Brexit as a Consequence of the War on Smokers

Britain is in a political crisis as the Remainers in Parliament desperately try to prevent Brexit on 31 October. It’s a political crisis that started when 17.41 million Britons voted three years ago to leave the EU.

Or that’s the conventional wisdom.

But in my personal experience, this is actually a political crisis that began on 1 July 2007, when smoking in public places was banned in Britain, and Britain’s smokers were exiled to the outdoors.

I think it’s a political crisis when about 13 million people become unwelcome in their own country. For that’s how I’ve felt ever since 1 July 2007: unwelcome in my own country. And I think that’s how anyone, anywhere in the world, is always going to feel if they become unwelcome in their own country.

The only thing that’s different about me is that I write about this experience. Most people don’t write about things. They’re not used to putting thoughts into written words. But I started writing as soon as my mother taught me to write, which was shortly after she taught me to read. My mother was a teacher who also taught me to add and subtract and multiply and divide. So I’ve been reading and writing and adding and subtracting and multiplying and dividing for the 60+ years ever since.

And in my experience the smoking ban of 1 July 2007 was the most terrible, shattering thing that happened in my entire life. It shattered pub communities all over Britain, including mine. And it shattered friendships as well. Over the next few years I lost all the friends that I had known for the previous 30 or more years, either because there was nowhere to meet them any more, or because they had become antismokers while I had remained a smoker. The smoking ban of 1 July 2007 also shattered my faith in the medical profession, and in science, and in the mainstream media, and in all the political parties, as I became an outcast in my own land.

And so I see Brexit as a consequence of that shatteringly divisive smoking ban. For I’m an English smoker who voted to leave the EU because it was an antismoking organisation. For up until I discovered in 2010 that the EU was one of the primary drivers behind smoking bans, I was actually in favour of it. As soon as I found out how deeply antismoking the EU really was, my rejection of it was instantaneous.

In fact, I think that the EU is a doomed political project for this reason alone. For what smoker anywhere in Europe is going to want to belong to the antismoking EU? What surer way is there to shatter a political union than by turning it against a quarter or a third of its own population? But this is what has been happening all over Europe in the last decade or so. Nobody should be in the least bit surprised that the rising tide of what’s called National Populism is led by people who happen to be smokers (Farage, Le Pen, Salvini). And what else are the French Yellow Vests than the revolt of French smokers against the virulently antismoking Emmanuel Macron?

And isn’t the current political crisis in the USA also the revolt of American smokers against the progressive (i.e. antismoking) Left? Wasn’t the rejection of Hillary Clinton a consequence of the fact that she was America’s Number One antismoker?

I can’t speak of other countries in the world, but it seems to me to be very likely that the exact same political divide – between smokers and antismokers – has arisen everywhere else, and that nearly all politics everywhere is now driven by this divide. And that is why the whole world is now in crisis.

But nobody ever says this. Nobody ever points it out. If there’s one thing that you can be sure that the MPs in the UK Parliament will not be talking about over the next few rancorous weeks, it’ll be the UK smoking ban of 1 July 2007. Even Nigel Farage, who actively campaigns against smoking bans, won’t be talking about it on his LBC radio show.

The EU could save itself if it could just end its war on Europe’s smokers. But it remains blissfully ignorant of the effect of that war on European unity, and so it will continue the war. And it’s probably not really the EU’s war on smokers, but instead the medical profession’s war on smokers. The war on smoking is really being run by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has co-opted the EU, and almost every government in the world. The EU is being led to its extinction by the WHO and the UN to which it belongs.

If most people can’t see this, it’s because most people don’t smoke, and so have no idea of the tremendous impact of smoking bans on smokers, and the burning rage many of them feel about them. They think that smoking bans are benign, innocuous “health measures”. They think that because smoking bans have no effect on non-smokers like them, they can’t possibly be having any effect on anyone else either. But the war on smokers is as much a war as has ever been fought against any enemy, and it’s as divisive as any other war. And many of the consequences of this war have yet to be experienced.

