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My view has always been that there is a difference between pubs. An outpost of some giant, unresponsive chain, serving lager to dullards watching a plasma screen TV "offers" nothing that home drinking can't.

A real ale pub geared towards good drinks & good conversation is an experience. It is cherished by so many people, me included, & it is this which should be "saved".

People may go less often but they will still fork out for the good stuff. They might change from going to the Rat & Parrot once a week to going to the King's Arms once a month, & I wouldn't file a complaint.

Whenever I go to a strange town I always look in the Good Beer Guide for advice on where to go.

There should be much more detail on the site, as there is with Honest Food.

My own preference is for working-class town pubs which don't serve food, but I'm sure country pubs have their fans.

I am friendly with several landlords :) and they all tell me that the real problem is the unreasonable contracts they have with their owners. Large holding companies are screwing the life out of small pubs - what will be done about that?

This is an issue we shouldn't be involved in. Should we favour pubs over other struggling businesses, when in many cases it is the breweries who have made pubs less attractive to the "traditional" pub regular, focusingon getting in the younger end of the market.

I used to enjoy going to my local - until after a fire it got changed beyond recognition. I now drink at home.

To paraphrase, "it's the smoking ban, stupid." Just pledge to scrap it and pubs will be thrown a lifeline - and it'll be another way to win over White Van Man. Ken Clarke would no doubt be delighted to front this one!

I say this as a non-smoker despairing at the steady disappearance of traditional real ale outlets both urban and rural.

Some good ideas and a very worthwhile campaign. In addition to above what must also be considered is the wide availability of licenses and their conditions. The pub started as somewhere allowed to serve drink but for people to in effect drink under supervision. A really good idea.

What has happenend since is that more and more outlets have been allowed to sell drink without specialist knowledge and/or supervisory features. Many petrol stations now sell alcohol! Wide availability has made monitoring of under age sales almost impossible, driven to prices and encouraged people to drink more because of the ease.

The answer is to tighten up licensing so that the main outlets for drink are those that have a supervisory element and/or specialist knowledge of the product and its use. This approach would largely mean that the main places you could buy alcohol would be pubs, restaurants and some specialist shops.

Supermarkets would only be allowed to sell alcohol if they had a seperate section in the building permanently staffed with the correct staff to customer ratio and knowledge. The opening times of that section should also be in line with pubs, not 24hr and the number of licenses to supermarkets would be restricted.

The above could be achieved by a minor tightening up of licensing law and the Govt fully behind councils when they imposed the changes through their licensing committees.

If its a good way to collect email addresses thats a very definite positive for the impending Election campaign,which to be sure is going to be embracing the internet.

As for the 'Save the pubs ' it is better to leave that to the market, except for iniquitous taxes levied on alcohol. However there are more important taxes to be reduced before alcohol

The problems are many.

Most public houses go to the wall simply because the leases are unaffordable and inflexible. Publicans with experience in the trade know this and usually barter a lease arrangement which is less than the former tenancy, otherwise there's little or no profit as it's all paid out in monthly lease costs which have not been adjusted to take account of duty increases and smoking bans which killed the last remnants of trade and killed the publicans ability to make a net profit.

The smoking ban in particular I believe, was the main killer as up to 60% of trade was lost as a result of it. ( Some even suffered 100% )

Next, the duty increases which are simply a tax on the working man which have gone too far.

Next, the way British culture has been beaten to a pulp where if you drink more than three or four pints followed by a whisky, you're an obvious binge drinker and need to be pilloried by an entire society because obviously you're a wife basher and a trouble maker too despite men have been drinking far more for many years quite peacefully.

I could write a longer list but I'd be wasting my time as the culture of Britain is now reversed and unable to be regained enough to make a decent business from a British pub.

Lastly, the mere fact that large industries employing large numbers of hard working men no longer exist, should really tell a tale in itself as the local watering hole is no longer frequented for this reason too. But that's another story.

The British pub is as dead as a French Duck and our governments killed it along with much of the societal bonding which lived there.

The Conservative Party has as much chance of bring it back as they do of making a manifesto with Europe in it.

You have to ban the "no smoking" ban, simple. Give pubs the choice to be either. That's what's killed the pubs!

Actually? Doesn't anyone know the Conservative policy on the 24 hour licensing? I'm hoping the answer will be repealed! Save the traditional pub, yes. Save the pub the promotes late night binge drinking? No. Town centres up and do the country need to be cleansed of this 11pm-3am no go zone for drunkenness and binge drinking. I would lose alcohol revenues and gain more peaceful late nights streets.

Can we not say that we'll licence a few pubs as 'smoking pubs'?

They could pay a large fee that could then be used to pay for healthcare campaigns?

The other thing I'd add, is the argument over positive and negative argument.

A person who is positive without a negative side is a fool, however a wholly negative person could just be right and he might be positive about it.

The smoking ban has hit the bulk of the entertainment industry- not only pubs. It is also a symptom of the nanny state and the police state that we are.

There are easy ways to smoke and not endanger others- courtyards, roof windows, air conditioning, double doors (go to any choice offering casino in America and see it done- not a trace of smoke in the smoke free part).

It will be a fantastic demonstration that it is possible to get our rights back if the new Conservative government allows people to choose.

Personally, it's never bothered me that people smoke and I take great exception to my friends being banned from my company by a Stalinist Government.

Secondly, there are bingo halls up and down the country which will soon be gone completely only to be replaced by online bingo addicts taking Visa payments and racking people up into debt through there addiction. ( Paying door prices and tickets with the cash in your pocket did not do that ) - Thanks again to a Stalinist Government.

Thirdly, David Cameron should have continued to smoke if he desired it and not "given up" for political reasons. It was a crass error of judgment and gave in to political correctness. That ONE issue showed the entire country his true face and now he sups water continuously instead of having a fag. - ANYONE can see he is still craving for a Benson & Hedges full length filter tipped Superking cigarette.

