I’ve been tweeting and harassing people all day about this, and whilst I make no apology for that – I don’t think its been made clear what this latest in a long succession of petitions and requests for your hard earned cash is all about – so thought I’d summarise it here.
Most UK based vapers will be aware that Mark Drakeford (Labour AM and Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government) is fronting a new proposal to ban the use of ecigs in public places. Together with various public health organisations, he’s doing a good job of conning people into thinking such a ban would make the world a better place. His arguments are based on the usual ANTZ propaganda – renormalising smoking, thinking of the children – you know, the usual bullshit (TM Deborah Arnott)….
The good news is that we vapers have a friend in the Welsh Assembly in the form of Kirsty Williams AM who is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Kirsty has access to areas and the attention of senior Welsh Government people that we as vapers cannot afford to ignore. Kirsty Williams wants Drakeford’s proposals buried, and to that end her party are fighting a campaign for Welsh vapers (and lets face it what happens in Wales today will likely follow in the rest of the UK soon after). I live in England, but I don’t want to be consigned to the bloody smoking shelter when I visit Wales. We suffered this humiliation as smokers and I’m damned if I’ll sit back and endure it a second time.
I received these two emails from the Welsh LibDems in the space of two days, asking for support:
Thank you again for supporting our campaign against the proposed ban on using e-cigarettes in Welsh public places. In just three weeks we’ve collected over 2,000 signatures together.
But if we’re going to stop this ban we need to take our campaign to the next level. I’m putting together campaign packs so our army of activists can add thousands more names to our petition by knocking on doors, visiting e-cigs shops and holding street stalls.
We’ve worked out that it’ll cost us £5,000 to reach 100,000 people over the next few months. That’s where you come in, Dave.
It’s not much, but £20 will help us talk to an extra 400 people. Getting as many people as possible behind the campaign is key, but I need your help.
Head of Campaigns, Welsh Liberal Democrats
P.S. According to our records you don’t live in Wales, so giving money is the most useful way you can help stop this ban. Please click here to donate today.
Then the next day I received this mailshot from Kirsty Williams herself:
Yesterday I, along with other members of the Welsh Assembly’s Health Committee, scrutinised Labour’s Health Minister on his proposed e-cigs ban.
I couldn’t believe my ears. Not only is he intent on stopping vapers in enclosed public spaces, he wants to extend his illiberal ban to include playgrounds and even areas outside hospitals.
Labour’s problem seems to be that they’re lumping e-cigarettes in with tobacco cigarettes, and treating them as the same thing. According to their logic, where regular smoking is banned, vaping should be too.
We can’t allow Labour to get away with blatantly ignoring the facts.
Together we’ve got over 2,000 people behind the campaign to stop this ban, but we need more if we’re going to succeed.
Will you share the petition with your friends and family and ask them to back our campaign?
If you’ve already shared, please do so again – some of your friends may not have seen it the first time, and we really do need as many people as possible to oppose this.
Kirsty Williams AM
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
It s very worrying that this proposed ban is already being viewed as the thin edge of the prohibitionists wedge.
I think this is what is often referred as a “no-brainer”! It doesn’t matter what your politics are, this is possibly the first opportunity that vapers in Wales (and the rest of the UK) have a possibility to engage professional campaigners to fight our cause, and for all the right reasons. This could be the first time that we really can get the message to the unsuspecting non-forum or social media using vapers by, and I quote from Jon Aylwin’s mail above “knocking on doors, visiting e-cigs shops and holding street stalls”.
I hope that fills in some of the blanks for some who have been asking me what its all about today.
Now to the rant. This is the sort of campaign that vaping advocates such as myself have longed for, for several years – so it baffles me why the number of signatures on the petition, and the money in the campaign fund remain so low!
At the time of writing the petition has received just 2,410 signatures and the pot stands at £1,423. It simply isn’t enough and I don’t understand why!
I would love it if anyone who reads this would:
I know money is hard to come by for some these days, but if you’re reading this and won’t sign the petition at least explain why in the comments below – it looks like hardly anyone’s bothered based on the current signatures!