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November 10, 2008

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Fredrik Eich

"This Government has given away more power than any other Government ever, with devolved government in Wales, Scotland and NI and a transparency of central power with FOI"

Paul,
Devolution has not just given away power, it has created extra law making capacity and therefore more laws. Instead of just one law making body looking at a spectrum candidate laws we have a handful of bodies looking at a narrower spectrum of options. Sadly, because people never demand that MPs do nothing, there is greater reason for them to act on what they can. This will be the undoing of Devolution. One day there will have to be an “in” or “out” vote and whatever the out come, this will lead to less law making – which would be a good thing. I remember Lord Healey being asked if the post war consensus on the command economy was a failure. He replied “yes”.
When asked “Why did you do it then?” he said “because that's what people wanted.” People get a lot of what they “want” with Devolution. This is why we get smoking bans that ”People” want, People who had no interest in going to smoking venues anyway. We don't want them - so you can't have them!

patrick

david
The twisted venom gushing around inside you that cascades out when you can have an anti - Labour political pop very quickly descends into an infantile rant.
Apologies to you if an Eight year old has been using your pc.
It's a shame that F2C swarmed and ran away as usual and left little david out of his depth.

Katabasis

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7736245.stm

Outstanding Paul.

One of your colleagues, Derek Wyatt said of this: "They don't understand the net. They simply don't get it. It is like 1984"

Can someone please call the irony police?

david

'A lethal chemical cocktail'. This from a smoker, and you reckon I'm stupid?

Pat, why the f*** don't you quit if you think its killing you? Too weak, are you?

Don't beat yourself up too much, there are people out there who can help:

Free NHS Smoking Helpline: 0800 022 4 332

'When you go smokefree, you are up to four times more likely to succeed if you use NHS support and stop smoking medicines such as patches or gum to manage your cravings.

Detailed information about the free NHS support services, and videos from real quitters talking about what worked for them. You can find out about all of the options and make the right choice for you.'

'For the love of anything precious to you please grow up'.

Classic! (you should sell that slogan to the NHS).

Huw O'Sullivan

You forget how utterly self absorbed that most of the very few people who oppose the smoking ban are.
Then you read their comments.
My favourites so far have been
and I will paraphrase here.
Banning smoking in enclosed public spaces is just totalitarianism, why don't you ban it completely.
And even better
I was too dim to know why the band UB40 had that name
I supported the illegal war on Iraq, despite the thousands and as it turned out hundreds of thousands of innocents who would die, disappear, be maimed, tortured and starved,
But what I would and do oppose is
legislation to protect non smokers and children from the damaging effects of the poison I choose to use.
I think some people cope badly with being exposed to the fact that they have an addiction.
Before they could pretend it was not one, although the trip to the petrol station at 3 in the morning because they had none left should have been a clue.

Some of the other issues raised are of concern, but by allowing the loons who oppose the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, what we might call, parity of esteem, has undermined the arguments in relation to rightful concerns over the threats and potential threats to privacy, freedom and due process of law.

Whiny nicotine addicts please get those chips on your shoulders fixed and address the true issue you have, which is that you have gotten yourself addicted to a lethal chemical cocktail and most of you did so in the full knowledge that smoking was harmful to you. I say this as a smoker myself.
For the love of anything precious to you please grow up.

david

Only one side of the argument was considered. The pro smoking lobby was 100% censured, industry and consumers alike. Of course the tobacco industry has a vested interest in its own business. Why shouldn't it? Tobacco's a legal, taxable product. If anyone's paranoiac, its people like you - convinced that even the sight of a cigarette packet will cause harm, the slightest whiff of smoke will cause irreparable damage.

And why should I imagine that this blog was designed to have a go at me? I'm not a smoker.

But it's obviously getting to you. I've seen your posts on other threads. You seem a reasonable person on most counts. For some reason you appear to have a pathological fear of all things tobacco.I'd wouldn't surprise me if you're an ex smoker.

Let's just agree to disagree...

patrick

David
Think you might find that financial vested interests have been the order of the day since the invention of tabbacco.
If you care to do some research you will find that the Tobbacco giants lied , covered up ,and blundered for most of the last century.Trying to get the truth out of them was like extracting dung from a wooden horse.
As for majorities, can you show me a serious poll that supports your view?

You live in a world where you cannot see any point or reason why anyone could possibly have a different opinion or point of view to you, let alone express it. PF's blog makes noises that you don't wish to hear so you say it's pointless.you then question why the blog exists. You ask why i post on here.

"Why do you bother to post Patrick ? You have no reasoned arguments, merely tedious clichéd rants - typical Nu-speak. There's no middle ground for you, is there?"

You then show signs of delusion.

"I find it particularly insulting that certain elected members of parliament appear to relish goading those who hold varying opinions. For what other reason is this blog designed for? Dissenters are merely dismissed as cranks and whiners."

I think dave if you track back you will find many opposing points of view on many topics. you appear to think that this blog was designed just to have a go at you. Some people would say you were misguided. I would suggest paranoid!

david

All very commendable, apart from the fact that Paul chooses to believe everything that the anti smoking lobby tell him. Not forgetting, of course that most have a financial vested interest. Not that I'm accusing Paul of corruption, merely weakness.

And please don't bang on about the majority wanting this and that. Rather hypocritical, given that the majority don't support Labour policies. The government, as usual, choose to ignore this.

patrick

david
It's good to know that it's not getting to you.
If you feel Anti-smokers are disillusioned, pop down to your local cemetry or hospital.
Have a chat with your GP (that's the bod with the health knowledge).
you could even try looking at the back of the packet.

You might find dave that this blog is designed mainly for the constituents of Newport West. PF'S Hundreds of blogs have covered just about every happening in the constituency from Meetings and rallies, Eisteddfods, baseball games,chartists marches, Newport Castle, Newport and Welsh Rugby, funerals of people in the constituentcy etc etc. There are many people in Newport and elsewhere that for one reason or another don't get out and about and a blog like this is a great way to keep in touch.
PF was one of the first MP'S to have a blog. He has been a good MP for Newport and hopefull we will have someone as passionate for the town when he either retires or Labour lose the seat.

Political blogs are always going to include the wider picture ie Smoking ban, GW ETC.

As you are so fragile and prefer a blog with one opinion stick with the F2C. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear and will no doubt send you a little poster and badge.

david

Although many regard the smoking ban as trivial (Pat/Paul included), the reasons for it are indeed sinister. The case for harm caused by passive smoking is very dubious, but by creating a climate of fear and guilt based on ifs and buts the public have been brainwashed into believing every thing that they're spoon fed. It is indeed an experiment, one that many claim to have worked. The same tactics will, and indeed are already being employed, to denormalise other so-called anti social behaviour and pastimes, such as alcohol use and less than healthy eating. Its not far away from creating a super race, intolerant of all who fall short of required standards.
Worse still, the likes of Paul appear to believe that they devise and introduce such measures.

I find it particularly insulting that certain elected members of parliament appear to relish goading those who hold varying opinions. For what other reason is this blog designed for? Dissenters are merely dismissed as cranks and whiners.

BrianSJ

Well, quite a neat deflection - or perhaps smokescreen - about 1984. Obviously, you were sent 1984 for much wider reasons than banning smoking. Perhaps you'd like to comment on NuLabour's record as regards privacy, freedom, individual liberty?

david

So, using your logic, alcohol users are also 'brain dead'. I suppose you would also include American natives in that category as well?

How about those people who are given deadly drugs that don't work in order to relieve them of the dreaded weed? Kill or cure, eh Pat?

Anyway, surely it'd be better to reduce the population in order to combat pollution? After all, we're the cause. You lot are always telling us that smokers die younger - I'm surprised smoking isn't compulsory.

I'm still not convinced you're not Paul. I sincerely hope not - if your's is an example of parliamentary intellect, then God help us (at least he allows free choice).

You could, of course, be a (lower) 6th form sociology student (or aspire to be one). I'm being generous when I say 6th form, but that does allow for falling educational standards.



timbone

"Life at F2C where paranoia is such that to get onto their forums you have to register."

