The Changing Guardians of Liberty and Reason

H/T roobeedoo, Guido Fawkes:

CONFIRMED: As Guido predicted, Jane Ellison just announced the government will go ahead with standardised packaging. They have the votes…

See also the Independent. The antis can now write bigger antismoking insults against smokers on their cigarette packets.

Elsewhere, on Breitbart I came across an interesting piece:


It has often been remarked that the right won the economic arguments of the twentieth century, while the left won the culture war. Although Thatcher and Reagan succeeded in their quest to overturn the postwar economic consensus and undermine the USSR, the left consistently triumphed over social conservatives in political debates on society and culture.

Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, the left successfully positioned itself as the guardian of liberty and reason against a dogmatic and authoritarian “moral majority”. Moderates and liberals could not understand why the right wanted to deny gay people the right to marry, or women the right to an abortion. Nor could they understand the conservative quest to pull the theory of evolution from primary schools, or the regular campaigns by conservative moral crusaders against filth, blasphemy and even Satanism (1, 2) in popular culture.  Against such opponents, it was relatively easy for the left to position itself as the defenders of academic inquiry, artistic expression and personal freedom.

But the sands are beginning to shift. The coalition of moderate liberals, sceptical intellectuals, and radical progressives that once stood together against the conservative “moral majority” is beginning to fracture. In the absence of a compelling external opponent, the internal tensions of this coalition are becoming more visible. While it is too soon to say if the revolution is about to consume itself, a number of serious divisions have emerged on the cultural left. And they are becoming increasingly bitter.

As someone who used to think of himself as mildly left wing, one sentence – the left successfully positioned itself as the guardian of liberty and reason against a dogmatic and authoritarian “moral majority” – pretty much summed up the way I used to see it.

But no more. For somehow or other the old rational, freedom-loving left has been transformed into  a dogmatic and authoritarian, politically-correct “moral majority” and it’s the (libertarian) right that now increasingly stands for liberty and reason. It’s almost as if they’ve swapped places.

30 or 40 years ago, it was conservatives like Mary Whitehouse who campaigned against Page 3 girls in the Sun, but now it’s the puritanical, politically-correct left which has finally succeeded in getting them removed. (update: But they’re back again!)

And if an unreasonable, freedom-destroying smoking ban is introduced in New Orleans tomorrow, it’ll be one that has been spearheaded by Democrat Latoyah Cantrell.

What happened? What happened to the old left?

Maybe all that happened was that it became its mirror image. The mirror image of being pro-something is being anti-something-else.  The old left were pro-women’s rights, pro-gay-rights, pro-black-rights, pro-marijuana-legalisation, etc, etc. But the hidden flip side of this was that they were implicitly anti-male, anti-heterosexual, anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-tobacco-smoking. And it’s this hidden flip side that has gradually come to the fore. What had started out being about helping women, gays, blacks, Jews, and pot-smokers gradually turned into something that was about crushing men, heterosexuals, whites, Christians, and tobacco-smokers. The old freedom-loving left turned into into its freedom-suppressing mirror image.

And somewhere down the track I suddenly noticed that I was male, heterosexual, white, culturally-Christian, and – worst of all – a smoker. And I got out fast.

Deeper into the article, there’s another line about leftist values:

One of their core beliefs is that you do not “punch down”–that is, attack vulnerable or marginalised communities.

And that’s how I felt too. But the authoritarian new left has no compunction about “punching down” whatsoever now. The War on Smokers is an attack on a minority, with the openly stated aim of marginalising and “denormalising” them. And they’ll lay into drinkers and fatties and any other minority with equal relish.

And in the UK it’s now the political right – in the form of UKIP and Nigel Farage – that stands up for white, heterosexual, culturally-Christian, male (and female) smokers, who have more or less become outcast minorities in their own country. The right is now doing what the left used to do: be the guardian of liberty and reason against a dogmatic and authoritarian politically-correct “moral majority”.

And the new fight for freedom and reason is being fought by the right.

