Another UKIP Victory

I was hoping to stay up to see UKIP win the Rochester and Strood by-election. But the results aren’t expected until after 4 a.m. So I‘ll have to put a question mark after the title for the time being, although UKIP are expected to win.

Then tomorrow I can maybe remove the question mark, to bring things up to date. UKIP did indeed win, and the recriminations have started. The Financial Times:

Imagine an American passing through London for the first time on Thursday night. He watches the news in his hotel suite and concludes what? Probably that Britain is riven by the culture wars of his own country, minus the bit about God.

Britain is indeed riven by cultural war. Smoking bans are a form of cultural warfare. Smokers have been driven from their pubs.

And it’s not really ‘minus the bit about God’. Pubs and cafes are also churches. They also are the ecclesia in which people gather to meet and speak, or maybe just quietly meditate. Their beer and cigarettes and packets of salted peanuts were the church’s wine and candles and bread. Their bars and stools and chairs and tables were the church’s altar rail and pews. Their customary banter was the church’s liturgy. Their tobacco smoke the church’s incense.

What we have today is another reformation. a wave of puritan protestantism sweeping away the liturgy and the furniture and the candles and paintings and statues, leaving white-washed bare walls. And if thousands of pubs are closing, it’s really no different from the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

And Americans don’t need to hire a London hotel suite to catch up with the UK’s culture wars. They can come here.

And they do. Harley’s here every day. Walt pops in most days. And Smokervoter is another regular. And many more. For this also is another little bar, another little ecclesia.


About Frank Davis

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40 Responses to Another UKIP Victory

  1. I’m up. Email me the log-in details and I’ll update it for you!

    Well, hopefully. There’s talk of it being quite close, but Nigel Farage has said, “I don’t make predictions…but yes I think he’ll win.”

  2. beobrigitte says:

    You can remove the question mark, Frank. Ukip won.

  3. Barry Homan says:

    Though I’m an American, this is great. Congrats to Reckless, UKIP and Nigel. We thank fellers like you, Frank, and all the others here, whose commentaries and hard work most likely have made an influence on UK elections.

  4. roobeedoo2 says:

    Mark Reckless won but not by as much as UKIP would probably have liked (to perhaps tempt other MPs to defect). It’s all been rather overshadowed by Labour and a ‘snobby’ tweet:

    • Rose says:

      “What goes through my mind is respect – respect is a basic rule of politics and I’m afraid her tweet conveyed a sense of disrespect.”

      What is this strange new concept of respecting the voters?
      20% of voters haven’t seen an ounce of respect from labour, liberals or the conservatives for several years.

      Patients face discharge from hospital in total smoking ban – 2005

      “Patients caught smoking inside or outside hospitals face being discharged under new government legislation, which will abolish hospital smoking rooms and encourage a total ban in all grounds.”

      “Patients too frail to endure low temperatures outside will be offered “nicotine replacement therapy” in the form of gum and patches. Other measures will include putting up “older person” signs around hospitals for patients crossing busy roads to smoke.”

      NHS – If you smoke, you stink
      https: //

      NHS anti smoking – hooked

      They must think that we have very short memories.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        And who could forget this rank effort?

        placing his hand on heart …

        “Look, the one thing people know about me is that I respect every person in this country”

        • beobrigitte says:

          Respect is the basic rule of politics

          So, Mr. Miliband, what happened to respect for smokers? You know, the people your party sneeringly ‘exiled to the outdoors’?

        • Rose says:

          Thanks Roobee, I’d avoided seeing that one up till now!

          Under the Conservatives.

          Government unveils ‘disgusting dirty blood’ anti-smoking ad

          And they still want my vote? Not this time matey.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Rose, yep. I do remember this ad about 1 year ago. And I do remember that smokers became reluctant to donate blood. I hold my hands up – I haven’t donated my “universal donor” + “ideal platelet donor” blood since that ad went out. I would HATE to give all the “dirt” in my blood to someone else.

          And, yep. This was from the conservatives (tories). I really would hate to give them my “dirty” vote, so I don’t.
          Labour brought us the smoking ban – and a lot of (naive, ?idiotic) girls encountered weird drugs in their drinks left on a table by the door when they wanted to smoke a cigarette. That makes them unvotable for.
          LibDem lumped the smoking ban into the same bag with the death penalty and assured us that neither was to be amended. That makes them unvotable for.

          If UKIP turns out the same we all can just stay at home on voting days.

      • beobrigitte says:

        What is this strange new concept of respecting the voters?

