The first thing I read this morning had me imagining changing the subject that was being discussed, by deleting a word or two and replacing them with another. The Guardian:

The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, said she has received assurances from the prime minister over gay smokers’ rights should the Tories do a deal with Democratic Unionist party.

Davidson, who is gay a smoker, spoke out after Theresa May outlined a plan to seek a deal with the socially hardline party, which has 10 seats in the Commons, to prop up her minority administration.

In an apparent criticism of the plan, Davidson on Friday tweeted a link to a speech she made in favour of marriage smoker equality, with the message: “As a Protestant unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic smoker, here’s the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast.”

Davidson, who became engaged to partner, Jen Wilson a smoker, in May 2016, later told the BBC: “I was fairly straightforward with her (Theresa May) and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than the party.

“One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI smokers’ rights. I asked for a categoric assurance that if any deal or scoping deal was done with the DUP there would be absolutely no rescission of LGBTI smokers’ rights in the rest of the UK, in Great Britain, and that we would use any influence that we had to advance LGBTI smokers’ rights in Northern Ireland.

“It’s an issue very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurances from the prime minister on, and I received [them].”


Can one imagine a Conservative smoker publicly petitioning the Prime Minister to support embattled smokers? Can one imagine a Conservative publicly petitioning the Prime Minister to support any traditional values at all, in any sphere of life whatsoever? It seems we cannot. Only the iconoclasts who are busily smashing everything, and turning the world upside down, have a voice. Everyone else is silent, voiceless.


About Frank Davis

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29 Responses to Voiceless

  1. I wrote to Theresa May for smokers. A pithy letter. Then we had two terrorrist attacks and an election – bad timing. But I did recieve a reply actually pointing out she was a bit “busy”! I forgive her.
    But more letters would be a good idea, yes?

    • Frank Davis says:

      Certainly. I’m going to write to my Conservative MP (again).

      • Pat Nurse says:

        I lost my brilliant MP who was firmly on our side for a Labour smoker hating health zealot who sadly lost her daughter to cancer and clearly thinks that’s our fault. An ex nurse in fact who doesn’t think the NHS should waste it’s time or money on us.

    • nisakiman says:

      There have been a few people on Twitter suggesting that Philip Davies should be put forward for party leader. Given that he’s been a fierce critic of the smoking bans (although a non-smoker himself, I believe), he would, from our point of view, be a great choice. Essentially a libertarian, he has no time for useless legislation based on junk science, and makes his views known in the HoC. He was very scathing about ‘plain’ packaging.

      We can but hope

  2. Pat Nurse says:

    After talking to Tory activists who smoke on election night, I came to the conclusion they couldn’t care less. One moaned about the gross packs without registering the irony that his party imposed it. When I pointed out that it was just one more step to prohibition of tobacco and criminalisation of smoking, he didn’t care and indicated that when that time came he would just quit.

    With smokers like that, who needs enemies. Our only hope was the pressure a strong ukip could have applied but they let us down and abandoned us which is why the party is dead and unlikely to be revived any time soon. I am not sure that I could trust them if they change their new pro-nanny stance and even if I did, they lost the momentum they had and they will not get it back.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      That’s probably because they are ‘political junkies’ — addicted to the thrill of politics more than smoking. If they thought there was power related to smoking they would be all in. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy smoking, they likely do. They just get more satisfaction being in the middle of excitement and promoting smokers rights is currently unpopular and gets in the way of their main driver. If a strong smoker’s rights movement were to develop they would jump on there bandwagon (just like those that join the antismoking parade).

      • Pat Nurse says:

        Another Tory joked that they would be banning it in the home next. I said it wasn’t funny and was the next move after beer garden bans. He didn’t believe me. Where have these people been? Then there was also the Labour activist smoker campaigning for the vile woman I mentioned above. It is clear that some people are smokers and some are just people who smoke.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          Yes, I think you are right. Most people seem to just amble along without taking a stand on anything. That’s what the tyrants count on.

        • He didn’t believe me. Where have these people been?

          I constantly ask myself that. Every smoker I meet atm I warn that they need to get across to Belgium as many times as they can in the next year or so and buy in as much tobacco as they can because within the next 24 months it will become illegal to import more than 50g or at the most 250g.
          Most of the smokers i warn look at me like I have just fallen out of my tree. And if they happen to be of a brexiteur persuasion they’ll even accuse me of ‘scare mongering’ or of being a ‘remoaner’ .
          WT-actual-F?! They voted for Brexit, what did they think would happen? Even without cASH lobbying like crazy, no government is going to leave a tax ‘loop hole’, especially one the size of that, open a day longer than it absolutely must. At least you, Pat, and Frank and the other Brexiteurs here thought through the consequences of your actions. I may disagree but you’ve never tried to tell me I was ‘scare mongering’ or ‘remoanering’- at least not about the situation for smokers after brexit (and bare in mind there is nothing to stop May imposing such an ‘illegal’ but defacto importation limit before the actual brexit simply by dropping the Minimum Indicative levels still further and ordered Border Force to ‘get tough’ …for the sake of the cheeldren…of course.)

