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« My holiday hell | Main | No more blogging ... »

Open thread

You are welcome to comment on a wide range of issues while I am away (see below) but please don't abuse this thread. Comment moderation can be activated should the need arise ...

Reader Comments (250)

I just thought that I would let people know that the 'smoking' thread' on Your Freedom is back! How odd!

July 29, 2010 at 3:12 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Puffin' and a huffin'

I wonder if anyone can help me on this? I was having a little "friendly" argument last night with a group of non-smokers, not exactly anti, but definitely "non".

The subject of the trains of yesteryear came up, and I was told by one person that when trains used to have smoking and non carriages, the person explained to me that when they used to catch a train every morning into London, the only carriage that was ever empty, was the smoking carriage, "no one ever got in there", they said.

I find this very hard to believe. Can anyone remember back to this time, and what the exact situation was?

July 29, 2010 at 8:13 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Yes indeed. I used to commute to London too, and the smoking carriage and every other carriage was packed.

July 29, 2010 at 8:40 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

I'm sure that the smoking ban has contributed to a large amount of the population now beeing obese as everyone is now stuffing their faces instead of smoking. Is it really better for your health to be overweight than to smoke? Plenty of people will tell you that it is, but I'm not convinced.

July 29, 2010 at 9:03 | Unregistered Commenterhaphash

Very true Haphash, if all the brainwashed anti smokers from the Labour mind control movement of political correctness/feel my pain era were to revert to their normal smoking habits, the majority of the obese would be far slimmer and healthier and would not be clogging up hospital services for diabetes and other related fattie ..oops obese problems.
Seemingly a poll revealed that the word obese is preferred to fat by the large among us.

July 29, 2010 at 9:45 | Unregistered Commenterann

Their selective memory, Peter. When I regularly used trains in the 80s, the ONE smoking carriage was always rammed while others were fairly comfortable. I used to forego the smoking carriage on many an occasion in favour of a seat.

July 29, 2010 at 10:35 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

I thought that would be the "real" answer Dick, thank you for that. It stands to reason doesn't it, with about 75% of the popualtion smoking at that time, why on earth would they boycott the smoking carriage?

History being re-written before our very eyes!

July 29, 2010 at 10:55 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Just found this in the daily mail, you can comment

July 29, 2010 at 12:25 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Yes it's strange to me that people prefer the word 'obese'. When I was young, it was a term reserved only for people who were truly huge - almost Sumo wrestler sized. They were also referred to as 'having something wrong with their glands' back then. I was told a while ago by a very fit and active lady in her 50s and about size 12 that she had been informed by her GP that she was obese, I almost fell over in horror. I also agree that quitting smoking will contribute to the so-called 'obesity epidemic'. I know several previously slim smokers who have increased their size three or four-fold since quitting. They are also all previously lively and outgoing people who now suffer from depression.

July 29, 2010 at 12:40 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

Thanks for that link Carl. At least the madness is curtailed for now. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I assume the notion that 'smoking is still the leading cause of morbidity' is reliant on statistics that assert a death is smoking-related if the person has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime(?) I seem to recall that used to be the case. Is it still the case? Is anyone here up to date on the criteria behind that assertion?

July 29, 2010 at 12:47 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

We always booked a seat in the smoking carriage when travelling to London and they were always well used. The last time however it was noticible that other people were coming up from the other carriages and standing in ours to have a smoke then returning to their own seats. Hubby got quite riled about it as he is an ex-smoker and was prepared to sit with me in the smoking carriage but was annoyed about others making it extra smoky. Obviously should have been more than one carriage available.

July 29, 2010 at 13:05 | Unregistered Commentersheila

Peter T.: I commuted from both Bath and Brighton. The smoking carriages (sections on the Brighton train) were never free. The buffet going back on the Brighton train was like being in a pub on Fri night. I, sometimes, had to use the 'facilities' in another non smoking carriage, the buffet car ones being frequently occupied. It was like entering a graveyard. Hardly anyone was speaking.

I've no idea who these non smokers were but I'm doubtful they had much experience of commuting. Another case of revisionism, I think.

July 29, 2010 at 15:03 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I enjoyed reading this. I would much prefer to go back to a time where Doctors were there to fix what we'd broken rather than lecture us on how to live. Surely money is better spent (and saved) in dealing with what is real for some, rather than what might be for all.

