There was once a woman who smoked. She went outside to smoke because if she didn't she would be fined and so would the establishment she was in. Outside, alone in the dark, she was attacked and raped.
Apparently, the deadliness of second hand and third hand smoke does not deter rapists. There has been no word from ASH or the government on this issue. They are still partying because a smoker was attacked as a direct result of their actions. Make no mistake, the Dreadful Arnott is delighted at the news. (Debbie dear - you have no way out of this one. Please, make the attempt.)
If that premises had not been forced by law to be non-smoking, if it had had a choice, it might still have been non-smoking anyway. Therefore you might argue that this attack would have happened anyway. You would be wrong.
If the premises had a choice, so would every other. The smoking woman would not have visited the non-smoking premises if a smoking premises were available nearby. No such premises exists, nor is it allowed to exist by law. Anyone attempting to set up such a premises will be prosecuted, even though it would only be frequented by smokers and would therefore not trouble the delicate nostrils of those who don't like the smell.
Frank Davis draws a parallel with the Protestant/Catholic battle of 1549. He is exactly right. Catholicism was banned, but some Catholics held secret Catholic masses in private. They could not possibly offend the Protestants, they could not even be seen or heard, but they were attacked nonetheless. It was banned, and even if everyone on the premises wants to do it, even if nobody at all is troubled by it in the slightest, it is banned and that's that. Dissent from State decree invites punishment, even if the action causes no harm or inconvenience to anyone else.
Here it is again. All I hear as justification is 'I don't like the smell'. Well, that's fine. I have in the past proposed setting up a smoker's club, staffed by smokers with only smokers allowed as members. That is not allowed. No antismoker would be even slightly troubled by its existence but they will not allow it. We must do as we are told and soon, just like those priest holes in houses from the 1500's, we will have smoker-holes in our own homes so we can hide when the authorities come to arrest us. So the time for compromise has passed. We tried, you refused.
There are even those who seek to make this draconian ban retrospective. JuliaM points to the story of the taxi driver who was arrested for refusing to let a passenger smoke in his cab, over twenty years ago. At that time, a cab that was effectively not available for hire was breaking the terms of its licence. The cabbie wants retrospective exoneration because now, it is not illegal for him (or anyone) to tell a smoker to clear off and it would in fact be illegal for him to allow anyone to smoke in his cab.
Well, if he succeeds, every past and present publican can be prosecuted for allowing smoking before the smoking ban. Publicans, even if you no longer own a pub, beware of Labour's retrospective lawmaking. They have form.
But, when you look at that story in detail, some interesting things emerge. Firstly, he did not refuse to take the customer. He refused to allow smoking in his cab. That sounds fair enough, it's a private cab and therefore private premises. The customer wanted a smoke on the way to where he was going, the cabbie had asthma, so the two actions were incompatible. From reading, it seems that the customer accepted the cabbie's reasoning and agreed to wait for the next cab. The customer did not initiate any prosecution. It was an amicable arrangement between two individuals and there was no need for the State to be involved at all.
A traffic warden, a State employee totally uninvolved in the discussion, saw what happened and it was he who decided on the prosecution. The State, just like in 1549, could not accept that two adults could come to an arrangement that benefited both and harmed nobody, because it was against their rules.
I agree that the cab driver should never have been prosecuted but under the law at that time, he was prosecuted. Several bar owners are being prosecuted now for allowing their adult customers to engage in an adult pastime on their premises, harming nobody. Neither is fair, neither makes any sense, just as it made no sense to raid private homes in 1549 and arrest people for praying in Latin. The law is, and always has been, an ass. Even so, changing the rules and making them retrospective makes the law a complete irrelevance. If the law can change tomorrow to make whatever you do today illegal, then nobody has any idea what the law is now. That is worse than anarchy.
Worse, the NHS contains doctors who decide whether you live or die based on your lifestyle choices. Tipped by Dick Puddlecote - A doctor has been revealed as withholding oxygen treatment from smokers. Now, I just bet there are a few out there thinking 'Good. Let them die'. They will also be rejoicing at the rape of that woman smoker. Just like the Catholics in 1549, we are not really human, are we? Go on, admit it, you want to drive the trucks, and help dig the mass graves. The thought really gets your juices flowing, doesn't it? Aren't you so looking forward to being the one who turns the tap on the gas chamber? I bet you even have the uniform all pressed and ready to wear. Remember, when the time comes, all you have to say is 'I vos only obeyink orders'.
