Tuesday 1 April 2003

Laissez-nous faire!

Now Ireland's health minister is proposing to ban smoking in pubs and restaurants. Edinburgh Tory councillor Brian Meek is impressed:
Ask yourself this: which is the most harmful activity in Scotland: binge drinking, hunting with hounds, or smoking? Remind me again: which was banned?
Well Brian, the most harmful activity in Scotland is not drinking, hunting or smoking but politicians who think that they have the right to tell the rest of us how to conduct our lives.

Mr Meek thinks that opposition to this kind of law is driven by smokers and pub owners:

Leading the opposition is the Tipperary South member of parliament, Noel Davern. "I have spoken to the minister three times," he informed us. "He is fanatically anti-smoking. The fact that I am a smoker myself has nothing to do with it." Of course not.

It is also a coincidence that Senator Eddie Bohan, also opposed, has an interest in a number of pubs in the Dublin area.

I am not a smoker nor do I own a pub or restaurant and I don't enjoy smoke when I go to such establishments. Nevertheless, it's not the government's business. Let the property owners decide and go broke if they get it wrong.