Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Beware Of Your Shadow, Britain

Britain's emotional state. Every day. Pictured recently

Following on from that atrocious debacle on the M6, The Sun carried a feature on e-cigs which takes a deeply depressing snapshot of 21st century Britain.

Reporter Nick Francis took one out and noted reactions on a bus, in the supermarket, a cafe and a pub. To facepalm reactions.
"It would annoy me if you sat next to me though (on a bus). There’s quite a lot of fake smoke.”

Before long the [supermarket] manager asked us to leave.

AT the Turk’s Head café, in Wapping, the manager barked: “Get out, I won’t allow it.” She added: “We have kids in here and they shouldn’t see smoking.”

[Landlord Pete Biddle] said: “The minute someone uses one I get endless customers complaining someone is smoking. I tell anyone using one to go outside like any other smoker. It’s only fair.”
With the exception of the bus passenger - who merely expressed annoyance - there seems to be a sense of tangible fear over something as innocuous as an e-cig producing odourless water vapour.

Talking anecdotally, last year I was at a pub in London where someone (not me) was using an e-cig which glowed blue at the end. The landlord stiffened and bristled as if the guy had pulled the pin from a hand grenade. Seeing this, I thought it useful to allay any fears he had and went to explain what it was to him, and to assure him that it was perfectly legal.

He relaxed a little and admitted he had heard of them but added that he "doesn't agree with them. I think they should be banned too". Asking him to expand, he replied - and I quote - "that sort of thing doesn't belong in a pub".

Now, this isn't one of your gastro-crèches we're talking here. In fact, it is a 'landlocked' premises which has won accolades for its real ale selection and still has a comforting fireplace at one end of the room. Small, friendly, and with pictures all over the walls celebrating its own history.

Exactly the type of place you could imagine seeing an old geezer in the corner, on a wizened leather chair, reading the Telegraph and puffing on a Briar. In fact, I've been in there before 2007 with the same landlord in charge and there was, indeed, a guy doing just that. Ashtrays on the tables too for whomsoever wished to use them.

How has such a guy been brainwashed that a perfectly harmless e-cig doesn't belong in a pub? The same pub which welcomed smokers for the previous hundred years at least.

We know the answer, of course. He is scared witless of the penalties (difficult to invoke and mostly unapplied) he imagines he might be liable for if anyone lit up an 'analogue'.

Likewise, the Sun's café owner is terrified by either the same threat or the incessant - and false - propaganda from anti-smokers saying that if a kid sees something that appears to be smoking, that they will instantly pop down the road and buy 20 Embassy. The supermarket? Well, they're just spooked to the point of denying custom by fear of the unknown.

It's hard to imagine that this is the same public which proudly boasts of winning two world wars, isn't it? Limp, effete, and cowering like timid rabbits at a small cloud of water particles which float for a second before disappearing into history.

I've drawn this picture before, but it's worth re-stating. Y'see, this is the country I grew up in.

And this is the insipid, spineless, trembling, feeble, life-drained, petrified, submissive, gutless, yellow-bellied, vanquished and whipped one we see today.

A nation of jittery and easily malleable pansies.

Churchill would weep, so he would.


Skip Licker said...

Truly a chilling view of modern Britain... I'll chuff my E-Cig wherever I go and whenever I choose.. 

what Tyler said...

we as a nation have allowed this by our apathy so that we now live in a police state scared of own shadows

Smoking Hot said...

l'm off to observe a court case tomorrow, A condemnation case for some tobacco nicked by UKBA. E-cig will be in use whilst l wait outside the courtroom for the case ... l'll let you know the reaction. :)

Smoking Scot said...

This is going to tie drivers and the police in knots when they pass legislation to ban smoking in all cars. Including the new Morgan 3 wheeler. No roof, no ashtray.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Only way to go. It's not illegal and about time people stopped being pathetic children and got used to them. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Nailed it. Apathy is exactly what has caused this, along with a disgraceful willingness to allow liberties to be trampled underfoot. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yes please. If a bloody court can't distinguish between what is legal and what's not, there's little hope left for this idiotic island. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Quality motor (although it's not a sexy truck, of course). If it has a passenger seat (or even if it hasn't), those terrified morons at the RCP still think it should be illegal to smoke in it. 

Scud One said...

Yes, it is really quite amazing DP! Tis almost as if 'them that know' could command us to stop shitting on the 7th day and the sewers 'did indeed run dry'. They absolutely love it and that it is what I find so particularly galling, yet me mates all seem to think that 'generally' this de-striping of adulthood is a good thing! 
Oh for fucking, fucking fucks sake! I keep saying it to 'em yet they seem to think I'm nuts and in need of help (state doubt).I might sound like some uneducated divot from (ermm...don't really want to say, less it offends) but I can assure you the people I know are not and yet they fall for this bullcrap at every given opportunity as presented by the likes of their cherished and oh so trusted BBC or whatever.I hate what has happened to us so much yet the majority (intelligent ones too) seem to positively endorse and encourage it...“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”  Aldous Huxley...fuck me! I'd love a pint and a smoke with Aldous...sounds like a right laugh!

