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:
CIVIL WAR BREWING FOR THE CULTURAL LEFT
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.