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Plain Packs: Let’s get graphic…

By Editor
March 12th, 2015 at 11:58 am | Comments Off on Plain Packs: Let’s get graphic… | Posted in Personal Freedom, Uncategorized

367 parliamentarians (of all colours ) voted in favour of plain packaging yesterday. Be it on their conscience. Let’s look forward. What can we the average punter do?

Well, we can vote them out come May 7th – not just on the issue of plain packaging – but to send a message once and for all that we are frankly fed up with soulless zombies doing what the Whips tell them to do; tired of them playing party politics at our expense; treating adults like children; or worse, disregarding the evidence because “they know best”.

In many cases however that isn’t going to cut it. The ludicrous voting system in this country deprives most of us from expressing our anger at the ballot box, where all too often our vote simply won’t count.

So here is a neat alternative….


Get yourself a cool cigarette case at

The one above [from Smoke-screenz] was featured in a previous article. It was much-admired at a recent Forest event. The case in question was self-designed [you upload your own image to the website and hey presto you have pro choiceyour very own fashion statement]. Cases are made of hard plastic with a hinged flip top.The cases are a perfect snug fit for your cigarette pack, which you just slip inside. When you open the case lid, your pack lid will open with it. Easy access to your cigarettes. Takes seconds to slip out the old pack and replace with a new one. This very short [1 minute] video shows the process from start to finish.

Iwinstonf uploading an image is too much like hard work then simply buy one ready made. If cats, cricket, or zombies are your thing, they have a case for you. If you support Crystal Palace, the Gunners or Chelsea, they have one. If you want to shout out your patriotism; your support of freedom, or just love cute cuddly bears you are catered for. At £12.95 (inc postage) they cost, at most, the same as a couple of packets of cigarettes. They are superb value [they last forever] and look [and feel] very stylish.

Of course,  these boxes carry no health warnings “from the Government” – but politicians should be careful what they wish for when they start playing politics.

 What are they going to do? …Ban boxes next?




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Plain Packs Roll of Honour

By Editor
March 11th, 2015 at 6:42 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

MPs have today voted by a majority of 254 in favour of plain packaging of tobacco. 367 MPs were in favour with 113 against in the free vote. Here is the full list of those who voted against the Government.

LIB DEMS: Huge congratulations to Jeremy Browne and Simon Hughes (the only 2 Lib Dem MPs that opposed the measure). Inevitably some 37 Lib Dem MPs voted in favour of plain packaging (sigh) and it was particularly disappointing to see Ed Davey, Stephen Lloyd and Danny Alexander amongst those voting in favour of plain packs. David Laws and Norman Lamb appear not to have voted at all. Nick Clegg also missed, or chose not to, vote.

UKIP continue to look like the most liberal party in Westminster. Both Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell stood up to big nanny.

LABOUR: Three Labour MPs had the courage of their convictions opposing plain packs – Stephen Hepburn, Alan Meale and Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South).

DUP: Two of the Democratic Unionist Party MPs voted against. They were Ian Paisley Junior, and Sammy Wilson.

CONSERVATIVE: A very respectable 104 Conservative MPs voted against plain packs. Here’s the list. Good to see so many from the 2010 intake on the list. Bodes well for the future…

Adams, Nigel
Amess, David
Baker, Steve
Baldwin, Harriett
Bebb, Guto
Bellingham, Henry
Bingham, Andrew
Bone, Peter
Bradley, Karen
Brady, Graham
Bray, Angie
Bridgen, Andrew
Burley, Aidan
Burns, Conor
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coffey, Thérèse
Collins, Damian
Davies, David
Davies, Glyn
de Bois, Nick
Dinenage, Caroline
Djanogly, Jonathan
Doyle-Price, Jackie
Drax, Richard
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Elphicke, Charlie
Evans, Jonathan
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mark
Fox, Liam
Francois, Mark
Fuller, Richard
Garnier, Edward
Garnier, Mark
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Gummer, Ben
Halfon, Robert
Hands, Greg
Harper, Mark
Harrington, Richard
Hart, Simon
Hayes, John
Heaton-Harris, Chris
Henderson, Gordon
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hollingbery, George
Hollobone, Philip
Howarth, Gerald
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Gareth
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kirby, Simon
Knight, Greg
Kwarteng, Kwasi
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Macleod, Mary
Main, Anne
McCartney, Karl
McIntosh, Anne
McVey, Esther
Metcalfe, Stephen
Mills, Nigel
Morris, David
Mosley, Stephen
Murray, Sheryll
Neill, Robert
Nuttall, David
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Parish, Neil
Pawsey, Mark
Percy, Andrew
Pincher, Christopher
Prisk, Mark
Redwood, John
Rees-Mogg, Jacob
Robathan, Andrew
Rosindell, Andrew
Skidmore, Chris
Spencer, Mark
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Bob
Stewart, Iain
Sturdy, Julian
Syms, Robert
Truss, Elizabeth
Tyrie, Andrew
Uppal, Paul
Walker, Charles
Wallace, Ben
Watkinson, Angela
Wheeler, Heather
Whittaker, Craig
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill

UPDATE: Simon Clark has listed the “Conservative” MPs who voted in favour of plain packs.. [click here] Come May 7th, you know what to do…

Shameful: Cameron gags MPs

By Editor
March 10th, 2015 at 3:05 pm | 3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

So, the vote on plain packaging of tobacco is going to happen tomorrow – Wednesday (and by sheer coincidence – or not – “No Smoking Day”).

