Search This Site
Forest on Twitter

TFS on Twitter

Join Forest On Facebook

Featured Video

Friends of The Free Society


Powered by Squarespace
« Tale of two letters | Main | Tonight's the night »

Booker's prize party

Booker-451.jpg Twenty-four hours after the event I'm still feeling the effects of last night's Forest party. Over 150 guests turned up, and many were still there come midnight. Wine flowed and Boisdale MD Ranald Macdonald was as generous as ever with whisky and cigars.

Christopher Booker and Richard North, co-authors of Scared To Death: From BSE To Global Warming, travelled from Somerset and Yorkshire to sign copies of the book which quickly sold out.

Christopher gave a short speech - to cheers and applause - and proposed a toast, at which point everyone raised their glasses and cheered (again). The message was clear: people are sick and tired of having their freedoms restricted by politicians and campaigners, especially when it involves scaremongering and the consistent abuse of science and statistics.

Guests came in all shapes and sizes. Politicians rubbed shoulders with journalists, lobbyists, publishers and publicists. In one corner Christopher Chope MP, in another UKIP leader (and MEP) Nigel Farage. Madsen Pirie and Eamonn Butler (founders of the influential Adam Smith Institute) were there. So too Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers Alliance, and many more. Others, like the very senior "captain of industry" - a famous face in the City - who was attending in a personal capacity, shall remain nameless!

The real star, however, was Boisdale's new smoker-friendly roof terrace which got rave reviews (it was hotter than the Caribbean) and was packed throughout. Warmly (!) recommended.

For more photos, click HERE.

STD-135.jpg STD-135-2.jpg STD-135-4.jpg

Reader Comments (15)

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the event on Tuesday, and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially Ranald Macdonald of Boisdale for his splendid generosity and hospitality. It is marvellous to know that there are so many like minded people as one's self out there, and what a great way to meet them.

November 29, 2007 at 12:36 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

I am sure I can trot the cliches too, great evening, Ranald MacDonald a splendid host, thanks to Simon for sparing some time to talk to me, oustanding food and wine, excellent guest list etc. A special mention for Richard North. I did not recognise him at all and he spent about 20 minutes listening to my inarticulate and incoherent ramblings. He is an absolutely charming man.

November 29, 2007 at 13:24 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Thank you for a most enjoyable evening and for the generosity of the hosts.

I find myself still with a sense of anger and disbelief that UK smokers have "rolled over" and allowed a complete ban to happen with such little fuss. It's nice to be part of what fuss there is! I would welcome learning what else I can do to lobby for a partial overturn of the ban, so that there are smoking and non-smoking venues, and people have CHOICE.

I am also hoping that a lot more work can be done on the "" website to enable smokers easily to find excellent venues like the Boisdale that have really taken the trouble to make smokers welcome, by providing somewhere one can actually sit and enjoy an evening, even in winter. For instance, if you search the site for "Smokers Welcome, Outdoor Area, Seating, External Heating" in"London" - it returns no answers at all. We all know now that it should return at least one venue!! - and surely there must be others?

November 29, 2007 at 14:39 | Unregistered CommenterRose Whiteley

Rose, have a look on I am not absolutely sure if it does list what you ask for, but you could pose your question and see what others come up with.

November 29, 2007 at 14:51 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Any mainstream political party (and in that definition I would include UKIP) which decided to include a partial repeal of the smoking ban, in the name of choice and of tolerance, would give its rivals very serious cause for thought. Let someone do that quickly, lest - is this too fantastic an idea? - the cause be hijacked by people who are not friends of freedom.

November 29, 2007 at 15:35 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Norman, so all we really have to do is get one Conservative to back the repeal, and we know for sure that Labour would steal the idea nad run with it, as if it were theirs.

Do you know that one Conservative?

November 29, 2007 at 16:06 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Thank you for a great evening; beautifully hosted and full of interest. Major. Maybe this level of event is just what we need and a fine venue for concerned civil libertarians.
The cigar marquee was wonderful, and gave me great hope for our civilisation!. Thankyou warmly.

November 29, 2007 at 16:54 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Martin

In reply to Peter Thurgood (about political parties) I wasn't thinking of individual MPs but of the policy boffins and think tanks which contribute to manifestos. Let's hope that someone, somewhere, will be
realising: there could be millions of votes in this - and that they will be urging their party bosses to promise the partial repeal of the smoking ban, in the name of choice and tolerance. I believe that if a mainstream party did that, it could galvanise the political scene.

November 29, 2007 at 18:19 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Rose: This will warm the cockles of your heart and knees at the same time. The guy who runs this site is a Freedom2Choose member.
Also there is HeyJo/Abracadabra run by Dave West at 91 Jermyn Street at Piccadilly Circus, he openly allows people to smoke. Also I know Simon does not like, understandably, using this forum as a message board but we could have our own Forest/F2C inspired club at Boisdales or HeyJo. We could informally meet once a month or two months. Simon, you are cordially invited and be our life President.

November 29, 2007 at 21:42 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I was sorry I was not able to make it to the launch it certainly seemed to have been a great night. However I must advise Boisdale even tho there are a couple of reasonably comfortable smoking shelters in Dublin one can hardly get into them during popular times as they are taken over by groups with not a smoker amoung them. It seems unfair to me who has been tossed out into the wilderness because of the smoking ban and then find that my only refuge is being populated by the very people that my smoking habit has supposedly endangered. Sorry for putting a damper on your fine terrace but just be prepared.

November 30, 2007 at 9:09 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

All in all it seems a good time was had by all. I bet even the bar staff enjoyed themselves now that their chances of developing cancer have been dramatically reduced since July 1st.

November 30, 2007 at 9:19 | Unregistered CommenterJoan the Moan

Norman, my reply to you (above) was more in jest than anything. What I was actually implying, was that the Conservatives only have to say one word, and the hapless Labourites jump on the idea and copy it as their own. With this in mind, I was saying that just one Conservative MP's word would probably do the trick.

November 30, 2007 at 9:32 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Fabulous do! Thank you thank you THANK you to everyone involved, especially the generous and wonderful Ranald Macdonald and the charming and handsome Simon Clark! And of course not forgetting the staff - so NICE. I feel honoured to have been included, and may the Boisdale continue to enjoy great success. Strength to FOREST!

November 30, 2007 at 17:15 | Unregistered CommenterLinora Bennet

Note to Joan the Moan: Beware propaganda. It can damage your health and those around you!

December 5, 2007 at 23:50 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Martin

Coming back on Norman's very good points about the political value of revising this ban. It seems to me that none of the main parties are very interested. I have tried and tried on the webcameron site with what looks like no effect at all. I have some hope in that my local parliamentary candidate (Conservative) has a more robust view on civil liberties. But it seems that, for the main parties the propaganda has bitten so deep that politicians feel it is dangerous to move one way or the other. It needs a lot more pressure, one or two decent documentaries, and someone high up enough to bring back choice and common sense as a sane priority. This has been nothing short of a viscious witch hunt where reason (and actually respect for adult choice) has been thrown out of the window. We are the poorer for that as a nation and I can only be convinced that it is another control device from the EU. (Which hasn't even published audited accounts for years and which is practically ruining our fishing industry along with many more of our precious assets. Yet they have carte blanche to affect our lives like this. It's a disgrace.)

December 6, 2007 at 0:03 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Martin

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>