The Unmentionable Ban


This seems about right:

In short, the true momentum behind both UKIP’s rise in the polls and the rising temperatures it has provoked in pretty much every elite circle in Britain is not the charms or coherent ideologies of Farage himself. (In fact, many take great pleasure in pointing out that most UKIP supporters don’t know UKIP policy on any issue beyond immigration and the EU.) Rather, it is the political class’s alienation from the public, and its existential insecurities, that have propelled UKIP to the top of the political agenda. The aloofness of the old political machine, its growing distance from and contempt for the voters, its view of the public as a blob to be re-educated and made physically fit rather than as sentient beings to be politically engaged, is what has boosted public support for a party like UKIP that seems willing to speak to, and maybe even for, so-called ordinary people. And it is the out-of-touch political class’s subsequent panic at UKIP’s rise, its fear that the success of this party might spell doom for its safe, samey, middle-ground ilk, which leads it to aim its every ideological, political and media gun at Farage, having the unwitting effect of making him both more widely talked-about and possibly even more popular. It is the political class’s crisis of legitimacy and vision which both created and then inflamed the UKIP phenomenon.

I’m puzzled though that, for everything that’s been thrown at Farage and UKIP over the past few weeks, one charge that seems to have been missing is that UKIP wants to relax the smoking ban, and allow smoking rooms in pubs.

How terrible! Why haven’t there been awful shrieks of dismay from ASH and CRUK and the BMA and RCP? Why has no one been saying that this would be a terrible backward step for public health, that would bring a tidal wave of smoking-related deaths? Why haven’t blubbering mothers, clutching toddlers, been standing up and accusing Nigel Farage of Wanting to Kill Our Children?

And anyway, wasn’t the smoking ban a Great Success from Day One? Doesn’t everybody love it? Aren’t even the 70% of smokers who always seem to want to quit smoking (but never actually do) delighted with it? How dare Farage and UKIP even dream of rolling back a measure that is on a par with the abolition of slavery, or the emancipation of women, or the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo?

Or is it instead that the smoking ban epitomises the utter contempt for voters by the old, aloof political machine, and is the most perfect example of its view of the public as “a blob to be re-educated and made physically fit”? And so they dare not mention it?

Even Nigel Farage hardly ever seems to mention it. But does he need to, when his beer-and-cigarette image mutely expresses his own point of view for him? For what else does anyone think of but a cheerful man with a pint of beer in one hand, and a cigarette in the other?

About Frank Davis

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55 Responses to The Unmentionable Ban

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank you hit it on its head! The smoking ban is the issue that feeds all the other public health band wagon! They are afraid to mention it!

    • margo says:

      Yes, I agree. Frank’s got it in that last paragraph but one. And I expect Farage knows what he’s doing in staying silent about that promise he made to amend/reverse the ban. I’m sure he knows, too, that many smokers will be voting for him because of that promise alone. (How hard it must be to stay strong and calm against the barrage of insults, lies and smears he’s getting from the media – but he’s doing it.)

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Farage is a strong leader for a down trodden freedom loving people currently being ruled from Brussels! A foreign dictator such as Hitler dreamed of the world over flying not under a national flag but a simple flag of total domination!

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Whisper it quietly, Frank, but maybe – just maybe – the fact is that the political elite actually, privately, know that the “massive support” and “wild popularity” for, and “huge success” of, the smoking ban – now that it’s in and all those unfortunate unintended consequences are exposed for everyone to see – are nothing but face-saving lies. Pretty much everyone on here always knew that there was no “massive public support” for a blanket smoking ban, but there’s even less support now than there was beforehand. The traditional pub trade has been decimated, social events are fractured and disjointed, and the most sociable people in any crowd are increasingly staying away from social gatherings altogether, rendering them low-key, unexciting and rather disappointing. The often-predicted (and equally often-denied) “slippery slope” is now becoming so obvious through copycat tactics used by every bandwagon-jumping, self-appointed “experts” in every area from alcohol to (the latest arrival to the party), shaking hands that huge swathes of non-smokers who believed themselves exempt from the same treatment (because tobacco was a “unique” product, you know) now realise that as far as Healthists-with-a-hobby-horse-to-ride are concerned, tobacco is far from unique. Quite the contrary. Exactly the same tactics can be, and are being, used now towards any activity, no matter how commonplace, that any zealot with a bit of a personal hang-up and an eye for the opportunity of a bit of State funding wants to have a crack at. Even non-smokers are finally waking up to this fact. Some (thought admittedly still not many) are now even beginning to accept the role that they, by acquiescing quietly and not speaking up on behalf of their smoking friends, family and acquaintances, have played in bringing the whole insane scenario about, simply through their silence.

