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Wednesday
Dec122018

St Helier rejects al fresco dining smoking ban

Good news.

Further to last week's post about a proposed ban on smoking in al fresco dining areas in St Helier, Jersey, the Roads Committee this morning rejected a motion to adopt a ban.

According to BBC Jersey:

Questions were raised by members of the parish’s Roads Committee over whether a blanket ban was appropriate.

Others suggested further research was needed and plans could be put forward in the future to allow businesses to participate in an optional smoking ban for the areas.

A survey put out by the parish to the public, which received 113 responses, found 58% in favour of smoke free al fresco areas, 39% against and 3% were unsure.

But when asked, only 31% of existing al fresco license holders were in favour of smoke free zones.

It was later reported that members of the committee also expressed concerns over how a ban would be policed and how it would affect the town's image.

A leading opponent of a ban was the aptly named Liberation Group of pubs:

One of Jersey's largest pub companies has said a blanket ban on smoking in al fresco areas would infringe on drinker's human rights.

Christine Oxford, from the Liberation Group, said smoking "was not illegal" and businesses with al fresco licenses should not be forced to impose a total ban.

However, she said the group was not opposed to "non-smoking areas".

"We need to do everything we can to enable people to enjoy eating outside in St Helier," she said, claiming the smoking ban could affect the town's vibrancy.

The committee said it wanted to gather more research on other options, including partial bans and exceptions for businesses who did not offer food.

To read Forest's ten-page submission to the Roads Committee consultation, click here.

See also: Forest responds to consultation on smoking in al fresco smoking areas.

According to its website the Liberation Group has a number of pubs in the UK that are run by Butcombe Pubs and Inns.

They appear to be located in the west country, including cities such as Bath and Bristol, so if you live in that region pop in to one of the pubs listed here and demonstrate your support!

Wednesday
Dec052018

Ban smoking in al fresco dining areas? Don't mention the Germans!

Next week the St Helier Roads Committee in Jersey will discuss a proposal to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas.

To date, and to the best of my knowledge, no other town or city in the British Isles (or Europe, come to that) has introduced such a ban.

A few years ago Brighton City Council included the idea in a public consultation but following a negative reaction the Council rejected proposals to extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas.

The Irish Government is currently sitting on a proposal to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas but no decision is imminent so St Helier could be the first to go down that route.

A few weeks ago, when the issue first raised its head, I was quoted in the Jersey Evening Post and on Monday Forest submitted a ten-page response to the Roads Committee consultation. It concluded:

Pubs, restaurants and cafes are private businesses. Whether they choose to allow smoking in al fresco dining areas, where there is no risk to anyone else's health, should be up to them. Pubs and bars took a huge hit from the smoking ban with many closing as a direct result. Why should the future of many more businesses – including cafes and restaurants – be put at risk on the altar of tobacco control?

Banning smoking outside, even in al fresco dining areas, is unfair and unreasonable and will do nothing to improve public health. We urge the St Helier Roads Committee to reject the proposal and give owners of outdoor dining areas the freedom to implement policies that best suit their business, not the agenda of a small group of anti-smoking zealots.

What I didn't add, although I was sorely tempted, was to say that if a ban on smoking in al fresco dining areas is introduced in St Helier then Germany, the country that occupied Jersey during the Second World War, will seem like a beacon of liberty in comparison.

Instead, in the hope that the Committee might spot the irony for themselves, I wrote:

Interestingly Germany represents one of the more liberal European nations when it comes to regulations on smoking in public places. Policies differ from state to state but in several states smoking is still allowed in small bars (at the owners’ discretion). One can only speculate why this is the case but some people believe that for historical reasons successive German governments have been reluctant to be too repressive in the way it treats its citizens, including those who choose to smoke.

Germany is not alone however and Austria also gives many cafes, bars and restaurants the right to be ‘smoking’ or ‘non-smoking’ indoors and out. In other EU member states such as Belgium there are few bars and restaurants with street or garden terraces that do not welcome smokers. Many 'adapt' their terraces to the cold weather, offering smokers a confortable place to smoke, drink and eat.

Choice, not prohibition, is the key to a free and liberal society and we urge the Roads Committee to follow their example and reject regressive, authoritarian regulations on small businesses and consumers of a legitimate product.

