There’s an interesting article in the Telegraph about Nigel Farage:
“I can’t stand Cameron,” says Farage, witheringly, through a miasma of cigarette smoke. “He’s shallow, nobody trusts a word he says. I respect people with different opinions that are sincerely held. The Lib Dems make no secret they are pro-Europe; I might disagree but at least they are upfront. I reserve my hatred for the class of political weasels who say one thing in Britain and then vote an entirely different way in the European Parliament.”
Miasma?… Anyway that pretty much sums up my view of Cameron too: he’s shallow. I don’t even think he’s a Conservative. I don’t know why he’s leading the Conservative party.
“Look, the problems of the Conservative Party are not all down to me,” insists Farage. “They are suffering from major disconnect; Tory voters are historically used to a party of free enterprise and wealth creation, but all it wants to talk about is gay marriage, wind turbines and metropolitan Notting Hill claptrap.”
The author of the piece, Judith Woods, writes:
Political adversaries might snipe that Ukip’s crowd-pleasing policies on Europe (get us out!) and immigration (get Johnny Foreigner out!), education (more grammars!) and law and order (more slammers!) read like they were scribbled on a beer mat. But its pint and a ploughman’s simplicity plays very well with disillusioned voters across the spectrum.
And in the process, she completely misses the only real reason why I like Nigel Farage, and why I vote UKIP: he’s a smoker, and he sticks up for smokers.
This was brought home to me last year at Stony Stratford, when – almost alone among Britain’s politicians – he battled his way through floods to get there, and deliver a speech to the 200 or so smokers (or supporters of smokers) who’d come to protest against the local council’s proposed outdoor smoking ban.
It wasn’t his only visit to Stony Stratford. He was there a week before to be snapped sitting smoking on one of Stony Stratford’s street benches.
And I believe he came back later that year to see the proposal struck down.
He’s a smoker, and (unlike Cameron and Clegg) he stands up for smokers, and doesn’t betray them (like Clegg and Cameron). And that’s why I’ll vote UKIP as long as he leads that party, or as long as it policies include a relaxation of the smoking ban.
Because nothing else matters to me. And if I’m anti-European these days, it’s largely because the EU is quite clearly completely dominated by antismokers.
But Judith Woods can’t see any of this. For her, tobacco smoke is ‘miasma’. Her views become clearer when she writes:
His second wife, Kirsten, is German and their daughters, aged seven and 12, are being brought up bilingual, which nicely spikes the guns of those who would charge him with blanket xenophobia. Having cheated death on three occasions – a car accident, testicular cancer and an aeroplane crash during the 2010 election, his carpe diem ebullience is as irrepressible as his wilful insistence on chain-smoking is incomprehensible.
What’s ‘incomprehensible’ about him chain-smoking? Lots of people do it.
If she finds it incomprehensible, it’s because she’s one of those people who’ve drunk the antismoking kool-aid down to the last drop, and simply doesn’t understand why anyone smokes.
And if she doesn’t understand that, then she won’t have the first inkling of why I – and many people like me – now vote UKIP, and for Nigel Farage.
And here’s the myopia of the mainstream media. They all think that the UK’s 2007 smoking ban is a non-issue, something that doesn’t matter. And, as a member of the mainstream media hack class, who has clearly signed up to the antismoking orthodoxy, Judith Woods probably thinks that the smoking ban is a non-issue because ASH and Deborah Arnott and co told her that the smoking ban had been a great success, which everyone loved – particularly smokers -, and she believed them.
Truth is that the smoking ban is a festering sore. It wasn’t a great success at all. And it’s an extremely divisive issue – as I was pointing out only yesterday -. And it’s not something that’s going to go away. Smokers aren’t going to ‘get used to it’. Nor are they going to quit smoking. And it’s sheer myopia – or wishful thinking – on the part of the mainstream media and the political class to imagine that it isn’t a problem, or that it’s a problem that will gradually go away.
The smoking ban is going to be the kind of dead body that washes up on a riverbank outside the house of the murderer, its extended arm and index finger pointing accusingly at the door, its teeth bared in a hideous grin.
The kind of dead body that floats up in the middle of a sunny garden party, where everyone’s drinking lemon tea and eating cucumber sandwiches, celebrating the murderer’s daughter’s engagement. i.e. just when everything seems to be going well.
It’s going to come back to haunt the political class, and the mainstream media, and the medical profession, and quite a few other people too. They thought they’d got away with it.
But they haven’t.