Monday, 3 January 2011

The Pursuit Of, Err, Happiness?

Via Ravengrim, we find that one of the world's newest democracies has gone all bonkers.

It’s a new year. And starting today, the Tobacco Control Act comes into effect. So if you cultivate or harvest, manufacture, supply or distribute tobacco and tobacco products, you’ll be jailed for at least three years and up to five years.

If you possess tobacco, and if you can’t prove that you’ve imported it for your own consumption, you’ll be jailed for at least one year and up to three years, but only if you reveal from where you got your tobacco. If you don’t reveal your source, you’ll receive an additional sentence, jailing you for least three more years and up to five more years.
This is Bhutan, and yes, it's a dot in the arse end of nowhere. OK, I can sense you're none the wiser, so let's explain cartographically.

So what on earth could be behind such hideous dictatorial lunacy? What kind of 'democratic' legislative ideology are they working from?

King Jigme Singye Wangchuck would go much further. With the self-confidence of a ruler whose country has never been conquered, he has tried to dictate the terms of Bhutan’s opening—and in the process redefine the very meaning of development. The felicitous phrase he invented to describe his approach: Gross National Happiness.
Phew! Lucky we haven't got anything like that here, isn't it?

Oh ... hang on.


Smoking Hot said...

Ah, yes ... democracy in Bhutan. No independent tourist travel allowed. All tourists have to go with state run tourist companies at a charge of approx $240 per night (flight not included).

As you say 'Mad people live here'

junican said...

It really is uncanny how the new Act follows the recommended procedures - on the spot fines and huge fines for businesses along with the usual junk science re SHS.

I have just read the blog indicated by your link "all bonkers". It really is comical how the comments on the blog follow what we have been seeing daily for years here - the anti-ban people point out the shortcomings of the law, the illiberal aspects and the cost of enforcing the rules about importing tobacco (particularly smuggling). The pro-ban people emphasise the SHS con trick and beg for alcohol to be banned next. The only thing that I did not see mentioned was 'the stinks'.

The good news is that even in far away Bhutan, there is a budding Resistance.

I can't help but feel that all these bans are so unnatural that common sense will eventually break through. Where the break-though might occur is hard to say, but it may be that Tobacco Control etc will take one step too far (as a result of their arrogance) and a decent judge will declare their actions unlawful - at which point the whole edifice will collapse.

Rate of Dissent said...

The pure insanity of this is making me want to smoke a cigarette.

Anonymous said...

If they want to measure our happiness the first step they should do is get the fuck off our backs !

Woodsy42 said...

This smoking business is very annoying. I gave up smoking, on health and financial grounds, many years ago. Now I have had to restart, buying only abroad of course. I don't smoke much, and of course try and choose my locations for maximum antiestablishment purposes, but it's a chore I could do without.
The wierd thing, and a serious question, is how and why the anti-smoking movement has been so internationally widespread and imposed always to the same pattern. One can't but wonder if it's a test procedure for something much more significant?

Anonymous said...

I went in 3 pubs last night. The first was empty, just me and one bar staff. The other two had about ten people in them, every single one including staff smoked.
Where exactly are the hordes of non smokers that demanded this?
What lunacy has created this mess? Incidentally, I also notice that I never see a elderly person in a pub ever now. That little avenue of joy has been taken from them.