysterical. As they see it, and what they are paid to see, is that elected Governments are not getting into line, which is what they expect to happen with the latest ‘Tobacco Control Plan’. Until that Plan is executed, they have nothing to do. Their survival depends upon new initiatives and plans.

For years and years, Health Ministers, right to the top, have tortured, persecuted and robbed smokers, and Chancellors of the Exchequer continue that vile trade. Smokers are the equivalent of negro slaves. They are subhuman and fit for nothing except exploitation.

OK. I am one of those subhumans, even though I am not black.

So ‘the price of bravery’, in terms of being soldiers, is clear. Death and danger are inherent in that concept.

But discussions of ‘climate change’, ‘smoking’, ‘ecigs’, etc, should not have antagonisms as exposed by ‘Climategate’.

WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

The whole deposition of Tobacco Control is based upon non-facts. ‘Smoking causes lung cancer’. Erm, no. Very few smokers succumb to LC.

But we must be brave. And being brave is not difficult. In simple terms, it means displaying your cig as you make your way to the pub door. Do not be ashamed.

Being Brave, in modern times, need not be physical. Perhaps it is more important to be brave in your mind.

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13 Responses to “The Price of Bravery”

  1. petersoakellart Says:

    bravado of the head was always and will always the way. that is why we are ‘ terrorised’/))))

  2. Roobeedoo2 Says:

    An errant ‘Clegg’ has been included in your post.

  3. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Good points Junican. I find i am becoming more and more brazen in displaying publicly my love of tobacco.

  4. Radical Rodent Says:

    ‘permitting smoking in substantially enclosed, public premises’

    Therein lies the flaw in the law – pubs are private premises allowing public access. Why has that logic never been applied?

    • junican Says:

      The Zealots cogitated long and hard how to define places using words which denied ‘ownership’. Your own home is ‘a public place’ if you allow someone other than your own family to enter. But not even your own family are immune from being described as ‘the public’. The important word is ‘place’. It denies ownership of property.

  5. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “Nick and X stood out because they did not just permit ‘after time’ smoking. They made a terrible error. They said, “Smoke at your own risk”. Erm, no. They did not understand that it was THEY who were at risk. It was THEY who were targeted by the legislation”

    Exactly. In my own efforts here I always warned the bar owners to take a different tack, verbally fulfilling the law by giving patrons a flyer based upon page 23 of the Stiletto:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150412051216/http://kuneman.smokersclub.com/PASAN/StilettoGenv5h.pdf

    I think that approach might have been workable if I’d had the resources to get it out widely just as the ban came in. Unfortunately none of the few pub owners I was able to reach with it were willing to dive in without a more organized and widely-based effort.

    And your ending thought, “being brave is not difficult. In simple terms, it means displaying your cig as you make your way to the pub door. Do not be ashamed.” echoes what I like to write under my autograph in “Brains” :

    Be The Sand.

    That’s a reference to Tienanmen Square. We can’t all be “the guy who stood in front of the tanks.” But we can all at least throw a bit of sand into their treads as they pass us by.

    If enough people do that, the tanks will eventually break down and we will have won.

    – MJM, aka “The Sandman.”

    • junican Says:

      Exactly. “You smoke at your own risk” was incredibly stupid. I actually visited Nick’s pub in Bolton and could not believe that he had put such a notice over the bar. He did not understand that the law required him to actually do what was necessary to stop people smoking in his pub. His notice actually made things worse for him. He would have been better off if he had plastered the walls of the rooms with “NO SMOKING!!!” signs, but actually not bothered if someone did smoke.

      • nisakiman Says:

        He would have been better off if he had plastered the walls of the rooms with “NO SMOKING!!!” signs, but actually not bothered if someone did smoke.

        That’s what they do here in Greece. All the bars and restaurants have ‘No Smoking’ signs on the door – and ashtrays on the tables. One bar I went to had lots of those little free-standing ‘No Smoking’ signs on all the tables. When I sat down, the waitress came over and pushed it to one side and replaced it with an ashtray.

        However, they do comply with the letter of the law regarding the signs.

      • junican Says:

        Absolutely, Nisak. Almost every pub in England failed to see the root of the matter. They should have plastered their walls with Non-Smoking posters but told their staff to ignore them.
        What terrible errors are made when people do not understand the flimsiness of regulations like smoking bans! But the pub associations did not help. They protected themselves by avoiding the issue as much as possible.
        Is it too late to do anything about it? I don’t know, but I can envisage a time when some bar owner will do just that, and ‘prove’ that he did everything required by law, short of violence. He refused to serve the illegal smokers with more drinks and told them to leave and banned them.
        But it will be a brave soul who does so.

