Wednesday 3 February 2010

The Banning Years

The fag-end of the New Labour government

As it heads for possible defeat in a General Election, what is Labour’s big idea? To ban smoking all over again.

It is not uncommon, near the end of their career, for bands to release a greatest hits collection. In the case of not-so-legendary bands, they tend to name it after their best-known hit. So it is with little surprise that as New Labour staggers wearily into a likely defeat in the General Election, it is taking the opportunity to wheel out a few golden oldies. 

It is not the curious mid-career blowout of Iraq that New Labour wants to be remembered for, nor that slightly embarrassing period towards the end when it replaced its lead singer. No, the title of New Labour’s greatest hits will be The Banning Years.

This is the start of a very fine piece on Labour's anti-smoking plans by David Bowden at Spiked. Do yourself a favour and go read it, if only for this priceless quote from the New Statesman's Mehdi Hasan...

"The public are very concerned with freedom – even though they don’t properly understand it."

Classic stuff.

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