Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Garfer's Smokeasy

I dislike being told what to do. I’m a very contrary individual, and if anyone tries to force me to do something against my wishes, particularly if they claim it is in my best interests, I am invariably determined to do the opposite.

I suppose that I’m a social libertarian really; I don’t see why any government or agency should have any say whatsoever in what I choose to do or consume. Of course, I fully accept that I have responsibilities to others; and that any behaviour which is detrimental to others should be proscribed by law. If I choose to do something detrimental to myself, however, then I am adamant that is purely my affair.

We seem to be living in an age when proscription is seen as the remedy to every ill. By banning hard drugs, and appointing a drug Czar to deal with the consequent explosion in drug related crime, we seem to think that we can deal with the misery of drug addiction. This is obviously utter bollocks. Legalise narcotics and control their supply, and you immediately cut out the criminality of the drug dealer, and the despair that drives the user to crime.

My main bugbear at the moment is smoking in pubs. Scottish Labour, with their customary love of gesture politics, has decided to ban smoking in pubs. Now it’s a funny thing, but I don’t think that people have ever gone to pubs to get healthy. Presumably it will still be ok to mash our livers with double vodkas, just as long as we don’t have a wheeze on a fag while we’re doing it.

I fully accept that some people want to drink in a no smoking environment. The same goes for bar staff. It just escapes me why we can’t choose to allow some pubs to have licences allowing smoking on their premises. With suitable extraction systems the smoke wouldn’t even effect the bar staff.

Well, never mind; I guess it’s going to happen. All those spit and sawdust boozers will soon be full of sad old geezers peering into their pints, and steeling themselves before venturing into the cold and wet to satisfy their addiction. I think that it is fucking outrageous that we should suddenly be subjecting the lame and the halt to potential hypothermia, purely for indulging in an activity which they enjoy.

The only solution will be for me to open a chain of ‘Tunnocks Teacakes Smokeasy’s’; and strike a blow for smoker freedom while making a few million for myself in the process. I don’t think any right thinking person could object to that.


Sniffy said...

Is blogger allowing posts again?

Let's see...

I agree Garfer. All this "ban this, ban that" is typical nanny state Labour. Fucking useless twats. Pubs and smoking were made for each other. They should be insisting on better air conditioning and extractor systems rather than introducing such cop-our measures.

I'm glad I gave up when I did, it really doesn't seem like fun these days.

garfer said...

I remember someone saying that my generation would be the last to smoke and have crooked teeth. As far as I can see, there are still plenty of wonky gnashers about, and every pikey seems to have a fag permanently clamped between them.

Sniffy said...

Crooked teeth are great. If Blair has his way, we'll all be tested for the crooked teeth gene at birth - those recessive dominant will immediately be put into foster care with community orthodontist social workers.

garfer said...

If Blairs loathsome grin is an advert for the orthodontists art, crooked teeth should be promoted as a sign of individuality and integrity.

Sniffy said...

Hear hear, or is it here here? Never know which one.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I'm mighty pissed off at all this nannying that seems to be upon us these days too.

I smoke. I smoke because I choose to. The government can fuck-off with all that silly crap they are enforcing upon us (at the request of the health freaks) recently.

It does seem really stupid that we can go the pub and get pissed up to the gills, pickle our livers etc, but can't have a fag (of the smoking variety) if we want to.

What pisses me off even more are that lot that are demanding the pub be smoke free, so that they can go in it. For fucks sake, there are PLENTY of other places they can go.

Similarly the lot (usually Polish) working behind the bars. If they don't like smoking or smokers, why the hell do they take a job in a pub?

I agree with Tina - install better aircon and extractors.

I'll stop (or try to) stop smoking when I choose to. The government, the do-gooders, etc can all 'butt' out.

Alex M said...

If they introduced licenses for smoking bars, do you think that there would be a pub in the country that wouldn't apply for one? The end result would be a bit more cash for the government, but ultimately nothing changed. And I'm not convinced that you can protect staff from second-hand smoke by ventilation alone. What can you do? Stick a massive extractor fan above the bar and forbid them to venture from it?

Personally, I am in favour of the public smoking ban. I'm of the opinion that people should be able to do whatever they like to themselves, so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. At the same time, I'm not fond of having liberties taken away by the government, so I propose that they redress the balance somewhat. If they take away the right to smoke in public (and indirectly harm someone else), they should legalise marijuana (for private use, of course). Total number of freedoms lost: 0, plus a blow to the illegal drug trade and the possibility of extra tax income. Everybody wins.

