Search This Site
Forest on Twitter

TFS on Twitter

Join Forest On Facebook

Featured Video

Friends of The Free Society


Powered by Squarespace
« Holyrood's smoking conference | Main | Forest by the sea »

Politics and prohibition

I think everyone enjoyed the Politics and Prohibition event in Bournemouth on Tuesday. Well, maybe not everyone, but I'll come back to that later. For the moment (I am currently in Edinburgh, rushing from one meeting to another), here's a picture from the discussion part of the event. More later.

You can also read about it on Dick Puddlecote's blog HERE. Charlotte Gore, one of the speakers, has helpfully published her speech on her own blog HERE.

UPDATE: Where was I? Oh yes, the title of the meeting, chaired by Mark Littlewood of Liberal Vision, was "Politics and Prohibition: how liberals can fight back against the nanny state".

The full line-up of speakers was Tom Clougherty, policy director of the Adam Smith Institute; Lib Dem blogger Charlotte Gore; Liverpool councillor Colin Eldridge; psychologist and Lib Dem councillor Belinda Brookes-Gordon; and me.

Tom said everything I wanted to say, but more eloquently; Charlotte bemoaned the “populist authoritarian nanny state tabloid agenda”; Belinda defended sex workers; and Colin … well, where do I start?

Colin explained why he supports the proposal to give films featuring actors smoking an ‘18’ certificate. Credit to him for speaking – and taking the brunt of the questions that followed – but his arguments were among the poorest I have ever heard on the subject.

On the bright side, he did say he would support separate smoking rooms. Go figure.

The Q&A session that followed was good-hearted and encouraging. Contrary to popular belief there are genuine liberals among rank and file Lib Dems and on Tuesday evening – and well into the night - they made their voices heard.

Thanks to Mark Littlewood and Liberal Vision for helping to make it happen.

Reader Comments (13)

Gordon Brown finally held private talks with Barack Obama yesterday - after apparently being snubbed five times.

They spent 10 to 15 minutes together walking through the kitchens of the United Nation HQ to avoid crowds.

But the meeting raised fears the President was trying to downgrade the special relationship with Britain as other world leaders had formal meetings with him.

One official in the British delegation said: "Downing Street spent five days trying to get a meeting but the White House refused." Number 10 has insisted there has been no snub.

Gordy should have gone to Bournemouth.

September 24, 2009 at 11:38 | Unregistered Commentermark

Did Dick Puddlecote take rotten tomatoes with him? Just wondered.

September 24, 2009 at 14:11 | Unregistered CommenterJohn H Baker (F2C)


That was a luscious little news item about Brown and Obama. The writing is certainly on the wall.

Meanwhile the dirty political war continues without shame in Ireland. Never a word reported in our EU controlled media. There's so little time left now. October 2nd is D-Day for the whole of Europe.

Scroll down to view the very humerous video first.

September 24, 2009 at 15:01 | Unregistered CommenterMargot Johnson

Colin Eldridge did get relentless criticism from the audience which to be fair he took in good spirit. He was also in the very engaging in the bar afterwards and very much in favour of an amendment to the smoking ban.

Slightly off topic Dr. Belinda Brooks-Gordon who has peer reviewed studies into prostitution and who I was drinking with on Monday night. I am sure you have read lurid newspaper headlines of drug addled women and/or illegal immigrants trafficked into the country for a life of debauchery. Out of 1600 women she interviewed less than 10 fell into either group. 1590 were entirely consenting. Second hand smoke, global warming anybody?

Simon was a terrific host on an outstanding evening. The only bone I have to pick is with Littlewood, Puddlecote and Snowdon leading me astray and not allowing me to get to bed until the early hours.

September 24, 2009 at 17:37 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Littlewood, Puddlecote and Snowdon

As seen in at least two Dickens novels. ;-)

September 24, 2009 at 19:34 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

Why don't LibDem policies reflect the views of the people described here and at DP's?

(O/T: Margot, on Ireland, Lisban No 59 Yes 41 - Google: NO pulling ahead Cóir)

September 24, 2009 at 21:08 | Unregistered Commenterwest2

If anyone would like to see my take on my two days at the conference and the debate, here is the URL.

September 25, 2009 at 10:57 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Nice write up, Dave. Sounds like you had a listening ear among the rank and file - shame about the leadership. Seems like all your hard work was worth it. Shame I couldn't make it but it sounds like you all had everything - including the bar and terrace - under control.

