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« Happy New Year! | Main | Dad, I hate you! »

That was the year that was

I've really enjoyed this past week. Apart from a 12-day cruise to Iceland and Norway in the summer, it's the only time that I have genuinely been off work all year. Anyway, here are some of the highlights from 2010. They are followed by the top 20 most commented upon posts that appeared on this blog and, finally, the story that I most enjoyed playing a small part in.

02 ... Slow death of the British pub
02 ... Goldberg, Campbell and corpsing
09 ... More propaganda dressed up as science
10 ... If you can't tweet 'em, join 'em
14 ... Breakfast with Bannatyne
16 ... My date with Ingrid Bergman
16 ... In defence of the cigarette break
19 ... Tony Benn helps launch Big Brother Watch
24 ... Smoking and oral sex
26 ... England: minority support for comprehensive smoking ban
27 ... George Miller-Kurakin: a celebration
30 ... New tobacco control strategy to be unveiled

01 ... In the media spotlight
22 ... Does Government Internet ban include Forest?
26 ... What does public health minister Gillian Merron know about pubs?
27 ... Smoking ban costs landlord his liberty
27 ... Government consultations: why bother?

01 ... Free Nick Hogan: how you can help
04 ... Government unblocks Forest website
05 ... Nick Hogan: target reached!!!
06 ... This media bias really hacks me off
07 ... Still smoking and drinking at 100
10 ... Nick Hogan: free at last!
11 ... Nick Hogan: behind the scenes
13 ... Forest versus SmokeFree North West
20 ... Damning indictment of that Policy Exchange report
22 ... Caught on camera for The One Show
24 ... Forest responds to RCP report
25 ... That RCP report (and me, me, me)
26 ... Forest versus Prof John Britton
30 ... Minister refuses to meet the man from Forest

03 ... Duncan Bannatyne: I've received death threats on Forest website
06 ... Memories of Palace Street
08 ... The truth about smoking and health
09 ... Dr Phil Button: the 'lost' interview
14 ... Election 2010: read between the lines
18 ... Tony Blair and the Tory chicken
19 ... How liberal are the Liberal Democrats?
20 ... Health wars: the phantom menace
26 ... Politics, potatoes and petrol
26 ... Let us eat cake (and anything else we want)
28 ... For you, Brown, ze Election is over

17 ... Tom, Lorraine and the tangerine dream
19 ... Voices of freedom: join the debate!
23 ... Robert Chambers 1964-2010
29 ... Voices of freedom: who's who
31 ... Shock horror: tobacco industry lobbies government!!!

11 ... All this and Lembit too
17 ... MP wants smoking ban lifted
23 ... In the Long Room at Lords
26 ... Alan Plater has gone outside
30 ... Voices of Freedom: thanks, it was a blast

05 ... Postcard from Ireland
08 ... Rod Liddle, Brian Binley and me
11 ... Rod Liddle on the smoking ban
13 ... Antony (Worrall Thompson) cooks up a storm
13 ... Lefties, liberals and libertarians
15 ... Messing about on the river
23 ... That Morning Advertiser interview in full

11 ... My holiday hell
11 ... Why I tip my hat to Tony Blair
17 ... More evidence of the bully state
17 ... Pubs need smokers
17 ... Introducing Forest Eireann
30 ... Jolly evening at the Jolly Brewer
31 ... What Lord Laird thinks about smokers

02 ... Countdown to Bangalore
02 ... Yes, the BBC was biased!
10 ... Government: no plans to extend smoking ban to private vehicles
11 ... 2010 Great British Pub Awards
15 ... Smoking ban hits Irish pubs too
17 ... MP tables motion on smoking in pubs and clubs
18 ... Best creative outdoor area?
23 ... Life after Forest
24 ... Mum and Dad, 80 not out
26 ... Why Forest lost interest in Labour
27 ... In defence of Wayne Rooney
28 ... Smoking at work? Give me a break!

01 ... Dutch smokers win partial reprieve
06 ... Welcome to Bangalore
12 ... Postcard from India: part one
12 ... Soundbite: David Nuttall MP
13 ... MPs reject David Nuttall Bill
13 ... Smoking Bill: how MPs voted
14 ... MP's campaign for review of the smoking ban to continue
16 ... Tobacco: who's in control?
20 ... Forest slams ASH Scotland's new anti-smoking drive
21 ... Taking (RAND) Europe to task
22 ... Peter Kelner, YouGov and ASH (continued)
24 ... My night with Tess Daly
24 ... Nick Clegg's luxury item: a stash of cigarettes
27 ... Forest: cut public spending on tobacco control groups
29 ... Now IEA calls for end to state aid for anti-tobacco groups
31 ... Halloween: a health warning

