Thursday, March 22, 2007

Just come back from a short stay with my folks in Portugal.

It looked like a possible escape route for smokers - there is a large Brit ex-pat thing going on there. I went to watch a game in the Bull Pub in Luz and it made we wonder about the forthcoming smoking ban. Would it tilt people into wintering in Portugal or even moving full-time?

Apparently the Portugese are bringing in there own ban - it applies to any bar or cafe less than 10m sq. This size encompasses the vast majority of venues...but what does it matter anyway? I was getting sunburnt yesterday whilst England had snow. A smoking ban inside cafes in Portugal is like a ban on nudity in South Antartic. People will continue sitting outside just like they do now. And none of the urban elite need be effected as they sit in their open-plan offices.

Meanwhile Scottish bars are reporting a downturn in business since the ban - you're not even allowed to sit outside there.

One thing that is leading to the downturn is that people are moving on a lot quicker ratrher than making an evening of it down the pub - presumably they going home to blow smoke on the kids who in turn will grow up to vote only for parties that are less vindictive in their policies.

If I had to choose between Scotland and Portugal for a holiday it would be a terrible wrench but I might just choose Portugal.