Of course the hidden, buried, flip side of UKIP is just like hidden flip side of the old left: it’s implicitly racist, homophobic, misogynist, antisemitic and anti-Islamic, even though Nigel Farage himself is none of those things. And that is what it is attacked for being, at every possible opportunity. And it’s what it may well become, just like the pro-marijuana left gradually metamorphosed into the antismoking left.

The rise of UKIP (and similar parties) is the re-assertion of traditional values – or at least the set of values that were widely accepted 40 or 50 years ago, before they were steam-rollered by political correctness.

It’s a long-overdue re-assertion of traditional values. Politically, that will mean the re-assertion of national identities in the face of super-national entities like the EU and the UN. Culturally, it will probably mean the re-emergence of Christianity. And it will mean the repeal of smoking bans. And much more.

P.S. Other people are posting up cartoons (which seem to have originated here).

About Frank Davis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Changing Guardians of Liberty and Reason

  1. beobrigitte says:

    “Every day hundreds of children start to smoke.

    The smoking ban has been a huge success then. (?) Plain packaging surely will trump this one.

    I get the feeling the tories do know that the economic crash is imminent and therefore don’t wish to be re-elected.

  2. magnetic01 says:

    Here’s a comment appearing in an Australian newspaper in 1912 and concerning encounters with tobacco smoke outdoors:
    A paragraph in The Register of September 14, 1912, announced that the City Council is daring to deal with the smoke nuisance. If the council can remove from our streets the smoke which is continually puffed in our faces, and so give us a chance to breathe the purest air obtainable, some of us will be exceedingly grateful, and the names of the men responsible for the change will be passed onto future generations as those of men who had courage to face an evil and deal with it and not merely to talk and write on health matters. At present it is dangerous to a person’s health to walk through the streets of Adelaide.

    Then there’s:
    “The right of each person to breathe and enjoy fresh and pure air—air uncontaminated by unhealthful or disagreeable odors and fumes is a constitutional right, and cannot be taken away by legislatures or courts, much less by individuals pursuing their own thoughtless or selfish indulgence.”

    Sound familiar? Well, that’s from 1911…..

    1911: Dr. Charles Pease stated the position of the Non-Smokers’ Protective League of America in a letter to the New York Times, dated November 10, 1911:;jsessionid=5647F950375B5064AA449F152F20E8C9.tobacco03

    • magnetic01 says:

      “The use of tobacco, in any form, is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, degrading habit
      No gentleman will use tobacco in this city
      You have no more right to pollute with tobacco smoke the atmosphere which clean people have to breathe than you have to spit in the water which they have to drink.
      Cut it out you fool before you reap smokers’ cancer, paralysis, or one of the many other diseases caused by the use of the filthy, nasty, stinking stuff [tobacco]”


      The quote is from an anti-tobacco billboard (photo circa 1915) on the road leading into Zion, Illinois, USA.

      Seven years later [1971], Dr. Jesse L. Steinfeld [then Surgeon-General] issued a second report focused on the dangers of secondhand smoke. He proposed what he called the Non-Smoker’s Bill of Rights, which said that the country must free non-smokers from the hazards and annoyance of other people’s addictions.

    • magnetic01 says:

      Here’s a comment appearing just yesterday summarizing the mostly prohibitionist position. It should be obvious that the mentality is dysfunctional.

      Crawl back under your rock. I have had to live with OTHER PEOPLE’s smoke for 50 years. I am sick of it. I could care less what you do with your life, your lungs…but stay away from mine. Smoke on your OWN property. I choke when I step out of my car and smell your smoke. I gag when I have to walk thru your cloud. I want to sit outside at a local restaurant and NOT have to breath your smoke. I don’t want to breath your STINK when in the drive thru line because your atmosphere is so disgusting that it follows not on YOU and your very essence link Linus in the Peanuts cartoons, but it also hovers around your car!
      Your pleasure should NEVER infringe on another persons’s right to breath clean air.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        This type of hateful, vile rhetoric is typical of antismokers in the comments section of almost all articles about smoking bans. Essentially sheer unbridled hate rather than debate. IF you try to provide facts that support a dissenting opinion they will gang up on you, flag your comments as offensive, then the site moderator will delete your comments and leave the vile attacks standing. Sort of a dystopian, cyberpunk version of Nazis at work.

