As Hilaire Belloc put it: 'When you have lost your inns, then you should drown yourselves, for you have lost the best of England.'
Smoking as such is not illegal; nor is it immoral, at least where consenting adults are concerned. Smokers pay a huge amount of tax to the Government. And yet we can't light up in the pub, even if the landlord and the other customers think it's acceptable. Apart from anything else, this law is helping to destroy the British pub, a hugely important social institution which has historically been a tolerant place where everyone – even the sinner – is welcome. Legislation for intolerance in this context is, in this sense, deeply anti-British. What we need is a system of segregation – at the discretion of the landlord – combined with GOOD smoke extraction technologies. As for staff who work in the smoking area, we simply need to give THEM the freedom to choose. This really is all about liberty.