Monday, 30 May 2011

The Terror of Belief.

The book isn't quite right yet but it's 'in shape'. I'm going to leave it alone for a while and work on something else.

Thanks for all the comments on the limping character. It's important to get those things right. I remember the 'biochemist' in the film 'Red Planet' who thought that the DNA code letters were ACGM. One letter ruined that whole film because in that instant, the biochemist became an actor and the credibility vanished.

Anyway, I haven't been completely engrossed in writing. The greenhouse plants still have to be watered even though going out in the rain to water the plants is a little bit surreal. I have far too many tobacco plants so I offered some to a neighbour. A smoking neighbour.

"Oh no," she said. "We couldn't get involved in anything like that."

"Anything like what?" I was genuinely puzzled.

"Well, you know, anything illegal."

"Illegal? Tobacco isn't illegal. You can buy it in Tesco."

"Oh, no, I'm sure growing it is illegal."

I gave up. People, even smokers, are now so convinced that tobacco is evil and criminal that they run in fear at the slightest hint of anything that might bring the dawn raid with jackboots.

Tobacco is not illegal. Nobody is interested if you grow a few plants. If you manage to dry and cure it correctly, then really you should pay duty on the finished product but if all the plants just end up in the compost box, nobody cares. They are just annual flowers. Which reminds me, mine are poking roots through the bottom of their 3-inch pots. They are ready to graduate. It's not safe to leave the greenhouse yet, still cold here, so on to the bigger pots.

The drying and curing part is the hard part. If I get one pipe's worth out of my first attempt I'll be pleased. Even UKBA wouldn't bother chasing the ten pence of duty they might get from that. In fact, with my little garden, I'm unlikely to ever produce enough duty-chargeable tobacco to cover the UKBA's bus fare to come and collect it.

People grow Nicotiana all over the country. They come in a wide range of varieties, not all of which can be made into actual tobacco, but none of them are illegal. If they were, you wouldn't be able to buy the seeds on Amazon.

They won't be made illegal but they will disappear anyway. Just as eBay will no longer allow the sale of tobacco products, Amazon will eventually remove these seeds 'for the cheeldren'. Because as everyone knows, cheeeldren will be tempted to grow the pretty flowers and then spend months drying, fermenting and processing the leaves. They will then use illegal penknives to carve their own pipes out of the bones of social workers and embark on a terrible smoking habit, and all because Amazon had seeds on sale. That is precisely the reasoning you will hear when the seeds vanish.

It goes further. eBay will not allow the sale of replica guns, the ones that cannot possibly be made to fire because they are made of the wrong metal. Put in a live round and it will blow your hand off. I once had a plastic model kit of an old flintlock pistol listed on there. Plastic. They pulled it. It was 'a gun'. Someone had complained, apparently. Someone had been frightened by a non-assembled plastic model of a 16th-century flintlock pistol. Somehow I doubt that waving a sprue of parts at a bank teller would be an effective means of robbery. Comedy, yes, robbery, no. "Put the money in the bag or I'll glue this thing together."

Unbelievable? Not any more.

Airguns are still legal, for now. If you live in the country, you might go rabbit hunting with one. All you need is the landowner's permission and there is no law broken. When I was a kid, a whole bunch of us would head into the woods with an air rifle each and nobody batted an eyelid. Yet the sight of someone with an airgun is enough to initiate a full scale panic now.

Oddly, these same people find the image of an armoured policeman carrying an automatic weapon comforting, whereas as kids, we were scared of a man in a blue suit with a pointy hat and a stick. We really are plumbing new depths of stupid in this country.

I don't have cucumbers in the greenhouse but I'm tempted. They are set to be more scary than tobacco this summer. I bet you won't be allowed to take them on planes soon. "Take this plane to Cuba or it's salad time."

These people believe they are respected, you know. Yes, really. They shriek and cower like preschool children faced with a spider and still they believe their views are important. They think they can threaten the rest of us, when all we need do is light a cigarette or point a cucumber at them and they will literally shit themsleves.

It's like being challenged by a bluebottle. And yet they will posture and whine and threaten, as if they were actually capable of doing anything without nanny holding their hands.

That's the part that's unbelievable.


sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

And CallmeDave is still giving away our money to anyone who will have it.

wv: androd

One step down from android. Quite appropriate in the circumstances.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I gave up. People, even smokers, are now so convinced that tobacco is evil and criminal that they run in fear at the slightest hint of anything that might bring the dawn raid with jackboots."

And there's the problem, LI. It's bolt your doors and look after your own time. People hate government but will do nothing about it as they're in fear of being beaten about the head with a stick. The cop who killed Tomlinson will be whisked away into clink but MPs will quietly be clinking glasses and lovng the fact that even more are scared of their militia.

Labour condemned Thatcher for stating that there is no such thing as society, while politicians have actively promoted the idea, Labour most of all.

That's it. All over. Self-interest is the new survival.

the british government's irrepressible penchant for dropping bombs on middle-eastern and african families is a clear and present symptom of its addiction to invoking the inevitable revenge attack which will be visited upon the london olympics said...

yes, leg-iron, we shit ourselves at the thought of a lit cigarette in a public space, or near minors, yet we are quite happy to raffle-off our children to become the human contents of the biggest party-popper the world has ever seen.

Woman on a Raft said...

point a cucumber at them and they will literally shit themsleves.