July 29, 2010 at 15:16 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

On the Obese thread - I read in astonishment that the healthist zealots were "warning" of an obesity epidemic among pregnant women - errm - aren't pregnant woman fat by virtue of the fact they have another person growing inside? I know I was. I also lost half a stone in weight after each and every lone of my four children were born and I've never managed to pack it on again as much as I would like to.

Genetically, it would seem, some pregnant women stay fat after birth and some like me lose weight. The healthists are paranoid freaks "warning" of things that are simply not true to ensure they get nice little salaries from persecuting people who are not the perfect size 10 - even when pregnant. They should all be arrested for hate and fear mongering based fraud and their own personal desire to keep their fat salaried jobs.

As for the railways carriage. Yes, I remember when trains had smoking throughout except for a couple of non-smoking carriages. Over time, the position reversed and there was never room to get a seat in the smoking carriage. I used to sit in a non-smoking seat and move into the smoking carriage for a fag.

A few years later, I took a trip to Wales - that cost about £80 at the time - and I was astounded that smoking had been banned throughout. I complained that for the horrendous price of the ticket, the rail company had a duty to provide facilities for its smoking customers or reduce the price of tickets for providing a reduced service.

July 29, 2010 at 15:50 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Liberty - quitting kills smokers So why do the Righteous push us that way?

This is about money not health and weirdos wanting to keep their jobs. Nothing more. ... perhaps I'm being harsh. After all, a lot of the heatlhist zealots are never smokers and actually have no idea. They just swallow the info fed down from the DoH, which is fed by the likes of trASH, which as we all know is dependant either directly or indirectly from dirty Big Pharma funding.

July 29, 2010 at 15:57 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Anyone who knows me will obviously think that I am far too young and handsome to have grandchildren, but I do. And when I went to see my grandson Daniel on Tuesday for his birthday (he's as young looking and handsome as me by the way), the very first thing he did, was to present me with a present.

Bear in mind it was his birthday and not mine, but he had just come back from holiday with his parents, both non-smokers, from Grand Canaria, and there was no mistaking the present he had bought me, as it was instantly recognisable by the shape. It was a hand rolled cigar, which he had stood and watched the guy make, just for me.

I cannot tell you how pleased I was with this, not just in the fact that I love cigars, but also the fact that neither of his parents smoke, and we all know how kids are taught in school, that smoking kills etc etc.

A young man after my own heart in every way.

July 29, 2010 at 17:05 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

This is an interesting debate on quitting, no doubt getting to the bottom of this is going to be hard. Sir Richard Peto gave me permission to quote this after I wrote to him asking about the proof that the gene corruption cause by smoking leading to lung cancer never occurs in non smokers. This is it.

"My view is that although there might be reasonable disagreement about how big the non-smoker (and, probably more importantly, ex-smoker) hazards are from passive exposure to other people’s smoke, there is no reasonable disagreement as to whether some such hazard exists. Remember that although much risk is avoided by cessation, not all of it is avoided. It can therefore be inferred that ex-smokers have many partially altered cells left over from the days when they smoked that, depending on further exposure and on the play of chance, may or may not undergo further change into the seed of a growing cancer.

I trust this reply suffices, as I am at present heavily over-committed on other studies.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Peto

Two things here. What he is saying is that if you smoke the damage is done and I would infer that non smokers have zero risk. However Doll and Hill's original paper which Sir Richard was recuited for I think in the 1970s concluded that:

“Cessation at age 60, 50, 40, or 30 years gained, respectively, about 3, 6, 9, or 10 years of life expectancy.”

There is evidence that giving up does gain you some extra years. An anecdotal example is Allen Carr as in the "Easy Way To Give Up Smoking" he was a 100 a day smoker. That is a death sentence. After giving up he finally died of lung cancer at the age 76. I.e the p53 corruption had happened.

I also drilled down into the reports in Pat's article and they too point the finger at EGFR gene as the gene that mutates in non smokers. It maybe the same STD HPV which is the cause of cervcal cancer. It NEVER is SHS is my reading.

My guess is that as we are all living longer our body's DNA will always mutate and we all die of something. The older we get the more chance of dying of LC. Also many non smokers contract cancer which induces LC. E.g. Sir Bobby Robson contracted a melonoma initially but as LC is a virilent form of cancer is the one kiled him. Same with Canadian Terry Fox who died of LC at the age of 21 after knee cancer. Intersting debate.

July 29, 2010 at 17:27 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Could any of you guys complete a anti-smoking survey for ASH?

