Monday, 2 May 2005

Libertarianism under attack - in Dundee!

This sort of thing makes one despair:
CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR and Dundee licensing board chairman Neil Powrie last night welcomed the decision by MSPs to ban smoking in public places in Scotland and described the arguments made against the Bill by Tory MSPs as “drivel”.
This "conservative" just doesn't get it, does he? The organisations targeted by the new legislation are not "public places" but privately owned businesses. The fact that members of the public may chose to enter those premises should be a matter between them and the business owner, and nobody else. If I enter a pub and don't like the smoke, I may well be "affected", but my rights aren't affected at all. (See the previous post.)

Note this comment from Mr Powrie:

“No smoking in pubs is something that is being warmly welcomed by people in Dundee and is vindication of the brave decision by the Dundee licensing board in the face of fierce opposition.”
This seems rather odd. If smoking bans are "warmly welcomed" then profit-seeking entrepreneurs will introduce such bans themselves without the need of yet more legislation from the nanny state.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Robert Speirs
The "selfishness of a dozen people" is not interfering with the "pleasure of many more". Non-smokers have a perfect right not to smoke any time and any place they want. They have no more right not to smell of smoke than they do not to have sunshine in their eyes or to stay dry when it rains. Smokers have no duty to cater to other peoples' notions of pleasure. Stop whining.

9 May 2005, 20:22:44 GMT+01:00
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Andrew Duffin
My "town" contains about 600 people. It struggles to support one pub, never mind a choice. And I don't want to run a pub, I just want to be able to visit one now and again - maybe once a week?  
If, out of the 50 or 60 people who visit the pub every night, even 10 are reasonably heavy smokers (probably a fair estimate these days), then the place stinks, as do the clothes and persons of anyone else who goes in there. And I won't go there, neither will quite a few others. 
It's not clear to me why the selfishness of a dozen people should be allowed to interfere with the pleasure of many more, just because the dozen don't care.

4 May 2005, 12:39:16 GMT+01:00
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steve shackleton
How would you legislate which 30% will be non smoking? 
How would you recompense them for loss of business? how will you know what loss of business. 
If enough people want a non smoking pub then it will pay someone to open and run one. If you are adamant that your town must have a non smoking pub might I suggest that YOU pout your cash up and take the risk (and whatever rewards you can get)

4 May 2005, 12:31:24 GMT+01:00
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Squander Two
> There's a good reason for that 
Yes, fear of change. 
Like many others, I simply don't go to the pub any more, because of the smoke. Publicans aren't interested in our business for some reason.  
My proposed solution is for each town or city to have an ideal quota -- say at least 30% smoking pubs and at least 30% non-smoking. Then the council could adjust the licensing fees, and maybe give tax breaks or something, depending on the difference between the quotas and reality. So, in a town with no non-smoking pubs, there would be a financial incentive for someone to set up a non-smoking pub or for one of the existing pubs to go non-smoking. Same would apply, but in the opposite direction, in towns all of whose pubs were non-smoking. 
The ideal solution, of course, is for the government to keep out of these things, but that wouldn't satisfy the voters these days. My solution seems like a decent compromise.

4 May 2005, 10:22:01 GMT+01:00
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Problem is that their are no pubs that have introduced any bans until this ban was threatened, 
There's a good reason for that

4 May 2005, 09:58:42 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Normally agree with liberatarian positions but this one I am not so sure about. Problem is that their are no pubs that have introduced any bans until this ban was threatened, also bar workers that have no choice 
Would be good if a cigarette was invented that did not emit smoke outward but poured it all inside the smoker

4 May 2005, 02:44:42 GMT+01:00
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Will the Guardian argue that it will inhibit Benedict XVI from burning Protestants?

3 May 2005, 16:27:00 GMT+01:00
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If smoking bans are "warmly welcomed" then profit-seeking entrepreneurs will introduce such bans themselves without the need of yet more legislation from the nanny state. 
Right on the money. Like Andrew Duffin, I too am looking forward to the smoking ban - not because I agree with it, but because at least then, the anti-smoking fascists will realise that this stupid ban will affect everyone, not just smokers. Prepare to see emptier pubs that smell of disinfectant and a marked shift towards an indoor culture.

3 May 2005, 13:33:01 GMT+01:00
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Andrew Duffin
I know, you're quite right about the private/public thing.  
But boy am I looking forward to being able to go to the pub without coming home stinking of fag smoke. 
People blow smoke my way now, I smile at them and say (or think, if they look scary) "one more year". 
Principles be damned.

3 May 2005, 12:37:49 GMT+01:00