Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Be thankful for small mercies

The caring, sharing attitude of anti smokers is rather wonderfully illustrated by this letter to a Canadian newspaper,

Culture clash

As a non-smoker, I agree that smokers should be second-class citizens forced to stand isolated in the rain and pay high taxes, but I think the "Dog Relief/Smoking Area" at the airport is a bit over the top.
Visitors from countries where government still alows people to smoke might not
understand our ways and feel degraded.

Mike Pritchard,


David - Witney said...

I sincerely trust that the first sentence, at least up to the second comma, is written in jest. Otherwise thee and me are going to have a 'falling out' young sir!xntbe

Gawain Towler said...

What, somebody acusing me of jesting? Everything deadly serious here I'm afraid...

Bob Feal-martinez said...

I am afraid nothing more than we have come to expect from the anti smoking zealots. But take heart it's not only the smoker they are going after now.

The drinker is in their sites, this from the Morning Advertiser and trust me David it's not a jest:

New pub crackdown...it gets worse

* By John Harrington
* 24/10/2008 12:07

Pubs could be banned from selling alcohol from Fridays to Sunday after one licence review under new advice from the Government.

Pubs face tough new restrictions

Forcing the licensee to monitor every sale of alcohol, having a doorman and CCTV at every point of sale and banning under-25s from working at the bar have also been proposed.

The incredibly tough measures are suggested in new guidance from the Home Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the new "two-strikes and you're out" red and yellow card scheme for tackling problem premises.

The scheme would see venues put on a "yellow card" after one review — the licence would be revoked on a second review.

The guidance — which has been sent to every council in England and Wales — suggests "possible tough conditions" to be applied at the first review.

Other suggestions include:

• Designate single items, eg: beer, RTDs, cider, not to be sold to anyone.

• Having to display a "yellow card" sign in the window.

• Banning alcohol sales between 4pm and 8.30pm.

• Staff forced to sign a declaration that they understand licensing laws every time they start a shift.

• All staff to be trained on alcohol awareness within two weeks of employment.

The guidance is included in a letter from Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe that says powers under the Licensing Act "were not being applied consistently" when the Act was reviewed earlier this year.

The guidance stressed that the Government wants councils to enforce the crackdown - and pro-actively seek reviews.

It says: "The Government will encourage enforcement agencies...to seek more reviews in the knowledge of the yellow/red card system.

"This will mean not giving informal warnings. It will mean that on identifying problem premises, the licensing authority will be engaged faster than it might have been in the past.

"Enforcement agencies would be encouraged to seek reviews when local intelligence suggests that individual premises are selling to children or causing other crime problems or causing noise nuisance."

Poppleston Allen partner Jeremy Allen said: "This is another example of the pressures the trade is under."