Not that I see myself as a political revolutionary like Che Guevara, beret and hypocrisy to hand, and the vain hope my image adorns bedroom walls internationally. However, as someone who does have contact with the Westminster Bubble as a journalist with Breitbart, I often am shaking a piece of rotten wood to see what crawls out. In addition, I am Chairman of Freedom2Choose a pro-choice smoking group.
Not all the Westminster Bubble is awful. There are groups that I have a lot of time for like The Tax Payers Alliance, The Freedom Association, and the Institute of Economic Affairs. Just a momentary lapse into sanity before the madness of LibLabCon comes to remind you of the UK’s political lunacy.
I was a loyal Conservative voter for 35 years and in 2010 became an activist helping the Prospective Conservative candidate for Leytonstone and Wanstead with leafleting and door knocking, while standing as a councillor in my ward. It is a staunch Labour area with little or no hope.
Why I went from voter to activist was Labour passing the smoking ban. Every minute I spent out on the streets was reward for such pernicious legislation.
I have only recently discovered this document issued by The Cabinet Office, dated May 2010. It seemed oh so promising. Dave ‘n Nick opine “We share a conviction that the days of big government are over; that centralisation and top-down control have proved a failure.”
Naively thinking the Tories may even adopt UKIP’s policy of separate, ventilated smoking rooms so no one else can be bothered, it seems the Tories, aided and abetted by the Lib Dems, not only picked up the torch of the nanny state but added a thicker wick to it too.
Firstly, it was Cameron’s flirtation with minimum price alcohol (MPA). In February 2012, he commented,“This isn’t just about more rules and regulation. It’s about responsibility and a sense of respect for others.”
By July 2013, Cameron had relented. Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Germany had complained that MPA is illegal under EU competition rules.
Then two years ago plain packaging of cigarettes as eagerly offered as a panacea to youth smoking. After a full year’s data from Australia all that has happened is a small increase in smoking, an increase in smuggling and no effect on youth smoking.
That was the bale of straw that finally broke the camel’s back and I joined UKIP a year ago.
Emboldened by Cameron’s apparent enthusiasm for the nanny state, all manner of people are grasping his shirttails. The latest wheeze is from the British Medical Association (BMA) who want to ban smoking for anyone born later than the year 2000.
Spokesman for the BMA Dr. Tim Crocker-Buque, who is a Specialist Registrar in Public Health, said, “Smoking is not a rational informed choice of adulthood…Eighty per cent of smokers start as teenagers as a result of intense peer pressure.”
Never mind that 97% of smokers can name at least one fatal disease associated with smoking, they are making an extremely well informed choice. Never mind the John Stuart Mill idea that you should be allowed to do with your body as you so wish, as long as you are not impinging on someone else.
Prohibition of alcohol was a disaster. Defiance of the law, criminality on a scale that undermined American society at every strata and mass unemployment for the hospitality industry.
For those who are non-smokers what is the point? In 1995, California banned smoking inside in 1995 and it only took the UK only ten years to follow. I really thought it would never happen here. This month the Californian Senate has passed a law making health warning compulsory on fizzy (soda) drinks. The warning reads “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
Addictive sugar is the new tobacco, internet addiction is a new tobacco, so is salt and I mentioned the assault on alcohol. The nanny state has not only gone after the smokers they are now also after your pleasure and all three main parties are tripping up over themselves to get their names to Acts of Parliament.
Much of the agitating comes from government funded charities, the medical profession and zealous “Sir Humphrey” civil servants. The Westminster Bubble remains as remote as ever from the average voter and especially the UKIP supporter.
We now have to add the nanny state as our opponents. I believe this will be popular with the electorate too.