Lastly, in some parts of Europe they just ignore the law. We do the opposite and then harp on about it and look to make smoking dope legal like a bunch of idiots.

Someone needs to actually say what they mean, be honest and get elected by people who like what they say as opposed to wondering WTF they stand for.

I AM a Lager and Cider Drinker, I don't like Real Ale and it has terrible effects on my intestines. However I DO staunchly support the Good Old English Pub. This is an area where we could kick Labour in the teeth by relaxing the Dictatorial Smoking Ban. If a pub has the capability to set aside an indoor area or even a separate bar where smoking could be permitted that would be of great assistance in this regard.

Come on Dave! I know that the Health Fascists and possibly some of your Notting Hill cronies might not like it, but who gives a XXXX about them! Do something for the Common People and for that matter "White Van Man" as mentioned on another thread. Save the English Pub!

YMT, I agree, a Conservative government must take a very hard line against the binge drinking culture and call time on 24-hour drinking. We all know that a lot of this is about young people not knowing their limits, so government has to impose limits. Just as with experiments like the reclassification of drugs, the Labour government has allowed the problem the leeway to grow, rather than stamping it out. Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

Is that the Queen's Head in Farnham he's in?

Or maybe it's the Wheatsheaf.

It is not just pubs that are closing daily but also an increasing number of working men's clubs particularly the smaller more local ones .
The 2 issues that have to be addressed are the smoking ban and the introduction of differential duty so that pubs pay a lower tax on alcohol than at present and supermarkets a higher duty .

And this is going to help our pubs survive as well isn't it?
Pubs ordered to install Big Brother CCTV cameras - or risk losing licences

When proposals to cut VAT were at committee stage in the European Parliament, Jonathan Evans MEP submitted an amendment that would have allowed governments to reduce VAT on locally produced beer to 5%. Unfortunately it was voted down.

More info on the VAT cut here:

Some really good balanced comments on here.

I hope that the conservatives make some indoor concessions for smokers before more of our fine pubs and clubs shut.

I find it an insult that members of my family who served Britian in WW2, yes they are in their 80s and still smoke are forced outside for a cigarette.

From a personal standpoint I'm against repealing the no-smoking laws. I'm a CAMRA member and enjoy many traditional alcoholic drinks and for me the experience of drinking in pubs has become a delight with no-smoking. I also think the health concerns are compelling. It would really have to be the nuclear option to repeal no-smoking. I think the real problem is licensing and the illiberal structure of the pub business. Vast swathes of pubs are unable to compete, strangled by the business model equivalent of an overbearing Whitehall. Most landlords aren't allowed to change to suit their customers or to try new products and new ideas. The pub sector needs to be liberalised. As for supermarkets, I generally don't like adding more regulation on to them but to help level the playing field (they are huge companies who save money through scale) I'd increase the cost of their licenses quite significantly.

I haven`t smoked for many years but don`t object to those who do. Banning it in areas where food is served in pubs is ok, but sending people out into the cold to indulge while they enjoy a pint is ridiculous. Our village pub has erected a large wooden structure for smokers in the car park with patio heaters which are to be banned by...you guessed it, the European Union. In the fight against global warming of course.

Playing catch-up again I see:


Do the Tories support the smoking ban and would they allow patio heaters?

Right, so Hunt sits on his hands when it comes to the banning of Olympic sports, but is keen to maintain establishments which get people drunk, in a country where drunkeness is a serious contributor to crime levels.


Where's your free market spirit? Want to save the pub? Go to the pub!

The only measure which might help is a minimum price per unit of alcohol for on-license sales, preventing the loss-leading alcohol sales in the supermarket.

We should not forget that a lot of the damage was done by the last Conservative Government, which forced the breweries to sell their pubs to companies that, when it came to the licensed trade, didn’t know their ale from their egg-nog.

The aim of such companies was to maximize profits; so the Perrier-drinking management whizz-kids gave us ghastly theme pubs, put in managers instead of tenants, aimed the business at young people and generally buggered up this important part of the British way of life.

Combine that with off-the-back-of-a-lorry contraband, cheap supermarket prices and specialist outlets such as Bargain Booze, plus the fear of elderly people to walk out at night and it is no wonder the trade has declined.

Is it opening time yet?

In what way is the 'pub' considered a great institution if everything they do is frowned upon?

When I was young I went to the pub with my mates and we drank beer, smoked, talked and bonded.

Now you can't drink (unless you are walking), you can't smoke, and a pub doesn't make any money out of talking...

This is caused by the same insane logic as taxing people out of cars and then pretending to be surpised when sales go down!

The pubs don't need more help, they need less state interference.

(I seem to recall that smoking is still allowed in the HoC bars, more 'do as I say not as I do' from MPs).

Why not have a higher drink drive limit after 10:30 when all the 'innocents' are off the roads? Or duty free tobacco sales for consumption in licensed premises (where the kids won't get second hand smoke?).

There is no logic or imagination in what is currently being done.

I hope pp is trolling because many of the points he makes are *insert non pc word here*

I am with Doug on this one.

There is nothing worse than visiting a pub for lunch only to come home with clothes that smell because other people have been smoking. Those who smoke often die slowly and painfully from it and those who smoke passively, voluntarily or not, sometimes do. Pubs, restaurants and cafes should be clean on the inside as they are now.

In conclusion, Raleigh deserved his fate.

Did someone mention TROLL ?

As a Thatcherite it pains me to say that the rot set in during the 1980s when breweries had their 'monopolies' broken up and the pubtrepreneuers moved in.

There has to be some recognition of past mistakes on this. Resident leftie makes a good point though; maybe it's time to tax off-license sales more heavily.

As per usual labour has a sledgehammer approach when it comes to duty on alcohol. The fact is that proper pubs selling beer are being crushed in the name of tackling binge drinking.

