If stoves and fires come under attack, country pubs and restaurants will collapse. This will happen, I suspect, even if Mr Gove does not ban them, because he is opening up a new world in which they will come under official disapproval.
Before long, it will be alleged that pub staff suffer from the equivalent of passive smoking because of open fires, and landlords will face lawsuits which bring village inns to their knees. We shall not even be free to relieve our feelings by burning Mr Gove in effigy, since he is setting out to ban bonfires too.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes, which appears in this week’s magazine.