The Disappearance of Private Property

Simon Clark approves of an editorial:

Car smoking ban a worrying step

Everyone agrees that second-hand smoke damages children’s health. And everyone agrees that we should all do everything in our power to prevent anything harming youngsters.

But the difficulty with the ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers, which will become law in Scotland next year, is that the car is private space.

The next logical place for anti-smoking enforcers to go would be right into the home where someone is having a cigarette or puffing on a pipe, or even into a room to check if there is smoke or the smell of nicotine lingering in the air from a past indiscretion.

That must surely be an intrusion too far.

The new legislation, to be enforced by Police Scotland, has been criticised by Simon Clark, director of Forest, a campaign group for promoting smokers’ rights, who fears that smoking in cars may be banned whether or not there are children present.

Mr Clark also points out that resources are scarce and disregard the practical realities of how such measures are to be carried out and financed.

There is no doubt the smoking ban in pubs and public places has been a good thing. We can now enjoy a smoke-free night without increasing our chances of getting lung cancer or going home smelling like an ashtray.

But as the move to ban smoking in various locations gathers pace, it would appear to take precedence over the very basic concept of our right to private space.

It is important not just to focus on the details of the latest “no-smoke zone” but to look at the bigger picture of protecting our basic rights to have places which are our havens, none more so than our home.

I’m not sure what he approves of. It starts off with the usual mandatory concessions to the antismoking zealots:

Everyone agrees that second-hand smoke damages children’s health.

Well, I don’t agree. And I can think of plenty of other people who don’t agree either.

If that wasn’t sufficient, the author further concedes much more:

There is no doubt the smoking ban in pubs and public places has been a good thing. We can now enjoy a smoke-free night without increasing our chances of getting lung cancer or going home smelling like an ashtray.

Those words may as well have been dictated by Tobacco Control, right down to the reference to ‘ashtrays’. Yet the smoking ban was and remains a terrible injustice.

What the author is bleating about isn’t so much the smoking ban in private cars, but the logical extension of it that he foresees into private homes.

That must surely be an intrusion too far.

Surely? Surely? There’s a distinct note of questioning uncertainty there. Anyone else would have bluntly written: That is an intrusion too far.

But really now, private property ceased to exist with the smoking ban that the author so fondly approves. A pub is as much private property as a car or a house. The mere fact that the general public are allowed to enter and buy themselves drinks doesn’t make a pub or cafe or restaurant into a public place, any more than my home becomes a public place when I invite friends to it for drinks.

It might also be suggested that pubs largely ceased to be private property a century ago when the state used licensing laws to dictate to them when they could and could not open and close their doors. That’s no different from telling people when they can enter and exit their own homes.

We are living in a society in which everything is gradually ceasing to be private property, and is becoming state-owned public property, without a single penny changing hands. In Britain the entire hospitality industry has been in effect taken into state ownership. For what else is ownership if it isn’t the ability to determine when and how something is used? To what extent would I ‘own’ even the clothes I wear, if the state could determine when I must put them on, and when I must take them off?

A hundred years ago, when private property was taken into state ownership, it was bought from its owners and placed under state management. But this is a rather expensive way of taking ownership from private citizens, and the modern method of gaining state ownership is to simply make so many rules and regulations, backed by the full force of the law, that private owners are so hamstrung by them that they become in effect the unpaid agents of the state.

This was most notably true in the case of the requirement for pub landlords to enforce the smoking bans inside their own properties. With the stroke of a pen, they became unpaid law enforcement agents.

And laws cost the state nothing to make. All that’s needed is a vote to be passed on some document, and a new law comes into existence. The last Labour government voted thousands of new laws into existence. And I imagine (because they are no different) the current Conservative government is doing exactly the same. And each new law strips away another little piece of private moral autonomy, and makes each person become fractionally less a free individual, and fractionally more an agent of the state.

We are all gradually being turned into unpaid policemen, and becoming busybodies patrolling a world in which private property has gradually metamorphosed into public property, and where everybody else’s business is becoming our business.

And it’s not just that private property is vanishing, but that the sovereign nation state is also vanishing at the same time, as it also is gradually legislated out of existence, its borders nullified, its currency replaced, its parliament superseded. For a sovereign state is as much the private property of its indigenous people as the individual houses and gardens within it are the private property of individual owners.

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27 Responses to The Disappearance of Private Property

  1. Tony says:

    I posted the following comment on Simon Clark’s blog yesterday (as it is now) but it hasn’t been approved yet. It was in reference to the article he highlighted :

    The anti-smokers always try to control both sides of the debate. That way they have full control of the Overton window (the permissible limits to debate).

    This article strikes me as a very clear, textbook, example of this. In other words, I think it was written by an anti-smoker, on behalf of the anti-smoker global cartel.

    It is an attempt to ensure that such ludicrous nonsense such as ‘harm to children from “passive smoking”‘ and ‘the success of the smoking ban’ get positioned beyond challenge.
    This has been their modus operandi for decades.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Its very easy to destroy their lies. We do it everyday.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I believe you are right that the antismokers are trying to frame both sides of the debate. The assertion that passive smoking is an accepted hazard and all agree with smoking bans is false on many fronts. First there is no scientific agreement that passive smoking constitutes a health risk. Most studies that are used to justify that risk perception are extremely biased and suffer from significant confounding factors. Others are outright propaganda. The problem is that public opinion has been manipulated through the steady onslaught of self-reinforcing anti-tobacco propaganda and systematic suppression of dissent.