I am a member of several forums, including "themouthpiece" for brass band folk, "holiday-truths" which is a place where people who go abroad a lot can share with each other, and of course "freedom2choose". In every case you have to be registered, as you do with most forums who do not want to be abused. I was a moderator several years ago for an international chat forum, where there were sometimes some heated discussions. This was fine, but registration is a safety net for individuals who become abusive and spam pages etc. Registration means that unsavoury characters can be warned, and if the warning is not heeded, barred.
The freedom2choose forum is, like many many others, an open forum. There have been folk who have registered and politely disagreed with something, they are not barred, they are free to give their opinion. Mention was made of the other thread on here some months ago which attracted a large response from people like F2C members (membership meaning they may simply be registered on the forum). There were also some constructive opposing views from several others, including 'jolly roger', which I found mentally stimulating. If I argue a point of view, I am not trying to score points or win, I am simply saying what I believe. If a person holding a different point of view lowers him/herself to being rude, personal, abusive and spouting allegations, then that is their problem, not mine.

patrick

dai boy
The causes of pollution quoted are all the result of rising living standards and population growth etc. Had Mankind been aware in the Industrial revolution period of the future problems then they would not have developed to this degree.
It's interesting that throughout nature , under natural conditions ,there isn't a wild animal that ingests poisons to the detrement of itself and offspring.
That acolade goes to braindead humans.
People that pay for poison , eh dave?

david

Vote Green? You should have mentioned that earlier. I suppose the smoking ban is small potatoes to you. I'm sorry if I'm distracting you from all the serious stuff like industrial pollution, traffic fumes, argrochemicals, asbestos, farting cows etc, etc, etc. Do you hate those responsible for all that, or merely reserve it for smokers?

Anyway, Paul must be relieved that you're not him...

patrick

david
You're not the first person to think i'm Paul. Thing is i'm much better looking, Vote Green and don't have a beared.
70 per cent of people support the ban (as of any serious poll).
If you had time to track-back on this site you would see many people bothered to oppose the F2C when they last swarmed this site.
The connection with GW is that the Shs deniers on here double up as GW deniers (as previous debates have shown). The person that cries about not being able to light up are very often the ones that deny climate change and don't recycle etc.

I bother to post david because parrot-minded , one view suits all swarmers think that by posting 50 posts in a day that they are right.
oh sorry does that include you?

I couldn't give a monkeys if people want to poison themselves and smoke 1000 fags a day.
I also fully support smoking and non smoking rooms in pubs.
What i object to is the science free garbage of F2C and whiners like you.

david

As you are in Big Pharma's?

Why do you bother to post Patrick ? You have no reasoned arguments, merely tedious clichéd rants - typical Nu-speak. There's no middle ground for you, is there?

I suspect the earth is round, but you're clearly a two dimensional entity - one minute your Patrick, the next Paul.

I can accept the concept of climate change...what the hell has that got to do with tobacco control? A tad more important, though.

As for Newcastle United, I'm not the slightest bit bothered. Bit like your attitude to minorities and those who hold more tolerant opinions. The irony is that your kind are the minority. In fact, the only supporter of the ban here is Pat/Paul.

Most normal folks don't give a monkey's whether you, me or anyone lights up in the pub. After all, that's been normal, sociable, legal and acceptable behaviour for centuries.


patrick

david
you really do live in F2C land.
Life at F2C where paranoia is such that to get onto their forums you have to register.
So terrified of an opposing opinion that they trench themselves in a site where one opinion suits all!
The Smoking ban is hugely popular, has massive public support and was voted in with a big cross -party majority.
you will be better off trying to prove that the world is flat, Climate change isn't happening or that Newcastle will win the premiership.
You are a puppet in the Tobbacco company shares.


david

Paul, I find loud rap music with racial, sexist and violent themes offensive. I also try to avoid places that play loud music. Should these things be banned? Excessive, potential damaging noise in the workplaces is taken very seriously by H & S Exec. I should know, I've sat through enough safety inductions. Perhaps surprisingly, H & S don't seem to consider SHS as a serious danger, and merely pass the buck by directing enquirers to the ludicrous and blatantly political 'Smokefree England' site. Funny that, considering our stifling risk averse culture . Insurance companies don't seem too bothered about SHS either. Again, somewhat surprising, given that they are professional risk assessors?

I agree, MPs had no sinister reasons for voting for a ban. Some undoubtedly, you included perhaps, went along with it because they were anti smokers. Prejudiced, for want of a better word. Nevertheless, ALL of you were hoodwinked by lobby groups financed by pharmaceutical companies and your own government. Basically, the ban is a consequence of weak leadership - you caved in. You chose to believe the evidence presented by those who wish to prohibit smoking, cherry picked data from studies financed and undertaken by anti smokers. The unelected health freaks are now dictating government policy. I can now understand why no qualifications are required to enter parliament.

'The non-smoking majority have grown even more hostile to having their fresh air polluted'.

Wrong...only the anti smoking minority have. I have encountered very few hostile non smokers, prior to/since the ban. The few that are hostile are clearly irrational and intolerant. In fact, most are self righteous ex-smokers (the very worst kind of anti). And do you really believe that most people now breathe fresh air, simply because smokers have been forced outside?

As for polls - well, the outcome of those is usually influenced by those who commission them. MPs are always questioning polls that don't suit their purposes, particularly those that clearly contradict them. You lot spin like tops.

Paul Flynn

Perhaps David you do not realise how offensive tobacco smoke is. Having been without it in public space for a few years, the non-smoking majority have grown even more hostile to having their fresh air polluted.

The decision on the ban was not made for any sinister reasons. It was a free vote in Wales and Westminster made of health, comfort and the freedom of the majority to breathe fresh air.

Even subsequent poll I have seen shows large majorities in for continuing the ban. MPs try to do what is right, not necessarily what is popular.

david

Being realistic, any party than retains power for too long with am overwhelming parliamentary majority is bound to take liberties (in more ways than one). You would argue that Thatcher arrogantly abused this apparently democratic mandate. It doesn't mean, of course, that the majority support it. However, minorities should not be disenfranchised by ruling bodies. Paul, you should be only too aware of this. The problem nowadays is that policies are often justified on the basis of a small sample of public opinion, usually on line. One might also argue that hanging and national service might be introduced on the back of popular public opinion. Not forgetting, of course, a rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

The smoking ban is a classic example of a majority seemingly demanding a ban in pubs. Unfortunately, the pollsters never actually went to pubs to ask either the customers nor the licensees. This was deliberate, because one of the primary reasons (albeit as a hidden agenda) for introducing the ban was to get smokers (who also like a drink) out of pubs. In other words, kill two birds with one stone.

Of course, we all know that the vast majority of pubs are not responsible for the binge drinking culture. The blame for that can be placed firmly at the feet of supermarkets selling cheap alcohol and a system that has allowed and encouraged this to happen. It would surely make sense to keep the pubs for sensible social drinkers and restrict the sale of cheap booze elsewhere. It's not the pubs that are encouraging under age/abuse of alcohol. Like smokers, they are an easy target.

You talk about 'the stink in pubs'. Hardly a reason for justifying a ban. Anyway, many of us, non smokers included, quite like that 'stink'. Why can't we separate facilities to indulge in that pleasure?

The risks, if any, associated with SHS are negligible. If we applied the same criteria to other everyday activites, the country would grind to a halt.

For goodness sake, show a little bit of humility, understanding and common sense. You would then genuinely have majority support.

Paul Flynn

Just some evidence to those who believe that the smoking ban makes Labour unpopular.

By-election result in Glenrothes

In a reduced total poll
Labour had more vote than in 2005
Labour had a 3% INCREASED Share of the vote from the 2005 result.

How many votes did the ant-smoking person get in a by-election. Was it a derisory 83?

No Party will vote to put the stink back into pubs

david

Hi Pat, just to avoid any confusion - I'm the first David who posted. But I do agree with David.

You state 'Getting rid of Bush is the best news the world could have ever hoped for!,

Absolutely. I can't imagine Obama taking your lot seriously...he's too bright.

patrick

David
Just so maybe you can learn something. Newport West Constituency was created in 1983 by a certain Mr's Thatcher. That will be the same one that closed the pits, took the milk of the kids and created 3Million unemployed.Newport was divided into Two. The purpose was to create a Tory seat to balance out the Labour vote. Newport was held for years by Labours Roy Hughes.

