The following article first appeared in the Mercury Newspaper, Yorkshire.
Reproduced with kind permission.
With the general election over and done with until we are forced into another by virtue of squabbling politicians, we are no nearer solving the pubs/clubs crisis forced upon us by the party soon to be leaving Downing Street-thank God for that! Some of you will have noticed that Gillian Merron (Lab, Lincoln), the architect of the SmokeBan review has also departed to seek lesser employment since the good people of Lincoln saw fit to vote her out of government. A wise decision for she is/was no smokers friend and certainly couldn't give a hoot about licensees’ survival.
Talking of survival, we now have two possible venues for the proposed Smokers Music Festivals; one to the north of Sheffield and the other to the south. We are running both events in conjunction with "apintandafag.co uk" & "smokersjustice.co.uk", both firm believers in restoring a semblance of normality to our much beleaguered hospitality sector. Only last week Enterprise Inns closed 3 village pubs-that's 3 more communities bereft of a socialising venue, 3 more communities left high and dry. Literally.
This must not continue, which is why we are organising these Smokers Music Festivals to raise valuable funds to help fight our/your cause. I say YOUR cause because if we do not fight, the eventuality is quite simply that we will be down to one or two pubs per town/city. Make no mistake, the pub industry is in dire straits so we must all pull together and fight for their survival. Music nights are a great way to get people together, to educate people as to the true intentions of the anti tobacco lobby who have been allowed to gain unprecedented power to the detriment of this industry. In reality 'they' don't give a flying hoot about the pubs & clubs, nor the people who run them, live in them, or work in them. They don't care that 68% of pub regulars have deserted the pubs in favour of 'home drinking' for they are already marching onto the next stage of their war on smokers-cars. We told you months ago that smoking in cars would be next in line for vilification and sure enough the RCP (Royal College of Physicians) duly popped up with much media attention and described just how deadly smoking in a car could be! Amazing! Some of the supposed facts and figures they came up with to support their allegations were simply laughable, but the fact was they got plenty of media coverage. Note here that the head of the RCP refused to sign the Brussels Declaration of Scientific Integrity-I wonder why? Could it be due to the massive funding received from anti tobacco? Your guess is as good as mine.
Freedom2Choose demand freedom of choice for all, not just non smokers. We will fight for smoking rooms/areas in pubs & clubs until we finally get them. By joining in with Smokers Music Festivals you can play your part-and have a bloody good day/night out!
F2C Press Office