  2. cherie79 says:

    Smoking didn’t do my kids any harm and I smoked from labour, you could smoke with in hospital in the 60s, through breast feeding with a cigarette in my hand, and smoked until they day they left home. Both are fine and have successful careers, one even made it to Oxford. That statement really annoyed me. I also remember that asthma was virtually unheard of in those days and now every other child seems to have problems,

  3. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank for President your more american than most Americans.

  4. Ripper says:

    There is no longer any such thing as private property. We own nothing, not even the clothes on our backs. Watch from 2:45 to see why.

  5. DWP says:

    I sometimes wonder which side Simon Clarke is on. I read his articles and see the wishy washy responses to vicious anti smoker rhetoric and wish Forest had more balls to cut these zealots down in their tracks.

  6. RdM says:

    To (attempt to) be fair, the published article was editorialis(z)ed.

    Simon wrote after, although he didn’t mention “Everyone agrees that second-hand smoke damages children’s health” – which arguably he should have challenged – but nevertheless

    I don’t agree with every word or sentiment, obviously. (‘There is no doubt the smoking ban in pubs and public places has been a good thing.’ Seriously?)

    Overall, however, the Scotsman has introduced a welcome note of caution into the debate as government and anti-smoking campaigners consider the ‘next logical step’.

    Which is something, even if only a very small tiny something… not obvious enough!

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Dean Michael J. Klag speaks out in support of Muslim faculty, staff and students who enrich the Bloomberg School.

    Dear Colleagues,

    By now, almost all of you are aware of the recent remarks by Donald Trump calling to ban entry of Muslims into America.

    To my mind, singling out one religious group in this way could not be more abhorrent and antithetical to the principles on which our nation is founded. Even more offensive is that Mr. Trump suggested a parallel in U.S. history to support his proposal: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s use of the Alien Enemies Act during World War II. This strategy ultimately led to the internment of Japanese-American citizens in camps, one of the most shameful episodes in American history.

    Our School has worked in, and collaborated with, Muslim countries since our beginning 100 years ago. Currently, we are fortunate to have many Muslim faculty, staff and students who enrich our School community in countless ways and magnify the impact of our work. I want to assure them, our collaborators around the world, and everyone associated with the School that while Mr. Trump may speak for himself and his supporters, he most certainly does not speak for the Bloomberg School.

    Concerns about security are well-founded in today’s world. In the face of fear, however, we must be true to our principles, respect the strength of our diversity, and work together to achieve a healthier world.


    Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

      Bloomberg School of Public Health

      Center for Gun Policy and Research

      The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research is engaged in original scholarly research, policy analysis and agenda-setting public discourse. Our goal is to bring public health expertise and perspectives to the complex policy issues related to gun violence prevention.

      An important part of the Center’s mission is to serve as an objective and informative resource for the news media, thereby providing the public with accurate information about gun injuries, prevention strategies, and policies.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      San Bernardino Islamic Terrorists Entered The U.S. Through Obama’s Immigration System

      Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were two of his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were two of the three radical Islamic terrorists that killed 14 in the San Bernardino shootout.

      It has just been discovered that they entered the U.S. through Obama’s immigration system. They are Pakistani-natives, cleared through the vetting process by using fake identification information.

      After hearing of this, Obama announced that “we’re cool with how we vet.” The vetting process is not up to par, and Obama’s inability to see this is putting America in danger.

      Does Obama need to be impeached before there is another terrorist attack in America?

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205

    Institute for Global Tobacco Control – Johns Hopkins ……/inst...

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    The Institute for Global Tobacco Control’s (IGTC) mission is to prevent death and disease from tobacco products by generating evidence to support effective tobacco control interventions. … Use our tobacco control compliance guides, state of evidence reviews, journal publications and …

    Johns Hopkins Offers Online Global Tobacco Control Training…/igt...

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Aug 15, 2007 – The Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins … The course is part of the $125 million Bloomberg Global Initiative to … tobacco control programs, advocate for substantial anti-smoking … Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna L. Lowe …

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bloomberg paid 1 Billion dollars to john Hopkins university and started his own school of so called public health to invent junk epidemiology studies to push his anti gun and anti tobacco agenda. Obamas Sandyhook speech and the study he quoted that day was str8 from bloombergs own junk science group at john Hopkins.

    Obama, Bloomberg discuss gun control at White House

    President Obama met with former New York City mayor and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg Wednesday to discuss stricter gun regulations as the president readies executive action on firearms.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:


    “The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Under this constitutional guaranty one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another’s rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct.”

    Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 579, 11 American Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, section 329, page 1135 “The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right, in so doing, to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day, and under the existing modes of travel, includes the right to drive a horse drawn carriage or wagon thereon or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purpose of life and business.” –

    Finally they did something I agree with,next knock down the seatbelt nanny laws and all the rest of the public health facist laws against freedom.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      pursue happiness and safety

      Seems the right to smoke in your car also falls under pursuit of happiness and safety.

      Ever seen a smoker not allowed to smoke in his or her own PRIVATE vehicle they are a pretty much fuck the law group……Now as they were stating above SHS in cars harmful to children BS……..smoking while driving increases concentration and reflexes. DRUGS are mind altering substances that take away the ability to control the car. That cannot be said of tobacco.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:
  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Thomas Gunn
    December 11 at 8:29pm ·

    That one little burp by Mt Etna has already put more than 10,000 times the CO2 into the atmosphere than mankind has in our ENTIRE time on earth but don’t worry a scam is in the works to tax you your minuscule footprint….

  13. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Absolutely right Frank as usual. There will no smoking ban on my property. Seriously we must fight these idiots and refuse to obey their stupid bans. Flout wherever possible. Its also time FOREST and the Tobacco companies stood up for their customers right to enjoy their products unlike the weasel pub companies who offered no defiance and saw their best, and most regular customers walk away.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

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