BBC Reports Stony Stratford Protest

I was going to write something about how the BBC hadn’t produced a report on the Stony Stratford protest, when I found out that they had. And also that I’d got a whole 2 seconds to myself of the one minute clip. This time I’m squinting silently into the distance from behind my placard, almost as if the Bartlett brothers were going to come riding down Main Street at any minute, guns a-blazing.

It seemed quite an accurate report. Nothing I could find wrong with it.

Interestingly, it was the 4th most watched item on the BBC local website  when I looked earlier this evening.

It pushed Brittany in battle against algae into 9th place, and Obama: I was dialling out for pizza into 12th place, although never seemed to quite have the legs of Sex party for German insurance staff somehow or other.

Pretty good showing for an area with a population of approaching 2.5 million (Bedfordshire 602,500, Hertfordshire 1,078,400, Buckinghamshire 725,400). That’s more than any city in Britain apart from London.

But AboutMyArea reports:

AboutMyArea/MK11 understands that the resolution for a “full smoking ban in the town council area of Stony Startford” has now been postponed until the Town Council meeting on 20th September. The other resolutions moved by Cllr Paul Bartlett are still due to be discussed and voted on tomorrow evening.

Why is it being postponed? Are they going to wait 2 months and hope the furore has died down, and they can pass the motion with nobody noticing?

Simon Clark has more on this development.

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53 Responses to BBC Reports Stony Stratford Protest

  1. Pat Nurse says:

    I think the answer to that is yes with added orchestration from ASH to ensure it’s success second time around either in Stony or somewhere else.

  2. Frank Davis says:

    And The Daily Mash on Darren Clarke’s victory

    Experts welcomed Clarke’s triumph and said that anti-smoking campaigners should now shut their stupid, pathetic, annoying, whiny, puritanical fucking faces.

  3. Twenty_Rothmans says:

    I welcome the opportunity to see the people from Saturday again. We have more notice this time.

    Frank, I was the tallish, ugly, awkward-looking chap next to Nick from Russia. I’ll buy you a beer when we meet. Nick’s a profoundly good egg, BTW.

  4. JJ says:

    I have to say Frank you have a touch of Dirty Harry about you in that pic.

    • Frank Davis says:

      D’y think so! D’y think so! ;-)

      • ftumch says:

        D’ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya??

        I’m the guy with the beard sparking up in the second row. I set my lighter to full and took out a few unwanted nasal hairs at the same time. Bonus!

      • Leg-iron says:

        Heh. Facing down a terrified drone – “I know what you’re thinking. Did he smoke 20, or only 19? Well, in all the confusion I kinda lost count myself.”

        We can make them deaf now, you know. It’s only a matter of time before we can make them mute too.

  5. Frank Davis says:

    Nick’s a profoundly good egg, BTW.

    I have personal experience of it: he gave me 5 packets of Golden Virginia!

  6. Twenty_Rothmans says:

    I neglected to mention that I’ve had been rather excited had Guy News shown up, especially with the pulchritudinous Emily NoMates. Given the short timescale afforded to DP, and I only got wind of this when I was OS on business, I think it behoves us to make the next one a media event. I wanted to dress up for Saturday in my dinner gear with a long cigarette holder.
    I’d have looked a right tit on the Tubes, and I need that suit for the Proms on Wednesday. Just as well, it’d have beer all over it.

    Especially when that BBC bird was setting things up to capture your banner and three pints went flying. Not to put too fine a point on it but I’d wager that BBC lady doesn’t frequent pubs much.

    Does anyone else out there tie a proper bow tie? I can, but it takes hours sometimes.

  7. smokervoter says:

    Did you ever get “Man, you look sort of like Neil Young” when you were growing up?

    I looked at the picture and immediately thought, English musician, but which one?
    Long, long brain pause – like when the hard drive is trying to access an old file in there…then it dawned on me, just because he’s an Englishman doesn’t mean it couldn’t be an American or even a Canadian for that matter. Bingo. Neil Young.

    Bonus question. Are those pipes on the white brick building electric or plumbing or both and is that normal there? I remember an old plumber friend telling me that on older British buildings they run the pipes outside and thus are much easier to get at in order to work on them.

    I Rest My Case

    • Frank Davis says:

      No, nobody’s ever said that. In fact I don’t remember anyone ever comparing me to anyone.

      The pipes on the walls look like rainwater or soil downpipes, which is very common in Britain (and probably everywhere). External water (supply) pipes would be prone to freezing.

    • Ross says:

      I thought exactly the same thing, instantly, on seeing Frank (always nice to put a face, with character, to the words, etc!) in that picture:- Neil Young!! (at various times…)

      For a look at how he was just last year (shaved!) and in a gorgeous song, see:
      Love And War

      For those using Firefox as a browser, I recommend installing this add-on:

      which will enable downloading of any YouTube video for later seamless replay.

