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Thursday, 21 February 2008

'The Stage' reports that Smoking Ban is closing 100 CIU clubs a year

More commonly known as 'working mens' clubs', the Club and Institute Union clubs (if you've never been in one) traditionally provided cheap beer and a cheap night out with an 'act' or two. There's a good deal of snobbishness about 'club acts', but for every comedian, singer or combo that makes it to the small screen there are scores working the club circuits. They are a critical source of employment for the UK entertainment industry and a seedbed of talent, the best of which filters through to bigger and better things.

'The Stage', the journal for the nation's luvvies, reports that the smoking ban is not only closing 100 clubs a year, but revenues are so reduced that the Ents budgets are the first to be cut and acts are not being hired. A survey has reported that revenues are down more than 7% since the smoking ban.

The clubs are concentrated in the traditionally Labour voting areas of the north of England.


John East said...

Well done. It's good to see some recognition of the final demise of the working mans culture.

This group of poor sods, of which I am an honorary member, are often beneath the radar of the Tories, and held in contempt by Nulab who feed off dependency and service providers. The typical "working men" around whom these clubs grew up were proud, self reliant, old labour voters so none of todays politicians is going to leap to their aid.

We've just lost three clubs in a matter of months in my town, and it's not just the smoking ban. The local councils took over licensing from the magistrates a couple of years ago. I'm sure that you can imagine the dogs dinner they've made of it since. Costs, inspections, regulations and paperwork have soared, driven by the inevitable rise in bureaucracy, and I suspect pressure from the high street teenage pubs who pay a huge amount in business rates and might expect some favours in return.

Ed said...

Which is one of the reasons that people like John Reid were so against the ban.

John East said...

And don't forget that evil bitch hatchet face Beckett, who is on record as promising her local WMC to include an exemption in the bill for clubs, only to stab them in the back in the Commons.

Brian said...

Thank you, Mr East, for that last comment. Clarifies a few things, doesn't it?

We'll support your ban, provided it doesn't apply to us.

Very moral.

John East said...

Err, Brian. What's morality got to do with exemptions in a law to introduce a smoking ban?

Furthermore, Beckett didn't need the support from a few hundred old workers and pensioners in her constituency, if she had needed it you can be sure that an exemption clause would have been introduced into the bill.