01 ... The heroin addict
05 ... Smoking bans: how the UK compares to Europe
08 ... MP hails victory for Dutch smokers
14 ... The BBC, Maggie and me
14 ... Archive: interview with Forest's first director, Stephen Eyres
15 ... Forget the law, ASH is a fake charity and here's why
16 ... Smoking, pregnant women and their criminal offspring
17 ... Passive smoking and the price of propaganda
21 ... Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
27 ... Joe Jackson: how can we tackle the passive smoking 'fraud'?
28 ... The good (Andrew Marr), the bad (Andrew Lansley) and the Widdy
30 ... Forest response to white paper on public health

01 ... Cheer up, Christmas is coming
02 ... To Russia the World Cup - and, frankly, I don't give a damn
05 ... Why the winner of I'm A Celebrity made me proud to be British
07 ... Forest launches petition against EC proposals on tobacco
11 ... The future of smoking in pubs
13 ... Tobacco control: Forest video urges public to fight EC proposals
14 ... ASH spokeswoman accuses tobacco industry of "terror campaign"
14 ... Did Roy Castle smoke?
17 ... Forest petition: final total
18 ... Tory and Lib Dem rebels fight back against Big Government
19 ... Public health minister attends ASH AGM
29 ... Time to support pubs, not boycott them

Top 20 most commented upon posts

Open thread (250 comments)
Wanted: comments on e-cigarettes (111)
Nick Hogan: target reached (110)
Joe Jackson: ten reasons why the smoking ban stinks (87)
Three in five smokers want smoking ban relaxed (84)
Smoking ban and pub closures (72)
MP hails victory for Dutch smokers (68)
How liberal is Cameron’s Cabinet? (66)
Nick Clegg: your freedom, his choice (63)
More propaganda dressed as science (58)
MP wants smoking ban review (54)
In the media spotlight: launch of govt tobacco control strategy paper (57)
The actress, her child and a wisp of smoke (55)
MP's campaign for review of the smoking ban to continue (54)
Policy Exchange: words fail me (53)
Forest response to white paper on public health (52)
Scotland's smoking gun and ASH's response to UK pub crisis (50)
Forest versus ASH: seconds out (48)
Forest: cut public spending on tobacco control groups (48)
House rules: a reminder (48)

Top story
Nick Hogan appeal

Reader Comments (4)

Reading through the lists, what do we see overall? We see a constant battle between individual freedom and unnecessary government control. In very big philosophical terms, we see small groups dictating to big groups. In this scenario, the small groups (eg anti-smokers) have the high ground (health).

The health zealots have the high ground.

Somehow or another, and I must admit that I do not know how, the health zealots must be dislodged from the high ground. What is clear is that there are ENORMOUS contradictions in the 'health zealot' arguments, On the one hand, they want people to live forever, but, on the other hand, they do not show how legions of very old, ill people are going to be supported.

Is there an answer to this paradox? If there is, then it will require a damn sight more imput from our useless politicians - and that is another subject which needs to be addressed.

I am no guru, but I seriously think that CONTRADICTIONS are at the heart of many of out national problems.

December 31, 2010 at 3:32 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"they do not show how legions of very old, ill people are going to be supported. "

The truth is they're not supported - the State forcibly removes their assets should they have the audacity to need care.

December 31, 2010 at 9:06 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I would point out Junican that George Custer also held the high ground and look what happened there! ASH do not hold the High ground at all, not when their methods paralell the Third Riech. Not when the health act 2006 paralells the Nuremberg Decrees so actually who does hold the high ground? I think its the very contrdictions that you mention that deny the high ground to either side.

ASH and the politicians suffer the same disadvanges that Custer did, vastly outnumbered by some very angry natives! The key is to make the politicians fear the public, once they learn that their jobs depend apon the angry natives and not ASH the angry natives will hold the high ground if they want their high salaries, if they want to continue riding on the gravy train give us what we want or have your gravy train derailed. Vote them out of office make sure they know why they are now unemployed repeat until the desired result is acheived, its the only way the politicianswill learn! Unless of course they are as stupid as they appear.

There are some who may say that it is blackmail, it is not it is democracy at work. It is the usage of the voting system by the people to get what the people want.

December 31, 2010 at 10:46 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Watson

As long as the health zealots accept massive funding from Big Pharma companies that have proved themselves to be unethical in all sorts of ways across the world, then I say they CANNOT take the moral high ground. Big Pharma funding cancels out any Big Tobacco funding as one argument that it is about money can be said of the other.

Every time they cut Simon off in an interview with the claim : "Of course what Simon doesn't say is that he relies on Tobacco industry funding" ... he should respond by saying : "Not as much as you rely on funds from Pfizer."

In 2011, we also need to work on exploding the myth of SHS.

Simon - will no tobacco company fund action on the consumer's behalf to sue these people for fraud and inciting hatred of a particular lifestyle group? It seems to me this battle has now got to the all or nothing stage otherwise we will be going around in ever decreasing circles forever.

December 31, 2010 at 15:36 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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