Beer is self-regulating. You can only drink so much of it at a time. Alcopops are the cause of the street problems. It tastes like fruit which disguises the strength. It doesn't take up too much room so you don't feel bloated and you can poor lots of it down your throat in a short period of time........Result: oblivion.

I use a pub that sells Real Ales and much of it is very strong. I have never seen a fight in there and I know of several pubs that are the same

That should have been "pour" by the way

Before the smoking ban there were numerous pubs with small smoking areas and Large non smoking areas. Businesses were catering for their customers

As a non smoker I was already catered for with plenty of choice of non smoking areas to frequent, what is the problem with providing separate smoking areas.

The CAMRA member is typical of todays society, I am ok Jack I am catered for I enjoy my traditional drinks.

What people do not realise is that they may not have a local pub to frequent, there are many small towns and villages that are now without a pub.

Support all measures including a revised smoking policy this will get more custom back in our pubs and prove a vote winner.

" This is an area where we could kick Labour in the teeth by relaxing the Dictatorial Smoking Ban. "

Not only could we do this we should. It is surprising just how many non-smoking pub goers hate Labour persecution of their smoking friends. We now have (in my town) security guards walking the grounds of our hospitals, to stop people from having a crafty smoke outside. Is it nay wonder that parties like the BNP are doing well, when we are yet to position ourselves clearly on the side of personal rights. Nobody is pretending that smoking is good, but we really can't pretend that labours nazi laws are designed to do anything other than put people in their place.

A business needs customers to survive, and a business needs to cater adequatley for all its customers (including smokers).

Choice should be allowed to enable those that require non-smoking to have it, and for those who smoke, to to be able to socialise in an indoor area. This country is more than big enough to cater for all its citizens.

Without addressing the issue of the smoking ban, then this campaign will hardly scratch the surface, and I see no point in it.

Why dont they dramatically cut the tax on all draught beer and lager. This would help to regain customers who are adversly affected by the current high prices and cheap supermarket deals? The main reason for loss of customers however is without doubt the smoking ban. Everyone knows that Labour could,nt give a toss about small businesses. Liberals are well not liberal. I think I,m right in saying that both UKIP and the BNP are going to help by amending the ban and I think this will be high on the agenda before the next election and as a lifelong conservative voter I will be wanting to be assured as to what extent if any this current conservative party will be doing to bring this country back to it,s former democratic status.

A good example of someone who has suffered from the ban on smoking inside a pub is my father. A man of 88 who fought for King and Country in WW2 in the RAF, and thereafter worked all his days and is a law abiding citizen.

He used to like to have a pint and a fag in his local pub a couple of times a week. The pub he used had designated areas for smokers with powerful fans which sucked up the smoke and filtered out the fumes. This seemed to work very well. I gave up smoking 20 years ago and haven't even had a wee fly puff since but was not in any way put off by the smoke from those who did so in that pub when I visited dad in Scotland and we went for a pint together.

Now with the Labour/Health Fascist's ban he cannot enjoy this simple pleasure any longer. Alas many Scots pubs, including the one he used, are "lock up pubs" with no garden or sitting out area so there in nowhere for smokers to go and the Local Authorities and the Police do not tolerate people standing outside the door of the pub on the pavement with a pint in one hand and a fag in the other. I would add that my father has smoked since since his teens and is still with us at the age if 88.

So thank you Health-Fascists and the grinning ninnies that make up most Labour MPs these days you have robbed an old man and many similar to him, of one of their few pleasures. The irony is that he has been a Labour Voter all his adult life and thus you have hurt one of your own.

Why should we have to justify repealing the Smoking ban? We should be honest: we want to repeal it to undermine the foundations of our political opponents. The Hunting ban, the Handgun ban, and far too many other bans to list should be repealed for very much the same reasons.

Just an additional point to my post. I don't smoke and generally was quite pleased when the smoking ban came in but I sensed it might be a bit too strict at the time. As I've looked at the issue in more detail I've come to the view the ban was too strict. There are several factors around the closures but what suprised me talking to publicans is that the smoking ban has had a big impact. I am of the view personally that a smoking room should be allowed in non-food pubs so long as there is an extractor fan, that no smoke gets into the other parts of the pub and that any staff serving in a smoking room have agreed to work there and are smokers themselves.

Oh, and one other thing.
Labour's pathetic information bureau which reports that it is wrong for a person under 15 to have ANY alcohol whatsoever.

I was drinking sherry, port and whisky at the age of 12 whenever I could find a bottle handy to have a snout out of and in pubs at the age of 14.

I know of no material damage caused me except I lost my front tooth in a brawl but that was in my late teens.

Despite this I have the intellectual capacity to run this country single handedly with one arm tied behind my back and without ANY of the crap foisted on it by this Stalinist Government.

Also, as fortune would have it, Winston Churchill was never seen without a drink in his mitt throughout the second world war and I have another list of historical drinking hero's to give if Brown needs them and they all smoked.

As any of them would no doubt tell Brown, it is not the length of time you live it is how you live that counts, and 'this' ain't 'living', it's just existing in Brown's Stalinist Britain.

Namby-Pamby liberalism won't get it back either.

The smoking ban if anything should be extended rather than relaxed. We need to protect people from the dangers of smoking in other peoples smoke and we need to drive down smoking related diseases which are on the rise. This is what is far more important than pubs having to shut down.

rugfish. So don`t go complaining about the way youngsters are getting drunk and causing so much trouble.Drinking brings about as much tragedy to peoples lives as smoking does. If you need to get drunk to enjoy yourself you must lead a very sad life.

Obviously we should just close Britain down so Jack can wander round on his own looking wondering why everyone left the place and it's all in ruins except for automaton followers of Stalin who'll all be having a "good time" without smokers.

A prominent group of Labour members is urging the government to spend an extra £20bn to stimulate the economy through measures to boost the housing market.