    At a deep level, even those people who supported the ban before it was imposed – believing, wrongly, that things would just jog on as normal, “once smokers had got used to it” – have been alarmed at how negatively it has affected so many areas of life, even their own lives as non-smokers, and in truth are now inwardly somewhat embarrassed that their genuine belief that little would change has turned out to be such an incorrect assumption. The majority of people I know who “supported” the ban before it was imposed, felt simply (and without any particular passion) that “it was probably a good thing” and were a far cry from the angry, ranting antis who were leading the charge in demanding that all places, everywhere, be smoke-free. So it hasn’t take much to sway them in the opposite direction and, in my experience, most of the “probably good thing-ers” are now of the opinion that it would “probably be a good thing” to allow smoking rooms back into pubs at least, if nowhere else, and if for no other reason than it might at least salvage the few remaining traditional boozers which still remain.

    The other thing, of course, is that the Government is broke. They keep imposing all sorts of new charges and fines and taxes on everything from parking your car to putting rubbish into the wrong bin, but ultimately, there are no perfect cash cows quite like tobacco and alcohol – few people protest, it doesn’t affect sales, and it’s easy to justify for “health” reasons – so financially speaking the more smokers (and drinkers) there are, the more money the Government makes, whilst at the same time looking as if they’re “doing the right thing.” And right now it needs money – lots of it, and fast.

    So maybe, as has been cited on here more than once, for all their weasel words, the fact remains that politicians neither want nor can afford the number of smokers to fall any further and actually needs more to start or to continue. If Farage and his crew are able to help achieve this, it’s win-win for the Government – income stays stable or, better still, rises – but they can blame the increased number of smokers (and drinkers) on the influence of naughty old Nigel and his band of merry men.

    Or – third scenario – perhaps they are worried that with all the hoo-hah about immigration and the EU, few smokers are actually aware of UKIP’s stance on smoking. And they are afraid that if they publicise it too widely, far from driving voters away from UKIP and back into the arms of the Big Three, what they would actually do is achieve a huge surge in UKIP support from disenchanted, but currently unaware, smokers. 20-25% of the population, after all, is a LOT of people …

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Jax some where in the mix this shit from Milliband is in the trick of whats up!

      Labour’s Ed Miliband plans new nanny state rules for …

      Labour’s nanny state plan for drinkers, smokers and ‘unhealthy’ eaters sparks revolt in party: … United Kingdom …

      Something is up and its a political stunt of somekinds. I think your on your toes about it in your thought process above. Im still unsure but its likely staring us all right in the face and not seen yet completely!

      Nobody but Labor would cut their nose off with more nannystate shit in the political climate that’s here unless they have a counter deal going on with UKIP or the conservatives!

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Trust me when I say Labor isn’t totally stupid theyre internal polling is showing something and they are likely making backroom deals on a coalition government quite possibly. I don’t know but my gut feeling is its along those lines.

    • waltc says:

      I vote for #3. It was the first thing that occurred to me.

    • Barry Homan says:

      3 for me. UKIP has never been real loud and vocal about its possible future intent to ease up on bans, so a lot of UK voters, who are smokers, maybe don’t know it. Farage’s enemies don’t want them to know, either, hence they’re keeping mum on the subject.

  3. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking ban planned for SA outdoor dining areas from mid-2016

    Restaurants fear they might be disadvantaged when a proposed ban on all smoking in outdoor dining areas takes effect in South Australia from July 2016.

    Health Minister Jack Snelling also has announced funding for anti-tobacco media campaigns will be reinstated after figures showed smoking rates had increased from 16.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent over the past year.

    Mr Snelling says the Government understands the hotel industry has invested heavily in providing alfresco dining areas but eating will only be allowed in areas where no-one is smoking.

    “These areas will still be able to be used for drinking but what won’t be able to happen is people won’t be able to eat in those designated smoking areas,” he said.

    “I don’t think that’s a huge interruption to the business plans of the hotel industry.”

    Mr Snelling says the Government wants to allow the 80 per cent of South Australians who do not smoke to enjoy a meal outdoors.

    Hotels want more time

    But Ian Horne from Hotels Association says it has not been part of any negotiations about the move despite putting in a submission last year.

    “They (hotels) just didn’t see it coming in the format that it’s been announced and our immediate reaction, talking to the restaurants association and the clubs association, is that venues, particularly those that have spent a lot of time and energy and money, need more time,” he said.

    Restaurant and Catering SA says smokers could be drawn away from some venues and into hotels where they will be allowed to light-up.

    Sally Neville of the association says the plan is unfair.

    “This decision clearly advantages businesses that only have drinking areas over those that have dining areas,” she said.

    “If the purpose of the legislation is to reduce smoking stats, it’s confusing the public because it’s telling them that it’s okay to smoke around drinkers but not around eaters.”