The Roads Committee will discuss the matter at their meeting on Wednesday December 12. I'll keep you posted.

See also: Forest responds to consultation on smoking in al fresco smoking areas.

Saturday
Dec012018

Business news

This was the view from the restaurant at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on Wednesday night.

I was there for a meeting with Ranald Macdonald, MD of Boisdale Restaurants.

The intention was to discuss ideas to mark Forest’s 40th anniversary next year. Or so I thought. Meetings with Ranald rarely go to plan.

Last year, for example, we met at Boisdale of Mayfair and halfway through the evening he got a call to say Kelsey Grammer (aka ‘Frasier’) was en route to Boisdale of Belgravia.

Grammer won the Cigar Smoker of the Year award in 2016 (in 2014 he came second to Arnold Schwarzenegger) and when he’s in London Boisdale - which hosts the event in Canary Wharf - is one of his favourite restaurants.

Business forgotten, we abandoned our dinner, called a taxi and raced across central London where we joined Grammer, his wife and several other people for what turned into a second meal at Ranald’s expense.

This week I arrived at the Canary Wharf restaurant expecting to find a table for two but after drinks on the terrace a small group had developed and I found myself sitting down to dinner with not just Ranald but an opera singer, someone working in ‘military intelligence’, Boisdale’s musical director, and Rebecca Ferguson, the former X-Factor contestant. (She was runner-up in 2010.)

This motley group proved very entertaining and it was well past midnight before the party broke up and we tottered home.

As for business, let’s just say that discussions will be resumed soon ...

PS. The 2018 Cigar Smoker of the Year dinner takes place at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on Monday (December 3).

Apart from Schwarzenegger and Kelsey Grammer, previous winners have included Jonathan Ross and Simon Le Bon.

The winner is a closely guarded secret until the evening of the event but on Wednesday Ranald inadvertently let the cat out of the bag.

Unlike him my lips are sealed. Watch this space.

Friday
Nov302018

The importance of a dissenting voice

As of today smoking is banned in all Scottish prisons.

The policy is controversial because reports - as I explained here and in the Scottish Sun on Wednesday - suggest that an identical ban in prisons in England and Wales has helped fuel violence and the use of illegal drugs among inmates.

With the notable exception of the Sun, however, communicating that message has proved difficult.

Forest’s response to the ban was sent to the Scottish media on Wednesday morning.

Yesterday, at around 5.30pm, we started getting notifications of media reports, none of which included a single comment from Forest or any other critic of the ban.

Instead each report was identical and read like a government press release.

The source was the Press Association (which was the first recipient of our own press release) so I rang the PA to complain.

To be fair, they immediately updated their report - which is how I’m quoted in the Mail Online (Smoking ban to be introduced in Scotland's prisons), the Glasgow Evening Times, the Aberdeen Evening Express and elsewhere - but it was disappointing that I had to chase them.

That wasn’t the end of my work however because at 1.00am this morning BBC News online posted their own story about the ban.

Like the initial PA report it merely regurgitated whatever the government (or Scottish Prison Service) had fed it.

Older readers will know what happened next because I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to do something similar.

I rang the BBC Scotland newsdesk. In Glasgow. At 2.30am.

A reporter from Radio Scotland answered. BBC News online? I’d have to wait to speak to someone because no-one would be there until five or six o’clock.

I went back to bed and fell asleep. When I woke up it was almost eight so I rang again.

This time I got someone on the online newsdesk who wasn’t best pleased with my complaint but agreed (reluctantly) to consider our response if I sent it again.

That was at 07:51.

I also sent a link to the PA report that had appeared on Mail Online with my quote.

Zero response. The report on the BBC website remained unchanged.

At 09.01 I rang again and was told the person I had spoken to an hour or so earlier was in a meeting. So I left a message.

Forty minutes later, almost nine hours after the report was published on the BBC News website, I got this response, via email:

Mr Clark, I have added a quote at the end of the article.

It’s a token quote (see our full response here) but it’s better than nothing and the reason we chase these things is simple.

Failure to do so would allow these influential reports to appear without a single dissenting voice and with no hint of opposition governments in Westminster, Edinburgh and Cardiff will be emboldened to introduce more and more regulations.