These idiots want the taxpayers to SPEND another £20 billion in giving away our money to borrowers.

It's all they know in the Labour 'Borrow and Spend' economy!!

Totally thick.
Carry on as before lads and we'll clean the mess up later!!!

They also think it will work, it shows how stupid they are.
They think they can manage market forces and make people buy houses.

They think people will WANT to buy when they have no job, and they think those who have a job will want to pay more tax.

If they stopped to take notice for a while, they'd see that people don't give a shit about their lunatic ideas which gave them an economic crisis and a messed up country.

They'd instead start to reverse their undemocratic policies and wasteful spending programs along with their daft bans, stupid immigration laws and lopsided politically incompetent policies which placed British people at a disadvantage and caused their lack of support and their imminent throwing out of government along with all the other twats who know not what they do to my country.

Posted by: Jack Stone | February 21, 2009 at 17:13


At the age of 12 and 14 I can assure you I did not lead a sad life.

Nor do I now and I don't drink or smoke, I just like to think I can if I want to because I don't live in Warsaw in the 1950's.

What a sad and boring person Jack Stone is!

Apart from all the more profound reasons that I wish to see a Tory Government at the next General Election I would love to think of Stone sickened to his very bones as the Tory Gains flash across the TV screen.

In a way it's a pity the old Soviet Union is defunct as he would fit in there with his Stalinist outlook. Of course he might say the wrong thing, upset the Commissars and end up in a Gulag. Now there's a merry thought for a Saturday afternoon. I might even have a double Bowmore as I consider it.

Lol, great campaign! Kill the pubs by supporting the smoking ban then set up a campaign to 'save' them without revoking the legislation that killed them in the first place.

It's just like the recent Tory whining about immigration, where the core problem is something you supported, but you still seek to extract political capital from the fall-out whilst ignoring the elephant in the room (or the one that is outside freezing his nuts off having a crafty ciggie).

Steve.If you want to cut spending then the smoking ban will help you do it because it will reduce smoking related diseases. if you want to reduce crime in our city centre`s then don`t go trying to save places that are the scenes of much of this violence.
This is not about control its about trying to make Britain a more healthy and less violent place.

There is a very simple reason pubs have become unprofitable, it is because the properties have been overvalued and overpaid for by pubcos and pub chains, that has forced up prices for the few remaining private landlords to unrealistic levels. Pubs have risen in price along with general domestic and commercial property values. There will need to be really BIG WRITEDOWNS in the pubcos, like Enterprise, Punch and Greene King etc. Trouble is most of these purchases have been on borrowed money. There will be much more blood in this market for a while yet. Upto now the pubcos have depended on a succession of mugs going into the licensed trade and losing their shirts to be followed by another mug. So values must be written down, rents must fall to economic levels or pubs will continue to die.

A second problems is guest ales. The pubcos have been allowed by parliament to get away with not allowing TRUE guest ales, this has resulted in higher prices than necessary which has discouraged punters. All tie on beer and drink needs to be made illegal. After all, in what other business other than the franchises does your commercial landlord dictate the goods you can sell.

This is pointless hypocrisy of the highest order and the Tories should be given a resounding kick in the nether regions by the Great British public, for engaging in it. At the rate which the Shariaization of Britain is progressing, it will not be too long before Islamofascists demand that pubs are banned in areas with a high number of Muslims and nodoubt the Islamofascist friendly Labour Party and the spineless Tories will agree to it, as they cravenly agree to everything else the Islamfascists want.

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Three of my five local pubs have now closed. Two of these pubs were freehold pubs that were able to buy cheaper drinks and therefore were able to sell the drink cheaper than many 'tied' pub.
So if the drinks price in these two pubs were reasonable why did they close.
Simple answer.. The smoke ban.
The majority of customers were working people from the local area that came to the pubs for a couple of pints most weekday evenings to have a cigarette and socialise.
Then they would come in at weekends to have a social evening with their spouses.
The day after the ban they ALL stopped coming in the pubs. Even the non-smokers stopped coming in as there was nobody to talk to.
Who would be stupid enough to buy a drink and then go out in the freezing cold to drink it with a cigarette.
This campaign is going nowhere until the ban is amended.
We all have enough money to go to the pub, but choose not to.

If Jack Stone is a Tory then we're screwed. No point in voting anymore. Labour want everything banned except Quaker principles and Jack supports them. Government and opposition in perfect agreement. Might as well invoke the Civil Contingencies Act and remove the right to a General Election now, there's not a lot of point to it.

Jack, why do we need to tell people how to live their lives? What concern is it of yours? I believe Cameron talked at the party conference of 'personal responsibility'. If you disagree with that principle, you're in the wrong party (not that I believe you can be a Tory with that Stalinist view of life).

Government should be catering for how people like to live their lives, not dictating how they do so. That means all people, not just those who live approved lifestyles.

Jack apart, comments here have been very enlightened, but as mentioned, none of this common sense has yet been taken up by the Tory top table. In fact, with the likes of James Brokenshire around (he of the call for minimum alcohol pricing for everyone to tackle the problem of a tiny minority who cause trouble - aka 'collective punishment'), there is no sign of anything remotely resembling a relaxation of the festering authoritarianism that Labour have inflicted for the past 12 years.

Oh yeah, as for pubs, amend the smoking ban, job done. It will require freeing the mind from the incessant hypnotism spouted by fake charities and heavily pharmaceutical-funded special interest groups, but why not? I still find it quite laughable that their advice is never taken with even a modicum of cynicism, never mind employed as reason to ride roughshod over manifesto commitments voted on by an electorate of 44m

It's not Sarin gas we're talking about here FFS, and there are far better alternatives to the naive assumption that we must have entirely non-smoking pubs or entirely smoking ones.

Wake up Tories, and fast please.