  6. Rose Says:

    The name you were looking for was Hamish Howitt.

    Smoke ban rebel owner fined again
    26 March 2008

    “The first landlord in England to be prosecuted under the smoking ban has been fined again for continuing to allow his customers to light up.
    Hamish Howitt, 55, of Park Road, Blackpool, denied five counts of failing to prevent smoking in his Del Boy Sports Bar.
    He argued the law breaches Human Rights legislation – but was convicted by a judge at Preston Magistrates’ Court.
    Howitt, a non-smoker, was fined £1,950 and told to pay £2,000 costs.
    In November 2007, he was fined £500 at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court after admitting 12 counts of failing to prevent smoking.”

    “A board outside the premises read: “Our political conscience will not allow to put smokers and non-smokers on the street. It’s our choice.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/7315046.stm

    • junican Says:

      Hamish, of course. How could I forget.
      How stupid can you get? You do not need to actually display your intention to defy the law.
      I wonder what happened to him?

  7. Rose Says:

    The public don’t always lose when up against authority, they tried something similar on an elderly cheesemaker, but though she was scared away the public won in the end.

    After 200 years cheese rolling race is shut by health ‘n’ safety
    Mar 13, 2010

    “Diana Smart, 83, who makes the cheeses on her farm at Birdwood in the Forest of Dean, said she was “shattered” by the cancellation.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/162784/After-200-years-cheese-rolling-race-is-shut-by-health-n-safety

    24 May 2013
    “A cheese-maker has been told by police she may be liable for legal action if she supplies Gloucester’s famous annual cheese-rolling event.
    The event sees revellers chase a wheel of Double Gloucester down a steep hill and has seen some participants injured.

    Diana Smart, who makes the 7lb (3kg) cheese for the event at her Churcham farm, said police warned her about her responsibilities as organiser.
    She said: “It made me feel pretty angry… there’s not a lot we can do,”
    Mrs Smart, 86, who has made cheese for the event for 25 years, said police had warned her she could be regarded as responsible if anybody was injured.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-22639675

    Daredevils defy health and safety zealots by holding Cheese Rolling race (but they chase a lightweight foam version to make it safer)
    28 May 2013

    “An international field of daredevils today defied health and safety zealots to tumble down a hill as they took part in the annual Cheese Rolling competition.
    Rebel rollers again staged their own unofficial event after the world-famous competition, which sees thrill seekers chase an 8lb piece of Double Gloucester down a steep hill, was cancelled in 2010.
    Organisers behind the event at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, had this year replaced the cheese with a lightweight foam version in order to make the downhill race safer.”

    “Despite the police intervention, there were plenty of cheeses for competitors to chase today.
    Wearing a T-shirt bearing the message ‘and we roll again 2013’, an organiser who gave her name only as Sarah said: ‘We’ve made some dummy cheeses out of sponge to roll down the hill so they are lighter and less dangerous.
    ‘But we have real cheeses for the winners. You don’t have to tell someone selling cheese what you want it for, do you?
    ‘We are determined to keep this traditional event going every year and we’re very grateful to all the people who have turned out to support us.’
    http: //www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331680/Daredevils-defy-health-safety-zealots-holding-Cheese-Rolling-race-Gloucestershire.html

    2016
    Cheese-rolling spectators gather for Cooper’s Hill tradition

    “Thousands of people lined a steep hill in Gloucestershire to watch crowds of thrill-seekers fling themselves down in pursuit of a wheel of cheese.
    The 8lb (3.6kg) Double Gloucester is chased 200 yards down the 1:2 gradient Cooper’s Hill at Brockworth every year.”
    “Warning signs are put up around the site warning spectators and competitors that they are attending entirely at their own risk.
    In 2010 the official event was cancelled over safety fears when more than 15,000 people turned up the previous year to watch the competition.
    Since then it has been held unofficially with roads closed up to 2.5 miles (4km) around the slope.”
    http: //www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-36412881

    • junican Says:

      LOL! I have read about the attempts to stop the fun. The important thing is to have no ‘organisers’.
      Why were roads closed? That is a distraction from the real abuse of power. The real abuse was the abuse of ‘health and safety’.

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