  4. Marvin says:

    “I’m puzzled though that, for everything that’s been thrown at Farage and UKIP over the past few weeks, one charge that seems to have been missing is that UKIP wants to relax the smoking ban, and allow smoking rooms in pubs”.


    They don’t want to draw attention to it Frank and have a few million smokers flocking towards UKIP.
    Anyway, todays the day!! – The Ruling Class will be praying for rain to keep the plebs at home :)

    • junican says:

      Perhaps that is the wrong way round. Perhaps rain will stop the unthinking from turning out, thus advancing the cause of those who are determined to stop the rot.

  5. magnetic01 says:

    Honoring Young Leaders in the Fight Against Tobacco
    Youth Advocates of the Year Take on Big Tobacco

    Last week, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids honored our Youth Advocates of the Year, extraordinary young leaders who are working to make tobacco history and create a tobacco-free generation. We proudly honored them at our 18th annual Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., attended by more than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders.

    Among their many activities, these young leaders are working to protect their communities from secondhand smoke, increase tobacco taxes, create innovative tobacco prevention programs and fight candy-flavored tobacco.

    “Extraordinary young leaders”? “Honored”? “Gala event”? And, of course, there have to be awards. The story appears on the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids website. CTFK was created by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, i.e., it’s a Pharma front group.

    Take a look at the brainwashed teenagers that can hardly wipe their noses but are going to “fix the world” (hand slap to the forehead).

    • magnetic01 says:

      From early last century. In America, children took pledges to not smoke. In Nazi Germany:
      “Proctor (1997) continues that “throughout this period, magazines like Genussgifte (Poisons of taste or habit), Auf der Wacht (On Guard), and Reine Luft (Pure air) published a regular drumbeat against this ‘insidious poison’ [tobacco], along with articles charting the unhealthful effects of alcohol, teenage dancing, cocaine, and other vices. Dozens of books and pamphlets denounced the ‘smoking slavery’ or ‘cultural degeneration’ feared from the growth of tobacco use. Tobacco was branded ‘the enemy of world peace’, and there was even talk of ‘tobacco terror’ and ‘tobacco capitalism’ …. The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls both published antismoking propaganda, and the Association for the Struggle against the Tobacco Danger organized counseling centers where the ‘tobacco ill’ could seek help” (p.456-457); “Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.” (www.zundelsite – January 27, 1998.htm)”

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Yep the pledge to get on the proverbial wagon and ride with the rest of the prohibitional losers is an old one!

        Abusing the children in an activists way

        The Lincoln-Lee Legion

        The Lincoln-Lee Legion was established by Anti-Saloon League founder Howard Hyde Russell in 1903 to promote the signing of abstinence pledges by children. The organization was originally called the Lincoln League. However, in 1912 it was renamed the Lincoln-Lee League in order to make it more appealing to Southern children and their parents.

        Organizations opposed to alcohol consumption arose in the US began before the Civil War (1861-1865). They began by calling for voluntary abstinence but with the passage of time began to insist that no one be permitted to consume any alcohol by force of law. However, the Civil War diverted attention to more pressing matters and interest in the movement largely died.

        Following the War, the movement for prohibition reemerged and began growing. A growing women’s movement focusing on protection of the family, along with the strong support of many Protestant churches, propelled the movement forward beginning in the 1880s.

        After that time a number of states adopted state-wide prohibition within their borders. However, it was World War I that made possible the passage of national Prohibition. The strong anti-German prejudice made brewers (who were generally of German origin) popular targets of hostility, the argument that alcohol beverage production diverted grain needed for the war effort, the lack of organization on the part of those who didn‘t support prohibition (the “wets“), the effective organization of prohibitionists (the drys), the strong support of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), political intimidation, and the effects of decades of temperance propaganda made possible the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment establishing national Prohibition. National Prohibition of Alcohol in the US describes this subject in more detail.

        National Prohibition not only failed to prevent the consumption of alcohol, but led to the extensive production of dangerous unregulated and untaxed alcohol, the development of organized crime, increased violence, and massive political corruption. Although Prohibition was repealed in 1933, there are still hundreds of dry counties across the United States today. Amazingly, some people today insist that Prohibition was a success!

        Because Prohibition is now recognized by most people as having been a disastrous failure and currently lacks strong political support, modern prohibitionists are using a different approach to achieve their goal.

        Their tactic is to establish cultural rather than strictly legal prohibition by making alcohol beverages less socially acceptable and marginalizing those who drink, no matter how moderately. Like the anti-alcohol activists who preceded them, the neo-prohibitionists of today (often called reduction-of-consumptionists, neo-drys, or neo-Victorians) don’t distinguish between the use and the abuse of alcohol. Both should be reduced.