        • Frank Davis says:

          @TBD. What I don’t understand is why you seem to think that undemocratic and unaccountable top-down controlling EU is going to be any better than the British government for smokers. The whole point of Brexit was for Britain to become a self-governing country, with its own government accountable to its own people. Anyone who wants to remain in the EU wants to hand the governance of Britain to somebody else.

          You may be right that, at present, the UK government has more than its fair share of antismoking control freaks, who have managed to impose on their own people the highest rates of taxation on tobacco in Europe. But what makes you think that there aren’t just as many of them in the EU, waiting for their chance to do exactly the same?

        • But what makes you think that there aren’t just as many of them in the EU, waiting for their chance to do exactly the same?
          As many? There are probably more anti-smoker fanatics in Brussels than anywhere on the planet except Oz! Some of them elected, some unelected and a lot of them , probably, British! No one in their right mind would claim otherwise. And they will, in time, do their damnedest -for the sake of all those little French garcons and filles- to outlaw smoking in the entire Reich….and they may very succeed in that their laudable aim to protect Le Cheeldren everywhere.
          I think the recent Verbots on 10 packs and vaping etc prove that. However many other sovereign EU governments have so far, to varying degrees, kept the zealots in Brussels at arm’s length, well wanking wrist length anyways.

          Then yesterday a couple of Brit parents were told their child gets to live at least for this weekend. (and no I’m not one of their supporters).
          That’s why staying in the EU might, just might, maybe, be a better option for Brit smokers .
          Sure the end game, the Endloesung, will remain the same, smokers will be presecuted out of existence but it will take much longer because the 27 other sovereign independent governments won’t be able agree on what colour to paint the gas chambers, then ECHR will forbid the paint chosen because it contains something or the other which will kill the poor little toads…and EU directives on Health & Safety will mean that only gas chambers with painted walls may be used to ‘process’ smokers.

        • Meant to add:

          I have mentioned before that I smoke outside on the street, the main street of our town, and that I was brought up to believe a gentleman would never refuse a man a smoke (or woman- in the case of the transsexual who cadged a smoke off me yesterday). So I often get asked by passersby for a cigarette.
          We get chatting (not with the tranny I hasten to add- I don’t chat to single ladies to whom I haven’t been introduced) about the plight of smokers here and then they try and tell me that I’m ‘scare mongering about brexit’. Yep, they can’t afford to smoke at UK Duty Splayed prices now…yet they seriously believe?…*gives up and “saves breathe for cooling his porridge” as Granny Dwarf would say*

        • Frank Davis says:

          There are probably more anti-smoker fanatics in Brussels than anywhere on the planet except Oz!

          So you can see them too. I was beginning to wonder…

        • So you can see them too. I was beginning to wonder…-Frank
          Was there ever any doubt? If so, I have perhaps not said loud enough that I am neither a Brexiteur nor a Remainer. I am a smoker. That’s all that interests me- that which is in the smoker’s best interest. I view brexit, and everything else in the life political, through the blue haze of a filterless gauloises. Everything else is secondary. As far as I can see staying in the EU is better for smokers, in a very ‘slightly less bad’ ‘not as quickly bad’ way, and tbh none of the Brexiteur arguments seem to hold much water in regard to smokers (except something Junican said along the lines of accelerating the persecution, but i don’t want to think about that). Same way I was telling everyone years back that UKIP would shaft smokers. Filtering your vision through the smoke of a good cigarette makes everything so much clearer I find.

        • Pat Nurse says:

          TBD – there is much still uncertainty and not least whether we get Brexit in any form. What other reason can May have to throw the election than hope it delays Brexit or brings in strong opposition to stop it. There is also talk of keeping the single market, and with that comes free movement, and with that comes cross border shopping rights.
          If not, then we go back to the original duty free – with limits – and my guess is that will be up to the current guidelines – but so much cheaper than the taxed product in Europe which will be cheap enough to make more trips.
          European tobacco prices are rising every year and the aim is to eventually have one price across the whole of Europe. Cheap baccy will be a thing of the past so duty free stuff in a Britain out of the EU us the best way to go. Voting out was simply pay back time from me. To see the EU dream in tatters, and to see smokerphobic thugs like Anna Soubry upset about it makes me sure I did the right thing. When they take your rights, and refuse to listen to your grievances, all one can do is use their vote in whatever way they can as a protest so that’s what I did. I don’t really care whether we are in or out, there is nothing to gain from either for people like us.
          I am currently researching how to get Italian citizenship from my mother’s line so I can bail out when things become too unbearable here for smokers and when Herr Corbyn and his commies take govt, I think it is safe to say, as bad as things are, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

  3. Clicky says:

  4. waltc says:

    Very funny take on your election and from a surprising source, the liberal New Yorker. .Or, as they used to say in tneir ads,”Yes, tne New Yorker.”


