Stephen Williams may be a member of the Liberal party but he is no liberal. Yesterday he wrote a piece for Lib Dem Voice championing the nanny state with the bizarre piece entitled, chillingly “How to damage tobacco brands“. Why would any liberal (and especially a member of Parliament) living in the free world wish to damage any legal company’s brand?
I have pretty much said my piece over on the comments page so I won’t repeat it here. What I did think worthy of mention was the reaction to the piece in the comments section. Overwhelming the contributors were against what Stephen Williams MP had to say – some puzzled, some angry and some downright apoplectic. Could it be that liberalism is finding it’s voice? By jove I think it might!
Here are a few choice comments – go read the full conversation over on LDV….
“Shameful from a so-called liberal politician”
“What is it with you people and your irresistible urge to meddle?”
“There appears to be a pathological inability to leave people alone to live their lives how they choose”.
“Surely there are for better ways for Mr Williams to be spending his time”
“Open displays of tobacco in shops that make smoking seem like a normal part of everyday life…Well that will be because it is! I’m not a Mark Littlewood/FOREST type fundie but stuff like that could drive me that way!” (Updated due to author request)
stuff like that could drive me that way”
“’I’m afraid Stephen Williams’s proposal fits in the category of “something must be done””
“This is terrible -stupid idea – I don’t know one person who smokes because the packaging looks good”
“Wars have been fought to give people freedom of choice and not be dictated to by a governing body”
“I’m very unimpressed by this trendy streak of statist authoritarianism that certain Lib Dems seem rather proud of”
“Never been a smoker and never want to be but if the party got behind this kind of policy I’d be right out the door”
“Wasn’t the “Liberal” in the party name enough of a clue?”
Well said, one and all.
Ps…. Stephen Williams is the Lib Dem MP for Bristol West and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health. The anti-smoking group ASH provides administrative support to the group. Draw what conclusions you will.
Stephen Williams was kind enough to respond to my comment over on LDV…
“Angela – you don’t provide any evidence for your assertion that the indoor smoking ban has caused the decline of local pubs. Many pubs have flourished since 2007 as they are now more attractive places for the majority of the population to socialise. I now eat and drink in pubs that I wouldn’t have considered entering 4 years ago. Pubs that have adapted to the change by offering good food and activities have thrived. Pubs that did not respond to changed circumstances have not. The latter are at more risk from ridiculously cheap alcohol in supermarkets….which is one reason why I am in favour of minimum pricing for units of alcohol. And yes responsible governments do have to act on obesity – rising levels of diabetes and heart disease are hardly causes for liberal celebration
and just to really ruin your day (:-) perhaps you’d like to read another posting on my own blog:
“Dear Stephen – thank you taking time from your busy schedule to reply to my comment..
But actually .. It’s not “my day” you are ruining – it’s “my party”Tags: Liberal Democrats, nanny sate, plain packaging, smoking, Stephen WIllliams, tobacco