Boris says no to parks smoking ban: "To ban people from doing something that is legal in a big open space is taking bossiness too far. "
— Ross Lydall (@RossLydall) October 15, 2014
But the period of time between the press release going out in the early hours and Boris's statement at lunchtime was open season for every irrational smoker-hating whacko, psychopath, and berserker to spew their bile on every possible platform. Lord Narzi and Sally Davies effectively signalled to thousands of society's most vile that hyperbolic hatred was officially sanctioned by the authorities.
Prime pick of a host of nasty screwballs calling in to a phone-in on Radio 5Live this morning was a doctor who revelled in the proposal because "if I tell a smoker not to smoke, he says he has as much right as me to use the park, but this law would entitle me to approach smokers and tell them to put their cigarette out".
A writer in the Metro considered he'd been given the green light to refer to smokers as "dis-gus-ting!".
It’s going to be welcomed by the silent majority of Londoners who scream in their heads ‘you’re dis-gus-ting!’ whenever anyone near them lights up.
I know because I'm one of them. I think smoking is one of the most revolting things devised by humanity.
It’s worse than that, though, because of the unpleasant knowledge that the stink of their revolting habit has passed through their tar-encrusted innards before washing all over you.Meanwhile, over at the Mirror, Fleet Street Fox was penning similar stuff.
They stand outside pubs, puffing a fug to poison others trying to get through the door for a very important gin.
They stand on street corners, exhaling wildly at passers-by.
And they meander slowly along pavements leaving a trail of nasty nicotine to enter the unsuspecting nostrils of their fellow pedestrians.
If smoking is your choice, then NOT smoking is mine. Keep it to yourself, you ill-mannered walking bonfire of suicidal stupidity.Including bringing up a psycho anti-smoker favourite, the smoker-whacking snipers.
They are determinedly addicted and insensible to public health messages so the only effective method of stopping them lighting up in parks would need to involve snipers in trees, a method of removing their oxygen until they repent, or enabling vigilantes to set them alight and see how they like it.
All of which, even a professor and a dame would have to admit, is a lot of effort when the rate of smoking is in a long-term steady decline and will probably sort itself out, if only because all the stupid people end up dead.Everywhere on social media schizoids felt almost compelled to talk of "clouds of smoke" clogging up acres of parklands; that there is "nothing worse" than being near a smoker; that smokers were "killing children"; and, of course, that the ban doesn't go far enough ... smoking should be banned completely.
It's not that the state and their quangoes create these sick people, irrational smoke-haters have been around forever along with temperance fruitcakes, racists and anti-semites. It's just that civil society normally demands that they keep their odious, spittle-flecked bigotry to themselves. But when the state and/or its institutions legitimise these hateful views, we get Carrie Nations, Jewish businesses joyfully being vandalised and South Africans talking openly of their hatred of kaffirs.
It's an effect we've seen today, and one which ASH - who claim not to like smokers being attacked or condemned - say they are absolutely "delighted" about. Even Simon Chapman recognises that bans outdoors are "ethically unjustifiable", but ASH's ethics fly out of the window when an opportunity arises to express their joy in bullying others.
This is why it's becoming a mantra here now that we are most definitely on the side of the angels. What can be more civilised than respecting the preferences and life choices of others, and organising our own lives to fit in happily around them?
By contrast, ASH and their fellow professional finger-waggers only encourage the intolerant, anti-social and vile in society, while state bodies which listen to them pander to the most disgusting, base and grubby of human flaws.