      Then, I suggest downloading the complete “Le Noise” album video in the sidebar…

      [Angry World (unshaven!) is perhaps an appropriate song for the times, too… ;=}))]

      Be aware that ‘Full HD’ (1920 pixels wide) is not much use to you if you don’t have a full HD display or blu-ray player, if you want to burn it to disc. Or a similar computer display.

      720p is about DVD quality. 480 (all reducing file sizes) is OK for a quick look on your PC etc.

      Highly recommended. Get the “Making Of” video too, with Daniel Lanois.

  8. “Are they going to wait 2 months and hope the furore has died down, and they can pass the motion with nobody noticing?”

    Yep. That’s the plan. They’re all paid to do this stuff and they know we’re not. So repeated and/or last-minute postponements work in their favor: ordinary folks can’t go taking time off work over and over to attend hearings that never happen until no one shows up except the paid ASH types or to go to repeated demonstrations only to have the “officials” come out the next day and say “Well, we weren’t planning to work on this for a few months anyways.”

    In terms of this postponement specifically: about 25 years ago I led a massive bicycle demonstration illegally down a street in city business area that had banned bicycles. The city caved in immediately, opened the street back up to bikes, the entire three months of planning and effort that wentinto gathering hundreds of folks together for the demo all dissolved peacefully…. and about four months later the city simply reinstuted the ban. By that point no one except a very small core group of activists was still in communication and we simply didn’t have the energy to go through the entire process again… so the city won. That’s the kind of thing the Antismokers count on: they’ve got scores of paid troop to trot out each and every working day — it’s part of their jobs — while we’ve got passionate people but also people who often have other jobs or businesses to attend to. Heh… one big trick over here is to do crucial bar-ban stuff on St. Paddy’s Day: Ain’t no bar owners out there who’d leave their bars on the biggest bar party day of the entire year “to go to some meaningless hearing that’ll probably get postponed again.”

    P.S. Frank, you captured your photo description PERFECTLY! LOLOL!

  9. Junican says:

    If I was a citizen of SS, I would be very unhappy about this postponement. I would want to go to the meeting tomorrow (oops – today) and moan a lot. I would be very unhappy indeed. No postponment – let’s have it out now, or they would get no business done. If the businessmen of SS are not thinking along those lines, then they are stupid. Have they learned nothing at all?

    By the way, newsboycap got in touch (along with alanx). We are talking. I have set up a web site for boltonsmokersclub, just to ensure that we have the name. No idea what to do yet – we will see.

  10. Walt says:


    Unsolicited suggestions from 5000 miles away. As soon as you’ve set up a rudimentary web site, follow through on your idea of handing out leaflets– to every smoker you see on the street, any hour, any where. Get permission, if you can, to leave some in friendly pubs and tobacco shops too. Your first goal, I’d think, would be simply to build your army– people you can email when emergencies arise or action needs to be taken. Many ways to go short of blogging with the site. Simplest (low maintenance) just offer a lot of links to all the other relevant sites like Frank’s, DP’s, Chris’s etc, especially if your membership is kind of new to the game; that’ll bring them up to speed, provide them with sharp arguments and, importantly, let them know that they’re part of a larger force. It might also pay to update the site once a week with some highlighted article from one of the other sites or lifted from the news, just to keep them coming back. FWIW

  11. Brigitte says:

    Why is it being postponed? Are they going to wait 2 months and hope the furore has died down, and they can pass the motion with nobody noticing?

    Perhaps the furore won’t die down. Not this time.

    Yes, the BBC did force itself to report on the protest in Stony – and sure enough the public’s intelligence received this insult:

    I have a couple of questions…
    It is still unclear how much exposure could be harmful and when the damage might occur.

    In short, SHS does not affect anything but let’s use it anyway.

    Experts already know that smoke increases the risk of middle ear infections.

    ASH’s “experts” ?

    And they believe it may also harm the delicate blood supply to the ear causing “subtle yet serious” changes.

    Bullsh*t detector hits the red field. The truth is that the “delicate blood supply” (do they mean the capillary blood supply?) is so numerous that in the event of damage it just simply redirects blood supply into newly created diversions.
    Also, anybody who had rather large varicose veins removed will find they do not require a vein transplant. Our body can even create “new” veins.

    Dr Ralph Holme of the charity Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, said: “We already knew from our own research that regular active smoking is a significant risk factor leading to hearing loss.

    Really? Would Dr. Ralph Holme care to explain to me WHY I, as an active smoker for 42 years, am always the one moaning about a warning noise of a machine when non-smokers next to it tell me that they can’t hear it?
    (It is a rather annoying sound designed for people to act immediately)

    This research strongly suggests that children exposed to tobacco smoke are at increased risk of hearing loss.

    What research? Funded by whom?

    Further research is needed to demonstrate a causal link, but in the meantime to protect your child’s hearing, and health, it would be advisable to avoid smoking around them.

    In short, SHS does not affect anything but let’s use it anyway.