        Neo-prohibitionists tend to believe that:
        •The substance of alcohol is, in and of itself, the cause of all drinking problems.
        •The availability of alcohol causes people to drink.
        •The amount of alcohol consumed (rather than the speed with which it is consumed, the purpose for which it is consumed, the social environment in which it is consumed, etc.) determines the extent of drinking problems.
        •Alcohol education should focus on the problems that excessive alcohol consumption can cause and should promote abstinence.

        These beliefs lead neo-prohibitionists to call for such measures as:
        •Increasing taxes on alcohol beverages
        •Limiting or reducing the number of sales outlets
        •Limiting the alcohol content of drinks
        •Prohibiting or censoring alcohol advertising
        •Requiring warning messages with all alcohol advertisements
        •Expanding the warning labels on all alcohol beverage containers
        •Expanding the display of warning signs where alcohol is sold
        •Limiting the days or hours during which alcohol beverages can be sold
        •Increasing server liability for any problems that occur after alcohol consumption
        •Limiting the sale of alcohol beverages to people of specific ages
        •Decreasing the legal blood alcohol content level for driving vehicles or other activities
        •Eliminating the tax deductibility of alcohol beverages as a business expense.

        Mag theres lots more info on this webpage too

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          American Council on Alcohol Problems (the current name of the Anti-Saloon League) and many other prohibition and temperance activist groups

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          Category: Prohibition

          Main Pages
          •National Prohibition of Alcohol & Repeal: Facts, Information & Resources
          •National Prohibition of Alcohol in the U.S.
          •Puritans to Prohibition
          •The Evidence for Prohibition
          • Prohibition: the Noble Experiment
          • Temperance Movement Groups and Leaders in the U.S.

          • Repeal of National Prohibition
          • Repeal of Prohibition
          • Repeal Organizations
          • New Temperance Movement Needed
          • Restoring Prohibition, Drip by Drip

          •American Society for the Promotion of Temperance
          •Prohibition: The Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
          •Prohibition Era Dry Laws in New York State
          •National Prohibition Act
          •The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Alcohol, & Prohibition
          •Bone Dry Laws
          •Alcohol Prohibition in Pakistan is Promoting Major Drug Problems Say Politicians
          •County Went “Wet”: Tax Revenues Increased but Not Crime
          •Should We Prohibit Use of Alcohol by Adults and Others Under Age 21 in Religious Services?
          •The Woman’s National Committee for Law Enforcement

          •Alcohol Justice: New Name of Marin Institute
          •Back door to Prohibition: The New War on Social Drinking
          • Federal Agencies: Temperance Approach toward Alcohol
          • Prohibition was a Success
          • Was Prohibition Really a Success?
          •Drunkenness, not Alcohol, is the Problem
          •Restricting Alcohol Isn’t Preventing Problems
          •Alcohol Blue Laws (Laws Prohibiting Sunday Sales of Alcoholic Beverages)
          •Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
          •Alcohol Policy Conference on Reducing Alcohol-Related Problems
          •Coalition for the Prevention of Alcohol Problems
          •Sunday Alcohol Sales
          •Blue Laws
          •Temperance Tactics in Louisiana
          •Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Prohibition
          •Alcohol, Gambling and Henry Wechsler
          •Bootlegging in Texas
          •Marin Institute Criticizes Brewer’s Hurricane Charitable Relief Efforts
          •Alcohol Prohibition Continues
          •Wet / Dry Alcoholic Beverage Sales Election in Texas
          •Colorado Drops Blue Law Prohibition Against Sunday Liquor Sales
          •Arkansas Repeals Blue Law Banning Liquor Sales at Package Stores on Sundays

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          Restoring Prohibition,
          drip by drip

          21st century anti-alcohol activists want to vilify responsible drinking

          by John Doyle

          Seventy years ago, states began voting to ratify the 21st Amendment, marking an important milestone on the road to ending Prohibition nationwide. But a subtler and more insidious movement is now using a back-door approach to de-legitimize social drinking. Some people call it “Prohibition drip by drip.”

          This movement is eerily similar to the movement that gave us Prohibition. Like the early 20th century movement, it is well organized, it is self-righteous, and it has sympathetic ears in the media. And considering that nearly all of its supporters seem to be bankrolled in some way by the $8 billion Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), it’s even better funded than its pre-Jazz Age forbear.

          The foundation has contributed more than $265 million in the past five years to notable anti-alcohol organizations which have used that money to fund studies, seminars, fellowships and community outreach programs that attack adult beverage consumption in various ways. These multimillion-dollar checks have financed an army of like-minded advocacy, activist, grass-roots and “research” organizations — all aimed at reducing even responsible consumption.

          The collective result is a simultaneous, multi-pronged offensive on the way adult beverages are perceived, distributed, sold and consumed — an assault designed not to address product abuse but simply to get everyone to drink less.

