Stephen Hoffman: Time to leave us alone!

When it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and vaping, the body is the property of the individual alone. It is not for the state to interfere.

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The last time I checked my body is my own property, so the state shouldn’t dictate to me how I live in their pursuit of the perfect lifestyle to produce the perfect body. If I want to rot my teeth by eating too much Haribo, because it helps maintain my energy levels and puts a smile on the face, I’ll take the personal responsibility that the next time I see my dentist he’s not necessarily going to be happy with the state of my teeth. What I object to is being told because I’m eating sugar I need to be parented by the state, according to one of the leaders in the public health movement - Jamie Oliver, by a tax on sugar, forgetting we already have a tax on it through VAT.

The recent demonisation of sugar by the public health lobby is a reminder of how they seek to relinquish us of the power to make our own decisions based on personal choice and on the willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. They would rather our brains were a blank canvass which they could easily indoctrinate into their way of thinking, so we can live healthy but boring lifestyles, rather than showing the merest sign of thinking for ourselves when it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and vaping.

Sadly, the concept of personal responsibility has come under constant threat from the nanny state, which is morphing into the archetypal bully by telling people what they can and cannot do. With smoking banned in cars and pubs, plain packaging for tobacco products, minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland and the soon to be enforced ban on vaping in public places in Wales, the idea that adults are accountable for their own actions and choices is under threat.  

Conservatives for Liberty, of which I am proud to be the Parliamentary Liaison Officer, believe in the Thatcherite principles of individualism, low taxation and minimum state interference as the best way of promoting freedom. That is why they are holding a lobby evening Forgive us our Trespasses: The moral case for choice and responsibility this Wednesday 25 November 2015 at 6.30pm in the Houses of Parliament. It will be a chance to hear from MPs standing up and being counted in the fight against a health lobby which would deny us the freedom to choose and take responsibility for our own actions. Furthermore, it will highlight how we can work together with groups like Conservative Way Forward to persuade as many people in power as possible that we should be treated like responsible adults who can make our own decisions and, as a matter of principle, should be free to live our lives as we wish. If we don’t act now, what started as a ban on smoking in pubs, will lead to sweets like Haribo being sold from the top shelf in plain packages, wonderful market based solutions for encouraging people to move away from smoking tobacco, like e-cigarettes will be regulated to death, cigarettes will be all but illegal and alcohol only able to be afforded by the rich and covered in health warnings.

So, if like the majority of those who support Conservative Way Forward and Conservatives for Liberty you are fed up of the constant meddling into your life that means you are not left alone in freedom when it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and vaping, then join the fightback by attending Conservatives for Liberty’s lobby evening.

To RSVP, please e-mail Stephen Hoffman.

Stephen is the Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Conservatives for Liberty. Follow him on Twitter

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