For if the EU is likely to be one of the first casualties of the war that it has launched on Europe’s smokers, the next casualty is likely to be the medical profession that has been driving the war from within the safety of the confines of the WHO. For there will need to be a reformation of the medical profession to purge it of the antismokers that have come to infest it (one of whom was the Dr W in whose house I once lived, and about whom I have often written). The medical profession is going to have to be purged of antismoking doctors like Dr W, and George Godber, and Richard Doll, and  Liam Donaldson, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Dame Sally Davies (Britain’s current Chief Medical Officer), and all the rest of them. It may well be that the WHO and the BMA and the RCP will simply have to be closed down, and replaced by new medical associations free of the antismoking virus. It will be an event as momentous as the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Britain in 1536, when many thousands of monks and nuns and friars lost the respect and status they had formerly enjoyed, and found themselves evicted from their wealthy and powerful monasteries, which thereafter fell into decay and ruin.

I have no idea whether Britain will leave the EU on 31 October. I’m still inclined to believe that it won’t, even if PM Boris Johnson is showing every sign of being determined to do so. But what I am sure is that the underlying global political division that has grown out of the global war on smokers is going to carry on deepening, and finding more and more surprising new expressions.

About Frank Davis

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15 Responses to Brexit as a Consequence of the War on Smokers

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    I see the people currently waging war against the wishes of the majority of the population who want to get out of the EU as the same people who impose smoking bans. These puritans delght in telling the population how to live. Usually they’ve had their snouts in the EU trough in some way. They treat the population at large as serfs to do what they tell us to.

    • Rose says:

      Talking of serfs, Timothy, it’s only recently that I have learnt how much damage the Normans did to us , so bad that it’s taken a thousand years to recover.

      Women’s Rights in Anglo-Saxon England ~ Why They Were Much Greater than You Think

      “But you might be surprised to learn that if you are of English descent, your maternal ancestors of 1000 years ago enjoyed more legal rights than did your great grandmother. Shocking, but true.

      Women’s legal rights under, say King Ælfred the Great (King of Wessex 844-899 CE) were far greater than under Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901). (Indeed, the Victorian era was the nadir of women’s rights in Britain, as women were reduced to the state of near-complete legal dependence on fathers and husbands, and divorce required an act of Parliament until 1857. The most powerful woman in the world repeatedly claimed her own sex unfit to win suffrage. But that is another essay…)

      The fact is that women enjoyed legal rights under Anglo-Saxon law that they were to lose after the Battle of Hastings (1066) and for many hundreds of years afterwards. So let us return to the more congenial 9th century, and learn more.

      Ælfred’s 9th century law code has survived, and provides us with valuable insight into women’s legal status. His laws were predicated upon those of earlier kings, particularly Ine, King of the West Saxons (688-726). In his preface, Ælfred explains that he examined many existing law codes from the Old Testament to those of previous Anglo-Saxon kings in neighbouring kingdoms:”

  2. smokingscot says:

    You’re perfectly correct to write about this Frank, in fact I have used several of your posts to remind academics that they have overlooked us in their analysis. Last one being a chap in the Netherlands.

    I rather enjoy being ignored and while in no way a practising Christian, I frequently run that phrase about the stone the builder threw away as bring the most important stone of all!

    So in brief summary, Labour legislated the ban in Scotland in March 2006 and in England in July 2007. In both countries, at the next election they were removed from power – and I doubt we shall see another Labour led administration in Scotland in my lifetime.

    Farage got considerable media exposure at Stoney and made the most of it. Ukip won at the next EU election and TBP took over this year. Cameron was forced to promise the referendum because more Tory MP’s threatened to jump ship. The rest is history in the making.

    Silvio Berlusconi was in the hot seat when the Italian ban was introduced and although he did take over for a while, he never regained his popularity – and now he’s a spent force in Italian politics. Same with the chap in Greece.

    This post is a long winded version of the above

    Constructed in 2015 and still true today.

  3. All very true! I actually posed a Question along these lines on Quora a few days ago (actually TWO questions as the answers to the first one revealed its limitations!): (OK… it’s not accepting my two links, but if you go to Quora dot com and enter my full name you can go to my Profile and then click on “Questions” to see the two most recent ones I asked!

    If anyone here wants to add their thoughts there, feel free BUT **TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS**:

    1) You need to sign up with your “Real Name” or at least a first and last name that you will stick with and that won’t be challenged (Actual Real Names are what’s asked for and preferable, but some people on the net remain strongly uncomfortable with that.)


