Thursday, February 23, 2006

Smoking ban update


Anti-smokers, plagiarists lend me your wheelbarrow

I know, I know it's jumping on the bandwagon and not jumping in the wheelbarrow; sadly I couldn't find a good enough picture of a bandwagon so settled for this and my woefully adequate, yet imaginative, use of Paint.
The 14th February was a momentous day seeing the smoking ban get through, but just how popular can be seen from the current list of EDMs on the subject. Chronologically:

EDM 1646: SMOKING IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

That this House notes that right hon. and hon. Members voted to ban smoking in all public places including private members' clubs on 14th February 2006; further notes that the will of the House may not apply in the House itself since it is a royal palace; further notes that this means that staff working in the Smoking Room could still be exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke; and calls for this anomaly to be rectified by the House authorities as soon as possible.


First up is this offering from uber-eager Julia Goldsworthy, the Lib Dem MP for Falmouth and Camborne. Her EDM was submitted on the very evening the ban was passed, poor Ms Goldsworthy sadly having nothing better to do on Valentines Day.

Then comes this offering from Dr Hywel Francis MP, the Labour Member for Aberavon.

EDM 1650:ANEURIN BEVAN NON-SMOKING ROOM

That this House welcomes the momentous decision to achieve a total ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces; believes that this House should practise what it preaches and apply the ban throughout the House, including the Members' smoking room; and believes that, in recognition of the founder of the National Health Service the Members' smoking room should be renamed the Aneurin Bevan room, forthwith.


Basically, the same but with a comrade nod to Nye Bevan. Spookily also tabled on Valentines night. Do these MPs have no amorous intentions?

The plot thickens with this amendment to the above tabled by Andrew George MP, Lib Dem MP for St Ives.

EDM 1650A1:ANEURIN BEVAN NON-SMOKING ROOM

delete `Aneurin Bevan' and insert `Beveridge'


This was tabled on 15th February. Well I guess the MP for St Ives would have to spend Valentines with one, or more, of his seven wives. Sounds like John Hemming. This motion was signed by a few other Lib Demmers.

And finally this one from David Gauke, Tory MP for South West Hertfordshire

EDM 1663:SMOKING BAN IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

That this House notes the vote in favour of a complete ban on smoking in enclosed places including private clubs; further notes that the Palace of Westminster will be exempt from these provisions; and calls for those hon. Members who supported these measures to be banned from smoking in enclosed places in the Palace, including in the Smoking Room.


Is that not basically the same as Julia Goldsworthy's?? But perhaps there is a difference and I guess the only people who could answer would be the following five MPs who have signed both EDM 1646 and EDM 1663 - Peter Bottomley; Anne Cryer; Angus MacNeil; Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Dodds.

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