. I don’t smoke – never have! But I defend the right of other people to smoke if that is a risk they wish to take – it’s called freedom of choice and it is a concept that sits uneasily with the BBC left wing intelligentsia . Take it’s enthusiastic reporting this morning of the proposals that government may ban vending machines, packets of ten and all branded logos from the front of packets of cigarettes. Not only that but government may also demand that retailers place cigarettes below the counter or in a locked cabinet. I listened to an interview on Today this morning with a spokesman for Independent retailers who made the fatal error of saying that he thought this “consultation” reeked of the Nanny State. You can imagine the chill from the BBC interviewer that greeted this observation. All his points concerning the impracticability of these draconian proposals were met with studied indifference – it is clear that the BBC fully supports the idea of more bans from the government. Why are there no interviews with Tobacco companies and those who gain employment from such enterprises? Why is there this all prevailing sense of “if it produces smoke, just ban it”? (Unless it’s illegal drugs producing the smoke of course, in which case it IS personal choice in Beebworld) To repeat, I do not advocate that anyone smokes but I do believe in the concept of personal choice. Given the BBC’s demand that we all pay it our money, I suppose choice is a dirty word for the BBC, maybe even dirtier than cigarettes?