If you agree with the smoking ban, you may be tempted to stop reading this, but give me a second while I explain why, you too, should be very happy with the events of this week, a very bad week indeed for the Righteous in the anti-smoking lobby, and the Labour/Puritan movement as a whole.
There are four main scares that the Righteous use to shape your lives against your better judgement. Terrorism, Paedophilia, Climate Change and Cancer/Death.
The Righteous at ASH, Cancer Research UK etc., aided and abetted by your tax receipts, have been in the vanguard of illustrating how a template based on misdirection, irrational fears, and unfounded (but well-funded by themselves) 'science', can be used again and again in different areas to bully you into agreeing with measures against your freedom about which you would normally bristle. A perfect example is the clinically obese Liam Donaldson using the cancer scare tactic this week to talk about the obese ... of which he is one.
This is him, does he appear svelte to you?
I thought not. One must surely ask why the fat man wants to be a fat controller? (H/T Rev W V Awdry). Your guess is as good as mine, but I reckon it's a money thing to do with the NHS, seeing as every scare is accompanied by an estimate of how much the thing that you like to do costs money to an organisation that you pay for. I mean, how fucking dare you? You're supposed to pay the money, without choice in the matter, and then change your life to make sure you use the service as little as possible, you idiots. Doesn't matter if you pay more in duty for your lifestyle choice than expended by the clinically-obese Donaldson's department either, you have to stop. Full stop.
If you agree with the smoking ban as you don't like smokers (despite the fact there are a multitude of better options than a blanket ban on all privately-owned establishments, which was NOT democratically voted upon), I hope you are also going to be happy with restrictions to your drinking, consumption of anything that isn't 5 a day, and other substances or practices that the Government object to by way of cost.
Those who hunt were the recipients of the prototype banning scare from this Government, it had to be forced through by way of the Parliament Act. Lessons were learned and the lies were beefed up to marginalise smokers more effectively (using the same endemic prejudice as a tool). The legislation since the smoking ban has been incessant and the same methods are increasingly being used in other areas (drinking, unhealthy foods, motoring etc.). The clinically-obese Liam Donaldson, for example ... again, has used the term 'Passive Drinking' quite regularly. He first started using that particular sound-bite at the end of 2007 and last used it on the Simon Mayo show on Five Live a few weeks ago. Well, if a lie works with one substance, why not use the same lie again, eh?
Unfortunately, this week is seeing a right kick in the teeth for ASH and their ilk. Lies are being exposed quite ruthlessly. First we had the revelation a couple of days ago that the smoking ban in England had actually reversed a long trend and managed to increase smoker prevelance. Today, ASH have been beaten by an even bigger stick as it was revealed that the Scottish smoking ban, allied with a banning of the sale of packs of 10, and the raising of the age for buying cigarettes has resulted in a 5% increase in young adults smoking in Scotland.
The number of young people smoking in Scotland has returned to a level last seen nearly 10 years ago, according to a report by health officials.
The survey revealed nearly a third of people between 16-24 are smokers.
In 2004 the number of young smokers in Scotland had fallen to just 25% but by 2007 that figure was 31%.
Note the dates. Smoking cessation initiatives have been an abject failure and have massively increased smoker prevalence in the 16-25 age group. So what does Shona Robertson suggest to halt this slide? Yep, you guessed it. More of the same failed policy.
Significant progress has been made in recent years to shift cultural attitudes to smoking, but this report clearly demonstrates that firm action needs to continue if we are to succeed in our desire to make Scotland smoke-free.
Significant progress? Yes, you have significantly progressed from a reduction in smoking to a big increase. Good job Shona. When will your pea-brain work out that people don't react well to dictatorial wankers like you?
Considering the past week's news, perhaps it is time to revisit the ASH handbook on the myths of anti-smoking legislation.
1) Myth: It will be bad for pubs
I think that has been answered emphatically by the British Beer & Pubs Association
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has said closures across the UK are running at 5 a day, up a third on last year, with close to 1,900 of the country's 57,000 pubs set to shut this year if the current rate continues.
The industry is angry with the government for pressing ahead with tax rises when it is facing the toughest trading conditions for years with pressure on household budgets, last year's smoking ban, cheap alcohol offers in supermarkets, and the miserable summer weather encouraging drinkers to stay at home.
2) Myth: It will be bad for bingo
Yes it was.
Carmen Media has highlighted that over a year into the smoking ban in the UK, more than 53 land based bingo halls have closed, bringing the number of clubs still open to about 550.
The company said if one considers the impact of the smoking ban in Scotland (in effect since March 2006) where all reports showed that it has been an absolute disaster for all the top bingo clubs, the history has only repeated itself in the UK.