To be honest, I’ve never thought that prisoners should have a right to smoke in jail, but there is an argument to be had about the wisdom of banning smoking in prison, especially when reports suggest there are serious unintended consequences.

What really makes me cross though is the increasing tendency of journalists to publish stories that could have been cut and pasted straight from a government or ‘public health’ press release.

I’ve written about this several times because it’s an ongoing issue, but it seems to me that many journalists are little more than copy takers because relatively few can be bothered to make the story their own.

Anyway, this is how BBC's report now reads - Smoking banned in Scottish prisons, with a short comment from me at the end.

Update: Forest is not alone because the comments below the BBC report are largely critical of the ban.

I'm not surprised. Earlier this year Populus conducted a poll for Forest in Scotland and one of the questions concerned the prison smoking ban:


There was support for inmates in Scottish prisons being permitted to smoke, with two thirds (66 per cent) of respondents agreeing that prisoners should be allowed to smoke in designated smoking areas.

On this issue, like many others, public opinion is on our side. It's just not represented in parliament.

See Forest criticises Scottish Government's "constant war on smokers"
.

Update: I also discussed the Scottish prison smoking ban with Mike Graham on on TalkRADIO at 12.35.

Wednesday
Nov282018

Thatcher and Trumps – two great ladies

Many of you will have read that Baroness Trumpington died, aged 96, on Monday.

Announcing the news, her son Adam Barker said, "She did not make it to 100 but she had a bloody good innings."

I knew a little bit about her but having read several of the many obituaries that have been published in the past 48 hours I realise I was barely scratching the surface of an extraordinary life.

I knew she had been a smoker because I'd seen photographs of her with Lord Harris of High Cross, chairman of Forest, outside parliament on No Smoking Day.

They were members of the Lords and Commons Pipe and Cigar Smokers Club and this annual photo opp often made the front pages.

She gave up cigarettes in 2001 when she was 79. Later she is reported to have said:

"Is the noble Lord aware that, at the age of 80, there are very few pleasures left to me, but one of them is passive smoking?"

In 2012 she appeared on Have I Got News For You and this happened:

I met her just once – at a 'Libertarian Lunch' organised by Boisdale Life magazine (and sponsored by Forest) in February 2017.

She was in a wheelchair and rather frail but in good spirits.

I'm told that her ghost-written memoir, Coming Up Trumps, published in 2014, is well worth reading. The subject however was less impressed.

Interviewed for the Guardian she said: "I don't understand all this excitement. I didn't write the damn book, and I haven't read it either."

It's worth noting too her thoughts on Margaret Thatcher who gave her a job in government as a health minister. On daring to contradict her boss, she said:

“Well, I took the view that if she was going to sack me, she was going to sack me, so I’d better be true to myself and say exactly what I thought and if she sacked me at the end of the day, so what?

"And I think it was useful to her. She was terribly kind to me. I loved her dearly.

"I think she used me because she knew I would not just say yes to something she’d said, and that I’d argue the matter, and it gave her ammunition on how to deal with other people.”

Not one but two great ladies. RIP.

PS. By coincidence I am having dinner tonight with Ranald Macdonald, MD of Boisdale Restaurants and publisher of Boisdale Life.

Click on the link below to see Ranald with Baroness Trumpington at that 'Libertarian Lunch' last year:

Baroness Trumpington is wined and dined at Boisdale (Evening Standard).

Update: Chain smoking, V-sign flicking peer regularly turned the air blue but Lady Trumpington, who’s died at 96, was the very best of battleaxes — and a tonic to public life, says Quentin Letts.

Wednesday
Nov282018

Scottish prison smoking ban debate

Smoking will be outlawed in all Scottish prisons from Friday.

The Scottish Sun asked me to contribute 300 words on the subject for today’s edition. It's not online but I wrote:

Five months ago Rory Stewart, the former prisons minister in England, tweeted: ‘Delighted to confirm that we have just achieved one hundred per cent smoke free prisons.’ “We were ahead of the Scots and we’ve done it,” he told a Commons committee.

Unaware, it seems, of a succession of reports linking the smoking ban with increasing violence and illegal drug use in prisons, Stewart’s jubilation seemed misplaced. Incidents of self-harm and assaults in prisons are a serious problem and the use of illicit drugs is rife, yet here was a minister celebrating the prohibition of a legal product.