Thatcher chose correctly and Newport West went Blue with Mark Robinson. Paul Flynn won the seat in Newport West by about 500 votes in 1987 and has held it since.
You talk about lemmings. You are the best prototype lemming available on this blog. You join a jingoistic bandwagon , swarm a site and don't even get your facts right.


patrick

Well the loonies certainly have made a comeback!
A smoker dies from smoking. I know lets blame every thing from corrupt politicians, WMD'S, Climate change, and now the Anti- smoking industry. You couldn't possibly make this up!
Johnny boy
You're rants would be useful for Mr's Palin
next failed campaign or for Saturday stand-up at the legion.Even you can't possible believe your last posts.
Getting rid of Bush is the best news the world could have ever hoped for!

David

Three MPs are dismissive of the similarities of 1984 to today.

And here's me thinking that David Blunkett was the only blind MP.

Paul Flynn, said he is proud of all those things listed by Dick Puddlecote. Say's it all to me. 45 years in politics and learned nothing.

If he didn't live in an area where, my parents voted labour so I've got to, I doubt he'd see the inside of parliament again, well perhaps as a visitor to have crafty smoke in the Stranger's Bar:) I know so many people with this mentality that it completely baffles me, they're like lemmings.

David

Three MPs are dismissive of the similarities of 1984 to today.

And here's me thinking that David Blunkett was the only blind MP.

Paul Flynn, said he is proud of all those things listed by Dick Puddlecote. Say's it all to me. 45 years in politics and learned nothing.

If he didn't live in an area where, my parents voted labour so I've got to, I doubt he'd see the inside of parliament again, well perhaps as a visitor to have crafty smoke in the Stranger's Bar:) I know so many people with this mentality that it completely baffles me, they're like lemmings.

Chris

How sad our country has become under this NuLab machine.

The powers that be decide which extreme group to 'side' with and don't give 2 hoots about the consequences. What happened to inclusion? What happened to diversity and equality? What happened to our once proud Great Britain?

And then they wonder why there is an explosion of violence on our streets today! Organised protests aren't PC anymore - NuLab dealt with that. Crime and disorder by the youth is down to NuLab political correctness and their following of extremist groups and agendas. Great Britain is too tolerant to accept that sort of concept

Sarah

I'm not going to bother debating the Smoking Ban Experiment with Robbiethemoggie, or whatever his name is, waste of time. They're right everyone else is wrong. They rule OK, well for now.

What I would like an answer to from the resident MP here, is why, now NuLabLies have achieved their goal of keeping smokers in their homes, they've now passed a law, that comes into being next year, which will see many people put out of those self-same homes. When people are in debt, which millions are at this time, and will be for years to come because of Brown's ineptitude & outright lies, the new law, which Mr Flynn, & his colleagues voted for, gives companies the power to apply to the courts for charging orders to force people to sell their homes, for unsecured debts, that's without the extra power they've given to Bailiffs to smash people's doors down for unsecured debts., where it used to be only priority debts.

Down bother pointing out that there has to be CCJs before this can be done, that I know, but what this law does is give the firms carte blanch to secure a charging order on those that are making reduced payments and miss one or two payments.

Although I've never been a labour supporter, and I know they frown on people owning their own home, wel the working class, but I never thought I'd see it stoop this low. And this insidious government still insist they are for the working people, in our dreams.

They have the nerve to say they're the party of the little people and NOT big business, could've fooled me.

Oh one last thing mr Flynn, will this law also apply to those living in council/housing association homes, I know they can't sell them, but will they be subject to charging orders to be evicted. No, somehow I doubt it. But it should include them in the name of fairness don't you think Mr Flynn, after all you're also supposed to be the party of equality too. Therefore it stands, if it's good enough throwing homeowners out of their homes for debt it's good enough to throw tenants out too.

JohnnyB

"Brave New World"

Don't you mean "New World Order" Paul?

Brown keeps droning on about a New World Order like he's a member of some sect or cabal. Is he referring to Common Purpose, Marxist-Socialism as practiced by the EU or just being loser and hoping other losers will rise to the top of the lowest profession in the world, being a politician?

Can I correct some of your inaccuracies please;

You say Obama is a "brilliant intellectual". Obama has not invented or created anything in his inexperienced life. He is a sponge that sops up info from other people. He has shown no ability to be innovative only follow the mantras of his handlers delivered with silky oritory skills suited to voicing over commercials (his true calling in life).

You say "..the prospect of an Obama leading the world increases." Point of order on behalf of the rest (majority) of the planet. He's Prezzy of the USA. That's it mate.

You say "..even the right-wing American TV companies are warming to the enthusiasm of the rest of the world for an American President that the world respects."

There is only one "right wing" TV station in America which he constantly moaned like My Aunt Mildred througout his campaign about. The rest of the media were lefties who insulted Americans intelligence and any standards of fairness and integrity by giving him the easiest ride since Parliament let Blair, Straw and Campbell off leading us into a false war with fabricated evidence.

Final comment. Obama beat MaCain by 52m votes to 48m. Had MaCain stuck to his capitalist routes and stood up against the Democrat/socialist Bank bailout he would have won as 50% of Americans are against hand outs to bankrupt businesses. Considering MaCain had the Bush legacy and the economic recession and bent media to battle against Obama ran a crap campaign to win by such a slight margin.

redex

http://forces.org/Scientific_Portal/smokingandhealth.php

redex

Read the truth about anti-tobacco and how they prevented safer cigarettes being produced to the safety level of a soft drink.
Listen to the interviews about how moderate smoking is perfectly safe.
The anti-smoking industry with its pharmaceutical backers are to blame from any ill health from smoking over the last 30 years.Ignorant politicians perpetuate these frauds Mr Flynn.
I understand you feel it your duty to protect the people you represent but by supporting tobacco control and smoking bans(passive smoking fraud) is as out of touch and counter-productive as supporting drug prohibition.
I urge you to do some objective research and think outside the box, as you have managed with your stance on drug policy.

JohnnyB

Patrick,

Our local GP is fed a constant stream on BS from the NHS hierachy. It may be shocking to you, if not the rest of this country, that Labour have been appointing cronies for 10 years to all key positions in the growth of its Health & Safety Gistapo.

What the NHS hierachy don't tell you is that an NHS hospital is more dangerous to visit than smoking for decades. NHS hospitals provide a wonderful 1 in 300 chance of contracting a disease in a few days. You've a 1% lifetime risk smoking a packet a day.

Regards passive smoking there's dozens of major studies that show time and again there's no risk. In fact the American Surgeon General is about to be inditied for corrupt research on top of the EPA being thrown out of Court in 1998 on identical false information on passive smoke.

The case against smoking is a fabrication by extremist minorities. Something Labour have habitually got involved in (smoking, climate change, WMD/Iraq etc). Hope the penny has dropped for you

JohnnyB

Hi Paul,

Been a while my socialist friend. Did you notice the post by Darren (Nov 11, 01:22pm) above as you haven't replied?

1 of the 3 founding lies of the smoking ban has been admitted at least by one Govt Dept.

The Government's Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has now admitted the smoking ban is bad for business. Here on Planet Reality the people know it. You, Gordon bankrupt Brown, Health Politburo and ASH et al have strained your knecks denying the truth and ignored surveys such as the recent PriceWaterhouse.

At last the first crack in Govt has appeared (we at F2C knew it would). Are you going to admit it, conceed it, or continue to be a laughing stock?

And the cracks are appearing on the other 2 fabrications in your Anti-Smoking Dossier. That the ban stops smoking prevelance and that passive smoke is dangerous to health.

The EU has denied an employee rights to claim health damages because of passive smoking in their offices. They've made the claim, contrary to all their health propoganda, there's no danger to passive smoke.

Similarly it's only a matter of time before the NHS quit programme figures exceed the number of people in the UK.

Why don't you admit, like the Iraq/WMD dossier Labour deliberately fabricated, that the reasons to ban smoking was for personal reasons (the chips on your shoulder and lack of respect for private property and personal freedom) you marched in jack boots across this country on this issue.


