A UKIP MEP has told the party’s conference the ban on smoking in public places in England has “damaged more communities than the pit closures did”.
At a fringe meeting about which political party best spoke for the working class, Tim Aker said the 2005 ban had upped levels of hidden drinking by forcing people “to retreat inwards”.
It was evidence of a “bankrupt” Labour telling people “what to do and think”….
…Mr Aker, who lost to Labour by 800 votes in Thurrock in May, said Labour had “ceased to exist” as a party of working people, choosing to “lecture rather than represent them”.
Citing the smoking ban as an example of a policy that had hit C1 and C2 workers, he said: “They (Labour) say all the time, despite ignoring the facts, that it was the pit closures that destroyed all the communities.
“But I put it to you that the smoking ban has destroyed more communities than any any pit closure has done because when people don’t have a place to meet, a place to socialise, they retreat in.
“What sort of outcome is it to say ‘we don’t want you drinking and smoking, take it out of the licensed area’, and it goes all the way back to the homes where people are drinking and smoking more in front of their children.”
In contrast to Labour, he said, UKIP would stand up for working people by giving them more power over their lives.
“We are the ones that embrace the one concept that has helped working class voters more than the minimum wage, more than anything else – the greatest thing for the working class is democracy.”
Speaking to the BBC later, Mr Aker said the closure of pubs in many communities meant “there was no community left”. He insisted he did not mean to “belittle the hardships of those who lost their jobs in the pits” but sought to “draw a parallel between their closures and the closure of pubs”.
At least somebody is telling the truth, and the BBC is reporting it.
Related, via Chris Snowdon, a poll of voters:
I knew that UKIP voters want smoking rooms. I’m a bit surprised at the strength of support for them in other parties.
And completely O.T., can anyone tell me if nicotine is odourless or not? I thought it was, and that vaping didn’t smell of anything much.