Browse > Home / freedom, Government, Personal Freedom, UK Politics / The fightback starts here…

| Subcribe via RSS

The fightback starts here…

Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire, UK, is a small market town, with a long history and a serious claim to ownership of the term ‘cock and bull story’. At the height of the great coaching era, when Stony Stratford was an important stopping-off point for mail and passenger coaches travelling between London and the North there was much rivalry between the two main coaching inns – The Cock and The Bull -the two inns fighting to see which could furnish the most outlandish and scurrilous travellers’ tales…..

You might be forgiven therefore for thinking that the latest news to emerge from this sleepy English town was a nostalgic revival of that old tradition. A PR man’s great idea to get Stony back onto the map with a story of outlandish proportions that people would sit up and take notice of this quintessential haven of Englishness. But it isn’t a stunt – though people are certainly taking notice.

Four years since the law to ban smoking in enclosed and semi-enclosed public buildings was introduced in England.. One English Parish –  the Parish Council of Stony – has now decided that they want to introduce a bylaw to ban smoking outdoors….in the streets, parks, and every other scrap of outdoor space that the Parish has control over.

The law to ban smoking indoors was never intended to go as far as it did. The original idea was to exempt private clubs and to let pubs provide smoking rooms. But egged on by the highly funded anti-tobacco lobby, Parliament’s paternalistic fervour took over and Parliament pushed through a blanket prohibition instead. That was a shameful act – one that a growing number of MPs feel, rightly, was not Parliament’s finest hour.

Now the people of Stony face an even more draconian ban, led by one Mr Bartlett, to ban all smoking outdoors. His arguments for imposing an outdoor ban would be funny were it not so serious…. He believes that the smoking ban would ‘make the environment cleaner’ and prevent ‘harm’ to children. He is quoted as saying :

 “Why should people have the freedom to smoke in my face, pass on diseases and spoil the environment? ….. When you walk through the high street in any town smoke is in your face and harming you and any children there…. Smokers then get their butt, which is full of saliva, and chuck it on the floor…It costs millions to clear street rubbish, and goodness knows what a child could pick up from them…”

I personally agree that the sight of cigarette butts on the streets is unsightly but on that basis you would ban every sweet, snack, soft drink and fast food sold in Britain. We already have the facility in this country to punish littering – just enforce them surely? As for the idea that puffing smoke into the open air can somehow “harm” children, or that discarded butts are spreading plague-like diseases throughout the UK is both ignorant and ridiculous. How such an ill-informed and inflammatory statement can be made by an elected official is simply beyond me.

This is NOT the free Britain we know and love.  As a nation we are still, thank goodness, proud of our individual freedoms and our tolerance of others. We are a nation of co-operative compromise – finding ways to accommodate the opinion and desires of the majority, without opressing the minority. 

Smokers have up until now largely accepted the laws laid down by Government. But you can only push a mild man so far – and no further. Smokers were bemused but now furious at the puritan’s increasingly outrageous accusations about the effects of smoking on others. They were surprised but now angry at the level of bile and hatred that these claims have incited. They were driven out of the pubs for reasons that were never proven nor clear – NOW they are to be cleared off the streets. They have rightly had enough.

Non smokers too are now joining the smokers in their fight. Many have come to realise from the rhetoric and growing hysteria of the puritans that once smoking has been “wiped from the face of the earth” these same people will turn their bile on drinkers, fatties, clubbers or any other section of society subject to their disgust and scorn.

So the fight back starts here. Smokers and non-smokers, businessmen and private citizens, young and old are taking to the streets this Saturday in Stony Stratford to say NO. We the people have for centuries past rubbed along together, altered our habits to accommodate changing social views, found happy compromise where differences emerge. We don’t need Government, local or national, to do it for us. And certainly not when it leads to people being driven off the streets based on daft ideas and groundless assertions. Nor will we allow to pass, unchallenged, measures that incite intolerance or victimisation of our friends and neighbours. And mostly we will not tolerate bullies – especially self-serving elected bullies who abuse their power.

If the bullies and puritans get their way in Stony Stratford we will see a ripple effect across the country – and they will be coming to your town and coming for you next. The fight starts here. Details of Saturday’s event..

2 Responses to “The fightback starts here…”

  1. Tony P Says:

    These councillors need to start listening to us.. this is just mad. Where do they expect people to smoke? In their homes with their kids? I don’t buy the passive smoking nonsense – not many people do these days – but those that do buy into to it – or more accurately use it for their own evangelical purposes seem to want to force smokers into staying at home where their kids are. What sort of mixed up logic is that?

    You are right that this is a fight now between the mad puritans and the rest of us. They have gone too far now. I am not a smoker – but inclined to take it up if only to make a point.

    Thanks for the info.I will be there.

  2. Pat Nurse Says:

    Well said and thankyou. I’ve been saying for a long time that most of this is not about health but a hatred of people who smoke. Coun Bartlett has demonstrated from his own mouth what Smokerphobia is. Govt should stop supporting it immediately and look at reintroduicing compromise and fairness for both sides of this debate.

    It should also get the corrupt political lobby group ASH out of the DoH – it’s akin to allowing the BNP to run immigration policy.