Smoke without fire

I have no love for cigarettes. Apart from a couple of ill-judged Camels while on holiday in Prague in 1995 (and, inevitably, a fine Cuban on the evening of Labour’s 1997 victory), I’ve never smoked. My mother, who chain smoked from a very young age, died of lung cancer a few years ago. So, as I say, not a big fan of the weed.

Having said all that, I didn’t vote for the complete ban which has been in force in England for exactly a year; I voted instead for what was in Labour’s 2005 manifesto: a ban in areas where cooked food is served.

Nevertheless, the ban has proved more popular and workable than I had expected, even among smokers.

Now I read of proposals to classify movies according to their smoking content. All very well, but I do hope we’re not going to start retrospectively editing classic movies in the same way some iconic photographs have been butchered. I remember being appalled that a publicity shot of The Beatles had been digitally altered to remove the band members’ fags from their hands. What next? Taking Winston Churchill’s cigar away?

I was relived to see that Sebastian Faulks, in writing the new Bond novel, had maintained his hero’s addiction to tobacco. Relieved not because it’s a particularly cool or attractive habit – it’s not, it’s pretty disgusting – but because the character Ian Fleming created was a smoker, and characters set in the 1960s shouldn’t have 21st century standards imposed upon them retrospectively. That would be entirely dishonest. It would be the equivalent of remaking Tess of the d’Urbervilles and depicting Angel Clare as a feminist.

But let’s get this in perspective. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines featured one of the most gratuitous scenes of graphic violence I have ever seen, depicting the death of a police officer by a killer android who drives its arm through the back of his seat, through his stomach to take control of the car he’s driving. And that was given a 12A certificate. Under these proposals, had Arnie lit up a fag, I’m guessing it would have been given a 15 or even an 18 certificate. Come on.

And given that two thirds of stabbings occur when the attacker has been drinking, can we expect scenes where James Bond orders a vodka martini to be cut or for the movie in question to be restricted to adults only?

Of course film producers and actors must have a responsibility to their younger, more impressionable audience members and not to be complicit in their making any health-damaging lifestyle choices. But we have to draw the line at preventing young audiences watching classic movies like Casablanca or Doctor No just because the main protagonists have a taste for cigarettes.


An undoctored picture of James Bond having a fag

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25 Comments

Filed under Banned, Society

25 responses to “Smoke without fire

  1. Take a look at the Sex in the City movie and compare it to the TV series. The lead character – Carrie – seems to have already given up smoking!

  2. James

    What about our soaps.From what I remember it seems to be only the women characters who now smoke on screen. Pub owner Charlie Hardwick(Val) is the only one I can recall in Emmerdale. Bev Callard (Pub again) in Coronation Street who recently had a cancer scare, together with Anne Kirkbride, who I believe fought throat cancer a few years ago,both still promoting on screen smoking, and we all know what has happened to Liz Dawn. Surely the producers have a moral duty to phase out smoking.
    I cannot recall one character who smokes in the Aussie soaps such as Neighbours or Home and Away. It is totally unnecessary now, given how untrue to life soaps have become.

  3. I too am not a fan of cigarettes, but I wouldn’t ban people from partaking of a legal pursuit in a civilised setting.

    I would say that this smoking phobia has little to do with health and mostly to do with:

    a) smoking as a scapegoat for most of the ills in society. Rather than admit the dangers of aspartame, fluoridated water, mobile phones and masts and probably 1,000 other things, smoking makes the headlines and attention is diverted from all the other causes of illness so that profits are preserved in all the other business sectors.

    b) If you can control somebody’s habit, you control them. If you can make grown adults stand outside to have a smoke as if they are lepers or naughty schoolboys, then you can manipulate them in many other ways.

    The same is happening on TV, especially the adverts, where grown men are often portrayed behaving like four-year-olds with learning difficulties while the dominant woman characters assume complete control. It is social engineering: reversing the natural male role of leader.

    We are being metaphorically gelded by those who set themselves up as “authorities” but they don’t have our interests at heart, as proven by the spate of have-a-go heroes who have caught criminals – using appropriate force – and found themselves thrown in a police cell for “assault” and the real criminals let off.

    The whole agenda is to dumb down and castrate us to fear “authority” as well as the criminals.

    You mentioned Churchill. Stage plays about the man cannot have him smoking a cigar, not because of fire risk, but in case a member of the cast or audience inhales a particle of smoke.

