Occupied

Today is the tenth anniversary of starting writing my blog, of starting banging on about the smoking ban.

I was wondering this morning if I’d ever stop. And I thought that I’d probably only stop if a lot more people start writing about smoking bans, and I won’t need to any more.

For me the UK smoking ban of 1 July 2007 was a watershed event. There was life before that day, and there was life after that day. There’s been no other day quite like it before or since.

What was so important about that day was probably best summed up by a complete stranger, who came up to me outside the River pub (actually the Otter Inn in Devon) and said:

“It’s not a free country any more.”

And he was exactly right. For 1 July 2007 was the day on which Britain ceased to be a free country. And I think that the day when your country ceases to be a free country is a very, very important day.

When was the last day when Britain ceased to be a free country? My best guess is 14 October 1066, the date of the Norman conquest of England.

Nothing visibly changed on 1 July 2007. No army marched in. No bombs went off. No tanks rolled through the street. But it was the day on which an invisible mantle of top down control descended over Britain, which has remained there ever since. And as far as I am concerned, Britain has been an occupied country since that day, and will remain an occupied country until an Englishman can once again sit in a pub and drink a pint of beer and smoke a cigarette.

And it’s the same more or less everywhere else. Nearly every country in the world has its own equivalent to 1 July 2007 when they became occupied countries. In Spain that date was 1 January 2011. Up until that day I’d been thinking of moving to Spain, and after that day I never thought about moving there again. What was the point of moving from occupied Britain to occupied Spain? If you’re going to live in an occupied country, it’s best to live in your own one.

Tobacco Control has occupied pretty much the whole world. And it has a very tight grip everywhere. And is always seeking to tighten its grip, to extend its restrictions.

What is Tobacco Control? It’s a global entity that is a subset of the World Health Organisation, which is a subset of the United Nations. Tobacco Control operates through a web of supranational organisations, which include the European Union, which is also an antismoking organisation. I see it as a sort of religious cult, like Freemasonry or Marxism or global warming alarmism.

These days I see all politics through the perspective of tobacco control. As far as I’m concerned, Brexit was the delayed revolt of the British people against the UK smoking ban. Is it entirely accidental that Nigel Farage is one of the only politicians in Britain who was a smoker fighting against smoking bans (e.g. Stony Stratford)?  And the current rise of what’s called national populism across Occupied Europe is the same thing.

The British political class, with a few exceptions, is a collaborator class: they collaborate with Tobacco Control. Most Conservative MPs voted against the UK smoking ban, but when the Conservative government of David Cameron came in, they carried on implementing new Tobacco Control measures (display bans, “plain” packaging) as assiduously as their Labour party precursors. David Cameron was a Quisling. And so also was (and still is) Theresa May. It remains to be seen who the next Conservative party leader will be, but the chances are that he’ll also be yet another collaborator.

The only thing that puzzles me about the current seemingly-global “nationalist populist” revolt, as it plays out on the internet through new “alt-right” voices, is that none of them speak of the one thing that unites them all: smoking bans. More or less wherever you live in the world today, you’ll be experiencing the the same choking, stifling smoking bans as everywhere else.

But nobody speaks about it. It’s a forbidden topic. Perhaps it’s that nobody living in an occupied country ever speaks about their Occupation. In France in 1940 did any French people ever ask each other: “Are we still occupied?”  Occupation was something that everyone experienced all day every day, until the occupation ended in 1944.

And none of the new online rebels smokes cigarettes on-camera, even though many of them are smokers. Alex Jones doesn’t smoke. Paul Joseph Watson doesn’t smoke. And so on and on and on. Pretty much the only person I’ve seen light up on-camera is the American (ex-)comedienne Roseanne. The rest of them may as well be as much part of the occupied mainstream media as the BBC or Channel 4.

When freedom returns, it’ll return in a haze of tobacco smoke. The day I see a TV presenter light up a cigarette on-camera will be the day I see freedom begin to return to this island.

Until then Britain will remain occupied. As occupied as it became on 1 July 2007.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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21 Responses to Occupied

  1. beobrigitte says:

    Is Brexit enabling the anti-smokers in the UK to push for Australian/New Zealand tobacco laws and tax rises?
    I begin to wonder about this aspect.

  2. smokingscot says:

    Maybe I’m right that this is your 2nd blog, however in excess of 2500000 hits is an impressive achievement. Over these years I’ve conversed with hundreds of fellow readers and appreciate the opportunity this place has afforded us.

    Still miss our colourful Harley Rider and thoughtful Nisakiman. Not heard from Junican for several months, so if you’ve reading do say hi.

    The “controllers” actions make things inconvenient at times, but without them this place wouldn’t be. So sometimes their unintended consequences result in nice things. Oh and Brexit, that may well be their nemesis.

    Anyway Frank, thank you very much for sticking with it for a decade.

  3. Rose says:

    Thank you Frank, this blog probably saved my sanity, especially for the first few years when I had so much to say and very few places to say it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m glad to have helped.

      You’re not the first to have said that I helped save their sanity. Perhaps it was writing this blog that helped save mine. Perhaps it’s simply that when people read other people describing their own experiences, they realise that they’re not alone in what they feel, and that they’re not crazy.

      • RdM says:

        Thanks to you too, Frank.

        “when people read other people describing their own experiences, they realise that they’re not alone in what they feel, and that they’re not crazy.”

        Exactly.

      • Joe L. says:

        You’re not the first to have said that I helped save their sanity.

        I’m one of the others who has told you before that your blog helped me retain (or, regain) my sanity when I desperately needed it. Thank you very much, Frank, for banging on about the smoking ban for the past ten years! And thank you to all the wonderful, insightful and knowledgeable commenters here who I consider my friends even though I’ve yet to meet any of you in the flesh.