Scud One said...

Hmm. Sorry Dick. Paragraphs don't seem to come out as typed. 

Jax said...

I honestly do think sometimes that they’ve put something in the water in this country to make people so generally compliant and docile and eager to be told what to do and what to think.  I recall something that a work colleague of mine said to me not so long ago.  She’d just returned to the UK after living for the past 25 years in South Africa.  We were chatting about this and that and she said something which really rang a bell with me.  She said: “I’ve noticed that this country is very different now from how it was when I left it.”  “Oh?” I said. “In what ways?” (thinking in my naïveté that she’d be talking about computer games and more cars and a busier lifestyle etc.  But what she said really surprised me.  She said: “It was the people more than anything else.”  “Really?” I asked, my curiosity aroused. “How were they different?” To which she replied: “Oh I don’t know.  But they seemed somehow to be sort of …….. dead.  Like they’re dead inside, somehow.  Just got no, sort of, ‘oomph’ any more.  They never used to be like that.”

It really stunned me, I can tell you, because I thought I was the only one who’d noticed and that therefore I must have been mistaken.  I mean, everyone else in the world can’t be wrong and only me right, surely?  But here she was, coming back into the country after a long enough gap to notice the difference and there she was, saying it.  “The people are sort of ‘dead.’”

Now, call me a conspiracy freak if you will (although I never used to be one), but I’m thinking more and more that somewhere in the dark and shadowy corridors of World Power there’s a concerted effort to break the British spirit.  It’s as if, by hook or by crook, we Brits have got to be beaten down, and kept down.  By whatever means – psychological, spiritual, personal, financial or pharmaceutical.  Why us, I really don’t know – it doesn’t seem to be happening anywhere else as far as I can see.  Even Greece, with all its problems and financial woes still seems to have a spark of – oh, I don’t know – passion, maybe?  Pride? Sense of identity? Spirit?  Whatever it is, they’ve still got it and we haven’t.  And we are such a stubborn bunch – look at what a very successful thorn we have traditionally been in the side of anyone who steps on our toes (or indeed the toes of anyone else who can’t stand up for themselves) – whether it’s the forces of Fascism in Europe, the Argentinians trying to claim a few freezing islands, or even the monstrous EU – that perhaps a little dose of something in the water really was felt necessary to bring us into line.

And whatever it is that they’re putting into the water, I have a strong suspicion that in the last few years they’ve upped the dose!

tim.bone said...

I am watching the complete original Star Trek series'. Now Gene Roddenberry, the creator of this, was quite a visionary, computers which respond to speech with speech, computers full stop, (or should I say 'period'). Mobile phones (communicators), satnav, you name it. Now these programmes are from 1966 to 1968, and quite funny in their 'analogue sci fi' presentation. Did Gene Roddenberry have more vision than I thought however? Most of the things that these alien planets keep getting up to make a lot more sense to me than they did when I was a teenager, I can actually see it happening all around me!

Legiron said...

People really are scared of shadows now. I have to admit, I'm enjoying showing them their darkest shadows ;)

Something in the water? Perhaps. I don't drink much of it despite the Health Loonies insisting it's better for me than whisky (ridiculous - and you can take my word on that as a doctor). Unfermented water is raw and disgusting and only fit for washing in.

Mag01 said...

You might be interested in an informal experiment by a
journalist from over a decade ago highlighting antismoking hysteria in – where else
– Califraudia. It involves no smoke and no vapor, i.e., nothing. It can be
found on p.399-400 of Rampant Antismoking Signifies Grave Danger



Also, a friend had regularly dined at a particular restaurant for
years (the restaurant owners were extended family). When the indoor smoking ban
was introduced, he would finish a course of his meal indoors and would then
take a cigarette from the pack and a lighter to make his way outside for a
smoke. On his way outside, he often was distracted by the staff with whom he
was well-acquainted. He would stop to have a passing chat. As he spoke, still
intending to make his way outside, he would move the [unlit] cigarette with his
gesticulating hand. He mentioned that it occurred a number of times that
perfect strangers sitting on the other side of a large room would get up from
their table and make a bee-line for him to [sternly] point out that he wasn’t
allowed to smoke inside.

Letsgetthepartystarted said...

Plain Packs coming soon, let's get the party started

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX It's hard to imagine that this is the same public which proudly boasts of winning two world wars, isn't it?XX

Quite. Especially when the same public and their media, constantly turn around and blame US for "not doing anything about Hitler", where the penaltys deffinately were NOT "difficult to invoke and mostly unapplied", and were, indeed, a lot more effective than a slapped wrist and a couple of quid fine.

SadButMadLad said...

I keep thinking that I should take up smoking again, just to wind up the health nazis and tell them that all their posturing actually encourages some people to smoke because of the "fuck you" attitude that it causes in those who don't like being told what to do.