Chris W

Patrick,
Do you really believe a few whiffs of tobacco smoke could be harmful when a chap recently ( featured in the times online)celebrated his one hundredth birthday having smoked heavily since the age of nine ?,a smoking ban is ultra pettiness and picking on smokers is the last thing that should be on the governments mind when we witness atrocious crimes everyday unheard of thirty years ago , women of 90 being beaten and raped , toddlers being abused and killed etc.,crimes like these should have paramount importance and every effort should be made to eradicate them by a worthy government instead of persecuting people young and old who smoke tobacco which has been going on for hundreds of years !

single parent

patrick. You are a disgrace to all us tolerant non-smokers.

patrick

Nitro
Thank you for the links.
With the greatest of respect the pro's and cons of smoking were done to death in past blogs.
Nobody will convince people that want to believe passive smoke is harmless. Meantime the mass majority including your GP and the NHS choose to differ.
My money's on the pro's.

patrick

"You're certainly a useful lubricant, greasing the ins and outs of those who really are shafting smokers..."

Thanks for that Dave. As i'm the only poster in this one in agreement with PF i must be some sort of creep. This kind of infantile remark doesn't even reach cheap shot status.

Yes i'm pleased about the ban.
Funny that you mention ranting. When many people all come into a debate on the same day from the same sad cause and ranting you pick up the one ranter with an opposing view.
Sorry not to fall in line dave.

You mention "shafting the smoker".
You are obviously refering to the Tabacco companies and the smokers themselves.


Paul Flynn

Worthy objectives, Nitro. Thanks Patrick for your splendid postings. I must meet you sometime. I think this thread has stubbed itself out.

The smoking ban was a democratic decision taken on a free votes. in 2010 it will be confirmed with a bigger majority.

Nitro

Patrick re your:- To the 'Freedom to kill people' fodder.

Just to remind eveyone Senior government advisor on health says: "I don't think the arguments on passive smoking are all that strong.

You can find the article here http://takingliberties.squarespace.com/taking-liberties/2008/2/16/senior-health-advisor-agrees-with-forest.html

Who is passive smoking killing? or as Professor Le Grand states "The real reason, he explained, was to encourage smokers to quit so the government could meet its target of reducing the smoking rate to 21 per cent by 2010"

david

Calm down Pat, it's only a blog.

If you've convinced yourself that the ban is overwhelmingly popular and will never be amended, why are you posting? You've got what you want, haven't you? Pat hates smokers. Fine, so what? Do we seem bothered? Actually I don't smoke, but smokers (at least the more astute ones) have my full support and sympathy).

The irony is, of course, that ranters like you actually oil the wheels of this debate. You're certainly a useful lubricant, greasing the ins and outs of those who really are shafting smokers...

patrick

To the 'Freedom to kill people' fodder.
As of every other debate in the media F2C kid themselves that they have wide-spread support. YOU DO NOT!
Yet again we hear rubbish like 'the silent majority have had enough' etc. If this is the case and if you have such wide wholesome
support then you will have no trouble in getting a party elected and reversing every single piece of anti-poison legislation.
The facts are that F2C live in a fantasy world. They are so obsessed with their own agenda they clearly forget the rights of the rest of the population.
So FDC, either put up and back up what you say or face the fact that the majority of the public love the ban.
Get over it!

Tim Almond

"All it does is restrict pollution in public places that gives the rest of us the freedom to breathe clean air. That's a minor restriction for smokers that will produce health benefits for non-smokers."

A pub is a private business, not a public place. You do not own it, nor have any right to go in it.

It is right that public places are smoke free. If I am visiting a council office, I should not have to breathe in smoke, because I have no choice but to visit a council office.

You have a choice to go into a pub or otherwise. You could pick a pub that has a smoke-free area, or could even go to a smoke-free pub. It's a matter of choice. The pub-goers generally wanted to be able to smoke, so why shouldn't they? Why should people who never go in pubs dictate what those people should do?

timbone

I was speaking to a gentleman recently who has a phenomenal knowledge of many subjects, inluding political matters. His interest in these things began when he went to what was then Czechoslovakia, in 1968, just after what has become known as the Prague Spring. He had been given a grant to go there to research a PhD (that would not happen today would it) and was picking his way through Russian tanks to get to the libraries and museums.
Why am I telling you this? He shocked me when he said that he had not voted for eleven years. I asked him why. He said that there are now only two political parties in this Country who get elected to government, and they are both the same, so in this archaic 1st past the post system you are only voting for which dictator you want next. Guess what, he is thinking seriously of making a permanent move to the Czech Republic, because it is more democratic!

By the way, a little note for Patrick (aka robbiethesmoggie?) timbone is not a silly name, my name is Tim and one of my professions is to play the trombone.

Chris W

Paul,
Do you honestly think public support will increase for the Smoking ban when up to now 2,500 pubs have closed ! with 100,000 jobs lost and millions of people now just staying at home and not socialising ,angry people I might add !,how many pubs ,Bingo halls ,cafes and restaurants etc., will be closed and jobs lost by 2010 I wonder ?

Nitro

Pauls Comments:- There will be a new look at the Smoking Ban in 2010.

I'd bet my mortgage that public support will have increased since the ban was introduced.

Paul will we be allowing the general public to be consulted on the smoking ban to put your wager to the test?

Or will only ASH, NHS and other Stakeholders be allowed to contribute to our debate.

Tim Le Clerc

"I'd bet my mortgage that public support will have increased since the ban was introduced."

Well, with only 33% favouring a total ban in pubs at the time the ban was voted on in Parliament, I suppose 'the only way is up'.

Re: "Nineteen-Eighty-Four": One thing which gives me comfort is that the current crop of politicians and MPs are simply not self-aware enough to realise a totalitarian state akin to Orwell's Oceania. Government will never be able to retain easily accessible personal information on every citizen if the woeful record of its IT projects is anything to go by. Chronic disorganisation will mitigate the worst excesses of centralised power. Also, while the current politicians couch their authoritarian streak with the self-justification of it being 'for peoples' own good' (many of them even believe this) they fail to meet the most basic requirement of ushering in Orwell's nightmare regime. Simply, to paraphrase O'Brien, they fail to recognise that they crave power for its own sake.

Of course, this could all change within a generation or two, so it is incumbent upon us to fight against authoritarianism where ever it may lie.

david

Paul - loads of smokers deal with what you might regard as unsavoury characters. Tobacco smugglers may well offer other 'goods' as well.

I repeat - if smoking is as dangerous as you believe, why is it not totally prohibited? Surely it is your duty to ensure that tobacco is not sanctioned in any way by the authorities. Any crack down on drug dealers is also your responsibility. It's not the general public's problem - you make and (should) enforce the rules.

BTW, what happened to all the anti drug adverts? Why are all resources targeted at smokers? Maybe the anti drug campaign hasn't been very cost effective. The anti smoking campaign certainly hasn't. In fact, smoking rates have increased in Ireland since their ban (up to about 30%).

Given that this blog concerns '1984', I have to say that leaders of this administration wouldn't last five minutes in that scenario. Too naive, and too easily led by a very small minority of non elected fanatics. Have you never studied 20th century history? Do you think that totalitarianism is a thing of the past?

Paul Flynn

David, I have been arguing for 20 years that prohibition does not work. It incresaes drug use and deaths and subsidies an illegal criminal fraternity that pays no tax

Paul Flynn

There will be a new look at the Smoking Ban in 2010.

I'd bet my mortgage that public support will have increased since the ban was introduced.

Nitro

Paul as we all know Labour are taking the full brunt of the smoking ban, the Conservatives and Lib Dems etc appear to be unscathed.

I am not sure why we are not publicly stating the Smoking ban is being revisited, this at least may bring back on board some of our disenfranchised voters.

Personally I am fed up with having non smoking ads etc forced on me at every opportunity, it is not even based on any true scientific facts.

Why is every uk taxpayer paying out over £200 per year in extra taxation to keep up the barrage of anti smoking sound bites, this money would be better spent by wage earners on their energy bills etc.


david

Thanks for the raid response Paul, but you haven't really answered my question.

Surely, the reasons you give can't be the main ones? Anyway, a substantial percentage of tobacco is acquired illegally, simply because HM Revenue and Customs are levying disproportionate amounts of duty from smokers. You could, of course, argue that high taxation is designed to discourage smokers, although the duty was high even before the current anti smoker onslaught. Not high enough to warrant rampant smuggling - most smokers were happy and willing to pay fair duty. This was, of course, before they were treated as second rate citizens, alienated and ostracised by government decree, aided and abetted by pharmaceutical companies and rabid anti smoking lobby groups (and paying maybe £1500 additional taxes pa, based on a 20/day habit).

