Search This Site
Forest on Twitter

TFS on Twitter

Join Forest On Facebook

Featured Video

Friends of The Free Society


Powered by Squarespace
« Ten reasons why the smoking ban stinks | Main | MP wants smoking ban review »

EDM 406 - how you can help

You can check the level of support for Brian Binley's Early Day Motion on smoking in pubs and clubs HERE and compare it with other EDMs HERE.

Between now and the summer recess MPs will be encouraged to sign the EDM. To have any impact an EDM needs at least 50 signatures.

Don't be discouraged if there are only a few signatures on the EDM. It takes time to attract support. It would help enormously however if you were to write to your own MP, at the House of Commons or the constituency office, urging them to support EDM 406 (Review of smoking ban in pubs and clubs).

If your MP is a Conservative you might wish to draw their attention to the response on ConservativeHome HERE. But the EDM needs the support of Labour and LibDem MPs too so don't be put off if your MP isn't a Conservative.

Note: MPs receive hundreds of emails every day/week. I know some MPs who as a matter of policy NEVER read emails sent to their parliamentary address. They leave it to a member of staff and anything that is not constituency-orientated will probably be ignored.

It takes more time but it is better by far to write a letter to your MP, stressing that you are a constituent and (politely) requesting a reply.

Reader Comments (24)

I must say I have not been so optimistic for such a long time. The most important and as yet unmentioned benefit of Brian's timely intervention is that smokers once again may expect to be treated from all angles with more dignity. I hope the rabid demonisation of smokers has stopped.

July 7, 2010 at 10:27 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I have just written to my (Tory) MP. However, he's newly elected so an unknown quantity. The old MP was a non-smoker but very much against the Ban. I hope the new chap is the same.

July 7, 2010 at 14:23 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

I wrote courteously to my new conservative MP and waited breathlessly for a reply. My computer beeped, and so with a skip in my step and a song in my heart I just couldn’t wait to open it…anyway here it is. Tra-la-la-la….yes come on sing along with me…


I am acutely aware of the difficulties faced by pubs, bars and bingo halls following the smoking ban. However, the perennial problem has been a balancing of rights: it seems impossible to uphold the right of smokers to smoke in a public place without oppressing the rights of non-smokers in the same place.

I will not be campaigning against the smoking ban.

Your sincerely


Mark Spencer MP
Member of Parliament for Sherwood

July 7, 2010 at 18:28 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik

Is he Labour Chris? I think all Labour and LibDem MPs will take this stance and most of those Cons who voted for it initially. My MP is new. I can only hope he has some common sense and if not then I've made it clear why I'll be continuing to vote elsewhere. If all smokers took this stance, then I think the politicians would have to listen. There's nothing to prick up the ears of bigotted MPs than the spectre of them losing their seat. We must stick together on this and have a political plan of action. At present, our voice is mostly unheard because it is so diverse and fragmented.

July 7, 2010 at 20:14 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Pat I'm not being rude the first line.

July 7, 2010 at 20:44 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik


Spencer has a very slender majority of 214, the options are;

1. Write back to him and say that you do not expect him to campaign but support an amendment.
2. Write to the local paper saying he is very he does not support private property rights, and the local pubs and clubs.
3. Contact the local pubs and clubs and point out that Spencer is not for amending the smoking ban and get some signatures and send them through to Spencer, demonstrating there is a desire in his constituency for change. There must be a Working Mens CIU club in the area, I can find out who it is and pass on their contact details to you. Get the CIU to invite Spencer in for a meeting and discuss the smoking ban. I am prepared to come up from London and attend if needs be.

MPs with small majorities will work hard to please their electorate.

Chris and everybody else it is time to get out from behind our PCs and be direct and positive.

July 7, 2010 at 21:01 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton


Thanks for your post. I intend to engage Mark Spencer MP in dialog first, I want him to answer certain points in his reply...then I intend to take it further with follow up other words make him earn his money.

I shall also point out to him the relevance of his slender majority - thanks for that information Dave.

July 7, 2010 at 22:04 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik

Chris - oops - I really should wear my reading glasses. Apologies. I still think the same tho although rather less optimistic now about the "new" MPs now in Parlt following your reply :( .

July 8, 2010 at 0:17 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I see we're up to 10 signatures today, 08/07/10. Up from 6 yesterday. My MP is Stephen Pound, unfortunately, one of those who pretends to have been dubious of the ban but has now seen the light, the road to Elysium and thinks its a good thing, T*****r!

Nothing to be gained from writing to this muppet.

July 8, 2010 at 9:10 | Unregistered CommenterFrank


Write to him, get it all off your chest ... show him the truth.

