Monday, 2 August 2010

Independence for Manchester.

I live in Scotland but I'm not Scottish, so Scottish independence isn't a big issue for me personally. If it happened and it turned out that I didn't like it, I'd simply move. Being self-employed and running a business that doesn't interact with the general public is handy that way. It doesn't matter too much where I'm based as long as there's reasonably priced lab space available. Customers don't need to be anywhere near me.

Independence for Manchester is something I'd support. I'd even vote for it to be cut away and towed out to sea. Give the sensible people time to get out of the city first and then tow all its infrastructure, all its civil servants and quangoes out into the Atlantic and sink it.

Old Holborn has a list of people who would definitely not be allowed to leave before that happened. If they float after the city sinks, machine-gun them in the water. We can't take the chance of their malicious infection drifting back to shore.

Quiet Man has covered the story already. Manchester thinks it is an independent state, not subject to either UK or EU laws and fully under the domination of unelected dictators who will make up any law they choose, any time they choose. They will use a particular sort of police who are described as 'a bit special' to enforce those laws. I assume it's the politically correct version of 'special', certainly in that case. Manchester really should consider getting some proper ones.

As they consider themselves above even EU law, Manchester plan to impose a minimum pricing limit for alcohol whether they are allowed to or not and whether the people of Manchester want it or not. I think their local Man is going to need a bigger Van. At least he won't have to drive it so far to undercut the local shops.

I don't think this new control is possible, even for the Righteous. Oh, they can threaten to fire hospital staff for smoking when not on duty and to leave smokers to die in the gutter in case they spoil the carefully-nurtured stench of disinfectant, blood and faeces in their hospitals but this time they are up against the Megarighteous. The EU. We didn't elect them either but they see ordering the proles around as their sole prerogative. They don't like to have their territory invaded.

Minimum pricing is never going to work anyway. Even a dolt can see where it's heading. It's that one non-smoking carriage on the train, that non-smoking area in the pub, that no-smoking-at-the-front rule on buses. It will not stop at 50p per unit. It is one small step for a Righteous, one giant leap backwards for civilisation. There will be a second step, a third, a fourth, each one small but they will never stop.

We know the technique now and the moment it starts, we'll all start brewing our own and buying imports. Man with a Van will become Three Men and an Articulated Lorry. The only growth industry left.

Applying minimum pricing only to Manchester is an idea so derisory that it must be a Socialist one. The people of Manchester will order their groceries and booze from Tesco Direct and have it delivered from outside Manchester. It doesn't need to be shipped from outside Manchester, only the point of payment needs to be in the real world. They'll organise coach trips that don't need to go anywhere near as far as Calais. They'll take a day trip on the train. Who will be harmed by this?

All those small shops who rely on cigarettes and booze and late-night hours to keep their profit margins on the smiley-face side of the sheet. There will not be one such shop within the Puritan Zone but there'll be five in every street just outside it.

All you antismokers who delight in the new pong-free pubs, make the best of it. You won't have them for long. These attempts at alcohol control are just the beginning. We've seen it happen, we smokers. These are the equivalent of those first 'no smoking' signs with fines attached. Only in a few places at first but everywhere now.

Alcohol won't be made illegal. We'll always be able to buy it, just like tobacco. The controls will just get tighter and tighter until although it's legal to buy, we'll be fined if we try to make use of our purchases. That's the clever part of the New Puritanism. They let you buy the stuff, let you pay punitive tax and duty on it, then they fine you if they catch you with it. Much more profitable than their previous scams.

Manchester is somewhere to avoid. If you run any kind of retail business there, sell up fast. If people are shopping out of town for booze then while they're there, they'll do the rest of their shopping too. No matter what you sell, if you sell it in Manchester, the council is determined to put you out of business. Not at the behest of their electorate but on the command of unelected Righteous who you pay for through your taxes but who are not accountable to you or anyone else. That's right. Dictators.

If I lived in Manchester I'd be selling up and getting out of there now. I doubt they'll get this measure through but it will not be a one-off. Having seen into the minds of those who run the city, the only sensible option is to scarper.

