Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Righteous Enforcers.

One of the big problems facing those who want to ban smoking in private vehicles - and they have admitted this themselves - is that it is impossible to enforce.

Look at the ban on mobile phone use while driving. If I take the bus, within a mile I'll have seen a half-dozen people negotiating the narrow, twisting streets while holding a phone to their ear. Enforcement would need a police officer on every corner and that's simply unaffordable.

Well, it seems the solution lies with those interfering Righteous busybodies.

Okay, I have to say I regard any sort of driving without due care and attention as a bad thing, especially as I was never quick to get out of the way of a speeding vehicle and as I get older I get slower. I would very much like that driver's full attention on the road ahead, thank you. It is no consolation to me if you've just closed the deal of the century and become wealthy enough to laugh off a Leg-iron-shaped dent in your Mercedes.So no, I do not support flouting the law.

Some laws though, are so badly constructed as to be just silly. The phone law is one. We already have dangerous driving, careless driving, driving without due care and attention, and more laws that already cover driving while phoning, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, recording the passing scenery in oils, playing Buckaroo with the kids in the back, skinning a stoat and injecting heroin. We don't need a specific law for each of those things. Just look for the careless drivers, the ones who aren't paying attention, and the reason they are not paying attention is almost irrelevant.

The state of their driving is all that is relevant and if they can drive like a pro while producing perfect crepe suzettes on a camping stove duct-taped to the passenger seat, let them get on with it.

What we really don't want is Righteous idiots lining the streets, cameras at the ready, acting exactly like Stasi and photographing everyone going past. Because that is what they will do.

It costs nothing to take a photo with a digital camera. No processing or film costs. Why take the chance on missing something? They will photograph or video every car then go home and pick out the ones they can hold up as evidence of evil-doing. Every single car.

This will be lauded as a Great Thing because most people are stupid and cannot recall all those photographers arrested for taking one photo in a public place.

Indeed, in the comments...

I support it all the way, looks like another case of them copying the success of Thailand. In Thailand they have a unique way of tackling crime. It states; THE INFORMER OF ANY OFFENCE IN THAILAND WILL RECEIVE HALF THE FINE IMPOSED ON THE OFFENDER. One incident with me when I drove my son inlaws car with all the familly to a restaurant and got out holding a bottle of whisky. A Thai man photgraphed me drinking and was waiting for me to get into the car when we left. He lost out because my con inlaw went home in his car and we went shopping by taxi.
- william Swithin, expat/Thailand, 23/11/2011 

It's easy to support a new oppression in a country you don't live in but aside from that, this man was spied on by someone. The man watched him arrive, watched and photographed him while at the restaurant with the intention of reporting him to the police and stayed there to watch him leave. And he is fine with that! He thinks it's a good thing! The informer gets half the fine. I'll bet there are people who make a living as informers.

That the idea of forming a new Stasi has been put forward is no surprise at all. What I find incredible is that someone who has been subjected to Stasi-like surveillance actually likes it. That is just weird.

So the policing of the smoking ban in cars will not be hard. The snoops and the busybodies will do it. Their cameras will not differentiate between a cigarette, an Electrofag and a toothpick because they will be cheap and crappy cellphone images taken through the reflections on the windscreen.

These Righteous drones will rail at any comparison of themselves to the Stasi, but that is exactly what they already are.

Update - Just realised something. There was never any need to make this unpaid volunteer scheme official. The idiot drones willing to do this already exist. All the Righteous had to do was get the idea into the newspapers where the drones could read it.

And they have.


Anonymous said...

It's two levels of evidence required, one to prove beyond a reasonable doubt for something minor, but for things like murder it needs to be established beyond all doubt.

Remember the man caught with an e-cig in his lorrie and got fined for smoking anyhow, without evidence.

And the woman who might get a jail sentence for stamping a fag end on her own front stoop.

It will be a double standard of evidence, cell phone criminal versus smoker criminal.

For the cell phone criminal the photo will need to be crisp and clear and can be rebuked by showing the cell phone bill at the trial, indicating they weren't using the cell phone at the time.

For the smoking criminal the photo can be but a blur as long as there's a photo showing them smoking anywhere at anytime, a crime in and of itself, and enough to establish beyond a reasonable doubt they are a witch, witch, criminal smoker - and of course be smelt by the judge, to be filthy.

For the smoking criminal, righteous will be following people around all day long just waiting for the first light-up they can find, then pity the poor witch who gets caught in their snare.