I disagree with many people on this board in that I'm very happy we have the ban, although at the time I was *pun* fuming, but then I'm an ex-smoker and the smoking ban got me to quit by removing temptation from many places I socialise.
Considering I was a 20+ a day smoker from age 15 and am now in my mid 20s the smoking ban means that the temptation has been severely reduced as its no longer a factor in places I like to go such as bars, clubs, restaurants, train stations etc.. It's been a good thing.. You choose to smoke, your choice shouldn't mean you affect the choice of other people who don't want to come into contact with smoke by people forcing their habit on other people. If you choose to smoke you have to do it in an environment that does not affect the others and be segregated, I'm sorry but that's just got to be the case, smoking is a terrible habit, the difference after having smoked a decade in my health is immense too, and even a whiff can twinge my reflex of thinking, hmmmmm ciggy.... wait! No! Bad, have a stick of gum.

"This is not about control its about trying to make Britain a more healthy and less violent place" And a lot more BORING place too!

I neither desire nor require your Nanny State control freak Labour dictation as to what I should eat, drink, and if I still did, smoke. Anyway, it was Labour who both permitted 24 hour pub opening and took the Licensing Powers away from the Magistrates Courts and gave it to Local Councils. People drunk in the streets is YOUR fault, not the Tories.

Anyway, since May 1997 you have had your chance and as far as most people are concerned you have blown it, and micro-management and intrusive interference in people's day to day lives is part of the reason. Many people these days would sooner vote for Satan himself than for Labour!

Although I feel that the result will be closer than the current polls would indicate, I can see your party, Mr Stone, being kicked out on its arse at the next General Election and as has happened to it many times being out of office for a generation again. It is people like you who have driven me back to the Tory Party which although I do not care for its present Leadership is a far better alternative to the Politically Correct, soulless grey world of Labour.

Rest easy Dick Puddlecote. If Jack Stone is a Tory them I am Karl Marx! Whatever his real name may be, assuming he is not actually called "Jack Stone", he is Labour through and through, his mind set is archetypal.

@steve foley

seriously guv, I think you need to step away from the keyboard and have a fag, you're coming across like "angry german kid"


not a good look...

"Considering I was a 20+ a day smoker from age 15 and am now in my mid 20s"

We have a lifelong smoker and drinker here!!
Who has been legally allowed to go in pubs for about 7 years.

The people that would go back into the pubs are smokers and drinkers that have been enjoying their 'filthy' habits for 30,40,50 or 60 years.
Considering that the 'grey pound' is still quite healthy (as too are the smokers and drinkers of that generation) it is obvious that the only way to get the pubs back on course is to 'allow' these people back inside.

@Sarah Fisher

Yeh whatever, You're still legally allowed to go into those pubs, and you can pop outside for a fag right? You're just not allowed to smoke inside. Are you saying that you're habit, that is proven to cause harm, should be allowed to cause harm to those around you who choose not to smoke. Yes or no? If Yes maybe I should take my crack pipe and smoke it in a nursery? Or I could start smoking my Skunk in public, always good to get people around you high as a kite. Sound fair right? Only difference is Tobacco is legal and the other stuff isn't.

"Are you saying that you're habit, that is proven to cause harm, should be allowed to cause harm to those around you who choose not to smoke. "

No, she's probably supporting people's choice to go to a smoking or non-smoking *private* establishment, a choice that has been removed by politicians, despite the act being legal, and despite it occurring on private property.

If is not as if any party has plans to ban smoking, as the tax revenue keeps rolling in, so let's give the hypocrisy a rest.

I think it's a sensible campaign. But when beer is three times more expensive in a pub than it is in the supermarket,it will fail.
Personally I think the effects of the smoking ban have been hugely exaggerated however, leases and the buying power of the supermarkets are much more important.

The blanket smoking ban was brought in to create a level playing field. How can there be a level playing field when some pubs have gardens and some have not.

This attitude that people should be allowed to do what they please will do for the Conservative Party in the end.
You believe that people should be allowed to smoke regardless of the fact that they kill other people by there habit through passive smoking.
You believe people should do anything regardless of the effects that have on the wider society.
This isn`t conservatism it is Liberterism of the sort that puts ideals before people.

The smoking ban is the reason I have given up the pubs. No-one was ever banned from investing their OWN money into smoke-free venues, were they (CAMRA). You always had that choice, so did any smoke hating anti.
We would all of had a choice to go into "non-smoking" venues or "smoking" venues. That choice has been taken away, with this draconian ban.
I agree with Steve Foley, I will never forgive this government for what they have done to destroy the social lives of the elderly most of all. They do not have a voice, it is bad enough for those of us that do. They have no-where or no-one that will listen, they can vent their spleen to. It is cruel and inhumane, and to patronize them "it is for their health" is unbelievable.
Did the Conservatives, get the idea to try and save the industry from UKIP?
The landlords should have the choice, it is their money they use to invest. The Government should have paid out compensation for the "forced" closures, because of this ban.

Passive smoke never harmed anyone ,look at the real Science, not ASH propaganda ! only 50 people in 100,000 get lung cancer so how many of this very small amount contracted it through second hand smoke ?,none I would imagine as I know people who have smoked for 60 years or more inhaling in concentrated amounts of cig smoke ,if watered down cig smoke is so deadly how come these people are still around ?scrap this silly ban now ?

"You believe that people should be allowed to smoke regardless of the fact that they kill other people by there habit through passive smoking."

Mr Stone:

According to ONS online statistics for 2007, 2,691 people died in Road Traffic Accidents in England & Wales.

Every one of these proven by the cause of death being recorded on death certificates.

Now, please tell us how many people died due to 'passive smoking' in that same year.

I'll be waiting ... a long time, I suspect!

I don't know if a lack of basic numeracy and elementary statistical understanding is a trait common to all politicians, but it does at times seem like it. Hence their apparent inability to differentiate between statistics that are merely numerical representations of facts (eg the RTA mortality statistics), and those that are conjured out of thin air - usually by self-centred, single-issue pressure groups (eg ASH), and their camp followers - as propaganda. So-called 'passive smoking' deaths most definitely fall into the latter category.

