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Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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Spanish Protests Continue
frank_davis4
frank_davis
In Spain, the struggle continues. It's International Tobacco Control v. the Spanish hospitality industry. 21 Feb 2011, The raw translation:

Hundreds of hoteliers of Valencia and Madrid -300 police said at the beginning of the merger, have cut several lanes of Paseo de la Castellana and the Plaza de Colón in Madrid, to protest the smoking ban tougher.

What began as a concentration summoned to the Ministry of Interior on behalf of industry interests, eventually became an impromptu demonstration.

Under the slogan "Ban = total ruin of hospitality," the chefs have succeeded in preventing road traffic in the middle lanes of Paseo de Recoletos and the Castellana to stop concentrating again at the gates of the Ministry.

Speaking to EFEAgro, the president of the Spanish Federation of Hoteliers (FEHR), Jose Maria Rubio, has stated that the demonstration was planned and that people "is badly burned and when it moves, it is about something."

22 Feb 2011 raw translation:

About 500 restaurateurs of Leon have gone on Tuesday to the streets of the capital to petition the central executive to "backtrack" with the smoking ban and be sensitive to the situation in the sector, as assured, "is ruined" because of this "unfortunate" legislation.

22 Feb 2011 translation:

In an unprecedented initiative in Cantabria hotel entrepreneurs will be mobilized in the streets. Will be in March in a demonstration through the streets of Santander will end up with the delegation of Government, where he read a manifesto in defense of the sector, which crosses very delicate moment.

So who will Spain's government heed? Its own people, trying to keep their businesses afloat? Or Tobacco Control operating out of the EU?

The Spanish health minister recently claimed that the smoking ban would increase economic productivity. It doesn't appear to have increased the productivity of the Spanish hospitality industry. They're getting fewer customers rather then more customers. In fact, it's a complete disaster for them. 82% of Madrid establishments have seen client numbers fall by 23%. 34% have laid off staff.

But the Spanish government wants to stay in the EU, and gain the benefits of belonging to that select club. Well, with the smoking ban they're seeing another 'benefit' to put alongside the 'benefit' of no longer being able to control their own currency (which they would have devalued by now, if they still had control over it.)

Both the EU and smoking bans are manifestations of wouldn't-it-be-nice kinds of idealism. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all live together in a single European state? Wouldn't it be nice if people stopped smoking? Well, actually, it's turning out to not be not at all nice in a number of ways. Idealistic hopes are colliding with grim reality. There are probably a lot of people in Spain, many of them smokers, who have lost much of their enthusiasm for the EU over the last couple of months.

And not just in Spain.

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WHO's on First?

(Anonymous)
Sounds like the old Abbot & Costello routine, doesn't it? Q: Who is ths International Tobacco Control group? A: WHO
Q:That's what I want to know, who? A:That's what I'm telling you. Q: Who are these guys?....and so the routine goes.

But seriously, who are these guys WHO and how can they have so much power to tell some guy in Puddlefuk, New Mexico that he can't let people smoke in his little cafe? How did we ever get to this point. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.How can so many people be alive today having been exposed to so much smoke before all this crap began. These WHO guys have made Hitler look like a minor leager when it comes to propaganda. I'll be 70 in a year and if anyone had told me this back in 1960 I would have asked they be given papers to certify them as completely crazy. I'd love to join some marches but at my age I look to you youger folk out there to get the ball rolling.How do people win fights for what they believe in? They organize, they march, they revolt, they get on CNN, they go to jail and sometimes they die for the cause. These Internet blogs are great but somebody has got to get the heavy lifting going.

I see that Honduras has become the first Country to ban smoking at home and make it illegal to smoke within 6ft of a non smoker. The race is now on for the rest of the world to catch up.

Now if they (Honduras) could just do something about having one of the highest murder rates in the world. Forget the smoking cigarros, try banning the smoking guns.

www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/ countries-with-highest-murder-rates.html"

Exactly...I'm in Spain and a lot of the antismoking zealots claim that prohibiting tobacco is what separates developed and non-developed nations....that's strange because two of the most restrictive countries are Bhutan and Honduras--I'm not sure what table they were sitting at for the last G8 summit...

Spain

(Anonymous)
Most of our clients used to shop for their tobacco in Spain. They always stayed for a couple of nights and enjoyed being able to smoke and drink at bars, restaurants, tabacs and the like. This was very good for Spanish trade re hotels, restaurants, shops

Now none of our clients go to Spain, they are now going to the former Eastern Bloc states such as Bulgaria.