    • Frank Davis says:

      For on the eighth day of the sixth month there shall be a general election.

      And the people said, Not another one.

      That was about right.

    • nisakiman says:

      Heh! Yes, that was a good piece, Walt. And summed up the situation pretty well, too.

      Off topic, but we went on Friday evening to one evening of a three day jazz festival here in Patras: a smallish affair – I’d guess about 300 or so in attendance – and it was held in an outdoor atrium (an enclosed courtyard) in what was once the municipal hospital, but is now given over to art and music. Given the trend everywhere to ban smoking and drinking at events, even when outdoors, it was nice to note that there were guys walking up and down before, and between performances selling cold cans of beer, bottled water and Fanta, and also a number of those large free-standing ashtrays dotted around the place. It made for a very relaxed and enjoyable evening, being able to watch a live band from the comfort of a (it has to be said, basic) seat, beer in one hand and ciggy in the other. I had wondered if it would be a non-smoking event, being on local authority property, but it would seem that the local council is as relaxed about these things as everyone else.

  5. RdM says:

    it will become illegal to import more than 50g

    This is about where it’s at in NZ, except that it’s not illegal, it just becomes very expensive!

    On entering New Zealand you are entitled to bring in the following quantities of tobacco products free of Customs duty, provided that you are over 17 years of age and that the goods:

    Accompany you through the Customs arrival process.
    Are for your own personal use.
    Are not carried on behalf of another person.
    Are not intended for sale or exchange.
    If the above is applicable the following amounts are allowed duty free:

    50 cigarettes or
    50 grams of tobacco or cigars or
    a mixture of all three weighing not more than 50 grams.
    Any amounts over the above will be liable for Customs duty and goods and services tax (GST).

    • Unfortunately the sovereign & independent UK.gove long ago decreed- in violation of the very spirit of the EU I might add- that the option of simply paying the duty owing on tobacco goods (above either the legal amounts for imports from outside the EU or on tobacco goods from the EU deemed not to be for ‘private use’ by a customs officer) was to be discontinued. You can no longer just stump up the cash, keep your goods and be on your merry but poorer way. Your ‘excess’ goods will be seized and destroyed (even if you win at appeal) and you will be fined the amount of duty that would have been owed had you been allowed to pay. I kid you not.

      • RdM says:


        Tobacco: Excise duty rates
        ​The Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table in The Working Tariff Document of New Zealand has a full listing and description of all the excisable goods and excise rates.

        The following table provides current excise rates on commonly manufactured tobacco products. GST has not been included.

        The annual indexation increase to excise and excise-equivalent duty rates together with a separate 10 percent increase took place on 1 January 2017. In addition to the annual indexation increase, the duty rates are also increased by 10 percent. This is the first of the four 10 percent increases that was announced in the 2016 Budget and legislated for in the Customs and Excise Act 1996. The new rates are those set out in the Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table (Tobacco Products Indexation and Separate 10% Increase) Amendment Order 2016.

        Tobacco products
        Excise rate (GST excl.)
        Manufactured cigarettes​
        ​ exceeding in weight 0.8kg actual tobacco content per 1,000 cigarettes $1051.83 per kilo of tobacco content (KTC)
        not exceeding in weight 0.8kg actual tobacco content per 1,000 cigarettes
        $738.13 per 1,000 cigarettes​
        Smoking tobacco, homogenised or reconstituted tobacco
        $1051.83 per kilo of tobacco content (KTC)
        Other tobacco products eg, snuff, cigars, cheroots, and cigarillos​ ​ $922.64 per kilo of tobacco content (KTC)​

        Tobacco and tobacco products removed from a licensed manufacturing area or imported after midnight on 31 December 2016 are subject to the new rates.

        International price of silver:


        • In other words, the Kiwi Smoker may actually be in a slightly better place than the smoker in May’s DUP flavoured post Brexit paradise!
          Personally I’m hoping the DUP will insist so much on the border between the UK and EU remaining open and won’t think about me buying tobacco in Belgium, then flying home via Dublin and crossing the border into NI …or something like that. Gonna have to get really creative…or just say ‘fuck the yUK’ and move somewhere in the EU. I’m told Czechia is nice at this time of year…

  6. RdM says:

    Yeah but do you meet the immigration quota rules & requirements?
    How easy is it to move in to other countries, really, if you’re not a refugee?
    Got money? Essential skills? (the list goes on, obviously… )

    • In my own case, my wife and kids are all EU Citizens (for once my Kids took their dear ol’ Dad’s advice and renewed their German passports once this whole brexit nonsense started). So I have the right to live in the EU & apply for a Residency Permit etc etc . Not saying it would be easy but, for me personally, it would be do-able. Should have taken German citizenship when it was offered me along with the free plastic toy and decoder ring but there were a lot of advantages back then to living in Germany on a brit passport. More fool me :(

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