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A day out in Stony Stratford.

Will the righteous crusade against the smoker ever end?

After yesterdays visit to Stony Stratford I believe it just may do. According to The BBC, there were around 200 attendees. That figure seems fair considering what I saw and it was a damn good turnout, all things considered.

Our visit was not a rebellion and nor was it civil disobedience, we were simply drawing a line in the sand. To quote Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise,

"This far, no further".



For much too long the smoker has been de-normalised, hated, cast out of their local pubs and cast out of polite society. Smoking bans have never been about health. We have been banned from smoking in any pub regardless of what the landlord, who is often the property owner and resident, wants.

Now one man, Councillor Bartlet of Stony Stratford wants to take that ban even further. He wants to ban people from smoking in the streets; public streets in the open air.

His reasons?
Litter for one. He is sick of people dropping fag ends on the rather beautiful streets of Stony. Fortunately he picked up each and every one of them before we arrived.


I saw one fag end in the street the whole time I was there, although it had probably killed at least two children by the time we left.
In my home town of sunny Darwen there are litter bins all down the high street with ashtrays in the top. What a great way of dealing with fag related litter. I would have proposed them to comrade Bartlett, however I noticed similar bins were already in existence. And their bins were even better than the Darwen ones because they had a second bin compartment for recyclables.

Litter can't really be the issue then, but he does also bang on about public health and protecting the children (Always with the kiddies).
We are all well aware that smoking is harmful to our health, but this silly man believes that a non-smoker, walking down the high street who gets a brief whiff of somebody else's smoke will instantly begin breaking out in all kinds of hideous smoker related diseases. Particularly the children. What a nob.

The trip down to Stony Stratford was not a pleasant one. Apart from the bloody distance (And even though I like my cars I'm strictly a round town man. Your Moose does not travel well) it was pissing down rain all the way. So much at times that I couldn't see more than a hundred yards in front. I travelled down with NewsboyCap and a gentleman I wasn't familiar with who goes by the name of Visigoth. NewsboyCap had the honour of driving back and it brightened up nicely for the return journey, the lucky bugger.

Regardless of the travelling pains, I had to go there to lend my support. I'm not a resident of Stony Stratford, far from it. I could have just sat on the couch at home and relaxed with the knowledge that this is not my problem. So could many others who turned up on the day from far and wide. However. We all know differently don't we. This affects each and every one of us, regardless of what corner of the country we hail from. If this silly bylaw gets passed, it won't stop at Stony Stratford, it will spread. It will spread like a cancer throughout our country and our society until the only place people can go for a smoke will be their own homes. But even then it won't stop, will it.

And what a good day out it was too. There were plenty of bloggers, commenter's, freedom activists and of course the local residents. There were guest speakers including the leader of the local Chamber of Commerce and Nigel Ferage of UKIP.







video
video


One of the reasons I was looking forward to today was to meet some of the people whose blogs I read and who read mine. I have never met any of these people before and I was looking forward to putting a few faces to rants.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Puddlecote, The Boiling Frog and Witterings from Whitney along with Chris Snowdon of Velvet Glove and Dave Atherton. There must have been others too as I spoke to quite a few people whose names I will never remember through the fog of Black Sheep. I'm annoyed that I missed Frank Davis when my travelling companion did speak to him.

One notable absentee was Mr Bartlett himself. I would have thought that a man with any courage to his convictions would have turned up.

Smoking bans like his proposal have never been about health. They are about little hitlers treating the public like children and telling them what the can and cannot do. Smokers do not want the right to enter peoples homes and blow smoke into the cots of young babies, they simply want the right to congregate on private property, with the owners permission and with other like minded people to have a ciggy with their beer. If this ludicrous proposal ever comes into effect, smokers will not even be able to have a ciggy in the open air.

I don't think there is much chance of this being passed now though. People made a point today, and Mr Bartlett has shot himself and the anti-smoking movement in the foot. He isn't the usual anti-smoking drone, well versed in the art of talking unsubstantiated bollocks while sounding rational and believable, he's a lone nutter. A loose cannon. That's why his rants sound so stupid and that's why he hasn't had the backing of the usual suspects. Maybe if we get more people like this speaking out, and I'm sure there are many, it will help expose the anti-smoking movement for what it really is.

The more random weirdo's we get, the better.

Lastly I would like to thank the many people who came up to me and said, "Are you the Moose?", no doubt prompted by my shirt. That helps make it all worthwhile.










Further reading about the day:
Dick Puddlecote
Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
Frank Davis
Freedom 2 Choose
Freedom 2 Choose video footage
Taking liberties

If I've missed your post from the list, please link to it in the comments

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