Ed Miliband’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

I had to laugh.

I think the Labour party may have been having a conference this week, and this seems to be what Ed Miliband had to say:

Welcome to Ed Miliband’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The speech that may determine whether the Labour leader will walk into Downing Street next May took as its central theme the isolation of citizens and what he called “the principle of together”.

Where Gabriel García Márquez focused on One Hundred Years of Solitude, Mr Miliband had to settle for almost 80 minutes on his chosen subject, with the promise of much more to come.

I had to laugh because I myself became one of those isolated citizens when Ed Miliband’s Labour party exiled smokers like me to the outdoors. I’m not the only one by any means: the ISIS survey of smokers found that:

Nearly half of all smokers reported that, since smoking bans had come into force, they saw less or much less of friends and family.

Given that there were some 13 million smokers in the UK back in 2007 when the smoking ban was introduced, that’s about 6.5 million people who got a little or a lot lonelier back then.

And now one of the little bastards that did this to them is pretending to care about the social isolation that the Labour party did so much to deliberately inflict on them.

I say “deliberately” because it was known from the outset that a smoking ban would result in the isolation of smokers. ASH’s Deborah Arnott wrote in the Guardian a full 6 months before the UK smoking ban came into force that “smokers will be exiled to the outdoors.” And she was dead right. She knew what would happen to smokers long before smokers like me realised what would happen to them. And if she knew, and publicly said as much, then the Labour government also knew from the outset what the outcome would be. And that means that the Labour government deliberately set out to isolate smokers.

And in fact, everybody now knows perfectly well that it was ASH’s and the Labour government’s intention to “denormalise” smoking. It was a deliberate piece of social engineering that was being undertaken, and this was why smokers were being exiled to the outdoors. They would be made to stand outside until they had given up smoking, and only then would be re-admitted to indoor society. Social exclusion was the means by which smokers were going to be re-educated.

The shame of it all is that when the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government replaced Labour, they continued with the same policy of “denormalisation” and demonization and exclusion towards smokers.

For the Conservatives and Lib Dems are no better than Labour. A point that was driven home to me when my present Conservative MP wrote to me to say:

“I did in fact vote against the ban on smoking in cars carrying children, as I believe it would be untenable to enforce.”

Note that he didn’t vote against a proposed car smoking ban because it was a monstrous invasion of private property (people’s private cars) or because it was a totalitarian intrusion by the state into family life, but because he didn’t think it could be enforced. The only possible deduction to be made from this was that, if it had been possible to enforce (using smoke detectors in radio contact with roving police cars?), he would have cheerfully voted for a ban on smoking in cars.

Our present political class no longer sees its purpose as being that of merely representing its citizens, but of commanding them.

Which is why it is a matter of no little urgency to dispense with their services, and replace them with people who will represent their fellow citizens, rather than try to command or control them. And it’s perhaps the reason why support for UKIP has been rising.

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20 Responses to Ed Miliband’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    Don’t fool yourself with false logic Frank, all politicians (including UKIP) are bastards. They are politicians, it’s what they do.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Nothing last forever especially political agendas like smoking bans……….Ukip is making there name by going after such BS and the people are voting for them because of it.

      UKIP wont be just another party of politics they have an agenda to drive home and freedom to the people.

  2. waltc says:

    May I humbly suggest that you take the gist of the first half of this ( the part dealing with Miliband, smokers, isolation, alienation) throw in a slam at his further idea of taxing smokers even more to save a health service that increasingly refuses to treat them, and try emailing it as an official Letter To The Editor. Your point needs to reach a wider audience, and esp the people who read this paper. Then additionally –I don’t know how it works over there — try it too as a longer
    op ed. Seems to me you may have enough of a name over there bec of the blog, to get an op ed used. But somebody sure as hell needs to say this to the public-at-large. Besides, it might help Farage.

    • margo says:

      I agree, waltc.

    • prog says:

      If my memory serves me correctly, I think ASH once suggested that extra taxation of BT directly (rather than big increases in duty) would hit BT directly without the need to impose big duty hikes. Basically, to maintain/increase the total amount of income raised (currently c. £12 billion inc VAT). In other words, to make as much money as possible from the industry and smokers as a whole. Given the claimed risks to health, any rational person might wonder why tobacco is not banned outright. On the other hand, any rational person who scratches away the propaganda veneer really would realise that health is not at the heart of this, nor ever was. Tobacco duty is a traditional sin tax, originally designed to raise revenue long before the antz spawned. The same applies to alcohol and fuel.

