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Monday, June 27, 2005

Farewell to Twice-Nightly Whiteley. Oh, and smoking and pig personalities too.

Can I make a polite request please? Will you just let me have a cigarette after a meal out, or in a bus shelter, or with a coffee and slice of cake in a cafe? Forest are being vocal and campaigning, but I have some difficulty supporting an organisation whose main funders are tobacco companies. They do have some aptly named Writings Worth Reading though.

If you want to tell the government that you want to be able to smoke, you can do so here.

You see, I don't mind being segregated, pushed into a corner with yellowing walls and hacking coughs around me, I just want to be able to have a rollie in the places I go to chill out. Sheffield is very windy and smoking a cigarette, never mind rolling one, can be quite tricky outside. Download the consultation document on the Smoking Ban here.

Apparently, in a recent survey 51% of respondents said that in pubs they would prefer them to be mainly non-smoking, with smoking areas; 19% would prefer mainly smoking, with non-smoking areas; and 8% preferred smoking to be allowed throughout. That's 78% of people who want to allow some level of smoking in pubs - with 20% wanting pubs to be no smoking, and 2% who didn't know.

That's promising, but to those 20% who want totally no-smoking pubs, I wonder what you think pubs are actually for? Would you be happier if we also banned drinking? And laughing? And speaking?

I feel persecuted as a nicotine addict! I don't want non-smokers to have to breathe my smoke, I don't mind being shoved into a corner to keep my smoke away from others! Just give us a break.

You can respond to the consultation document by writing to: Smokefree Legislation Team, Health Improvement Directorate, Department of Health, Rm 707 Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG or by emailing smokefreelegislation@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

Go see my pig, and inherent personality analysis.

Richard Whiteley has died. The BBC Obituary is a good sum-up of a great guy.

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The Guardian culture-vulture blog said this,
Watching him present the show - as he did for 23 years - sometimes felt like watching your dad dance at a wedding. Supremely confident yet squirmingly awkward, sensible suit and striped blazer topped off with a terrible tie, painful puns would tumble from his mouth, jokes and wordplay that you knew had never felt the touch of a professional script-writer, but had been thought up in the dressing room, and seemed like a terribly good idea at the time.
Very, very true. Bless ya Mr Groovy Ties.

2 comments:

Custard Spy said...

Now Hippie, you and I don't disagree about much but I really have to differ with you HUGELY on this one!

When I am waiting for a bus, or in a cafe, the LAST, absolutely last thing I want is cigarette smoke in my lungs, my eyes or in my hair. I don't want to smell of it either. I have lost count of the number of times that someone has lit up next to me at a bus stop, without a thought for my comfort, or the health of children nearby, or the health of an asthmatic in the queue and without it even occurring to them that fundamentally it's just plain rude to force other people to breathe their noxious fumes.

Technically, public houses are licensed for the sale of alcohol, not for the smoking of cigarettes. A ban on smoking in pubs will bring not only benefits non-smokers but it will also bring huge health benefits to people who work in pubs - people who often don't have much choice but to work there. And though segregated spaces for smokers may segregate the smokers, they don't segregate the smoke which still mingles into the air that everyone in the place has to breathe, so sitting you in a yellowing corner amid hacking coughs really won't solve the problem!

I am trying to remember my manners because I know that this is your blog and really I do love you to bits and I know that you are far, far more considerate of non-smokers than most but I am so sick of waiting for buses amid clouds of tobacco fumes, or eating my lunch in a smoky fog, and being made to feel like a pariah on the rare occasions that I (apologetically - because asking a smoker not to smoke near you is a bit like correcting someone on their apostrophe usage!) do try to assert my right to breathe clean air.

I'm sorry that you are unhappy about being made to feel persecuted because you are a tobacco addict. But tobacco production has devastating environmental consequences, it is extremely harmful to human health and passive smoking can and does lead to cancer and premature death in non-smokers and smokers alike. Therefore, I actually think that smokers SHOULD be made to feel aware of just how anti-social and destructive smoking is, and encouraged to give up.

I have absolutely no objection to smokers smoking outside in the middle of nowhere all by themselves or with other smokers who perhaps seek community when charring their lungs (though I would very much appreciate it if they would please take their fag ends home with them and put them in the bin - apologies if I'm generalising here, but from what I've seen, smokers do appear to imagine that their cigarette butts are somehow biodegradable and not litter). But I do *really* object to smokers imposing their tobacco fumes on other people (and let's be clear on this: smoking near people at a bus stop, no matter how sort-of-outside it feels, IS imposing fumes on them; and smoking in any sort of confined space like a cafe or a pub, no matter how segregated IS imposing fumes on them). It's not pleasant or healthy or fair or polite.

I hope you don't mind my mini-rant here. I am going to go and email the consultation people and wholeheartedly endorse a total ban on smoking in public places now ;) x

foucault's buddy said...

Good post. Not sure if I agree, though. On days/weeks when I'm smoking, I guess I do in practice if not theory, because I smoke in pubs. But what about the people who work behind the bar? It's badly paid - to make them breathe our smoke as well just seems to add insult.

BTW thanks for the GoogleBombing ref.! Have used it. Perhaps we need to GoogleBomb some similarly obnoxious Brits. Melanie Philips springs to mind. And Peter Hitchens.