A few months ago I read that Philip Davies MP (a Conservative backbencher) described “proposals to force tobacco companies to sell cigarettes in plain, unbranded packaging” as “”gesture politics of the worst kind”, claiming their enforcement would be a “triumph for the nanny state””. I asked him what, if that reasonable proposal was an example of a “nanny state”, should we make of putting people in prison or giving them criminal records for using other drugs, but obviously got no response.
But in a debate today about whether there should be a ban on smoking in cars containing children (so harming others, not just themselves), I think he bettered himself:
“This proposal is excessive, intrusive and insulting to British parents who smoke,” Mr Davies said.
“The suggestion of banning smoking in private vehicles with a minor present is yet another unwarranted intrusion on individual freedom. The government should have no role at all in regulating the private lives of adults who make decisions as adults.”
Unless he’s a fan of the black market precisely because of its lack of regulations, it’s hard to reconcile this with support for strict prohibition. But reading comments he’s made regarding decriminalisation of personal use, punishments for drug dealers, and preventing overdoses, I don’t get the impression that his libertarian views stretch beyond the politically convenient. This hypocrisy and inconsistency is of course not uncommon within the Tory party (nudge nudge), nor amongst [some] Republicans in the US.
“No role at all in regulating the private lives of adults”.
You couldn’t make it up.