          At the recent “Alcohol Policy Conference XIII,” a modern prohibitionist conference underwritten by the foundation, activists endorsed an alcohol rationing system, a government monopoly on adult beverage distribution, a total advertising ban, and zoning ordinances to restrict the number and location of “alcohol outlets” — which are redefined to include restaurants.

          Anti-alcohol organizations justify these draconian measures with a number of RWJF-funded “studies” that bizarrely (and incorrectly) conclude that alcohol abuse is endemic. Moreover, these reports are nearly unanimous in their calls for everyone to reduce their consumption of adult beverages in order to address this trumped-up “problem.”

          The RWJF-funded Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), for example, has produced a study that claimed that the alcohol industry gets the majority of its revenue from “excessive drinking” (CASA defined a couple who splits a bottle of wine over dinner as “excessive drinkers”) and that teenagers consumed a significant portion of all alcohol sold (CASA’s numbers were inflated by more than 100 percent). Another CASA report claimed that so-called “binge” drinking among college women had tripled (the rate has remained steady for decades). CASA studies have been denounced or otherwise criticized by no less than the U.S. General Accounting Office.

      • Marie says:

        And after the war, the Germans were smoking a lot.

    • beobrigitte says:

      …extraordinary young leaders who are working to make tobacco history and create a tobacco-free generation.

      They don’t look old enough to be tax payers.

  6. junican says:

    Tomorrow, support for UKIP will increase. That is (almost) a forgone conclusion. What the likes of LibLabCon will be looking at is the extent of the shift. The bigger the shift, the more that the LibLabCons will attack UKIP in the future.
    UKIP should respond by adapting its policies. That is, become a moving target. Rather than looking to leave the EU, perhaps it should think more about radical reform of the EU. Get rid of the elitist, totalitarian, fascist elements and consider ‘best practice’ initiatives. I could talk more about ‘best practices’, but time does not permit. Let is just say that such ideas would rid the EU of totalitarian, fascist ideas.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Cousin I think by now most have figured out total abandon is the only way to cure the EU and nannystate problems.

    • waltc says:

      I don’t think “going wobbly” is the answer. For one thing, it smacks of Politics As Usual and is likely to turn off more supporters than it turns on; also likely to make people think they’ll wobble on just about anything else. Tear the EU down, then if you like specific elements of it, rebuild them sanely from the bottom up.

    • margo says:

      That’s more-or-less what the Greens are hoping to do, junican. The trouble is, according to Farage, it can’t be done, because of the whole completely non-democratic set-up of the EU. I don’t know if he’s right.

  7. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Anti-alcohol activists are also employing many of the same tactics used by anti-tobacco forces. To limit alcohol supply, modern prohibitionists call for high excise taxes, bans in public venues such as parks or at sporting events, and restrictive zoning laws — just as anti-tobacco groups did. These groups also follow the tobacco model by calling for an advertising ban, industry-funded anti-product marketing, and massive scare campaigns to demonize all consumption, no matter how responsible.

    Constitutional Prohibition has been universally acknowledged as a failure. Attempts to engineer personal behavior via government control don’t work. So the modern prohibitionists are seeking to establish cultural prohibition by classifying adult beverages as an illicit drug that is unacceptable in general society.

    And that’s how it all started the first time.

  8. smokervoter says:

    I’m hoping and praying for a big turnout from British smokers tomorrow for Nigel and UKIP. Godspeed British smokervoters, go forth and vote. Create a wave that ripples through to May 2015 and across the Atlantic as well.

    Enough of the Health N’ Safety Twist alright already. It’s been destroying pleasure and civility for far too long.

  9. The rise and rise of UKIP is possibly due to critical mass having been reached re. the final abandonment of the LibLabCon by more and more people who see them for what they really are and will take no more. Just like when you refused to vote Lib again after the smoking ban and I refused to buy a TV licence ever again after having considered it for some time and instinctively got around to it after one final insult: the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Perhaps millions more dromedary’s spines will crack before next year’s general election and we really can get ‘real change’. If UKIP aren’t an Establishment front, that is! Like in snooker, always keep one foot on the floor!

    Another aspect which may be important is that for all the time I can remember, the ‘debate’ about UKIP has almost solely (99.9%?) been about economics. The mainstream traitor parties insist that we would be financially worse off if we left the EU and UKIP respond with figures and arguments which demonstrate otherwise. Hardly ever is the much wider debate about freedom and self-determination debated, because the mainstream know they’d be snookered.

    The thing is that today, where nearly everyone is feeling the pinch, they probably wonder how they can possibly be worse off out of the EU, so may as well take the chance with an anti-EU party.

  10. c777 says:

    After the ban public resistance to all of their other pet schemes and scams grew exponentially.
    The ban was the biggest own goal the cartel made.
    It awakened the sheeple.