        Now they will bring plain packaging to the UK despite the facts that show it didn’t work in Australia (which has become an Antismoker stronghold). Tobacco Control is driven by ideology and is intoxicated by power. The situation for smokers is getting worse day-by-day. I suspect it will continue rolling along until the whole system implodes (which given the state of the global economy can”t be very far off).

      • Rick S says:

        Mag, I actually read this one as satire. The multiple references to motor vehicles suggested to me that the writer was trying to draw attention to the irony of people complaining about wisps of smoke in places full of petrol and diesel fumes. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it was real, I’m sorry to say.

  3. magnetic01 says:

    All the above are long before the first “study”, in 1981, on secondhand smoke. Yet antismokers have been whining for centuries of “hazard” from SHS. That’s what makes antismokers antismokers. They believe, and have believed for centuries, they are being harmed by SHS regardless of facts.

    Antismokers believe they are “superior” beings and that their proclivities, referred to as “a right to smoke-free air”, must always take precedence everywhere. Antismokers are, by definition, prohibitionists. There are the mostly prohibitionists who believe that smoking must be banned in all places open to the public, indoors and out. These antismokers accept that people can smoke only in the privacy of their own homes and they do not support a ban on the sale of tobacco. Then there are the full prohibitionists. In addition to the mostly prohibitionists, these antismokers also want a ban on the sale of tobacco: They want tobacco-use entirely eradicated from the world.;jsessionid=5647F950375B5064AA449F152F20E8C9.tobacco03

    Note, too, that the thoughts in the last link are also a few years before the first study on SHS. Although antismokers might argue amongst themselves about extent of prohibition, they have one commonality – smoking must be banned in all places open to the public, indoors and out. Another theme over the last century is antismokers’ hijacking of all nonsmokers to advance their “cause”. Nonsmokers are simply people that do not smoke. Antismokers are an entirely different mentality. They are misocapnists/capnophobes: They hate smoke/smoking/smokers. It’s antismokers that believe they must be protected from ever being exposed to ambient tobacco smoke, indoors and out. It’s antismokers that advance the vacuous idea of “nonsmokers’ rights” in attempting to accommodate their deranged view of tobacco use/smoke.

    Interestingly, then Surgeon-General, Steinfield, was referring to tobacco use as an “addiction”. Yet tobacco use was reasonably not viewed as an addiction. At around the same time – early 1970s – George Godber, the leader of the current antismoking assault and mostly prohibitionist, also referred to tobacco users as “addicts”.

    Although antismokers were spouting “addiction” and SHS “harm”, throwbacks to 1800s America, these were not supported by evidence. Since the 1970s, “evidence” of harm has been concocted and terms re-defined to push the antismoking agenda.

  4. magnetic01 says:

    The Latvian circumstance is just the latest installment of antismoker derangement:
    Revised tobacco control law to protect citizens from tobacco smoke came into force in the end of 2014 in Latvia clearly establishing citizens’ rights to be protected from tobacco smoke. The aim of the law emphasizes the rights of non-smokers to live in an environment free from tobacco smoke over smokers’ rights to smoke.,-says-new-law-in-latvia

    There it is again: “The aim of the law emphasizes the rights of non-smokers to live in an environment free from tobacco smoke over smokers’ rights to smoke.” That’s the standard antismoking belief – nonsmokers’ rights (i.e., antismokers’ rights) – with the standard hijacking of the entire nonsmokers’ group that goes back centuries. The Godberites at least acknowledged that laws could not be enacted simply because antismokers hated smoke. They had to conjure “hazard” so that antismokers could argue for laws to protect them from these “hazards”. Yet even this charade has now been dispensed with. Laws are now being instituted not even on the basis of concocted hazards but in reflecting the baseless antismoking credo that antismokers have “the right to live in an environment free from tobacco smoke”. But even this derangement is not enough. The antismokers now declare, and also a long held belief, that exposing children to tobacco smoke is “physical violence” and, therefore, also requiring a “protective” law.

    We’re right back to the antismoking hysteria of mid-1800s to early-1900s America and also seen in the Nazi “war on tobacco”, an extension of American eugenics. From the last few centuries, it can be demonstrated that antismokers are neurotic, bigoted, megalomaniacal, and pathological liars. There is 400 years of evidence, including torture (nose slitting) and executions (beheadings), that antismoking is a significant mental disorder.