    The hotdog and aspartame-laden drink the audience ingests in the interval is probably a million times more deadly than catching a whiff of smoke.

    Then there’s the traffic fumes on the way home and the mobile phone call delivering a shot of radiation to the ear and brain just to tell the babysitter you’ll be ten minutes late. Back home and little Johnny and Jeannie play with their Chinese-made toys covered in toxic paint while hyper on their diet of chicken nuggets, fizzy drinks and brightly-coloured sweets and sitting transfixed by the telly subconsciously gathering all the filth and propaganda the TV companies are allowed to broadcast.

    Clever, incremental conditioning has been eroding our freedom so that many people don’t even realise it and they have been dumbed down so they don’t care!

    David Davis probably doesn’t understand a tenth of what’s going on in his alleged fight for freedom.

    It looks to be a race between the elite dumbing down and enslaving the whole population and an uprising to restore freedom, justice and decency while there are still enough people who can think clearly, educate others and use what’s left of natural justice in the courts.

  4. Auntie Flo'

    Nevertheless, the ban has proved more popular and workable than I had expected, even among smokers. (Tom Harris)

    You’re deluding yourself.

    12 million smokers (plus our families) hate Gordon and nulabour’s guts for this piece of fascisim.

    We detest those nulabour MPs who voted to criminalise us while condoning the Duty Free fags etc for sale in the Palace of Westminster and its four smoking areas.

    We detest those MPs who climb into their taxpayer funded pollution machines and belch fumes all over every baby in a buggy they pass – yet still merrily criminalise us smokers. Did you know that health visitors warn new mums that taking babies for a walk near roads can damage their health?

    We despise with a vengeance those MPs who jet around the world at will, depleting our precious oil resources and spraying carcinogous particles down on millions – yet still say it’s ok to criminalise us smokers.

    Your party has made many millions of enemies among smokers who are rabidly bl**dy angry at being criminalised and scapegoated for, what Stewart Cowan describes so well, all society’s ills

    Watch some of the millions of groups of smokers outside our factories, offices and pubs next time you pass, Tom. We’re little secret societies plotting your party’s downfall, united in a way we never have been before. What unites us is not just our burning hatred of nulabour but our determination to see you booted out at the next election.

  5. Auntie Flo – first of all, you need to calm down before you do yourself an injury. Secondly, are you aware that most Tory MPs supported the ban in a free vote and that your party has committed to maintaining it? No, didn’t think you were…

  6. Frank Davis

    Most Tory MPs supported the ban? No they didn’t! On the first vote, 81 Tories voted aye for the ban, and 94 voted no. That’s 54% against. As opposed to 91% of Labour MPs who voted for the ban, and 95% of Lib Dem MPs who voted for the ban.

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2006-02-14&number=163

    Apart from that, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being one of those few Labour MPs who stuck with the Labour manifesto promise. We smokers could have lived with that.

  7. Frank – ok, fair enough

  8. Frank Davis

    Thank you.

    And I don’t know where the Tories (if that’s who you meant) have said they are “committed to maintaining” the ban. It’s very hard to find out what they think about it. Nothing on their website about it. But Boris certainly doesn’t like it: He said during the mayoral election that he thought it was something best handled locally rather than nationally.

    Many smokers may not be too bothered about the ban, but others really hate it with a vengeance, and they want to punish Labour for what it’s done to them (as Auntie Flo’ said). The ones who don’t mind are those middle class smokers for whom the ban is a slight inconvenience, and the ones that do are those working class smokers whose social lives have been destroyed by it.

    A quick back-of-envelope calculation. About a quarter of the electorate are smokers. Let’s assume that half of these – 1/8th of the electorate – voted for Labour in the last election. Let’s further suppose that 10% of these – 1/8oth of the electorate – are determined to punish Labour for the smoking ban. That makes for 1.25% of Labour-voting smokers deserting the Labour party at the next election, a 2.5% swing from Labour.

    In fact, since Labour won the last election, most likely more than 1/8th of the electorate who are smokers voted Labour. In addition, since smoking is a largely working class habit these days, and the working classes vote Labour, it’s probably even higher than that. Let’s be optimistic and say that translates into a 3% swing away from Labour. In Labour strongholds, it will be even higher.

