I'm sure there was supposed to be a massive increase in the pub trade as a result of the smoking ban. Absolutely certain of it in fact. For there was that huge pent up demand, wasn't there, all those non-smokers who were denied their right to a social pint or two without reeking like an ashtray?
I'm not imagining such things, am I?
The deal - known as a "pre-pack" administration - saw Laurel put into administration prior to 293 of the 383 pubs and restaurants being purchased by newly formed companies. Laurel, which had been hit by the smoking ban and consumer slowdown, has now ceased to trade.
Since then, trading across the pub sector has been hit by the extension of a smoking ban from Scotland to England and Wales.
Or more locally:
Paramount’s managing director Mark Greig said: “The pub trade is going through troubled times thanks to last year’s poor summer, the smoking ban and fears of a recession.
So, umm, pubs are going bust left right and centre as that heaving mob of non-smokers desperate for a watering hole turns out not to exist, to have been a figment of some fevered imagination.
Gosh, whatever next? Our Lords and Masters making decisions upon incomplete information? Misleading us perhaps?
Dearie me, no, say it isn't so!