2005-01-12

Intolerance: New Tobacco Control Divison

The former 'Holyrood' Project Director has been given the job of leading 'The Scottish Executive's' anti-smoking drive. Ms.Sarah Davidson will earn up to 75_000_GBP as head of the new 'Tobacco Control Division' in Scotland. It will help to implement the ban on smoking in public places, which is due to come into force by 2006-03. Despite her lack of construction experience, Ms.Davidson was appointed 'Holyrood' Project Director in 2001-06 but resigned before it was finished. News of her appointment emerged emerged as the parliament's health committee heard the first evidence on 'The Smoking, Health and Social Care Bill' on Tuesday 2005-01-11. She left the 'Holyrood' job in 2004-06 to go travelling for six months with her new husband, the Rev.James Aitken. The health department refused to comment on the exact details of the her appointment but said it was 'right and proper' to have dedicated staff responsible for seeing through 'one of the most important pieces of work' to be carried out since devolution. 'The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party', who oppose a total smoking ban in public places, predicted more tough times ahead for Ms.Davidson. Their spokesman said:
'Ms.Davidson obviously relishes a challenge and taking on tasks that are unpopular and largely unnecessary. 'The only silver lining may be that if a ban is ever to be brought in it is likely to be years later than we originally thought'.
Lothians MSP Ms.Margo Macdonald said she was surprised that Ms.Davidson had been given such a high-profile role, suggesting the civil servant should have taken a 'quieter' job. She told the 'Edinburgh Evening News':
'This is not good public relations because Ms.Davidson did not leave her last job trailing clouds of glory behind her'.
Similar bill The committee also published its findings into a similar bill lodged by The Scottish Nationalist Party's MSP Mr.Stewart Maxwell last year 2004. It backed the general principles of Mr.Maxwell's proposed legislation, 'The Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas Bill', 'in so far as they go'. The committee said:
'It is the view of the majority of the committee that a partial ban on smoking in enclosed public places is not sufficient to achieve the objectives of the bill and that therefore, the bill does not go far enough. 'This point appears to have been conceded by the member in charge of the bill. 'The committee acknowledges that in any case, the bill may have been overtaken by events'.
Mr.Maxwell insisted his bill, the current provisions of which would ban smoking where food is served, could be amended and implemented before the executive's own legislation. Mr.Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group 'Forest', attacked the MSPs' report as 'entirely predictable'. He said:
'Some members had clearly made up their minds even before they heard all the evidence and the report simply reflects their anti-smoking mindset. 'The threat of passive smoking has been exaggerated out of all proportion and it's time that politicians got a grip of the facts'.
Ministers, supporters and opponents of the smoking ban will give evidence to the committee in the coming weeks. 'Smoke ban role for Sarah Davidson', BBC NEWS, 2005/01/11 19:19:32 GMT

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on? Davidson is a total failure -so why reward her? She must know Wark and McConnell! This is getting too obvious now....can't they at least TRY to be subtle about their dealings!

1/12/2005 12:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good news for us smokers! Davidson will obviously make a dog's breakfast of the job. As per usual!

1/13/2005 01:01:00 pm  

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