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The Green Fields Of England?

From the Big Mouth Blog & published on 30 Apr 2007 . Shortlisted for publication in The Sunday Times the same week

As the ban on smoking in enclosed public areas in England approaches, I would like to take issue with the Self-Righteous Brigade who see all smokers as potential suicide bombers.

My argument is simple:

If these people have the right to a smoke-free atmoshpere, why do I (as a non-driver) not have similar rights as a pedestrian? The two car families on their “school runs” in their 4-Wheel Drive vehicles are polluting my atmosphere on a daily basis, but this seems to be totally acceptable (come to think of it, anything that includes keeping the children happy seems to be totally acceptable, aside from teaching them good manners and respect, but that’ll have to wait for another day).

I’ll bypass going into depth about the apparently insignificant issue of major job losses due to pub’s closing down (30% of pubs in Scotland have had to shed staff since the ban was introduced).

However, I find it hard to accept that on the 91st anniversary of the Battle Of The Somme, England has chosen to eradicate a freedom which has been enjoyed by millions for hundreds of years; especially 17 year old Willie MacBride who might just have needed that fag before having his brains blown out in the name of democracy and freedom all those years ago.

Shame on you Mr Blair and your cohorts……