Nothing divides those of us at Harry’s Place as strongly as the question of public smoking.
In one corner sit Marcus and Harry, merrily puffing away. In the other stands Commissar Brownie, joylessly grinding the cancer sticks under his heel.
I stand with Brownie. Although I’m a very light smoker myself, there’s nothing more disgusting than the smell of smoke on your clothes after an evening in a pub or bar. Personally, I’d rather than non-smoking venues had proliferated as a result of the decision of pub, bar or restaurant owners to go smoke free, leaving punters to make their own decision whether to visit smoking or non-smoking venues. But, on balance, I don’t feel strongly enough about the “right” to smoke to fuss, and I’m secretly quite pleased that a visit to a pub will no longer mean a trip to the dry cleaners.
I will be sorry to see venues in which smoking is the main attraction going all clean-airy. God knows what the Colony Room will be like from next week.
And then, there are the Shisha Cafes.
Disturbingly, I find that Brownie and I are kind of on the same side as the Hamas Special Envoy, Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi on this issue:
Dr Azzam Tamimi, an Islamist campaigner said, on a recent visit to Shishawi cafe:
“I am one of those who believe it is forbidden in Islam to smoke, because it is forbidden to harm yourself. Maybe this will make young people think of something better to do.”
Nice to see that the BBC have identified Tamimi as an “Islamist campaigner” and not a human rights campaigner, or a muslim, or a political commentator: or any of the other imperfect descriptions of the fellow.
Tamimi’s idea of “something better to do” is, of course, to blow himself up in order to murder civilians.
Perhaps there are worse things to do than smoking in bars, after all.