  11. Pingback: Today’s the Day the Ukippers Have Their Picnic? | Real Street

  12. Just had a man at the door saying that they need to remove a bracket on my chimney and change cables around, because the overhead electricity supply for next door comes via my chimney. But EU REGULATIONS mean that this will be illegal from next year.

    Can you believe the lengths these Brussels Brats will go to to interfere in every aspect of our lives?

  13. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Yesterday Beo mentioned Thailand and anarchy

    beobrigitte says:

    One thing is for sure this fight is coming to a HEAD!

    Actually, this is something I am wondering about a lot. Frank did mention this a while ago, so I kept some sort of notice.

    Countries in which a smoking ban is dictated appear to be vulnerable to unrest. Even in Thailand, the anti-smoker flag ship, things are getting uncomfortable.
    I still do not know what the Thai police will do when spotting an under age prostitute smoking…..


    Thai army takes over government in a coup d’etat

    The coup follows six months of political unrest and comes days after martial law was declared in the country.

    By Ananth Baliga | May 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Read more:

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      BANGKOK, May 22 (UPI) –Thailand’s army staged a coup d’etat Thursday, declaring it was seizing power of the country in the wake of the Thai government being paralyzed by protests in the last six months.
      The announcement was made during a televised speech by Thai Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was flanked by senior army officials during the telecast. Political officers who were attending a meeting called by the military had been detained.

      The coup follows the introduction of martial law in the country Tuesday.

      “The national peacekeeping committee,” Prayuth said, referring to the military, “will worship and protect the monarchy.”

      Leaders of both political parties were seen being taken away in vans at the Army Club in Bangkok, where they were meeting to try and resolve the political deadlock in the country, which has led to violent unrest at times.

      Prayuth said this was a full blown coup, and that the army, navy, air force and police had taken control of the country to quell the political violence and to ensure fairness to every side.

      “I ask the people to remain calm and carry on with their business as usual,” he said.

      Thailand has a long history of coups, with this being the 19th coup it has faced since 1932. Protestors have been fighting to rid the country of the Shinawatra family, Thailand’s most powerful political family.

      Thaksin Shinawatra, the patriarch of the family, was removed from power in 2006 by the military. Thaksin established the Shinawatra family during a populist movement in 2001, and his family has won every election since then.

      Prayuth gave no indication of whether fresh elections would be held anytime soon.

      Read more:

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Thailand lights up anti-smoking drive
        By Marwaan Macan-Markar

        BANGKOK – As one of Southeast Asia’s leaders in the drive to snuff out smoking, Thailand has become a battleground to test how much longer cigarettes will be publicly available following an international anti-tobacco treaty that came into force on Sunday.

        Leading anti-tobacco campaigners in the country are determined to use the newest weapon in their armor – the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – to drive home their advantage over the financially powerful tobacco multinationals.

        They have in mind two initiatives that are set to shake up Thailand’s smoking culture. The first will go into effect on March 25, when cigarette packets sold in the country will begin displaying graphic pictures about the health hazards that come with tobacco addiction.

        Another change will come into effect on May 31, marked globally as the world’s anti-smoking day. Beginning from that date, “retail shops and small stores [in Thailand] will not be able to publicly display cigarette packets on their racks,” said Hatai. “The cigarettes will have to be hidden away in drawers or cupboards, away from sight.”

        These measures come on top of Thai laws banning smoking in air-conditioned restaurants and bans on all forms of tobacco-related advertising. Furthermore, in December, the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra warned retailers that shops selling cigarettes to minors could be fined US$750 and could also face a three-month prison term.

        “Smuggling operations were key to BAT’s [British American Tobacco’s] broader efforts to penetrate the huge Chinese market,” states the article. “Plans for Cambodia rested on its strategic value to regional contraband, and Laos seems to have been largely viewed in terms of its smuggling potential.”

        According to available estimates, the highest number of smokers in Southeast Asia, the majority being men, are in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Nearly 73% of the men in Vietnam smoke, while 70% of Cambodian men do so and 68% of Indonesians.

        In Thailand, on the other hand, there are an estimated 12 million smokers out of a population of 64 million people. Of that number, nearly 1.2 million are teenagers.

        Hatai, the Thai public health activist, is determined that Thailand helps buck this trend in Southeast Asia and emerge as a model for others to follow. “We want Thailand to be the gold standard in implementing the FCTC and controlling tobacco,” he said.

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          It appears southeast asia is in open rebellion and we aren’t getting a hint of it on the American media.

          Thailand riot police clear anti-govt protest sites …


          Feb 14, 2014 · Riot police clear the streets of Kiev with protesters and journalists taking a beating as some demonstrators hoping to sit out the government at a tent city.

