Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Smoking Ban: Another New Labour disaster
Today's Daily Mail reports:
The ban on smoking in public has failed to increase the number of people quitting, a report revealed yesterday.
The proportion of men who smoke has actually risen since the ban in July last year while there was no change at all among women.
When she introduced the ban, the then health secretary Patricia Hewitt said: 'This is an enormous step forward for public health. It is going to make it easier for people who want to give up smoking to do so. Over time it will save thousands of lives.'
The figures, coming after years of declining smoking rates, are a massive blow to Labour's public heath policy.
It gives me no great pleasure to say to supporters of the ban 'I told you so'. But those of us who opposed the draconian New Labour legislation did warn that it would not lead to an increase in the number of people quitting. We also warned that the ban, while not improving public health, would however lead to the closure of thousands of pubs, social clubs, bingo halls and other institutions. And this of course is exactly what has happened.
The 2007 law- motivated by the New Labourites' class hatred- was one of the most ill-thought out pieces of legislation ever passed by the British Parliament. Will we get a 'mea culpa' from those responsible?
Of course not. The party that has refused to apologise for leading our country into a disastrous, illegal war in Iraq (and an equally unlawful and deceitful one against Yugoslavia), is unlikely to say sorry for helping to destroy social life in Britain, is it?
UPDATE: Charlie Marks has news of another great New Labour 'success'.
After 11 years of Labour government, the gap between the income of the richest and poorest households is unchanged, according to new figures.
Income distribution in the UK has not changed since 1991, the Office for National Statistics figures indicate.
Then as now, the top fifth of households have 42% of total disposable income, and the bottom fifth just 7%.