'In this day and age, I can't see how a council can spend money on a smoking control department and compliance officers. It looks like a pointless job creation exercise.'Well, exactly.
One must wonder at the perverse mentality which perpetuates this waste of resources. We all know that the true agenda is to bully the public into giving up a legal and, for very many, an enjoyable product.
It ain't working, of course. Coercion has never, ever, been embraced in the entire history of human experience, and bullying is viewed with even less admiration. Since smoking bans have been implemented, throughout the world, the uniform result is a grinding halt to the previously regular reductions in smoker prevalence.
Dictatorial solutions, quite simply, turn people off and the message transforms from being caring into one which places the receiver as somehow inferior to the person issuing the orders.
Don't believe me? OK, just as an experiment, pick out someone in your local high street this weekend who is doing something which you wouldn't do yourself. Then approach them and tell them you are hugely more clever than them and that they should stop it right now.
Then, when you have extricated their fist from your face and booked an appointment with the dentist, tell me how effective it was.
We don't have to look far for more confirmation that anti-smoking nutjobs are addicted to this quite laughable failure of approach. On the same day that the Mail was reporting on Mr Isbister's laudable defence of common sense over public sector arrogance and waste, the Times carried yet more evidence that progress stalls the more bullying is used as a tool.
The number of cigarettes sold in the UK in the year to the end of March was 44.2 million, the first time the figure has not fallen year-on-year in a generation.Which kind of suggests that the legions of state-paid tobacco controllers are an indefensible waste of public expenditure.
Especially if they are being paid for a job which they are quite incapable of performing to any degree of competence.
Yesterday, magistrates threw out the case because the council had failed to follow correct procedure. Despite spending thousands, it seems the council and its lawyers were unable to ensure they had correctly applied the law.Treble P45s all round should be the order of the day. Unfortunately, the big three are quite happy to continue funding such nonsense, while they scrabble around talking of public sector cuts which are sorely required, but which they will never deliver unless they stop being such righteous morons.
Meanwhile, incompetent Nottingham council officers are free to continue being inconsequential, and financially damaging, burdens on society without sanction.
Yes, you haven't slipped into the Twilight Zone, this really is 21st Century Britain.