Freedom To Choose
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Freedom to Choose A Personal View

WHY? That is the question I am often asked. You don't smoke, you would support a total ban on tobacco products, why do you support smoker’s rights? The reasons are quite complex really. At 55 years of age I have seen Governments come and go. I have watched whilst politicians disgrace themselves from Profumo, through Jeremy Thorpe to Mandelson. Most of these in the past have been because journalists were always looking for the 'dirt' to de-rail Governments. It didn't matter what 'colour' the Government. Their indiscretions were usually of a sexual nature. The difference between then and now is that 'old fashioned' politicians had integrity, they may not have acted morally but when they were found out they resigned.

Even up to the end of the last Conservative Government that same integrity existed. Since 1997, with the words, 'we will be whiter than white' still ringing in our ears we have seen politics descend at a rapid pace into the gutter. Ministers have had to be forced from office, when they have been indiscreet. What has been even more apparent is that the modern Labour politician sees no reason not to flaunt their indiscretions as though it was badge of honour. The transferring of allegiance from one party to another just to get their noses in the lucrative trough is also now becoming a career move. Something staunch Socialists like my father would have been horrified at. We have seen a concerted policy of deliberately lying to the public and Parliament. We have seen innocent civil servants hounded out of jobs for doing the right thing and telling the truth, we have seen dedicated scientist like David Kelly hung out to dry. Whether his death was suicide of state sanctioned murder we will never know. We have seen honourable judges dishonour their profession by doing government bidding. No one has been under any illusions about the lies and the 'whitewashes'.

It is this contempt of the people that is dividing our Nation. So it's against this backdrop of lying, cheating and corruption that the voter has had their rights eroded and every aspect of our lives have been controlled. As I read some time ago the rights and freedoms of one person should not be sacrificed and justified to protect the rights of another, not matter what the cause. Democracy demands that Government are there to serve all the people without fear or favour. My human rights as a non-smoker are no more important than that of a smoker. It is wrong for you to be disenfranchised to appease me. The whole issue of smoker’s rights is about fundamental freedoms and the ability to carry on one’s life within the rule of law. It is not the role of Government to dictate our life style. I personally hate the smell of curry, therefore I do not go near Indian Restaurants. That is my choice and my right. If I were to complain to my council and demand that they close all restaurants that sell curry. I would rightly be considered at best deranged. But that is exactly what ASH, the Cancer Charities and HMG are demanding of business. To comply with a lie in order to appease the zealot and more perversely make the big Drug Companies even richer. WHY? Freedom, Democracy and Truth.

Bob Feal-Martinez

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