Thursday, 14 October 2010

It's not going away

Earlier this week, David Nuttall, the new Conservative MP for Bury North, put down a private member’s bill under the Ten-Minute Rule to amend the smoking ban in pubs and clubs. It was defeated, but by the surprisingly narrow margin of 141 votes to 86 – and this for a hastily-submitted measure where there was little opportunity to lobby for support. Much of the opposition seemed to be simply recycling the same old clichés with little sense of conviction – see Dick Puddlecote here. What is to say that a better-organised bill, with more time for lobbying, could not do even better? The antismokers have argued that the ban enjoys overwhelming support, and is a done deal on which there is no going back, but clearly this isn’t the case.

This underlines the fact that the the smoking ban very much remains on the political radar. Contrary to the hopes of the antismoking lobby, opponents of the ban are not going to “move on” or “stop crying over spilt milk”. The passage of time does not render the ban any more acceptable, or any more right, if anything quite the contrary. And the issue won’t go away until the ban is relaxed.


  1. Hmmm. Sadly for your, having "The Nutter" Nuttall as a supporter gives your cause a serious credibility problem. Still I suppose any port in a storm etc.

  2. whilst all right thinking employers recognised the thrust of the leglislation to protect employees from tobacco smoke ... the way that the ban was imposed in this country in comparison to other EU states was draconian.

    Nanny-ism gone too far ... work in a smoky pub or don't - the choice was there, drink in a smoky pub or not - ditto ... whatever happened to personal responsibility or freedom of choice?

    You're right though, this issue isn't going to go away.

  3. I see what you've done there, Tyson. Nuttall = Nutter. Inspired.

    I hadn't heard of the bloke until this week. His mini-bio makes him sound like a rounded, sensible guy, so I'm at a loss as to where the label 'nutter' might come from. Care to back your name-calling up with some evidence? (Your blog doesn't count).

    P.S. The smoking ban issue is not going to go away, no.

  4. To Tyson, all Tories are nutters. He's still deep in denial over the smoking ban, I see. He really should seek professional help. Who is the real nutter?

  5. I don't think Tyson is so far off the mark. A few months ago, at a time when massive cuts in public ezpenditure with significant job losses were being announced, David Nuttall used his maiden speech to express regret over the freezing of the grant for the civil list.

  6. Near to the mark Mudgie,
    take no notice of the likes of
    Tyson and Rednev,they are probably
    still smarting from CAMRA,s
    shooting down by the OFT
    re "tied pubs". Has anyone heard so much drivel from grown men,
    " tied pubs destroying the trade".
    Are they real or what?
    Only trouble is ,there are some
    state educated dipsticks who believe such pap.
    No wise cracks from the profane,please.

    St Domingo

  7. Anon [or 'St Domingo' - pompous or what?]: are you Curmudgeon's mum that you have to console him to 'take no notice' of the nasty men? Ah, how sweet! But, he's a big boy now, all grown up, and doesn't need your mother hen act.

    In the meantime, why not try making sense? They say a change is as good as a rest.

  8. Sticks & stones, lads. I should warn you B Spears that your sparkling well-educated wit is wasted on a poor working class lad like me. I don’t do irony.

    Now come, PC, I don’t think all Tories are nutters. That would be just libertarians. I actually admire a lot of Conservatives for not hiding their naked self-interest. It can be very refreshing.

    However, you do seem to get, at a certain edge of the spectrum, a certain type of buffoon MP. Or nutter in plain lingo. Such is David Nuttall.

    Where is the evidence, Ms Spears? Well he is my MP, so allow me to beg a little local knowledge. Firstly have you ever met him? If so, or if you had seen him at the hustings, you’d get an inkling of why he’s regarded as such. He wasn’t the local party’s choice and was even described to me by a senior member of the selection committee as “an oddball”.

    As for his moniker, it’s not I who invented it; it’s what the locals call him. We’re a simple folk and tend to keep things simple. Similarity to his surname is actually a coincidence and harks back to another MP who was known as “The Nutter/Nutjob”.

    His bio may indeed make him appear “well rounded” and normal, but then the same could be said of Curmudgeon’s. However, many of Mr Nuttall’s constituents are baffled and frustrated as to his behaviour in parliament.

    Ignoring pleas to raise local concerns, his maiden speech was expressing concern at the state of the Queen’s finances. He has followed this up with an interest in the likes of EU majority voting and the smoking ban.

    Surprisingly these aren’t big issues locally. Being simple mill town folk and not high-minded libertarians, we’d prefer if he did our bidding and not the other way round.

    Of course I appreciate that, having taken up the search for the Holy Grail, he has become an instant saint in your readers’ eyes, but allow some people the grace to demur from his elevation to sainthood.

    (For the record: I also don't think the SB is going away. Not whilst there's still a breath left in your body, anyway:) And while I can't see repeal happening shortly, with this government, anything's possible.)

  9. From
    Mudgies Mam (aka the Domingo kid)
    Rednev and Tyson and similar

    Only kidding in earlier posting ,comrades.Actually despite
    a refined upbringing and excellent
    education,I spent my working life
    in the industrial hell holes of
    Northern England(shop floor) and
    spells as shop steward ,convenor
    and disrict assembly member.No
    I am not a Tory but I have little or no time for Bolshy Bullshitters

    Ta Ra for now.

    Th'owd fettler

    PS Any chance of our left wing
    gents telling us how they earn
    their corn

  10. Off topic and completely irrelevant, as usual, Anon.


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