» Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Asked what the current position was on the Smoking Bill, and if it would be published tomorrow, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said the position was the same as it was this morning and yesterday afternoon, and there was no reason to believe that the original timetable had changed.

Asked if it was right to say that people had "come closer together" on the issue over the course of the day, the PMOS replied that he did not give a processology about how we reached decisions; rather he talked about the decisions and he had nothing to add to what he had said this morning and yesterday afternoon.

Asked to comment on the rumour that MPs would have a free vote on different exemptions, the PMOS said he had not heard that rumour.

Put to the PMOS that the Department of Health had said the Bill would now be published on Thursday and not tomorrow, the PMOS replied that his understanding was, as he had said this morning and yesterday afternoon, that he had nothing to believe that the original timetable had changed.

Asked if the Prime Minister had been involved in talks today regarding the smoking issue, the PMOS said that although there had been a general health Stocktake, smoking had not been discussed.

Asked if there were elements of the legislation that could be brought in later on, the PMOS repeated what he had said this morning which was did he think there would be a clear sense of direction after the announcement was made: yes. Did he think that there would be practical issues that still needed to be brought through: yes, probably.

Asked if we were nearer the manifesto today than we were yesterday, the PMOS said it was very kind of the journalist to invite him to comment before the announcement had been made, but he would decline!
Asked if a statement would be made, the PMOS said there would be an announcement.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. If you go into any hospital in the land late at night you might find a handful of emergency admissions which have resulted from -generally- a lifetime’s smoking. These lifetime addictions have -generally- harmed only the addict, whilst enriching worthies like the deeply unattractive Kenneth Clark. Casualty departments, however, most nights but especially at weekends are filled with victims of straightforward alcoholic poisoning, of alcohol related violence, of drunken driving; victims of the whole ghastly pisshead culture, the blood, shit, piss, scars, fractures, broken heads and limbs; homicides, domestic violence, crashed cars, broken windows and terrorised citizens, the vomit and vandalism that is the stock-in-trade of the Licensed Vintners Associations, the brewers and distillers and the vilest most irresponsible and hypocritical creatures known to man, the publicans.

    Alcohol is a factor in the vast majority of crimes, recorded and unrecorded, the jails are filled to bursting with people who offended when they were pissed; the remaining psychiatric units number many alkies in their client group and tens of thousands of people die each year from major organ disease caused by too much booze. Contrasted with all this mayhem cigarettes are a minor irritant.

    If health secretary and Nurse Ratchitt clone Patricia Hewitt really gave a monkey’s about public health and a civil society she’d close the pubs down and never mind the cigarettes.

    Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree, I want everybody to be free and I think drinking’s all very well but, like masturbation, it ought to be done in private. Its the pubs that are the problem. Not the fags. I think Bob Dylan said that.

    As we say on Orkney if she’d a had his dinner ready when he came in from the pub, he would’na had to give her such a hiding.

    Comment by Tasty Macfadden — 29 Oct 2005 on 1:25 am | Link

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