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MPs back smoking ban – but Justice Secretary opposes ‘unenforceable’ law

10 February 2014

So is the ban on smoking in cars with children, backed by MPs this evening by 376 votes to 107 against, a good idea? As James observed earlier, it is fascinating to see how quickly opinions have shifted even in the past few weeks. The PA division lists have 100 Conservative MPs voting against, and only four Liberal Democrats opposing a ban that their own leader described as ‘illiberal’.

But it is worth reflecting that the Cabinet ministers who voted against it included Theresa May and Chris Grayling (the others were Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa Villiers). Grayling was voting reluctantly on the basis that the ban was unenforceable. Which given he’s the Justice Secretary, doesn’t inspire great confidence about the legislation, regardless of the principle.

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  • Reconstruct

    So, the revealed preference of our politicians is to boss us around rather than oversee competent administration. And they wonder why they are despised.

  • MirthaTidville

    So lets see, loads of the country under water, half the cabinet fighting like rats in a sack, and Dave thinks another bit of `Nanny State` legislation is just the ticket…Just another piece of evidence of this muppets shallow thinking. So just how is he going to enforce this..he`s got rid of loads of cops and the ones that are left havent got the time or the inclination to help him out, even Grayling knows this. Dave probably thinks being `right on` will bring him some votes…told you he was a shallow thinker..Farage must be happy this morning though

    • Colonel Mustard

      “For Labour, shadow health minister Luciana Berger said: “This is a great victory for child health which will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice.”

      The thin edge of a very big wedge.

  • Eddie

    Why not just ban cars instead? They kill 2500 per year in the UK and apparently create climate change which leads to floods…and droughts…and floods…and, well, pick some weather, ANY weather, and attribute it to the misnomer ‘climate change’ (errr…the climate is ALWAYS changing. Doh!)

    • White Lightning

      Shhhutup, they might be reading.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Why not ban cars? Why not ban cigarettes?

      Tax. The same muppets passing these bad laws depend on the tax take to pay their lucrative and overblown salaries. It’s a game of what do they think they can get away and in the face of an incredibly supine public they are getting away with more and more.

      • In2minds

        Why not ban smoking in the HoC?

  • Eddie

    As an ex-smoker myself, I have managed not to become a raving ranting hysteric of an anti-smoking fascist. Instead, I look at the evidence:
    There is no real evidence that passive smoking is harmful. The largest study ever over 40 years at UCLA showed negligible – if any – harm caused by passive smoking in general. People wrongly assume that any non-smoker who gets lung cancer is a victim of passive smoking.
    The exception to this was parents smoking around children IN THE HOME – usually in the same room. Now, the smoking ban in pubs and not, it seems, cars will therefore INCREASE smoking in the home and that danger.
    Maybe many people don’t like the smell. I am indifferent, but LOVE The smell of pipes and cigars! I despise those who eat spicy food in public with that disgusting stench – or peel oranges in places of work, stinking the place out. Some perfume and deodorants people wear are vomit-inducing too. Yet, all these are allowed. A bad smell is no reason to ban anything therefore, it seems.
    If we want to help children be healthy, the best thing we could do would be to ensure as many as possible grew up in stable two-parent households, as all the evidence shows that those who grow up in single parent households die younger, get more diseases, are more likely to have bad health and fail at education – oh and child abuse of all sorts in much more likely in such families too.
    I see this anti-smoking crusade as bullying, pure and simple. The majority now do not smoke and many are intolerant in their views – because any measure they demand won’t affect their life. When most people smoked, the bullying was the other way perhaps. All just bullying of the minority by the majority – or, as it is now called, democracy! (Those non-parents out there will know the bullying of ‘childless-ism’: they have to suffer such bullying every single day, and then pay for it too!)

  • Alex

    So how long before this is applied to your home? 5 years? 10 years?
    Which would require added powers for the police to be able to enter your home whenever they want.
    Or maybe a cigarette smoke detector, to be installed at your expense, that would let the state know when you light up.
    You know it’s only the next logical step.

  • southerner

    Think about the children! Think about the children!

    This Parliament is now fast becoming an embarrassment. Thanks to Dave’s ridiculous fixed term parliament act we have another year of nothingness aside from nannying stunts like this.

  • an ex-tory voter

    The principle of liberty is all but dead in Britain , the EU and much of the Western world. Sadly, it will not be the fools who would introduce such draconian and illiberal laws who reap the whirlwind. It will be their children’s children’s and beyond who pay the price in blood as they fight to climb back up the slippery slope created by these tyrannical nanny statists.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It is a reflection on the sorry state of politics in this country that an opposition MP can bring forward a proposed nanny law and that “Conservative” MPs in the government then vote for it.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Exactly. Can you imagine how this law will be enforced? I suspect that in practical terms it will involve sanctimonious boors with a camera phone posting pictures of offending smokers on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc etc and then instructing the police to prosecute. Neighbour informing on neighbour, how very Stalinesque. My grandfather’s generation did not run up beaches in Normandy to facilitate this kind of destruction of civil liberties.

