Minor Is Major

It’s a cast-iron undertaking written in just a couple of lines towards the end of the recent UKIP publication Policies for People, such that you might well miss it. It hasn’t been promoted like the party’s policies for leaving the EU or limiting immigration, and for many it is a minor matter. But it contains a major democratic principle:

“UKIP will amend the smoking ban to give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms properly ventilated and separated from non-smoking areas.”

scolding nannyThe 2007 blanket ban on smoking in all enclosed public places was a crass piece of infantilising nanny-state legislation and a denial of the right of freedom of association.

If law-abiding and adult citizens in their right minds and fully informed of the likely (medical) consequences choose voluntarily to come together to set up a peaceable smoking club, on what possible grounds can a supposedly mature democracy refuse them?

There are no grounds of course, except the instinctive desire of our masters – whenever they can get away with it – to close down our exasperating liberties, limit our frustrating choices and knock us into the shape they think is good for us.

The ban on smoking in public places where non-smokers are present, such as restaurants, offices and on public transport, is certainly to be welcomed. And there is a good case for the forthcoming ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers.

But the complete and total ban insisted on by our legislators in 2007 – and indeed the current contested proposal to ban smoking in city parks and outdoor areas – amply illustrate the bossy small-minded we-know-best attitude of the governing class that is the antithesis of an open and free participative democracy. They are managers not leaders; they act as political masters not public servants; they use coercion not persuasion; they are long on patronising paternalism and short on grass-roots common sense: and our freedoms of choice and association are suffering because it.

cigarUKIP’s track record is far from perfect, but consistently it shows that the party has the courage to do democracy, challenge established categories, confront the mainstream PC consensus and go where the LibLabCon elite refuses to go. Amending the smoking ban is a brilliant if unnoticed case in point.

So if all goes well on 7th May, next Christmas I’ll once again be free to enjoy a festive cigar alongside a pint and a game of pool in my favourite pub.

It’s yet another reason for joining and voting UKIP.

5 thoughts on “Minor Is Major

  1. No-one should be given a hard time for enjoying the odd cigar etc at special occasions as long as non-smokers & children can enjoy smoke free air. This shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange without the state getting involved at all.

  2. I agree with UKIP policies re freedom of speech and the abolition of political correctness. I note that prominent members of the LibLabCon are for ever trumpeting their commitment to freedom and democracy.
    Apparently though this does not apply to orthodox christians who have been forced to close adoption agencies because of their view that a child should be placed with a man and a woman.
    Then there was persecuting christians in the European Court of Human Rights over the overt practice of faith.Now a christian baker is being hounded by the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland for declining to add the words ‘I Support Gay Marriage’ on a wedding cake.
    Back in 1948 after the loss of some 60 million lives in the Second World War the United Nations produced a charter of Universal Human Rights.
    These included the right of freedom of faith in belief, worship and practice.
    This has been set aside here in the UK. The more UKIP MP’s the better as the party would have influence to stop discrimination against christians.

  3. At the top of your site, Alan, you give the Tutu quote about politics/reading the same Bible: Perhaps someone should tell the archbishop that ‘Anyone who thinks homosexuality can be allowed or condoned, within Christianity, must be reading a different Bible’.

  4. I am supportive of a number of ukip’s policies, and I think there has been some fairly biassed publicity against them. I do however have a problem with repealing the smoking ban, except in the privatest of private clubs.

    Two reasons:
    One, the teen and young twenties students who take jobs in pubs were in the past exposed to a great deal of smoke (my own daughter included). You can’t just say “dont take the job” ….they usually need the money, and may not be able to find other casual holiday jobs.
    Two, I haven’t seen statistics, but I assume that, as smoking in public becomes rarer, that fewer children will be tempted to smoke (though I know a lot of it is peer pressure etc).

    I have to say, I regard the ban as equivalent to compulsory seatbelt wearing….intrusive, yes, but saves lives as well as saving the NHS a great deal of money!

  5. Can I ask how this revised policy would be policed? For example how would the owners of such a smoking club ensure the safety of their staff? How would clubs that have smoking and non smoking areas delineate between the two and who would be responsible for ensuring that the non smoking areas was not contaminated by the other?
    There are also other issues that this legislation would create, most noticeably the promotion of smoking, as one of the purposes of the smoking ban was to discourage people from taking up smoking in the first place.

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