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« Forest by the sea | Main | A little something for the weekend »

Up yours, Hockney tells Brown

The Politics Show (Yorkshire and Humberside only) will tomorrow feature interviews with Greg Knight MP, who is leading our campaign to amend the smoking ban, and David Hockney, a member of Forest's Supporters Council, who believes that smokers should still have the right to light up when they go for a drink.

Describing how the smoking ban has left people "frightened", Hockney says:

"This is England now, and Blair and Brown have done that and I loathe them for it. I mean, I'm not that interested in politics. I normally keep out ... Mrs Thatcher, Mr Major, they didn't interfere with my life but these do, these are really interfering with it."

A preview of the interview has been posted on The Politics Show website HERE. Worth watching if only for the magnificent moment when Hockney reveals what he would like to say to Gordon Brown, if he had the chance.

The accompanying hand gesture is self-explanatory!

Reader Comments (83)

There is no God, by the way...........

September 21, 2009 at 17:27 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

OH and also,whilst I am here (yes, yes, yes, tell me to f*** off and stop hogging this if you like. In fact; no! don't. I have every right to be here) Check out all the stuff about Hockney on the net. Apparently, he isn't underrated. Lots of people of taste and breeding say so - but they probably smoke and/or are homosexual - filthy swines. The poofs need stringing up too.

By the way - devils advocate time - how come it's OK to be gay and have your own bars/gaynights/gaypride and celbrations thereof BUT can you imagine a smokeathon type event? Unless it was gay, then, obviously you couldn't pull if off (steady on, lad!).

And David's a countryman of mine so i AM biased, darling. Oddly, despite this vent/rant, I am hetrosexual, in case anybody was wondering, speculating, or sterotyping. Heaven forbid.....I know that never happens in this fine, free country of ours. All men are equal. Unless they smoke. But thanks for the duty guys and gals. Ahhhhhhhahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!

September 21, 2009 at 17:51 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

Max -


"There is no God, by the way..........."

Well, at least let us hope He is NOT a Scottish 'health care professional' who needs 'retraining' in Virus-Related Disaster Prediction.

A tricky field, admittedly.

As it happens, I DO believe (ultimately) in the Divine Nature of Things, and the 'spiritual' necessity for Freedom.

But I left Primary School a LONG time ago.

Hence my dislike of priesthoods - theological OR secular - and bullies.

Sooner or later, they ALL succumb to the Lust For Power.

To put it another way:

I'm a Short-Term Pessimist.

But a Long-Term Optimist.

How else can we navigate our way through all this black-hearted crud ?


Please LIVE - and keep enjoying your fags.

We need to build up our numbers in the Resistance.

Keep 'em coming, Pal..........this ain't the BBC !

September 21, 2009 at 18:40 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V - Indeed, a pearl amongst swine (apart from our allies on this fine forum) are you. Us manic depressives need your welcome words of brotherhood and encouragement,especially us "dirty smoking types".........

I have always thought of myself as an "idealistic optimist" (to coin a hybrid of your views) and a believer in the greater good of mankind. Unfortunately, it has got me nowhere. Well, nowhere other than a desperate yet resigned acceptance that we are surrounded by the self-centred and self-promotional buffoons of Government who are determined to have their fun but deny all others,theirs. Oh well....

As a result, my life is one of 9 - 5 (six days a week so extra Tax there on top of the fag tax, Alistair my darling) and the sanctity of the company of my beloved fiancee - also a smoke of legendary proportions - (getting married in October, whilst we still can. Alert! Possible Tax Break, Alistair. Argh! Shoot the buggers!) in our crazy cartoon based world of a flat, 4 cats and a mutt, all of whom I love dearly. We are waiting for Cat Tax, purely because the very name of it amuses us.

So, Martin. I say this this; suitably moved by your posting; sincerely; thank you. Just sometimes, I get so ******** despondent about life and our so-called liberty and the future and all sorts of other things I can never control (maybe that's the problem?! I'm a control freak!! Next stop; politics!!!) that you know........?? You wonder WTF????