July 29, 2010 at 17:35 | Unregistered CommenterDave

I still think that in the case of someone like me, who has smoked actively since the age of 8, has more chance of dying if I quit. My body's organs, cells, and all that makes it function, has grown and evolved around tobacco use. If I quit, and it is deprived of that which it has grown alongside, will my body react as surely as if I were deprived food and water?

I still question, as in my article, on what studies have been done on lifelong smokers who suddenly quit given the anecdotal evidence of healthy lifelong smokers who drop down dead suddenly a few weeks of quitting

July 29, 2010 at 17:39 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Well, that ASH survey clearly shows what ASH's plans are for the next few years. Taxation, plain packaging and bans in cars. My God, how I hate them.

July 29, 2010 at 17:53 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

Mr A - All the more reason to complete the survey. I ticked only the 'Not at all important' boxes...and left comments about why I thought it was not part of their remit to socially engineer.

I particularly enjoyed leaving comments about 'passive smoking'.

Have some fun - and do their poxy little survey!

July 29, 2010 at 18:45 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

Just done that survey,gave them both barrels.

July 29, 2010 at 19:03 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

I've just scuppered their results as well but feel that I need a bit of a lie down after the trauma of visiting ASH :)

WRT 'obese' v 'fat' I heard the other day that GPs have been advised to tell their tubby patients that they're just plain fat because 'obese' is, apparently, too cuddly a word.

July 29, 2010 at 19:24 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

For me, one of the most sensible arguments against SHS is this. Smoking reached it's peak in the 1940's, and although a decline started in the 1950's, it was not until the 1970's that it dropped below 50%.
Our present senior citizens, the largest amount and longest living ever, grew up and spent much of their earlier lives in this environment. Even if they did not smoke, and many of them did, (especially the men)* , they lived in a world where people smoked literally everywhere.
Now a lot of those under forty, just about all under thirty, and as for those under twenty, this is a fact which they just do not know. Youngsters in particular just would not believe that cinemas were full of smoke, ashtrays by the bed in hospitals etc.
I noticed a comment on the 'Your Freedom' 'interweb gamesite'. A young anti smoker said that all the people who lived in a smoky world were now dead! Their knowledge, social history and concept of time were totally warped.

July 29, 2010 at 21:26 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Pat, I said a long time ago now that I wondered if the smoking ban was, in fact, a double bluff.

The government cannot afford to pay pensions, especially with people living so much longer (crazy, I know when so many are or have been smokers - it just shouldn't be happening); so my thought was that they had a pretty good idea that lifelong smokers would more than likely drop dead within a year of quitting as their bodies would not cope with the shock. This way they would save a packet on pensions as some would not even reach pensionable age and others would not be drawing their pension for so long.

By rights, most of us here should be dead by now if the so called science that far too many in government have swallowed hook, line and sinker, had been correct in what it said! And, if SHS were a fact, then there should be very few, if any, people left on this planet!

July 29, 2010 at 21:41 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Lyn - I think Ash just want us older ones dead and the younger ones criminalised. Have no doubt, criminalisation of smokers who still don't quit will be the endgame. We are not far from that point.

July 29, 2010 at 21:50 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I too have completed the ASH survey, also marking the 'not at all important' boxes throughout. I made comments essentially saying that social engineering is not acceptable, big gov's 'one size fits all' laws are inappropriate and the best people to decide what is good for children is their parents.

There are two things about this survey which are curious:

1. ASH usually do their surveys on YouGov. I wonder why they have used this other organisation called SurveyMonkey instead? This org is based in Portugal!

2. We have come across this survey only as a result of the courtesy of Dave. No doubt, in due course, ASH will be displaying the results of this survey (if the results are to their liking) all over the MSM. Why is the fact that this survey is taking place not being widely reported to the people of the country?

I think I will send an email to the editor of the DT and also suggest an idea on the Your Freedom site. Perhaps even a word on ConHome. Worth a try.

July 29, 2010 at 22:53 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I have to say that if there is no progress on the dismemberment of the smoking ban over the next year, then very serious consideration must be given to mass social disobedience.

I cannot really see any other realistic and satisfactory way forward.

July 29, 2010 at 22:56 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

Oh I've completed the ASH survey alright, although I had to disinfect my browser after having visted something to do with ASH....

It's weird that they're using Survey Monkey though - it's just a DIY survey thing - the Hotmail of survey providers, if you will - my students use it sometimes for their dissertations.

