Thursday, 27 January 2011

Time for a smoky one.

Another 'litterer' fined for dropping something accidentally and picking it up. It's no good, once it hits the ground it's litter even if you didn't mean to drop it and subsequently pick it up. Note that this never happens to yobs tossing aside cans of Red Stripe, only to the harmless and easily bullied. I'm considering getting some tattoos and facial piercings and having my head shaved. All I'll need then is a very wide dog with a spiky collar and a permanent scowl, and I can roam the streets unmolested by anyone in authority. I'll be able to discard anything from a cigarette end to a defunct piano anywhere I choose and those council officials won't even make eye contact.

Once again, it's smoking related litter. There is no other kind any more. Those paper coffeee cups and plastic food trays? Those are street furniture. The gum stuck to the pavement is an art installation. Only smokers drop litter.

Soon, we will get all our cigarettes in plain grey packets and soon after that we'll all have to wear plain grey overalls so the Pure can tell who we are. These plain grey packets will be invisible behind plain grey screens so children won't be tempted by the packets that have all colour removed (except in the photos of coalminer's lung and meth mouth) so that children won't be tempted... does the concept of 'overkill' mean anything any more?

The display ban, when it finally comes into action, will achieve nothing. It's not intended to. Just as the nicotine patches and gum achieve nothing. It's 'being seen to be doing something so the funding continues' without doing anything at all to change the status quo. If all smoking ceased, the Pharmers would be seriously out of pocket and ASH would be seriously out of free money. This is a war nobody wants to win.

The stupidity of it is thrown into sharp relief by the insistence that plain packaging is harder for the fraudsters to imitate. Expect to see grey packets with 'Rothmans' scrawled on them in marker pen. They'll sell anyway, they'd sell if the packaging consisted of a plastic bag full of loose cigarettes. Nobody buys tobacco to look at the packet. Nobody. Well, maybe the sort of person who buys a TV and sits staring at the cardboard box for hours. But aside from him, nobody.

Higher prices and hidden cigarettes will make Man with a Van very pleased indeed. It puts him on a level playing field as far as advertising goes and he can undercut shop prices to a huge degree. This will also lead many more to explore the savings to be made with a couple of weekends away every year.

We will hear about the criminal gangs smuggling cigarettes and will be told we are 'funding evil people' by not paying all that extra tax to fund evil people who want us to die. Well, personally, if it's a choice between giving my money to people who are coming to get you, or to people who are specifically targeting me, it's not a difficult decision. Not at all.

When I hear about some atrocity carried out with funding from dodgy tobacco sales, I will lose no sleep because well, let's face it, it'll be lies. I know it's lies, you know it's lies, the announcer on the TV or radio knows it's lies, the reporter regurgitating ASH hysteria knows it's lies. It'll be just one more lie to add to the list. There's no point losing sleep over someone else's ludicrous attempts to instil guilt.

I'm all guilted out anyway, after years of being told I should be feeling guilty over this and that. I'm immune now. I can burn stuff in my chimenea while smoking a cigar and a cigarette at the same time, while every light is on in the house and everything that can be left on standby is on standby. Oh, and the 500-watt security light on too, just so I can get a proper look at the fire in the chimenea. No guilty feelings whatsoever.

One interesting new twist has developed. Apparently, antismoking criminals have been sharing cels with smoking criminals and now they want compensation from the Scottish government. If the government says no, they'll be admitting that passive smoking causes no harm. Rock and a hard place eh, Oily Al?

Frankly, if I was locked in a small room with a 100-a-day-smoking violent criminal, I would be keen to ensure he had all the tobacco he wanted. Better to be kippered slowly by a mellow thug than to be beaten to a pulp by a raging one.

Does Oily Al have the nerve to ban smoking in prisons? Looking back to the events of New Year's Eve when prisoners denied their tipple went berserk, what would happen in Barlinnie or Peterhead if the crims had their baccy confiscated? But if he doesn't ban smoking he's going to hear more demands for compo from nonsmoking criminals. They don't even have to be sharing cells any more, now that smoke can magically pass through walls and stay in the environment longer than ammonite fossils. It's a very big rock and a very hard place, Oily Al, and you put yourself in there.

Election day looms for the Scottish parliament and every party currently in there hates smokers. They hate drinkers too, and chip shops, and in Scotland that's tantamount to racism. The people here will need to be reminded what those candidates think of them so I'll be busy with the printer and magnetic paper again.

