Monday 18 April 2016

Fat Budgets And Fake Friends

Next time you hear some local authority rubber band-flicker whining about how government 'cuts' are slashing their resources to the bare bones, remind yourself of this.

Via Taking Liberties, it seems that despite 'savage' austerity measures, Aberdeenshire Council still has a budget fat enough to come up with sinister, absurd and utterly pointless new policies like this.
A Scottish council is looking to ban people from smoking in their own vehicles if they are on local authority land. 
Aberdeenshire Council has drafted a revised smoking policy that aims to ensure non-puffers are prevented from inhaling toxic tobacco fumes in car parks. 
Under the proposed new rules, smoking - including electronic vaporizers or 'e-cigs' - will face a blanket ban on any premises or site owned by the council even if someone lights up in a private vehicle.
Now, this isn't a reaction to public demand. Have you heard of any grassroots campaign to prohibit smoking in private vehicles in car parks? No, nor me. I'm pretty sure no-one has ever demanded that anywhere - let alone in Aberdeenshire - so why the need to waste taxpayers' money on such a stupid piece of illiberal and unenforceable garbage? Especially since if there was any call whatsoever for such a policy it would have originated from one of the tax-sponging sock puppet bullies in the bloated, anti-social and entirely wasteful tobacco control industry.

No, this is just a bunch of state-funded troughers sitting around trying to dream up something - anything, however flimsy the justification - to keep themselves on the tax-funded gravy train.

They are quite literally collectively pissing your taxes down the drain and then squealing that government is really mean for making cuts. Well of course cuts are urgently necessary if there is still enough in their coffers to pay for egregious lunacy like this.

And it is lunacy, as I explained early last year regarding a similar proposal.
The move – which has been introduced as part of plan to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034 – also bans patients and staff from smoking in their cars on hospital ­property.
For the education of any bemused alien life forms who might be scanning our internet, these are cars which are allowed on NHS property.

And this is a cigarette - which is banned for polluting the lungs of hospital visitors - being smoked ... in a car. I've highlighted it in red in case you can't see it.

Turn the spaceships round, fellas, we're not worth conquering, believe me.
It's also worth remembering what ASH Scotland's Sheila Duffy said about that policy at the time, too.
Ms Duffy said: “We want people to understand why the policy is there in the first place. At the moment, seeing smokers is a part of life but that is changing. 
“It is not a habit that smokers want for their children. 
“The aim is to put it out of fashion for the next generation and send a clear message that smoking is incompatible with health.”
This is Sheila Duffy, of the supposedly vape-friendly ASH Scotland, by the way. The same ASH Scotland which gave the Press and Journal's version of this story top billing in their daily bulletin today despite e-cigs being included in the 'ban'.

It's interesting that Simon Clark states that he was approached for a quote on Friday, so you'd have to assume Sheila Duffy and ASH Scotland were well aware of the story too. Yet they have been studiously silent on the matter despite it being reported in the Scottish Daily Mail, The Press and Journal, the Evening Express and The Herald. A very strange thing for an organisation solely paid to talking about smoking to do, don't you think?

Just like their equally insipid and manipulative pretend 'vape-friendly' colleagues in ASH London and ASH Wales, they sit idly by as another ban is inflicted on e-cigs. The only difference is that they didn't actively applaud this policy like ASH and their Welsh equivalent did.

So, considering the silence, we must assume that condemning bans on e-cig use is so very difficult for ASH Scotland that they are content with sacrificing vaping for the greater good, and have learned just to stay silent instead.

Or perhaps, to paraphrase Duffy's justification for outdoor smoking bans, she quietly believes e-cigs should be included in bans. Maybe she thinks that:
"We want people to understand why the policy is there in the first place. At the moment, seeing vapers is a part of life but that needs to change.  
“It is not a habit that vapers want for their children. 
"The aim is to put it out of fashion for the next generation and send a clear message that vaping is incompatible with car parks."
Perhaps someone might like to ask ASH Scotland precisely why their claimed support for harm reduction doesn't extend to actually doing anything about it ... rather like ASH and ASH Wales, in fact.

In the meantime, can we have more austerity please George? There is quite clearly still billions of pounds of irrelevant state-funded flab to be cut. As well as socially-damaging - and selectively indolent - sock puppet fake charity tax-spongers, it appears quite a few highly-paid pen-pushers in Aberdeenshire Council are also long overdue their P45s on this showing.

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