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.