The Table Bear Report – 23rd of Jan 2009
Over at Taking Liberties, Simon Clark fills us in on just how much of a stinking, corrupt and downright disgraceful bunch these vile scumbags really are.
Last year, as I wrote HERE, I travelled to Brussels to attend a meeting of “EU experts, civil society and social partners to support the Commission’s Impact Assessment on the forthcoming initiative on smoke-free environments”.
Seconds into the meeting, to which I had been invited, several hands shot up and two or three delegates announced that if I didn’t leave they would leave the room. Others nodded in agreement. In the EU, it seems, free speech and tobacco operate on different planets.
Next week, also in Brussels, a group called The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) was due to hold a two-day conference under the patronage of Godfrey Bloom MEP (UKIP). The event was called “Smoking Bans and Lies” and the programme was unambiguously partisan.
Venue was the European Parliament building and I understand that several readers of this blog were planning to attend.
Yesterday morning it was reported that the conference had been moved from the Parliament to a hotel near the Parliament building. Last night I was told by Gawain Towler, press officer for UKIP in Brussels, that the original conference hosted by Godfrey Bloom has been cancelled and in its place is a “new” conference with a very similar programme. (Don’t ask me why. I’m only the messenger.)
The “new” conference will be called “Thinking Is Forbidden” and officially it will be hosted not by Godfrey Bloom (UKIP MEP) but by the British arm of the Independence/Democracy Group (aka UKIP). Delegates who were due to attend “Smoking Bans and Lies” will be invited to attend “Thinking Is Forbidden” instead.
The reason for this game of musical chairs seems to be related to THIS outrageous letter which was sent, in December, to Hans-Gert Pöttering, president of the European Parliament, by Florence Berteletti Kemp, director of the Smoke Free Partnership (which includes Cancer Research UK).
In her letter, Kemp argues that “this event should not under any circumstances take place on the premises of the European Parliament”. She then gives the following reasons:
* “the event appears to be in contravention of Parliament’s own rules of procedure and is detrimental to the dignity of Parliament”
* “the event goes against all of Parliament’s adopted reports and the European Community’s legislation and commitments on this topic”
* “it violates the spirit of the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”
There’s a lot more of this high-handed nonsense in Kemp’s letter and any self-respecting institution would have torn it up and sent her packing. But not the European Parliament. I am told that on on Tuesday 12 January a committee met in camera and decided that permission for the conference to be held within the Parliament building had been withdrawn.
Neither Godfrey Bloom nor anyone else associated with “Smoking Bans and Lies” were told that the conference was on the agenda. In their absence, the committee acted as judge and jury. According to UKIP’s Gawain Towler, the organisers only discovered that they were barred from using the Parliament building on Tuesday this week, a full seven days after the meeting.
What has happened beggars belief. I am assured that the venue was secured months in advance. Delegates and speakers have made travel arrangements. Hotel accommodation has been reserved. Video conferencing links have been booked.
And yet … is anyone surprised? The anti-tobacco lobby is ruthless and will happily suppress any form of debate, or opposition.
Ironically, thanks to these unelected bureaucrats, news of the conference will almost certainly reach a far wider audience than would otherwise have been the case.
Note: “Thinking Is Forbidden” will take place at the Hotel Berlyamont Silken, Blvd Charlemagne 11, Brussels, on 27-28 January. For details/confirmation contact Gawain Towler, Independence/Democracy Group, telephone +32 (0)2 284 6384.
Chris Mounsey of the Libertarian Party is a speaker at this conference, and in this matter the Libertarian Party UK (LPUK) fully support the TICAP conference and UKIP. I would urge any Libertarians available to travel to attend this conference, and show the world how the EU has exercised its power as a totalitarian super state.
Any idea of free speech within the confines of the EU parliamentary estate has finally been put to the test, and it has failed abysmally.
Cameras, Tapes, Video’s will all be published.
The original letter can be found here. Be warned, you may feel a sudden clenching deep down in your stomach, as well as a sudden urge to strike out at the monitor displaying the offending article.
Florence Berteletti Kemp, I advise that you fall down an abandoned mineshaft as soon as possible. Thank you.