You’re free to smoke in WandsworthPosted on August 8, 2010
The London Borough of Wandsworth got some flak recently (from the TPA amongst others) for the huge amount of money they spent on enforcing the smoking ban. Despite spending £207,000, there were no fines or prosecutions at all in Wandsworth in the three years since the ban came in.
How come they spent so much but achieved so little? Are they incompetent? Is the ban just unenforceable?
I’m told by a source in Wandsworth that the true reason is much more encouraging from a libertarian point of view - “the officers working on it are essentially under instructions not to catch anyone”.
If that is so, good on Wandsworth for resisting the absurdity of a blanket smoking ban, the encroachment of the nanny state on individual liberty and the obscene redefinition of private companies like pubs and restaurants as “public spaces”.
If the idea of a society that threatens people with prosecution for smoking wasn’t evidence enough, it is surely proof of the nation’s insanity that even when ignoring a ban the council apparently either felt the need or were compelled by central government to squander £200,000 on not doing anything.
It was an appalling waste of money, but spending it on actually bullying smokers and businesses would have been even worse. It is good to know that instead of Wandsworth being “Smoke Free”, it is apparently “Free to Smoke”.