And Useful Idiots fall for the propaganda every time, do they not?

Seriously, do the Conservative party really believe that a sensible modification of this legislation, based on a socially and scientifically acceptable compromise mix of partial segregation and mandated ventilation, would be anything other than a vote winner - as well as a pub-saver?

Do they ever get out into the real world?


There were 6 thriving pubs in my mum and dads village until the mine was closed by 'Thatcher'. Now there is one. Need I say anymore?

lolpeople, fail more yes? Smoking does not cause cancer but creates kittens, we didn't go to the moon, the US government caused 9/11, the loch ness monster is real, I saw big foot and the yeti, Dinosaurs still live among us and Santa is a Martian, All true you know. The internet said so. If I rate on the internet it makes me right, [b]using bold makes me important[/b]! oh well :) Since the smoking ban is here to stay, I spose all I can say is, ha! Cry some more.

This attitude that people should be allowed to do what they please will do for the Conservative Party in the end.

This from a Labour supporter? Very funny.

Your party is dying on its backside because you won't leave people alone and you are preaching?

We lived in a free country before Labour pitched up, Jack.

Yes. People should be allowed to do as they please on private property if the owner allows it. It doesn't matter the health consequences. It should be up to a government to advise on dangers and allow people to make their own choices. That isn't Liberterism (sic), it's common sense in a free society.

What next for Labour then? Banning stuntmen as they might hurt themselves or someone near them? Rugby perhaps as an opposing prop forward might accidentally break their neck?

And this is pure class ...

"This isn`t conservatism it is Liberterism of the sort that puts ideals before people."

Putting ideals before people? Labour have been doing that for decades and always will. If that wasn't an intentional joke, it's even funnier.


You don't really understand what's going on here, do you? You say that you like the ban because it helps you not to smoke, but that was not why it was brought in. Red herring time. When challenged, you throw out an ASH cliche and get angry. Then you throw out two more.

You're correct that tobacco is legal though, which undermines your nonsense about smoking crack at a nursery, or did you miss that anomaly?

No-one is talking about smoking crack at a nursery. We are talking about smoking a legal product, on private property, with the agreement of the owner of that property should they so wish it. Do you see the difference?

You seem to be another who is silly enough to believe that all pubs must be smokefree, or none of them. You don't even consider the idea of smoking rooms where you wouldn't be forced to go unless you chose to. If the ban was amended, you would still be able to avoid smoking (or crack smokers in a nursery) but those who wish to enjoy a smoke with their pint would also have a choice.

Now where is the problem with that unless you believe you have the right to dictate that every business follows your rules, as Labour do.

Remember this is a story about how to save pubs. They are the ones in dire straits, not you. Those who have invested thousands in their business should be given some semblance of choice in how they run that business. Would you like government to have the seating arranged differently in your local shoe shop to suit your requirements?

There is no valid reason why the smoking ban can't be amended to take into account 22% of the population (more so in pubs as smokers are more prevalent there). Non-smokers can also be accommodated adequately. The hysteria spouted by some is quite ridiculous.

Stalinist Stone says that the Conservatives attitude will do for them in the end. That sounds like whistling in the dark to me. I don't see the Tories falling in the Opinion Polls but even the least favourable of these puts them well ahead of Labour and likely to win the next General Election with a working majority.

I am more likely to be harmed by the exhaust from motor vehicles both petrol and diesel as I ride my bicycle than by any passive smoking. I don't suppose that Jack Stone or any of his left-wing buddies will suggest banning cars unless they want to be lynched! Incidentally, I was myself a heavy smoker from my teens until 20 years ago but gave up of my own free will and accord then. I have never pontificated to others nor exhorted them to stop smoking as that is for them to decide and it is still a legal activity (unlike smoking Skunk YMT) and one from which the State gains a high revenue in both Excise Duty and VAT, as well as the NHI and Income Tax from those employed in the Tobacco Industry.

So here is my challenge to Stone. Write to your Labour buddies in Parliament and suggest that smoking tobacco in any form, pipe, cigarettes or cigars, be made a criminal offence and thereby banned completely. Apart from giving a sure earner to the criminal fraternity as (Alcohol) Prohibition did in the USA, any Party threatening to do this would face electoral wipe out. But hey, think of all the people who would live longer as a result? They might be miserable, cowed and controlled, but that doesn't matter to a dirigist does it?

Jack Stone is our resident troll, do not feed him.

The cause is the smoking ban. This is absolutely clear. And it was absolutely clear that this would happen.

It is the duty of our legislators to consider all possible consequences of any laws. Anybody who frequents a pub, and has the slightest of intution, would have understood this was about to happen. If not, they are poor legislators.

Honestly. Please. To look at the current decline of the pub, and sit there thinking 'OMG WHAT HAPPENED', is frustrating. You want to force pubs to prohibit what a significant proportion of their customers enjoy, and then to expect the industry to flourish, is dismal.

You want to help this industry? The answer is simple: let people do what they want.

Sign on door:

"This establishment permits smoking, enter it at your own risk"


Next sign:

"We have an area OUTSIDE for non-smokers in a small hut round the back with a patio heater when we can afford to run it, meanwhile you are FREE to freeze your bollox off like you used to make smokers do"

There you go, that's not too hard to do is it Dave ( and Jack )?

Surely, no one can complain at having EQUAL treatment to smokers?

After all, you have no RIGHT to enter a private establishment in any event so what's the problem?

I know that this campaign is about saving our pubs, but there are many wider implications of the smoking ban too.

A successful campaign in saving the pubs and making amendments to cater for everyone would have a greater impact to the economy than many would believe.

There are others that are affected by the pub industry - taxis, suppliers, hair-dressers, musicians and artistes, even the high street with purchases of new clothes, shoes, handbags and make-up, to name but a few.

