Simon Eldon-Edington: smoking bans are all Greek to me

Related tags Smoking ban Europe

A few weeks ago, after an orchestrated campaign of ignoring their indoor smoking ban, Dutch bar owners succeeded in changing their law to once again...

A few weeks ago, after an orchestrated campaign of ignoring their indoor smoking ban, Dutch bar owners succeeded in changing their law to once again permit indoor smoking inside certain bars.

And we all can safely predict that when the Spanish indoor ban comes into effect in January it will first be ignored, before being overturned by an orchestrated campaign of civil disobedience.

Add in the rest of Europe already offering exemptions and choice for both smokers and non smokers, such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, or ignoring their indoor bans completely like the French and Italians, or overturning them like the Croatians after a week, and who's actually left in Europe that's daft enough to still tolerate a government imposed total draconian indoor smoking ban in every pub and bar? Ah yes, not only usually last in the Eurovision song contest voting every year, but also last in having any semblance of nouse or balls, the famous duo of Great Britain and Ireland.

So why is it that the country that produced Winston Churchill's almost singular defiance of the Nazis and Emmeline Pankhursts's 20 year battle for Suffrage during which she was imprisoned, tortured, and branded a terrorist before finally gaining the vote for women, is now the sad wimp of Europe when it comes to standing up for…well pretty much anything really?

We're in a league of our own at grumbling about stuff, but taking coordinated action to over-turn government policy? I think the last time we succeeded doing that over anything significant was the Poll Tax under Thatcher in the 1980s. But that was 30 years ago.

Nowadays apparently, even the mostly asleep Greeks and the mostly high Dutch beat us hands down at being rebellious. And it gets worse because not only are we not rebellious anymore, but apparently, we're falling behind in both mathematics and economics too.

Even the Croatians can do the rather obvious maths that preventing 60 per cent of their current customer base from enjoying a cig inside will cause a decrease in revenue and lead to lots of bars shutting down and lots of unemployment.

We're still arguing over whether preventing 60 per cent of our former customer base from enjoying a cig inside has ANY effect whatsoever. Good for us eh? Those stupid Europeans and their "Maths" and "Economics".Silly them.

Then of course, there are the total idiots of Europe who actually allow a choice between smoking and non-smoking areas and bars: the Danes, the Belgiums, the Germans, the Swiss, the Austrians, etc etc. Of course this is far too pragmatic a solution for us Brits. Individual choice? The very cornerstone of democracy? No thank-you. Nope we prefer our government-imposed "level-playing field". i.e. Everyone goes bankrupt together.

So now that the rest of Europe does rebelliousness, maths and economics, and defending liberty better than us, who are we anymore? Have we completely lost our sense of 'up yours?' After all. we used to lead Europe in promoting liberty and individual freedom: Nowadays, while the rest of Europe gamely shows the right way to fight back, in order to preserve livelihoods, commerce, and an important part of European culture…. we can't even follow..

Related topics Legislation

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