|A provincial pratt, pictured recently|
From the BBC:
Wales could be the first part of the UK to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places.
Ministers say they are responding to concern that the devices - which can contain nicotine - normalise smoking and undermine the smoking ban.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford (that's him up there - DP) said the aim was to address some of the nation's major public health challenges.
"I have concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes on the enforcement of Wales' smoking ban. That's why we are proposing restricting their use in enclosed public places."Concerns? Have you any proof, Mark, that e-cigs have any impact at all on enforcement? Wouldn't that be a prerequisite for installing illiberal legislation? Because I'm damned if I've ever read an article, anywhere, describing even one instance.
"I am also concerned that their use in enclosed public places could normalise smoking behaviour."Err, wasn't the smoking ban solely and exclusively to prevent the huge piles of barmaids' bodies piled up in every town centre of a weekend due to second-hand smoke? That is, after all, the only possible justification for stealing private property rights outside of a fascist dictatorship, isn't it? In fact, the only argument which every politician pointed to as he/she ripped the guts out of the British pub trade a few years ago.
Back then, we were told over and over again that it wasn't an attempt to force smokers to quit; not an attempt to interfere in freedom of choice. Oh no, nothing could be further from the truth! This was purely a health matter, and certainly not social engineering or pandering to the selfish, intolerant and anti-social in society.
Has there been a load of debate today about how harmful second-hand e-cig vapour is to pub workers (who have no choice whatsoever but to work in a pub, of course)? Nope, not even a polite nod towards it. Was there even full and frank discussion about how people are dying from using e-cigs themselves? Well what do you think?
This would be because there is no smoking ban in the world which was designed to protect bar workers. Every single one was sold that way, yes, but was purely to bully and cajole smokers into quitting because 'public health' rent-seekers and politicians are nasty little control freaks who think they know what is best for us. Simples.
So thank you, Mark Drakeford, you lovely man, for giving us incontrovertible proof that it's not about health. When a policy is so ludicrous that even ban-friendly Guardian readers variously describe the proposer as muppet, twerp, paranoid, bonkers, idiot, dullard, plank and loon, it's clear that your fallacious reasoning is embarrassingly transparent and that the carefully-constructed lies have been rumbled.
Still, he's doing exactly as the unelected WHO has decreed for e-cigs so there'll probably be a generously-paid cushy job for him in the future. And that - not the public, not liberties and not wise governance - is the only thing which really interests modern politicians, isn't it?
UPDATE: This Drakeford guy is even more stupid than I first thought. Responding to the suggestion that banning vapers from using e-cigs indoors and instead banishing to the smoking area means they will encounter that horrid passive smoke, he came out with this!
"Of all the arguments that could be made against the idea of preventing the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces, I think that would be amongst the weakest I have ever heard. There is no obligation on anybody using an e-cigarette to go and use one next to someone using a conventional cigarette. They can use it anywhere else that they choose to use it. In their own homes, wherever else they might want to use it."Yes, he really said that, scroll to 1:09:00 at BBC Radio Wales.