Do you seriously expect intelligent people to accept that the huge tobacco revenue earned by government has nothing to do with NOT banning it completely? Why not just admit it? What are you frightened of - being regarded as a drug pimp, profiting from the weakness of others?

Let's turn the argument on its head. Why not legalise all prohibited substances so that the exchequer has an even bigger vested interest in addictions? Not sure that that would be much of a vote winner, of course (not with Middle England, anyway). Besides, taxing these wouldn't solve much - users would opt for the cheaper option, just like many smokers already do (particularly the hand rollers).

I guess I have figured it for myself, it's all about money....so long as there's a market we may as well exploit it.

Tony

I'm glad wou were sent a copy of '1984' because lets face it I think politicians need to be reminded that the book is a warning not a manual or play book that Jacqui Smith seems to want to run through.

But on the positive side if we scrapped the ID cards . the DNA database , Trident we'd save billions of pounds - just when we need it the most

And I agree entirely - ask yourself this ? how many people have died through terrorist attacks this year ? Hundreds maybe (and each one a waste..)
How many die however through
a) malnutrition
b) dehydration
c) on the roads
d) lack of medical facilities ?

Methinks we have our priorities wrong ..

John H Baker

Paul said:
Prohibition of tobacco would create an illegal market.

And smoking bans don't create illegal markets???

All prohibitionists, like yourself, create illegal activities.

Paul Flynn

To totally confused David,

Prohibition of tobacco would create an illegal market. Addicts will not go away, they will need their fix, an illegal market would produce poor quality dangerous cigarettes, gangs would divide areas into their own territories, turf wars will follow, fortunes will be made by the drug pushers, police, custom and jail warders will be corrupted, rich smokers will get their drug easily, the poor will suffer and become criminals to get supplies.

In fact exactly the same as now in the prohibition of controlled drugs.

david

Patrick - will you be branding those who question ridiculous alcohol and 'unhealthy' food controls as idiotic, swarming bags of wind?

Stuart

"This is a problem for these above swarmers because there is'nt one to represent their idiotic views."

Exactly. Some of us know how to use 'google alerts' and RSS readers and we care passionately about our hard-won liberties. Especially yesterday.

When I was at school I was in the CCF and was taken to the East German border in uniform. Hardly a radical. I was photographed by the Stasi. A few days ago I was photographed by Special Branch as I strolled around Parliament Sq. I know what I care about. I'm not a 'swarm'.

I care that politicians want to boss me about. I care that Guildford Council (Tory) won't licence a burger van unless it sells Tofu. I care that you think that this is reasonable.

Watch out for the silent majority. We have had enough.

Stuart

"This is a problem for these above swarmers because there is'nt one to represent their idiotic views."

Exactly. Some of us know how to use 'google alerts' and RSS readers and we care passionately about our hard-won liberties. Especially yesterday.

When I was at school I was in the CCF and was taken to the East German border in uniform. Hardly a radical. I was photographed by the Stasi. A few days ago I was photographed by Special Branch as I strolled around Parliament Sq. I know what I care about. I'm not a 'swarm'.

I care that politicians want to boss me about. I care that Guildford Council (Tory) won't licence a burger van unless it sells Tofu. I care that you think that this is reasonable.

Watch out for the silent majority. We have had enough.

david

I really can't understand the anti tobacco lobby. On the one hand they bombard smokers with dire health warnings, graphic images, draconian bans etc etc etc.....but they never, ever demand a total ban on tobacco.

For goodness sake, if it's that bad the government should completely outlaw it's use, immediately. After all, all other legal drugs have to undergo years of clinical trials before they are approved for public consumption, then often only on prescription. Yet, we are constantly being told that tobacco is more addictive and more life threatening than heroin (a class A substance). Yet, it is not illegal to sell or use it. Why, like other drugs, is it not banned? Why can anyone over 18 legally and easily buy it from a corner shop or supermarket?

I'm totally confused, Paul - could you cast any light on this seemingly bizarre paradox?

mike  (defender)

"To the many above posters (that appear to have so much time on their hands)have you formed a party to fight for what you so strongly believe in or are you just a bunch of mob-handed , swarming, bags of wind?"

Yes patrick, you got it. Many of us now dont have any more faith in party politics. We do not seem to get what we elect MP's for, to represent the voters, to do as we ask. Dishonourable manifestoes, lies, spin, traitorus actions, criminal activities, etc etc.
So it's getting to a situation of them against us. Time to pick a side.
Swarming, now there is an idea. So far I have been "swarming" on my own, perhaps we should really get together a swarming, mob handed, bag of wind and see who really has the say.

John H Baker

You just don't get it Paul, do you. You are just trying to play dumb to what you and your cohorts in government are doing to this country! As a fervent Labour (now ex) supporter I can't believe how anti working class my beloved (ex) party has become and are now doing to it's people!

And since you were determined to bring the smoking ban into it then so shall I.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd69/TheBigYinme/Membership-26-10-0806.jpg

These posters are in much demand in the pub and club industry so you are not alone.

John H Baker
Proud smoker and member of Freedom To Choose

patrick

Thank God for the smoking ban.
At last we are taking seriously the poison available in our local shops.

What this debate again highlights is the desperate nature of the swarmer.Your only form of attack is to all hit a chosen target on the same day making the same points, cowards!
At the next election you have a choice to vote for several parties. This is a problem for these above swarmers because there is'nt one to represent their idiotic views. So they adopt tactics designed to appear as if they have a big support. They may even form a very weak fringe party and lose their deposit in every seat they stand in.
To the many above posters (that appear to have so much time on their hands)have you formed a party to fight for what you so strongly believe in or are you just a bunch of mob-handed , swarming, bags of wind?

david

How on earth can the likes of Paul claim to have improved the freedoms and human rights of the average citizen? Policies such as the smoking ban merely pander to the ill informed, self righteous nu-middle class. Unsurprisingly, these appear to be the so called floaters. This group prospered under recent governments (including the Tories) - they felt secure, important (smug) and worthy.Indeed, not unlike their political leaders. The result of a shallow, decadent culture, ill educated and selfish. They are not feeling quite as secure now, are they?

Graham Marlowe

"Many of the Liberation Party may be opposed to this Government and thy are having a go which they are entitled to do on the shaky basis of a threat to Liberty. Some quote isolated idiocies that occur and are reported in lurid terms by the Tory Press."

Paul: Can you not see that you are being extremely patronising to us?

Yoou seem to think that we all have no opinions of our own, but have been whipped up by the "Tory press".

I am not influenced by the press of any colour, but my own observations.


Can you not see, for example, that local councils, embolndened by encouragement from central government, are increasingly spying on people?. Encouraging people to report their neighbours for the most trivial reasons. Even the BBC (hardly the Tory Press) have reported on people being fined because they left the lid of their wheely bin propped up with an extra bag of rubbish.

Beckett is considering giving council tenants "fixed term contracts" to "solve" the paucity of council housing, when any idiot could tell her that the solution to the lack of council housing - which ha sshrunk over the past 10 years - is to BUILD MORE.

You yourself are influenced by the Tory Press when you beat the drum for Purnell, implying, as he does, that people on benefits exploit the system. Isn't that what the EXpress, Sun and Mail do?

I wouldn't mind if you were as quick to condemn those ministers and MPs who exploit the system, like Balls and Cooper. We have also seen disgraced ministers return to the fold, and there are constant reports that the otiose Blunkett may return next year.


But, speaking for myself, I don't allow myself to be influenced by the Tory Press: I am just disgusted by New Labour hypocrisy - how you praise measures proposed by clever-clever little right wing ministers of NL which you would eb the first to condemn if a Tory minister had proposed the same thing (you are not alone - most of you do it).

I could never bring myself to vote for Labour again, until the party returns to it's values and stops trying to be a cheap copy of the Tory party. As for Brown, he seems to be determined to bankrupt the country just so he can cling on to office till the last min ute - hence bring back rejects like Mandelson

Dick Puddlecote

I must say that this 1984 initiative was inspired beyond belief. One MP after another avoiding public concerns in favour of their own hide.

I fully expected at least one to break rank (even if only for the votes) and admit that there are lessons to be learnt. But no, arrogant, evasive and insulting to a man (or woman).

Never have so many been served so badly by so few.