          Cambodian riot police use smoke grenades to break up rally


          Security forces walk through smoke during clashes with protesters in Phnom Penh, on Jan 27, 2014. Cambodian riot police on Monday used smoke grenades and electric …

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          Pattaya begins enforcement of Thailand’s anti-smoking laws

          Posted on April 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm –

          To comply with anti-smoking legislation, Baht Buses and other public areas such as Bus Stops, phone booths and libraries are now non-smoking areas. Pattaya City Hall are running a campaign to highlight this newly enforced law to Pattaya residents and tourists and on Thursday began placing no smoking signs across the city and throughout the Baht Bus fleet. For now, those who are caught smoking in such areas will only be warned but officials tell us that fines and even arrests may occur in the future when the law is fully enforced. Thailand’s anti-smoking legislation is similar to many western countries where smoking in public areas is banned although many question to what extent the laws will be enforced after failed attempts to enforce smoking in air-conditioned entertainment venues some years ago, failed –

          See more at:

          A FEW COMMENTS

          jo-macral • 2 years ago

          I will tell you, just today on the way to work, there were no less than two smokers on the baht bus, both farang and neither caring enough to give a crap, despite the fact there was a lady with a newborn right beside one of them. I would love for the law to be enforced, but I know full well it won’t be.

          being a non smoker I’ll have to take your word for it and I’ve long since given up bitching to mamasan and bossman about smoking in the bar because I know I’m not going to win that war. What I do object to is the foul stench of cigars from that occasional individual who choses to light up and make everyone else in the bar turn up their noses in disgust.
          Even with this announcement of enforcement, I’m still not expecting the police to do the rounds of the go go bars any time soon, to check for smoking.


          Everyone knows better than to pay attention to public campaigns about laws.

          Laws and enforcement are mutually exclusive concepts in Thailand. Not always a bad thing for us go go and beer bar lovers (winking at ya mates).

          Public smoking in bus stops and the such do not bother me as much as smoking in bars. Bars even have clear non smoking signs posted in them, and still these inconsiderate tossers light up cigs and blow smoke into other peoples faces with no care in the world. No one enforces it either.

        • beobrigitte says:

          “We want Thailand to be the gold standard in implementing the FCTC and controlling tobacco,” he said.

          Ah, I see. Never mind the poor whose very young daughters work in the red light district, entertaining fat, ugly, old tourists. No social security in Thailand but plenty of venereal diseases.
          The Thai officials who were bribed by tobacco control need to be sent to the “Bangkok Hilton” for a number of years. Perhaps the tobacco control officials should join them.

  14. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Smokers ignore India’s public smoking ban | India Insight…/05/30/smokers-ignore-indias-public-smoking-ban

    May 30, 2013 · Smokers ignore India’s public smoking ban. By Sankalp Phartiyal. May 30, 2013. Email; … The smoking ban was introduced on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

  15. Barry Homan says:

    Are the polls closed yet?

  16. Binthereanddunnit says:

    The reason nobody hears much about the smoking ban is because nobody is shouting loud enough.

  17. beobrigitte says:

    How dare Farage and UKIP even dream of rolling back a measure that is on a par with the abolition of slavery, or the emancipation of women, or the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo?

    The segregate&persecute measure (Smoking ban and denormalisation) is not on a par with the abolition of slavery, or the emancipation of women, or the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo; in the latter three people were freed from various dictators.

    Or is it instead that the smoking ban epitomises the utter contempt for voters by the old, aloof political machine, and is the most perfect example of its view of the public as “a blob to be re-educated and made physically fit”? And so they dare not mention it?

    The smoking ban is UTTER CONTEMPT for voters.
    Adults are supposed to be able to make decisions! Those who will not let the government make decisions for them went to the polling stations today.
    UKIP can’t win – BUT – any increase in votes shows the number of people prepared to make decisions for themselves.

  18. Harleyrider1978 says:

    In certain instances acquiring freedom is in itself a slavery. The woman who wants to be married and a submissive wife certainly doesn’t want emancipation.

    Even slaves in the old south usually didn’t wander to far from the plantation they were owned at!

    Take welfare generationals if they suddenly lost that welfare check and house that freedom would kill em and all their off spring having never learned what work ethic was!

    Take the working man when he suddenly gets freed of having to work forever because he can find no job……………That freedom from the mill will kill em too!

    I myself love the lazy useless life……………I come from a gun loving crowd of hunters,drinkers,smokers,meat eaters and whiskey makers.

  19. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Walnut Creek: Councilman’s effort to get ballot measures overturning bans on smoking and plastic bags dies

    By Elisabeth Nardi
    Contra Costa Times

    Posted: 05/22/2014 01:29:39 PM PDT0 Comments

    Updated: 05/22/2014 01:53:08 PM PDT

    WALNUT CREEK — Councilman Justin Wedel’s effort to repeal bans on smoking and plastic bags, which he called part of his duty in defending the Constitution and defending citizens from intrusive government, has failed.