    • mikewaller

      What a load of nonsense. Parents are already compelled to send their kids to school or demonstrate that they have made alternative provision of an adequate standard. They are also prohibited from using them as chimney sweeps etc. etc. This is no Rubicon; it is just another sensible measure seeking to prevent wholly irresponsible parents damaging their children. As for Therasa May, I am sufficiently sexist as to be profoundly disturbed by a women so clearly not on the side of the child.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “not on the side of the child” just about sums up people like you – in a state of perpetual warfare between selected identity groups composed mainly of generalised stereotypes. You are Animal Farm and 1984 all wrapped up in priggish sanctimony. If three “children” attacked and injured an elderly pensioner would you be on their side? If an adult berated rowdy children in public for their behaviour would you be on their side?

        You and people like you are part of the problem. Please don’t insult us by pretending you have a solution.

        • mikewaller

          I have spoken to several professional colleagues who have confirmed my view that too strong a response to your voluminous nonsense carries a very serious risk of causing you to entirely loose your already tenuous grip on reality. So suffice it to say that on this list and elsewhere to things guide my observations: each case should be judged on its own merits and effective resistance against tyranny is a cause worth dying for. It follows from this that I have no time for children or adults who behave cruelly to others and was to be heard yesterday on “You and Yours” with a phoned-in suggestion that anybody who wants to engage in common abuse, or worse, on the electronic media should be required to use their own name as I do and you don’t.

          In this particular case my natural sympathies are for small children strapped in cars whilst their cretinous parents pollute the limited air-supply with cigarette smoke. The notion that several sad little popinjays on these lists would do their inconsequential bests to stop anything being done about this fills me with a deep sadness.

  • Pier66

    The ban of smoking in the car with children is very good and fair
    For children health, so all the Tory and UKIP should be supported that !

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    My restrained comments deleted yet again.
    “Welcome back, Jack.”

  • Colonel Mustard

    Another step for the nanny state that Cameron promised to “sweep away”.

    What next to criminalise or ban? What next year under an illiberal Lib Dem and Labour conspiracy coalition?

  • arnoldo87

    The ban is indeed mostly unenforceable.

    Just like other laws – such as driving through red lights and drink driving – where offenders usually get away with it.

    Should we make both of those two activities legal too?

    • Colonel Mustard

      We might have guessed you would approve, together with the rest of the national socialists.

      • arnoldo87

        Why not have a go at answering my question, Colonel?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Your ‘question’ is ludicrous and was intended for effect. It is similarly convoluted logic as asking if murder should be legalised if we don’t support a ban on guns.

          Whilst the extent of harm from passive smoking is disputed – except by the vested interest lobby that depends on that premise for its subsidised funding and lucrative salaries – the very real and immediate danger to other road users and pedestrians of running a red light or drink driving should be obvious – even to a very silly person like you.

          Berger has suggested child protection should trump adult choice. Watch that one. It will be used by your comrades to exert many more imaginative forms of control over us.

    • Alexsandr

      smoking in a works vehicle and using a mobile while driving are illegal but seen every day. Stupid stunt and wont be enforced.
      These muppets need to know the difference between making a law and making it work.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    I thought the current set of right wing socialists opposed fascist socialism? What is going on! These politburo ineptocrats have nothing better to do than regulate regulate regulate, yet that bank of gangsters gangbanking the taxpayer for yet more cash get away with smoking the prize. Enforce the unenforceable for Fawke’s ake.

    • HookesLaw

      Left wing right wing fascist socialism? Har har har – Spare us your fascist solecisms.

    • Dicky14

      It’s straight out of Blair’s handbook – identify an issue and legislate then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Can anyone remember talk on the hustings of a Great Repeal Bill? Nope, me neither.

      • Colonel Mustard

        In the face of this latest attack on individual freedom it is worth recalling the promises of this Coalition:-

        “For example, when you take Conservative plans to strengthen families and encourage social responsibility, and add to them the Liberal Democrat passion for protecting our civil liberties and stopping the relentless incursion of the state into the lives of individuals, you create a Big Society matched by big citizens.”

        “We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.”

        “We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.”

        “We will amend the health and safety laws that stand in the way of common sense policing.”

        Ha bloody ha!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Will the ban extend to children smoking in cars?

    • In2minds

      Oh I do hope so! We could instruct our police to do more stop and search to check this out. Anyone who complains to be tazered. illiberal Britain? YES

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    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Only if they are smoking Capstan full strength or Cuban cigars. It’s in the fine print.

  • In2minds

    If barmy Clegg thinks this idea is illiberal then it must be really bad so good to see this parliament make itself look foolish.

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