Dick Puddlecote

Good to know that I am not alone in objecting to your arrogance in authority. But what's THIS?

"Can the 30 or so people who have written to me ..."

So, it's just 30 people that think this way. Not just 30 people who are the tip of a huge iceberg. In the land where news is easily avoidable these days, 30 that have found your blog through the vastness of the internet, with those most affected not even knowing what the internet is, is a massive response. Ignore it if you will, but you're no socialist if you do.

"shaky basis of a threat to Liberty"

Whatever basis they believe, it is they who matter, NOT you. They are the voters, you work for THEM. You've been in Gov since 1987, have this escaped your attention?

"they are not typical or significant"

Paul, you are wrong that they aren't typical, you show yourself up as naive with that comment. Plus, how DARE you say that any voter is not significant. You pompous ... (trying hard not to swear and incur your arbitrary censorship). Seriously, take that back.

"They will be before the PASC Select Committee today. We will work with them to restore faith in National Statistics."

Good. Let's start with the utter lies about your specialist subject. The ONS has stats on support for a smoking ban, your Government not only ignored them but made up new ones. YOU believed your own lies.

Physician, heal thyself.

"Why let criminals get away with it because of a mild harmless infringements of liberty?"

There is no such thing as a mild harmless infringement of liberty, only infringements of liberty.

I was going to point out a dozen examples of criminals (off the top of my head) getting away with it under your shoddy regime, but what's the point when you are so blinkered?

"Is this really a major issue? I cannot see it."

YES. And good grief!

Tom Stickland

"It appears to be a fresh stunt by those who want to bring smoking back into pubs."

Are you being deliberately obtuse? I imagine that the stunt is to make a point about the threat to civil liberties from "thought crimes" and more surveillance.

James Burkes

I am the only smoker in my social group. Yet I can inform Mr Flynn that, yes, ALL of my friends want the Ban reversed.

While I am concerned about the legal implications of the Ban (is it right that someone can be fined thousands for allowing someone to smoke? There is no legal requirement to interfere if one sees any other crime being committed, even murder), and the Big Statism of the Ban (are Pubs really "public spaces"? Is it right for the Government to dictate what happens on private property?), my friends are more pragmatic.

Indeed, they have now all started smoking (cigars, and only when out, but that's still more than before the Ban) and want it repealed for a few simple reasons. A few local pubs have closed. And the ones that are left are never more than half full and have all the atmosphere of a cinema foyer on a Sunday morning.

I think if Mr Flynn looked into this he'd be surprised to see how many non-smokers are against the Ban, and how many had never even thought about smoke in pubs until the Ban came in. Certainly my friends would prefer more people, more girls to chat to and more craic than the rancid aroma of air freshener, bleach and body odour that seems to permeate so many pubs nowadays.

Matt Davies

I look forward to Labour running on the ticket that Liberty is not that big a deal, as seems to be the consensus so far.

Unless you want the serfs to and blow up some 3rd world country that is. Then it's the most important thing ever right?

I'm just sad you probably won't be around to see the results of your disregard for freedom.

f0ul

One day, you will be out of office and will find that all the laws that you and your crazy 645 colleagues have placed on the public over the last 11 years will finally effect you.

Your ability to smoke in a public place will be the least of your problems - 1984 mirrors so many of the governments attitudes to the general public.
I would suggest you read it and imagine that you are not an MP, exempt from many of the laws and regulations which have made like in the UK so miserable for so many - and don't worry, nobody is suggesting the Tories are any better - they just wear a different colour Rosette and also received a copy!

Anon

I am nothing to do with the libertarian party, or this whole thing about 1984, but I do feel we are entering a "surveillance society".
Isn't it weird that people are always willing to give away freedoms they don't use in order to secure their own comfort, while defending freedoms they do use?

I also feel that Paul Fyln seems to be somewhat detatched from reality in his defence of our surveillance society. But then, he IS in parliament, and doing anything to expand the state's power is pretty much his job.

J Stewart

Paul, if you 'can't see it' and you are an honourable man who does care about the electorate of this country, then please stand down before you do any more damage.

Before you do, please lobby the Government to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The Government won't listen to us and they've reneged on their promise. In fact, please hold a referendum on whether to withdraw from the EU. We proles, if given a truthful, plain English account of the issues, are quite capable of making up our own minds. Now that would be democracy.

Sub_Wrath

"Yes a national DNA database would be very valuable resource. Why let criminals get away with it because of a mild harmless infringement of liberty?"

Collecting as much of your population as you can into one huge grab-bag is NOT "harmless", especially when that grab-bag encompasses so much more. It's not "just" a DNA database, is it? Its building a picture of someone the moment they're born via ContactPoint, then switching them over to the proposed national-database-of-everything once they hit 18.

It's local councils abusing RIPA for the sake of catching out parents whose kids are in the wrong school catchment area, its trumped up bureaucrats dragging dying children into the courts. It's routinely seeing up to 15 police standing in a line pulling over motorists while you can't get a single policeman for love nor money should you be burgled or attacked in the street.

It's all of these things and a whole lot more.

"Is this really a major issue? I cannot see it."

And that's precisely the attitude that's driving your own VOTERS such as myself away from your party come the next election.

Dave Atherton

I never thought as an ordinary working class person outraged at the smoking ban that we would in a small way light the blue touch paper and we all stand back. Depsite not being a natural Labour supporter, I nevertheless, WMD in Iraq or not, approved of Blair's involvement initially and I will not be a hypocrite to condemn Brown now. On the credit crisis I have spent 10 weeks unemployed from May to September and found out that there was another meaning of UB40, other than as a pop group. Again I do not hold Labour accountable for my demise.

The way Labour have chipped away at civil liberties I find alarming. Again I will be generous and I do not believe there is malice of forethought, more clumsy reactions to current politics. However the fly swatting reaction to our concerns I find very disappointing and there is an instinctive anti libertarian streak, bossy, nannying, bullying, we know best for you attitude which really gets my back up.

As you may remember I posted before on your blog on the smoking ban. I am a moderate drinker who will please nanny Johnson <20 units a week. However my poison is niccotine and everytime I go for a drink once an hour I have to interrupt my conversation and stand out in all weathers. My burning resentment of Labour knows no bounds.

Paul Flynn

This is all very interesting.

Can the 30 or so people who have written to me really believe that UK 2008 is similar to Orwell's 1984? Possibly Zimbabwe, Myanmar, North Korea could be compared with some aspects of 1984.

But Britain? Many of the Liberation Party may be opposed to this Government and thy are having a go which they are entitled to do on the shaky basis of a threat to Liberty. Some quote isolated idiocies that occur and are reported in lurid terms by the Tory Press. But they are not typical or significant. They are certainly not Government policies, they are rare aberrations that are blown up into absurdities. The absurdities are then attacked.

As an MP I have opposed ID cards, 90 and 42 days and drugs prohibition. Not on the grounds of Liberty because I do not think it is threatened. I have been against these because they do not work and do more harm than good.
.
This Government has given away more power than any other Government ever, with devolved government in Wales, Scotland and NI and a transparency of central power with FOI. Tonight the now fully independent National Statistics Authority had a presentation in the Commons. To their great credit, The Government has given them full autonomy to research and publish vital statistics. They deserve great credit for giving freedom to the Authority.

They will be before the PASC Select Committee today. We will work with them to restore faith in National Statistics.


I can understand anti-Government zealots attacking the Government using liberty as an excuse. But there is little substance in their arguments. There are advantages in all the changes listed. Yes even a national DNA database would be very valuable resource. Why let criminals get away with it because of a mild harmless infringements of liberty?

Is this really a major issue? I cannot see it.

Mr Ecks

NuLabs endless tripe about dumping our freedoms to combat terrorism is vile. Jacqui "Boot" Spliff and all the rest of your hierarchy leave out one little fact Mr Flynn. Over the past 100 years all the worlds terrorists have murdered tens of thousands of people.Very bad BUT over that same 100 years the worlds political scum assisted by their cop and "security" service henchmen have murdered 200 million human beings. That does NOT include victims or participants in warfare. That is just the total of those those rounded up, shot,gassed, beaten to death,starved and generally exterminated. That, of course, does not included millions more who did not die but were imprisoned, tortured, exiled and/or reduced to the status of slaves. Nor does it include the emotional agony of millions more who had to watch the suffering and often death of those they loved and lost forever thanks to the kindness and solicitude of arrogant power-seeking political vermin.Does all this horror belong to a bygone time?--ask the Burmese protesters who were sentenced today to 65 years in jail for daring to resist the state.