We should spread it far and wide so it gets filled in by real people rather than just ASH drones, Smokefree Northwest automatons et al.

That said, if it reflected public opinion, ASH would just lie or bury it, anyway. This is ASH we're taslikng about, after all.

July 30, 2010 at 0:05 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

I have completed the survey and left comments. It gives me pleasure to know that my comments will annoy them, even though they will assume that I am a BT infiltrator.

July 30, 2010 at 0:24 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Hello, everyone -- Some good news, if there are churchgoers amongst you. If not, I hope you will enjoy this post, anyway:

I'm happy for you to circulate it, as long as you send the link along and cite 'Churchmouse Campanologist'.

Thank you in advance!

July 30, 2010 at 0:52 | Unregistered CommenterChurchmouse

Anti smoker comment "All smokers die a long agonising death"
My comment "All non smokers die peacfully in their sleep"

Just wanted to get that one off my chest

July 30, 2010 at 1:17 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

It's the last thing you do in life, so why make it boring, Timbone

July 30, 2010 at 1:42 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Nice that Churchmouse. However, I do not ever remember when such a question arose; after all, communion requires wine, does it not?
Maybe you should be taking your courage into both hands and making suggestions to your bishops. The Christian religion is under attack from all sides. I am a non-practicing Roman Catholic. By non-practicing I mean that I decided a long time ago that I would not accept that I would be 'damned forever' if I did not go to mass on a Sunday. From that little philosophical (or theological) denial, a lot of other denials followed. Nevertheless, despite my doubts, I still regard myself as a true Christian. Oddly enough, I regard Jews and Muslims also as 'followers of Christ' in a way - in the sense of followers of Abraham. Essentially we all (including Muslims and jews) accept the ten commandments (bearing in mind that we are weak human beings).

Bw that as it may. The important thing in this place is the denial to the people of the pleasures of 'the fruits of the Earth' on spurious health grounds. Wine, beer and spirits are fruit of the Earth, as also is tobacco. They are there to be enjoyed and thus to compensate for life's pains. This is not some sort of mystical thing; it is a simple matter of fact. Our little pleasures in life compensate for the pains.

July 30, 2010 at 5:10 | Unregistered CommenterJunican


Hold on, don't get too exited, the sales of beer in pubs is down! It is only home sales that are up.

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds says "Sixty per cent of drink sales in community pubs are beer, so a beer tax break would be a real benefit to their business."

What's wrong with these people? Yes, of course a tax break would help a tiny bit, but a ciggie break would help enormously. The whole smoking issue has been clouded over by political correctness, making it a taboo subject (except on here) Politicians are scared to discuss it, and now it seems the British Beer and Pub Association are also scared.

You can read the article here

July 30, 2010 at 9:18 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Peter. I saw the same report on teletext and like you thought 'Why not mention the smoking ban?'

These people must have been bought off in some way as the ban is definitely the 'elephant in the room'. I watched as much of the World Cup as work commitments allowed but rarely did I go the pub. I sat at home drinking my beer, smoking my fags and cursing at the screen.

Why would I go to a pub where the beer is expensive, I have to go outside for a smoke and the TV is kept down low so as not to annoy the diners with their sprogs running all around the place?

Pubs are dead and I fear an amendment or even a repeal now is too little too late as behaviours have changed. My money will continue to be spent on foreign owned beers in foreign owned supermarkets. Stuff the lot of them.

July 30, 2010 at 10:42 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Peoples

In the wake of a study which has just been published and which shows that elderly people who take calcium supplements to counteract osteoporosis increase the risk of a heart attack by 30%, a cardiologist was interviewed on R4 this morning. He said that the absolute risk is small and therefore the RR of 30% is nothing to be too scared about, thus endorsing the view that the dangers of SHS are minimal.

July 30, 2010 at 12:57 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I read about the calcium today too. I wondered if it was a case of seeing that a natural supplement was selling like wildfire, and planning to divert the profits to drugs.

July 30, 2010 at 14:18 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

Hello, Junican -- Thanks for stopping by to read my post and for commenting here.

Many Protestant Communion services offer wine (e.g. Catholic Mass nowadays, Anglican services). But, you're right, many do not. Whether to serve wine is a part of individual denominational church polity decided at the top.

However, tobacco is not. Taking tobacco -- as you point out, a natural product -- is up to the individual. Much more important, it would seem, to present the Christian case for tobacco in light of ASH's secular sin of smoking rather than worry about Communion wine v grape juice, don't you think?

