A collection has been set up by Old Holborn to help Hogan who is jail for non-payment of a huge fine. To donate click here.
Pub landlord Nick Hogan has been jailed for 6 months over the smoking ban. Basically he was lumped with costs and fines totalling more than 10k after several breaches – including a mass smoke in on the day the ban came in. After declaring himself unable to meet the £500 month payments he has been jailed. As somebody who has stood up and paid the price he deserves the support of all of us who oppose the smoking ban (if you don’t oppose it yet read on). I am about to donate to the fund set up by old holborn and suggest you do to. (yes he’s a righty but he’s correct on this!)
Anna Racoon explains more:
“Nick was actually jailed for non-payment of the fine originally imposed for a ‘mass smoke-in’ on the day the ban came into force in 2007 in his pub, the ‘Swan and Barristers’ in Bolton. He no longer has that pub. He was fined again when council inspectors walked into his present pub and discovered a group of customers smoking – Nick wasn’t even on the premises.
His wife, Denise, is now managing their present pub in Chorley herself. Their trade is so low that they don’t even bother to open the downstairs bar. Nick is bankrupt, and had gone to court intending to argue that he could not afford the £500 a month payments demanded by the council towards their £10,000 bill for prosecuting him. He has already paid off £1,600. The court gave him a six month sentence instead, and he is currently in Forest Bank prison in Pendlebury, unable to help to earn the money which would ensure his release.
Denise has not even been able to speak to him since he was sentenced. She has merely been told to phone the prison on Monday to enquire when she might see him. She is confused, frightened, and feeling very lonely.
Denise has just said to me ‘all the people who disagree with the ban – where are they now? – and my Nick is in prison’. Quite.
If all the people who disagree with the no-smoking ban contributed a few coppers, then Nick would be released. If you can’t afford £1, then at least drop Nick a line and let him know he is not forgotten – not surprisingly, he is feeling very depressed.
Denise has no idea how to use the Internet, she has no idea how many of us are against the no-smoking ban. Let’s show her.
£1 each – just 10,000 of you – let’s see if the blogosphere can do more than merely rant in unison. Once the amount received totals the outstanding fine, they have to release Nick.”
I have already expressed my opposition to the smoking ban here and here. Quite simply thisis about pluralism, and the defence of civil society. Public houses are not public services. They are not town halls. They are places of entertainment which people choose, or choose not, to attend. They need not be acceptable or desirable places for everybody. They are places where groups of men and women voluntarily associate for the purposes of leisure. As such it is widely accepted that pubs and clubs may simply refuse you entry. They can simply say no, you’re not our kind of guy (or in my case “no you look like you are coming in to keep warm”). Yet if they say that you can come in, but only on condition that you accept certain rather minor risks (passive smoking) then, according to the government, your rights are being trampled on. Bollocks.
One man has stood up for pluralism and choice in the social sphere and has been beaten with a very big stick for doing so. The least we could do is help him out.
Homage to Hogan and Other Smoking ban Heroes