    Co-researcher Dr Michael Weitzman said: “It’s the type of hearing loss that usually tends to occur as one gets older, or among children born with congenital deafness.”

    Oh, really?
    Let’s round this up; the fact that teenagers do like to turn their music up to “11” (as we did at one time) has absolutely nothing to do with this? Is the “Woodstock” generation completely deaf now?
    In short, SHS does not affect anything but let’s use it anyway.

    The BBC has lost it’s credibility.

    • Gary K. says:

      Dear Brigette,

      Indeed, what a bunch of nonsense.
      The Headline states; “SHS exposure doubles a youth’s risk of hearing loss!!!”

      Then they say the rates are 25% and 40%.

      Wellll, 40% is only a 60% increase over 25%. and that is NOT a doubling of risk.

      This also tells us that if a SHS exposed youth has a hearing loss, there is a 62.5% chance it was caused by other factors than SHS.

      Further more, only 120 out of the 1,550 youths MIGHT have a hearing loss caused by SHS and that is ONLY 7.7%!!!!

      The headline could read like this: “Only 1 in 13 youths might suffer hearing loss due to SHS exposure!!!!”

    • Junican says:

      Do you know, Brigitte, only this afternoon I was thinking about the incidence of breast cancer in youngish women. I have also read here and there about the lack of research into lung cancer.

      And this thought struck me:

      Why are there hundreds of studies whose sole purpose is to discover statistical links between tobacco smoke and every illness one could name? Why are hundreds of millions of pounds being pored into these endeavours without any purpose of CURING anything? It is a simple question and demands an answer.

      I suppose that the answer would be something like, “If we could stop people smoking, then all these ailments would go away” I need hardly point out the idiocy of such a statement, but even with just a modicum of truth, what ailments could alcohol and fatness then be responsible for?

      So why are we all paying for hundreds of studies, which are all saying much the same thing, when none of them are concerned with cures? WHAT IS THEIR POINT?

      Could the answer possibly be simply to provide evidence for the front group ASH, on behalf of the DoH and the Chemical Industry? And, perhaps most important of all, in view of the lack of effort in these studies to find cures, could there be any possibility at all that they could be allowed to produce any other result than the desired one?

      • Brigitte says:

        Gary and Junican, both your points were the ones I had in mind when just asking a few very simple questions – WHY WASTE an extortionate sum (largely made of public funds) on absolute and utter nonsense when approximately 7% (I did a rough guestimate due to lack o time) of the youth they involved in this… erm… study were found to suffer from hearing loss which has been ASSUMED (?by whom) to have been caused by SHS.

      • Gary K. says:

        Funny thing about curing diseases.
        If they stop people from dying from one disease, more people will die from some other disease.

        Every public health triumph is a public health disaster for something else. Everyone dies eventually.

        It is also surprising how rare is death from some of these diseases.

        Smokers per year all age death rate from lung cancer is 8/10,000.
        Antis make that sound like a lot;but, that is like comparing 8 dollars/pounds to 10,000 dollars/pounds. When thought of in that way, things do not seem so scary.

        Antis claim that having no smokers will prevent there being lung cancer;but, over the last 50 years the smoking rates per 10,000 people have been steadily declining and the lung cancer incidence rates per 10,000 have increased.

        Lung cancer death rates have declined due to better medical treatments; but, there are more lung cancers than before.

        To prevent lung cancers you have to prevent people from getting older. There are almost zero lung cancer deaths below the age of 45 and 70% of lung cancer deaths occur over the age of 65.

        About 85% of the cardiovascular disease deaths occur over the age of 65.

        Public health is ultimately all about the money they can get by scaring people and by making false promises.

      • Brigitte says:

        About 85% of the cardiovascular disease deaths occur over the age of 65.
        This leads to another question:
        Why is it that another extortionate amount of (public) money is wasted on diagnostic aids confirming preliminary diagnoses of heart attacks when “research” has shown the number of these to be massively decreasing since the introduction of the smoking ban?

  12. Marie says:

    Hello Frank, how nice to have a face to add to the name. You look quite handsome and determined. I am a resident of the far north and it is rather a long trek from north Norway to Stony Stratford, but I was with you in spirit.

  13. David says:

    Posted previously on

    This is the way they work – kick things down the road a bit in the hope that when they return to it our attention is elsewhere, so they can ram through what the fcuk they like without protest.

    The thing is, we’re onto them. We know the tricks they pull and we’re already one step ahead.

    Of course the only way to really put a stop to facists like Bartlett
    is to take them down a dark alley way and beat the living crap out of them until they agree to stop interfering in our lives.

    These people only understand violence, or the threat of violence, which is why they are so keen to oblige mozlems at every opportunity – they’re shit scared of them. Time to take a leaf out of the book of Sharia perhaps?

  14. Bandit 1 says:

    Just wanted to say a belated well done to everyone at SS.

    P.S. You look a bit like Lee Marvin, Frank.

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