Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Scotsman.com News - Scotland - Smoking shelters get up the nose of heritage campaigners

Scotsman.com News - Scotland - Smoking shelters get up the nose of heritage campaigners:

"Smoking shelters get up the nose of heritage campaigners

HERITAGE groups today warned that the smoking shelters which have sprung up outside city pubs threaten to destroy Edinburgh's historic beauty.

Campaigners claim that awnings and ashtrays erected without permission, as well as groups of smokers milling around outside premises, will have a detrimental effect on the look of areas such as the Grassmarket.

The council's planning department has been flooded with applications for awnings in the wake of Scotland's smoking ban, leading to a huge backlog.

But with some pubs and hotels already putting up awnings without planning permission, the Old Town Association has called on the council to ensure the historic heart of the city is protected.

Convener Rosemary Mann said: 'This rash of applications is just a way of getting round the legislation, and if all these shelters go up it could destroy the look of the Old Town. Quite apart from the damage it could do to listed buildings, it will mean large groups of smokers standing outside, obstructing the pavement and potentially causing a nuisance.

'These smoking areas are against the spirit of the legislation, which was meant to encourage people to stop smoking, not push them out to smoke on the streets.'"

Wow. So first the admission that it was never really about protecting people from second hand smoke to begin with- it was really all about forcing people to quit altogether, whether they want to or not. Then I love the insinuation that people, who are obeying the law as written, are really disobying the "spirit" of the law. Hey, the law is what the law it. You wrote it, if it sucks too bad. Thirdly, I love the idea that all of the people outside in groups are unattractive and hurt tourism. Now the citizens themselves are seen as something ugly. They hurt tourism. Too bad the government can't round them all up and send them to the gas chambers and hire actors to run the nice new utopian pubs and collect money from the tourists like it was Disneyland and give it to the government. Now the rulers see the ruled themselves as expendable, unappealing. Subjects should be seen, not heard. Or not even seen. Just stay in your homes and digest the crap we fill your TV's with and vote how we tell you and quit all your bad habits and work hard and live a long so we can get more tax money out of you. Government is evil

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