      Without a shadow of a doubt, legal smokers are major net financial contributors to the State, and TPTB know it. But they cannot afford to redirect all the revenue raised to the NHS. An additional £12 billion pa year would save it, but clearly the remaining over-inflated public sector, the need to fight pointless and futile wars etc take priority.

    • Frank Davis says:

      One reason why I write a blog, Walt, is because opinions like mine never make it onto the august pages of the mainstream press. Because for them smokers have become non-persons whose opinions are automatically discounted. It’s been like that for years and years. At least 10 years, anyway, round these parts.

      I see myself as a sort of samizdat writer in a new Soviet Union. My opinions don’t appear in Pravda, and I don’t expect them to. If they did, there’d be no need for me to write them using a battered typewriter in an attic room.

      Maybe it’s different in the USA, and there isn’t the same sort of censorship, and stuff like mine would readily get published someplace. If you think you know of somewhere, I grant you the freedom to take anything I’ve ever written, adding whatever you feel needs adding, cutting out whatever you feel is redundant, even adding your own name to the result, if that will get the message over. Because it’s the message that matters, not me. After all, it’s not as if I’m an “aspiring writer” trying to make a name for himself. I’m far too old for that.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Oh weve got plenty of Censorship here trust me. But the tide is turning and as each week we see staff editorials against the bans or even more comments from regular joes that don’t buy the SHS crapola any more and that the whole mess has gone to far. I would guess that even some of the comments written are from Nazis admitting the outdoor bans are to much but they support the indoor ban. I call those types of comments damage control for their agenda as they even realize the Indoor ban is at risk big time as the extremist insane push for ever more bans trys to move forward. Its running into big time brick walls anymore after Christie vetoed the NJ ban 2 weeks ago. The Oregon Beach ban was totally decimated by the people even though they claimed a 45% for it support. Others stated low to no support in a few Seattle Papers.

        Looks like my 8.0 disks are now unavailable. So I guess I have to go to Microsoft and loadem onto disk since my system wont take 8.1.

        Anybody have some input on the puter issue Id sure love to hear it. I got an HP pavilion 23

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          So for 150 bucks microsft says they will help me get the virus off. But I cant just reload windows with the virus still on the system. I thought you could just wipe and reload with no problems. Did something change please Gurus let me know.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Harley, the only thing I can recommend is losing windoze. Look around – you will find MUCH cheaper os …..

          I don’t do windoze and I am not prepared to pay fo Apple stuff, either. Start googling and learn a few things.

      • mikef317 says:

        If you look at the global warming debate, climate change “deniers” are often compared to tobacco companies refusing to admit that smoking causes lung cancer. It doesn’t, but if you try to argue this, just about everyone will classify you as a nut. (Frank, if I recall correctly, you once tried with Anthony Watts.) The fact is that smoking can be blamed for just about anything, and most Americans will accept whatever is said as a fact.

        The anti-tobacco crusade began in the 1950’s, and there’s no way you can cover decades of propaganda in a few hundred word op-ed piece.

        Suppose you re-wrote your black lung post? I doubt you could get it published in the major (or even minor) U. S. media. Even if you did, and even if you persuaded people that that black lung is a lie, most, I think, would still continue to believe that smoking causes lung cancer. (And you can’t disprove this by exposing only one lie.)

        Realistically, I doubt that you (with or without Walt, me, or anyone else short of God) could get anything published in mainstream U. S. media. Like the UK, for decades, only bad things can be written about tobacco.

        I’d say keep doing what you’re doing. It’s what you do best.

      • waltc says:

        First, sorry, as a writer I would never plagiarize, but more to the point, this is an immediate response to a local article about Miliband and, as such, stands a chance of getting published, at least as a letter., if it’s done fast. Especially since it would be cogent and well-written. And if not, so what? Costs you nothing, not even postage, and at worst, you’re making the paper itself aware that , publish it or not, there’s opposition out there. Don’t concede defeat in advance . From time to time, I’ve gotten Letters into even the NY Times. That, for example.