Or better yet, I should buy a vaping kit and make a point of using it in all the places where smoking is illegal - and then tell people who complain that it's not illegal and that stopping me would be assault and that I would call the police.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Very interesting, Jax, thanks for sharing. It does appear to be something which has crept up on us in the past 30 years so being away for 25 years would certainly make it more noticeable. 

Listening to the radio this morning, I lost count of the number of times the words "safe" was bandied around regarding the Olympics. The words "enjoyment" and "fun" didn't crop up at all. An undercurrent of fear - of everything - is all around us, and obviously most of the public have been sucked into it. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yep. I've seen the same on a tube once. A guy was rolling one for when he got off the train (at the next stop, as it turned out) and a woman did the same thing, in a very sharp manner. He just said "I know", but I so wished he'd pointed out it wasn't lit and she should wind her interfering neck in. 

Furor Teutonicus said...

 XX Now, call me a conspiracy freak if you will (although I never used to be
one), but I’m thinking more and more that somewhere in the dark and
shadowy corridors of World Power there’s a concerted effort to break the
British spirit.  It’s as if, by hook or by crook, we Brits have got to
be beaten down, and kept doesn’t seem to be happening anywhere else as far as I can see. XX

Na. Not just Britain. The same is happening here. It is hard to put your finger on, UNTIL you try and get something done.

It is like a permenant Last hour at work on the Friday before holidays.

Ask a question and the majority of time the answer is "I don't know". In that tone of voice that sais they ACTUALY mean "I could not give a fuck about your problems, now piss off and leave me alone."

The other symptom is NEVER to be able to get a comitment to one side of a discussion, or another out of them.

It has been pointed out in this thread, "Apathy". TOTAL.

truckerlyn said...

Exactly!  I cringe when elections come round as even my mother and my husband shrug their shoulders and say 'there is nothing we can do!'.  I keep begging them NOT to vote for any of the main 3 parties, but they can't grasp the fact that will, if more people did it, make a difference.  Sadly, too many people have the same apathetic view, so each time there is a general election we end with the same old dictatorial crap, whichever one of the 3 gets in!

truckerlyn said...

Many cars nowadays, roof or not, do not appear to have ashtrays!  Mine is a 2005 model Renault and there is no ashtray!

truckerlyn said...

I have often found that the more 'intelligent' a person is the much less common sense or logic they seem to possess!  'Absent Minded professor' sort of thing!

truckerlyn said...

So that is why I am still a rebellious s.o.b. - I only use bottled water!

But, yes, I can totally see where you ex work colleague is coming from, the Good Old British Spirit is long since gone and in it's place is country full of namby pamby pawns. 

Perhaps these toffy nosed toffs in government have decided it is the only way they can get the control they want and crave?  One up, or trying to be, on Hitler?  After all, he tried the same thing!

Have to admit, although I have absolutely no respect, whatsoever, for our governments of late, they have been savvy enough to creep up on the population.  Wonder how many decades ago this all really started?

truckerlyn said...

A year or so ago I was talking to a truck driver who was holding an unlit cig in his hand whilst driving in Scotland and the police pulled him over and fined him, saying lit or not, it didn't matter, he was holding it so his intention was obvious!

truckerlyn said...

Looking at us now and looking at Germany, I often wonder who actually did win the war?  I don't believe it was us, in the end!

Andy5759 said...

Scud One; you have seen the future - you have just described our future under UN/Agenda21.

Jax said...

Ha!  Yes – how ironic would it be for us to go back to Middle Ages, when the population drank ale instead of water because it was safer and not full of contaminants! 
Who knows, that might be the real reason why there is now such a determined push to “denormalise” alcohol drinking in exactly the same way as they tried to “denormalise” tobacco.  Having done away with the main stimulant for inspiration and free, creative thought – tobacco – they’re now moving as quickly as they can towards doing away with the main thing – alcohol – which might replace the delivery system – water – for drugs to further the process by making a now-uninspired nation even more apathetic, listless – and obedient.

peter levick said...

The trouble is that it is not the same public that helped to win two world wars. Immigration, unfettered feminism and all pervading socialism have seen to that.

SadButMadLad said...

I think I'll go and buy an e-cig kit just to have one in my hand just to annoy the nannying fusbuckets. 

Gregg said...

 It's more easy to dose a bottle you daft old trout.

John Pickworth said...

Did anyone watch the opening episode of Aaron Sorkin's 'The Newsroom'?

Nice little speech at the start which just about nails where we're at. Okay, its just TV and the speech references the USA but it is never-the-less accurate and could equally apply to Lesser Britain too.

(link leads to YouTube clip)

truckerlyn said...

If they have dosed bottled water, then it obviously has not had any effect on me!  I have, however, noticed an effect on those around me who drink tap water!

Let's face it, governments of recent decades have not exactly shown any intelligence, but if they want to 'dose' the majority of the population, the main water supply would be the most obvious as they would reach far more people with much less effort than dosing individual bottles, you daft old goat!

conspiracy theorist said...


Andorean said...

BMW still fit the smokers package £25.00