So...."Ta".I am clocking off in a mo safe in the knowledge that "I" am not alone and that, one day, we shall overcome and the evangelical, new-world order might, just might, be something worth rejoicing in. But not in our lifetime I fear; as short or as long as it may be........

Hasta banana.......

September 21, 2009 at 19:03 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

Max -

Many thanks for your kind words.

I, too, love (though ADORE would be more apt) cats.

Such wondrous creatures - together with (inter alia) the young Sophia Loren, the beauty of Albion, the music of Vaughan Williams, and the sublime genius of Shakespeare - serve to convince ME at least that there has to be something more to Life than the Accidental Clash of Atoms.

The idea of a Universe TOTALLY explicable by men in lab-coats makes me cringe - though True Science, like True Art, must be given its due.

But do take heart:

This tiny corner of Creation should at least remind you that you are NOT alone, after all.

And as to the we-only-have-one-life theory (espoused by many, I know), well:

It IS just a 'theory'.

Above all, remember the motto of Paracelsus:


'Let no man have a Master who is able to master himself'

Well, it's not a bad place to start..........

September 21, 2009 at 22:04 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Have you seen this Simon?

September 21, 2009 at 22:43 | Unregistered CommenterJohn H Baker (F2C)

My view is that the smoking ban has increased the amount of smokers .In my case i will not be dictated to by Nanny.I will lay a challenge to the anti brigade.Provide incontrovertable PROOF that second hand smoke is harmful to others. By proof i do NOT mean unqualified statements, but real scientific proof.Put up or shut up! By the way one can get ratxxsed every night in the remaining pubs but cant have a fag in there.I ask which is the most harmful?

September 22, 2009 at 0:23 | Unregistered Commenterkenny

I have just tried to post on the BBC site, but it is closed.

Reading the comments, I, like others here, have noted that anti-smokers constantly quote 'the stink and the smell' as their reason for being in favour of the ban. The Health Aspect is only rarely quoted.

Be that as it may.

Is it not odd that this BBC initiative "Should the Smoking Ban be Relaxed" did not include a simple VOTING facility in addition to the ability to post?

A simple question, such as, "Do you want to retain the full ban as it is or are you in favour of some sort of relaxation (to be decided later)? Yes or No" should have be quite easy to organise.

Why is it that I have a horrible feeling that the BBC did not do that so that they can manipulate the figures in any way that they wish?

September 22, 2009 at 1:25 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

What is particularly aggravating about the Beeb these days is that it seems almost wholly incapable of editorial balance.

Instead, much of its reporting APPEARS to be designed merely to re-inforce certain assumptions which it lacks the courage to question:

David Cameron - a Good Thing.

Smoking - a Bad Thing

Barack Obama - a Good Thing

Climate Change Scepticism - a Bad Thing

And so on.

It seems that - in many areas - we have now come to the position where there are ONLY two views possible:

The BBC View, and -

The Wrong View.

Anyone adopting the latter tends to be ignored, sneeringly dismissed as a mad eccentric, or only allowed a few seconds of air time between two vociferous opponents (the 'sandwich' technique).

But, should there BE a 'BBC view' AT ALL ?

Why is it apparently so difficult for it merely to report a 'debate' between the two opposing sides dispassionately, provide a platform for them, and then just sit back and relax ?

Journalists, presenters, editors etc all have a certain bias one way or the other. That is only human.

All the more reason, therefore, for the BBC Trust to ensure that no COLLECTIVE bias should be seen to contaminate the general culture of an organisation hitherto respected around the World for its 'impartiality'.

The BBC Trust is simply not doing its job........

September 22, 2009 at 8:23 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

When I was a child and my parents took me to the cinema, we would go in at any time, as long as it wasn't very near to the end of the film. We would then sit through the performance, watching the last half of the film, then maybe a second B Movie, and then the start of the big feature once again. "This is where we came in", my father or mother would say, and off we would go.

My business takes me to Spain several times a year, where I have just returned from again after nearly three weeks. After dealing with a large batch of emails and other correspondence, I thought I would have a look at this site, to see what has been happening since I have been away, and do you know the first thing that sprung to my mind? "This is where I came in".

The government and their agents are still spewing up their same old lies and spin, every one on here are doing their best to expose them, and relating stories of how good it used to be in the "old days".