        • Frank Davis says:

          First, sorry, as a writer I would never plagiarize

          I’m sure you wouldn’t. But if I give you (and only you) permission to take something I’ve written, and trim bits off it, and add a bit more stuff, would it be plagiarism? Particularly if it said “By Frank Davis, and edited and amended by Walt C” under the title?

          I was reading the other day how one of the First World War poets, Siegfried Sassoon, edited the poetry of another (dead) one, Wilfred Owen. I’m sure that “editing” something must entail altering it in small ways, if only to get the spelling right.

  3. Lepercolonist says:

    Interesting article about smoking :

    Taki Mag has some excellent bloggers. Very good comments group.

  4. To the LibLabCon “the principle of together” only applies to us being in the EU, UN and the other international bodies which effectively rule us.

    The Establishment has conspired to increasingly keep us apart for as long as I can remember. There was multiculturalism, special privileges for Muslims and homosexuals (a package of divide and conquer/ideological subversion/banning ancient freedoms) as well as the smoking bans. Before all of that, they were working on destroying the family.

    And it works wonders for the government. I see these (probably government front) ‘patriot’ groups who spend 99% of their time attacking Muslims to help keep the people obsessed with the dangers of Islam and ignore the politicians who keep the whole thing going.

    I see time and again in blogs, newspaper comments, Facebook, etc., how many of the English wanted Scottish independence, many times over something as stupid as the ‘free’ prescriptions we get up here now. I know it’s not fair, but again, it’s politicians rattling cages and knee-jerk reactions producing instant rage which doesn’t appear to dissipate over time. But it seems that people generally have been softened up to the point where their delicate emotions overrule their capacity for making rational judgments and decisions.

    UKIP’s rise probably comes from emotion as much as from the logical deduction that the LibLabCon Party has failed us for decades and that we need an urgent reversal of ‘progressive’ politics. But I suppose that’s better than nothing!

    Of course, as Wobbler warns, UKIP could be as full of hot air as the other parties are. They could even be part of the ‘controlled opposition’. As they appear to be our last political refuge, we won’t know until we’ve elected them to run the country and we either leave the EU straight away or start hearing, “We’d love to leave the EU – of course we would; everybody knows that – but now isn’t the right time…”!

  5. beobrigitte says:

    I think the Labour party may have been having a conference this week, and this seems to be what Ed Miliband had to say:

    Yep. A lot of NOTHING. The BBC was on the Ball, they showed an excerpt in which Miliband proudly proclaimed to come to the rescue of the NHS….
    Does this ‘rescue’ involve by any chance MORE TARGETS??? I have been told that in the Labour years it was not uncommon for patients to be left inside Ambulances outside A&E for HOURS due to the ‘4-hour-turnaround-time-target. Instead of ‘bed-blockers there were ‘ambulance-blockers….
    How Ed Miliband is planning to finance the employment of ca. 20,000 additional nurses? By screwing the tobacco industry and it’s customers!!! Miliband is a prime example of a politician; no long term foresight. Surely the tobacco companies are going to pack their bags and bless another country with jobs and tax income.
    It isn’t worthwhile voting for Lib/Lab/Con – all three seek to ‘denormalise’ me and begin to invade MY PRIVATE property. Until they give me back MY place in society I have no intention to vote for any of the three. That leaves the option of giving UKIP a chance. I am looking forward to a nice ROOM inside pubs with ashtrays on the tables!!! As one gets older it is harder to meet new people and be part of society; aren’t we all already living longer? Tobacco Control is rather quiet about this FACT……

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Well a massive visrus got my puter today. Im on the wifes. Ive go a brand new wondows program 8.0 disks on the way. Hopefull be back up soon. Lost all my info…………..Be recollecting it for the next month now.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Harley, get off windoze…… I am ‘being battered’ by the German ‘tool’ (Reinhold probably knows who I mean) who, thank god, will need a few more years to learn what I can do. Windoze is limiting.

      BTW, Harley, it is fun to follow you on your kerfuffals with the other tools – it’s a pity they kill my comments immediately.

      Keep it up!

  7. beobrigitte says:

    Sorry, can’t resist this:

    The guy who wants to win an election by ‘exiling-the-smokers-to-the-outdoors’.

    WHO votes for ASH?

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