I should begin by stating that I’m not anti-smoking. Despite never being a smoker myself my tolerance threshold for a past-time that gets so many hot under the collar (not literally) is pretty high. I’ve always been willing to adopt an “each to their own” attitude. If people want to smoke, let them – although such an attitude obviously doesn’t stretch to Lichfield’s bad drivers, skateboarders in general, reality TV, Jamie Oliver, Thatcher…the list does go on a bit. This easie-oasie approach to cigarettes (not forgetting cigars and pipes) explains why I felt the various anti-smoking laws introduced in recent years were a little draconian to say the least. But there is another reason why I now want the anti-smoking ban lifted – the noise. There was a time when I used to get annoyed by the strains (in every sense of the word) of karaoke pumping out from one of any number of nearby boozers – although it has to be said that The Windmill at the bottom of Grange Lane did tend to be a habitual culprit. On any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, someone would be doing a pretty grisly job of murdering “Angels” by that bloke who used to be the fat dancer in Take That, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (always popular with ladies of a certain age), or any one of Neil Diamond’s timeless classics. But at least the strangled vocals were muffled. You would catch the odd “…I’m loving…mmm…nngghhnn…mmm…and through it AAAAALLLLLLL she….mmm…nnngghhhnnn…”. It was enough to grate, but not enough to issue a noise abatement notice. There are times now, however, when I long for the nights when it was snatches of karaoke filling the night air. These days, thanks to the smoking ban, the people murdering Robbie Williams are drowned out by the boozed-ed up shouting, screeching and brawling of the smokers banished to the pub car park or children’s play area by this misguided legislation. I’m quite happy for people to be boozy and lairy – been there, done that, dribbled Guinness down my t-shirt. But they should be doing it inside the pub and not outside for most of the night so that everyone in a 3-mile radius can hear. If I wanted to be part of such inane conversations, I’d go inside the pub and join in rather than have to listen to them from half a mile away. So scrap the anti-smoking legislation, give our ears a rest and let us watch the drivel served up on TV in peace. Bring back karaoke.


Group Editor for a media and publishing company - laidback, with a sunny disposition and a belief that everyone is fantastic and there's nothing wrong with modern life at all. A Welsh exile - tidy darts.

5 replies on “Murdering Angels is more acceptable than smoking”

  1. There are plenty of louts bawling Winter Wonderland or standing under our window and shrieking ‘eff off’ down their mobile phone at 3am, and this has nothing to do with the smoking ban. The fact that my car has been vandalised twice by these drunken, shouting idiots suggests that it’s booze that’s very much the problem, or rather, the fact that it’s available too cheaply. Supermarket cans of lager thrown under our gate suggests that it’s not even the pubs that are the main source of this anti-social behaviour problem, either.

  2. The ban means you get the whiff of sweaty, drunk dancing types and their various bodily gasses which smoke used to protect you from.

    All this means the Acorn phantom-farter is able to go about his/her business and leave too many of us a calling card.

  3. There’s always been shouting and drunken “singing” at chucking out time. And extra noise in the summer when folks used to venture outside.

    But since the smoking ban this noise now lasts throughout the evening and into the night all year round.

    I like that the ban means I can eat and drink smoke free. But pushing smokers out of pubs & designated spaces at work generally has created new problems – noise, pavement /entrance congestion, fag butt litter and an unpleasing aesthetic to building doorways.

  4. I must admit I am in two minds about the smoking ban. On one hand it put more idiots out on the street, but on the upside it made getting a drink at the bar easier.

    I do think that karaoke establishments should be licensed. These licensed establishments would be like sex shops, i.e they would be few and far between, nondescript and people should be ashamed they frequent them.

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