I don't know what I really expected, a revolution maybe? A politician telling the truth? No such luck, apart from the great David Hockney, having the guts to speak his mind and telling it like it is, I have come back to exactly where I was some 20 days ago. This is exactly where I came in. Oh how I wish I was back in Spain again.

September 22, 2009 at 11:08 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Welcome back, Peter.

After your three week stint abroad, however, I'm surprised that you didn't notice all the OBVIOUS benefits of the Ban.

For example:

The queues of people trying to get into our pubs, clubs, and bingo halls.

The dramatic fall in heart attacks on the pavement.

The fresh, smoke-free odour of our fellow-subjects.

The smiling faces of a contented populace.

What HAVE you been smoking..........?

September 22, 2009 at 12:17 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

The media is for the most part institutionalised, and no more so than the BBC. That is why they prefer to 'believe'other institutions eg.medical/ scientific/ pharmaceutical, and ignore just about ALL contrary points of veiw, even if they are evidence based. 'Consensus' is the word they go by. It beats ruffling feathers and insulting the so-called experts.

September 22, 2009 at 12:26 | Unregistered CommenterZitori

To Martin V.

I was thinking posting a pithy response to our Friend in Spain, so thanks for saving me the bother. You hit the nail on the head there, no doubt.

Incidentally, the BBC freeview Headlines thingy has reposted today, the crap about a reduction in Heart attacks. Old news I feel, so why post it again today? Just so we know that Hockney's talking "s***t"? Subliminal broadcasting I would suggest.........

Oh yes, my original point; I was going to think of a response during my morning self-pollution exercise. You should have seen this bloke and his missus (kiddie in push-chair, naturally) when I lit up, some 20 feet away from them I hasten to add and outdoors.

I didn't reallise that swarms of stinging insects were prevalent at this time of year in the UK. At least that what his hand gestures indicated......

September 22, 2009 at 13:20 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

Max -

A Conversation Just Waiting To Happen:

LITTLE GIRL: "Mummy, what's that man doing over there - by the trees ?"

MOTHER: "My God, Tabitha - he's SMOKING ! And out in the open air, too, the selfish BASTARD..."

LITTLE GIRL: "But what can we do, Mummy ?"

MOTHER: "Don't worry, Darling - I'm just calling the Emergency Smoke Patrol. They'll soon sort him out. Look - there's the helicopter !"

LITTLE GIRL: "But can't WE just TELL him to stop ?"

MOTHER: "Don't be silly, Darling. He's probably a PAEDOPHILE............or maybe even a BUILDER !"

LITTLE GIRL: "What's a 'builder', Mummy ?"

MOTHER: "I'll tell you when you're a little bit older, Dear."

September 22, 2009 at 15:33 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V.

Genius. It reminds me of the Walk On The Wild Side comedy prog on the Beeb that finsihed on Saturday. Unruly camels with an on-looking camel "Mummy" who clearly believes that her s*** does not smell.

That's a good point actually. Do non-smokers have a problem with their ofractory senses? i.e. they cannot abide coming home from an evening out,smelling of other people and the outside world?. The Dettox Generation is alive and unell. No wonder everyone's sick and viral......

September 22, 2009 at 16:33 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

So welcome back, Peter T, reminding us of foreign parts & ancient fag freedoms. I've been absent too. One thing that hasn't changed is the digressing. So here's my bit, prompted by you and Max D's: "At least that’s what his hand gestures indicated."

My vivid memory took place on the Italian Riviera during the first year of their smoking ban. I was, as usual, guiding tours around Europe. I took my group to San Remo Casino, installed them to gamble their holiday money away in the stuffy interior and escaped outside for health-giving fresh air and fag. Those familiar with San Remo Casino will know that it boasts an enormous ornate fake-red-carpeted set of steps up from the street below. Their area is huge and as wide as it is long. I leaned on the parapet to the left at the top and politely used a huge ornate plant filled urn as an ashtray. I puffed contentedly away. I gazed about - there being nothing else to do. Suddenly, far, far below, on the opposite side I spotted a middle aged smartly dressed Italian woman beginning to mount the steps. She was a tiny dot down there. She spotted me and immediately started the cough and defensive hand waving. Time passed, the dot grew larger and eventually she appeared at the top on the far right-hand side. Still glaring furiously at me. Her hand must have been aching by this time.