Sensible people, get out of there.

Before the big saws appear at the edge of town.

Oh, one more thing. Don't move to London. They have something even worse in mind.

As Fewston said in the comments on the previous post - 'next they came for the drinkers...'


Smoking Hot said...

Health advice damages my health

Anonymous said...

It’s getting interesting, isn’t it – this battle to be the Coalition’s New Best Friend. I don’t like to be smug about this, but I’ve always backed Alcohol Control as the most likely candidate – way before it was even a twinkle in any politician’s eye, and even when, for a while, Obesity Control looked like it might be in with a chance. As a very rare drinking, skinny smoker, it’s nice for the pressure to be moving onto someone else for a change, albeit much too slowly for my liking. I’m even quite looking forward to being able to stick the boot in on behalf of my drinking or chubby friends and being able to play my part in dispelling the no doubt soon-to-be-told myth that “all non-drinkers/non-obese people fully support these new measures in the interests of (insert suitable whinge - crime, smell, health, NHS cost, the cheeeldren etc)

And the increasingly-desperate cries of the clearly-soon-to-be-out-of-fashion anti-smoking brigade always raises a smile, too. The BMJ Tobacco Control blog highlighted in your last article, LI, is a case in question: “Let’s see who can think up the most howwible name for those howwible smokers” – playground foot-stomping (“It’s not fair! This is my game!”) masquerading as an adult campaign at its very best. Apparently the latest attempt is for smoking to be taught to medical students (in India) as a “communicable disease.” BWAAA-HA-HA-HA-HA! I could almost feel sorry for them if I didn’t despise them so much.

And has anybody yet come across any non-internet users who have even the foggiest idea what “third-hand smoke” is? Nope. Me neither.

Junican said...


One jests, of course - the city fathers are New-Labour-Ladies-Crèche to a man (or woman).

Frankly, it really does not matter a damn what the Council decide. No one will take the slightest bit of notice. It will never actually get off the ground.
Have we noticed that the Council (who own Manchester airport) have BEEN FORCED by popular acclaim to provide smoking areas airside? Perhaps they are having a typical reaction. Stupid buggers!

JuliaM said...

"They will use a particular sort of police who are described as 'a bit special' to enforce those laws."

Hmmmm. If Gisele ever gets her way, they are going to need really special police to enforce that one...

DaveA said...

The Royal College of Physicians began a couple of years ago, enjoy.

The Royal College of Physicians said in 2008 "The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder - alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking."

DaveA said...

I am sure you saw it but Chris Snowdon reported a couple of weeks ago that Thailand has announced that they will be putting health images on cans and bottles of alcohol, 30% by size.

They are not pretty. It includes a man apparently having committed suicide by hanging because of his drink problem and like the lung cancer advert on cigarette packets showing healthy and lung cancer ravaged lungs has a picture of a healthy liver and a cirrhosis ravaged example.

Clarissa said...

The puritans aren't just confined to the public sector. I found myself being stopped from buying a half dozen bottles of wine in my local Tesco on Saturday because the blind bint managing the till didn't think I was over 25.

25? The legal drinking age is 18 and I'm past 30. As I'm quite clearly an adult I expect to be able to buy alcohol without having to prove my age.

I left 70 odd quids worth of various groceries (including the wine) sitting at the till for them to put back on the shelves.

Anonymous said...

Actually this is just a last gasp of the Socialist pseudo-aristocracy of Manchester trying for one last time to get a really barkingly stupid idea into practice. As it happens, they haven't really had a great deal of luck with gibbering fuckwittery in Manchester of late.

Offering the proles ID Cards didn't really work; the good folk of Manchester aren't particularly stupid, as it happens. Well, individually they are; some of 'em would lose a battle of wits with a cowpat, but as a group they're actually quite shrewd and they do talk amongst themselves quite freely (and gibber, grunt, scream and make silly "ook ook" noises too). About the only uptake for ID Cards was a scattering of journalists, a confusion of uber-lefties and a few of the walking braindead; most people knew exactly where you could stuff a useless bit of plastic and to pay thirty quid for one? Madness!

