September 11, 2017
by Forest EU

Which naughty leader?

In the latest puritanical bout of intolerance, which former head of State or government has been caught out in a major faux-pas this summer?

Here’s a quiz for you: which former head of State or government has been caught out in a major faux-pas this summer? Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy or David Cameron?

And what was their crime? Holidaying with a dubious Russian Oligarch? Cashing in millions on the US lecture circuit? Using the contacts he made in office to provide ‘consultancy’ services to corrupt third-world autocrats?

Or smoking a cigarette at a music festival?

You must have got it by now. As a reader of this blog, you will have guessed that of these crimes only smoking is serious enough to have provoked proper media outrage. And as Sarkozy wouldn’t be seen dead at a pop festival that leaves Obama and Cameron, and there’s no way that Michelle would have let the former US president get away with it, so yes, it’s David Cameron on the silly season naughty step.

Actually it’s probably still fair to say that in France Sarkozy would have got away with it (well smoking, that is, not sure about the festival). Despite the best efforts of President Macron to price working people out of one of their daily pleasures, French society does still seem to keep a sense of proportion about these matters.

Not so in the Anglo-Saxon world. From Australia (which pioneered plain packs) to the US (where regulators are trying to take nicotine out of cigarettes altogether) to the UK, the English-speaking world is suffering from a puritanical bout of intolerance towards smoking that would grace the Mayflower.

Vive la différence !

Your view:  Do you think the Anglosphere remains the champion of lifestyle freedom? Let me know on Twitter or at


About Forest EU

Since 1979, Forest has been the leading voice in defending the rights of tobacco consumers and tolerant non-smokers. As an advocacy campaign, Forest EU informs consumers about issues that affect them in the European Union and engages with stakeholders so the views of informed adults are taken into account within the EU’s decision-making process. Forest EU doesn’t encourage smoking, accepts there are serious health risks associated with smoking tobacco and represents the consumer, not the tobacco industry. For more information, visit


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