All these saw a decline in business before the credit crunch when smokers and their non-smoking friends began started to stay away from the pubs.

Allowing these millions back into the pubs with smoking areas, would also provide a boost in these other areas.

I'll be honest, I'd return to the pubs tomorrow (I also know many others who would), if a slight amendment was made to allow everyone to socialise in comfort and safety.

I haven't smoked for over 20 years.

Before the smoking ban I used to meet various groups of mates at pubs. Following the ban, I ended up sitting with my mates (who where the reason I was there at all) outside in the cold and dark. Is it any surprise we don't bother any more?

If I wanted to sit outside drinking in the cold and dark with my smoking mates, I'd buy my beer at the supermarket and meet my mates at a bus shelter or war memorial like everyone else does.

Can anyone confirm that the smoking ban does not apply to the house of commons bars?

The true cause of the pubs' problems is the price differential compared with supermarkets and we should not allow a smokescreen to be created on this issue. A brand new pub on a new housing estate, opened after the ban was introduced, is doing a roaring trade, despite a Subway and a McDonalds nearby and another food pub across the road. My lunch at Central Club yesterday was far more enjoyable without other people's lethal gases on the premises.

For once, Jock Stale may just have a point, concealed as it is behind his abysmal spelling and egregious grammar.

As I have said many times Kill the smoking Ban, Roger Gale has some sensible ideas on this.

Second issue is business rates that are so sky high that pubs are having to hand over most of their profits to the taxman

Third issue is the leased pubs where any remaining profit goes to the freeholder, Punch and Enterprise to name two. Having seen the terms of some of these leases I would not touch them with a bargepole.

Super Blue.
Anyone who says that the smoking ban is not the issue, must be blinkered in some way. It is one of the main reasons for pub closures as these figures show:
Official pub closures:
2005 - 102
2006 - 216
2007 - 1409
2008 - well we all know that one, don't we?

Now, what happened half way through the year on 2007 - on 1 July to be exact? Yes, the smoking ban. This was before the credit crunch, and let's face it, we've had cheap supermarket booze for years.

There's no point in a 'Save the Pub' campaign if amendments to the smoking ban are not addressed. To me, and no doubt many others, it will look like you're trying to do something, but in fact are doing nothing.


Please don't twist the evidence. Just look at drink prices in your local supermarket and pub. Then factor in the DEPRESSION (to quote Brown), making the home-drinking option far more attractive.

So why should people be allowed to pollute my Conservative Club when I go in for lunch, given that my lunch probably costs twice their pint even before I have a drink?

People have died from passive smoking - it is a simple scientific fact.

Super Blue: Name three

"People have died from passive smoking - it is a simple scientific fact."

Really? A small percentage of people have also died from inhaling the fumes from motor vehicles, diesel engined locomotives, background radiation from nuclear power stations. We have not banned these. A few people die each year from nut allergy but of course we do not ban nuts in food or confectionery but post warnings where these arse sold or may be present in foodstuffs. Some people die from excessive drinking of alcohol e.g. liver failure but we do not ban its sale nor use by adults, nor should we.

If it is that much of a problem then the government could simply hike up the excise duty on cigarettes to something like £15 a packet of 20 with the equivalent for pipe tobacco, cigars etc. Will they do so? Will they hell! That would be political suicide and the take in tax would dry up too.

Dick Puddlecote I am sure that Super Blue will find you some examples but I do not personally see that the liberties of the many should be slain against the walls of Roy Castle

How this thread has focused on a relatively minor issue. The price of alchohol in pubs isversus the off trade is many times more important than a smoking ban.
Many pubs that have become quasi-resturants are still doing well. Resturants that used to have smoking areas are still doing well. I wonder how the pro smoking libertarians explain that?

"People have died from passive smoking - it is a simple scientific fact."

Super Blue, I suggest that you check the dictionary definition of the word 'fact' - or do you think that prepending the adjectives 'simple' and 'scientific' somehow alter the definition?

Sorry, but it is not a fact at all.

Cause of death is recorded on a death certificate using the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding system for diagnoses. There are over 14,000 causes of death in the ICD system - and 'passive smoking' is not one of them. It is, therefore, a fact that no one has ever died of passive smoking. Not one.

So I won't bother to ask you to name any - since I know damn well that you can't. (Oh, and please spare me the 'Roy Castle' cliche. Castle died of Lung cancer - the cause of which was unknown and, indeed, unknowable).

Back in 2007 (again - see my previous post) some 277 poor souls died from "Exposure to smoke, fire and flames", but these were all due to fires, not tobacco smoke. This, my friend, is a fact.

It is also a fact that 18 people in the same year died by drowning in their bath tubs. Time to ban baths?

Another fact is the 3 people who died in parachute accidents. Another ban coming?

A more worrying fact is that 1,560 people died from MRSA, contracted in Hospitals and nursing homes (although, oddly, not in pubs!) Methinks that this proven fact should exercise our (allegedly) health-concious politicians a wee bit more than the propaganda of the selfish anti-smoking zealots. Then again, they can't find anything to ban here, can they?

It's pretty ludicrous, isn't it, blithely to quote something as a "fact", just because you want to believe it is so. You make it quite clear, that this is because you think that someone might be allowed to smoke a cigarette while you are eating lunch - yet most posters who want to see the return of lost freedoms accept the need for segregation that would still allow your lunch to be 'smoke-free'. Why do you ignore this? Hmm?

Helen posted some factual statistics on net pub closures. Whether you like it or not, the acceleration in pub closures started on 1 July 2007. Sure it is her conjecture that the smoking ban resulted in that acceleration - and conjecture isn't fact - but it's a pretty overwhelming piece of statistical evidence, is it not?

When you hear the many pub managers who cite the smoking ban as the reason for their business failures, you really don't need to be a scientist to see the link is strong enough to be, de facto, the truth.