Have a great weekend!

July 30, 2010 at 17:40 | Unregistered CommenterChurchmouse

Churchmouse: Compare Luke 18.11. I often think the instincts of health zealots compare with those of the Pharisee who said: 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are... I fast twice a week', etc. And I wonder why Church leaders now do not speak up for the modern equivalent of the despised outsider in the parable, the publican (tax collector). I think Christ would be out in the dark and the cold with the smokers, the old and the ill.

July 30, 2010 at 17:55 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

That sounds about right to me Norman. He'd most likely be turning over the tables in anger at the profiteers on this one.

Changing subject: I don't know if anyone's noticed, but the government's responses to the online 'freedom' debate have now been published on the No. 10 website.

July 30, 2010 at 19:02 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty


They very much objected to the signs.

Smokefree England
Signage Guidance for Churches, Places of Worship and Church/Parish Halls

Church no smoking signs condemned
Heritage entrances
"Mr Slee claimed one church had been threatened with closure by the council if it failed to comply.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme he said: "All Deans have received a very formal letter and been instructed that it's mandatory to put up these signs, even on wonderful Grade I listed heritage entrances"

Holy smoke: Tongue-in-cheek blessing for ‘unsightly’ sign
"A VICAR blessed his church's new No Smoking sign in a "protest against excessive bureaucracy".
Canon Garlick says the blessing with incense and holy water was made to mock the law and because all new items in churches must be blessed.
He said: "There was an irony in doing the blessing with smoke on a No Smoking sign but we think the ban allows incense."

"The Bishop of Fulham describes the new rules as "stark, staring mad," and the Dean of Southwark, the Very Rev Colin Slee, says the legislation is "daft".

"A vicar who lit his pipe in a Kent police station as a protest against the smoking ban has failed in his attempt to get himself arrested.
The Reverend Anthony Carr, of East Peckham, walked into the station in Tonbridge, asked to report a crime and then started smoking.

He said he flouted the ban to protest against the erosion of civil liberties.

Church leaders take a stand over barmy bureaucracy
"Places of worship are not exempt from the ban on smoking in public places, which comes into force today, (Sunday July 1) so churches have been warned by councils that they must put up the signs or face fines of up to £1,000."

July 30, 2010 at 19:18 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

In my earlier post I said that social disobedience needs to be seriously considered. You have just exemplified that comment in your post.
Vicar Anthony Carr tried to get himself arrested but ‘Kent Police said they did not arrest the Holy Trinity church vicar because it was an environmental health issue’.
So, can you imagine several protests of this type happening around the country and nobody being arrested…what would be going on here.
I thought that if you broke the smoking ban law you would be arrested…if that is not the case then why aren't there organised attempts at civil disobedience, and what would happen if fines were left unpaid?
Surely this would be an effective way of protesting.

July 30, 2010 at 20:09 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

DavidR. The legislation created by the Health Act is civil law not criminal law. There are enforcment officers because it is not a police matter. If there were acts of civil disobedience, the police may become involved, but only to prevent breach of the peace or physical assault. You cannot be arrested for smoking in an indoor public area, as you have not broken criminal law. This is the fine line however. If one or more people smoking in a forbidden area create a disturbance or assault, then they have created a criminal act.

July 31, 2010 at 0:26 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Rose2 With reference to protests and civil disobedience, when fines don't get paid people end up going to prison. Look at what happened to Nick Hogan.

We clearly are a bunch of people fighting and I fear that no one is listening. I don't think many MP's are standing up for whats right EDM 406 changing the smoking ban; simply because it appears to be politically incorrect. The ban has had a massive impact on communities and peoples social lives; millions of people no longer go to the pub for a night out because of it. It rains more than half the year here in the UK, people clearly object to having to stand around outside.
If EDM 406 is not successful, it will not leave any other way of fighting the ban apart from civil disobedience. The Health Act 2006 is clearly not fair and unjust for business owners and their customers that want to smoke.
Many pubs hold lock ins for their regulars where they permit smoking, this is clearly why they are not joining our fight as they do not want to stand out.
Its not just saving pubs and clubs, but the way in which peoples social lives have been decimated; this also needs to be looked at seriously by organisations like Forest.

July 31, 2010 at 1:54 | Unregistered CommenterRich01

I must address an idea to ‘churchmouse’.

