Publican Party seeks smoke-ban deal with Tories

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Publican party, Voting, David cameron

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Pub power can net David Cameron an election victory - that's the vow from Scotland's anti-smoke ban party as it brings its battle south of the...

Pub power can net David Cameron an election victory - that's the vow from Scotland's anti-smoke ban party as it brings its battle south of the border.

Kit Fraser, chairman of the Publican Party in Scotland, has finally admitted defeat in Scotland, but claims the situation is "completely different" in England and Wales.

"In Scotland, all three parties - Labour, Lib Dems and Scottish Nationals - were in favour of the ban but in England the Conservatives have not really made up their minds,"​ said Fraser. "The Tories need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to win the next election and politically speaking the humble cigarette is dynamite."

The only problem is the issue is not rational. It is emotional. It is political correctness run riot.​Kit Fraser, Publican Party.

Tory pub deal​The fight against the ban in England has already begun with 19 pubs in Exeter signing up to a deal that promises Cameron and the Tories full use of their pubs as campaigning centres if they table an amendment allowing separate smoking rooms.

The licensees will allow the Tories to plaster their walls with posters in the run up to local and national elections in return. "It is pub power,"​ said Fraser. "We can deliver Cameron all the pubs in England. We can increase his vote by 5% which would put him in the hot seat."

The Big Debate​Exeter host Paul Andrew of the Showman in Cowick Street was one of those to back the Publican Party pledge.

He has also written to all the city's licensees with petitions for the Big Debate.

"I would support any compromise solution"​ he said. "I don't think it is over and done, especially with the attitude of the Lords, who seem to be against a total ban."

The Publican Party is hoping to meet with Cameron next month and put forward its case and may also link up with the Freedom to Choose group.

Fraser believes the solution is simple - allow pubs a separate smoking room.

"That would be the rational solution,"​ he said. "The only problem is the issue is not rational. It is emotional. It is political correctness run riot."

To comment on this or any other story email us by clicking this link

Your CommentsRobert Feal-Martinez​ via email 13/04/2006"As the spokesperson for The Bigdebate, Freedom to Choose I can say we welcome this move, and whilst I cannot speak for every licensee I know that there are many thousands who would go along with this move. We are not promoting smoking we are promoting choice, that message is getting through and lets hope David Cameron is listening. I am more than willing to meet with the Publican Party and David Cameron which will show him pubs can deliver for The Conservatives. What politicians must remember is 90% of pub goers are smokers or tolerant non smokers that amounts to millions of votes. Our Petition is showing that people are fed up with being nannyed. If Mr Cameron acknowledges that he is onto a winner.

Alastair Elliott​ via email 13/04/2006"What a Great idea, hopefully David Cameron will listen to the people and that is that they want above all CHOICE."

Donal McCarthy​ via email 13/04/2006"This is real people power in action and is what democracy is really all about. As I understand it, "less state interference" it is a prime Conservative tenet. The coming-together of these groups provides the perfect opportunity to enact this particular value and keep Britain free of the Nanny State. Congratulations to all involved."

Colin Grainger​ via email 13/04/2006"As a life-long Labour voter, I am disgusted at the way the Scots have handled the smoking ban here. Ignoring public opinion, ignoring genuine science, and riding rough-shod over any one who dared to dissent. Blair, of course, is even worse. This will teach him to ditch a party manifesto because he thought a smoking ban was PC.

The Conservatives have my vote in Scotland now. Thanks to the bravery of MSP's like Brian Monteith who stood up and spoke out for reason, for compromise and for choice.

Bye bye Tony. Commiserations Gordon. Not this time, old son."

Sharon Donald​ via email 18/04/2006"I read the above article with interest. If the conservatives are prepared to bring democracy back into politics and not government dictation and removal of choice then they will certainly get my vote at the local and national elections. Smokers may be a minority but they are a very large minority some 14+million votes a good proportion of the electorate - politicians ignore them at their peril. I am fed up of being told what to do under this Labour Government and I dont know how the Scots live in such a state controlled environment."

Mandy Vincent​ via email 18/04/2006"Great Idea if we can get a party that willlisten to the truth.

Power hungry politicians,blah blah never listens,To the polls, off we go,Oh! They've change, the manifesto,then wonder why we do not vote,well let me tell you, please take note

Tony Blair it is not fair,You tell your voters lies,What you say and what you do,Is what voters all despise,Now you are starting to dictate,Without a fair thought through debateYour voters clearly you ignoreYou send our soldiers off to war

Fanatics, you will give a voiceSmokers you deny a choiceBlanket ban, Parliament cry,Without the TRUTH I ask you whyPower hungry politicians,Blah Blah never listens

Banning this and banning thatWith propaganda, that's a factCan you not see, what you createFilling minds with venom, hate,

You have the Power to stop itwhat will you Choose to doBelieve me were not stupid,and we are onto you.

I am glad the Lords have powerWhich you would love to take awayAnd if you get away with thatThen it will be a sad sad day

But I have joined the big debateA voice we have without the hateA place where we can air our viewsDemocracy, FREEDOM to CHOOSE

Peter Eveleigh​ via email 18/04/2006"This can only be good news for the Publican party and also the Big Debate / Freedom to choose crew. The real science on this issue has long been overtaken by emotional hype which, as witnessed by the genuine interest demonstrated by the recent House of Lords Presentation.

The Hunting debate went through comparable BrueHa so David Cameron took the trouble to investigate personally - particularly by visiting Hunts in his constituency etc, so cutting through the dross.

On this issue we see such luminaries as Proff. Siegel, who campaigned so hard over the past 30 years for tobacco control, now ridiculing and indeed deserting ASH and their cohorts for continuously distorting the abundance of genuine scientific evidence now available.

Time to cut through this dross!"

Liz Barber​ via email 18/04/2006"Re the tory vote - as an also life long labour voter - I'm o so glad I only said it would be a cold day in hell before I voted tory. Subject to some sensible commitment to amend the smoke ban rules I will be doing just that come the next election. Thank god I didn't mention eating hats...."

Rober Feal-Martinez​ via email, 18/04/2006What a magnificent poem, a shame the author was shy. Says it all really.

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