The Manchester Congestion Charge scheme was another one which didn't go down too well. The stated aim was simple: reduce congestion by pricng people out of town in rush-hour, and use the money raised to pay for better tram links. The thing is, we're Northerners up here in Manchester and whilst the folk over this side of the Pennines are the genetic inferiors of the master-race that deigns to inhabit Yorkshire, they're still pretty canny. Jam tomorrow doesn't work up here; everybody immediately sees the couple of big flaws in the argument, these being that we have to trust politicians to keep to their promises without having a means of compelling the obedience, and the tram improvements wouldn't actually benefit many people.

When it came to the vote, the people who might benefit from the Congestion Charge frankly couldn't be bothered to vote, and the motorists of Manchester rose in one huge angry mass and voted the whole silly thing down; not one single borough was in favour.

So that's what has happened in the past: two huge Socialist-Righteous projects proposed by the Great and Deluded, and both pissed on by the citizens of Manchester. This will be the third bloody silly idea to end up wet, smelly and abandoned after trial in Manchester.

PT Barnum said...

@Anon 00:53

It would be nice to think that if all the smokers, fat folk and drinkers got together, we could help each other fight off this growing authoritarian hatred. Skinny tee-total smokers, of which I am one such, to the rescue of the flabby and the drunk? Do you really think they would like to be supported by a group who they have learned to scapegoat? 'I may be morbidly obese but I don't smoke and therefore I am not going to die.' And the word CAMRA ought to raise a spectre at that wedding of outcasts.

Anonymous said...

"Do you really think they would like to be supported by a group who they have learned to scapegoat?"

Well, maybe not at first (re-brainwashing takes a little time, remember), but I suspect that as the campaign/s roll on, the propaganda gets more hysterical, the insinuations more extreme, and the penalties higher, they, like we smokers before them, would welcome any support from any quarter which wasn't part of "their" group and so couldn't have the accusatory "well, you would say that, wouldn't you?" comment levelled against them. Not, of course, that such much-needed support was forthcoming in our case.

The question is, do we skinny, non-drinking smokers use our experience of "having been there" to support a similarly unfairly-persecuted group, or do we sit back (as would not be unreasonable, given the lack of support we had from non-smoking drinkers or overweight people in the long run-up to the smoking ban), and smile knowingly, saying: "See! We told you so ....." ??

Anonymous said...

Mancunians are not of this world. I just wonder which world they actually belong to.

They have a 'morality' which I do not recognise, as it is probably not based upon principle - or at least not any that I can discern.

I worked there for a while, and my overriding memory is of the smell of diarrhea in the bogs in the morning.

Hey, I'm all for Mancunian independence. One has to wonder how a Mancunian 'nation' would support itself, though.

Leg-iron said...

JuliaM - so women would be allowed veils... but not much else?

You know, I might be able to cope with that.

Leg-iron said...

PTB and Anon - it is tempting just to let the next group take the same crap smokers have suffered. In fact, until they do, they will continue to sneer at us.

I'd take the approach of listening to them moan about their new denormalised status, shrug and say 'Well, smokers have put up with it for years. What do you want me to do about it?'

They'll come around. Eventually. A hard-core never will but the pressure is so intense now, on so many groups, that the Righteous can't hide it any more.

It took years to gradually put the oppression in place and brainwash people into believing it. It could take years to push it back.

Anonymous said...

As a teetotal smoker neither fat nor skinny, I would like to help, drinkers and smokers have something in common, though they may not know it.

Before 1900 both tobacco and alcohol were considered as medicines.
The sort that are cheap and don't need huge drug companies to make.

HOW AND WHY - 1900

"If the medical profession is responsible for the wide-spread belief that alcoholics are of service to mankind both as food and medicine, it should not be forgotten that it is to members of the same profession the world is indebted for the correction of these errors."

Medical Uses of Tobacco, Past and Present

I am just so fed up of them trying to rewrite the known properties of plants.


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