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Saturday
May282011

Voices of Freedom 2011

Our 2011 Voices of Freedom series starts on Wednesday.

The first discussion, 'Civil Liberties: Up In Smoke', will ask the question "What are smokers' rights in a free society?". Chairman is Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and speakers include Alex Deane (formerly Big Brother Watch), Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Sir Ronald Harwood, an unshamed smoker and a member of Forest's Supporters Council.

Venue is the IEA, 2 Lord North Street, Westminster. Drinks will be served from 6.15pm and the discussion starts at 7.00.

The first debate coincides with the publication of a report by Simon Davies of Privacy International, with a foreword by Joe Jackson, that is also called 'Civil Liberties: Up In Smoke'. I have a copy in front of me and it looks rather good, as it should. It was designed by Forest's own Dan Donovan. Copies will be available on the night.

The Voices of Freedom series is organised by The Free Society in conjunction with The Manifesto Club, Democracy Institute, Adam Smith Institute, Liberty League, Forest and The Freedom Association who will all be represented at one time or another.

The 2011 programme will also feature participants from the TaxPayers Alliance, Demos, Institute of Ideas, Liberal Vision, Progressive Vision, Academics for Academic Freedom and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

And Toby Young.

Click here to download the full Voices of Freedom programme. For latest news on speakers visit The Free Society.

To register for any of the events (including the Smoke On The Water boat party on Wednesday July 13) email events@thefreesociety.org telephone Nicky Shepherd on 01223 370091.

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Reader Comments (1)

I wish that I could be there, but since I live in the North, and since I expect no change in the law as a result of the meeting, I cannot justify the expense of travelling. I wish that it could be otherwise.

But there is a very important matter which needs to be brought to the forefront of our thinking. That is the idea of political compromise. There is a reasonable idea that all politics is about compromise. Only in really exceptional circumstances (eg. war) does compromise cease.

Thus, the Smoking Ban, in its present form, came about as a result of what the Government of the day thought that they could 'get away with'. It really is as simple as that. All the health stuff was irrelevant. Only what can be 'agreed' was important. Thus we can understand why Clegg sneered at the idea of repealing or amending the Ban - it was not because the Ban is GOOD - it was because the idea of arriving at an acceptable compromise about repeal or amendment was IMPOSSIBLE.

There are only two reasonable ideas:

1. A person should be able to open a bar and say, "SMOKERS WELCOME".

2. The Local Authority should inspect the premises and determine exactly how risky it is for people to work in the premises - exactly, including exposure to SHS.

Do you see? The risk needs to be made exact.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 3:23 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

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