Thursday 20 October 2011

The New Puritan Alliance

If you're a normal, healthy-minded individual, you will be well aware - because it's really not too difficult to spot - that the point of the smoking ban in your particular jurisdiction had nothing to do with saving bar workers from imminent death. That, transparently, was the only way legislation could be bullied through without risking a charge of acting in contravention of personal responsibility and property rights*. The real reason was to make you, and everyone else, stop smoking. Simple as.

How do we know this? Because governments are stupid, of course. They regularly pass laws on the back of an opaque lie, then sometimes openly boast about their true intentions.

House of Lords Behaviour Change - Science and Technology Committee

Now, in case you didn't want to click and enlarge the image, it puts forward one - presumably perfect, else it wouldn't have been used - example of "restricting the options available to individuals" as "outlawing smoking in public places".

If you truly believed it was about bar workers, you're probably the type who arranges their entire day around 20 words in the morning's tabloid horoscope (that's a polite way of saying 'crashingly gullible').

Of course it wasn't. The whole point of smoking bans worldwide is to pressurise smokers into quitting, and in doing so, buying - or the government buying on their behalf with your taxes - pharmaceutical products.

Sadly, smoking bans worldwide have this irritating habit of having a negligible effect on smoking rates, if at all. The latest country to admit they are barking up the wrong tree is Ireland.

THE SMOKING ban has not had any appreciable effect on the number of smokers in Ireland, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health has said.
You don't say? Ireland in 'exactly the same as everywhere else in the world' shocker, d'you mean? Well, what a surprise that is! And there they were thinking that this particular throw of the dice was going to be different to the long string of losers preceding it.

At a forum on obesity yesterday, Dr Tony Holohan said smoking was still at the same level as it was before the introduction of the ban.
Well, naturally, because smoking bans always result in the same ... oh hold on, wind that back a bit!

At a forum on obesity yesterday, Dr Tony Holohan said ...
Obesity? Why are you talking about the smoking ban at an obesity forum then, Tony?

He also said there was a need to look at the inter-relationship between different lifestyle factors, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption and obesity, and their effects on health.

“People who smoke just don’t smoke, they are also people who are overweight and they are also people who are high consumers of alcohol and we need to understand the interaction of those,” Dr Holohan said.
So what are you saying here, Tony? Why are you lumping all these lifestyle choices in together?

“There is no way these complex, societal challenges which face all of us can be confronted unless we can find a way of working together,” he said.
And crash, bang, wallop if Tony hasn't just encapsulated the ethos of this blog in one sentence.

Because I've said it before many times ...

Without adopting a united front in objecting to assaults on all lifestyle choices - whether you approve of them yourself or not - there is no chance of ever stopping these arseholes in their tracks.
While normal, everyday people are bickering and scratching each others' eyes out about the hierarchy of vice acceptability (I'm looking at the likes of you, CAMRA), public health departments are increasingly uniting a dream team of bansturbatory fun police to clamp down on everything you enjoy which isn't 100% healthy.

They have long since worked out that the way to success is via collusion and a common goal. Whereby those ranged against them are insular and dismissive of anything but their core cause.

When are the barely sentient cattle in this country and the wider world going to realise this, and start uniting themselves against what is, by comparison, a tiny number of loud-mouthed, publicly-funded blowhards?

Kiwi Crampton, as I've also routinely pointed out, offers a brilliant metaphor which encapsulates this self-defeating behaviour perfectly.

It's like a bunch of folks on the scaffolds complaining that the other guy's noose isn't quite tight enough. Y'all might instead direct your attention to the hangman sometime and try helping each other cut those ropes.
If you've ever said "something should be done about this", or "there should be a law against that", you are the problem. Just zip it.

Now - more than ever - it is necessary to fight on all fronts, or expect an almighty illiberal kick in the balls from a righteous elite who use co-operation and note-sharing to their advantage, while their opponents stubbornly don't.

* One might even call it a 'confidence trick'. Oh look, someone already did ... Deborah Arnott of ASH, to be precise.


Campaign for Vaping in Pubs said...

Spot on Dick!

I am a smoking, vaping binge drinker who is partial to a pork pie. I have the waitline and teeth to prove it - all bought and paid for.

Since I realised that I would be a target because of my 'illnesses', I have cut up on all my vices :)

I suppose it beats getting picked on because I'm a ginna and a specky-four-eyed tw@t from Barnsley! ;)

Russell VR Ord

Bucko said...

"If you've ever said "something should be done about this", or "there should be a law against that","

I've never even said that once.


Jill said...