Suddenly, most unlike me, I lost my rag, stubbed out my finished cigarette, and strode purposefully across to her. I leaned over her menacingly, glared straight into her silly fat face and slowly said, in impeccable Italian. "You f***ing stupid woman." Terrified, she nearly fell back down all the steps. [She didn't actually fall, you understand. But she did remain speechless.]

I don't even swear in English, folks. But believe me it remains a treasured memory to this day.

It wasn't much, but it was something.

September 22, 2009 at 16:47 | Unregistered CommenterMargot Johnson

Max -


But these idiots are SUCH soft targets.

Re: Non-smokers and their olfactory sense...

Please don't be too hard on NON-smokers in general. Most of those I know are almost as angry about all this bloody nonsense as we are.

It's the ANTI-smokers who are making our lives a misery. And THEY have no 'sense' at all, in particular:

No Sense of Humanity

No Sense of Humour

No Sense of Proportion

Well, OK - that's not QUITE true: they DO have an intoxicating Sense of Importance.

I'll give 'em that.............

Margot -

I admire your linguistic versatility.

Why not write a short 'Smoker's Phrasebook' for those of us planning the Grand Tour ?

You can bring out the East European, Pan-American, Far-Eastern, and Anywhere Else That's Left On The Planet versions later.

I'd have a go myself - only I'm being screamed at by my publishers (New World Order Books) to complete my 'Life, Times, and Wit of Patricia Hewitt'.

And I'm still only on Chapter One..............

September 22, 2009 at 17:51 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Margot -

Great stuff. I have a particular nemesis of my own who I have to, unfortunately, encounter every night whilst I have a quick puff, enduring the wait for the train to take me home after the days toil. She really is hysterical - both from a comedic point of view and also; she BECOMES hysterical when she sees me having my fag.

I stand at the top of the platform stairs, outside the station and in a perfectly legal place in which to smoke and I swear, you would think I was brandishing a loaded gun or sodomising a nun - or both - given the look on her face when she sees me.

I hasten to add that she has B.O. that would make an elephant house keepers eyes water, and invariably, once she has safely negotiated safe passage around me and arrived in the relative safety of the platform, she will happily munch on the contents of her polystyrene carton containing curried goat or similar, prior to depositing said carton on the seat or platform floor, rather than the bin which is an epic journey of maybe 6 feet from where she sits/stands.

Now, to my point; Personally, I find both of these highlighted characteristics extremely offensive i.e. the fact that she stinks to high heaven and will share a crowded public transport facility and also her wanton littering of a public place. HOWEVER; I would defend her right to pem like an elderly skunk (on the other hand, it's unlikely that I would support her "right" to sling her rubbish around as she sees fit.) Unfortunately, she does not respect my remaining right as a smoker to smoke outside,in a perfectly legal and designated area.

Oh, and she has referred to me as "that disgusting man" on more than one occasion. But with my usual erudite wit and repartee, I respond by telling her to go f*** herself. Which I think is fair. These little exchanges always brighten the day,.....

September 22, 2009 at 18:40 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

"I respond by telling her to go f*** herself. Which I think is fair............."

Just as long as you say 'Please', Max............

On a more serious note, I'm just waiting for the first Smoking-Related Murder - eg some little Smoking Warden with a clipboard and an attitude problem who stops The Wrong Man in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time.

And just imagine what the Antis will make of THAT......

September 22, 2009 at 18:48 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V - "On a more serious note, I'm just waiting for the first Smoking-Related Murder -"

You raise a good point. But consider the flip-side:- i.e. smoker is attacked and beaten to death for smoking where they shouldn't be/around a group of drunken "anti's".

As you are probably aware, you can still get s***-faced anywhere you like in public, by and large, and talk utter bollocks and shout and generally carry-on like a moron on the train, effectively subjecting those around you noise-pollution, anti-social behavious and all the stress that cuases those around you.