    No doubt you, as MP for Glasgow South, know Glasgow East far better than I do, but I’ve read that it’s not exactly a prosperous middle class constituency. David Marshall got 18,775 votes – about 61% of the vote – in 2005. In this relatively deprived constituency, instead of a quarter of the electorate being smokers, it’s probably nearer a third. And, excluded from the pubs which are the centres of their social lives, quite likely Glasgow East smokers are angrier than most. Let’s suppose that 20% of them rather than 10% intend to desert Labour later this month. That’s 20% of a third of 61% – 4% – of the electorate, making an 8% swing away from Labour. It’s not enough to unseat Labour, but it’ll go a good way towards doing so.

  9. Auntie Flo'

    Thank you, Frank Davis, for your very interesting stats and forecasts.

    Tom, most smokers are hard working and decent human beings who pay far more than our fair share of tax, so why is your party intent on demonising us?

    Why are smokers to be denied health care which we pay over the odds for? You will merrily treat those non smokers who have never worked or paid tax, murderers, rapists, those who have injured themselves (in some cases putting others at risk) through dangerous sports, health tourists and those who have brought the horror of Aids on themselves through their life styles, yet you single out smokers for special punishment. Why?

    Why are you scapegoating smokers for our addictions yet pampering class A drug addicts in prison, by not only guaranteeing and funding their supply of drugs but richly compensating them if denied their supply?

    Most European countries are sufficiently civilised to allow designated indoor smoking areas, so why does your government treat smokers like modern day lepers?

    Do you drive or fly? I bet you do. If so you damage the planet and others’ health with your toxic emissions. Why are you and your government incapable of recognising the cynicism and hypocrisy of a government of drivers and air passengers, who have exempted themselves from the punitive regulations and tax on smoking, criminalising smokers?

    If this was all about health as you claim, you would not have exempted MPs from the ban on smoking in indoor public areas.

    Like many smokers, I support the ban on smoking in any indoor areas which have not been specifically designated for smokers only. My office had a smoking ban – proposed by me – long before the law required it. However it is sheer small minded vindictiveness to demonise, criminalise and scapegoat smokers as your government have done and to deny us our own, well ventilated smokers’ pubs or clubs.

    As Frank points out, you are going to be hit by one almighty backlash for this at the next election and serve you bl**dy right.

  10. Auntie Flo'

    By the way, the David Cameron is a smoker and the Conservatives have said they will consider allowing clubs for smokers.

    I would vote for Cameron for that reason alone. Why not? I’ve been an exemplary citizen all my life yet your government have banished me and 12 million other smokers to the margins of society.

    And I am not, I would add, the Tory that you keep implying I am. I’m a life long Liberal, though I feel increasingly alienated by my party mimicking new labour and betraying our community consultation and community action ideals.

    I’ve never in my life voted for a winning party that formed a government and have always supported a losing side. However, I’m so impressed with David Cameron, his Liberal Conservatism and our local Conservative candidate here that I’m going to vote for the winning side next time around.

  11. Auntie Flo'

    I lied in my last post. I voted for a winning Conservative councillor during our last council election and for the Lib Dems when they took control of my council a few years ago. Should have said I have never voted for a winning party in a general election.

  12. Frank Davis

    I’m not sure I was quite making a forecast, Flo’. More a ‘what if’ estimate.

    The really interesting fact about smokers is that they are such a large minority that their votes alone could swing an election. It’s always seemed to me to be very dangerous for a government to alienate such a large minority, and then expect them to carry on voting for it. I was looking at what might happen if only 10% of smokers got angry enough about it to desert Labour, and came up with a 3% swing against Labour. Which is far from insignificant. If ALL smokers were that angry, they’d generate a 25% – 30% swing. This Labour government seems to have convinced itself, or allowed itself to be convinced by ASH, that the ban is a great success, that everybody loves it, and that it has nothing to fear.

    I think it has everything to fear – because I am, like you, a very angry smoker. And I know quite a few others. I was an apolitical Lib Dem voter until last year, when I got mugged, and I’m not going to vote for that illiberal party again: they had the highest proportion – 95% – of MPs who voted for the ban! Before last year’s local elections I harangued my local Lib Dem councillor for about half an hour about the impending ban. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the Lib Dems made little or no gains in the recent elections: if they’ve picked up voters, they’ve now lost long term loyal voters like me. Now I want to see not only Labour punished, but also the Lib Dems.

