Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

WHETHER in throwing out the hunting Bill or standing up for our right to be tried by jury, their lordships have long cultivated for themselves an image as the guardians of our liberty. None more so than the Labour life peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon. No crony of Tony, he. In a long campaign against the law to ban handguns, he said, 'I do not believe that we should penalise a whole group of people simply and solely because one man has used a handgun to kill a number of people.'

But it just goes to show: get one of these ermine-clad defenders of freedom on the right subject and they can ban, ban, ban, along with the best of their colleagues in the Commons. And, as far as Lord Stoddart is concerned, the right subject is drink. Last week he launched a private member's Bill to outlaw the advertising of 'liquor'. That Americanism is apt: it is a major step towards prohibition. Should Lord Stoddart have his way, anyone who dares so much as to stick up a poster describing the pleasures of Blue Nun or imploring you to sink a Guinness faces a hefty fine. …

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