Saturday, April 09, 2005

Smokefree sucks

A Hospitality Association survey reckons the smoking ban has dropped revenue for around 40 percent of bar owners. It has led Health select committee Chairwoman Steve Chadwick to raise an eyebrow. "It's slightly higher than I would have expected, but we did expect a downturn."

One of the ironies of the Centre-Left bloc that voted in the Smokefree legislation (Labour, Progs and Greens) is that the compliance hurdles favoured Big Business.

Katipo Cafe sits on the first floor in Willis St. It is a small owner-operator business with neither the capital nor the architectural licence to build outdoor seating. Before the Smokefree legislation, they had a regular morning crowd that sat at the windows reading the paper with coffee and cigarettes. Most of them now go to Starbucks and Katipo Cafe doesn't open til later.

Wait til winter. People will retreat to the only half-arsed refuge left; their homes. The Centre-Left; taking the "social" out of socialism, putting the "cult" in culture.

No more soul-warming nights amongst friends and strangers, sheltering from the elements in smoky pool halls or jazz gigs (goodbye Bodega!). No more dancing in the womb of a rave, sharing a cigarette with a really awesomely amaaaazingly beautiful chick (goodbye Studio Nine!). No more writing short stories and letters, throwing tobacco butt sacrifices on the open fire in a pub in Taupo, pausing to stare out into the darkness (goodbye Red Barrel!).