From Taking Liberties a couple of days back:
Headlined ‘If May really wants a fairer Britain, she should end the war on smokers‘, it concluded as follows:
In her first speech as Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted to make Britain “a country that works for everyone”. In Birmingham last week she added that the Conservatives will use government to “restore fairness” in Britain. In the coming months, as the government’s new smoking strategy is finalised, ministers should reflect on what that truly means. A significant number of adults smoke, and enjoy smoking, and their contribution to society is substantial (£12 billion a year in tobacco taxation alone, far outweighing the alleged cost of treating smoking-related diseases). Further discrimination against smokers would be the clearest sign that this new One Nation Conservative government is not as inclusive as it purports to be.
If the Prime Minister really wants to stand up for millions of ordinary people who are sick and tired of being patronised by politicians and the professional classes, she must stop her government introducing further policies that will discriminate against the UK’s seven million smokers. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop this spiteful war on ordinary people who choose to smoke.
Are there really only 7 million smokers left in Britain now? Back in 2007 it was 13 million, I seem to remember.
I’ll certainly be interested to see what Theresa May does. She was herself a smoker back in 2007 when the UK smoking ban came into force, and so she’s quite likely got personal experience of its impact. But she stopped smoking some time in past 9 years, and so may well have turned into a virulent antismoker. I simply don’t know.
It seems there was a tobacco control debate in parliament today. Again from Taking Liberties today:
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health will today be calling on the Government to publish its promised new Tobacco Control Plan without further delay. The Government committed to a new plan after the previous one expired in December 2015 and to publication in summer 2016, but summer has passed and there is still no publication date.
To which Simon Clark added:
Update: Well, I listened to the ‘debate’. Needless to say it was completely one-sided and predictable.
The best bit was at the end when new health minister Nicola Blackman declined to give a publication date for the Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan which she said had to be “evidence-based”. That would certainly make a change.
Pushed on whether this meant this year or next she replied, sweetly, “You’ll have to wait and see.”
Oh, I wish I’d seen Deborah Arnott’s face at that moment.
PS. I’ve no evidence for this but I wonder if Deborah’s long-standing influence at the Department of Health may be coming to an end.
Dear, dear! The British government has been without a Tobacco Control Plan for almost an entire year! However did we all manage to survive? I’m surprised the streets aren’t littered with corpses. And they have no publication date for a new one. It certainly doesn’t look as if Tobacco Control is a high priority for Theresa May. And in fact it may not have been one for David Cameron in the last few months of his period in office. Perhaps this Conservative government is beginning to lose its enthusiasm for the War on Smokers? Perhaps the influence of the execrable Deborah Arnott is indeed waning?
I’ll believe it when I see it.
But, who knows, maybe one or two Conservatives have even been reading my blog? It’s read in the USA and Australia and even Russia. Even Tobacco Control reads it. So it’s not impossible that it’s read in Westminster as well.
If so, they may well have read what I have written so many times:
Tobacco Control must be destroyed.