Hertsmere MP, James Clappison, opposes ban on smoking in cars with children

Hertsmere MP opposes ban on smoking in cars with children

Hertsmere MP opposes ban on smoking in cars with children

First published in News by

The MP for Hertsmere rebelled against his party by opposing a ban on smoking in private cars.

The House of Commons on Monday voted in favour of the Labour-supported amendment to the Children and Families Bill by a majority of 269.

The amendment, passed by 376 votes to 107, gives ministers the power to make it a criminal offence for drivers to allow smoking in their privately owned vehicles when children are present.

The majority of Conservative MPs, 126, voted in favour of the motion, however James Clappison joined with 100 others in his party to oppose it.

The vote was a free one, meaning MPs could make a decision based on their opinions rather than worrying about having to toe the party line.

Mr Clappison said: "I personally am against smoking and I think it is inadvisable for parents to smoke in their cars with their children.

"However I’m not sure making legislation about this is the right thing to do. We have to leave matters like this to the individual and allow them to make up their own minds rather than making it a criminal offence.

"I respect the liberty of my constituents to control their lives, even if I might not approve of their decisions.

"We can’t have the state controlling every aspect of people’s lives. It really is a philosophical issue."

He said the focus should instead be on giving people the facts about the dangers of smoking in cars and allowing them to make up their own minds.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:52pm Wed 12 Feb 14

stuegs says...

Quite right too , should have been made law years ago.
Quite right too , should have been made law years ago. stuegs
  • Score: 2

10:57pm Wed 12 Feb 14

gobsmack says...

Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one.
Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one. gobsmack
  • Score: 2

11:02pm Wed 12 Feb 14

AlanRickyman says...

It could be worse. At least he voted! More than my MP David Gauke (South West Herts) who didn't turn up for the vote and couldn't even be bothered to reply to my letter on the subject.
It could be worse. At least he voted! More than my MP David Gauke (South West Herts) who didn't turn up for the vote and couldn't even be bothered to reply to my letter on the subject. AlanRickyman
  • Score: 3

12:07am Thu 13 Feb 14

LSC says...

gobsmack wrote:
Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one.
Fair enough, but how far are you willing to take that argument and how much are you willing to pay for it?
For all you know, I'm sitting typing this at home smoking with a baby right next to me. Are you going to police that too, or is child welfare only part time, just when it is in the public eye?

Perhaps you could have the police visit my house to check. Or social workers. Both don't cost much and don't have a lot of work on.

What if I put the baby in the other room, but leave the doors open? Would that be a nick?

What if I smoke in my convertible car with a child, but with the roof down? Is that a nick? I expect I could scientifically prove that above certain speeds in a convertible no smoke could go anywhere near a child in the vehicle. But at traffic lights they might get a whiff. So is that an offence or not?

Is this really how we want the police spending their time when every weekend people are walking down Watford High Street dripping blood from beer glasses sticking out their heads?
[quote][p][bold]gobsmack[/bold] wrote: Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one.[/p][/quote]Fair enough, but how far are you willing to take that argument and how much are you willing to pay for it? For all you know, I'm sitting typing this at home smoking with a baby right next to me. Are you going to police that too, or is child welfare only part time, just when it is in the public eye? Perhaps you could have the police visit my house to check. Or social workers. Both don't cost much and don't have a lot of work on. What if I put the baby in the other room, but leave the doors open? Would that be a nick? What if I smoke in my convertible car with a child, but with the roof down? Is that a nick? I expect I could scientifically prove that above certain speeds in a convertible no smoke could go anywhere near a child in the vehicle. But at traffic lights they might get a whiff. So is that an offence or not? Is this really how we want the police spending their time when every weekend people are walking down Watford High Street dripping blood from beer glasses sticking out their heads? LSC
  • Score: -1

12:33am Thu 13 Feb 14

Su Murray says...

LSC wrote:
gobsmack wrote:
Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one.
Fair enough, but how far are you willing to take that argument and how much are you willing to pay for it?
For all you know, I'm sitting typing this at home smoking with a baby right next to me. Are you going to police that too, or is child welfare only part time, just when it is in the public eye?

Perhaps you could have the police visit my house to check. Or social workers. Both don't cost much and don't have a lot of work on.