    Wedel did not submit to the city clerk in time the more than 4,000 signatures — for each petition — necessary to get initiatives on the November ballot asking voters whether they want those bans repealed.

    Wedel formed a group called Speak Up for Walnut Creek, and its supporters helped gather signatures. While the signature drive was ultimately unsuccessful, the group is still tallying the total. Wedel says they got close to the needed 4,000.

    The feedback from voters was positive on both issues, he said.

    “But the time necessary to educate the public on the adverse impact of these overreaching bans was too long, especially with the lack of complete, and accurate, information put forth by ban advocates and public education efforts,” Wedel said.

    He started this petition drive in November, soon after the council adopted its secondhand-smoking ordinance that prohibits smoking in public places, all of downtown and inside multifamily housing. Wedel’s initiative still would not have allowed smoking in public places but would have reversed the ban inside people’s homes.

    The proposed initiative on plastic bags would have overturned the council’s more recent decision to outlaw single-use plastic bags by grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants.

    His views on both issues have not changed.

    “My personal belief remains that market-driven solutions are best, that smoking bans in multiunit residential areas are really about property rights, and that a ban on plastic bags comes at a cost to small businesses, consumers, the community health and our environment,” he said.

    Overall he thinks the initiative drive was beneficial, even if not ultimately successful.

    “I have appreciated the debate and valid arguments from people on all sides of the issues,” he said. “Engaging in a public conversation helps educate the broader community about these issues.”

    But it has also put Wedel squarely on his own on a council where every other member voted to pass the bans. And some on the council have openly disagreed with not only Wedel’s opinion but with his tactic of using the initiative process to get around defeat on a council vote.

    Mayor Kristina Lawson was always confident the council’s decisions on both bans were supported by residents.

    “With these two ordinances, the City Council listened to the community and took clear and direct steps to protect the public health, safety and welfare,” she said. “I believe the citizens of Walnut Creek want the city to stay the course rather than change course through an initiative.”

  20. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Final Polls Put UKIP in First

    Sun/YouGov: UKIP: 27% Lab: 26% Con: 22% Green: 10% LD: 9% Mail/Opinium: UKIP: 32% Lab: 25% Con: 21% Green: 6% LD: 6% They’re predicting an earthquake…

  21. Harleyrider1978 says:

    My wife and I were in church the other day when the lady next to me asked for a lite so I lit her cigarette. Then my wife almost dropped her beer! The preacher said please keep the ruckus down!

  22. Pingback: The Day I went to Church. | underdogs bite upwards

  23. Pingback: Today’s the Day the Ukippers Have Their Picnic? | The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

  24. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Unlucky Strike: The Science and Politics of Smoking

    Keith Richard still smoking at 70
    Despite almost universal opinion to the contrary, for Duke University professor John Staddon most of the facts provided to wage the war against smokers and smoking amount to nothing but an unsubstantiated smoke screen.

    “Smoking is not lethal, it is risky,” Staddon contends. “All these points (about smoking) have not been scientifically proven. Smoking is a private health problem, but a public policy disgrace.”

    The psychology professor believes that instead of universal bans on smoking, individual businesses such as bars and restaurants should be allowed to decide whether they want to be smoke-free or serve people who choose to smoke.

    Staddon outlines his case in his most recent book Unlucky Strike: Private Health and the Science, Law, and Politics of Smoking.

    When he recently appeared at the Cato Institute, Staddon offered his view. He said that despite claims to the contrary, science doesn’t prove the dangers of smoking the way health and government officials maintain it does. “Their arguments are skewered by false information,” Staddon charged.

    The professor argued that actually:
    •those who die from smoking tend to die close to retirement age.
    •lifetime medical costs for smokers are less than for nonsmokers since “dying is very, very costly and it is (financially) much better to die of a heart attack than 20 years of dementia.”
    •and the reported risk to others is impossible to measure accurately.

    “So maybe a short pleasurable life is preferable to a long one. The owner of the life should surely decide that,” Staddon said. “Do we have the right to abridge the smoking rights of others? If they want to smoke these things and they are not harmful to others, why not let them smoke them?”

    So then why does Staddon believe that smokers are over-taxed, dissed, and discriminated against in so many ways?

    “It came from the frustration from the health establishment at the failing war on cancer,” Stoddard maintains. “People said ‘at least we can stop people from smoking”.

    Staddon said he is concerned about the continuing misinformation being circulated by anti-smoking proponents. “Even as smoking has gone down, the (reported) smoking deaths have gone up. What kind of sense does that make?”

    “There is no limit to smoking alarmism,” he added. “Now the are talking about (the dangers) of third-hand smoke. How on earth do they know? They don’t know. It’s just an act of faith, not science. And even e-cigarettes are being vilified as we speak.”

  25. Pingback: Today’s the Day the Ukippers Have Their Picnic? | The Libertarian Alliance

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