This will be something respectful, to be encouraged and taught from kindergarten up through university, until it becomes the normal status quo method of dealing with witches worldwide.

Curmudgeon said...

The pub smoking ban already depends on the Stasi informers, of course.

WV-"vapeide" ;-)

The Apiarist said...

Not to mention the fun that can be had with Photoshop. Just the thing with those having a grudge against their neighbours.

Rex Mundi, Smoker Extraordinaire said...

If your non-smoking neighbours keep their curtains drawn, or recieve visitors at irregular times, it is your patriotic duty to report them to confidential terror hotline.

Also, it's up to you to define 'irregular hours'.

Anonymous said...

They could take their lead from the RSPCA -another organization of zealous prodnosing single issue fanatics who have staff who swan around pretending to be police-with fake police uniforms and titles like chief Inspector and Superintendent.

Why not the RSESB Royal Society for Enforcing Smoking Ban. Give them the fake police uniforms and titles and just see what pushy bigots will be attracted to the cause.

Way to go chaps.

Elby the Beserk said...

If this law is brought in, this non-smoker will be driving with a fake fag in his mouth at all times.

Kevin said...

I think that 1/2 the fine thing only applies to drugs in Thailand (and its half the worth of the drugs - and I have a feeling only the police/customs officers are eligible). I know people who have been caught drink driving here - they are given a fine (about 100 quid) then allowed to drive away afterwards.

On my way into work every day I drive my motorbike on the wrong side of the dual carriageway (with a fag in my mouth natch) because it is easier (and safer) than crossing 6 lanes of thundering traffic - twice - and the police officers wave cheerily to me as I go past.

I love this place :)

James Higham said...

Busybodies is the correct term here. STF out of our lives.

Robert the Biker said...

Be handy when it came to court and you knew who'ed dobbed you in, because they aren't sworn officers of the crown so would have to attend as witnesses, as you'd then know who the busybodies were and could get on with making their lives an absolute hell.
Oh BTW, I believe standard of proof is 'beyond a reasonable doubt' for felonys and 'upon the balance of probability' for the minor stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leggy, hope your wrist gets better soon.

Here is a link to a technology demo that you may find very interesting :-

It caused my imagination to visualise a scene in the future where a "denormalised" man is receiving a beating from Righteous enforcers while standing on a street in the rain (having a smoke). Up on the rooftop is our smoking hero who leaps down to aid the poor sap on the floor. Note the interesting futuristic face and body armour reminding me of your own signature mask.

Quite enjoyable and satisfying....

Expat Brit living in Canada

Anonymous said...


Now there's an idea. Maybe we should have our own team of photoshop-trained "enforcers" out on the streets around where some of the leading lights of the anti-smoking industry dwell with their cameras at the ready ...

Can you imagine the furore if the Dreadful Arnott was hauled up before a court for being "snagged" on camera with a cig on the go??! For sure she'd no doubt wriggle out of it somehow, but mud sticks, as they say ...

Lou said...

Yup, 5 years on and 460 complaints about flouting the smoking ban in Scotland. The word clype comes to mind.

Humph said...

I was out of the country when the mobile phone ban came in so I just sort of took the view that it didn't really apply to me. Christ, I can drive a car whilst having a shave and playing the guitar if I need to, it's really not very difficult.

If, on the few occasions when I'm on the phone, a cop car comes the other way then I just lower my hand temporarily. Would be exactly the same with smoking. It would be totally irrelevant if there was an incdrease in prodnose cunts reporting people as I would simply say I was sucking a lollipop.

the chilling crimes against the community of agent 'alban iceberg' and his shadowy hosts in the submarine (revolutionary rock group) said...


hiya, lou, let the real laggers stand up and be counted, i say.