Could never happen here?. Well I and the others here see the signs of your Governments arrogant disdain for freedom growing by the day.

Mr Ecks

NuLabs endless tripe about dumping our freedoms to combat terrorism is vile. Jacqui "Boot" Spliff and all the rest of your hierarchy leave out one little fact Mr Flynn. Over the past 100 years all the worlds terrorists have murdered tens of thousands of people.Very bad BUT over that same 100 years the worlds political scum assisted by their cop and "security" service henchmen have murdered 200 million human beings. That does NOT include victims or participants in warfare. That is just the total of those those rounded up, shot,gassed, beaten to death,starved and generally exterminated. That, of course, does not included millions more who did not die but were imprisoned, tortured, exiled and/or reduced to the status of slaves. Nor does it include the emotional agony of millions more who had to watch the suffering and often death of those they loved and lost forever thanks to the kindness and solicitude of arrogant power-seeking political vermin.Does all this horror belong to a bygone time?--ask the Burmese protesters who were sentenced today to 65 years in jail for daring to resist the state.

Could never happen here?. Well I and the others here see the signs of your Governments arrogant disdain for freedom growing by the day.

J Stewart

Graham, I'm sure that you've twigged by now that when this government talks about 'consultation' they mean that they consult with only those who will agree with them. They will even rig outcomes by soliciting the 'right' response from the public. This is what happened in the recent 'consultation' ahead of review of current tobacco control measures. I wouldn't believe a word of the results of their consultations.

wonderfulforhisage

Mark my words, the worms are turning. And when they do...........the very thought brings a smile to my face.

Graham Marlowe

"This is still the best country in the world in which to live"


Not any more, paul.

As a former Labour voter, I am appalled by this limp excuse of a Labour government. I think many of us are fed jup with the pretence.

For example, the decision on a third runway at london Airport is not yet supposed to be made, yet Hoon, surely one of the most pompous and useless ministers (how has he survived - he was terrible at Defence, not an especially good LOTH) made it pretty clear the governments "mind", such as it is, is already made up - then they have the sauce to go on about cutting carbon emissions etc.

We have been fooled by Blair/Brown and their toadies for far too long

Sub_Wrath

"With so many issues of importance in the world, it's a suprise that a group of people can get so worked up by a perceived loss of liberties."

"Perceived"? Remind me again why politicians and, oh dear, "celebrities" aren't having their full details placed onto ContactPoint but the rest of us are, regardless of whether we want to or not?

I won't retread old ground already covered regarding ID Cards and national databases stuffed to bursting point with information that'll no doubt end up on the floor of a taxicab on a USB stick so let's move on.

"There are good reasons for surveillance cameras and a DNA database."

Because assuming everyone is guilty by default is enough justification for what's currently going on in England with regards our "perceived" loss of liberties, isn't it?

"It's right that new technogy should be used to deter crime and to capture criminals."

Define "right". You're not using it to deter crime and capture criminals, you're using it to build up a gigantic profile of every single person that lives in this country for no other reason than "because we can".

Who ARE these people that keep coming up to Jaqcui Smith telling her they "really want ID cards"? Can she actually give specific examples, or are we actually supposed to take her entirely anecodtal evidence at face value?

For the record, I'm no crank or loony or ranting political activist.

Prior to the point where Labour decided to try and control every aspect of our day to day existence, I was a two time Labour voter, couldn't imagine voting for anyone else.

How wrong I was! I stumbled upon the news of people sending copies of 1984 to politicians entirely by accident, and I've stuck around to see the results. Other than this, I don't tend to bother with politics, or read political websites or MP blogs.

However. I have huge misgivings about what's currently happening in this country as we wander further and further into a surveillance state, and as a DIRECT result of that, I won't be voting Labour at the next election.

I *will* be voting for the party that pushes away from this disgraceful abuse of technology and surveillance as much as possible.

Again, I'm not some hardcore nutcase foaming at the mouth about politics, something I fear a lot of people engaged in this debate are being unfairly dismissed as.

I'm just regular joe public, an ordinary voter who (a few years ago) would have been quite happy to vote Labour.

I'm simply here to point out, at this point, there's an awful lot of people like me that you're losing. And it's going to get worse...

J Stewart

Hello again, Paul. Isn't it somewhat embarrassing to find that there are actually people who are worried about the numerous examples of erosion of civil liberties who recognise that the smoking ban is an example - I seem to recall that you dismissed 'freedom2choose' as representing a small bunch of silly people whose brains were addled by smoking?

It struck me when I was watching the Remembrance Service on Sunday that the veterans who marched past the cenotaph would, minutes later, be criminals if they used a legal product within the four walls of the pub to which they'd repaired to reminisce with their chums. As veterans of a war fought against an overmighty, authoritarian regime they are saluted; as elderly smokers they are of so little account that they are denied use of a legal product in comfort. Instead they must stand outside in the bitter cold to be sneered at by sanctimonious prigs who have been groomed by s government which has decided that smoking is to be 'denormalised' using the lie that smokers endanger others' health.

Redbridge Council has now decided that smokers should be banned from fostering: people are to be defined by their use of a legal product; no other consideration is of account, it is enough that they are smokers. Rather as at one time it was enough to be Jewish to be discriminated against.

At last the various groups who each have a particular area of interest are coming together to stand up to your government, Paul. God help you when the drinkers climb on board.

John Pickworth

Patrick said...

"The reason these clowns swarm MP'S websites is that NOBODY will listen to them.
'Let's all go online mob-handed with our stupid names and even more pathetic views and bug some MP'S because let's face it we're not achieving anything'.
Idiots!"

First of all, I've posted using my real name (and email address)... I will also provide my home phone number if Paul requests it.

Second, I presume Paul has produced this website for a reason? Surely its not merely an electronic soapbox for the faithful? If Paul doesn't welcome a 'swarm' of visitors he'd be just about the only interneteer in the entire world with that view.

Thirdly, you're quite wrong that NOBODY will listen to us (us being the public by the way - not some loony faction as you're trying to imply). A great many ordinary folk are talking about this Government everyday and how their lives are being affected by the snooping, the endless form filling, the arrogant dismissive tone from civil servants and MPs, the banned this that and the other, the endless red tape at work, the health and safety culture, the penalty/fine grab for every minor infraction of pointless edicts and... here's the biggie, the feeling that ever more of our lives centre around the Government's wishes and desires.

Personally - and I'm in the majority here - we just want to go to work, pay our bills (including minimal taxes), live our lives and leave the Government to do the big stuff. Frankly though, you've all gone completely insane. Unless I'm a really one of the bad boys, my life should never cross the path of the Government's but suddenly we find ourselves dodging anti-terror laws, Police spot checks, overt suspicion, cameras dotted everywhere, money laundering rules, the fear of kids incase we're suspected of being in Glitter's gang, intimate searches at the ports, overbearing authority and jobsworths. Its utterly endless... and its impacting every damn single day of our lives.

So no, I'm not an idiot and nor are those desperate souls trying to get our elected representatives to hear what is wrong out here in the real world.

Paul makes the point above that 'its right that technology should be used against the criminal', the problem is its being increasingly used against everybody and I'm not convinced there is a right or need to go as far as we have! Although I am pleased to hear he's against ID Cards - there's hope after all.

And while we're on the subject, I will never sign up for an ID Card as long as I'm a British subject. Nor will I willingly give my DNA (or allow it to be retained) as an innocent man.

As for bugging MPs? Sorry to inform you but that's pretty much top of their job description. If we couldn't bug them (and its getting worryingly like we can't) then there is no point having them.

Seriously, all we crazy citizens ask is that someone with guts actually takes the time to listen to us before enacting anymore clever ideas. You're killing our collective identity, the thing that makes us unique in the World and so very British.

Sub_Wrath

"As it was proved today, people as young as twelve have the autonmy to refuse hospital treatment."

It was only "proven" in the first place because that same twelve year old had to suffer the indignity of being dragged before the courts in the first place.

In a sane country, faceless unaccountable busybodies wouldn't be able to demand this child has an operation because they think they know best.

