Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Smoky Vote.

I've spent most of the afternoon shovelling snow (yes, it's back. Not as bad as last time but there's more forecast. Damn that global warming!). This means I am short of time for those deadlines and I'm not skipping tonight's Smoky-Drinky. I'll have to restrict the Drinky part though, because I'll need to be up early tomorrow. Have to make the most of smoky-drinky while it's still possible.

An anonymous commenter (DP) on the last post tipped me off to the latest plans of the ironically-named Smokefinder-General Burnham. The Government plans to cut us all in half.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham is pledging to help half of Britain's smokers quit by 2020.

He plans no such thing. If you want to stop smoking, just stop. If you don't think you can, there are already more ways to help you than you know about. He does not plan to 'help' us stop. He plans to force us to stop.

This is the recurring theme in the antismoker rhetoric. They put across the view that all smokers are addicts in thrall to the weed, and all need help to escape its clutches. Not for a moment do they consider that most of us smokers actually smoke because we like it. It's an impossibility in their minds.

Is it bad for us? Well, of course it is. Just like inhaling traffic fumes is bad for you and consuming too much of any food, even water, is bad for you and drinking continuously until your liver turns yellow and screams in the night is bad for you and lifting heavy things is bad for you and prolonged exercise (such as shovelling snow) is bad for you and watching TV is bad for you and... well, you get the idea. We know it's not good for us. We dispute quite how bad it is. We flatly refuse to be taken in by the lie that is 'passive smoking' no matter how many made-up numbers they throw out. Ever seen two numbers the same in relation to that? Ever wondered why not?

There is no question of degree in the antismoker's mind. Smoking is deadly, being in the same country as a smoker is deadly, and two cigarettes a day is just as deadly as a hundred. They believe this! They actually believe it.

It's carried over into all the other banning zealots too. Cakes make you fat, ergo one sticky bun is as bad for you as three full sized chocolate cakes with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles (pause to wipe the drool off the keyboard). Too much salt is a bad thing so all salt must be removed from food. Too much traffic? Ban it all. Paedos using the internet? Ban everyone from it. One man gets drunk in the street and throws up over a nun? Ban drink entirely.

There is no question of degree in any of it. One incident is enough to demonise an entire population and to make Granny with her once-a-month bottle of sherry appear just as bad as Rabid Angus McPlastered with his daily shopping cart full of Gold Label and Tennent's Super.

One whiff of cigarette smoke will not kill you. If you are one of those who likes to go on about the pubs being cleaner now (they are certainly a lot quieter) think back to when you stood all night in a room full of us filthy smokers. Did you die? No? So why do you believe a single molecule will kill you now? Have you really become so weak in such a short time? Who did that to you?

Anyway, back to the Smokefinder-General's latest game of Find the Witch.

Burnham wants to reduce the number of British smokers from 21 per cent to ten per cent.

You will note that he has not bothered to ask the smokers if they want this. Well, we're used to that. Nobody asked us if we wanted to be banned from every public place in the country either. He has not asked the smokers if they actually want to stop. He is simply going to order it. The eyes of the Antis will be all a-swivel at the news, I'm sure. Smokers can vote, you know. If you smoke and vote for the parties that support this, you have completely lost your mind.

Gateshead are way ahead on the 'smokers are not human' game (tipped by PJH). It'll spread and it'll suffer from mission creep, in which the council will phone two hours before they visit and order you not to smoke until they have been and gone. In no time at all they'll be making random spot checks to see if you're smoking in your own house. Don't laugh, nonsmokers. They'll be checking your house too. You might have lied on the form, you know. Smokers do that.

The plan includes cracking down on cheap illicit cigarettes and preventing 200 million cigarettes entering the UK illegally every year.

Right. That will stop smoking how? It won't have any effect on the number of smokers at all and the Burning Man (savour the image) knows it. It is not intended to have any effect on the number of smokers. It is intended to make us all pay the UK duty. The trouble is, if he blocks cross-border trade, the EU will have something to say. So it's not going to work. Those foreign smokes might be illegal in the Burnham's mind but as far as the EU are concerned, there's no problem. They have their own plans for we smokers and they don't care what Burnham wants. The opinions of a minor official in an outlying province don't register on the EU radar.

Other potential policies include plain packing for cigarette packets,

Ha ha ha. We're not buying those packets anyway. You can do what you like with them. Hide them (h/t Big Yin), make 'tobacco' one of the Words You Must Not Say and we'll source it elsewhere. The EU have a 100% total ban planned. That'll work. Like it worked for guns, knives, heroin and all the rest. The smoking will continue, the tax take on smoking will stop. I don't see a downside.