    Antismokers’ hyper-reactivity to smoke is abnormal. It’s typical of anxiety disorders, hypochondria, somatization. Antismoking is like a deranged cult whose primary belief is that disciples never be exposed to tobacco smoke. Not even a whiff, indoors or out. Believing themselves to be “superior”, antismokers want laws to reflect their credo which they fraudulently depict as “nonsmokers rights”. The more antismokers are appeased, the more absurd and hysterical become their claims, and the more draconian and inhumane become their demands. Let antismokers dominate proceedings and they will wreak social havoc with their fear and hate-mongering. It’s antismoking that’s a violent assault on mental and social health at the very least.

    • beobrigitte says:

      The aim of the law emphasizes the rights of non-smokers to live in an environment free from tobacco smoke over smokers’ rights to smoke.

      The rights of non-smokers to live in an environment free from tobacco smoke EQUALS the right of smokers to smoke.
      The solution would be: separate ROOMS. No law needed.

      The anti-smokers do not have the right to ALL venues, do they? If so, we smokers have the SAME right to ALL venues, not having to ask to be supplied with an ashtray?

      • Some French bloke says:

        In the 1950s, when smoking was pretty much the norm, with a 82% prevalence among British men, the 18% who chose not to must have been those constitutional non-smokers whom “Nothing short of the direst threats could persuade to smoke even one cigarette a year, still less 20 a day”, to quote from Professor Philip Burch’s self-description in “Smoking and’ Lung, Cancer: the Problem of Inferring Cause” (1978).
        Then, unless a genetic change has occurred in the space of little more than one generation, leading to the domination of the non-smoking and capnophobic genotypes, it’s safe to say that most of today’s complainers would have been part of the smoking majority 50 years ago. And if this phenomenon has nothing to do with genetics, it can only be put down to indoctrination and conformism – a conformism that, along with a delusion of near-everlasting health, comes with a license to denigrate and harass others.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Ah, health. I have a question for “Debbie-longnose”: WHY AM I STILL PERFECTLY HEALTHILY ALIVE?

          Will ASH tell me that I am just “lucky”? Well, I have another question there: If so, WHY are other people so damn UNLUCKY, even if they NEVER smoked?

        • Some French bloke says:

          Someone on‘s Listener Forum found a possible way to describe Debbie-longnose‘s condition: prodding proboscis personality penchant.
          Other samples from the same page:
          – furtive fearmongers fear future
          – government goons get greedy
          – humor helps humans heal
          – ignoring idiots is impossible

  5. jaxthefirst says:

    There was an item on the radio earlier today about the surge in membership of (and presumably thus an increase in support for) the Green party and the commentator was opening the floor to callers to try and explain why that was. Was it a protest vote? Were people suddenly becoming all eco-friendly? Were people genuinely worried about Climate Change?

    And it got me thinking that maybe the Greens are to erstwhile Labour voters what UKIP has become to erstwhile Tory voters, i.e. a kind of “last resort.” Both have had a similar path of development, in that they both started out as pretty much single-issue parties – the environment for the Greens and withdrawal from the EU for UKIP – and both have gradually built up their bases to incorporate policies on all major matters, with the Greens tending towards the left and UKIP towards the right. So I wondered whether, as the General Election draws ever-closer, the Green party might become as much of a worry to Labour as UKIP are to the Tories. Because although there are Labour voters who are likely to vote for UKIP on the basis of their EU stance, there are probably many more who can’t bring themselves to do so, even if they dislike the EU, because of their generally right-wing approach. So, rather like those of us who would like to see us free of the shackles of the EU and those of us who enjoy smoking cigarettes, and who therefore simply aren’t represented by either the Tories or Labour, and who thus have no sensible alternative but to vote for UKIP, perhaps Labour voters, disgusted at how the party that they once believed in has now started acting like the privileged rich bully-boys they claim to despise, feel that the only option for them, now, is to support the Greens with their left-of-centre ideals.

