Friday 14 April 2017

Outdoor smoking ban firmly rejected

When Theresa May became prime minister last July I left a hostage to fortune by telling the Morning Advertiser that she was 'surprisingly sound' on nanny state issues. Perhaps those words will come back to haunt me but the early signs are good. For example...

A smoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas has been blocked by the Government after ministers warned they would infringe on people's freedom and lead to pub closures.

The proposals to extend the ban to outdoor areas were have been included in a list of demands by councils and health authorities in London which has been supported by Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London.

Same old Labour, always meddling, you might say. Except the same could be said for the Conservative party under David Cameron.

What is most encouraging about the Conservatives' response to Khan is that they have started to use accusations of nanny statism as a political weapon again.

Marcus Jones, a minister for local government, said: “We already knew that Labour councils charge higher council taxes and levy more red tape.

"Now Labour’s municipal killjoys have been caught with a smoking gun, trying to ban adults enjoying their local pub garden. If implemented, these ill-founded proposals would lead to massive pub closures.

"Conservatives in Government will be vetoing these Labour Party plans. Ahead of May’s local elections, local voters have a right to know the bad and mad ideas that are being peddled by Labour councillors."

Well said, that man. Now let's just admit that the current smoking ban has led to massive pub closures.

It is also encouraging to see the Labour party immediately distance itself from the health fascists.

A Labour spokesman said: "This is not Labour Party policy. It's not something we are considering, nor is it something we will be considering."

It's no surprise to hear that the proposal was inspired by an attention-seeking, third rate 'public health' group.

The Royal Society for Public Health has called for "exclusion zones" around pubs, in parks and at the entrances to schools.
It said that reducing the "convenience" of smoking will prompt more people to give up.

Behind all the bluster about bar staff, that was the true reason for the original smoking ban. The mask has slipped, but it seems they have a political mountain to climb before they achieve their next goal.

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