David Cameron’s former chief of staff has admitted that he voted UKIP in last month’s European Elections. Speaking at the Freedom Dinner, organised by pro-smoking group Forest, Alex Deane said that he voted UKIP at the European Elections as “any Conservative” would.
Giving a speech in which he also compared Britain’s socialised healthcare to a “hectoring Stalinist death machine”, Mr Deane received a rapturous reception from the gathered crowd of conservatives and libertarians.
Defending individual choice against encroaching state regulation, he added that “we should talk more about how we choose things because we enjoy them”, rather than because we are told they are good for us by the government. He received an especially warm response when he espoused the idea that it is not the government’s job to keep people healthy; rather, it is people’s individual responsibility to ensure that they do what is best for themselves.
The event also featured a speech by libertarian columnist Brendan O’Neill, who spoke out against the state determining how people should speak, eat and act. O’Neill said that the term “Nanny State” was too mild to express what was going on, and proceeded the condemn government intervention in diet and freedom of speech.
Forest, whose name stands for Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, are an organisation who advance the rights of individuals to smoke. They opposed the previous Labour government’s smoking ban and have since campaigned for its repeal.