- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2013

Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons ripped into New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, likening his proposed restrictions on cigarettes and soda to a “nanny state.”

“I’m a complete libertarian,” the “Brideshead Revisited” star said in an interview Wednesday with HuffPost Live. “I think it’s very, very dangerous. I really mean that. I think the smoking ban is a tip of an iceberg of society — the leaders of society telling us how to be.”

Mr. Bloomberg made headlines recently after introducing a bill that would require shop owners to hide cigarettes out of sight from children and sell them at a minimum price of $10.50 a pack.

“I think it’s not [the government’s] business,” Mr. Irons said. “I think it is their business to tell us to care for and respect each other and each other’s happiness and each other’s health, and we are responsible enough to do that … It’s an attitude, it’s an attitude where the governors think ‘we know what’s best for people, and they’re so stupid that they would only not do it if we ban it.’”

Mr. Irons spoke of a friend’s grandmother, who died after smoking cigarettes nearly her entire life.

“She died at 103, she smoked from the age of 13. So it suits some people, it doesn’t suit others. But I think, when governors tell us how we can behave and how we can’t, I don’t believe it’s the way to go.”



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