When democracy gets in the way..

In the absence of an operational NI Assembly, the announcement of a smoking ban in all public areas can be made by NIO Minister Shaun Woodward to an invited audience at the Waterfront Hall. Alas, when it comes to a functioning polity, such proposals must negotiate the trickier waters of democratic politics. In this case resulting in a partial smoking ban, described as unworkable in this report, which also notes Tony Blair as being against a total ban.. in England. Harry adds his thoughts here.

Perhaps significantly, the BBC report of reaction to the total smoking ban in Northern Ireland did not note any responses by our own elected representatives.

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