Much as I personally hate smoking, I wish Britain's newest political party, FAGS, every success. The smokers' equivalent of UKIP was launched by Hamish Howitt, who last night was served no less than seven separate court summonses at his Happy Scots Bar in Blackpool for flouting the recently introduced law banning smoking in enclosed public spaces.
Fight Against Government Suppression is of course right to remind people that the government broke its manifesto pledge to restrict the ban on private clubs and pubs to those serving food. When the issue reaches them, as it surely inevitably will, I suspect that the more liberal European Court of Human Rights will also delight in taking the opportunity once again to assert its supremacy over our
federal national Parliament. However, the real issue is actually nothing to do with smoking it is about enforced uniformity. Which is why I hope FAGS becomes so much more than just a single issue party.
For there are so many ways in which we have all been suppressed by NuLabour's nanny state-cum-police state mentality and the fight against government suppression needs to be waged on all fronts. Take the recent issue of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Mr Howitt claims that his non-smoking customers may go next door to his smoke-free karaoke bar. Quite so. Just as the Catholic adoption agencies suggested that they could continue their previous practice of directing homosexual couples to the non-Catholic adoption agencies next door. Just as doctors who do not wish to carry out an abortion may, at present, point some of their patients towards other doctors who are prepared to assist them. But in modern socialist Britain, we must all conform to the one model. One size must fit all. As the Shadow Attorney General Dominic Grieve put it in the current issue of The Difference, the Government appears to believe that "greater diversity needs greater restrictions of freedoms, so that all will conform to a Government dictated framework."
No, enough is enough. We should not be forced to conform. We should all be treated with respect and have the freedom to choose.
A loyal opposition is a necessity in any community."
Karol Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow (Pope John Paul II)