"Mayor Johnson, as we know, opposed the smoking ban. His voting history on the issue can be found on TheyWorkForYou.com. The noxious fumes produced by the evil weed were not, it would seem, enough in Mr Johnson’s opinion to warrant an
intrusion on people’s liberty and bar and pub workers would have to lump it; they could, of course, choose to be out of a job at any time if their health was such a big issue.
At Old Street station, there is a sign up announcing that alcohol will be banned from the first of June on public transport. The occasional drunken idiot is now more of a threat than smoking, which the World Health Organisation considers to be behind 26% of male deaths and 9% of female deaths in the developed world."
There is no hypocrisy here. The justification for Boris' ban on alcohol is that it leads to drunks on the tube threatening other people. When that happens the Millian sphere has been violated.
Therefore, the proper comparison isn't deaths from smoking but deaths from passive smoking. Those World Health Organisation figures are entirely irrelevant to this debate. The evidence for the dangers of passive smoking is very weak - see Richard North & Christopher Booker's impeccably sourced book for the full story of how weak.
Really good reason to oppose Boris's ban on drinking on the tube
"I gave the example of consuming one beer on the way home; it was very pleasant, since from Southfields to Earl's Court is, like 55% of the Tube, not actually underground. The sun was streaming through the windows, the carriage was about only about half full, my Private Eye was interesting, and the gentle rocking of the train was complemented by my lovely bottle of cool ale.
The ale was all the more welcome since my colleague, who gives me a lift from Ockham to Southfields, needed to drop into the supermarket (where I had bought my beer) to buy his week's supplies and I didn't even get onto the Tube until nearly seven in the evening. With an hour on the Tube ahead of me, the beer really appealed."
I fail to see how banning drinking is easier than banning drunk and disorderly behaviour. Stick to banning drunk and disorderly behaviour. If you do so you'll allow a lot of people a little pleasure having a quiet drink on their way home. Those are the small happinesses that we lose to illiberalism.