Sunday 3 December 2017

Utter Waste Of Public Money

Just a quick one this. Let's lay to rest an inane argument that keeps repeating itself in ignorant comments sections and social media and has done for years.

On Friday, Mark Pawsey MP wrote an article on Con Home to say that vaping should be supported by government. As I was reading it, I just knew that someone would react like this ... and in fact three did in the comments.
"If this is the best thing you have to occupy your thought processes then I feel sorry for you. Its a trivial matter, compared to many big issues where the country is so obviously doing badly." 
"All-Parliamentary Group for e-cigarettes? You couldn't make it up." 
"complete and utter waste of public money wasting time on stuff like this"
Now, these dismissive arguments have cropped up for years when anyone discusses relaxing restrictions or de-regulating on lifestyle issues. For example, in 2010 when David Nuttall presented a ten minute rule bill on amending the smoking ban, the coverage was besieged by those who said he was wasting parliamentary time.

I don't remember anyone saying the same when the Health Bill 2006 was being debated in parliament. The triumphal response afterwards was that this was one of the most amazing and important things ever to have happened to the country, a massive watershed moment. I also don't remember anyone saying that the EU was wasting their time and taxpayers' money by spending two years debating how big the size of an e-liquid bottle should be.

Nor do you see many people ridiculing the government for spending its time on the pressing issue of people enjoying a Coca-Cola, or on debating exactly how far a kebab shop should be from a school. It seems to be vitally important when the ratchet is being tightened. 

But once the rules are in place and you talk about changing them, all of a sudden it's a waste of time. Something serious politicians shouldn't even lower themselves to contemplate.

See, I could agree with those who argue this if they also said that politicians shouldn't even be considering regulations on private choices and laws on what goes on in private property. But they don't. And all the while our elected reps think it's important to tell us what we should and shouldn't consume by way of legislation, it's perfectly bloody reasonable that they should also be considering that the rules could be changed for the better afterwards.

We didn't ask for these things to be included in politics, daft politicians led by the nose by state-funded troughers did that. Therefore these issues are absolutely part of politics. Saying otherwise is just a nonsense. 

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