I'm not referring to myself you understand! And yes, this observation relates to another one of my daily experiences I'm afraid ...

Given the reaction to that fine little film which has been commented on on these pages and elsewhere, I wouldn't be at all surprised if/when a backlash from either side, occurrs.

In a perverse way, I'm hoping it's an "anti" that make the first strike........

September 22, 2009 at 19:28 | Unregistered CommenterMax D

Max -


"In a perverse way, I'm hoping it's an "anti" that make the first strike........"

I know what you mean. But isn't it absolutely HIDEOUS that we should even be thinking in such terms - albeit half-jokingly ?

I would really love to see ASH put on trial for Crimes Against Decency. And it's worth underlining what Simon (and Chris Snowden) said elsewhere about ASH's wriggly tactics.

In 1998, Clive Bates, the then Director of ASH said:

"No-one is SERIOUSLY talking about a COMPLETE ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.

"What they should have asked is whether SEPARATE smoking and non-smoking areas should be set up in pubs and restaurants.

"We reckon that would have STRONG support from BOTH smokers AND non-smokers."

So - WHAT CHANGED, Clive ?

Well ?

Go on - I'm listening..............(even if you have retired).

September 22, 2009 at 21:09 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V, you said "In 1998, Clive Bates, the then Director of ASH said:

"No-one is SERIOUSLY talking about a COMPLETE ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.

"What they should have asked is whether SEPARATE smoking and non-smoking areas should be set up in pubs and restaurants."

Here is a quote from one of my articles:

"I will now mention the majority of Licensed Premises, under the control of the PUBCOS’. What they didn’t do is pathetic. They signed up to a charter in 1998, and proceeded to do as little as possible. Why?

Did they think that if they saved the expense it would just go away?

Did the directors not take it seriously enough, and place more importance on their annual bonus?

Or were they not bothered, thinking that if they were forced to go entirely smoke free everything would be fine?

Whatever the reason, I know one thing. When the anti tobacco lobby began the thrust towards an anti smoker law, the pubs and their lack of smoking policy became the main focus of their attack. Even before their pathetic SHS/place of work argument, Deborah Arnott was attacking the fact that the pubs had not fulfilled their part of the bargain!

If the Pubcos’ had done what they were supposed to do, what they agreed to in 1998, would there have ever been a need for a smoking law."

The full article is here

September 22, 2009 at 22:40 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

@kenny "My view is that the smoking ban has increased the amount of smokers"

Interesting point. I have been contracted to rehearse and direct the music with a Musical Theatre - My Fair Lady by the way, which has a great ending, because then I can go outside for a smoke. I digress. I did a show with them in 2002, and I seem to remember that out of a company of about 45, maybe 3 adults openly smoked.
It is now 2009, over two years into a smoking ban. There is now a group of 8 smokers, including 2 junior members (17 years old), a clinical receptionist and a Nurse Paractitioner!!

September 22, 2009 at 22:58 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Timbone -

Sadly, you're correct, of course.

Instead of barricading the door against the Orcs from ASH, the pubcos etc merely left it ajar................and watched what would happen.

Well, now we know.

Wholly unpredictable.................(not).

The purblind PRATS !

September 23, 2009 at 6:29 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

On the subject of the BBC and Freedom of Speech, I've just noticed THIS example from Christopher Booker on the 5th:

"On Wednesday, in a bid to support the EU's attempt to ban incandescent light bulbs, the BBC News website invited its readers to "Have your say".

After a few hours of being deluged with more than 2,000 comments castigating the EU and so-called "low energy" bulbs in equal measure, the BBC hastily shut down the debate."

Need one say more ?

September 23, 2009 at 6:37 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin, on the subject of the EU's "attempt" to ban incandescent light bulbs, it looks to me that they have already done so!

Just before I went on my latest sojourn to Spain, I was complaining heavily to my wife about these ghastly, ugly, and dangerous monstrosities which the EU are forcing upon us, in the name of saving energy, which as we all know is pure bunkum.

"You just wait" I told her, "You won't see any of those awful monsters in Spain, I bet you can still buy normal light bulbs over there".