Except for shops that sell tobacco. Even before the EU ban it completely, smokers won't know that you sell tobacco and will go to the places certain to stock it. Supermarkets. If your income depends in any way on smoking, whether you smoke or not, and you vote for any party that supports this, you need your head examined.

banning vending machines,

Oh, very nice. Put a whole industry out of business overnight just to score points and look smug. Those vending machine companies are not staffed purely by smokers, you know. If you work in that industry, whether you smoke or not, and you vote for any party that supports this, you are certifiable.

and making homes and cars smoke free zones.

That's right. No more smoky-drinky. No more private residence. Your home and your car are the property of the State now and you will do as you are told while in them. The Antis will be chuckling and hugging themselves because all they see is smokers being victimised and they love it. What they don't see is the implication.

Once this is done, the State has legislated how you live, how you act and how you behave in your own home. Don't think it applies because you don't smoke? Think they'll stop once they have established the precedent of legislating one lifestyle choice? Oh dear. it will soon be time to vote. Are you really sure you want to vote for this?

An extension to the public smoking ban could be implemented too, meaning people will not be able to light up at entrances and walkways of public places.

Well that was always coming. That should be the last nail in the coffin of the hospitality industry. If we have to go half a mile from the pub every time we want a smoke, we won't be going to the pub at all. Or the restaurants. Again, the antis will be ecstatic. The vile smokers can't go anywhere near them with their little tubes of instant death. The hospitality industry might not be so pleased. To them we are not smokers. We are customers. Sorry, pub and restaurant owners. Andy Burnham and his army of gullible drones has ordered us to stop using your service altogether. There's an election coming up. Choose your vote and place your cross.

In some cases nicotine replacement therapy for an extended period of time could be introduced.

What? If you don't want to stop they'll come round and stick patches on you? Is that what he's implying here? Re-education, huh?

All these bans and the responses of the useful idiots are based on a yes/no argument. They cannot cope with degrees of change. They will say that smokers cannot be allowed in pubs because they want them smoke free. They will not consider having smoking and non-smoking pubs. It has to be all of them. Now they don't want us smoking outside the pubs either. We have to get right out of their sight. Then they will call smokers selfish. And they will believe it.

Well, I'm off to the Smoky-Drinky place tonight while it's still legal. When it's no longer legal I'll stop talking about it. I'll just say I'm going 'out'.

You'll know what I mean.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Yup. Let's get it down to naked politics. There must be at least thirty per cent of the population who'd like to see the ban completely scrapped, as against maybe fifty per cent hard core antis and twenty per cent indifferent.

But if three parties are fighting for the fifty per cent antis vote, they get seventeen per cent each, so a party that said get rid of the ban (and any extensions thereto) has thirty per cent of the vote all to itself. I'm guessing it'll be UKIP and LPUK fighting for that thirty per cent.

g1lgam3sh said...

Excellent post yet again LI.

Johnnyrvf said...

My wife smokes, I never have, earlier today a couple friends were round and they lit up in our small kitchen, was I bothered? HA HA HA, I fool around with racing engines 117 octaine fuel is SO toxic it's died blue and I have to wear all sorts of protective stuff when handling it, you get to be mighty ill if you don't, the only time I don't want smokers around is when I'm filling the tank, for obvious reasons. As to the Europe wide ban, I live in France and my wife is French, when this becomes known as a German initiative the French will do what they normally do, fart in the direction of Germany and Brussels, it is important to realise that the court of Human Rights is the ultimate authority and I've no doubt somebody somewhere will be taking this proposed ban to the court who being more liberally minded will overturn it, I'm willing to bet quite a lot of Euros that this legislation will be successfully challenged.

paulo said...

I gave up smoking 11 years ago but if they threaten to make it illegal in our own homes so help me god I'll start again!

Sorry LI:



Anonymous said...

Good to hear from a tolerant non-smoker who is prepared to say so!

I'd love to share your optimism about a successful challenge to the ban at the ECHR, but I have to confess that my impression is that the EU is stuffed from top to bottom with people appointed specifically for their ability to stick rigidly to the European "Party Line," thus making the chances of anyone successfully challenging any EU activities (on anything, incidentally, not just smoking, although that does seem to be particularly dear to their hearts) remote, to say the least.