Odd that ASH didn't spot this repeating of history, don't you think?
3) Myth: There will be large scale non-compliance
That's answering a myth with a fabricated myth. Take away the £2,500 fines and see how much compliance you get.
4) Myth: There will be heavy handed enforcement with undercover officers and covert filming
Never gonna happen ... is it?
Westminster City Council brought a prosecution against him after environmental health officers twice visited his bar last August and reported he was permitting customers to smoke.
They didn't reveal themselves and ran up a bill for hundreds of pounds after a slap-up three-course meal with expensive wine, payable from taxpayers' money of course.
Nope, no undercover officers. Not at all.
5) Myth: Working men's clubs and shisha bars will close
Like the myth of Britain's oldest Working mens club closing perhaps? Amongst many many others? Or how about the myth of shisha bars closing?
When the ban on smoking in public places kicks in on July 1st hundreds of shisha bars across the UK will have to close their doors.
... and doesn't this one morph into so-called myth 4 about undercover officers ... at nearly 1am?
Katherine Jamieson, for the council, said environmental health officer Steve Joyce stopped outside the bar, in Evington Road, at 12.50am. He saw a member of the public enter and a number of people sitting at tables smoking shisha pipes.
A bit of myth 3 confirmed there too.
5) Myth: People won't really quit
*Cough* People really haven't. Increase in England reported this week and an increase in youth smoking in Scotland. See above.
Plus, wasn't the legislation brought in to 'protect bar workers'? Patricia Hewitt's department said, only this week, that ...
'The legislation was never intended to be a measure to reduce smoking prevalence.'
You and ASH should get together sometime and agree on the lies you are telling, Hewitt.
6) Myth: Smoking is a victimless crime/ Claims about the health impact are flawed
Firstly, the claims ARE flawed, but the misdirection is the real issue. It should be up to the individual to make decisions based on educated risks. Smoking is very definitely a victimless crime if the victims are quite happy to be where they are happy. What the fuck has it to do with you?
7) Myth: House fires will increase as people will stay at home to smoke
This is a cracker of a lie. It's one group with a stated purpose quoting another with a business interest. The myth was apparently from Direct Line insurance. They were using ASH's very own scare tactic model to increase their business.
8) Myth: There will be an increase in exposure of secondhand smoke in the home, affecting children
This one is quite amazing even by the standards of these inveterate liars. ASH themselves confirmed a truth that they said was a myth. As lies go, this is a stunner.
Last night anti-smoking pressure group ASH told The People that the Government's public smoking ban had made the problem WORSE for children - because it encouraged parents to light up at home instead of in pubs.
ASH campaigner Hannah Sandford said the smoking ban had put kids at greater risk. She said: 'We now have a situation where adults are protected from second hand smoke but young children are not.'
Well, if you cared about the kids, why did you shift smoking from an adult environment like a pub, into other places where kids might be present, you pricks?
9) Myth: The public do not want a smoking ban or any further tobacco control measures
The public have voted with their feet about your smoking ban. Further tobacco control measures have been proved to be motivated by rigged consultations and even this idiot Government have started to realise they are not too popular amongst voters. I think they may have finally worked out that ASH have conned them. Took them a while seeing as ASH have been boasting for a while now about how democracy was circumvented.
Objective: To examine how a Government committed to a voluntary approach was forced by effective advocacy to introduce comprehensive smokefree legislation.
Smokers have suffered all of this nonsense on your behalf, we are the guinea pigs. You may enjoy the smoking ban, but sooner or later these people are going to come after YOU. It might be the wine/beer you enjoy (ever more likely), it could be your Friday night curry. Perhaps they don't like you wife-swapping with your equally eager partner, or even that they don't agree with what you like to view on the internet. How about if they use their template to dictate which car you drive (they're getting there)? Or refuse you the services of the NHS for an arbitrary reason that fits their agenda?
All of the above can be banned by the utilisation of scares about Terrorism, Paedophilia, Climate Change or Cancer/Death ... if you let them.
If you value your own way of life without interference, then you must value the choices of others who choose a different lifestyle to you. One can't pick and choose freedoms that are acceptable without, at some point, having someone else telling you how to live your own life. If you are happy with the Governmant telling others what to do in a free society, knock yourself out, just don't start whinging when these lying arseholes start on you. Or, as it says in the good book, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
This is a good week for those who agree that our lives should be our own under a democracy. The Righteous got a good spanking. Their rubbish rules have just made things worse, which we can all agree is a bad state of affairs.
Long may their idealistic nonsense be exposed as unworkable.