According to the Scottish Prison Service the aim is to protect staff and inmates from exposure to second hand smoke. The potential harm has been exaggerated but allowing prisoners to light up outside, in an exercise yard or smoking area, doesn’t put anyone else’s health at risk. In contrast, banning smoking completely could inflame a tense or volatile environment.

Plans to give inmates vaping kits after prisons in Scotland go 'smoke free' are well-meaning but questionable. Vaping may satisfy some prisoners but for many e-cigarettes are still no substitute for tobacco. Why not offer e-cigarettes to those who want to quit, and allow them to vape in their cells, but permit designated smoking areas for those who don’t?

Another proposal is to give prisoners in Scottish jails jigsaws and colouring books to wean them off cigarettes. If the plan is to treat inmates like children, don't be surprised if they behave like children.

Smoking is one of the few pleasures many prisoners have. That's why tobacco is such an important currency in prison. No-one has the right to smoke in jail but banning smoking completely could have serious unintended consequences including increasing violence and illicit drug use. Is that a legacy the Scottish government is willing to risk?

My contribution was one half of a head-to-head debate with Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH (London), who has been billed as ‘ASH Scotland chief’.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Sheila Duffy, chief exec of ASH Scotland, sees that!

Anyway, Deborah has pooh-poohed the suggestion that banning smoking in prisons can fuel violence and the use of illegal drugs.

According to her, ‘After Scottish prisons go smoke-free, everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about.’

The tobacco control industry will deny there is a link between smoking bans and unrest or increasing use of drugs in prisons, but there have been enough reports - both formal and anecdotal - that suggest otherwise.

Here are a few:

Prison smoking ban 'fuelling HMP Leicester violence'
BBC News, May 31, 2018

Prisoners trashed jail in NINE HOUR riot after smoking ban was introduced
Daily Star, March 4, 2018

HMP Haverigg prison riot 'linked to smoking ban'
BBC News, February 27, 2018

Smoking ban and short staffing 'sparked prison riot'
BBC News, January 30, 2018

I could go on.

Meanwhile the Mirror also reported (January 27, 2018):

The smoking ban in prisons has made air quality WORSE, a report has revealed.

The findings heap embarrassment on prison chiefs, who have trumpeted the health benefits of outlawing cigs at all the jails in England and Wales.

So, no, I don’t think anyone should be complacent about the impact of the prison smoking ban – not even Deborah Arnott whose membership of the mysterious 'smoke free prisons project board' was discussed here exactly one year ago.

See also: No evidence that prison smoking bans lead to riots? Bullshit!

Friday
Nov232018

Insulting our intelligence

I go away for three days and while I'm away ASH publishes a report about smoking in the home.

According to The Times, which headlined its report 'Plan to stamp out smoking in social housing':

Stop smoking campaigns must target tobacco use in domestic settings, according to Action on Smoking and Health, which found smoking was twice as common among those in social housing than other tenures.

It also said housing associations should consider designating new-builds as non-smoking areas.

My response, written in haste moments after landing at Dublin airport on Monday (ASH's press release was embargoed until 00:01hrs on Tuesday), read:

“Reaching into smokers’ homes takes tobacco control in a new and rather sinister direction.

“Focussing on social housing targets those who can’t afford to buy their own homes. That’s discrimination in anyone’s language and many people will find it repellent.

“They say this is not about banning smoking in the home but that’s clearly the long-term goal. It’s prohibition by stealth and a gross intrusion into people’s private lives.”

I was quoted by The Times (in print and online) and a number of regional newspapers (online only) but my soundbite was restricted to the first sentence so the points about discrimination and prohibition got lost.

That's important because – despite the evidence before us – ASH is determined to deny the suggestion that they want to ban smoking in people's homes.

According to TalkRadio:

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health has said it is “unreasonable” to stop people from smoking in their own homes, but more has to be done to reduce smoking in social housing and privately-rented properties.

A report by Action on Smoking and Health and two All Party Parliamentary Groups found that smoking is “highly concentrated” on council estates, with a suggestion that new social housing could be designated smoke-free.

Ms Arnott stressed that this was not suggesting that people should be stopped from smoking in their own homes.

