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%.


RobW said...

It's funny how you socialist disagree with each other. But you are of course quite right.

Tommy Schmitz said...

The smoking ban. A subtle strategy, compared to union bashing, for preventing the working class from organizing in any way possible.

Only the elite should be able to organize. Isn't it true? And they do... and they've been doing it quite well, with sophisticated and sacred justification, since the Roman Empire.

Scena Sajjad said...

Great Son of Greatest Arab Mother

Charlie Marks said...

If New Labour are socialists then I'm a banana!

One of the reasons for introducing the ban on smoking in workplaces was that it was to benefit workers.

If New Labour cared anything about the rights of workers, it would return to them the rights eroded by Thatcher's anti-union legislation.

Anonymous said...

The anti-smokers are guilty of flagrant scientific fraud for ignoring more than 50 studies, which show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than they pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, so the anti-smokers' studies, because they are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, have been cynically DESIGNED to falsely blame passive smoking for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV.

The anti-smokers have committed the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on smoking and passive smoking, as well as ignoring other types of evidence that proves they are lying, such as the fact that the death rates from asthma have more than doubled since the anti-smoking movement began.

Anonymous said...

The DM article also says this:

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: 'Smokefree laws were introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
'The legislation was never intended to be a measure to reduce smoking prevalence.'

It won't be possible to judge the success of the ban for many years. After only 18 months other factors will have as much as an effect on smoking habits as a ban. A look in 10-20 years time at the rates of lung cancer and heart disease will be interesting.

One thing though which is irrefutable is that going into a bar or pub for a non smoker has been a much more pleasant experience since 1st July 2007. That though is something hard to measure and quote a statistic on.

andy123 said...

PJD/Phildav76, you claim it is irrefutable that going into a bar has been a more pleasurable experience for non-smokers since the ban.

I disagree, I'm a non smoker but I don't particularly care whether the bar area smells of tobacco smoke or not. I do find there are usually less people present to interact with since the ban which is a very bad thing. Added to which, my local pub has just shut. I'm not saying the ban is solely to blame, but it certainly hasn't helped.

smoking disease said...

I think that smoking should be banned at all!