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Thursday, 13 May 2010

The shape of things to come


As the gruesome twosome transform themselves from feuding opposites  to gushing celebrity  bride and groom*, one has to ask the question, “what’s in the The Great Repeal Bill for smokers-and drinkers come to that-which has been pencilled into The Queen’s Speech this month?”

Should we in the anti smoking ban movement in the UK get excited? After all most Tories were against a blanket ban and favour a relaxation of it, but can they be counted on to fight our corner?

Well we should start with our newly elected bridegroom leader, David Cameron, who beats himself up over his past smoking habit and went on to appoint Andrew Lansley as his Health Secretary who:

Voted for smoking ban with exemption for private members' clubs. Supports removal of vending machines from public areas of licensed premises. Not in favour of extending smoking ban (yet).

Then there’s the blushing bride, Nick Clegg:

Nick Clegg is an occasional smoker, he has admitted.

The Liberal Democrat leader revealed his habit during a half-hour interview with, conducted in association with Yahoo!.

Asked if he would repeal the ban on smoking in public places, Mr Clegg admitted the ban made him miss the days of smoking in pubs, but insisted he believed it was the right thing to do.

"I have a confession to make," he told "I do take the occasional puffs of cigarettes myself.

"I understand that if you do, the days of sitting in a pub drinking a pint and having a cigarette is something you feel very attached to."

But the Liberal Democrat leader insisted the ban confirmed to his liberal philosophy.

"One of the first principles of a liberal is that you allow people to do what they want as long as it doesn't harm others," he said.

"Smoking is one of those classic examples where it's not a harm-free activity because it harms others around you and therefore I struggled with it a bit, but I voted for the smoking ban and I wouldn't seek to reverse it or dilute it."  [My emphasis]

Will a case of common sense break out in the new, shiny ConDem party coalition? I don’t think Frank Davis holds out much hope of that, he can see a new Puritanism just around the corner:

In the same interview, Cameron spoke of his religious belief. And I could help but think that being "clean" and feeling "deep remorse" had religious undertones as well. Cameron was repenting of his ways, and had been backsliding into sinfulness, but now he had been washed clean of vice. He didn't miss smoking, he said. But quite obviously he did, because otherwise he wouldn't have dreamed about it.

Nip over to Frank’s place and have a read, it’s well worth it.

I think I have five years to try and work out that Rubix Cube. I’ll need to keep my hands occupied as more misery is heaped onto the smoker and I’ll need to keep my hands busy as I sit in a pub having a pint during the winter months as I can see no end to the pub & club smoking ban anytime soon.

*I’ll leave it up to you to work out who is the Bride and who is the Groom in this mockery of a marriage, you will have five years to make up your mind as the ‘pact’ is ‘locked in’ for that long.

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