    And, whilst I personally loathe the Greens because of their anti-smoking stance and because their policies are even more pie-in-the-sky, throw-money-at-it-and-everything-will-work-out-fine, anti-business even than Labour’s own, it’s good to see anything which brings strife, grief and the promise of real damage to the party that brought in the unfair, self-righteousness-encouraging, divisive, miserable smoking ban. Even if that manifests itself in the form of the ghastly Greens.

    PS: Re plain packaging – looks like it’s time to resurrect your post about DIY cigarette packets, Frank!

  6. Tony says:

    “Of course the hidden, buried, flip side of UKIP is just like hidden flip side of the old left: it’s implicitly racist, homophobic, misogynist, antisemitic and anti-Islamic“

    I very strongly disagree. I am a member of UKIP and have met large numbers of other members. Not one of them is any of those things.

    Further, UKIP is in favour of immigration (but want to have control over numbers and skills) and their immigration policy is to treat all potential immigrants equally regardless of origin, race, religion or sexuality. All the other parties want to discriminate against people of non-EU origin in favour of those in the EU who happen to be predominantly white. So which policy is more racist?

    If there is any kind of authoritarian flip-side, I would suggest that most members take a fairly strong view on law and order and tend to back longer prison sentences. The party is also against drug legalisation although Nigel Farage is personally in favour (as am I).

    Anyway, tonight Nigel Farage has tweeted: “Plain packaging is an appalling intrusion into consumer choice and the operation of the free market. Jobs and tax revenue would suffer. “

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m a UKIP voter, and I’m not any of these things either. But nevertheless, whenever anyone is pro-something, there’s an implicit anti-something-else built into it.

      For example, the old left was pro-marijuana, and implicitly anti-tobacco. It’s the same with everything else. If someone is pro-free-market-capitalism, they’re implicitly anti-communist (and vice versa). Or if they’re pro-Liverpool F.C., they’re implicitly anti-Chelsea.F.C. It may not manifest itself. But it’s there all the same.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        I agree, that’s why unintended consequences are so interesting.

        There have been constant attacks on UKIP, by the MSM, over the last couple of years, all based on the ‘mirror’ flip image of a UKIP supporter (racist, sexist, gayist). Maybe that’s why the attacks have not had much traction – they’re attacking a ‘phantom’ target, or possible they are attacking at a reflection of themselves. In any case I think it’s been a signifcant factor in a rise in popularity of of the Purples.

        The very recently surge in popularity for the Greens could be down to political/MSM/pollster skullduggery, or simply organised trawling of university/college campuses (a Lib Dem pool that became toxic when they renaged on tuition fees. This group, though, is the least like to actually vote (re: the ‘Cleggasm’ in 2010). Having a fixed 5-year term has allowed political activists to plan ahead – the fulcrum of the General Election date is already known.

        On another note, ‘”If You Question Authority, You Are Mentally Ill”, Report Finds’:

  7. magnetic01 says:

    If we consider the Godber Blueprint, there are numerous instances where the antismokers refer to their own activity as “antismoking” – and rightly so. But then they also append this bilge:
    The term “antismoking,” a label often applied by the tobacco industry, should be avoided and positive names such as “national health campaign” used. 1992 (p.17)

    According to the antismokers, “antismoking” is a negative label due to another tobacco industry “conspiracy”. Well, we now have the advantage of hindsight. As we consider the last 30 years, the label of “antismoking” is no tobacco industry “conspiracy”. Antismokers are indeed anti-smoke/smoking/smokers, and rabidly…. hysterically….. so. They are misocapnists/capnophobes. No amount of masquerading their dysfunctional activity with titles such as “health advocate” changes the fact that antismokers are antismokers and are neurotic bigots.

  8. cherie79 says:

    Where are the tobacco company’s in all this? Surely they have a case for trademark infringement if not more. I have never been able to understand why they seem to have just given up or do they make just as much if the smugglers buy as most of the price is tax anyway.

  9. The wold was freer and safer with the Berlin wall up than it is with it down. It seems to me Thatcher Reagan and a few others made the deal that became todays fucked up NAZI world…………..Of course I could be wrong but I doubt I don’t trust any of them these days.