I'm not going down the salad aisle at Tesco then. "Wet floor" is supposed to be a warning sign, not an instruction.

can unprocessed organic spanish cucumbers spread aids? said...

continuous exposure to second-hand smoke must surely be unhealthy, leg-iron, but as adults we demand the inalienable right to risk it. the price of mother-nature's ethically-sound veg is high it seems.

the goodie life said...


god help us if the police are issued with cucumbers.

the vicar's vice said...


the price of mother-nature's ethically-sound veg is high it seems.

despite this fact, the withdrawal of the cucumber could seriously threaten the pursuit of traditional english pastimes. it's a filthy foreign plot cooked-up by the european green party.

Leg-iron said...

£60aweek - Actually he's giving away our money to anyone else. We're the only people on the planet he's not giving anything to.

Next he's going to let the EU tax us directly, on top of the taxes he takes and the money he gives away to all and sundry.

We won't have to worry about Tax Freedom Day soon. There won't be one.

Leg-iron said...

Dick P - they still bang on about that Thatcher soundbite. They must be hoping we haven't noticed they've made it come true.

Leg-iron said...

Long-name anon - I, for one, will be nowhere near London during the Olympics.

This idiot government is guaranteeing a response and paying billions to set up an ideal target.

Leg-iron said...

WoaR - salad aisle? It must be some distance from the booze aisle because I haven't noticed it.

goodie life - semi-automatic cucumbers ;)

Leg-iron said...

00:23 - continuous exposure to second hand smoke might be unhealthy. It's also impossible. Even smokers sleep.

Continuous exposure to traffic fumes is possible, depending on where you live, but unless you have smokers working your house in shifts the same cannot be said of SHS.

Besides, nobody is exposed now. Certainly not from me. I haven't been in a restaurant or cafe since the ban started and my once-a-week pub visits are once-a-year and reducing.

True, adults should have the choice, but we haven't had a government that knows what 'adult' means for a very long time.

Leg-iron said...

Vicar's Vice - it might be part of the Green natural extension through vegetarianism and veganism into a world where nobody eats anything at all.

Think how slim we'd all be!

Anonymous said...

There are fully automatic cucumbers, rocket powered they are, did you not watch 'life of plants'?

Anonymous said...

my ex wife terminal cancer patient at the ari, said she loved the smell of tobacco smoke wafting up through an open window, sadly she has less rights than a prisoner at craiginches

Slamlander said...

The sad bit is that it's true and the sadder bit is that barely anyone notices it.

You guys might complain about the EU but it is the UK that is behind a lot of it. Many would love to see the UK exit the EU for just that reason.

I'm picking up a Belgian FiveseveN next week, along with an FN P90 and about 200 rounds. The Swiss have no problem with that as long as I can prove proficiency first.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Dick Puddlecote said...
People hate government but will do nothing about it as they're in fear of being beaten about the head with a stick. XX

Yet are prepeared to believe and follow religiously, any total dipshit who claims to be "an expert" on everything from smoking, through to drinking the odd couple of beers, or not, to H&S, or whether we should carry on with nuclear power generation.

See the latest "crisis meeting re nukes" in Germany; On the panel, some fucking idiot of a "historian", two bishops, a hand full of philosophy professors, and one or two politicians with nothing better to do. (Spot the missing link here? Would it not be SLIGHTLY usefull to have a bloody nuclear power expert there?)

Yet, these, like the anti smoking, anti drinking, anti everything wankers, are a major threat to our waya of life, and the public will fall over themselves to comply with their "findings".

George Speller said...

Health officials have advised people in affected areas in Europe to avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

. . . so are we allowed to just have 2 a day for the time being?

Oooh, thanks Nanny!

Furor Teutonicus said...

Strange that strawberrys have been dropped off the list, yet are still "banned" in certain Government department canteens.

vegae vulgaris (ms) said...


ok, point taken, let me amend 'continuous' to 'regular' - which, as it happens, is how i like my cucumis sativus.

Slamlander said...

The anti-nuke folks are forgetting the simple fact that it takes power to grow food. Take a 25% reduction in power and you will have either serious food shortages or severe food price increases. In Switzerland over 40% of our power is from Nukes but that's not as bad as France at 80%.

Ya can't have it both ways pilgrim.

Anonymous said...

See that they've now dropped the 'organic' when describing the cucumbers :)


gladiolys said...

You're right. If you get e-coli, you do shit yourself.

JuliaM said...

You must have just loved the story this morning about the primary kids told not to point their fingers at their teacher in a 'gun' shape, LI.

It's like someone's reading your blog and using it as a script!

Anonymous said...

Well white tee-shirts have just been banned in Santa Cruz, California for the reason, wearing white tee-shirts is now considered racist.

Tobacco. If they really wanted to end it once and for all, then maybe they could get Oxford to just yank the word from the dictionary next year as obsolete, then nobody would have a word with which to even fight back against smoking bans.

No word, no resistance. Simple.

Leg-iron said...

JuliaM - just caught that one.

Anon - If they ban tobacco, as they have with drugs, will everyone stop smoking? All that will happen is that the gobernment loses not only the duty on the packs, but the VAT from sales and the taxes from the tobacco companies.

Banning tobacco would achieve nothing in terms of health (none of it was ever intended to) and it would crash the Treasury. It would also make ASH irrelevant.

So let's encourage them to ban it. Push their games into places they don't want to go. Get the public to demand a ban on all tobacco products, including patches and gum.

Call the bluff. It's the only way now.

the killer cucumber plot said...

many of the above posts sicken me to the gut - i don't think this deadly ecoli outbreak is funny at all...and has anyone considered the possibility that those who have died could be the tragic victims of an evil germ-warfare campaign mounted by radical anti-european elements?

Furor Teutonicus said...

HEY LEGGY! Some one here screaming out for a tin foil hat, EXTRA large!!

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