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Thursday
Jun222017

"Magical evening" on the Thames

Thanks to everyone who attended Smoke On The Water, our annual boat party, on Tuesday night.

The weather was a great improvement on last year when we shivered under wet, grey skies.

Ironically the heat may have persuaded some people to stay away. One prospective guest emailed to say he was remaining "in the country" because it was "too hot" in London.

On the water however there was a nice breeze so conditions were perfect.

Those who did come included many familiar faces but each year we seem to attract new ones.

Inevitably someone on social media questions the purpose of the party. This year, in response to the person who enquired, via Twitter, "What was the point?", I wrote:

"No point, apart from engaging with supporters, potential supporters, parliamentary researchers and the Westminster village."

Smoke On The Water, like The Freedom Dinner, helps maintain Forest's profile in Westminster.

Many of the guests are political researchers working for MPs. Others work for Westminster think tanks.

Events such as this also help us maintain a core base of supporters who can be called upon at short notice, something we've found very useful in the past.

Interestingly, many of the people who attend Smoke On The Water are not only young (twenties and thirties), they're mostly non-smokers.

The point is, they may not smoke but they're still willing to support/engage with us. Moving forward, that's important.

Anyway, here are some of the comments we're received about this year's event:

"Great evening, as always."

"Thank you for another magical evening."

"Gorgeous evening to cruise down the Thames."

"One of the best nights of the year, by far!"

"Thank you for organising such a great party. Everyone had a fantastic time."

Some excellent photos were posted on social media by several guests including Steven George-Hilley, Sarah-Jane Sewell and Elise Rasmussen.

If you're on Facebook you can see some of them there.

Next week: The Freedom Dinner at Boisdale of Canary Wharf.

Photo above courtesy Steven George-Hilley. The picture of Tower Bridge at dusk (bottom) was taken by Elise Rasmussen. The one directly below is one I managed to take myself!

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Reader Comments (1)

This is nice to see. Every time the public at large gets to see and interact with smokers under normal circumstances efforts to demonize and denormalize smokers are weakened. Events like this (and the recent gatherings in Dublin and Brussels) are worth their weight in gold. Smokers must be seen as they are and not as depicted in the antismokers caricatures.

It is also nice to hear that the emerging political bureaucratic class is engaging smokers. That may be key to the future political action that is necessary to end the de facto persecution of smokers. Smoker must employ their political might to stem their own persecution and restore their liberties including the right to smoke in designated public settings indoors and out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 22:35 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

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