Maybe you have a different perspective on it, living in France, but over here in the UK it's difficult to see anything good in the EU (and believe me, I've tried!) because as individual citizens we have yet to see any single, meaningful, tangible benefit from our membership. Even the major Europhiles amongst my friends, when asked, haven't been able to think of a single one.

I really, really hope you're right, but I would strongly suspect that the Courts in the EU, just like the Courts in the UK, are under the strictest of instructions NOT to allow any challenge to the legitimacy of the ban to be successful and, by hook or by crook, to find some way of avoiding the huge ramifications which would ensue from finding in favour of anyone mounting such a legal challenge.

Johnnyrvf said...

Anonymous, whilst I agree that from a U.K. point of view the E.U. vision of things makes for a bleak future I actually started reading the Lisbon Treaty to see what it's all about and it's not about de-culturising ( if I can put it that way ) in fact it's the opposite it seeks to support the traditions of individual cultures which is why I find the shock horror replies of certain Euro M.P.s to the Swiss vote against Minarets amusing ; I have'nt finished reading it yet, not because it is impenetrable but because it's very,VERY long.
I'm hopeful for two reasons 1) under the Lisbon treaty, which supercedes all legal precedants ( IF I have understood what I have read correctly ) in the countries that signed it, you have a right to silence, which up until the 1st 12 2009 had been taken from the British citizen and 2) as has been pointed out in other blogs arrests under section 44 are illegal unless proper grounds for suspicion can be given, as anti-terrorism laws are ultimately the reason the ECHR takes so long in some of it's findings and Terrorism is given more gravitas than smoking I feel I have reason to be optomistic.

Amusing Bunni said...

Your nanny state is even worse than ours! These zealots must be stopped! I hope you have fun at the Smoky-Drinky place! I went "out" myself last night, it was fun, and I"m still exhausted now.

Leg-iron said...

Mark - I suspect a large portion of Labour's core vote are smokers. Tory voters might prefer cigars. Break them of the filthy habit of voting for people who hate them and we might get somewhere.

Johnyyrvf - I worked for a year in a radioactive lab, fractionating carcinogens from oil waste, and was often told off for smoking in the coffee room. Now I work with bacteria that could kill me in days and I hear that my smoking could kill me in decades.

Perspective is a lost art.

Leg-iron said...

Amusing Bunni - Your nanny state is just getting fired up. They've barely started yet. Wait till O'Blimey gets into his stride...

Anonymous said...


Many thanks for your response. I've yet to get to grips with Lisbon, mainly because in order to understand the whole wretched thing I've gone right back to basics, starting with Rome and working through the amendments made by all the later treaties and Acts etc - and I'm only just up to Maastricht which, as you will understand, isn't very far down the line!! I'll look forward to getting some good news when I get to Lisbon - probably in about 10 years' time! And that's without scrutinising all those Protocols ..........

Anonymous said...

they will get it passed through the children as they always do. they use our greatest fears against us.

Johnnyrvf said...

Anonymous , may I suggest this? It explains things very clearly viz the Lisbon Treaty, which actually is the older treaties lightly ammended.
Leg Iron, I think being at the blunt end of any hazardous occupation give a realistic perspective on life, some of the H&E regs. I have come across in industry apertaining to the storage of Gases and Chemicals are mind bogglingly stupid.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"An extension to the public smoking ban could be implemented too, meaning people will not be able to light up at entrances and walkways of public places"

Because it was all about protecting the health of bar workers, wasn't it? Err, wasn't it?

smokervoter said...

"Smokers can vote, you know. If you smoke and vote for the parties that support this, you have completely lost your mind."

Truer words were never spoken. If smokers all voted against parties that consistently thwart them they could change the outcome of the status quo. It doesn't require an advanced degree in Poli Sci to see that voting against Democrats in the U.S. or Labour and LibDems in the U.K. (sorry to stick my nose into your internal affairs, but I do read this and Frank Davis' blog religiously and I'm gradually getting the drift of UK politics) is in the your best interest if you happen to smoke. I've coined a phrase for this: I call us the smokervoter bloc and long may we run. It almost rhymes, it's rolls off the tongue, let's go with it.

smokervoter said...

"It rolls off the tongue." (apparently not off the keyboard).

snowbird said...

A smokeless environment

I believe that non-smokers, like anyone else, have this right.
But how far does that 'right' extend?

Should it take prioity over some one else's 'rights'?

Court houses, publicly owned buildings and any where else
an individual might be forced to go should properly be included
in any smoking law.

What should not be included are places located in or on 'private' property,
providing an individual is not compelled by necessity or law,
to frequent or work at that specific location.

Thomas Laprade

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