What if I put the baby in the other room, but leave the doors open? Would that be a nick?

What if I smoke in my convertible car with a child, but with the roof down? Is that a nick? I expect I could scientifically prove that above certain speeds in a convertible no smoke could go anywhere near a child in the vehicle. But at traffic lights they might get a whiff. So is that an offence or not?

Is this really how we want the police spending their time when every weekend people are walking down Watford High Street dripping blood from beer glasses sticking out their heads?
Your argument seems to be saying, if we can't legislate against all wrongs, then we can't legislate against any.

I never had you down as an anarchist LSC. ;-)
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gobsmack[/bold] wrote: Yes people should be make up their own minds on a lot of things but children have a right to be protected. Being a parent surely doesn't give you the right to put your children at risk though. 'Oh I'm sorry I exposed you to the dangers of my smoke being forced into your lungs thus giving you Cancer but it was my choice love not yours' . Nice one.[/p][/quote]Fair enough, but how far are you willing to take that argument and how much are you willing to pay for it? For all you know, I'm sitting typing this at home smoking with a baby right next to me. Are you going to police that too, or is child welfare only part time, just when it is in the public eye? Perhaps you could have the police visit my house to check. Or social workers. Both don't cost much and don't have a lot of work on. What if I put the baby in the other room, but leave the doors open? Would that be a nick? What if I smoke in my convertible car with a child, but with the roof down? Is that a nick? I expect I could scientifically prove that above certain speeds in a convertible no smoke could go anywhere near a child in the vehicle. But at traffic lights they might get a whiff. So is that an offence or not? Is this really how we want the police spending their time when every weekend people are walking down Watford High Street dripping blood from beer glasses sticking out their heads?[/p][/quote]Your argument seems to be saying, if we can't legislate against all wrongs, then we can't legislate against any. I never had you down as an anarchist LSC. ;-) Su Murray
  • Score: 3

10:18am Thu 13 Feb 14

garston tony says...

I think long term better education on the matter would be more sucessful but short term legislation may save a few kids from having health problems in the future.

This is a serious subject so apologies for going off at a tangent but its really p'd me off that the journalists has been misleading in order to try and make this MP's vote sound more dramatic. This article starts by saying that the MP rebelled against his party but then later gives the truth that a) this was a Labour party motion and b) the Conservative MP's had a free vote on the matter.

How can an MP 'rebel' against his party when they have said their mp's can vote how they wish and its a different party that have brought this amendment forward?!?

I must have gotten out of bed on the wrong side today.
I think long term better education on the matter would be more sucessful but short term legislation may save a few kids from having health problems in the future. This is a serious subject so apologies for going off at a tangent but its really p'd me off that the journalists has been misleading in order to try and make this MP's vote sound more dramatic. This article starts by saying that the MP rebelled against his party but then later gives the truth that a) this was a Labour party motion and b) the Conservative MP's had a free vote on the matter. How can an MP 'rebel' against his party when they have said their mp's can vote how they wish and its a different party that have brought this amendment forward?!? I must have gotten out of bed on the wrong side today. garston tony
  • Score: 3

10:23am Thu 13 Feb 14

Mike Ribble says...

Perhaps, with their appetite for protecting us from our parents' behaviour, our MPs will pick up on this report in The Guardian:

'A new law in the northern Mexican state of Sonora bans parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning".
The civil registry is distributing a list of 61 such names to its local offices around the state that has been primarily drawn up from a revision of records of names registered in the past. These range from Burger King and Usnavy, to the Spanish words for scrotum and traffic, as well as famous names such as Hitler and Harry Potter.'

It makes you wonder what horrors are concealed within the coy 'LSC'!
Perhaps, with their appetite for protecting us from our parents' behaviour, our MPs will pick up on this report in The Guardian: 'A new law in the northern Mexican state of Sonora bans parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning". The civil registry is distributing a list of 61 such names to its local offices around the state that has been primarily drawn up from a revision of records of names registered in the past. These range from Burger King and Usnavy, to the Spanish words for scrotum and traffic, as well as famous names such as Hitler and Harry Potter.' It makes you wonder what horrors are concealed within the coy 'LSC'! Mike Ribble
  • Score: 1

11:39am Thu 13 Feb 14

EU_OUT_NOW says...