    It shouldn’t worry Tom too much. But it might be a good idea for him to mention in his campaign literature at the next election that he voted against a complete ban. I’m going to be very interested to see what happens the adjoining Glasgow East constituency later this month.

  13. Frank Davis

    P.S. Flo’. Cameron gave up smoking when he became leader of the Conservative party, so it’s no longer true that he’s a smoker. In fact, I don’t really know what is or isn’t true about Cameron. And I’ve never heard that the Conservatives would consider clubs for smokers. Who said that?

    The Tories are keeping very quiet about the smoking ban, probably because the status quo in which smokers hate both Labour and Lib Dems favours the Tory party.

  14. Frank Davis

    Flo’ said that she “feels increasingly alienated by [the Lib Dem] party mimicking new labour.” I know what she means. The same applies to the Tories, in which David Cameron understudies Blair.

    But as New Labour sags in the polls, who in their right mind wants to model themself on it? If they lose Glasgow East (as some people think they will), surely other parties will want to distance themselves as far as they possibly can? The current – Blairite – fashion is for young, good-looking, personable leaders with a ‘vision’. But what if the electorate has tired of these bright-eyed youngsters, who promise everything and deliver nothing? What if they start wanting old, avuncular, knowledgeable types? Vince Cable was rather good as temporary Lib Dem leader, I thought. Perhaps he can be recycled?

    I personally think Gordon is the best leader for Labour at the moment. He looks fairly old. And avuncular. But if Labour get slaughtered in Glasgow East, it may well be more than terrified Labour MPs can stand, and they’ll ditch him – and elect David Miliband instead. I hope so, because I think that with Miliband as leader Labour will face an even worse electoral golgotha than with Brown.

    As for the Tories, perhaps Ken Clarke star will rise again?

  15. Frank Davis

    And one last point.

    It’s not so much the smoking ban that gets me so much as the smoking ban in pubs and clubs. I don’t really mind bans anywhere else. I don’t want to annoy other people on, say, an air flight with my tobacco smoke – they are, after all, unable to escape. But I pub is a place where people go out of free choice, for pleasure. And where they go to relax and be themselves. And for me that’s always meant a pint and a cigarette. Take away the cigarette (or the pint) and the pleasure and relaxation is gone. Pubs become like dentists’ waiting rooms. If people were obliged to go to pubs, and couldn’t leave them – much like airline passengers can’t get off flights in mid-air – then I’d think a smoking ban appropriate. But people are free to come and go as they like in pubs, choosing the ones whose atmosphere they prefer, quiet or noisy, smoky or smokefree. It’s only a place of obligatory work for the bar staff. And this thin excuse is what is has been used, most dishonestly, to ban smoking: the staff might get lung cancer.

    Like many smokers, I no longer go to pubs much since this killing ban. But how many smokers go to pubs anyway? There are, I read somewhere, about 60,000 pubs in Britain (2000 of which have closed so far since the ban). If 100 people go to each of these pubs (it must be this sort of order of magnitude) then pubs have about 6 million customers. And if, in line with the proportion of smokers in the general population, a quarter of them are smokers, then 1.5 million smokers visit them every day – out of a population of 12 million smokers, or 12.5% of them. And that means that something like 90% of smokers don’t go to pubs. They smoke at home. Or somewhere else. And so 90% of them aren’t much bothered by the ban on smoking in pubs, because they don’t go to them. It’s the 10% of smokers (it’s probably higher than this, since 50% or more of customers at some pubs were smokers) who go to pubs and clubs who’ve been really hurt by this ban. But a straw poll of smokers would probably show that 90% of them weren’t bothered by it at all.

    If that sort of straw poll is what has made Tom think that the ban is “popular even with smokers” he should ask a few more questions. He should ask these contented smokers whether they often go to pubs much. Like, every day, the way I used to. I assure him that he won’t find it so popular with such people.

  16. Frank – my assertion that the ban is popular among smokers was, I admit, based on no more than anecdotal evidence which even suggests that some smokers were looking forward to the ban’s introduction as an opportunity to give up smoking. But on the whole, I’m not in favour of this sort of blanket ban; if someone wants to smoke and suffer all the health consequences, I think they’re daft but they should have the right to make that choice.