        Indeed, this is something new!! It’s a bit late in the day to finally understand that disgruntled smokers will not vote for a party which continues to invent new laws against smokers, laws that begin to imply that a smoker’s property is no longer a smoker’s property.

        WHY are the three main parties surprised that smokers vote for a party which offers the possibility to become part of society again?

        Today I texted a friend in Austria to see if she was going to be at home and up for skyping tonight. She replied that it was Friday and she and her colleagues go for a beer after work, as every week.
        I do remember that English people used to do the same; on one evening in the week, straight after work it was ‘a-pint-after-work-&-chat-time’ – and for smokers there were ashtrays on the tables, too. These evenings, having a drink with colleagues, were this kind of invisible glue that created the best teams, thus increased productivity, as well as contentment, tremendously.

        Has anyone ever watched what this Lord Sugar actively encourages? There is one (?fake) lucrative apprentice place at the end; all contestants have to work as ‘teams’. Backstabbing and dishonesty is encouraged if Lord Sugar can make a profit.
        Backstabbing and being dishonest to/about colleagues takes up energy and ‘thinking space’ that could be used to do REAL WORK.
        I guess, ‘divide and rule’ works everywhere – especially when the little idiots them burn midnight oil to ‘outshine’ the colleagues. And no-one cares when these little idiots progress to become a burden to society after mental break down.

        Will UKIP address this? I don’t know. All I know is that:

        UKIP will amend the smoking ban to give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms properly ventilated and separated from non-smoking areas.
        (scroll down to “Culture”)

        Perhaps we get these working people/pensioner pubs in which everyone sits together by a pint and a cigarette and TALKS, back? Content people take on extra work without complaint.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Its easier just to repeal the ban than force them to have to make separate rooms.

          Simply posting signs this is a smoking establishment………..nothing more need be done until weve hung the last of the prohibitionist Nazis from public life!

        • beobrigitte says:

          The Austrians have a great system – and it works. Tobacco Control is currently hellbent on destroying their pubs and social life. And they have planned ahead – e-cigs were banned BEFORE they replaced cigarettes.
          We need to get rid of the useless WHO and tobacco control!!!
          Its easier just to repeal the ban than force them to have to make separate rooms.
          Repealing the ban is the best thing that can happen – people are grumpy these days over here. A political party that caters for all (!) will be a winner.

          Smokers are voters.

    • smokingscot says:

      Listened to a wrap on 5 Live. Spin and damage control with the usual claptrap about their responding to the electorate.

      However I thought the Lib/Dem walla was very candid and had a wonderfully original explanation on why they came 5th and lost their deposit.

      Seems their loyal Lib/Dem supporters decided to vote strategically in an effort to keep out UKIP. So they didn’t vote for Lib/Dem, they voted for the Tories! Same source stated he believed many socialists and Labour supporters also decided to vote strategically and concluded that more Liberals and Labour supporters voted for the Conservatives than true blood Tories.

      He implied that come the General Election his lot will return to the fold and this was nothing more than mid term spanky bottom time.

      Felt the BBC chap was reasonably impartial (it was radio), however even he seemed quite incredulous when one academic stated Farage needs to “manage expectations” and that they might win 5 seats, possibly 7 on a good day at the GE. (Incredulous as in the guy’s talking bollocks).

      Had a look at the odds at Willie Hill. At the moment, the odds are very much stacked in favour of “more than 5” (with very interesting odds for SNP and Lib/Dem)

      And should you fancy odds of 20 to 1, Ladbrooks offers that if UKIP win a seat at the next General Election. No-brainer I’d say.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Mitch Mcconnel the new senate leader yesterday was using his mandate from the election that the new seating house would fix Mr Obamas immigration order…………………..5 million illegals with work permits and the economy hasn’t produced enuf jobs to fill 1 million of that number!
    So we will have 4 million automatically sucking down tens of billions a year in welfare………….

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Health Board members quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’

    Now, Johnson has reported, Westminster Health Board members, faced with a fuming citizenry, have decided to quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’.