"Mr Clappison said: "I personally am against smoking and I think it is inadvisable for parents to smoke in their cars with their children".

"However I’m not sure making legislation about this is the right thing to do. We have to leave matters like this to the individual and allow them to make up their own minds rather than making it a criminal offence"............
..........

It doesn't work!, that's why it became law to wear seat belts, law to stop using mobile phones while driving etc. On certain issues, there will always be people who will fail to do what is right. Hence we make it law! Children MUST be protected against forced passive smoking!
"Mr Clappison said: "I personally am against smoking and I think it is inadvisable for parents to smoke in their cars with their children". "However I’m not sure making legislation about this is the right thing to do. We have to leave matters like this to the individual and allow them to make up their own minds rather than making it a criminal offence"............ .......... It doesn't work!, that's why it became law to wear seat belts, law to stop using mobile phones while driving etc. On certain issues, there will always be people who will fail to do what is right. Hence we make it law! Children MUST be protected against forced passive smoking! EU_OUT_NOW
  • Score: 1

1:03pm Thu 13 Feb 14

LSC says...

"Your argument seems to be saying, if we can't legislate against all wrongs, then we can't legislate against any.

I never had you down as an anarchist LSC. ;-)"

Ha ha! You know what I'm saying very well I'm sure.
This law is like saying mugging is only a crime on Tuesdays; and therefore as a law is pretty pointless. Yes, I'd feel a bit safer on a Tuesday walking the streets, but it won't stop mugging, which would no doubt simply double on a Wednesday.
Sometimes a token gesture is worse than no action at all, because it will cost a lot of money, which you may have noticed we don't have.

What if I'm pulled over and dispute the ticket? The fine I'm likely to get in Court won't cover the cost of the Magistrates lunch, let alone the wages of the copper/s attending to testify.
Yes, smoking in a car is very bad for a child. But what if the child is 15? There's a chance they are on 20 a day themselves! Even if they aren't, no doubt they are exposed to smoke in the family home anyway.
So what have we gained? Zero.

What has it cost? 1, maybe 2 coppers doing a traffic stop in a police car, taking at a guess 20 minutes to follow you, stop you, confirm the offence, read you your rights, write a ticket. (20 minutes is probably generous). Then back at the station they have to do 20 minutes more paperwork.
All in all, an easy £50 spent, IF you pay up without a quibble. For what, a £60 fine?
No lives were saved, no accidents avoided.

Don't get me wrong, people who smoke in enclosed spaces with others who have no choice are morons. But trying to make and enforce a law about it is simply pointless.
"Your argument seems to be saying, if we can't legislate against all wrongs, then we can't legislate against any. I never had you down as an anarchist LSC. ;-)" Ha ha! You know what I'm saying very well I'm sure. This law is like saying mugging is only a crime on Tuesdays; and therefore as a law is pretty pointless. Yes, I'd feel a bit safer on a Tuesday walking the streets, but it won't stop mugging, which would no doubt simply double on a Wednesday. Sometimes a token gesture is worse than no action at all, because it will cost a lot of money, which you may have noticed we don't have. What if I'm pulled over and dispute the ticket? The fine I'm likely to get in Court won't cover the cost of the Magistrates lunch, let alone the wages of the copper/s attending to testify. Yes, smoking in a car is very bad for a child. But what if the child is 15? There's a chance they are on 20 a day themselves! Even if they aren't, no doubt they are exposed to smoke in the family home anyway. So what have we gained? Zero. What has it cost? 1, maybe 2 coppers doing a traffic stop in a police car, taking at a guess 20 minutes to follow you, stop you, confirm the offence, read you your rights, write a ticket. (20 minutes is probably generous). Then back at the station they have to do 20 minutes more paperwork. All in all, an easy £50 spent, IF you pay up without a quibble. For what, a £60 fine? No lives were saved, no accidents avoided. Don't get me wrong, people who smoke in enclosed spaces with others who have no choice are morons. But trying to make and enforce a law about it is simply pointless. LSC
  • Score: -2

1:26am Fri 14 Feb 14

LSC says...

