MP demands smoking be re-introduced to pubs and clubs
Thousands of pubs have closed in the last year, and it's all the fault of the smokers. Fact. At least, it's fact according to MP Brian Binley - he's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore.
According to esteemed organ The Northampton Chronicle & Echo, the member of Parliament for Northampton South has tabled a motion calling for a review of the smoking ban "to stop the closure of so many pubs and clubs", including the introduction of smoking rooms and segregated areas with smoke extraction systems. Because smoke can't travel through doorways, see - that's science. Says the right honourable gentleman:
"The then Health Minister, John Reid, promised a review would be held three years afterwards, but the Government is now saying that it has no plans to do so.
"That makes me angry."
Angry Brian. The thing is Brian, I don't know of a single smoker who stopped going to the pub because of the smoking ban. Admittedly that may just be me, but then I also know a few people who go less because they've been bitten on the arse by the deepest recession in decades. Maybe that has something to do with it. And I've heard plenty of landlords and breweries denouncing the huge increases in tax on alcohol over the past three years, warning that they'd be put out of business by them. Plenty also blame the widespread availability of cheap supermarket booze. And then there's the rise of pub chains such as Wetherspoons and their bulk-buying ability which undercuts their competitors. Perhaps you missed that, too. As an aside, there also seems to be several benefits to a smoking ban - namely the body of evidence stating that smoking bans improve health, reduce the number of heart attacks and so on.
Next week, Brian Binley demands a return to proper Victorian values to keep public houses afloat, by insisting whores be allowed to ply their trade at the bar and the price of a pint be capped at 29 pence.