She told TalkRadio’s Matthew Wright: “It makes a good headline but the report does not actually say that people should be stopped from smoking. That would be completely unreasonable.”

“We are not suggesting that people should be stopped from smoking in their own homes,” she added.

“But, when the ban on smoking in public places came in we saw a decline in the number of people smoking in the home.

“Because, if it is dangerous to smoke in front of your workmates, why are going to smoke in front of your family?

“So there is much less smoking in the home than there used to be but it still happens.

“We need to do more to remind people why it is not a good idea. But, we certainly do not want to ban it.”

Deborah's colleague Hazel Cheeseman said much the same thing when we were interviewed together on LBC.

In Hazel's case she emphasised that the aim was to make new developments 'smoke free'. But that's still prohibition, right?

It strikes me that ASH is playing down the idea of stopping people smoking in their own homes because they know how that sounds to most people.

And if they don't know they should read these reactions on the Nottingham Post website:

Dave Jennings, 71, said he had no plans to stop smoking in his council house. “It is not anyone’s business what I do in my house,” he said.

Non-smoker Gary Brown, 66, said people smoking in their homes was no one’s business but their own. He said: “Politicians are always trying to ban this or that. Why can’t they just leave people, paying rent in their own home, alone. These people need to get a grip.”

Non-smoker Karen Lovell, 39 from Bow, east London said: “If you pay your rent, I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business what you do in your home.”

Dawn Tillett, 51, said: “I don’t smoke but people pay enough in rent to be able to smoke in their own home. For me it is nothing to do with the council or the government. People know the risks of smoking - if they do it, it is their choice.”

The reality is, ASH is deliberately obscuring the truth of the situation, as prohibitionists always do.

How often, for example, did we read that ASH didn't want to ban smoking in every pub and restaurant in the country until, one day, they did.

"No-one is seriously talking about a complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants," said Clive Bates, director of ASH, in September 1998.

Or what about the ban on smoking in cars carrying children? When we voiced concern about banning smoking in private vehicles the British Lung Foundation responded:

'Smoking in cars results in concentrations of toxins much higher than are normally found elsewhere ... Suggesting that other bans will inevitably follow insults the intelligence of the public ...'

If anyone is insulting our intelligence it's Deborah Arnott and ASH who want to create 'smoke free' housing developments where residents are not allowed to smoke while insisting "we certainly do not want to ban it".

If that's not a real-life example of George Orwell's Newspeak I don't know what is.

Thursday
Nov222018

Golden Nanny Awards 2018

I’ve been in Dublin this week for the Golden Nanny Awards.

We launched the awards last year in order to highlight Ireland’s burgeoning nanny state and the people and organisations behind it.

I was told that we’d struggle to fill a room let alone a restaurant but in November 2017, with the help of Students for Liberty Ireland and other groups, we attracted 60 guests for dinner followed by the inaugural awards.

To our surprise we were joined by Senator Catherine Noone, winner of our first ‘Nanny-In-Chief’ award, who began her acceptance speech with the words:

“Libertarians, contrarians, barbarians, thank you.”

This year there were almost 80 guests including Senator Noone and two TDs, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Noel Rock.

Ireland’s libertarian community was out in force with Students for Liberty and the Classical Liberal Society at Trinity College Dublin well represented.

The evening began with drinks on the heated smoking terrace. The weather was foul but guests remained warm, dry and immune to the driving rain.

(As it happens, the UK could learn from Ireland's more liberal approach to outdoor smoking areas, many of which are significantly enclosed.)

We sat down for dinner at 7.30 with the after dinner entertainment beginning at 9.15.

Introduced by Forest’s John Mallon, our MC for the evening was Cllr Keith Redmond, a dentist by day and one of Ireland’s more liberal voices.

Guest speaker was the familiar figure of Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs and editor of the Nanny State Index. He didn’t hold back:

“Nannies, killjoys, wowsers, curtain-twitching puritans, fun sponges, po-faced poobahs, puritanical prodnoses, lemon-sucking busybodies, meddlesome ratbags, hatchet-faced prohibitionists, health fascists, pocket dictators, little Hitlers, nicotine Nazis, gambling Gestapo, sugar Stasi, tobacco Taliban, interfering, hateful, miserable, little scumbags whose very existence is a curse on humanity, they suck the light out of the room, the grass withers beneath their feet.