September 25, 2009 at 14:34 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Whilst on the subject of 'Politics and Prohibition', and in view of THAT video nasty from the NHS, it might be worth posting this excerpt from our Stateside friend and ally, Michael J. McFadden yesterday:

"Of course some folks might insist on whining about isolated anecdotal stories in the news; the 15 year old beating a younger teen to death for sharing a cigarette, or that chestnut about the 18 year old pregnant gal in Florida who was SHOT in a supermarket parking lot after she refused a stranger's polite demand that she cease smoking, or the unfortunate but isolated case of the mother "BRANDING" her smoking daughter with a hot iron, or the little four-hour-long flame-thrower "TORTURE PARTY" a group of teens had at the expense of a girl who'd dared to smoke around one of their group. Don't worry, a little plastic surgery and we're told her face will look just fine again."

(My emphasis)

As Michael pointed out - with yet more withering irony:

These, of course were 'UNINTENDED' consequences.

But I bet that the number of Jews beaten up in the Fatherland didn't FALL - once they'd been marked with a Yellow Star.

The Moral ?

Governmental POWER + Governmental FANATICISM = (fill in as appropriate).

No, Chloe, DON'T just shrug your bloody shoulders...........

September 25, 2009 at 22:42 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V,

"No, Chloe, DON'T just shrug your bloody shoulders..........."

Another powerful bit of writing from you. The fate of California and the like is the end result of this monstrous controlling lie.We should never cease to tell of it.

It sickens me beyond belief that the Big Pharma NHS have been allowed to insert one of their child actor Ads right into the middle of the prime-time Emmerdale soap. It's brilliantly produced and even mentions Emmerdale by name - a new departure.

Is there really NOTHING we can do about it?

September 26, 2009 at 7:11 | Unregistered CommenterMargot Johnson

"Is there really NOTHING we can do about it?"

Well, Margot, if I may borrow a phrase from the 'Kiddies' Bumper Book of Political Clichés':

Doing NOTHING is NOT an option.

We must continue our two-pronged assault against BOTH our enemies:

a) THOSE who have their hands on the levers of power, and

b) The INDIFFERENCE - largely born of misinformation - of the broad mass of reasonable people who still don't FULLY appreciate what's going on. And that, I believe, still includes a great many MPs and PPCs. And the editorial staff of newspapers (strangely).

In the latter case, especially, we must emphasise that this is NOT merely a One Issue matter - of relevance only to a dwindling band of tiresome eccentrics - but something which is DEEPLY emblematic of the cancerous growth of government power - at EVERY level, from the purely 'local' to the trans-national.

In other words, to CONTINUE as we have begun -each fighting the battle in the way he or she is best able to, with ALL the weapons at our disposal - including the opportunities provided by casual conversation (fertile ground for seed-planting, in my experience).

And I believe we should also EMPHASISE in particular the sheer MISERY that these measures have caused - commercially, socially, psychologically - by way of underpinning our general PHILOSOPHICAL position. The Health Lobby is HURTING people.

We have Truth, Humanity, and Reason on our side - and no tyranny can withstand these forever.

But it can still put up a bloody good fight, and it takes time to drive it into its Bunker.

NEVER surrender.

Apologies if I merely state the Obvious,

But even the Obvious needs re-stating from time to time................

September 26, 2009 at 9:56 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

West2 wrote:-

"Why don't LibDem policies reflect the views of the people described here and at DP's?

(O/T: Margot, on Ireland, Lisban No 59 Yes 41 - Google: NO pulling ahead Cóir)"

Thanks, West2. However, the margin is still slender and the EU propoganda machine has unlimited funds. They've still time to influence individual groups; i.e. the farmers by threatening their subsidies. The 'Yes' lobby can block much of the media "No" coverage at source.

Remember that sincere European waving hands petition, "Say No for Us". which so many of us signed last time? They've started it again, [a bit late in the day]. Please sign!

September 26, 2009 at 14:06 | Unregistered CommenterMargot Johnson

I have complained to the ASA and the Birmingham PCT. I have had acknowledgement and a reference number from the ASA - nothing at all from the PCT. I guess I only matter if I do as they are trying to tell me in the video and get myself beaten up for smoking!

September 26, 2009 at 14:46 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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>