Never A Dull Moment

Never a dull moment, is there?

Our next Prime Minister is going to be Theresa May. Judging from the photo below, she’s not going to be one of Britain’s more boring Prime Ministers.

may-boots_2726813a

Things may not be so bad,” Chris Snowdon was quick to remark, pointing out that – “on the issues that really matter” – she had consistently voted against UK smoking bans.

Which makes her the first PM to have done so, given that Cameron didn’t vote in February 2006.

Not only that, but she was a smoker in 2007 when the smoking ban she’d voted against came into force. Which almost certainly means that she personally experienced something of the social exclusion that Britain’s smokers began facing on 1 July, and have faced ever since. She’ll know what it’s like to be made to stand outside.

But after the disappointment of David Cameron, I’m not going to get my hopes up about her, given that she said in February 2013:

“I’ve given up drinking. I had my last alcoholic beverage on New Year’s Eve, and I’m not sure when my next one will be. In truth, I’m enjoying waking up and not having to gather my senses together. However, it means that I’m now running out of things I can give up. I quit smoking more than three years ago, and as an experiment, I gave up red meat for Lent last year. Despite one or two lapses, I have managed to keep this up ever since.”

Not even Donald Trump has given up red meat. So she may have become one of those worst kind of creatures: the antismoking ex-smoker.

I regarded David Cameron as unprincipled, and too ready to climb aboard fashionable bandwagons (e.g. global warming). But Theresa May might be different.

What makes a May premiership interestingly unpredictable is that she has always been driven less by ideology than by morality, a very personal sense of right or wrong. Her more radical moments – attacking police corruption, fighting Downing Street for an inquiry into institutional child abuse, overruling civil service advice – often come from a feeling that common decency has been offended. She loathes any sense of impropriety in public service, of sloppy and self-serving behaviour leading to injustice. As prime minister, could she extend that sense of moral duty to economic as well as social issues?

Since she was the daughter of an Anglican vicar (and seems to be a practising Anglican), it shouldn’t be too surprising if she has a “very personal sense of right or wrong”.

May is expected to pitch herself to the nation not merely as a strong leader in a crisis but as a champion of the “left-behind”, people who are struggling financially and voted to leave the EU because they did not see how things could get much worse.

Just today she made what sounded like an interesting speech:

The Home Secretary had just given a 20 minute speech to launch what she thought would be the beginning of a nine week Conservative leadership campaign in which she had made a bold claim to orientate her premiership around the needs and interests of blue collar Tories.

Most smokers are blue collar. And they’ve certainly been “left behind” – as well as left outside -, and they’re also struggling to pay the ever-mounting taxes levied on tobacco, and they can’t see how things can get much worse. They’ve been treated abominably, as anyone with any “sense of right and wrong” should clearly see.

Add it all up, and she just might…. just might be someone who isn’t going to continue to prosecute the war on smokers like her three predecessors for these last ten years.

We’ll find out soon enough, if she’s on our side, or on the antismokers’ side.

Whichever way, one day, we smokers will obtain the justice we are now denied.

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About Frank Davis

smoker
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7 Responses to Never A Dull Moment

  1. Tony says:

    One slight concern is that Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry were two of Theresa May’s first backers. This list is a little out of date: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19mKbV0UnIbX_lbiinKiquP0ghiFpsMl0owUO6_TJyzI/htmlview?pli=1
    What’s more, rumour had it that both of them had threatened to leave the Tories if Leadsom won. God knows what other party would have had them though. Even the Monster Raving Loony party are not that crazy.

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Yes Sarah Wollaston is a anti smoking Health Nazi of the worst kind and Anna Soubry is just a very nasty individual.

  2. prog says:

    Perhaps TPTB consider smoking to be simply a health issue, with minimal political fallout. If brainwashed with all the TC propaganda (inc that allegedly 70% of smokers want to quit) they might imagine that most people welcome moves to reduce smoking. Of course, policies designed to do so have to weighed against the potential loss of very lucrative tobacco duty.

    The reality is that generally MPs are deluded to the point that they seriously misread the feelings of Joe Public. As, for example, demonstrated by the results of the referendum and the last general election. If the Tories had clearly foreseen a majority in parliament, they would never had offered an EU referendum in the manifesto that ultimately scuppered Cameron’s and (potentially) Osborne’s high flying political careers.

    • Rose says:

      The government funded brainwashing has been so thorough and so persistent over the last 9 years, I don’t think that most politicians even realise how great the anger and hurt still is.

  3. Rose says:

    A trip down memory lane.

    2009

    “This Government has brought in more legislation than any of its predecessors. Since 1997, the Home Office alone has introduced 50 Bills, launched more than 100 consultation papers, made at least 350 regulations and created an astonishing 271 new offences.

    Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour – 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment.

    Here are just a few of the things you could do before 1997 but can’t now – many of them, it must be said, forced on us by EU directives, though our government in most cases agreed them.

    Smoke in a pub or on a railway platform in the open air in the middle of the countryside, or at a covered bus stop, or in your own car if it is used for work, or in your own house if it is used as an office where outsiders may come.
    Own a horse, donkey or Shetland pony without possessing a passport carrying a picture of the animal.
    Ride off with a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox or stag.
    Play the piano in a pub without an entertainment licence.
    Stage more than 12 events a year at, for instance, a school or church hall at which alcohol may be served without a full licence.
    Set off a firework after midnight or be in possession of a firework if aged under 18 at any time other than the period around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.
    Own a pistol for any purpose, including sport target practice.
    Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
    Fish in the River Esk without authorisation.
    Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State.
    Import into England potatoes which a person knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes.
    Obstruct the work of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
    Imbibe an alcoholic drink on a London Underground train or bus.
    Keep a car on your own driveway without tax, even if it not being used, without filling in a form.
    Sell a grey squirrel (though you can kill one).

    Labour has created new offences at twice the rate of the previous Tory administration, which was bad enough in this regard, and it has done so at an accelerating pace. Now you may support some or all of these new laws. What cannot be denied is that we have had a frenzy of law-making that has changed the character of the nation in a way that many of us neither expected nor wanted – even those who voted Labour (especially those who voted Labour, perhaps).”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5369324/Life-under-Labour-the-worst-of-worlds.html

    And then the Conservatives under Cameron, who had opposed all this at the time , just carried on where New Labour left off.

    Lib dems reduced to insignificance, Labour in disarray, I wonder if the Conservatives will finally realise what’s going on just in time.

    PURPLE SURGE: Furious Tory members defect to UKIP in protest at Theresa May’s victory
    Jul 12, 2016
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/688561/Ukip-Theresa-May-Nigel-Farage-politics-Tory-leadership

  4. kach says:

    With the amount of taxes that smokers pay in England I think it is enough to provide health care for the whole country, therefore I dont know why so much complaint with smokers.

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