The smoking area in Old Queen Street must be one of the liveliest and most stimulating places on Earth these days.

Hot on the heels of Christopher Snowdon and Brendan O’Neill weighing in on the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban, veteran columnist Rod Liddle has published his own scathing attack in, you guessed it, the Speccie. Just as Kim Jong Un delivered the “American bastards” a “birthday present” yesterday, this trio have between them launched one hell of a ballistic tirade against health obsessed bastards everywhere on the tenth birthday of their greatest achievement to date.

Liddle refuses to be outdone by his fellow musketeers. True to form, his anecdotes are as scathing as they are witty – none better than the occasion when, asked by an American to put out his fag, he promptly lit up as many as he could find, stuffing them into every orifice his face could afford him. He also points out what O’Neill and Snowdon say, but far more plainly: when ASH claimed the actions against smoking were as far as they would go, they were lying.

The remit of health Nazis everywhere has been widened: packaging is now uniform, emblazoned with misleading images of the decrepit and the diseased. Prices have skyrocketed. And alcohol is next.

Liddle draws the parallels between those who campaign against smoking and the very worst creatures to have inhabited the mind of George Orwell: a race of officials hell-bent on stamping out all they deem unclean, deploying double think ad nauseam. “We do not attack smokers nor condemn smoking,” ASH claim. But of course. How foolish of us to ever think that?

As ever, he is well worth the read, if nothing else than for the images conjured by the idea of a man in bondage gear being forced to smoke outside an S&M party, before venturing back in for round two with someone dressed as a member of the SS armed with a large rubber truncheon. Because, apparently, it is the former that is weird and dangerous.

by Edward Baer