The Guardian, which you might have heard hates Q, has given Shane MacGowan a blog. And he’s taken the opportunity to FU Scotland’s smoking ban:

I can’t believe how severely the smoking ban is enforced up here in Scotland, where I’ve been playing a gig with The Pogues – and recovering from posing naked with Pete Doherty.

So the Glaswegians seem pretty happy, albeit pissed off about something else – the smoking ban. The ban is simply incredible up here – the enforcement is tougher than you could believe. Certainly compared to Dublin. Back there the fuss has comparatively died away. There are areas divided up into smoking and non-smoking and so on, and there are a lot of blind eyes being turned for the sake of the “auld boys”. And rightly so – it’s all about personal freedom and personal choice, and city air is damaging enough as it is, so you might as well choose your own filter.

But in Glasgow the police really go for the ban in strength. Some of us were smoking onstage on account it being part of our time-honoured performance, as it were, but the audience was clearly feeling the eyes of the ban upon them. It was tangible. The moment we left the stage for good, the crowd dashed outside purely to smoke. And it’s not as if the Scots were pressurised into the ban in the first place. I think it’s that tough, gutsy Scottish will-power thing – “We can jump about pissed to Irish rock and roll music AND we can do it without smoking!”

A Scottish will-power thing, or a Scottish lung cancer thing. Semantics. Well Shane, if it comes down to it, you can probably get stage-smoking fine-avoidance tips from Robbie Williams. Maybe the two of ’em and Joe Jackson should do an anti-ban charity trio?

Comments (22)
  1. jesus  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    jesus, that is the ugliest dude I’ve ever seen. Does he have teeth?

  2. Ferris  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    Personally, I enjoy the personal freedom and personal choice not to have to breathe your cigarettes.

  3. ian  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    I think people should only be allowed to smoke on stage if they’re paying homage to this:

  4. jp  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    i just wanted to comment on this quote from the Robbie Williams article:

    “Mr Beatty said he did not want the issue “to turn into an opportunity to continue to promote that bad boy image”.

    I always thought of RW as quite the Bad Boy. Nice to see I wasn’t alone.

  5. scotland’s a lot nicer since the smoking ban.

    shane mcgowan’s a fanny. in the scots sense of the word.

    pete doherty in ten years……

  6. The Dude  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    Man I love the Pogues… Shane, crazy as he may be, is a f@#king genius.

  7. dave  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    “Personally, I enjoy the personal freedom and personal choice not to have to breathe your cigarettes.”

    You’re a nerd.

  8. Shane’s played here already after the ban. It’s a good law, however as this is the 1st winter since the ban expect everyone to moan about being out in the cold.

  9. Wow. That is an aggressively unattractive man.

  10. “moan about being out in the cold”

    ken, scots do that year round, eh big man?

  11. nathan  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    anyone ever notice how much shane mcgowan looks like a toothless sean penn?

  12. Bender Bending Rodriguez  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    Every week or so, I marvel at the fact that Shane The Genius is still alive. He’s a testament to the human spirit of survival. The cockroack of Gaelic punk. May he live another year!

  13. Ferris  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2006 0

    Yeah, cause those people who walk around with tubes up their nose and carrying an oxygen tank with them look soooo cool. See ya on the flip side, pally.

  14. Memememe  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2006 0

    I love that Joe Jackson song.

    In 20-0-3
    A man joined the army
    And soon he got shipped out to fight in Iraq
    He got caught in a crossfire
    And lost his right arm
    But they didn’t ban bullets
    Or missile attacks

    He’s on his way home now
    And who wants to tell him
    He can’t have a smoke with his beer?

    So do what you want
    Or do what they tell you
    It’s the land of the free,
    but don’t take it too far
    You can do what you want
    You can march off to war
    But in 20-0-3 you can’t smoke in a bar

  15. pogue mahone  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2006 0

    scottish lung cancer thing? fuck you scott – that’s pure snobbery, i expect better from you.

  16. scotland is the sick man of europe. in glasgow the life expectancy is 43! fact!!

  17. To be honest life expectancy is only 43 in some parts of Glasgow, in other parts its up in the 80s.

    Adding “fact!!” to something doesn’t make it any more than fluff

  18. fred  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2006 0

    Sadly as unattractive as Shane is, he still gets laid more than me… le sigh..

  19. Dave  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2006 0

    “Yeah, cause those people who walk around with tubes up their nose and carrying an oxygen tank with them look soooo cool. See ya on the flip side, pally.”

    I get it. You’re using sarcasm. Yeah, I don’t smoke myself but c’mon.. We’re soon going to live in a pussified America(or Scotland) where the iconic smoke-filled dive bar is just a distant memory. Where are the future Tom Waits going to gather their inspiration? From a Starbucks? And don’t call me pally, bub.

  20. robbie  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2006 0

    Steve Drozd was smoking onstage last time the flaming lips were in glasgow and no one gave a feck.

  21. Actually adding “fact!!” to some bull stat i made up on the spot does indeed make it true.

    73% of all statistics are made up on the spot.


    And yes, poor people do live shorter lives, but it’s their own stupid faults for smoking, eating rubbish and not liking Sufjan Stevens. FACT!!!

  22. Johnnyboy  |   Posted on Feb 15th, 2008 0

    Dave: maybe they’ll do what the real Tom Waits does. Last time he was in Vancouver, a co-worker spotted him buying coffee at… yup, Starbucks.

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