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Hamish Howitt

Hamish Howitt

Hamish Howitt, a non smoker, was the first licensee to be prosecuted under the new smokefree laws. The reason?

He publicly stated that it was totally unjust to force 14 million people out onto the streets when there should always have been freedom of choice.

Blackpool Council have taken his stance as an affront and have virtually battered Hamish into submission-but not quite!

Despite numerous fines, threats to revoke his license, close him down (there are no provisions for such action in the Act) and bankrupt him, he soldiers on to make a gallant stand against government oppression. Although he does not smoke himself and does not encourage smoking, he abhors the unfair law that UK politicians have introduced which prohibits consenting adults from smoking in public places.

04 December 2008 (report)

The battle to force rebel pub landlord Hamish Howitt to obey the smoking ban has cost Blackpool council taxpayers more than £30,000, it was revealed today. (note how they use the word taxpayers [us!] when it suits them) Blackpool Council took the fight to the High Court after a district judge ruled it had been wrong to revoke Mr Howitt’s licence on the grounds that allowing smoking constituted crime and disorder. The district Judge was quite right as smokers in pubs ensure a happy, vibrant pub.

But on Tuesday Judge Denyer backed the council and said permitting smoking in a place where it is banned constitutes a criminal offence.

Note : The definition of what is and what is not a “Criminal Offence” is unclear. It may be generally accepted that, as this “offence” is covered by an Act of Parliament and, on summary conviction carries a penalty then indeed, in law, this is a crime. In this case, Hamish, having made no secret of is views and convictions and allowed smoking in his pub, IS guilty of this “crime”. This being the case, then the “punishment” meted out by any judge MUST be that defined under the act which created the “crime”. This DOES NOT allow, in any way shape of form to allow the Council to revoke the licence to trade – it allows ONLY for a financial penalty. So – Judge Denyer acted above and beyond his remit. Statute laws are enacted by elected government and not by unelected council officials or Judges. (Another definition of the word Crime is “An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition” – which just about sums up the smoking ban).

Hamish Howitt was forced to close his Delboy’s Bar on Rigby Road immediately after Tuesday’s ruling.

The 57-year-old had consistently allowed people to light up inside the premises since the ban was introduced in July 2007.

Interestingly Judge Denyer, sitting at London’s High Court, ruled he (Hamish) was obliged to treat smoking in his bar as a crime and try to prevent it. (Note: Hamish was obliged to treat smoking as a crime, yet he was not obliged to treat banning smoking as a “violation” of his “property rights”).
Hamish Howitt has clocked up £28,000 in fines from 32 convictions fighting for the freedom of others to continue the habit – a perfectly legal habit!

Hamish has been “voted out” as Chairman of the local “Pubwatch” scheme for his stand against government interference in our social lives and the local police force have also opted out as they say it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. I’ll bet it does!

But, the story does not end there folks. Blackpool Council have set their cap against Hamish simply because he has the balls to stand up and fight this evil, destructive law.
They have invaded his bar with the H&S brigade to try and close him down through that means. Unsafe this, unsafe that, this does not meet regulations, that does not meet regulations-it has turned into a witch-hunt.

Hamish, though now bankrupted by this law, vows to fight on for justice for smokers and the right to freedom of choice. He will not back down to the suppressive nature of this or any other government for he too knows that the smokeban law was brought in on the back of lies, fabrications, manipulated statistics & junk science.

We leave the last words to Hamish :-

“I’ve had my fill of zealots in multi-agency partnerships. They’re not just going to bankrupt me, but Blackpool, the way things are going.”

Justice4Smokers 2010



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