"The greatest problem in the world today is intolerance. Everyone is so intolerant of each other" - Princess Diana
Of course, this means I'm incredibly busy so articles here may be sparse for a while. It's a shame as I have a couple of great pieces in mind (about EU-funded bodies bypassing government to promote e-cig bans and a certain state-funded tobacco control industry fake charity's clumsy attempt at blackmail) but they'll have to wait.
I did note Bristol's "voluntary smoking ban" announced for two public squares yesterday, though, and had the same thoughts on it as Snowdon.
You (Smokefree South West) go ahead and have your pretend ban, the people of Bristol can pretend to obey it, and we'll pretend you're not a parasitic, hateful, puritanical, freedom-hating arm of the government.
Because this comment - echoed by Smokefree South West's hater-in-Chief Fiona Andrews on BBC 5 Live yesterday morning - highlights the nasty nature of these people very well.
“We hope that it ... gives people confidence to ask others to stop if they are smoking.”
As I've always said, smoking bans pander to the most ignorant, anti-social and intolerant in society. The ones who want smoking banned everywhere including places they would never dream of going to; the ones who couldn't really give a platypus fart about the welfare of bar staff, but just like that they can sneer at a group of people they consider 'inferior'; those so crashingly stupid that they can't imagine that technology is available which would adequately solve their personal problem with a whiff of smoke; and the ones who squeal at any mention of an amendment because they know very well that pubs which allowed smoking would be immensely popular. In short, the ones who proudly shout "me. Me! ME!".
And here is Smokefree South West desperately hoping that their 'voluntary ban' - for which there is no valid reason except spite - will empower this type of rancid, self-centred, anti-social tosspot to approach strangers and nag them.
Or, some of them, at least. Because you know very well how this will work. If you're built like a brick outhouse and ignore the ban, you'll be subjected to a pathetic fake cough in passing and a deliberate avoidance of eye contact just in case you decide to ask what their problem is. Whereas if you're visibly poor, shabbily dressed, a woman - preferably vulnerable and/or pregnant - or an eight stone weakling, your experience of the ban will be a strident hectoring from someone with a superiority complex who would have multiple orgasms if they could make you cry.
Considering how 'public health' like to talk about protecting the weak and vulnerable, it's ironic that it is the weak and vulnerable who are going to be most bullied by Smokefree South West "giving confidence" to the interfering arseholes in Bristol society.
Of course, if I'm wrong and one of these judgemental self-installed tobacco policemen decides to impose themselves on someone who can give as good as they get, Bristol's 'ban' invites plenty of scope for violence. Good old tobacco control, eh? Still fostering discord where once there was tolerance and harmony. But what does that matter? Fiona and her pals have to continue to justify getting paid from our taxes somehow.
I've never been to Bristol, never really attracted me. But I quite fancy going there for a smoke at some point in the future now.