The issues are global

and yes, solutions exist that remove 99.999% of Air Particulate

July 8, 2010 at 14:58 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gibson

Thank you, Bill, but with S. Pound an appearance and missive by the Archangel Gabriel wouldn't succeed. He'll only go the way he thinks the wind is blowing which is, normally, the way his Labour masters dictate.

I have to say that the comments by that new MP above are atrocious. Arrogant and dismissive are the mildest remarks I can think of.

What a job we have to do,eh? What clowns we have to deal with.

July 8, 2010 at 15:41 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Frank - it's worth writing even to the bigotted MPs who cannot then spout that "not one of my constituents has complained to me about it".

July 8, 2010 at 17:27 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

They cannot run from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

July 8, 2010 at 18:01 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gibson

MP Stephen Pound has always been nothing more than a talking head for rent; he always pops up doing interviews on parliament green blowing out his cheeks…if you look carefully…you’ll see a large hand working him from behind.

He’s never been guilty of having any worthwhile convictions.

July 8, 2010 at 20:12 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik


We see several non-sequitures in the reply from your MP.
1. That there is a conflict between the rights on non-smokers and the rights of smokers. There is no such conflict - both can be accommodated.
2. That by refusing to back the rights of smokers ("I will not be campaigning against the smoking ban") to have an indoor place to smoke, he is taking sides. But he says that there is 'a balance' between smokers' rights and non-smokers' rights. The man speaks with forked tongue.
3. He says that he is "acutely aware" of the effect of the smoking ban on pubs, clubs, bingo halls. etc. But, one can ask the question: is he? I have my doubts. If he is 'acutely aware' of the difficulties (loss of livelihood just a 'difficulty'?) of pubs etc, what is he going to do about it? Minimum unit alcohol prices? Government sponsored prizes in bingo halls? Taxpayer funded meal vouchers for pubs? What precisely?
4. The ban is not intended to protect the rights of non-smokers in general, but only to protect the rights of non-smoking staff. The rights of non-smoking staff can easily be protected by separate rooms for smokers.
5. He particularly mentions the rights of non-smokers 'IN THE SAME PLACE'. The whole point of Binley's EDM is to allow smoking inside premises but not in the same place as non-smokers.

You may know from my previous posts that Easyjet lost my bag on a flight to Majorca. After 5 weeks when the bag had not turned up, their handling agent' offered me £400 in settlement stating that this sum was Easijet's policy. I argued about it, in particular that their demand for 'proof' (in the form of receipts) illogical - whatever receipts I might have did not prove that the subjects of the receipts were in the bag. But I said that I was quite prepared to swear an affidavit before my solicitor regarding the contents of the bag. They then offered me £827, which is what I asked for and which I accepted.

The point of this little tale is that it is worth one's while to point out to the other party the illogicality of their position. I do not know what you said in your letter to your MP, but, if I was you I would write again and mention the above points. I would also ask for his views upon the studies that show that passive smoking is harmless and upon the manifest fiddling of surveys by ASH and co and upon the misuse of taxpayers' funds by CRUK for example in giving ASH funds which are provided by taxpayers for CANCER RESEARCH. Note the words, CANCER RESEARCH.

I will write to my MP even though he is Labour. Your post her makes me all the more determined to pursue the matter. As with Climategate (I note another whitewash has now appeared) we must not let the matter go away.

July 9, 2010 at 3:34 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

So this is the section where all the "real" talking heads are hanging out is it? Reading many of the other posts on other subjets, I was beginning to get seriously worried about what was happening on this site.

All I need do now is drum up something relevant to say here, and make sure it's controversial enough, and with a bit of luck I will be back in the swing of things....give me 5 minutes...or maybe a bit longer.....I will return!

July 9, 2010 at 10:37 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

"However, the perennial problem has been a balancing of rights:" - Mark Spencer MP.
How can Mark Spencer claim that allocating 0% of inside public space for people to smoke in is a balance of rights?
It is precisely the opposite of attempting to balance rights. By his logic allocating 100% of inside public space for smoking would be equally correct. Either extreme is a monopoly of space and totally unjustifiable. Imagine if fifty years ago when smokers were in the majority a law was passed that abolished smokfree space regardless of the wishes of people who owned that space.


I am acutely aware of the difficulties faced by pubs, bars and bingo halls following the smoke-free ban. However, the perennial problem has been a balancing of rights: it seems impossible to uphold the right of non-smokers to smoke-free air in a public place without oppressing the rights of smokers in the same place.

I will not be campaigning against the smoke-free ban.

Your sincerely


Mark Spencer MP
Member of Parliament for Sherwood

July 9, 2010 at 11:12 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

Have written to my new MP,I know that he does smoke,so heres hoping!!

Dear Stephen Lloyd,

First of all, congratulations on becoming the MP for Eastbourne, a well
deserved victory.