It's a complete bloody disaster. The Spanish economy is teetering on the brink and what do they do? Cripple the hospitality industry. Just what is it with these people? Are they blind? Stupid? Or is it that their fanaticism is such that they have no regard for collateral damage? Christ, talk about the cure being worse than the disease. But they just don't seem to care.

And as for the comment above about the Honduras, I am just stunned. How can they enact that kind of legislation without inciting riots? And how does one identify a non-smoker? Will they be wearing signs round ther necks saying "I'm a non-smoker"? What a terrible law, in every respect.

Methinks the revolution draws closer...

Isn't it interesting to read that the media in general appears to ignore these protests as much as they ignore the damage done by this ban?

Off the subject but with respect to bad journalism quite interesting:
"half-watching" 6' o'clock BBC news (tonight), there was an interview with a man who plans to hold a workshop on euthanasia tomorrow in ?London. Give the man his due - he agreed to an interview with the BBC.
The interviewing skills of the presenter were just appalling - as was her attitude to this, albeit very controversial, subject. The question 'does she suspect that part of the population who are fed up to their back teeth with the WHO's health propaganda will form a queue on the entrance of this work shop?' was the first that sprung to my mind. On second thought - what a lucrative alternative to being controlled.....

(no worries - I have enough ideas left to enjoy the antiques of the anti-smokers; wouldn't want to miss it for all the tobacco in the world!).


And how does one identify a non-smoker? This should be easy; these people will not wear a tattoo "smoker" on their foreheads.

Spain

(Anonymous)
"And how does one identify a non-smoker? This should be easy; these people will not wear a tattoo "smoker" on their foreheads."

A nice big star sewn onto their clothing; yellow's been done, so it's a case of pick a colour; brown perhaps?

Styx

Slightly off topic, but picking up on your comments about the EU, Frank - just watching the news tonight, most of which was about the riots in Libya, much criticism was being levelled at the British authorities who (as usual) have been pretty tardy in getting at Brits currently in Libya out to safety. No surprises there, really, is there? After all, the powers-that-be in this country have made it perfectly clear how bothered they are about the welfare and safety of the British people on countless occasions. They don't give a damn if we all get shot to pieces, whether here or abroad.

But the thing which struck me was that it was pointed out that the French and the Dutch have already flown all of their nationals out of the country and home to safety, and I thought to myself that surely, if we’re all supposed to be part of this lovely, cosy European Union – one big happy family of nations – then surely all European transport would have been available for all European citizens to use and then they’d only need to get themselves home once they were back in one of the European cities, which would be quite easy and very safe.

Isn’t it funny that no matter how cosy the EU likes to pretend it all is, and how we’re all going to be reaping the benefits of ever-closer unity, and how it’s only naughty old Britain that won’t play the game properly, when push comes to shove each individual member country of the union sort of shrinks back into its own little national group and just looks out for its own people – and to hell with any other Europeans who are in dire straits. The same thing happened when the recession first struck – each country rushed to safeguard its own economic interests as best it could, regardless of whether or not this would have a detrimental effect on the rest of Europe.

I don’t blame or criticise any of these countries for behaving like this – indeed, it would be nice to see our own leaders looking out for our interests in the same way – but I mention it just because when the sh*t hits the fan, it seems that for all its propaganda and rhetoric and idealistic talk, other countries no more see themselves as “European” first and “Dutch” (or “French,” or “Spanish,” or “Italian”) second than we British do.

It’s at times like these that I think there’s probably a lot, lot more anti-EU feeling throughout the whole of the rest of Europe than the mainstream media would ever dream of letting on, and that maybe the leaders of other European countries aren't actually as psychologically "integrated" and committed to the union as we've often been led to believe.

You make a very good point Anon.

In big, general terms, what is the EU for and what is it doing? It seems to spend enormous amounts of money in order to produce light bulb bans, tobacco control bans, waste bans, fishing bans, and so on, but when it should be doing something useful, it disappears. The whole thing is scandalous.

Despite all the hot air over the 'votes for prisoners' affair, I do not really expect our Gov to do anything about it. I rather suspect that some back room horse trading will occur, and a few minor adjustments will be made, but the racket will continue. I mean, it is a nice little earner for ex-ministers, isn't it?

The 'European Community' was a great idea and it worked well. What a pity that the political aristocrats took over!

I hope that the Spannish bar owners observed what happened in Britain, especially the way in which the pubcos manipulated the ban to get rid of the oposition (independent pub owners). I hope also that they have been encouraged to keep on fighting and not to give way as is the case in North Africa (on an altogether different plane, of course).

here here I heard about a story of a German plane landing in the ndesert but wouldn't take any Brits to safety- err the EU??

Carlos

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