I cannot tell you how deflated I was when we got there, to see the elongated, twisted, white lighted monsters in almost every bar and restaurant we went into, and that was quite a lot, I can assure you. Even the electrical shops do not stock normal light bulbs any more, not of any size or wattage, and this is Spain, land of the free?

What is happening to our world?

Light bulbs, what next? Surely not smoking? A local newspaper article made my blood run cold as I read with horror, that Trinidad Jimenez, the Spanish Minister for Health wants to "tighten up the bolts on the Ley Anti-Tobacco, and is considering prohibiting smoking in any public enclosed space".

"This is something that I hold a profound conviction on" she said, "and it is very important that we act on all fronts to eradicate smoking from the lives of our citizens".

What is it with left wing politicians? We here in Britain tend to think these things are just happening to us here, because we have such a crap government, but it is not just us, it is happening everywhere. Ever since José Zapatero became Prime Minister of Spain, it has been downhill all the way. They now have over 5 million unemployed, and people are still talking notice of this jerk?

Switch on the lights, light up the cigarettes, get back to freedom, throw out all left wing governments, and get the hell out of Europe, before we are swallowed up by it, as is now happening in Spain.

September 23, 2009 at 11:16 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Peter -

Sorry to hear about your depressing experiences in Spain.

Yes, of course we MUST get out of 'Europe' - pronto.

As should ALL the Europeans.

But the problem goes deeper still.

Since the War, our Government has effectively ceded sovereignty to various trans-national agencies (all proto-types of One World Government, of course): the UN, the WHO, NATO, the IPCC, the World Bank etc etc etc.......

Each and EVERY one of these is corrupt, undemocratic, inefficient, dictatorial, and self-serving. ESPECIALLY the latter.

For me, at any rate, getting out of 'Europe' is but the FIRST step. Despite being something of an Imperialist myself (British-style), I have NO desire to be a part of somebody else's Global State.

And it's just as bad in America: in the sad little town of Belmont Ca., it's not only a CRIME to smoke NEAR a park, nor in one's own home (unless detached), but even to FAIL TO REPORT someone you know is 'breaking the (smoking) law'.

When you also bear in mind that - towards the top of the Pyramid - Cheney and the other Neocon nutters were SERIOUSLY considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iraq, it should be clear to EVERYONE with a functioning brain that NATIONAL SOCIALISM (time to drop all this 'right-wing' crap) is alive and well. It just doesn't speak in GERMAN any more. And now it wears a 'Blue Peter' badge.

And they've got the camps ready, too.

What the Hell does it take TO WAKE PEOPLE UP ?

Which is why I'm so keen to forge alliances with our more discerning, but equally Freedom-loving friends Across the Pond. Anyone who thinks that ALL Americans are stoopid needs to get his brain re-wired. Fast.

It will take time but - together - we can, if properly organised, become a force to be reckoned with.

And the Internet has changed everything: THEY no longer control ALL the information.

Set on our present course, however, the Future is somewhere I DEFINITELY don't want to go.

'Bright' it won't be.

And this is why I get SO angry with Cameron and his chums.

How much time do we HAVE ?

(Apologies to all for prattling).

September 23, 2009 at 12:49 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

I see that the UKIP website has a very alarming piece describing a heavyweight propaganda push for a 'Yes' vote in Ireland.

September 23, 2009 at 14:26 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Being a frequent visitor to America and in particular Vegas type casinos, the majority of punters are smoking. Yet, as you look across the room it is perfectly clear and the air is fresh. This is due to the excellent ventillation systems in use, can this not be implemented here. Technology is the answer.

September 23, 2009 at 15:42 | Unregistered CommenterDave

"Technology is the answer."

Precisely, Dave.

And it would both CREATE and SAVE jobs, too.

One big problem, though:

The Goblins don't LIKE it.............

September 23, 2009 at 19:02 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V


Thanks for the link re the lying scum in Ireland. Our only hope for returning to a free Europe with freedom to choose how we live, is the "No to Lisbon" vote in Ireland. The forced 2nd Referendum is so close now - just 2nd October. There's a brilliant YouTube video within the article giving Farage at his very best. Brighten your day, folks. It certainly brightened mine. .