  10. Smoking Lamp says:

    Just saw the article from Newsweek. It appeared a couple of days ago: “Older Greeks Fear the Return of Fascism on Brink of Election.” The situation described sums up the brewing collision between economic and political meltdown. See the following excerpt which seems to sum it all up.

    –In another part of Athens, there’s a graffio offering an ironic commentary on the twists of history. An old man smoking a cigarette observes, “I fought the fascists so that my grandchildren could bring them back.”

    Well we see the racist bandwagon playing itself out in the UK, NOLA, and actually just about everywhere. In the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand it is outdoor smoking bans (patios and streets), quickly being followed by apartment bans.

    • nisakiman says:

      And yet Greece is probably one of the most relaxed countries in the world when it comes to smoking. And many other things.

      I just can’t get my head round ‘Greek Fascists’. It’s an oxymoron.

  11. Rose says:

    One of the few correct headlines published today.

    Cigarette package law to be voted on by MPs before election

    It’s a foregone conclusion though, they don’t really have a choice.

    Presumably politicians and campaigners are compelled to keep using the misleading term Plain Packaging even though it will be anything but plain.

    16. Plain packaging.

    The effect of advertising or promotion on packaging can be eliminated by requiring plain packaging: black and white or two contrasting colours, as prescribed by national authorities: nothing other than a brand name and/or manufacturer’s name, contact details and the quantity of the product in the packaging, without any logos or other features apart from health warnings, tax stamps and other government mandated information or markings: prescribed font style and size: and standardized shape, size and materials.
    There should be no advertising or promotion inside or attached to the package or on individual cigarettes or other tobacco products”

    Click to access article_13.pdf

    I do so hate being ruled by a foreign power.

  12. Frank Davis says:

    Hospital chiefs want to change the law so that people caught smoking within their grounds could be prosecuted.

    Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital are already “smoke-free”– but patients and staff can regularly nip out for a smoke.

    Now Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust wants to change a by-law to make it illegal.

    Read more:

    • Rose says:

      It’s a problem of their own making, if the previous government hadn’t insisted on banning smoking rooms then the front of the hospital wouldn’t look as if no one cares about the dignity and health of the patients.
      When I visited a hospital in Leeds a couple of years ago, it looked absolutely shocking like the aftermath of some catastrophe, with people on drips wandering about outside.

      If they think it makes them look bad, which it does, then they should call for repeal not prosecution, because making the patients and staff stand along the road edges outside would make the hospital look even worse.

      • nisakiman says:

        …because making the patients and staff stand along the road edges outside would make the hospital look even worse.

        Perhaps that is just what it needs, Rose, for the stupidity of their approach to become obvious to all and sundry.

        • Rose says:

          Perhaps they should carry small placards for the hard of thinking to explain why they are having to stand out there. After all the whole point of “exiling smokers to the outdoors” was so that they would make a public spectacle of themselves.

          “The consequences of voting Labour” might be a good one not that voting Conservative made any difference.

          I still don’t see why the government want me as an individual to walk about with a large picture of some random sick Australian in my handbag, it seems very weird.

        • beobrigitte says:

          After all the whole point of “exiling smokers to the outdoors” was so that they would make a public spectacle of themselves.

          Indeed. And I thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t mind showing off how well I feel. I begin to see many others doing the same. And it does annoy the anti-smoking dict…. erm….. establishment.

  13. Heres the WHY!

    The know UKIP is going to slam dunk their asses come the election………….

    Plain cigarette packs to be introduced in UK before general election

    Government seeks to push though legislation by May after dropping previous proposal following tobacco industry lobbying
    The government is to press ahead with legislation on plain packaging for cigarettes before the general election after years of delay and conflicting claims about the success of an Australian scheme.

    Ministers have consulted on the measure for more than two years and were minded to press ahead with legislation, but the proposal was dropped from the last Queens Speech in 2013 on the insistence of David Cameron. The government, facing intensive lobbying from the tobacco industry, insisted it needed more time to consider the implications of plain packing, including on tobacco smuggling.

    The latest move, involving a free vote for MPs, also came as Labour has been making political inroads on the NHS, focusing on extended A &E waiting times. Labour produced its own public health white paper last week with a renewed commitment to introduce plain packaging.

