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Saturday
Jul162011

The day the people spoke

Just back from Stony Stratford.

Fantastic turnout for Dick Puddlecote's Stony Standoff, or whatever it was called.

It rained heavily all morning (thank goodness for my Smokers Welcome umbrella!), yet Dick counted 80 protesters and more arrived after that.

To put this in perspective, at the boat party on Wednesday I told Dick to be happy if 20 people turned up and ecstatic if there were 50. The final attendance was almost double that.

Some familiar faces (Chris Snowdon, Dave Atherton, Pat Nurse, Gawain Towler), but the vast majority – including Frank Davis and Tom Paine – were new to me.

Some had travelled a considerable distance to be there, but I was pleased to see plenty of local people too. ("Paul Bartlett's ambulance is killing me!" shouted one. Eh?)

Apart from Nigel Farage, who arrived late from a UKIP event and had the floor to himself, the other speakers were Conservative MEP Roger Helmer, Patrick Hayes of the Institute of Ideas (and a columnist for The Free Society), Bill Etheridge of The Freedom Association, and David Odell, chairman of Stony Stratford Business Association.

I'll link to other posts and reports as they are published, but I would like to think this was the day when people finally said "Enough is enough".

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Reader Comments (9)

Just back myself. Fantastic turnout and some really good speeches. Had a nice fish lunch in the village afterwards, before catching thr train back to London. The only thing to mar the day, was the parking ticket I found on my car, which I left near the station. I thought my resident's parking permit was sufficiient...c'est la guerre!

Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 17:31 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Well done - I hope this is the beginning of the end. Unfortunately could not make it as am in Iraq where at least we have the freedom to smoke but full support and a well done to everyone that did attend.

Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 20:09 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Here are a couple of more blogs on Stony Stratford and some excellent pictures from WestCoast2 of F2C. Also from the same from Tom Paine.

A great day out.

http://freedom-2-choose.blogspot.com/2011/07/on-stony-ground.html

http://www.thelastditch.org/lastditch/

Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 23:21 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Here is an edited video version of the speeches and some more pics.

http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/Buckinghamshire/Milton-Keynes/MK11/News/Local-News/201441-The-Smoking-Ban-Protest-In-Stony-Stratford

Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 8:07 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

One thing I would like to point out, is that I am sure Paul Bartlett, is the independent town councillor and Milton Keynes alderman

I keep reading that he is a Conservative!

Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 12:09 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

I believe Paul Bartlett was either thrown out of the Conservative party or he left, he definitely sits as an independent Peter, he said that on Talk Sport on Thursday night and after his performance on air if he was a Conservative member, it would have been a major embarrassment for the Conservatives having someone like this clown on board.

Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 13:30 | Unregistered CommenterGary Rogers

I paid my £1 to watch Rob Liddle and he interviews Barlett. Apparently he applied to become a Tory MP and was declined, no need to wonder why. Barlett then went off in a huff.

Chatting to the locals he is generally disliked. Bartlett is not an elected council man (because nobody would) but an unelected Alderman.

Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 14:04 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Perhaps we should start a petition to have him appointed to the board of ASH.

Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 16:52 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Well done all that were able to make it to SS. Unfortunately, due to work, I was not able to be there. I have been reading the blogs however and although possibly a little late would like to address the comment made on TalkSport by Paul Bartlett that no-one said anything about what was good about smoking.

The act of smoking, as opposed to NRT is the pleasure of savouring the taste and the relaxing feeling that comes with inhaling (possibly why some asthmatics who are not smokers use smoking to control asthma attacks). For me, although I drink little and do not like beer or spirits, is savouring the moment, the taste, the enjoyment, much like savouring a good wine, a Sunday roast, a delicious chocolate.

If these morons carry on the way they are doing, seeming to believe that the act and enjoyment of smoking can be replaced by a patch, we had better watch out as I can see we will soon no longer need to eat or drink as these acts will also be replaced by 'a patch'! I understand there is already a pill being developed that will ensure we all get the benefit of our '5 a Day' without having to actually eat fruit and veg!

Where then the pleasures of taste and smell?

Regarding driving and smoking; yes, smokers find that the act of smoking does keep them alert as well as more relaxed, which makes for a better driver. NRT cannot replace that. I spoke yesterday to a driver who does not smoke, although his wife does. He says that looking around at the scenery is what keeps him from the mesmeric effect of long motorway stints; his wife said that surely he should be keeping his eye and attention on the road, to which he replied that would send him to sleep! At least with smoking it keeps us awake and aware and our eye and attention on the road!

Well done again DP and all those who attended, keep up the brilliant work and let the momentum snowball!

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 8:29 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

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