        Someday (hopefully soon), Tobacco Control will be destroyed, comprehensive smoking bans will be no more and smoking will once again be a normal activity. But until then, please keep banging on, Frank!

        • Frank Davis says:

          I remember you telling me. But you didn’t describe quite what it was like to lose your sanity and regain it again, or exactly how I helped you to regain it.

          Perhaps you could describe at greater length what happened to you?

          I know what happened to me. And that was that I was profoundly shocked at being evicted from English pubs by the 2007 UK smoking ban. For a while I even drove around in daylight with my car headlights on. And experienced such bouts of rage that I worried that I’d end up having an apoplectic fit. And I lost all the friends I’d built up over the previous 30+ years.

          But I’ve always been someone who wrote a journal, and in that journal I wrote about the smoking ban. I find that writing about things I’m experiencing brings them into focus. Experiences get solidified in words. So when I started writing my blog in 2009, 2 years after the smoking ban began, I’d already written quite a lot, and it was easy to write more. I really just started publishing my private journal (or those parts of it that might interest people) on the web, because I realised that there were a lot of people who probably felt pretty much the same way as I did about the smoking ban.

          I still write a journal. It’s a journal not so much about what I’m doing as what I’m thinking, what’s bothering me. Writing is one way – perhaps the principal way – that I stay sane.

  4. RdM says:

    Until then Britain will remain occupied. As occupied as it became on 1 July 2007.

    So the UK is occupied by the EU?

    Surely a short sharp shock separation WTO rules no deal otherwise would be the best exit?

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’ve felt like I was living in an occupied country since 1 July 2007, the day the UK smoking ban was imposed on us. Occupied by an army of antismoking bullies that somehow gained control. The occupation will only end when the smoking ban is lifted.

      And the antismoking EU is a large part of the driving force behind the smoking bans in Europe, and so leaving the EU is the first step in raising the occupation, but not the last step. We’ll next need to topple our antismoking europhile political class. Leaving the EU is just the start. And of course we still haven’t left yet. WTO rules is fine by me.

  5. Mark Jarratt says:

    Well done and sincere kudos to you Frank for hosting such an interesting well written blog forum with informed wide ranging coverage for an entire decade. Your dedication in producing thought provoking topics with such regularity, erudition and wry humour elevates your blog to the equivalent of “appointment TV”, and I am a daily consumer, if not a daily commentator. Keep on keeping on, giving persecuted advocates of personal autonomy hope there is a way out of the draconian abyss of prohibition, and the light at the end of the tunnel is not a prohibitionist juggernaut freight train. Prohibitionist bullies will fail, if the bullied fight, and the meek will inherit the earth, if it’s ok with the rest of you. 🤔

  6. James Watson says:

    Hi all. Junican here. I too wish Frank all the best.
    The last few months have been very difficult for our family. I had treatment for a bladder tumour – radiotherapy. Two weeks after the end of the treatment, my wife died. I’m sure that you can all understand the trauma involved in these events.
    But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Almost all of the complications have been dealt with, but TobCON is the last thing that I have any interest in at the moment.
    I echo Frank’s horror about the imposition of smoking bans. Even more appalling for me was the enthusiasm with which non-smoking bar staff enjoyed their newfound power over smokers. On that day, I realised that the bar staff were not my ‘friends’ but mere ‘acquaintances’.

    I suspect that the day will come when the Zealots will go too far and that the ‘proper’ rights of private property will be restored. The phrase ‘public place’ was a wonderful invention which served the purpose. In fact, there is no such entity as ‘the public’. You can understand, though, how politicians love the word – it lumps all inhabitants into one amorphous mass – apart from the privileged. I hope that ‘the test’ comes sooner rather than later.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Hi Jimmy,

      I’m very sorry to hear of your loss.

      But I believe that your wife was for many years a complete invalid, and it must have been very hard for you during that time while she remained at home with you. I looked after my mother for some 6 years, albeit with a lot of help from paid carers, so I know what it’s like. And now you no longer have to do it, I’m sure that as well as a deep personal loss, it’s also a relief.

      If you feel up to it, look into the Smoky Drinky Bar sometime. We’ll all be glad to see you again.

      • Mark Jarratt says:

        I too have been meaning to meet you Frank and the anti-anti-tobacco control supporters of true political individual liberalism who comment on this blog at the Smoky Drinky Bar, although the time difference between UK GMT and Eastern Australian time makes it slightly challenging. You all have original and thought provoking views, realising the value of social and individual diversity, unlike the pinch faced curtain twitching prodnose White Sephulcres who arrogantly dictate the recreational pursuits of others without consent, abetted by spineless gullible kleptocrats with too much power. Grrr. 😡

    • garyk30 says:

      Glad your health is better and best wishes in dealing with your grief at the loss of your wife.

    • smokingscot says:

      Thank you for bringing us up to speed.

      FWIW I found commenting and doing essays to be very cathartic, so do kick in once in a while.

    • Rose says:

      Hello Junican,
      I’m so very sorry to read about your wife. I can’t imagine how dreadful these last few months must have been for you and your family.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Junican. Few things make me happy in these days of prohibition and persecution, but seeing your response here broth a smile to my face. I am glad to hear that you are healing. Of course, it is sad to hear of your wife’s passing. That is always hard. Please accept my condolences. It is strong, we have never met (same with all here), but reading your words (and the words of others here) makes you familiar nonetheless. I miss reading and responding to your blog but am glad to see you are relatively well. I will welcome your return to writing when the time is right. SL

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