    The announcement on plain packaging was made by the health minister, Jane Ellison. She said the current “comprehensive” approach was working well, but insisted it was important not to be complacent.

    In an unusual move, she said regulations enforcing plain packaging would be laid before parliament in time to be agreed by both Houses before the general election in May. The vote, likely to see libertarian Tories voting against the measure, will also do something to dispel the suggestion the Commons has become a “zombie parliament” with nothing to agree or legislate on before the election. Ellison said that plain packaging was a “proportionate and justified response” because of the health risks associated with smoking. Smoking-related disease remains the main cause of preventable deaths in the UK, killing more than 100,000 people a year.

    She also announced that a ban on smoking in private cars would come into force on 1 October.

    There have been disputes about how successful Australian plain packaging laws have been in cutting smoking. Cancer Research UK welcomed the move, which will make brightly-coloured and slickly- designed packs illegal, with all packs becoming uniform in size, shape and design with large picture health warnings.


    Initial consultation into standard packs began nearly three years ago in April 2012. Since then there has been the independent Chantler review which came out in favour of standardised tobacco packaging to reduce the appeal to children and young people. There has also been a second consultation as well as a vote in parliament overwhelmingly in favour of standard packs.

    Figures released by Cancer Research UK show big support for the reform plans. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of voters across the political spectrum said they supported removing the colourful designs and branding from tobacco packaging, replacing them with packs of uniform size and shape with prominent health warnings. Only 15% opposed the measure.The new survey of more than 1,800 adults from across Britain reveals high levels of support from potential Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Ukip voters.

    Ann McKechin, the Labour MP who forced a debate on the issue in the Commons, said: “In Australia, where plain packaging legislation was introduced in 2012 and generic packaging before that, smoking rates have fallen dramatically.Daily smoking levels are at a historic low of 12.8%, and the average number of cigarettes smoked is now just 96 per week compared to 111 in 2010.

    “Seventy-five per cent of potential Conservative, 75 per cent of Labour, 80 per cent of Liberal Democrat and 64 per cent of UKIP voters all said they backed making tobacco packs plain.”

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Ash, said: “We won’t be taking anything for granted in the run-up to the final vote. If the regulations do become law this will be the most important public health reform of this parliament.”

    Luciana Berger, Labour’s health spokeswoman, said: “The government has taken almost a year to take this next step and in that time 200,000 children would have taken up smoking. They must now press ahead without delay to ensure that this vital measure is introduced as soon as possible.”

    “The Government must now press ahead without delay to ensure that this vital measure is introduced as soon as possible.”

    • Frank Davis says:

      She also announced that a ban on smoking in private cars would come into force on 1 October.

      Have they moved the goalposts again? I thought it was a ban on smoking in cars with children.

      Couldn’t be better gift for UKIP though.

    • beobrigitte says:

      This morning, watching the BBC news, I could swear Debbie Arnott looked like this:

      when she announced that there was public support for plain packaging.
      I do not recall having been asked!!!

      She also announced that a ban on smoking in private cars would come into force on 1 October.

      Have they moved the goalposts again? I thought it was a ban on smoking in cars with children.

      I must have missed this bit – or I was just too fast turning the TV off; just to make it clear:
      MY car is MINE, I paid for it. And if I decide to smoke in it, it is MY business alone. ASHITES, HANDS OFF MY CAR. No discussion!!!!

  14. Frank Davis says:

    It’s High Noon for the latest smoking ban to come before the New Orleans City Council: Lawmakers are gearing up to cast their votes on the attention-grabbing measure Thursday (Jan. 22). The council session begins at 10 a.m.

    The debate raging around it has been loud and long. Two lengthy public hearings have yielded more than five hours of testifying, shouting, pleading, cursing, praising and persuading.

    It’s not over yet. Look for a flurry of amendments Thursday and a last-ditch effort by Harrah’s casino to get out from under the ban, council members and some staff members said Wednesday.

    NOLA LIVE BLOG time in NOLA 10:49 (in UK 16:49)

  15. Frank Davis says:

    A Cabinet split has emerged over the government’s plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes after the Foreign Secretary suggested it may not work.

