Fighters are on the move in the UK as the energetic activist group Freedom2choose and some brave publicans start kicking back against the smoking ban.
Pub landlord Tony Blows is one of the latest to step into the ring, with his announcement that he plans to defy a ban which he characterizes as "illegal".
"Ireland has lost around 1,000 pubs in the last three years and in Scotland, over 200 pubs and bingo halls have been shut," says Blows. "In England, it has been predicted that 3,500 pubs will be forced to close down and this really is not good enough. This is an unjust law and we are going to defy the ban, as will another 1,000 pubs around the country. I will do whatever it takes to keep my pub open."
Tony and other like-minded publicans have been rallying together under the banner of the courageous Freedom2choose group, which has come out swinging against the ban. Perhaps even more interesting than the story of individual pub-owners’ defiant and angry stance, however, is the kind of support which these people appear to be getting on the eve of the July 1 ban.
Increasingly — and none too soon — Brits have woken up and are starting to understand that the smoking ban is not just an inconvient piece of rubbish, but all of a piece when it comes to dangerously authoritarian assaults on customs and civil liberties. The passion in some of the readers’ responses to the Tony Blow story is unmistakable. These are people who have fully come to realize that the battle is not "just about smoking". We quote from some of their comments:
Tony, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think you’re a real hero. To quote Martin Luther King "Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular–but one must take it because it is right. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
ASH receives core funds from the British Heart Foundation, CRC, ICRF, Department of Health and directly from the public.". As a cancer patient I will never again support Cancer research if the funds are to be used in a political campaign.
Here in Wales the smoking ban is already having disasterous effects on many areas of the hospitality industry which our political lords and masters in the Assembly refuse to take notice of. They live in a dream world because for them this is not about public benefit based on science but a religious crusade based on the great "second hand smoke is dangerous" myth.
Their (sic) are not that many antis. They are just more vocal, bullies of the highest level.
Our culture is under attack from this moronic government…
… It is therefore time to fight back by civil disobedience on a massive scale. I will be going to The Swan in Bolton for the " Light-Up " organised by Nick Hogan and will break the law by smoking in his pub on 1st July.