    2) Quora is a tightly moderated site with its “rules” enforced by three layers: A) Computer Bots that are actually not real bright; B) ordinary users who can lodge a complaint/Report against you for any perceived infraction; and C) Actual human moderators who RARELY get involved since Quora actually likely gets on the order of 10,000+ complaints per day to deal with.

    The BIG area of complaint and problems is in what’s called the BNBR rule. Thats “Be Nice, Be Respectful” and people get “Reported” for just about ANYTHING other than extraordinarily polite, non-confrontational, academic-style interactions. I’m not fond of it particularly as a style, but it’s their sandbox and their rules. Heh, and meanwhile I’ve racked up 18 million views of 8,000 answers with about 60% of them being pretty directly related to our battles here and to reaching out to the passers-by and to bring closeness between the vapers and the smokers.


    • Frank Davis says:

      First question
      If you are or were a pub-going smoker, and pub smoking was banned by government fiat, did the ban give you a sense of general dissatisfaction with and general desire to rebel against “big government” and its supporters intruding into our lives?

      Second quesion
      If you were a regular U.K. pub-going Smoker or Nonsmoker when the British smoking ban came in, do you feel the ban influenced you significantly in voting for or against Brexit?

      • Actually the first one I’d asked was about the UK, and that’s where I saw the limitations. Most of the answers said that the timing was off and that the EU was less restrictive etc. So that’s why I generalized for the other one, and began receiving far more constructive answers!


        THANK YOU for putting the links up! :) It wouldn’t accept them when I tried!


  4. Mark Jarratt says:

    I am now in London for the first time since childhood, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, after a rather grueling NON SMOKING 13hr flight from (fallen) Singapore.
    Immediate observations perhaps influenced by jet lag are:
    1) weather is much warmer, sunny and more steamy than expected. I even sweated, probably from carting luggage (beloved bride features finds travelling light a challenge).
    2) significant numbers of people smoking out in the street, doubtless “exiled to the outdoors” by puritanical sock puppet bullies, demented harridans, grifters and charlatans on the anti-tobacco infrastructure gravy train of money stolen from smokers.
    3) general “uglification” of imposing aesthetic well maintained historical buildings and other sites with placement of shouty NO SMOKING signs defacing the built environment every few metres, everywhere.
    Such visual pollution, with so called plain packaging of tobacco products (now solely a vehicle for state sanctioned social engineering propaganda) attests to the bleak and black world view of the downright nasty and mean spirited proponents of anti-tobacco zealotry, and the major disconnect between tolerance and personal autonomy and government policy almost everywhere on Earth, courtesy of the WHO and their evil accomplices.

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Yep dead right Mark. Welcome to Nanny State Britain. While you are here try some Auld Kendal Gold Turkish hand rolling tobacco. Fabulous !

    • RdM says:

      Perhaps (Frank might help expedite) you could meet up with Peter (Twenty Rothmans) if he’s not away, while in London, for a social visit?
      You’re obviously both erudite chaps … should enjoy each others company!

  5. Dmitry Kosyrev says:

    On an (almost) unrelated subject: Emily has interviewed Pat Nurse, that’s the link
    And why can’t I access Pat’s blog when clicking it on your blog roll? Gremlins have eaten the cable?

  6. Mark Jarratt says:

    Yes I should have planned an anti anti-smoking fascist tour of the Old Country, meeting you stalwart supporters of personal autonomy free of nanny bully state intrusion. My well organised wife has timed this visit to the last millisecond though, and uncritically accepts the tobacco causes every illness known to humanity propaganda. We shall soon arrive by train at Conwy, Wales, and shall go to Bovington Camp, Dorset, where I started school aged but 5: then other places…
    The widespread smoking bans, even in the open air, have forced a major reduction in my Camel Blue consumption, and one bright spot was I bought 200 of Deutsche manufacture at Changi airport, cost AUD33, or about £19. The same amount of defaced propaganda pack Camel Blue in Australia would cost an astronomical $385 or £213!!! When will the dictatorial puritanical bullies LEAVE US IN PEACE! ☮

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Wow that is far worse than our Nanny State UK. Enjoy your trip Mark. I went to Bovington a few months ago and it was great !

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