About the only thing I know about the new Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is that he voted for the 2007 UK smoking ban. He’s an antismoker.
There isn’t really anything more I want to know about him. That is quite enough to ensure that I will never vote for him.
Today I was glancing through his newly appointed shadow cabinet. And as far as I can see, all the rest of them are antismokers too.
One would have thought that Hilary Benn might have taken after his pipe-smoking father Tony Benn. But he appears to be as virulent an antismoker as any, judging by the few remarks I’ve heard from him on the subject.
Andy Burnham was a Health Secretary under Brown, and I don’t remember him being any friend to smokers.
Diane Abbott is another antismoker.
Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy is definitely a virulent antismoker. I’ve mentioned her quite a few times.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all the rest are antis as well.
Odd really, that Jeremy Corbyn is said to belong to the ‘Bennite’ wing of the Labour party. One good thing about Tony Benn was that he smoked a pipe, and appeared smoking a pipe in one of the last videos of him alive. And some 10 years ago, Tony Benn was touring the country, giving talks in little theatres and halls, and smoking a pipe on stage despite the smoking ban. I almost went to see him once. I doubt if he would have had any place in Corbyn’s ‘Bennite’ labour party. They’d have made him stand outside.
And what does it mean if someone is an antismoker? Well, it means that they will believe anything ‘health experts’ (and in fact ‘experts’ in general) tell them. It means they are trendy, credulous, gullible fools. Anyone who is frightened of tobacco smoke is a blithering idiot anyway. And it should be no surprise that Corbyn is fully signed up for Global Warming.
It also means that they’re in favour of top-down government micromanagement of people’s lives. They’re interfering busybodies. They’re control freaks. And they hate real freedom. They have plans for everyone.
There’s a widening circle of consequences that ripple out from doctrinal antismoking.
I suppose that this is the sort of thing that goes down well in Islington, where Corbyn is an MP. But I suspect it won’t go down very well in most of the rest of Britain, which I suspect, given the rise of UKIP, is moving rightward. I can well imagine a Corbyn-led Labour party being utterly decimated at the next election, particularly if the Lib Dems take the opportunity of occupying the political ground once occupied by Blairite Labour, now that Corbyn has vacated it.
And since the Conservative party could have easily attracted a few of those UKIP voters, we may see the Conservative party shifting rightward as well. Short of some catastrophe, they should be assured victory at the next election.
I’m house-sitting for my brother at the moment, and watching a bit of TV news, and I saw one report showing the new shadow cabinet all singing the national anthem.
All except Jeremy Corbyn, that is.