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« Message from New York | Main | "What a night!" »

Forest dinner provokes international incident!!

Today's Scotsman reports:

The former commander of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir Mike Jackson, has caused controversy after he referred to Scotland as “north Britain” in a speech in London.

Sir Mike was the lead speaker at the Freedom Dinner organised by the tobacco industry [sic] to oppose attempts to bring in plain packaging.

In an aside on the diplomatic benefits of whisky, the general referred to it as the drink which comes from “as I insist on calling it north Britain. Eat your heart out Alex Salmond”.

Full story, including some extremely po-faced comments from nationalists who can't recognise a joke when they hear one, here: Ex-forces chief in shot at ‘north Britain’.

(Just for the record, The Freedom Dinner wasn't organised by the tobacco industry. It was organised by Forest. Give us some credit!)

More to our taste is this piece on the Spectator website:

On the eve of the smoking ban five years ago, hundreds of liberty lovers came together to rebel and enjoy one last night of freedom. A reunion was held on the eve of the anniversary this week of the ban by smokers lobby group Forest ...

Topping the bill however was General Sir Mike Jackson, who after a turbulent few years as head of the army, did not pull his punches for his favourite people - politicians and civil servants:

"They all think they know better, but what have they done? Bugger all. How can you assume the human condition can be reduced to zero risk? How stupid can you get? We kill more people on the road every year than we do with the dreaded weed."

And with that the crowd rose up, and shuffled outside to smoke.

See also: A smoke to liberty (Spectator)

Update: Nice piece by Pat Nurse - For liberty and free choice (Tea and Cigarettes)

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Reader Comments (7)

Why are zealots - no matter what their hue - sooo po-faced?

Mind you, as a pro-choice zealot, I think I have my po-faced moments :(

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 16:19 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Slow News Day in Scotch-Land today, much?

I seem to remember the Scotsman being an extremely well written, level headed paper...imbued with granite like scottish style commen sense....but that *was* in the 80's when I lived up there for a bit.

Seems it has become the Northern British Guardian...full of too easily 'offended' silly 'Mz'istas in ethnic skirts with wooly ideas instead of wooly hats.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 16:39 | Unregistered CommenterThe Blocked Dwarf

So, the journalist who wrote this says "the Freedom Dinner organised by the tobacco industry to oppose attempts to bring in plain packaging." Where do I start. It was organised by Forest, who receive sponsorship from some of the tobacco industry, it was not organised by the tobacco industry.
Was it really about plain packaging? True, this may be the hot topic at the moment. These journalists however completely miss that plain packaging is just the latest of the many attacks on the freedom of the smoker and their non smoking sympathisers.
Of course, they would be infuriated if we said that the lobbying for plain packs was being organised by the Department of Health, it is ASH and Smokefree South West!

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 23:28 | Unregistered Commentertimbone for this comment..."At a "freedom dinner" no less. This is a bunch of drug dealers. Millions die every year because of them. Eats your lungs, your stomach, your bowels etc,"
With well researched facts like that, this guy should be a journalist.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 23:31 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Timbone - wouldn't you just love to challenge air-heads like that to a duel - of words that is?

I am 100% sure that our weapons (words) are much more finely tuned and honed than theirs, and that theirs would fall apart in the first two minutes.

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 10:39 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

The only words they have are abusive and shame on those so called journalists for carrying their hate campaign into the public arena and presenting it as acceptable.

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:36 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

North Britain?

I thought Scotlandshire was somewhere in the north of England. Aren't they a minor county in the England and Wales cricket league?

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 16:13 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

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