Yes, there are still some people who consider both sides of the argument in the smoking debate. Some who still see the deletorious effect of smoker bans on honest businesses and can assign a value to that, instead of just meekly collapsing under the weight of hysterical, pharma-funded rhetoric.
Unfortunately, such a person isn't native to the UK, but hopefully one might crawl out of the woodwork here soon to replicate the brave common sense exhibited by Greg Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis.
Ballard says he's concerned an expanded smoking ban could hurt some small businesses. He says he doesn't like any of the current proposals.
Predictably, the shrill voice of tobacco control, like the spoilt child in a supermarket, is throwing a tantrum at being ignored.
Democratic councilor Angela Mansfield, one of the sponsors of the plan, said of Ballard, "That's the first time I've heard him say he'd veto anything. That was alarming when we heard this."
"He's never met with us," she said. "We asked him to and he refused."
He's probably well aware of the one-sided anti-business nonsense that you're going to spew, dear. Why bother?
The local government-funded loon was more measured in his tone.
Tim Filler** is with Smoke Free Indy. "We've seen his position can evolve as indicated by the previous change in position so we're hoping he has time to reflect on this," said Filler.
But this report suggests the good cop/bad cop routine is also likely to be resisted.
A spokesperson for the mayor called that very unlikely. He said the mayor was firm in his position opposing any expansion of the current ban.
And I am sure that businesses in Indy will be falling over themselves to offer support to this man whenever they are next asked.
See, UK Tory party? It's that easy to stand up for the rights of everyone, not just a chosen few. You should try it sometime.
** This would be the same Tim Filler who has been caught defaming a grass roots pro-choice advocate. Oh, the usual stuff, paid by big tobacco, that sort of desperate nonsense.