"I don't want my taxes paying for filthy smokers to use the NHS". I am a filthy smoker. I pay tax and NI. I have made no use at all of the NHS for about twenty years. I do not want to pay for you to use it, but I have to anyway. It is not my choice to fund it, as it is not yours. You have no choice. Someone takes that money from you by force. That someone is not 'the smokers', 'the drinkers', 'the fat people'. Can you see who your real enemy is yet? No? Maybe, one day, you will. Until then, you have chosen me as your enemy and it's game on.
The nurse who revealed this doctor's decision to play Lifestyle God has been sacked. The doctor has not. So, let's hear the old 'it's just a few individuals, not the whole establishment' line and then tell me how such a doctor could still be in post while the woman who actually tried to save lives is out of work. She also spoke of nurses saving up excess medication and using it months later. That stuff has expiry dates, you know. It's not just smokers who will die from out-of-date medications. It's one of the reasons I don't go there. Aside from the fact they charge me to tell me I'm scum, of course.
The NHS contains, and defends, doctors who withhold treatment from smokers that they would give to the real people. We are not considered worth saving by the NHS. Oh, we are definitely considered worth squeezing for the cash to pay for it, but if we ever try to use it, "we are costing the taxpayer money". Let me try to put this in simple terms for the extraordinarily simple antismokers out there.
I AM A TAXPAYER.
I pay income tax, NI, council tax, and a load of duty on cigarettes and booze - more than average - with VAT on top. Do not presume to tell me I am costing you money. I am not using the NHS. I do not claim benefits. I am paying for you to use it and in some cases, antismokers, I am paying your benefits, your child support, your tax credits and pensions too. So take your 'you are costing me money' whine and shove it where the smoke don't blow.
We can be refused employment because we smoke. We can be refused entry to anywhere because we smoke. We cannot object to that, although anyone else can. We are not permitted to set up smokers-only licenced premises. As soon as it has a licence - bam - smoking is banned. We are restricted in what sort of businesses we can run and in which buildings we can enter. With third hand smoke, we will be refused entry soon enough. The NHS can just let us die and that's fine with the antismokers. Smokers can be attacked and raped and the antismokers cheer. Does any of this sound familiar yet?
You antismokers are turning into Nazis and Communists and the Inquisition and Witchfinders and those early Protestants who dragged Catholics out and killed them. You are the same thing, all over again. You are the start of the next great pogrom. You are the SS guards and the camp kommandants. You are Matthew Hopkins's sidekicks and the East German Stasi. You are the red-caped cardinals of 15th-century Spain and the vicious killers of Pol Pot's regime. You are the ones who knit at the guillotine and cheer at the burning stake. You are all these things because although you have not realised it, they were all, all of them, ordinary people.
Just like you.
All it took was a clever campaign to convince you that one group of people - doesn't matter who - are evil and out to get you. You are frightened and you believe in the enemy you have been told is coming for you.
This government has turned you into a mob, and the next will continue on the same lines because you are useful to them. When a smoker is attacked, you are there, knitting at that guillotine. When a landlord is prosecuted for allowing smoking, there you are again, cheering as the stake burns. The government says it's okay to do these things so you do them. Soon, you come to enjoy them. Violence is such fun, isn't it? The only reason humans don't do so much of it is because there are consequences. Well, the government protects you from those consequences so you can play at the games you see in films like 'Hostel' and 'Saw' and the government will pat you on the back and smile. As long as you do it to one of the groups they hate.
Look into that mirror. There is an evil afoot in this land. There is an especially vicious breed of people, a new mob of witchfinders and Stasi and SS and Gestapo and Thought Police and Sandmen and Inquisition and every rampaging, unthinking mob throughout history. Every one of them, real or fictional, was Government sponsored. Ordinary people do the deed and take the blame. Ordinary people rip the entrails from the victims and those who nudged them forward can say 'Not me'.
Look deep into that mirror. Antismoker. Witchfinder. Stasi. Gestapo.
Look hard at the face you see there. Antismoker. Thought police. Inquisition. Kommandant.
Look into your own eyes and tell yourself - not me, yourself - that this time it's different. This time you have not been duped by a government bent on total control. This time your enemy today was not your friend yesterday. This time you have not turned on your own family members because they are the 'wrong type of human'. Tell yourself those things.
And believe it.
Then decide who you will vote for.