    November 21, 2014

    A Health Board that had proposed a tobacco-products sales ban in a small US town has voted down the proposal, according to a story by O’Ryan Johnson for the Boston Herald.
    If the proposal had been accepted, Westminster (population 7,277 in 2010 according to Wikipedia), in Worcester County, Massachusetts, would become the first community in the US to ban all tobacco sales.
    The list of banned items would have included cigarettes, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
    A meeting called earlier this month to discuss a proposal was ended prematurely after shouting broke out over a no-clapping rule.
    Now, Johnson has reported, Westminster Health Board members, faced with a fuming citizenry, have decided to quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’.
    Opponents of the ban – bent on preserving American freedoms – were cheered when board members Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro voted to stop the ban. “The town is not in favor of the proposal, and therefore I am not in favor of the proposal,” Simoncini declared.
    Although voting down the ban was seen as preserving American freedoms in general rather than the right to buy tobacco in particular; it was a big win for small businesses, which had argued that customers who stopped in to buy cigarettes left also with bread and milk; so that tobacco was critical to the businesses bottom line.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Peter Shawn Taylor

    Public health officers should focus on disease, not politics

    Public health officials across the country have been getting their smocks in a knot over news Canada’s chief public health officer may soon come under greater political control.

    As reported in The Globe and Mail last week, the Harper government’s omnibus budget bill removes the chief public health officer’s ability to set budgets and control resources at the Public Health Agency of Canada. These tasks will fall to the newly created position of president. The country’s top doctor will instead devote his energies to advising Ottawa on public health issues and co-ordinating with other agencies.

    Perry Kendall, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, argues his colleagues across the country are “unanimous” in opposing the move. Carolyn Bennett, the former Liberal MP who set up the agency in 2003 called it “bad news.” Having lost the freedom to oversee budgets and allocate staff, critics fear the country’s chief public health officer will be subject to greater direction from government.

    If so, this isn’t a problem. The entire field of public health could use more political oversight these days.

    Across the country, public health departments at all levels of government have wandered much too far from their original mandates. Instead of focusing on the prevention of communicable diseases, they’ve been indulging in overt ideological crusades, inventing obscure new problems and claiming jurisdiction in areas well past the limits of their competency.

    It has become fashionable, for example, for municipal public health offices to condemn income inequality as a danger to public health, and demand higher taxes to correct the situation. While there may be a link between poverty and health, there is no such connection to be found in the gap between rich and poor. It’s an entirely political point of view that owes much more to the Occupy movement than Jonas Salk.

    Local food promotion is another newfound obsession for public health departments. The regional municipality of Waterloo, in southwestern Ontario, for example, produced a report arguing all local tomatoes should be consumed locally and any consumption of ‘imported’ tomatoes should be considered unpleasant evidence of “redundant trade.”

    Waterloo has proven particularly inventive in creating previously unknown public health crises. Earlier this year it announced 97.7 per cent of residents eat an improper diet and their region has become a “food swamp,” defined as a locale where junk food is more readily accessible than healthy food. This diagnosis was confirmed when a research project found most residents live closer to a convenience store than a full-service grocery store (shocking!) and more local shelf space is devoted to snack foods than fruits and vegetables.

    When not inventing new problems, public health departments are typically demanding a variety of draconian measures such as bans, taxes, advertising rules and zoning restrictions in order to exert more control over the everyday decisions of adults. And in the absence of any democratic legitimacy. When New York City’s health board tried to implement its famous Big Gulp ban, the move was struck down by the courts as beyond its remit.

    The mission drift rampant in public health extends all the way up to the World Health Organization. At the peak of the Ebola scare and with her organization under fire for mismanaging the on-the-ground response to the outbreak, last month executive director Margaret Chan was in Moscow attending a tobacco conference where she argued cigarettes are a bigger threat to global health than an African virus. Last year she threw her lot in with the anti-corporate crowd, railing against “Big Food, Big Soda and Big Alcohol.”

    The original − and very necessary − purpose of public health was to combat infectious diseases and impose sanitary standards on water, food and waste. From this perspective, the field has enjoyed many successes, such as the eradication of polio and smallpox and the remarkable safety of Canada’s food system. Lately, however, public health departments seem to have lost sight of their primary mission. In a search for new things to control, or perhaps to pursue personal ideological views, public health officials have pushed their way into areas they simply don’t belong.

    It is not the job of public health to have an opinion on taxes, economic policy, free trade or corporate control. Neither should it be their business to interfere in the freely-made choices of adults.

    Public health ought to stick to their needles, and leave the economy alone

  8. carol2000 says:

    Re the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Dukes of Bedford got their original gigantic fortune from that property grab, thanks to being the King’s cronies.,_1st_Earl_of_Bedford
    I’ve sometimes wondered if #15 has played a role in anti-smoking. “Born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States he was educated at Harrow, and Harvard, where he received his BA degree He ranked 102nd in the Sunday Times Rich List 2005, with an estimated wealth of £490 million.” So, the Duke is what we’d call an “anchor baby”! His father graduated from Harvard, too.,_15th_Duke_of_Bedford

  9. carol2000 says:

    There’s a nice two-for-one sale at the Washington Post, where if you subscribe to one of a number of large local/regional papers around the US (inluding online only), you get a year’s subscription to full web access at Wapo with for free. There’s a list of the papers here.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Im waiting for them to offer an all content online package that gives you a key pass to all subscription news anywhere at anytime. Like a cash pool everyone gets a chunk from when you click on them………..That’s the one I will pay for.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    The Tobacco Control Database for the WHO European Region


    The Tobacco Control Database for the WHO European Region is a web based information system containing country-specific data in three key areas of tobacco control:

    •Prevalence of tobacco use;
    •Tobacco control policy and legislation, and
    •Status of implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in the WHO European Region.
    The database provides an assessment of the tobacco-related situation within countries to policy-makers, tobacco control advocates, researchers, media and general public, enabling users to transform data to action. Member States can evaluate their situation in the light of other country experiences and use it to strengthen their own policies and interventions to reduce tobacco use.

    The new version of the WHO Tobacco Control Database focuses on legislation relating to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and on legislation related to protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.

    Use the database to browse and explore tobacco control laws and to view the prevalence of tobacco use in the countries of the WHO European Region. For example:

    •View smoking prevalence among adults and youth over the years, as well as a summary of key policy milestones;
    •Get a quick overview of the legislation relating to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in each country;
    •Compare laws from up to three countries side by side;
    •Download the full text of laws for each country in the original language and the English translation (both upon availability);
    •Identify leading countries in the Region within specific WHO FCTC measures.

    • nisakiman says:

      That’s an interesting find, Harley. I had a quick look at Greece, and was interested to note that male smoking prevalence has gone from about 44% in 2009 to over 50% in 2013 / 14. Germany was at 30% in 1995, and after a few ups and downs, is at 30% now. France, interestingly, has seen a steady upward trend, from 20% in 1994 to about 38% now.

      I’m not sure whether to trust these figures or not. For instance, UK shows as having about 28% male prevalence in 1994. I would have thought it higher than that back then. And current figures are at about 24%.

      • Frank Davis says:

        How did you find those figures? I got lost. But I did find that there’s something called the Global Tobacco Surveillance System. They’re surveilling us.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Hell I find shit all the time here and there stuff I don’t find time to truly dig thru others might that’s why I posted it…………Others are so folks can jump in on the fight if they feel so inclined but also to keep us all up to date on the latest JUNK CLAIMS and legal moves the bastards may try next!

        Truly this movement is dying I suspect within 18 months we will see some repeals.

  11. garyk30 says:

    “And they do. Harley’s here every day. Walt pops in most days. And Smokervoter is another regular. And many more. For this also is another little bar, another little ecclesia.”

    I suspect that I am not the only person to enjoy a glass of wine/beer while reading this blog.
    It is just like being in a tavern with good friends.

    • nisakiman says:

      Which reminds me, Gary, do you still have that premium Skype account? If so, maybe it’s about time we had another virtual smokey-drinkey. It’s been ages.

    • Rose says:

      It is just like calling in for a chat in the pub, just before the smoking ban mine had even started serving coffee.
      And lets face it, without being chucked out of every pub in England, it’s most unlikely that any us would have ever met up and talked.

      • lleweton says:

        I agree, Rose. I just endure pubs now, if compelled to visit one because of obligations to meet friends or family. These are the only times I visit. This was true, even over the many years in my 60s and mid 70s that I did not smoke at all. These days in old age I smoke a pipe. It’s my old age and does not belong to the fanatics..

      • beobrigitte says:

        True, we wouldn’t have talked, we would not have gone on long reading up sessions which in turn raised more questions in another state sacrosanct area of “climate change” – we would be meeting friends in pubs and not be fazed to see a “fat” person, we would go about our business as (prior to July 2007) usual.

        When this antismoking nonsense is over we all should try and meet up in a pub!!! (A bit hard for the die-hard Americans like Harley – but then, I have a friend with a dream to visit Nashville next year. All things going well we’ll set off in Autumn…)

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Beo just give me a heads up and if the cards and money are right I might be able to rescue ya guys and bring ya up to my hang outs. Its not much but ehh! Its more than so many others have Im content. But I aint never quitting fighting until the last damned ban is repealed and this country is back to being as free as when I was born or as close to it as I can help to make it!

        • beobrigitte says:

          Thanks, Harley, I will!!!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Same here bit I still have places to go where I can smoke indoors like the wafflehouse.

      But I had to leave most of the friends behind in the move,but several moved up here to jus for the freedom and we get together a few times a month. But its not like when we lived 5 minutes from the hangout. We were always together!

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