Take Jim Wells, for example, a hideous DUP rep in the Northern Irish Assembly. While the global economy buckles, this guy's prime concern is that you should be criminalised for smoking in your own car. And he cites the smoking ban in pubs as proof that all is hunky-dory.
We have not needed squads of enforcement officers calling at pubs and restaurants throughout Northern Ireland to enforce the ban. There has been a 99% compliance rate, and it has been voluntary.'Voluntary' in the sense that people voluntarily choose to avoid the crippling fines his sort have disgustingly imposed on private property owners. Not that he makes mention of that aspect, of course.
Still, in his warped mind, this makes banning smoking in private vehicles perfectly acceptable.
I do not see police officers routinely stopping cars on motorways or dual carriageways to see whether there has been smoking or whether there is ash in the ashtray. It is more likely that large numbers of people will realise that it is illegal and will stop, and there will be enormous health benefits as a result.Course they will. Because people 'voluntarily' stopped smoking in bars once he said so, nothing at all to do with the owner of the premises being in fear of his livelihood for allowing it.
But even if smoking drivers do decide that this is a law that is a disgrace, entirely counter-productive, and very easy to contravene - which it is - Wells has that covered too.
Equally, if someone is stopped for some other reason, perhaps for using a mobile phone or driving too fast, and the officer notices that he or she has been smoking, it may be added to the schedule of offences.Doesn't it just make your very being glow that this berk is happy for fines to be imposed by the police on the premise that the odour in the car was a bit tobacco-ey?
This is what passes for political wisdom these days, sadly. Irresponsible Unionists (remember that this is the norn-iron equivalent of conservatism) who are so hypnotised by health lobbyists that they abandon their previously held principles of choice and rights over personal property.
Aren't we lucky that it's just a provincial anomaly whereby the power of local arroganzas is magnified way beyond their limited intellect by way of devolution?
Not really, no. Because at least he was talking in a debate which qualified which cars would be included. The British Medical Association have far more sinister plans, and Westminster MPs are more than likely to adopt them at some point, the daft fuckers that they mostly are.
A review of compelling scientific evidence supporting a ban on smoking in motor vehicles is published today (Wednesday 16 November) in a new briefing paper1 from the BMA.Err, just to distinguish this from Wells's nonse, the BMA are talking about all private cars, whether others are in them or not.
The BMA is calling on UK governments to introduce an extension to the current smoke-free legislation to include a ban on smoking in private vehicles.
Research compiled by the BMA shows that there is strong evidence that smoking in vehicles exposes non-smokers to very high levels of second-hand smoke. This is because of the restrictive internal environment in motor vehicles which exposes drivers and passengers to 23 times more toxins than a smoky bar. Children and other vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, are particularly at risk from these health dangers.And they are doing so by citing - in their 'compelling' evidence - a study which has long since been destroyed as being ... how can I put this? Non-existent.
There is no evidence to support the claim that smoking in cars is 23 times more toxic than in other indoor environments, according to a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.And as Chris Snowdon pointed out last night from the same report ...
Ross MacKenzie and Becky Freeman, from the University of Sydney, have criticised the 'unsubstantiated' figure and plotted its path through both the mainstream press and scientific publications before become widely accepted as 'fact'.
Kim Barnhardt, of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, said: 'There is no evidence to support the fact that smoking in cars is 23 times more toxic than in other indoor environments.'
We recommend that researchers and organizations stop using the 23 times more toxic factoid because there appears to be no evidence for it in the scientific literature.Not that such unequivocal dismissal will stop the BBC pumping this shit all over the airwaves today.
I mean, why should an acclaimed body like the BMA, or a self-professed world leader in unbiased news gathering, be expected to report something that has a basis in truth, eh?
Consider today as yet another day in your life when people you were brought up to trust lied to you, shamelessly. Just the same as every other day since you were born, funny enough.
In defence of the BBC, it's only going to be low key, so you can listen to them talking about it on "Five Live Breakfast (7.10), the Today programme (7.30) and BBC Breakfast (8.10)", on BBC Radio Sussex at 9:40, BBC Lincoln at 7:30 and 8:30 with Pat Nurse, and BBC radio WM 9:30, with BBC Stoke bringing up the rear at 10:20 with Dave Atherton.
After that, they'll just shut it until the national lunchtime news and other assorted TV offerings.
Well, when lies are this good, can you blame the righteous Graunistas at the Beeb for grabbing it with both hands?
UPDATE: Nigel Farage has called the BMA out in typically direct fashion.
"That the BMA is prepared to either lie, or maybe even worse be incompetent is just clear evidence that they are not to be trusted in public."Click here for the full press release.
"Nobody would encourage people to smoke, nor would anybody be wildly happy about, as they say, forcing children to breath your smoke. But have these pettifogging nincompoops ever heard of car windows?"