“These are just some of the things people say about the nominees for this award just because they try to stamp out the small pleasures that make life bearable. I think this is unfair. What a lot of people forget is that interfering in other people’s lives is the only pleasure these people get. So in a way, it’s the libertarians who are the killjoys.”

On the challenge of toppling Finland from the top of the Nanny State Index (Ireland is currently third), Chris told guests:

“If anyone can do it, it is the people nominated for this prestigious award this evening. Although we are only trying to honour the biggest nanny statist in Ireland tonight, it’s difficult to imagine the list of nominees looking much different if it was a global award. We are talking creme de la creme.”

Wishing the nominees well, he added:

“It’s going to be tough to pick a winner and in a way it’s a shame there has to be winner. To me, they are all losers.”

Ignoring these barbs, the former minister of state for health promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy accepted her award as ‘Nanny-in-Chief 2018’ in the same spirit as her predecessor Catherine Noone (who presented it).

“Thank you for this amazing award, I feel really honoured.

“I’m going to put it on my mantlepiece and reflect on the outcome of having introduced sugar tax, the alcohol bill and plain packaging.

“I might even have a glass of wine to celebrate.”

Other winners included Trinity College Dublin for introducing a campus wide smoking ban, the Restaurants Association of Ireland for welcoming a possible ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas, and Alcohol Action Ireland for backing the alcohol bill.

Sadly, none of these august bodies were represented at the event so others had to accept the awards on their behalf.

This year, to counterbalance the ‘Nanny’ awards, we introduced a new category.

The Voices of Freedom awards will be familiar to those who attended the Forest Freedom Dinner in London in 2016 and 2017 but this was the first time we’ve taken the concept to Ireland.

The winners of the first Voices of Freedom awards in Ireland were Rob Duffy, coordinator of Students for Liberty Ireland, and journalist Ian O’Doherty (above) whose fearless and always entertaining columns can be found in the Irish Independent and Irish Daily Star.

In a short but typically droll acceptance speech, Ian told guests he won’t have anything to do with journalist awards “on the grounds that I refuse to be judged by my inferiors. This, on the other hand, is a genuine honour.”

The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur but thanks to everyone who supported or attended the event - including Catherine Noone and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy whose presence was greatly appreciated.

I know some people feel we shouldn’t be giving our adversaries a platform to ‘celebrate’ their nanny state credentials.

It’s worth noting however that Senator Noone and Deputy Corcoran Kennedy have also been criticised (on Twitter) for consorting with a group (Forest) that receives donations from the tobacco industry.

The accusation is that the Golden Nanny awards and those who accept them are trivialising serious issues whether it be health or freedom of choice and personal responsibility.

I don’t see it that way.

One, you should be able to laugh at almost anything and shared humour brings people closer together.

Two, while I am under no illusion that a small event like this will change our opponents' views (which I’m sure are genuinely held), I hope it will give them some insight into our equally strong convictions.

At the very least, faced with a room full of people opposed to excessive government intervention in our lives, it may provide food for thought.

That aside, the awards allow us to engage directly with those who don't share our views and engage indirectly with many more.

You see, the Nannies haven’t gone unnoticed. Aside from the invitations we sent to other public health campaigners and journalists, the event was featured by The Times, RTE and Newstalk, the country’s leading independent radio station.

Guest speaker Chris Snowdon did two interviews - the first, on RTE1, with Professor Donal O’Shea of the HSE (Ireland’s health service); the second, on Newstalk, with Catherine Noone.

Forest's John Mallon also discussed the theme of the event on several local radio stations.

The report in The Times (Ex-minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy ‘proud’ to accept award for expanding the nanny state) finished with this quote:

John Mallon, a spokesman for Forest Ireland, said he was pleased that the winner stopped by to accept her award.

He said nanny staters strengthen their grip on the nation every year. “For years tobacco was in the firing line and now it’s alcohol and sugar,” he said.

“Enough is enough. It’s time to reassert a live-and-let-live culture that allows adults to make informed choices without being patronised or punished.”

In a largely hostile political and media environment - worse, in many ways, than the UK - I consider that to be a reasonable result.

But do watch the clips below ...

Update: Chris Snowdon has posted his speech in full here. Do read it.