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Under the cover of Covid: Outdoor smoking bans in UK are the next phase of an authoritarian project launched 20 years ago

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Oxford was described by the poet Matthew Arnold as the “home of lost causes”. Let’s hope that proves true, because much of what is currently coming out of the university city – and its county – isn’t good at all.

Climate change alarmism? In 2019, Oxford City Council declared a ‘climate emergency’ and, in February, a summit co-ordinated by the council, declared its ambition to reach ‘net zero carbon’ by 2040 at the latest. From August 2021, only ‘100%-zero-emission vehicles’ will be able to be driven in the city’s central ‘zero-emission zone’ free of charge.

Oxford wants everyone to go electric, whatever the cost and inconvenience. But that’s not all it wants.

Having targeted motorists (parking in Worcester Street car park costs an eye-watering £9 for just two to three hours, and £18 for four to six hours), Oxfordshire’s councils are now taking aim at smokers.

This week, Oxon unveiled plans to become the first county to ban smoking outside restaurants and offices. The plan, which was actually approved back in May 2020, is to make Oxfordshire ‘smoke free’ by 2025. Democratic mandate?

The county’s strategy was based on a public consultation running for just one month (from March 11 to April 11, 2020), in which just 233 responses from residents were forthcoming. Out of these 233 responses, 64% supported a ‘Smoke-free Oxfordshire’.

So, the policy is being pushed through after just 149 people from a county with a population of 687,466 said ‘yes’. That’s 0.02%. Justifying the strategy Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire’s public health........

© RT.com

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