  17. Frank Davis

    I’m sure you’re right. When I canvassed opinion at my local pub before the ban. quite a few people were breezily saying that it would be an opportunity to give up or cut down, or that it would be no trouble to slip outside for a quick smoke. But that was before the ban. It’s how it all actually turned out that matters.

    I don’t know if you’re a pub-goer, but if you ran the same straw poll again in a pub, you’d have to allow for the fact that smokers like me don’t go to pubs any more, and it’s only smokers who don’t mind ‘smokefree’ pubs that go to them these days.

  18. Frank Davis

    More people wanting their pubs back:

    ‘Bring back smoking’ campaign launched in Chorley.

    Hundreds of pub-goers in Chorley have caused controversy for launching a campaign to scrap the smoking ban.

    A petition with signatures from more than 400 revellers is making the rounds in pubs in the town to get the government to lift legislation brought in last year.

    http://tinyurl.com/64m5r2

  19. Martin Cullip

    Fantastic comments Frank Davis, and I agree with everything you have said 100%. You mirror my thoughts exactly.

    I wasn’t concerned about a partial ban and so voted as usual in the 2005 election, it seemed very fair and allowed choice for all in society, but to have a blanket ban FORCED on us without consultation with anyone but anti-smoking single issue groups, is an abuse of democracy.

    Every smoker I know, except one, hates, loathes and detests this ban & is champing at the bit to kick Labour where it hurts as soon as possible. This won’t change either as they are reminded of how little Labour think of them every time they have to step outside for a cigarette. I don’t bother with pubs anymore as, like you, don’t get any relaxatikn from them anymore. I will casting my vote in whichever direction is most deletorious to Labour in any particular election, and I shall be doing so for the rest of my life for what they have done to us. They deserve it.

    At least Tom has integrity and voted as he was mandated to by the people of the country, but I’m afraid his vote is also going to be demolished at the next election unless Labour pull a rabbit from the hat before then which allows choice like most of the rest of Europe. There’s no sign of that whatsoever at the moment as they are just sticking their head in the sand and talking about how great it all is., which just goes to prove how very out of touch they are with the issue the smoking ban has raised with a vast swathe of working people in their leisure time.

    I can’t foresee Labour forming a Government again in a at least a generation, and maybe even longer than that … people don’t forget when they have been treated as less than human.

  20. George

    I too am a life long Labour voter (Fife) who cannot image ever voting Labour again. This government has, by it’s actions, made smokers a target for every type of persecution imaginable. To force OAP’s and the infirm out into the elements, deny them basic levels of shelter and comfort is unconscionable. Smokers are denied NHS treatment, denied IVF, denied employment (with no recourse or protection in law), persecuted by employers and dictated to(even in their own time, under threat of disciplinary action), targetted by the litter police as easy victims, smokers have been assaulted, raped, killed by accident and even murdered. Soon, if the fanatics get their way, we are to be forbidden to smoke in our cars, homes, parks, beaches.

    Tom, if I sound angry, it’s only because I am!

  21. andy

    Hi Tom
    I must say how refreshing it is to see a Labour politician admit when he is wrong and also not completely tow the party line.
    I applaud you.

    Tom please take note there is a growing dissension amongst smokers and their friends, as well as hospitality business owners who feel let down by the Government. 2000 pubs have closed since the ban, 43 Bingo Halls, umpteen members clubs. Most of these are in the Labour Heartlands.

    The business owners and members were promised a deluge of smoke-free seeking new customers to these venues. It simply didnt happen, and as with other countries/areas that have blanket bans,it never will.

    More people are becoming aware that the link from passive smoke and harm is at best tenuous.
    The fact that you agree with only a partial ban suggests you don’t believe the junk science.
    This was seemingly a front to manipulate support both politically and socially for the ban.

    The headlines have already switched to being about reduced smoking prevalence, which again is another lie. http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/health-and-lifestyles/nhs-stop-smoking-services/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england-april-2005-to-march-2006-annual-statistical-bulletin
    Less people have given up in the past year than the 2 years prior. The anti-smoking industry are certainly expert spinmeisters.
    Ireland’s ban is 4 years old, yet smoking prevalence has risen the first time in modern history.

    So where, and how, has the ban been a success?

    Tom I can only urge you to use your position to encourage reform of this ban and a more mature approach to protecting some people a smell they don’t like and others from social expulsion.