I see I have been voted down.
Let me try to put it this way: What is the AVERAGE journey time in a car with a child? 15 minutes? Then you drop them off at school, or you go shopping with them etc. OK, there might be the four hour drive to Cornwall once a year, but on average it really isn't a lot.
How many fags can a dedicated chain smoker get through in that average time?
About one, to be exact.

And how long does a child spend at home on average? 12 hours? More when younger. And if parents smoke in the car, they smoke in the home.

This is just more Bull from the anti smoking lobby which has effectively killed out local pub trade. I heard it all before the ban.
"The only reason I don't go to pubs is they are so smokey"

And what do I hear now? "I still don't go to pubs, there's nobody in them and all the local ones have closed anyway".

Doesn't take Einstein, does it?
I see I have been voted down. Let me try to put it this way: What is the AVERAGE journey time in a car with a child? 15 minutes? Then you drop them off at school, or you go shopping with them etc. OK, there might be the four hour drive to Cornwall once a year, but on average it really isn't a lot. How many fags can a dedicated chain smoker get through in that average time? About one, to be exact. And how long does a child spend at home on average? 12 hours? More when younger. And if parents smoke in the car, they smoke in the home. This is just more Bull from the anti smoking lobby which has effectively killed out local pub trade. I heard it all before the ban. "The only reason I don't go to pubs is they are so smokey" And what do I hear now? "I still don't go to pubs, there's nobody in them and all the local ones have closed anyway". Doesn't take Einstein, does it? LSC
  • Score: 0

9:26am Fri 14 Feb 14

garston tony says...

Mike Ribble wrote:
Perhaps, with their appetite for protecting us from our parents' behaviour, our MPs will pick up on this report in The Guardian: 'A new law in the northern Mexican state of Sonora bans parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning". The civil registry is distributing a list of 61 such names to its local offices around the state that has been primarily drawn up from a revision of records of names registered in the past. These range from Burger King and Usnavy, to the Spanish words for scrotum and traffic, as well as famous names such as Hitler and Harry Potter.' It makes you wonder what horrors are concealed within the coy 'LSC'!
Didnt they bring in a similar law in New Zealand after a kid was taken into court care so that she could change her name from Tahula does the Hula from Hawaii as she was being bullied over it?

I think as well a stupid names they also ban mispelling of names, ie you cant use a z instead of an s etc which gets my vote!

As they say, you need a licence to drive a car but not to have kids....
[quote][p][bold]Mike Ribble[/bold] wrote: Perhaps, with their appetite for protecting us from our parents' behaviour, our MPs will pick up on this report in The Guardian: 'A new law in the northern Mexican state of Sonora bans parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning". The civil registry is distributing a list of 61 such names to its local offices around the state that has been primarily drawn up from a revision of records of names registered in the past. These range from Burger King and Usnavy, to the Spanish words for scrotum and traffic, as well as famous names such as Hitler and Harry Potter.' It makes you wonder what horrors are concealed within the coy 'LSC'![/p][/quote]Didnt they bring in a similar law in New Zealand after a kid was taken into court care so that she could change her name from Tahula does the Hula from Hawaii as she was being bullied over it? I think as well a stupid names they also ban mispelling of names, ie you cant use a z instead of an s etc which gets my vote! As they say, you need a licence to drive a car but not to have kids.... garston tony
  • Score: 1

9:58am Fri 14 Feb 14

Mike Ribble says...

Yes Tony you are right about New Zealand's having naming rules. You've mentioned the most famous case. My favourite was 'Number 16 Bus Shelter' which I take to be a variation on the Beckham's use of 'Brooklyn' alluding to the child's point of origin.
The main rule in NZ is that a name 'must not cause offence to a reasonable person'. Agreeing a definition for 'reasonable person' could be difficult in NZ but here in Watford it would be nigh on impossible.
Yes Tony you are right about New Zealand's having naming rules. You've mentioned the most famous case. My favourite was 'Number 16 Bus Shelter' which I take to be a variation on the Beckham's use of 'Brooklyn' alluding to the child's point of origin. The main rule in NZ is that a name 'must not cause offence to a reasonable person'. Agreeing a definition for 'reasonable person' could be difficult in NZ but here in Watford it would be nigh on impossible. Mike Ribble
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree