The day the people spoke
Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 16:03
Simon Clark

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".

Update on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 17:39 by Registered CommenterSimon Clark

Just watched a report on BBC Look East. The lead story, no less.

First attendee to blog is Tom Paine:
Success at Stony Stratford! (The Last Ditch)

See also:
Mission accomplished (Dick Puddlecote)
The Stony Standoff: Sanity 1, Bartlett 0 (Velvet Glove Iron Fist)
Enough is enough (Tea and Cigarettes)

BBC News now has the story:
Protest against Stony Stratford smoking ban proposal

So too (via the Press Association):
Belfast Telegraph, Brighton Argus, Halifax Courier ...

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