What countries have the lowest smoking rates - and why? No idea mesen - jus' askin'.

asdacurry said...

Mmmm,what I find the funniest is the line 'if you smoke you're overweight'. Ha Ha Ha Ha.

I beg to differ (7 & half stone, skinny as a rake).

Thanks for the laugh tho you bigot.

Is this the same guy who when asked to examine if there was a link between a toxic wastedump & high rates of cancer in the people living near it said..........
No case to answer.

Sounds like he's a bit toxic himself.

Keep exposing the hypocracy Dick

Anonymous said...

May I take this opportunity to
suggest a cure for the curse of
the Puritanical Tumour festering in the Body and Soul of Western
"Liberal" Democracies.
A cure most effective in cleansing
control freaks such as Ghadaffi
Bin Laden and Saddam from their
dictatorial stations.
know-it-alls,liars,spivs,tittle tatlers and every other form of
joy destroyers
They pay attention when the hot
hand of anger caresses their grey necks

Patience nearly exhausted

P T Barnum said...

Dear Puritan Enforcers,

I'll be waiting with interest when someone comes round to 'help' me with my obesity and binge drinking.

An underweight, non-drinking smoker

PS Why have you abandoned divide-and-rule in favour of kicking everyone? Don't you think people might kick back?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Jill: I suspect Sweden might be a contender because of their snus usage (a tobacco product which is astronomically more effective at diverting people from smoking baccy than anything pharma has to offer).

PT Barnum: We can live in hope.

Anonymous said...

What countries have the lowest smoking rates and why?

Bhutan. The sale, possession and consumption of tobacco products is banned in Bhutan.

On the other hand you've got to work real hard to even get permission to visit the place and, if you do, altitude sickness will be your #1 priority.

Think 3 kms to 8 kms above sea level, valleys, real big mountains and travel by mule. (Ben Nevis is 1.34 kms high).

Redefines the meaning of a "Closed Society".

Anonymous said...

Funny too, but as smoking bans took off in the states, CDC announced this week that the use of antidepressants has skyrocketed beyond belief. All those people who used to smoke to calm their nerves are now hooked on drugs and aren't even aware of how they've been "guided" into that predicament by the government enacting smoking bans for the profit of pharmaceuticals, who fund election campaigns.

Anonymous said...

Dick P.

I am glad that you have, again, stated the not-obvious. For ages, I have been saying that the ban in pubs and such places is a diversionary tactic. The really important thing, from ASH's point of view, was to get smoking banned in ALL workplaces. In that way, people would be forced not to smoke for some 8 hours per day (even if they have smoke breaks). Couple that with the idea that most people sleep 8 hours per day and you get the situation where most people do not smoke for 16 hours a day. Now...add to that the idea of 'no smoking in cars' (when children are present initially). Again, the opportunity for smoking is reduced substantially. Add to that the possibility of a ban on smoking within X feet of a pub-building doorway and parks and beaches and....etc. All the time, the opportunity to enjoy tobacco is being reduced.

But there is a catch. Eventually, the number of non-smokers who are prepared to act as 'enforcers' will reduce. For example, it is hard to imagine a person on a beach, who does not like to see someone smoking there, actually going over and complaining to the smoker. This would be especially true if the smoker said, "Oh..sorry...I will put it out", but did not. Not only that, but the smoker (and friends) could move even closer to the complainer and shout and sing and laugh and throw things about and say "Sorry! Sorry!" until the idiot complainer went away with tail between legs. Or somebody might get hurt.

ASH and Co do not care that pubs are closing in droves. They are in league with Alcohol Control and Obesity Control. From their collective point of view, the more pubs that close, the better!

But their ideas are contrary to human nature. If there are no pubs, people will brew, ferment, distill their own, regardless of laws.

There are many complexities - for example, the use of the BBC as a propaganda device. The way in which the BBC is currently being used in this way is scandalous. People have said that the NHS should be abolished, but in my mind, it is the BBC which should be abolished. The health of the mind is more important than the health of the body.

We shall see.

Frank Davis said...

clamp down on everything you enjoy which isn't 100% healthy.

I think that if it's some thing you enjoy, then it goes without saying that it isn't 100% healthy. I mean, is there anything that people don't enjoy doing that these bastards want to ban? No? I thought not.

david said...

Indeed, it's a little know fact that smokers are four times more likely to dye their hair. Sadly, all too often with devastating consequences. And not just to themselves - my daughter made a right mess of the bathroom last night.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Smoking cessation spam doesn't last long here, David (nice answer to it, mind). ;)