Philip Johnstonmight just get it.
Fact: Pubs are closing,
Fact: The ban was sold as a way to increase pub takings.
When the ban came fully into effect in the UK on July 1, 2007, polls
suggested that up to 80 per cent of all adults were more likely to visit a pub,
but little of that anticipated new custom actually materialised – while regulars
Fact: It has been counterproductive under its own terms
One perverse outcome of the ban, which was, after all, supposed to protect vulnerable people from the effect of passive smoking, is that many adults stayed at home to smoke, thereby afflicting their children with fumes they might otherwise have avoided. Another purpose was to prevent children seeing smoking and being tempted into the habit – yet, because smokers have to stand in the street, that didn't work, either.
Fact: The Coalition has no intention of being liberal about it, nor learn from the previous government's mistakes.
"We want to restore Britain's traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses," says Mr Clegg. He then outlines some of those that the Government intends to throw on to the legislative bonfire and which, to its credit, are already ablaze, like ID cards, Hips and the children's database. But Mr Clegg adds: "Of course, there are other suggestions which aren't going to be taken up by this Government, whether it's – I don't know – the introduction of the death penalty or changing the smoking ban, but at least the debate is now really alive."
Fact: Only one party, UKIP is actively campaigning for an alteration of teh law under the lines suggested here in the Telegraph and by a coalition of publicans.
We urge politicians of all parties to help save our pubs and clubs by introducing an amendment to the ban. If they don't, the traditional English pub will continue to wither on the vine."