    Philip Hammond said that the plans, which are being pushed by David Cameron, could lead to a rise in the trade in illicit cigarettes and “deprive us of a lot of revenue”.

    Mr Hammond said that the issue is “complex” and that the he will have to “look at the evidence” from “experiments” around the World.

    It came as the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that he wants to “bring this through” in this Parliament before the General Election.

    However, she did not say whether he will vote in favour of the cigarette ban himself.

  16. smokervoter says:

    “And somewhere down the track I suddenly noticed that I was male, heterosexual, white, culturally-Christian, and – worst of all – a smoker. And I got out fast.

    I like the way you put that.

    One day I was imperiously sporting a Jerry Brown bumper sticker on my car and the very next I stuck a Reagan/Bush label over it and took to conspicuously parking right in front of any place frequented by the liberal fascists who wanted to ban Burger King and force expensive or-gan-ic vegetables down my throat.

  17. Frank Davis says:

    The New Orleans City Council has passed a sweeping ban against smoking in most places across the city.

    The vote unanimous.

    Council members Jared Brossett and Nadine Ramsey expressed trepidation about not having enough information about what the economic impact of this ban would be, but ultimately decided to support it.

  18. Nothin we didn’t already figure knowing the LIBTARD NAZI political makeup of the Council………..

    That ban was in the pot before it was ever announced…….

  19. Now Draghi and the ECB have said 80 billion a month in stimulus digging a hole deeper and bigger than anyone can ever believe. The libtard channels are screaming yea yea yea……….why because its a payoff to all their own folks and financing them when they already ran out of everybody elses money. Then this idiot lib on CNN says America has all the money we need ya by about 10,000 times but it never made it to the back alleys much less main street. All Draghi did was pump life into the EU that was ready to collapse for maybe another year and then they will be foced to raise interest rates just like the Fed is fixing to do and that spells the end of it all!

  20. Barry Homan says:

    The pot is really boiling on Iro CyZane’s thread, mmmm

  21. New Jersey lawmakers cool to calls for more tobacco-use prevention

    Local New Jersey lawmakers had a common response to suggestions from lung health advocates about how to improve tobacco control: butt out.

    The American Lung Association on Wednesday released individual state report cards for tobacco control. While New Jersey earned an ‘A’ for smoke-free air, it earned ‘Fs’ for tobacco prevention and access to services to help people quit using tobacco.

    The association calls on lawmakers to tax electronic cigarettes at the same level as traditional cigarettes, to ban smoking in casinos and to secure funding for tobacco prevention and cessation.

    Those measures aren’t getting much support from Sen. Mike Doherty or Assemblyman John DiMaio, both 23rd District Republicans representing parts of Warren and Hunterdon counties. They say although they don’t like smoking, it’s a personal choice.

    “I don’t like when the government picks on unpopular minority groups, and smokers are an unpopular minority group. I despise smoking, but I despise taxes more,” Doherty said. “My radar is up as the state has continued to pound smokers … .”

    Millionaire households fleeing N.J. by the thousands, study says

    EVERYBODYS BAILING OUT OF NEW JERSEY………. Maybe even th RWJF will leave!

    New Jersey, consistently one of the most affluent states in the country, has slipped a bit in a new ranking of the rich.

    The Garden State fell from second to third in millionaire households per capita, according to a ranking released today by Phoenix Marketing International.

    New Jersey lost roughly 10,000 millionaire households, but those affluent families who remain still account for 7 percent of the whole state, the researchers said.

    The state had climbed to second last year for the first time since 2010, but was edged out by Connecticut in the 2014 ranking.

    A high tax rate for top earners may have led to some migration out of the state, according to David Thompson, the lead researcher.

    By losing those 10,000 millionaire households, the Garden State returns to third, where it was ranked from 2010 through 2012. Since the last report, Connecticut lost only 1,000 millionaire households, as it vaulted to the second spot, the group said.

    Some groups doubt the millionaire-migration theory. Jon Whiten, a deputy director of New Jersey Policy Perspective, said long-term statistics show that tax rates do not cause the rich to flee.

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.