Tell me, if she had lost, would someone now be holding her down while they fired up the operating equipment?

Jeremy  Hummerstone

"It's irksome for the inveterate smoker to use designated areas.". There is no "designated area" in a pub. You have to go outside, and can't even lean against the door frame. I am not a smoker but support smokers; I still can't quite believe that the little Hitlers have been given in to without a struggle, in a country that used to be free.

The Secret Person

Oh and the smoking ban thing was because everyone who contributed to this grassroots campaign was encouraged to send a personal message.

No doubt some MPs would find the idea of thinking for themselves, beyond what the whips say or the soundbites they are fed, hard to understand. From your voting record it seems that you are not one of those MPs, so I hold out some hope.

The originators of this campaign simply organised that each MP recieved a copy, whoever volunteeres yours obviously thought the smoking ban was a prime example.

jaymason

it has nothing to do with smoking and everything to with a surveillance society anda government that is becoming increasingly totalitarian in all aspects, an unelected leader who criticises people for unfunded tax cuts one day and then 2 weeks later announces his own and criticises funded tax cuts. Talk about ministry of truth. This I think is the point of supplying you with a copy of 1984

Nick

Paul,

We, the public, your employers, (Do Not forget that) are becomong increasingly aware that we are moving to a totalitarian state. The powers of the state over the individual have become increasingly overwhelming. The average person in the street is totally bemused about what he can do, or not do. You harp on about the smoking ban as if it was the most precious single issue, only goes to show that you do not understand the monster that you have unleashed.

Smoking ban passed. What next? Fattie foods, alcahol sales, you can't die unless we say so. The list will be worthy of 1984.

The Secret Person

Hi Paul.

I think we agree that the UK is not as bad as 1984.

I don't think either of us wants it to get as bad as 1984.

So why don't we all stop moving further and further towards 1984?

Matt Davies

Your overlords allow themselves smoking over at the EU. I doubt you lot are any different; considering your snivelling hero worship and surrender to your Commie heros.

http://www.sadireland.com/euro_parliament_abandons_smoking_ban.htm

European Parliament Abandons Smoking Ban
(18/02/07)

The European Parliament has abandoned it's smoking ban after only 43 days. The ban was introduced last month at the parliament's two buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg. However, MEP's and staff infuriated by the removal of their 'smoking area's began smoking everywhere in the buildings and forced the abandonment of the ban.

Katabasis

"With so many issues of importance in the world, it's a suprise that a group of people can get so worked up by a perceived loss of liberties."

- PERCEIVED loss of liberties? I did read that right then...... perhaps when you're no longer an MP you will start explicitly feeling the pinch like the rest of us. Others have already pointed out in detail the ACTUAL loss of liberties taking place.


"There are good reasons for surveillance cameras and a DNA database."

- Yes I'm sure there are good reasons, although I notice none of this pervasive paranoia came through in the legislation of the Thatcher years despite the IRA almost successfully blowing her and the cabinet up.

- There are a lot of valid concerns about the DETAIL of how surveillance cameras and DNA are used. It appears to be function creep all of the way....why are you being disingenuous (again) and ignoring these?

- Aside from everything else, it is eminently clear that the government is the very last institution we can trust with sensitive data.

"It's right that new technogy should be used to deter crime and to capture criminals."

- Not sure what to make of this statement. You realise, on a normative level, there is no such thing as "just" a technology? I'd recommend the 'Information Society Reader' if you want to get up to speed on such issues.

"It was the elected parliament that voted for these things by substantial majorities. Few if any will be changed if there is a change of Government."

- And here you highlight one of the key issues. You're right. It doesn't matter who is in charge anymore as you're all in hoc.

"I have always (in spite of what it says on They work for you.com) voted against the 90 and 42 days and ID cards and I have never voted against a transparent parliament."

- I am very pleased to hear this. Perhaps you might want to have words with the people running the aforementioned site?

"Is this Liberation party in favour of legalising all controled drugs for adults? that is cause worth fighting for."

- You mean 'Libertarian Party'? And for the record - can you please state clearly that what you are saying here is that you support the legalisation of all controlled drugs for adults? (And also define what you mean by "controlled drugs").

"Meanwhile, there's global warming, international peace, developing world poverty, future world food and water shortages..etc. etc. These are all cause worth campaigning about."

- Yes, plenty beyond our borders to do some mighty fine hand wringing over (much of which our own successive incompetent, short termist governments have contributed directly towards causing) - what about getting our own house in order though?

"But sex educatioon in schools?, surveilliance of neighbours from hell? Daily Mail propaganda exaggerations? Fabian infiltrating schools. Fabians?"

Pffft. Talk about picking out straw men to knock down...

What about:
- The literacy and numeracy CATASTROPHE in this nation (50%+ adults with sub level 2 skills in literacy and numeracy).
- The official cultures of insane political correctness, control of language - and perhaps most damaging of all - the "targets" based culture that has hollowed out so many institutions (the police, NHS, primary and secondary schools - I even see it creeping into Higher Ed now - bang goes the world respected British University degree....)
- The inability and unwillingness (personally witnessed dozens of times) of the police to tackle violent and organised criminals - in particular those that are non-white.
- A higher than ever tax burden, with a correspondingly poor level of public service provided in "return". And a burden that is likely to increase as we're now in hoc to future debt thanks to the £500 billion bailout / loan package.
- An intelligence (and customs) service that appears to work hand in glove with terrorists and high level criminals (get yourself a copy of the confidential Customs report from 2005 on one Mr. Peter Griffin if you don't believe me).

I could go on and on.....

I've got a life thanks Paul. However, sometime ago I cancelled my pension as I don't think I'm going to reach pensionable age, thanks to your lot.

Guthrum

Meanwhile, there's global warming, international peace, developing world poverty, future world food and water shortages..etc. etc. These are all cause worth campaigning about.

You are a British MP, you cannot walk on water. Why and this the question you will not answer do you not trust the British People of which you are a mere representative, need to shackle us and deprive us of freedoms won since 1645

scumbag

"It appears to be a fresh stunt by those who want to bring smoking back into pubs"
Oh dear.... You really are out of touch and full of contempt for us proles.

Dismiss us at your peril - you feed from the public trough thanks only to the votes of the people - what we give we can take away

patrick

The reason these clowns swarm MP'S websites is that NOBODY will listen to them.
'Let's all go online mob-handed with our stupid names and even more pathetic views and bug some MP'S because let's face it we're not achieving anything'.
Idiots!

CyprusGrump

Pathetic…

If it wasn’t the day when we honour our dead that fought for the country it would be hilariously funny…

646 members of the public send their elected representatives a copy of 1984.

Only three (so far) actually acknowledge receipt and are completely dismissive of the gesture.

The media refuse to cover the story although it was sent to them – presumably they didn’t receive permission to do so.

We have a lot of work to do.

Paul Flynn

Who are these people?

One of them called Kerry McCarthy a Fascist.

Hilarious.

Baneswell boy

There is a very real dilema for government at the heart of this 'debate'. (I'm refereing to the 'Big Brother' charge, not the smoking ban.)

People/ citizens, quite rightly, want joined-up, intagrated, public services. They also, quite rightly, require government to exploit modern technology in the delivery of public services. We all benefit from being able to access services and information on-line, form example.

But digital technology (and technialogical platforms) are now able to transfer data and 'talk' to each other in a way that has never been possible before.

Also, government is a fairly sophisticated organisation in 2008. Whatever problems people tell politicians they have there is usually a technological solution.

Put this all together and you have 'solutions' such as the NHS database - which should solve some very real problems - but inevitably leads the government open to the 'Big Brother' accusation.

The problem with the debate is that both sides are right.

Paul Flynn

WHAT A PATHETIC STUNT OLD HOLBORN

Two people WHO ARE NOT MPS have a few puffs out of sight of the bar staff in a corner of the Strangers' bar.

The film stops before they were noticed. Confess Old Holborn. You are trying to deceive your readers.

SMOKING IN NOT ALLOWED IN ANY BAR IN THE COMMONS.

YOU SHOULD EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE VIDEO WAS TAKEN. YOUR CREDIBILITY IS FINISHED.

The MINISTRY OF TRUTH?

Matt Davies

"This is why these reports from They work for you.com are very misleading."


The most misleading part on that site, is its title.

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