S.I.D. said...

It has actually been suggested the ban has increased smokers in the Republic Of Ireland. No one wants to be left in the clean, boring and cold clubs that now exist. Everyones outside were the real craic is, hence increase in smokers! True!

garfer said...

Pig and Taz
Like the cut of yer jib!
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Given the general public attitude to tobacco, I think most major pub chains would have gone no smoking anyway. It's just a pity they couldn't have left the working class boozers alone.
As for cannabis, it's effectively legal for private use anyway.
Cold Earth
Given the creditable Irish disregard for the law, I imagine that most people outside of Dublin are lighting up just as before.

pissoff said...

It's been so long since I've been to a fucking pub I don't know if they're smoke free over here. However, come to think of it I'm sure they are. Many of the pubs have now made separate "smoking" rooms and installed costly ventilation systems.

As I'm not a smoker I think it's great when I go for my yearly drink that it's smokefree. However, having said that I know full well if and when I go to a pub I'm going to be exposed to smoke and I make that choice.

I like the idea of Garfer's smokeasy. You could wear one of those smoking jackets and a cravat. You'd look... smokin.

Wyndham said...

Once again, the smug middle classes attempt to stifle what little enjoyment the working class has left. Benefit fraud, intravenous drug use, and now smoking. I, like you Garfer, really don't like being told what to do. Next - and this is already starting to happen vis a vis building site regulations - we will be banned from taking our tops off in public. Shockingly, It means I won't be able to get a lovely tan and the world will have to do without a glimpse of my perfect torso.

Herge Smith said...

I am becoming increasingly jealous of the eloquent way in which you write your posts.

Merkin said...

I tend to live by the rule that if it wasn't banned before "New" Labour came to power, and now His Toniness is trying to get rid of it, whatever it is must be great fun.

So, I'm off to:

Burn stubble.
Throw away my fridge.
Watch an amusing TV ad for cigars.
Watch tobacco-sponsored sporting events.
Poke fun at any religion I choose
Not carry an ID card.
Beat up a burglar.
Hunt foxes with my dog, Tiddles.
Book a band to play in the church hall without a £2000 licence.
Open a bar in my local cricket club without a £2000 licence.
Become a parish councillor and slag off my colleagues.
Safely exceed the speed limit on empty roads.
Found a British Ba'ath Party.
Have the Death Penalty (in reserve) against certain heinous crimes.
Stop gypsies from flouting the law.

garfer said...

A smoking jacket would be very elegant. I could also wear a monocle and take up opium.
I don't bare my torso in public. It isn't fair on the ladies, having them swoon like that.
Herge. I am increasingly jealous of your imagination and visual flair. Even eloquent bollocks is still bollocks.
Merkin. You could also have a go at hanging around playgrounds, offering sweeties to little kiddies. I wouldn't reccmmend it though.

Rowan said...

Hmm, maybe you should come to Canada, word is that Dec. 2005, it will then be illegal to even smoke in your own house, ANY interior building, this makes me even angrier than the pubs thing, which unfortunately, us Canadians are pretty much used to now. It's shameful - newsflash! The prohibition didn't work, so why do you (the gov) insist on making crooks out of regular joes like me, pardon my slur but do I look black to you? I ain't no slave off a plantation, and yet you've succesffully gotten ppl to be discriminatory agaiinst smokers. I ahve been told i oculdn't have a job because I smoke, government office! They don't like to promote smoking apparently, horse balls! Unreal. Yeah, this is how Hitler started, we do not live in the socialist society we think we do, we're in a totalitarian dictatorship i tell you, where we the ppl williingly handed the power over on a platter.

garfer said...

I was in Canada twenty years ago and it seemed to have a fairly 'healthy' beer and ciggies culture.
What's gone wrong in the interim? Probably the same as here; increased prosperity means that our politicians have nothing much to do other than address the petty concerns of PC fuckwit pressure groups.

MHN for short said...

You know, I bet you could make a right fair penny with that idea. You could advertise cigars and pipe tobacco and clove cigarrettes in the front part of the bar (maybe even sell some different varieties too, like a tea shop or coffee shop), because they smell better while burning(to me) and good old fashioned rolled tar fags in the back room for those who are "serious" about their smokes. Maybe have a few gaming tables going for an added touch of fun and a Jazz band. Sounds like a fun place to me! I'd go!:-)

great pic btw, really top notch!