During the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, I remember seeing images of two schoolchildren entering a polling station. A boy and a girl, both in their school uniforms, were about to cast their ballots. I have never been in favour of votes at 16, but if there had ever been a smidgen of doubt in my mind, it was obliterated looking at those images. It didn’t look or feel right. Schoolchildren are by their very definition not adults, and only adults should be allowed to vote.
The boy and girl in question had to attend school later that morning. If they had not, their parents could, and probably would, have been fined. The law states that they are not responsible enough to purchase alcohol or tobacco. The law also states that they are not responsible enough to get a tattoo, book a session on a sunbed, or drive a car. Continue reading “Votes at 16? For many reasons the answer has to be NO”
The following article of mine was published on Brexit Central on Sunday 23 July 2017.
The e-cigarette market was, until recently, perhaps the closest thing we had to a genuine free market. A relative lack of regulation, compared to what it is now, allowed the market to innovate in ways we seldom see. As the vast majority of those using e-cigarettes are either current or former smokers, the innovations also have huge health benefits. According to the Royal College of Physicians, e-cigarettes are at least 95 per cent safer than combustible tobacco, and Public Health England has acknowledged that they are the number one quit aid in the country. This is a success story, so you would think that the urge to regulate them out of existence would be resisted. Sadly not, and the worst culprit is the European Union. Continue reading “COMMENT: Scrapping EU vaping laws would improve health and boost the economy”
We have just had the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in England. I know that many people hate the smell of burning tobacco. I get that, and so did those who opposed an outright ban in every enclosed public space. There were alternatives at the time, and if anything, thanks to much better ventilation systems, those alternatives are even better than they were. Continue reading “LISTEN: My thoughts on why the smoking ban was and is one of the most illiberal things we have done in the UK”
I ask that question as I do not know the answer to it. David Jones has always struck me as a very able minister. He is a former Secretary of State for Wales. He is an experienced operator, and along with David Davis and colleagues, has managed to build-up a department from scratch in just under a year.
Jones is also a Leaver. He was very effective in Wales during last year’s EU Referendum. What is Theresa May up to? After performing so badly at the polls last week, the fears of many that she is preparing to water down Brexit will resurface. After Jones’ sacking, the optics are bad.
Has she learned anything from her humiliation last week?
I didn’t see that election result coming, although if I had used some foresight, I would have done.
I made a number of predictions about Labour marginals before Theresa May launched the Conservative manifesto. Until then, I firmly believe that all was well. The campaign wasn’t very good at that point, however, there was time for improvement.
After the manifesto was launched, the wheels came off. Theresa May couldn’t even admit she had performed a U-turn on the so-called “dementia tax”. The campaign was too presidential. Saying “me and my team” is not only an incorrect use of English grammar, it also makes Theresa May look self-centred. Continue reading “You are in office, but not in power, Prime Minister. You have to go”