[Wiltshire] OT: Tolerance vs. PC [Was: Meeting place]

Andrew Meredith andrew at anvil.org
Mon Apr 28 12:02:19 BST 2008

David Fletcher wrote:
> When I suggested a couple of years back that we move to O'Neill's, it 
> was because it was one of the few places to have the novel idea of 
> offering a no smoking area in a pub.

> Remember the dark old days when 
> people were allowed to smoke inside pubs? Yuk.

Are you suggesting this as a topic for debate ? Or are you assuming that 
assembled company inevitably agree with you and that nobody here sees 
the extreme nature of the swing described by this ban as being inspired 
more by political correctness than evidence or public desire.

Mind you, the way things are going with the pub trade, there won't be a 
choice to make before long. Demonised smokers are voting with their 
feet. Cost conscious drinkers are buying up their favourite loss leaders 
at Tescburies. Cheap big screen TVs are enabling sports fans to have 
"Match Days" at their houses with that almost free booze and decent 
smokers provisions rather than going to the pub, standing in the rain, 
missing that goal and paying a fortune for the beer.

It might have helped if they had allowed publicans (et al) to apply for 
smoking licenses for specific areas with suitable access, atmospheric 
separation and ventilation; but then that assumes the law was passed on 
public health grounds, rather than Nanny State Dogma.

The very sad part of all this was reflected in a survey I remember 
reading about before the ban came in. Smokers and non-smokers were 
separately asked which of the following they would prefer.

1 - No ban at all
2 - A general ban with controlled exceptions (as above)
3 - Total ban

Smokers virtually all went for 2) but a large number of the non-smokers 
went for 3) .. overall 2) was the winning, but within the non-smokers, 
the majority went for 3)

So smokers were happy with a balanced compromise and actively wanted 
non-smokers to have areas free from smoke in which to socialise. The 
majority of non-smokers, on the other hand, actively wanted smokers to 
have nowhere to go. Seems like the non-smokers will get their wish, but 
not quite in the way they thought. When a pub closes it's doors, it 
closes to both smokers and non-smokers.

How about a little give and take. A bit of good old British tolerance.


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