...but hey, this is all smoking in the wind...i was rather enjoying old leg-iron's investigations into parascientific ghost-hunting know, he should take a trip down here to hackney sometime - we've got a bevy of spooks wandering around at all hours, popping up at just about every street-corner. i suggest he start his enquiries with mr david jammy mp, a professional ghost-muster, who recruits lost souls and releases them to haunt us brazen bloggers wherever we care to venture. his source of choice for malleable anti-matter is the school-teaching profession, which he exploits with a ghoulish gusto - mainly through the medium of certain london supply-teaching agencies, which are presumably subsidized courtesy of community charities founded by the venerable greyfriars in residence at the vauxhall-bridge purgatory. i daresay that the former minister was at the height of his paranormal activities whilst minister of propaganda and censorship under the last labour government, when (in 2006) he deemed it politically fit to unleash on my unsupecting person a particularly insidious and intelligent variety of scholarly spectre, which appeared, without warning, at a local educational establishment and duly proceeded to interrogate me on wide-ranging subjects of intellectual propriety. it was, needless-to-say, a most unsettling experience, that inevitably ended in phantom tears. thereafter, i have been persistently pursued by all manner of his malevolent missionaries, and have noted that he prefers to enlist phantasms of the female kind, often made vulnerable by some accident of ethnicity, an emotional injury, or a self-inflicted crime - other favourite candidates seem to have been: conveniently unconvicted criminals, immigrants seeking solid status, retired civil-servants, 'sick' civil-servants, invisible fraud-officers, the homeless-and-hopeless, nutjobs, and civil-servants caught with their hand in the till. indeed, it must be said that many of these ambitious spooks were talented individuals to whom our prejudiced society would never normally have opened the doors of opportunity - yet our altruistic former minister (maybe recognizing in the his ideological interns' formation something in common with his own ascension to authority) harboured their abnormal abilities, and faithfully housed them in critical umbrella organisations and arty-farty oases of occupational therapy for the mentally undistracted, thus enabling the selected ones to acquire the ancient art of teleportation required to transgress such physical and metaphysical barriers to spectral advancement.

now, although i truly flinch at the notion of criticizing our beloved minister, i am compelled to mention that the modus operandi of his social-evening--manipulation-and-surveillance movement bears remarkable similarities with those exercized by the all-american crypto-inspection-association, a disreputable purveyor of parapsychological intelligence, who have been in the recent habit of harvesting the well-honed skills of the gangsterhood, and, as an unseasoned observer of this class of thingamajig, i am duty bound to point out the inherent dangers therein of root-and-branch cross-contamination with opposition anti-gravitational forces - for despite the undeniable fact that western spiritual agencies have collaborated to put the willies up some of their gravest competition, their rogue provocatorial poltergeists have also been complicit in conjuring up (in places such as haiti and japan) the catastrophic earthslides and tidal-waves which have summarily swept from the substandard surface of this earthly sphere some many tens of thousands of impoverished and apparently economically expendable human souls.

hms titanicus said...


oh that alban iceberg breaks me up

christian keelover said...


oh dear, both sides using the same snoops...whoops-a-daisy.

olly the oboe (double-reed instrument) said...


god knows how they get employed - a lot of these government spooks are drug-addicts and drunkards - they just can't hold their liquor...

inconsistent persons said...


this para is so unintelligible i have had to rewrite it in unencrypted form:

"i am compelled to mention that the modus operandi of his social-evening-manipulation-and-surveillance movement bears remarkable similarities to that exercized by the all-american crypto-inspection-association, a disreputable purveyor of parapsychological intelligence, which have been in the recent habit of harvesting the well-honed skills of the gangsterhood."

ip reprise said...


or even...

"i am compelled to mention that the modus operandi of his social-evening-manipulation-and-surveillance movement bears remarkable similarities to that exercized by the all-american crypto-inspection-association, a disreputable purveyor of parapsychological intelligence, which has been in the recent habit of harvesting the well-honed skills of the gangsterhood."

Anonymous said...

Lets ban talking in vehicles as well,after all doesn't that make your 'attention' wander?
Be good to see the righteous booked for that as they have so much hot air to expel.

Dan said...

This paper may tickle your fancy a little, Leggy:

In particular the graph showing the predicted and observed incidence of smoking in Scotland, with a line drawn upon the graph indicating where the smoking ban came in. To summarise, if the observed data before has a best-fit line plotted on it, and the data after has a similar line plotted, then the two will link up exactly.

The smoking ban in Scotland has had no observable effect on the incidence of smoking whatsoever.

Unsurprisingly, it has also had no observable effect upon incidence of heart disease and on lung cancer, both of which are declining in incidence at rates much steeper than the decrease in smoking would explain; very much steeper in the case of heart disease. This unequivocably demonstrates that smoking is at best only a minor factor in the incidence of heart disease and lung cancer.

To summarise, the smoking ban was a complete waste of time and money and inflicted suffering on many more people than was ever supportable by scientific evidence. Smoking as a habit will die out eventually anyway; people aren't as stupid as commonly supposed and taking lots of doses of mildly-carcinogenic smoke for no real benefit isn't exactly appealing to many people. I just happen to think that the habit ought to be left to die a natural death, or at least drop down to being a niche habit of only a few; insanely expensive prohibition is a waste of money.

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