May I draw your attention to Early day motion 406 which is calling for
a review and amendment to the blanket smoking ban imposed in July 2007
by the Labour government.

As you are probably aware hundreds of pubs and private members clubs
have closed their doors since the ban came in three years ago, and, if
you take a look around the local area there are several that are
boarded up.

I myself am a long time member of the Royal Naval old comrades club in
Beach Road, and, since 2007 the club has steadily been losing money. I
fully realise that there are other factors involved, but I believe that
a sensible amendment to the ban would, benefit the economy by
increasing beer sales. which in turn would increase the tax revenue,it
would also remove the sight of smokers congregating in doorways,at the
same time the associated litter problem would disapear,there would also
be less of a noise problem in residential areas.
There are a lot of people, including non smokers who now believe that
the ban has gone too far,and as a result has brought the hospitality
industry virtually to its knees,many people do not go out to socialise
any more, one way to address this would to have a sensible compromise
like many of our European neighbours.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope that you will be
able to support this and sign EDM 406.

Yours sincerely,

Carl ............

July 9, 2010 at 12:04 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Here is my reply to my MP Mark Spencer.

Dear Mark

I am both angry and bemused at your reply to my email about the iniquities of the smoking ban, which you appear to have blatantly ignored.

You say you are ‘acutely aware of the difficulties faced by pubs, bars and bingo halls following the smoke-free ban’.

1. It is not a smoke-free ban; it is a smoking ban in public places. Smokers are still allowed to smoke, and if you were so acutely aware then how could you possibly support a ban that has decimated the hospitality industry and socially divided the nation?

‘However, the perennial problem has been a balancing of rights: it seems impossible to uphold the right of non-smokers to smoke-free air in a public place without oppressing the rights of smokers in the same place’

2. What balancing of rights are you referring to? Any rights that may exist in a pub, bar etc; to so called ‘smoke free air’ are governed by the landlord and the landlady, it is they who should decide whether to allow smoking or not…since it is a private business run by them and not half-wit politicians. Patrons enter these premises on their own volition…remember?
3. Separate well ventilated smoking areas would anyway satisfy this equation quite easily.
4. You have obviously forgotten that the previous government promised not to bring in a blanket smoking ban…when they pledged a compromise instead which they later reneged on – do you think that this was right?
5. I did not ask you to campaign to overturn the ban…I merely want some open mindedness from you.
6. Are you happy about the poisonous wedge of social exclusion and relentless persecution which now plague anyone who dares to smoke?
7. I would ask you to broaden your thinking and visit sites like FOREST and VELVET GLOVE IRON FIST, which will not only inform you…but allow you to feel the seething anger out there about this spiteful and vindictive ban.

I would hope that an MP on such a slender majority of 214 would like to broaden his appeal to his constituents (many of whom will smoke) on an issue such as this.

I hope you will look at Brian Binley’s Early Day Motion on smoking in pubs and clubs. (a useful link on the Forest site)

In the meantime perhaps you can answer this simple question for me.

How many people were killed last year by ‘passive smoking’, how are these figures recorded, and how can they be validated by autopsy evidence?
I do not want stock answers – if you can’t find the exact answer then please have the courage to say so.
This issue for many of us will never go away – never!

Thank you.

July 9, 2010 at 21:26 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik

Should you get another carck at this guy, send him this link

A Documentary called THE ANTI

July 9, 2010 at 22:22 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gibson

Additionally one can direct the politicians towards The Brussels Declaration on Scientific Integrity and request that they read and endorse this document of global importance.

In fact we invite everyone to sign the document

also a link to another interesting read that ties in with the above.;jsessionid=136748C9280CD3DAD0E19ABB3F3506C9

July 10, 2010 at 9:13 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gibson

I have written to my MP several times about the smoking ban. Kerry McCarthy
will not budge an inch, there is no point in writing to her again.

July 11, 2010 at 20:40 | Unregistered CommenterNick


But what you can do is ask them questions that you know they cannot answer for instance in my post above:
How many people were killed last year by ‘passive smoking’, how are these figures recorded, and how can they be validated by autopsy evidence?

Don't let them off the hook with stock answers, ask them for precise answers to your questions. Make these sods earn their money.

Because they can't answer your questions the message is quite clear...that the ban had no legitimacy in the first place.

July 11, 2010 at 23:22 | Unregistered CommenterChris F J Cyrnik

The European Commission also defended a Court Action when the Court ruled in their favour in the K Labat v Commission of the European Communities( (Case F-77/07) when the pursuer claimed that her husband had died as a result of Second Hand Smoke at his workplace while employed by the Commission.
In addition

As the UK legislation was based upon the myth that SHS Kills ...

July 12, 2010 at 13:20 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gibson

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>