Monday, September 27, 2010

The Police State

The police state manifests itself in all kinds of ways, some bigger some smaller. Yesterday we were in Lancaster and checked out a new bar and restaurant, the Dalton Rooms. There is a picture of the front of the building in the gallery on their website.

The way the police state manifests itself here is in front of the bar. There is a large covered terrace affair that is roped off from the street with tables and chairs in it. I thought it was a very civilised smoking area now poor old smokers are forced to huddle up outside pubs and bars in all weathers. But no, smoking is not allowed.

The sign on the wall in this terrace area makes it clear that it is not the bar owners or staff responsible, but the authorities. The sign informs customers that smoking is not allowed on the terrace only on the pavement outside the actual premises. So you can take a very short step onto the pavement for a smoke. Fine, but you will get nicked if you take your drink with you because drinking on the street is illegal.

So you need to straddle the rope, lean one way to take a drag on your cigarette, then lean the other way to have a slurp of your pint. Just shows how petty minded the authorities can be.

I wonder when they will ban class TV adverts like the following. After all, we need protecting from alcohol as well as nicotine!


Sharon said...

While I hate smoking (asthma sufferer) I feel really sorry for the poor souls who are made to feel like pariahs. However, I also detest the way I am walking around town and have to hold my breath while walking past pubs and other business premises because of the aforementioned poor souls. The no smoking rule has only shifted the smokers to a different location, not stopped it. I used to avoid pubs as I didn't like smoke but how can I avoid walking along the pavement?

Gregg said...

I agree. I'd prefer landlord's to have the choice then non-smokers can avoid pubs, or rooms in pubs where people are smoking. Non-smokers can use non-smoking pubs or non-smoking rooms in pubs.

It's all about treating us as grown ups. I know some older people who find crowds of smokes ouside pubs and other places quite intimidating.

And of course smokers need to be considerate of others even where smoking is still ok.

Gregg said...

Apologies for the rogue apostrophe in 'landlords'. Bizarre.