The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Smoke without Fire
by Peter

Schadenfreude may be the German language's greatest gift to the the world, and stories of Labour splits often bring about this agreeable sensation.

But the spat over smoking in pubs does not qualify. People join political parties to deal with bigger issues. There is no more reason to believe that all members of the Labour Party should agree to a common position on smoking than to think that all Liberal Democrats should agree on foxhunting.

According to the BBC:

The Tories say the government is in disarray, calling it a "shambles".
This seems to me the sort of thing that politicians say that discredits them in the eyes of the electorate.

Not having been born with a silver spoon up my nose, a lot my misspent youth was passed in smoke-filled pubs (although I never smoked myself). The original Labour compromise (no smoking where food is served) struck me as reasonable. I don´t see why it should illegal for consenting adults to gather together and smoke tobacco.

Many Liberal Democrats - not least Steve Webb - will disagree. I don´t think that makes us a "shambles". The government should allow a free vote in the House of Commons - and the Tories should cut down on the Schadenfreude.
posted by Apollo Project @ 3:32 pm  
  • At 27 October, 2005 09:47, Blogger DJDave said…

    Absolutely. I have a real problem with a blanket ban as it is far too nanny-state.

    Having said that I think the old policy of non-smoking areas was ridiculous with such a large majority of the population now being non-smokers.

  • At 28 October, 2005 13:33, Blogger Apollo Project said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.


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