You know why I drink so much? It's the smoking ban.
Once, I would visit the pub with a friend or two and have some drinks. Sometimes I woke up without knowing how I got home, sometimes I woke up with redeye, but it was rare. There was little to no booze in the house most of the time. My self-damage was limited by chucking-out time.
Then came the ban. If I went to the pub I had to smoke outside. I paid premium prices for drink but spent half the evening out in the cold anyway, and I can be out in the cold for free. Or, I can pay lower prices for booze and stay home in the warm.
But, you see, if you spend £20-£30 on a night out you won't get damaging quantities of good quality whisky. If you spend it at home you get a whole bottle or more. There's a reason the Shenkerites followed the Dreadful Arnott into this game and not the other way around. The smoking ban was designed to make us drink at home and to excess. Then comes the 'You are drinking too much'. Well duh. Arnott set that up.
I've never felt lonely. Never experienced it, no idea why anyone considers it a problem. I've been alone a lot but that's okay with me. I realise it's not 'normal' but it's the way I am. I have a few close friends in the real world, very few, and I can see them in between periods of alone lasting weeks or months. This is not an issue for me. In another time I would have been the grumpy hermit who lived on the mountain growing hops, barley and tobacco and waving my beard menacingly at visitors. Nowadays I content myself with growling at the neighbours so they stay away.
I'm not antisocial. I speak to people but small talk is of no consequence. It gets tiring after a while. So this smoking ban and all the rest of the antismoker stuff is merely an inconvenience for me. You don't want me in your pub, club, cafe, restaurant or gaming establishment? Fine, I won't visit. Not a problem for me, I'll spend my money where it's appreciated.
For many people, loneliness is unpleasant. For some it's devastating. The smoking ban has caused misery for many people beyond anything I can envisage. All I see is rage and revenge, a game to be played in which the antismokers are of no more consequence to me than cans on a fence, but for many people, the ban has led to despair. There are some first hand accounts listed here, and those are just the ones with internet access and the courage to speak out.
But hey, there's always pets, right? Lonely people get pets and that makes it all better. I have no pets since the 2009/10 winter killed all the fish in my pond, but many people have cats and dogs and cuddly things that comfort them.
Well, those lonely smokers are to be denied that too. No pets, no friends, no grandchildren because their children are so hysterically indoctrinated they won't let a smoker near their Precious even if it's grandad. Oh, never mind that they were brought up around their father's smoking, maybe in a house with a coal fire, and grew up just fine. Their new generation is as delicate as porcelain, as precious as platinum and as strong as plasticine.
No family, nothing for the smoker in the Brave New World of the terminally offended and the feeble of heart and mind. In the evening of life, the darkness draws close so much faster now. It's a quiet and solitary darkness for so many these days, dying ignored in an NHS bed, abandoned by family and surrounded by nurses who don't speak English. Our old people die more cruelly than those cast adrift on ice floes.
This is what you have done, Clegg. This is what you have done, Cameron. This is what you have done, Lansley. This is what you have done, Salmond. This is Labour and Conservative and Lib Dem and SNP policy. The utter misery and despair of the elderly is entirely deliberate and entirely your responsibility. Do you really want to do something to improve the lives of those who voted you into office? Do you?
Then kill yourselves. You serve no useful purpose anyway. You hate people and you hate life, so why prolong it? Kill yourselves and be free. Kill yourselves and escape the dread of your own old age, shunned by all because of your vile natures. Kill yourselves now, before the real horror of your actions reaches through the fatty layers of monetary insulation you have built around yourselves and drives you insane. Kill yourselves while you have the chance. Kill yourselves before we do it for you, because we won't be quick about it.
There is no redemption for you. There is no second chance. You had the option to listen and you refused. That time has passed. Now you are the murderers of society, the harbingers of despair, the impalers of interaction, the destroyers of life. Can you turn back? You will not even try. So kill yourselves and set yourselves, and us, free.
Cameron. Clegg. 'Special' Ed. Oily Al. None of you listen. None of you care. None of you contain one nanogram of actual humanity. You are in thrall to the Mekon Arnott and Davros Shenker and all your other pretend people who you pay with our money to give you ideas to make us more miserable, and to those who vote for you, you stick up the middle finger and say 'Swivel'.
I am campaigning at the Scottish elections. I am not standing for office. I am not campaigning for, but against.
Oh, I doubt I will change much, but I will make a dent. I don't care who wins, none of them are worth more than something accidentally stepped in anyway. I have already swayed several lifelong SNP smoking voters from Oily Al's embrace and I am targeting the heavy smoking, heavy drinking Labour areas of Aberdeen too. You all hate your electorate. It's time they learned to hate you back.
MPs of all colours, and their trained monkeys, treat me as scum, as filth, as something to be sneered at and despised. They treat me as pure evil just because I like a smoke and a drink.
Watch them whine when I act like it.