  22. Nitro

    Tom,
    Non smokers are waking up to the fact that every working taxpayer is now paying over £100 in extra taxation per year to fuel the smoking ban.

    The costs are not only lost revenue but constant tv adverts, newspaper adverts etc you are sinking money into a black hole, all to try to get smoking levels down to figures agreed with the EU which you probably never acheive.

    This is money that people can not afford, they would rather spend it on trying to keep up with their fuel bills.

    Labour have backed themselves into a corner, smokers are determined to make the Labour party pay.

  23. Bill Dollan

    Based on you reponses to the previous posts which accurately sum up the feelings of most smokers you are a man who listens Mr Martin and despite your obvious dislike of smoking are able to maintain a balanced view on the subject.
    I am 75 years of age and have enjoyed using tobacco via my pipe for over 50 years, this ban has devastated the social life of both my non smoking wife and myself.
    Our main enjoyments were visiting local towns for a day out and mid week breaks at the seaside, where is the enjoyment in doing these things when if I go through a door for a refreshment or to give my legs a rest then I must forego my pipe. We also found it difficult to book a Hotel room for Smokers.
    My other enjoyment is playing golf so thankfully the ban has not got to the course YET.
    I was a life long Labour voter, now the next general election cannot come quick enough, I want to put my local Labour MP where I have been put, on the street. We live in an ex mining village in Co Durham and at the recent council elections a Conservative came first in the vote, this was unprecedented and confirms that what you have been reading on this blog is spot on.
    The science which was used to justify this spiteful, divisive and unnecessary ban is questionable, sledge hammers and nuts come to mind.
    Please keep listening and investigating Mr Martin and convey the sentiments expressed here to your peers.

  24. Helen

    I must firstly applaud you over bringing up the raging arguement over smoking (not much is expressed in MSM, I wonder why?), but I will apologise before I begin if my arguements appear ‘galling’, as my Nu-Labour MP describes me!

    To begin, if Nulabour had voted as per its manifesto then the heated arguements would not be raging one year on.

    I live in a Northern labour heartland, and we smokers and non-smokers are very angry about this piece of legislation. We also blame Nu-labour and they cannot hide behind the ‘free vote’. On the whole we are hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens and keep our thoughts within our friends and family. We put up with the majority of the legislation that is thrown upon us, have a moan and then ‘get on with it’. But this – we will never forgive.

    We are informed adults, capable of making our own choices over which legal products to purchase and enjoy. We have our own private businesses capable of making their own choices and smoking policies. It is heart-rendering to see the eldery being thrown outside and confronted by ‘drunken youths’ at my social club; it is heart-rendering to see eldery ladies in tears over it (smokers and non-smokers); it is heart-rendering to know that everyone at the club agrees. Why don’t the MPs find this heart-rendering?

    Do they listen to ASH who state that there’s not many elderly smokers alive at that age so it doesn’t matter? (Utterly dispicable). Come and visit my club – there’s plenty of them. See for yourselves and witness what this piece of legislation has caused.

    Bring on the ballot box at the earliest opportunity. Let’s see then how successful this ban has been. Social devastation, economic devastation and political devastation. For what? Smoking prevalence rates to continue falling just like they have been over many years? They may dip for the next year, but bans cause increases – did ASH forget to tell you that?

    The state has gone too far with this one.

    I must applaud you though in recognising that the anti-smoking movement is going too far with this suggestion with regard to movies. I believe the majority in the country recognised that it had gone too far with the blanket ban. Your original manifesto had it right. It’s a shame that it takes that one extreme measure to understand what we law-abiding citizens are up against. You’ve seen the light, but I ask, what extremes have to be put in place before others follow your suit?

    A 3 hour debate over the total social structure of our country is deplorable and based on a totally one-sided arguement.

    Many don’t speak out due to the millions of pounds of our own money being spent on persecuting ourselves (when really we’d prefer it to be spent on NHS front-line services) to depict smokers as the ‘hidden murders’ of society.

    Well, we citizens live and learn! (Smokers and non-smokers alike) We will also let Nu-Labour and the anti-smokers know at the ballot box.

    Again, I apologise if I appear galling. I am, however, just stating what I hear repeated every week-end when I visit my local Labour club and the 2 other labour clubs ‘up the road’

  25. Zorro

    Holy crap, hold the front pages. Labour politician says something which is actually sensible.

    Careful now Tom…

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