September 23, 2009 at 20:32 | Unregistered CommenterMargot Johnson

Nice link, Margot -

I DO like that Nigel !

Someone with blood in his veins............

September 23, 2009 at 21:42 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Thank you David Hockney for saying aloud what the vast majority of people think about this shocking and shameful deconstruction of personal liberty.

Most familiar is the section where he says that he didn't care much about politics until this lot started to interfere with HIS LIFE.

Politicians - here's a clue - WE DO NOT ELECT YOU TO RUN OUR LIVES FOR US.

- The total ban has NO electoral mandate (the last Labour manifesto promised CHOICE for non-food pubs and clubs).

- MPs already knew that the Irish ban did not reduce smoking but was crippling pubs & related hospitality trades, but they IGNORED this.. they sold our pub trade down the river.

- The Choice option adopted by some countries and some US States works very well. Customers and workers can move where they prefer. All that needed to be done to protect the alleged pub employee victims of SHS who were 'forced' to endure it was to assist them to relocate to nonsmoking pubs or other jobs. Crushing the civil liberties of 12 million smokers and the jobs of 100,000 workers was completely unnecessary. (Did you notice that 'clean air at work' conveniently ignored workers who have to suck in FAR more injurious traffic fumes all day every day?).

- Pubs are our heritage. Destroying heritage for any moral crusade is unacceptable.

- Our fathers and grandfathers fought and died to protect our right to live our lives free from state interference - such laws are a sickening insult to their sacrifice.

- Other factors are indeed contributing to the decline, but the spike, the almost quadrupling of closure rates exactly coincided with the ban, and is undeniable because the same spike happened earlier in Ireland... when their ban started.

- Anti-smoking policy is DISCRIMINATION. No other health hazard is subjected to the amount of restrictions, lies, hatred, media slander or such extortionate and disproportionate taxation.
(Have you noticed that there are 'safe levels' of emissions for everything except tobacco?).
(When did you last see a pork pie taxed at 400% to recoup health service losses? ...of course we do not WANT more nannystate interference over alcohol or junk food or any other health-compromising pursuit of happiness - this just illustrates the HYPOCRISY of tobacco and to a lesser extent alcohol taxation).

- The true colours of the ban are laid bare by smoking shelter legislation. Most places have no shelters at all, the rest have pitiful facilities that if used to house an animal would have you prosecuted for cruelty. There are no workers in the shelters, so the worker-protection argument is invalid.
Some Hospitals - (institutions which WE PAY FOR!) - for whom COMPASSION should be a huge priority - even ban it in car parks where the risk of SHS is ZERO (yet ironically the risk from car fumes is huge).
If the government and anti-smokers really cared as they claim, they would be working feverishly to find ways to maximize the comfort of the outdoor smokers both because that is the only civilized thing to do and because it would help pubs. There is NO valid reason for the '50%' rule - it was arbitrarily dreamed up.
Smoker segregation is reminiscent of blacks in apartheid South Africa or the Deep Southern states in the early 20th century - it is DISCRIMINATION and is a foul and disgusting crime against this country and against Human Rights.

If the air needs to be protected then the ONLY acceptable course is to provide adequate facilities for BOTH smokers AND non-smokers. (Only the Antis want everything all their way. Smokers welcome compromise, despite the current discrimination).

- Most people think smokers have had a rough deal but too few have yet realised this is discrimination which SHOULD be illegal just as surely as racism, sexism and all other targets of various bigots. When enough people stand up and object to Tobacco Discrimination, lawmakers will have no choice but to comply, so Amend the Ban and other civil liberties groups should make Tobacco Discrimination a key issue. Awareness of this new but no less poisonous form of discrimination must be promoted, because once well known this campaign will succeed either in Westminster, or if they drag their heels, in the European Court of Human Rights.

- The will and the popular support to amend the ban is there and just needs to be mobilised. It's shameful that it ever came to this, but this government has foolishly allowed bigots to influence its decisions, and sacrificed our pubs, our jobs and our heritage in so doing.

Bad laws need to be corrected.

September 30, 2009 at 17:55 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Shepherd

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