This has been an exasperating year in many ways, but an interestingly positive year as well. However, it is really sad that we have to bow out by demonstrating the inequalities and lack of fairness that now reigns supreme in this country. Today we learn that Mr Michalakis Roushias, owner of the El Greco restaurant has been slapped with massive ‘costs’ for allowing people to enjoy their after-meal preamble with a cigarette or two. This restauranteur has been financially murdered for trying to look after his customers in order to keep his business afloat.

Enfield Council claimed costs amounting to £3,612, a preposterous amount to claim. Has anyone questioned how this figure is arrived at?

Mr Roushias pleaded guilty to two charges so are we to assume, as hardly any court time was taken up, that each ‘case’ costs the council £1,806 to prepare? The councils own legal department will have prepared the paperwork so that’s already paid for by the taxpayers so what exactly are the council claiming all this money for?

The council say they acted on reports from several people that smoking was taking place at the El Greco, well, if that is what the owner wants for his establishment then that is what he should have. He probably knows that he can get more customers in his restaurant by allowing smoking but having been slapped with £3,612 in costs I doubt very much that he’ll have the heart to continue being a restauranteur. The term of ‘pecuniary advantage’ springs to mind. Personally, I would declare bankrupt and resort to living on the dole if the government treated me and my business in such a manner! I have added a link to this part of the article below.

Mr Michalakis Roushias, I apologise on behalf of my country, that the idiots in charge of this country see fit to impose murderous financial penalties on good, honest business folk because of the build-up of a fabrication over the last 35 years. it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to record this diabolical situation on our front page but I do so to show the unfairness of this spiteful, destructive law for not one smoker was mentioned as being prosecuted. This goes to show you just how biased the authorities of this country really are; they only chase those who they think they can get the most money from!

Meanwhile, across the pond in America, situated between Lake Huron & Lake Michigan sits a clan of people who are taking this evil ban on head first. The ‘Michiganers‘ are protesting ‘big-time’ tonight as bar owners lay down their claims to keeping the ashtrays on the table. You will be happy to know that Steve Mace has been in touch with f2c and is bang up to speed with events over here. It would seem that the American media are just as corrupt as ours when it comes to reporting matters smoking!

The ‘Michiganers‘ begin their protest at 9pm tonight in some 300+ bars-well that should keep the state troopers busy!

It appears that, apart from Banzhaf of course, they have several anti-smoking loonies in their midst, including one who seems to enjoy quoting their new Surgeon General’s wondrous words that ‘even one whiff of cigarette smoke can kill you’. And there was me thinking, only we could breed Arnotts & Duffys!

Naturally the ‘Michiganers‘ are not going to smoke in bars where the patron objects to smoking. However, and this brings shame on our mob, the Michigan protest is widespread, state-wide actually! They are demanding CHOICE, which it seems that their legislative body does actually consider. We have availed Steve with the truth of our ban for he has opponents that have all the media glorification of how successful our ban has been-without somehow mentioning the losses to business.

I am sure you will join me in wishing them every success tonight in their efforts to retain their rights. I will post a report of their night just as soon as I receive such.

Meanwhile across the water the other way, we find that tailor made smoking rooms are being incorporated into top hotels so as to cater for their clients. Now this is a totally common-sense approach as it keeps the non-smokers well away from those who choose to smoke. You cannot be fairer than that. By doing this for smokers it also ensures that the hotels get ‘returning customers’ of both orientations. I asked Premier Inns why they had introduced a complete nationwide ban in all their hotels and they said to protect their staff. When I politely asked exactly what they were protecting them from (especially those that smoked during their breaks), they didn’t answer-and have failed to do so in nearly 3 years! I doubt they will be incorporating a specialised smoking room anytime soon. They have, however, drastically reduced room rates and spent a small fortune for Lenny Henry to try and entice more customers back through their doors!

Finally, I wish to welcome all f2c’ers to the New Year. We have seen the cracks starting to appear already, 2011 will see them becoming ever wider as the stupidity of the ban in its present form is exposed to the ‘people in power’. We will have CHOICE and we must keep fighting for CHOICE. It is not too late for the licensees to get together. The Scottish Licensed Trade Association have called for reform; it’s a start.

Heads up people, a New Year beckons and we have truth on our side-the anti’s have fiction so let us make 2011 OUR YEAR!

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