You may not like this truth, Malcom Dunn, but unless you want to follow the ASH party line, that thousands of landlords suddenly and collectively became crap managers on 1 July 2007, you really can't deny it.

Beer prices have been rising for years, often with quite severe spikes following tax-raising budgets. I have known at least two recessions in my lifetime, and neither the beer prices, nor the recessions led to pub closures on anything remotely approaching the scale being witnessed today.

And of course off-sales are up. Why do you think this is? Which group of people do you think are now buying their drinks for home consumption rather than drinking in pubs that are now no longer welcoming places? Come on, man, it isn't that difficult!

I wonder how you anti-smoking authoritarians would explain that.

Super Blue
I'm not twising any figures/evidence. You're stating what is being mentioned now - the depression etc. My figures were before the credit crunch/recession.

I am sure that I (and many others that I know) are not the only ones in this country to have stopped visiting the pub after 1 July 2007. We were happy to pay the prices, but we weren't happy with being thrown outside.

Professional organisations, the government valuation office, trade groups, the CIU, etc have all admitted to the damage that the blanket ban has had to the hospitality trade.

Do you perhaps know something they don't? Or do you choose not to listen to things you don't like to hear and continue to shout the anti-smoking rhetoric?

No-one here is asking for the ban to be repealed. They are asking for choice so that all individuals can socialise in the environment that they require. Afterall, smoking is perfectly legal.

I believe someone earlier mentioned about the cost of treating smoking-related diseases. Could I just add, that there is no cost. Smokers provide a surplus of around 6 to 8 billion every year after costs of their treatment has been deducted.

One could also argue that the illnesses that are classed as 'smoking diseases', are also known to be caused by many other factors.

Mind you - this isn't really to do with the topic in question, as this relates to active smoking, and not the alleged dangers of passive smoking.


Pathetic rubbish - as if I have time to go through every death certificate for the past hundred years, even if I had access to them. Anyone who died of lung cancer etc but had never voluntarily smoked could have been a victim of passive smoking but there will be fewer of them now.

Malcolm, you are quite right in focussing on the price differential. Furthermore, in major cities, the population has shifted to the suburbs. Hospitals have moved out and so should pubs - the business is different in style from a hundred years ago.

When a non-smoker wants to eat out, they don't have to put up with the health risks and unpleasant smells. Surely that is more civilised - look again at the numbers when Brown's depression is over.

I don't smoke, my wife does. Neither of us wish to waste money in pubs that are no longer fit for purpose. Since July 2007 I estimate that the trade is down in excess of £3000 from the loss of our custom. Absolutely nothing to do with increased beer prices - we never went to the pub for cheap beer. How can you put a price on a national institution?

This country is becoming bleaker by the day...could someone tell me what it's all leading to? If this is progress, you can keep it....

Super Blue

I'm not quite sure which restaurants you visit, but it was pretty even round my way, and about 50% went non-smoking voluntarily well before the ban. People could then choose whether they could socialise in a non-smoking or smoking environment. No harm was done to business and no harm was done to those wishing to eat out.

As a smoker, this didn't bother me - it was OK every now and then to visit somewhere entirely non-smoking. The blanket ban is a different 'kettle of fish'.

I'm not surprised that many have relocated to the suburbs - just look at the air pollution in town centres - known to be 4 times more deadly than the 'alleged' effects of passive smoking. (EU Commission)

You don't need to sift through every death certificate - there's people paid to try to prove just one case. They haven't been able to come up with one name yet. (EU Commission and anti-smoking organisations).

Why can you not accept venues that allow smoking and venues that do not? You've just stated that "When a non-smoker wants to eat out, they don't have to put up with the health risks and unpleasant smells".

You wouldn't have to if there was a choice. What's your problem with that?

It is a fact that pubs are dying because of the smoking ban – even Comrade Darling has admitted this: “Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted the smoking ban is forcing pubs out of business” – link: http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Darling-Smoking-ban-is-closing.4782600.jp

The publicans warned this government of all the Comrades this would be the consequence, but they were ignored – and then the Comrades had the cheek to lie that the Publicans were the driving force.

It’s not hard to make the link that the Comrades aim to ‘make pubs history’ because – as if the Stalinist witch-hunt on smokers wasn’t enough – now everybody will be filmed by CCTV. [Are the Stasi taking lessons as we are now the most spied on nation in the whole world?!]

The “Daily Mail” warned about CCTV in all pubs on 18 February 2009: “Big Brother-style plans to force pubs to install CCTV cameras raise ‘serious privacy concerns’, the surveillance watchdog has warned. Police are telling pubs, clubs, restaurants and off-licences they will not support their licensing applications unless they agree to train the intrusive cameras on their customers.”

The British pub is nearly dead – murdered by the government of all the Comrades.

Correction - BRITAIN is nearly dead - murdered by the government of all the Comrades.

Aided and abetted by NU-CON.

These are Jeremy's words:
"There is also, of course, the effect of the smoking ban. The Conservatives don't want to touch that issue."

That being the case, I can't see any reason whatsoever why the tories are attempting to save the British Pubs.

Or, have you used the word 'don't' rather than 'won't' on purpose Jeremy?

Until this issue is addressed, there will be no revival of this industry.

You know it, I know it, the public know it and so do your HQ. What are you going to do about it then?

One simple question that needs one simple answer. Here's the multi-choice option:
a) Blanket ban remains
b) Blanket ban is repealed
c) Blanket ban is amended

That's all the electorate want to know - the answer to one simple multi-choice question. Surely that can't be too hard for your party to answer can it?

The answer will affect a lot of voters intentions, but if it remains unanswered it will as well.

The choice is for the conservative party.

We have to do something to cut business rates aswell - particularly at the lower end of the scale.
That would benefit all smaller businesses including most pubs.

The smoking ban should be reversed - certainly outside the main urban centres.

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