I wonder if prisoners will get the vote before or after their tobacco is taken away?

Anyhow, I'm off to watch a zombie film. They are more honest than politicans.

11 comments:

Smoking Hot said...

Thanks LI, I almost forgot the stickers. I'm away for a Rock n Blues weekend and would've been mad with myself if l forgot those.

If there's any council litter officials reading this ... The Outlaws MC Clubhouse in Birmingham allows smoking ... please go and fine them. You'll have to get inside to get the evidence but that will be easy ... getting out in one piece or alive may be a little more difficult but do your duty!

Anonymous said...

What a delicious paradox, lags inside for crime, suing the Parlia-mint for passive smoking.

Us out here on meanstreet don't get a fucking word.

The fuckers will just pay out of our pockets rather than any kind of defence of Mc-Con-all's pathetic legacy.

junican said...

There are now two smoking related cases in Scotland, the Imp Tobacco one and the prisoner one.

The prisoner one is quite complex since it involves an EU court case re a Romanian prisoner. I have looked at that case (See S C's Taking Liberties site) and noted that the judges did not find that his condition resulted from SHS. The judges felt that the prison should have done more to look after him - that is all.

The two cases are interlinked in a complex way. Without going into detail, the situation can be described in this way:

Imp Tobacco will say that the Display Ban is anti-competition. In order to counter that, Oily Al will have to show that harm to 'children' is real. On the other hand, in order to defend the prisoner case, he will have to say that SHS harm is not real.

Can he get out of the situation by settling with the prisoners? Not easily, because of the possible knock on effects, also because of the precedent set by the EU case, even though that case might still go to appeal.

The important thing about the EU case is that the Court DID NOT say that the prisoner's health problems were caused by SHS. What they decided was that the prison authorities should have taken better care of the prisoner. The importance of this lies in the fact that there are no EU rules regarding protection of people (whether children or adults) against SHS to speak of. Thus, the anti-competition laws should take precedence.

Tobacco Control is floundering in the morass of its own internal contradictions. The 'grand plan' is falling apart, and it is falling apart because it is battering against individual choices, and individual choices will not give way.

Tomrat said...

Zombie film eh? One word: Pontypool.

View from the Solent said...

The mainstream are picking up on smoky-drinky
http://raedwald.blogspot.com/2011/01/lessons-of-prohibition.html

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX junican said...
The important thing about the EU case is that the Court DID NOT say that the prisoner's health problems were caused by SHS. What they decided was that the prison authorities should have taken better care of the prisoner.XX

Better care against what though?

Surely that leaves it open to all kinds of appeals, judges rulings, etc?

Anonymous said...

I don't recall entering a shop for a sherbet foutain or a packet of rancheros and emerging with 10 B & H.

Leg-iron said...

SH, I keep a few magnets on me for sticking to outdoor ashtrays.

Anon - yes, the taxes will pay, but when the bill really soars, what then? Those antismokers might eventually work out they're paying for this too.

Junican - they've come out with so much contradictory propaganda that there's no way out now. The higher they take the absurdity, the further they will eventually fall.

Tomrat - I have yet to see that one. I hear it's very good.

View from the Solent - the MSM are to be congratulated on their reporting skills. It's only taken them about three years to notice.

Furor - this case has the potential to open a huge can of worms. Might even make Slamond less enamoured of the EU, you never know.

Anon - when I was small, my father would send me to the corner shop to buy his cigarettes and some sweets with the change. It never occurred to me to open his packet.

William said...

Can't find the bloody page now but earlier this week I was gobsmacked whilst reading a post where some sort of organisation with links to ASH (as in every terrorist in the world is 'linked' to Alky Ada) babbling on about how 'man with the van' cigarettes are somehow counterfeit and people buying them on the street may be poisoning themselves because they contain things other than tobacco!!

Note to self
Pay more attention and don't rely on a fading brain cell.

Junican said...

Furor T.

You may find this difficult to believe, but it seems that the substantive error made by the authorities was that they failed to follow doctors' advice that the prisoner should not be exposed to tobacco smoke.

Comical, or what?

Oh, and the Romanian case is not finished yet. There is a further stage:

""In today’s Chamber judgement in the case Elefteriadis v. Romania (application no. 38427/05), which is not final1,...""
[their spelling error!]

Junican said...

Forget the spelling error - when I copied and pasted that sentence, the '1' after 'final' looked like another letter 'l' and was right up against the word 'final'.

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