Monday, 20 July 2015

Beach Bullshit

Desperate to prolong her lucratively-remunerated tax-sponging existence for a few more years, Deborah Arnott has been commenting on the absurd Brighton beach smoking ban. As justification goes, it's pretty desperate.
"A growing number of local authorities and other organisations are exploring ways of providing more smoke-free public places in response to public demand. Football grounds and railway stations are already smoke-free, and increasingly children's play areas are going smoke-free too."
Yes, do you remember those huge popular movements calling for smoking to be banned at the far end of platform 2 at Preston railway station? The huge flags football fans waved - in between hurling foul-mouthed abuse at the opposition goalie - to force the Football League to make grounds smokefree? And the national letter-writing campaign by Mumsnet to the government over playground smoking? What's that? You didn't?

Well of course not, because the railways ban was snuck in around the time of the smoking ban under a byelaw inserted by Network Rail or whoever, no public were involved. Brian Mawhinney caved in to anti-smoking lunatics to enforce an unnecessary ban at football matches which is so 'popular' that it's still causing problems in every stadium toilet in the Premiership and Football League. No-one asked for it except lobby groups like ASH and their health fascist friends. And 'voluntary' playground bans are always introduced by dickhead local councillors trying to get their daft legislation - along with a pic of their dozy mug and sad comb-over - into the local rag.

There has been no 'public demand' for any of it, unless you count the public's money that ASH uses to 'demand' bans which have fuck all to do with health.
"Smoke-free beaches could provide a safe and pleasant environment, particularly for children ..."
Beaches are already a safe and pleasant environment, Debs, this ban won't change that one iota, and you know that. Oh yeah, and no prohibitionist tobacco control industry diktat is ever complete without mentioning the children, now is it?
"... but also for adults who want to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke ..."
Which is, of course, not dangerous inside, let alone on a beach surrounded by billions of litres of constantly moving air. Again, she is well aware of this, but likes to mention it knowing that the stupid, the hideously intolerant, and the certifiably insane in society will lap it up and - respectively - believe they are about to die, make plans for beating up a smoker, or scream and rant next time they think they see anything that looks like it might be smoking. Most probably an e-cig which will inevitably also be banned to save confusion amongst the knuckle-scrapers in our midst.

Nice work, Debs, you're a huge ally to vapers and no mistake.
"... as well as reducing the amount of cigarette butt litter on beaches, which doesn't degrade quickly and is harmful to wildlife."
This, incredibly, is about the only argument which holds water. However, it is a litter problem, not a smoker problem. The answer would be to encourage smokers to dispose of butts responsibly, maybe hand out portable ashtrays or provide more bins. People leave cans, bottles and food packaging on beaches too, is Arnott really so thick and rancidly anti-enjoyment that her answer would be to ban picnics for everyone? On this evidence, apparently so. Finding solutions which preserve liberties - if that is even a consideration for ASH, that is - is difficult, you see, whereas demanding bans is simple.

Having said that, I'm glad we have yet more proof that nothing ASH does has ever had anything to do with health.


Blazeaway said...

Funny you should mention Preston as it - and Lancashire as a whole - seems to be becoming a capital of this kind of lunacy.

Last year they banned stallholders in the market from selling e-cigs.

Last month Preston City Council signed up to a £100,000 Lancashire County Council scheme to:

1. Erect 'no smoking' signs in play grounds;

2. Train park staff to approach and pester smokers and users of e-cigs;

3. The 'ban' has no standing in law - but the signs appear to suggest it has. It is to be backed up by the aforementioned park staff pestering smokers and e-cig users;

4. The £100,000 will also be spent on 'communications campaigns' ie more anti-smoker denormalisation by public employees.

The county council, which is funding part of the campaign, has recently cut support to old people, pleading shortage of cash. The county council and district councils in east Lancs spent £100,000 on a similar campaign in east Lancs last year.

Good old UKIP - they featured the waste of money in all their election literature this spring.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"Last year they banned stallholders in the market from selling e-cigs"

Jeez, just seen an article on it, unbelievable!

As is the rest, how they can plead poverty with a straight face is anyone's guess.

nisakiman said...

However, it is a litter problem, not a smoker problem. The
answer would be to encourage smokers to dispose of butts responsibly,
maybe hand out portable ashtrays or provide more bins.

I remember years ago (18 or so, well before the tsunami) when I was on holiday in Phuket, the beaches had lots of permanent beach umbrellas made of bamboo and leaves, and under each umbrella was a clay pot full of sand for people to use as an ashtray, which would be cleaned out daily. There were NO cigarette butts on the beach. And why should there be, when receptacles were provided?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Seen the same in Turkey. We're obviously not a very clever nation (or purposely vindictive, you decide).

Zarniwoop said...

Huh? Our local beach is full of dog shit abandoned fishing nets has a sewer pipe ejecting diarrheal effluent in to the bay and broken glass. It's 4 miles long and you could smoke an industrial sized hooka pipe filled with skunk and diesel oil and no one would be in half a mile down wind. I wonder when they will introduce a smoking ban there :D

Zarniwoop said...

No just violently and purposely vindictive

woodsy42 said...

I really don't understand why the cigarette companies don't make biodegradable filters (it can't be difficult) and make it known that they are degradable. It won't remove the puritanical nonsense but it would quickly and easily remove that particular litter argument

What the.... said...

As far as I’m aware, cigarette filters are biodegradable:

This would make no difference to the fanatics. The sanctimonious,
neurotic bigots were whining about cigarette butts a century ago - in
pre-filters days.


There is something a little absurd in the solemnity with which the officials of the Subway discuss the limits of their power to enforce on their patrons the degree of cleanliness required by decency and in the interest of sanitation. It is clear enough to any one that cigarettes and cigar stumps thrown in quantities on the roadbed are unwholesome and disgusting.


What the.... said...

And then there’s the “harmful to wildlife” crap. Do they mean fish? Go and ask a fisherman how many fish he thinks he will catch by
using a cigarette butt as bait on his hook? Do they mean birds? It seems that birds are able to discern cigarette butts as a non-food, albeit useful, object.

Birds and cigarette butts:

jmshigham said...

Revenue ticker over, that's all it is. More money to pay for the errors.

truckerlyn said...

I agree. What is more, there is far more litter harmful to wildlife that is around.

We frequently chuck our butts onto the garden, when we are smoking outdoors. If they were that much of a nuisance our flower beds should be at least a foot higher by now! However, each year my husband diligently digs in more horse muck.

This is just grasping at straws now by ASH. Bit like the Health & Safety brigade - the ones employed by companies, mostly, who have to keep coming up with more and more bizarre rules to justify their job and, no doubt, very large salaries!

Vinny Gracchus said...

The beach smoking bans are just another incremental step toward total prohibition. There is zero health risk from second hand smoke outdoors (actually there is essentially no risk indoors either). The antismokers are riding a wave of hysteria and forcing outdoor bans everywhere they can. Outdoor bans are the rage in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and now the UK.

It is time to tun the tide and stop the outdoor bans, seek repeal of those outdoor bans already enacted, and seek amendment of the pub bans to allow separate smoking areas. The only way to stop this ban mania is to actively fight it!

gray cooper said...

The use of tax on fake quangos doesn't give politicians any credibility.