It is hard to understand how this policy ever got to the voting stage. It did not appear in any major poliresponses to govt consultation 2012tical party’s 2010 manifesto; the Government’s “independent” evidence review, though undertaken by advocates of the policy, admitted that the evidence available couldn’t predict the likely impact of plain packaging; the Government’s 2012 “public” consultation reported that of the  665,989 public responses, 427,888 opposed the policy; the much shorter second consultation in 2014, received 136,404 public responses, of which 99% were STILL opposed to the policy; the real evidence from Australia (the only country to have introduced this policy to date – December 2012) shows that tobacco sales actually increased post the introduction of plain packaging; the UK is obliged by the EU to introduce larger health warnings (amongst other things) in 2016 anyway.

Despite all of that, (and more), for what are clearly and solely political reasons, David Cameron has decided that one of the last acts of this government is to pass this legislation.

Not only that, he has decided to gag parliament:

“Tory whips, in charge of party discipline, have decided that Wednesday’s vote [on plain packaging] will be conducted without debate on slips of paper.”

Conservative MP Nick de Bois is reported to have said that the lack of any chance for a debate on the floor of the Commons was “regrettable”.

“With no credible assessment of the threat from increased counterfeit tobacco, no credible assessment of the cost to the public purse through legal claims and little evidence to show this policy will actually reduce smoking it’s regrettable that the full House can’t debate this proposal”.

“Regrettable” is putting it mildly, but full marks to him for speaking out.

Likewise, Sir Gerald Howarth, former defence minister, who also spoke out against the gagging :

“This is extremely damaging – we cannot push this controversial measure through the Commons when so many Conservatives are opposed.”

The excuse given for no debate is that the legislation is not primary legislation, so the Government can have them scrutinised  rubber-stamped by a “legislation” committee [1], rather than fully debate by the whole House.

Sure, you “CAN” have the legislation looked over by a committee filled to the rafters with those advocating the policy, rather than offer a full debate in parliament, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.last chance saloon

All in all it’s been pretty shameful. David Cameron should hang his head in shame. Not just for the gagging of elected members of parliament from debating this policy, but for the whole damn process from beginning to end.

Democracy, what Democracy? No wonder people are disengaged with politics.

The die is cast on plain packaging – but we should still not let this pass without a fight. If you haven’t already done so, please email your MP now via Forest’s Last Chance Saloon microsite.


[1] According to the Government, the Legislation Committee, held on 9th March 2015, was attended by the following – the vast majority having pledged their support to plain packaging long before this committee was convened – obviously.   Do go read the minutes taken – quite an eye-opener!

Chair: Roger Gale
Abrahams, Debbie (Oldham East and Saddleworth) (Lab)
Barron, Kevin (Rother Valley) (Lab)
Berger, Luciana (Liverpool, Wavertree)(Lab/Co-op)
Brown, Mr Russell (Dumfries and Galloway) (Lab)
Burstow, Paul(Sutton and Cheam)(LD)
Carmichael, Neil (Stroud)(Con)
Cunningham, Alex (Stockton North)(Lab)
de Bois, Nick(Enfield North) (Con)
Ellison, Jane (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Howell, John (Henley) (Con)
Jones, Andrew (Harrogate and Knaresborough) (Con)
Jowell, Dame Tessa (Dulwich and West Norwood) (Lab)
Newton, Sarah (Truro and Falmouth) (Con)
Paisley, Ian (North Antrim) (DUP)
Penrose, John (Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury)
Stunell, Sir Andrew (Hazel Grove) (LD)
Wilson, Phil (Sedgefield) (Lab)
Wollaston, Dr Sarah (Totnes) (Con)
The following were “in attendance”
Burley, Mr Aidan (Cannock Chase) (Con)
Chope, Mr Christopher (Christchurch)(Con)
Cooper, Rosie (West Lancashire) (Lab)
Davies, Philip(Shipley)(Con)
Field, Mr Frank (Birkenhead) (Lab)
Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry (Bradford South)(Lab)
Watkinson, Dame Angela(Hornchurch and Upminster)(Con)
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