Regarding the posting of notices which say that ‘smoking is prohibited’.

The posting of these notices seems no longer to be required. In the immediate vicinity of my home (about a quarter of a mile), there are only two pubs. For the last few months, neither of these pubs have displayed ‘no smoking’ signs externally. I am sure that you will understand that I am reluctant to ask the proprietors why they are disobeying the law – why make waves? One can only reasonably assume that the Local Authority have indicated to them that it no longer has staff ‘looking for’ such notices or the absence of such notices. And yet, these places are clearly breaking the law.

It is easy to see how this situation (the lack of notices) could have arisen. One can imagine a situation where a publican puts up a notice and a person or persons unknown destroy the notice. This may happen again and again.

One can therefore understand how it is possible for ‘the person responsible’ (say, the vicar) of a church not to notice that a ‘no smoking’ sign has disappeared. One of the peculiarities of this law is that proprietors of premises are required only to put the notices up. They are not required to ensure that the notices stay up. Only if an authorised person points out to you that you have no notice do you have to take action. Here is a sensible idea – put the notice up and take pictures of it. If one is approached by an official, show him the pictures. If he insists that one puts up new notices, do it – and repeat ad inf. They will get fed up before you do.

It is therefore quite possible, in your particular case, for a person who abhors these notices to tear them down. In conscience, one is not obliged to conform to a law which one believes to be unjust.

Bishops should tell their vicars to ignore this law because the reality is that Parliament did not discuss the ‘posting of notices’ regulation. MPs only voted IN GENERAL TERMS for a law which seemed sensible at the time. MPs did not really understand what they were voting for.

I am not absolutely sure what you want, Churchmouse. If what you want is merely the removal of these ‘no smoking’ notices, then remove them. If a local authority jobsworthy (doing what he is told to do by the Chief Executive) whinges, obey – when he has gone away, just rip them down again. I am amazed that your Bishops have not got together and said that “Up with this we will not put!” “If the government want notices putting up, they can jolly well put them up themselves!”

And thus we see that ‘conscience’ has been eradicated in favour of ‘compliance’. If you believe that ‘conscience’ is the REAL dictator of your actions, then you must OBEY your conscience and DISOBEY the law, difficult though it may be. Invite them to do their worst. They will back down. "Courage, mon ami!"

July 31, 2010 at 2:50 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Further to my little homily directed at Churchmouse, we can clearly see why the likes of Patricia Hewitt and Caroline Flint regarded the imposition of the Smoking Ban to have been a 'great success'. It was not that THE PEOPLE agreed with the ban; more that the proposed swingeing penalties to be imposed upon publicans had the desired effect. It still amazes me that publicans accepted the duty to enforce this law. They should have got together and said, "No! We will not obey! We will put up the notices, but we will do no more. We do not accept that we are unpaid agents of the State!"

It may be that this idea is slowly getting through. I do not know. It may well be that the statement from the Beer Association people ("We do not want to go backwards and permit smoing") is DELIBERATELY PROVOCATIVE. Maybe they are not as stupid as they seem to be. It may well be true that the idea of 'let it develop' may be the best way to approach the idea,

The wonderful thing about the anti-smoking hysteria is the utter stupidy of it, Even politicians must surely be able to see that 'one size fits all' does not apply in this case. Why do politicians continue to support the ban? Is it possible that they do not want their stupidity to be publicised?

The curious thing about the smoking ban is that it is based upon ephemeral science, 'Smoke and Mirrors' is an appropriate phrase.

Whatever. It is clear that we must continue the fight, No one with any sence will agree to be dictated to by the medical profession.

July 31, 2010 at 4:10 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I do not smoke cannabis and therefore have no vested interests but this paper here should shame all health nannies and Puritans. It is a peer reviewed paper which suggests cannabis inhibits the growth of cancer tumours, including lung. Apparently there is a paper from 1975 which also confirms the hypothesis. Why these papers have not been acted upon by the medical authorities with more research and trials is a disgrace. Being cured of cancer and enjoying yourself at the same time can't be allowed I guess.

July 31, 2010 at 6:36 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I just picked this up frtom an email this morning.

Makes sense in our case doesn't it.

"What is dangerous about extremists is not that
they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.
The evil is not what they say about their cause,
but what they say about their opponents."
- Robert F. Kennedy

July 31, 2010 at 9:01 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

What a wonderful quote Peter. The perfect 'battle cry'.

July 31, 2010 at 9:47 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty

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