Thursday, 19 August 2010

UKIP Leadership and Smoking in public places!

There is a debate currently under way on the UKIP Members Forum regarding the future leadership of UKIP. As a candidate for the NEC I am banned from contributing until after the elections, (a stupid decision in my opinion that shows UKIP to be still in denial about the internet) so even though in several postings I am being mentioned by name I cannot respond! Frank exchange of views? What’s that?

A couple of the posters are definitely not fans of mine and I suppose that by now I should know it’s a waste of time trying to argue with people who have made up their minds. From a posting of over 700 words one person has homed in on the 15 words that deal with his obsession! He's ignored everything else I've said! So, for avoidance of any doubt on my position I will state very clearly my views on smoking:

I think smoking is a nasty habit, but if people want to do it in the privacy of their own homes then that is their choice. However, I don’t want to be made to breathe in their second hand smoke so in my opinion smoking should be banned in any public place, including walking down the street.

According to my fan on the forum;

“this draconian move would totally alienate us from working class voters!”

Quite interesting assumptions here that it’s only working class people who smoke? Actually the person who posted that does appear from some of his other postings to be a bit of a class warrior and it wouldn’t surprise me if somewhere in his personal baggage was a huge chip on the shoulder. There we are, now I’m making assumptions on some flimsy evidence!

Another poster waded in with;

”If he wants to ban smoking in the street then forget him. Will end up just portrayed as another fruit bat from the fruit bat party. We need a leader who knows what the public want, not just push their own crazy ideas.”

He is also making assumptions. How does he know the public want to smoke in the streets? Research I’ve seen shows that people DON’T want smoking in the streets. Many people I speak to think UKIP is the fruit bat party because of its support for smokers! Of course this is one of those no-win situations. The smokers are fighting to protect their human rights to smoke and the anti-smokers fighting for their human rights not to breathe in polluted air.

The fruit bat comment is I think either supposed to be funny or just an insult? What’s wrong with fruit bats anyway?

I haven’t been able to engage in open debate on these points, due to the forum posting ban, but I wonder what the position of these individuals is about the Burka? Should it be banned in public places? Or is it just the “right” to smoke that should be enshrined in civic liberties?

The whole thread is actually pointless because I have no desire to become Leader of UKIP.

A more thankless task I couldn’t imagine! Even if I did want the job I couldn’t afford it. The post is unpaid and you have to cover your own expenses. Anyone without access to a considerable private income, a very good pension or an MEP’s salary and allowances would find it impossible to do the job. I consider myself to be reasonably comfortably off, due to my own hard work, some good investment decisions over the past 20 years (and a wife who has her own business!), but I’m not in the income bracket that allows me to become leader of UKIP, thank goodness!


  1. Come on Steve, don't tell me that smoking in the street causes cancer in passers-by, that is pure propoganda.

    It seems to me that it is a case of freedom to do, as long as I approve, which is not freedom at all.

    I'm an ex-smoker but am still tired of the obsessive anti-smokers who claim they need to shave their heads if they pass a smoker because their hair stinks, or they have to take the curtains for cleaning if a smoker has been in the house.

    The obsession with smokers just proves the power of propoganda/brainwashing and how gullible people are.

  2. I never mentioned cancer! I'm not an ex smoker, I'm a "never been a smoker" but I do know I can smell it at my parents house because my mother has smoked for years. Its not as bad now as it used to be because she only smokes in one room and leaves the windows open, (her choice by the way). However, I think its up to individuals to decide what they do in their own space but not at the expense of inflicting their choices on others, and before you say I'm inflicting my objection to smoke on others it is not quite the same thing! Its rather like someone playing music very loudly in a park, they may be enjoying the boom, boom, boom or the facile rap lyrics but one person's enjoyment is ruining the peace and quiet for the rest. That's called being inconsiderate of others and that's what I think of someone walking down the street smoking!

  3. To me true leadership is all about reaching people not to get what you want from them but to earn their respect thru my own actions and examples. There are so many great leaders that you have mentioned through out history and they all have one thing in common and that is the love and respect for all of those people who they have influenced.

  4. Steve I appreciate that you have never mentioned standing as leader, and in many respects my postings are unfair, especially as the powers that be have taken away your right of reply. Perhaps you could clarify, where could people smoke? Is outside pubs still OK, or do you want people to only to smoke in their homes, thus just about killing whats left of the pub trade.
    And as for the working class bit, well am sorry but the majority of people I see smoking in the street, park etc are, how can I say it, from the lower end of society. That being said am sure plenty of members higher up in society enjoy a fag between pubs/restaurants etc.
    Smoking is not an obsession of mine tho, its not a habit I like, but I am a social smoker, that is I enjoy a smoke when am out having a drink, I have maybe 10 cigerettes a week, and rarely on the street!
    As for the Burkha, I beleive it should be treated as other face coverings, like bike helmets, ie in the street is fine, but public buildings, banks, airports etc it should be removed.