Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Won't Somone Think of The Children?

I see that the anti fag Gestapo are continuing their campaign against smoking, invoking the time honoured phrase of Nanny:

"Won't someone think of the children?"

It should not be forgotten (but I suspect is not that well known) that Nanny many moons ago made it a stipulation of all her ministers, and acolytes, that all policies have to be "child focused".

Hardly a recipe for intelligent policies, as we live in an adult world not Neverland!

Anyhoo back to the plot...Professor Terence Stephenson, head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has called for smoking in cars when children are passengers to be banned.

All very nice, maybe, but how would he enforce such a law?

Will police and council snoops be given powers to fine and/or arrest car smokers?

Were this law to be passed, the next target on Nanny's anti fag list would be people who smoke at home with children.

The fines would be replaced by what Nanny really wants, the power to take children away from their parents. The state, as we "know", is far better at looking after children than their natural parents.

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  1. Number 63:52 PM

    They will soon have the telescreens in every house. Nothing to hide nothing to fear, citizen. Vir Zind Neu Labour your ID cards please.

  2. I will confess to being an anti-smoking nazi. If you were to drop nicotine and arsenic into your child's food and slowly poison them that way you would (quite rightly if caught) be arrested and charged. And likely spend 4 days in jail the way the system currently works.

    But because you're doing it in an airborne manner from which the government makes a nice big tax bonus, it's fine and dandy.

    I agree - it's virtually impossible to police. It should be common sense not to smoke around children. However, anyone who smokes - in my mind - doesn' have common sense. After all, can anyone give me any *benefits* to it?

  3. Mosher - I enjoy it. Simple as.

  4. bts - and you're allowed to. I just (and I'm not having a personal go at you) don't see why everyone in the surrounding area while you're doing it has to "enjoy" it as well. Yup, I'm one of those that jumped for joy when the smoking ban was introduced as it meant I could go out for the night and not stink when I got home, and spend the next morning coughing.

    You can't get passively drunk. Or passively pass on cirrhosis of the liver. However you *can* pass on diseases to those around you by smoking. It's horrifically antisocial, and yet was tolerated for so many years predominantly - I'm sure - because of the vast amounts of tax involved.

    People "enjoy" coke, speed, meth and the like as well. Should they also be allowed to? And in public? In front of their kids?

    Some people enjoy masturbation. Again, should they be allowed to crack one off in a public park? After all, nobody's going to catch anything from seeing it.

    Of course not. It's socially unacceptable, and rightly so. I just feel - personally - smoking should be down in that category. Something you should be entitled to enjoy, if such is your choice, in private where you can't inflict it on someone else. Especially kids.

    Hope that didn't sound *too* much like a rant. It seems quite reasonable to me.

  5. The government is trying slowly to ban it but haven't worked out how to make up the lost income from the damn taxes they get.

    I don't necessarily think that kids should be exposed to it but I really do hate the creeping slow way they are doing it.

    They should have come out when they banned it in public places last july (or the year before, whenever it was) and said "Its not acceptable. Anywhere. Stop it."

    Stop sitting on the damn fence and do it. they are just far too scared of the outcry if they actually did it.

    (for reference I did grow up with parents that smoked and only smoked myself very occasionally socially in my early 20's - normally well drunk)

  6. Mosher - as for health benefits:

    Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome can actually decrease their symptoms by smoking very lightly.

    I also had allergic rhinitis when I was a kid and was perfectly fine UNTIL I moved out to my own place. I had no idea until then that I even had it.

    My specialist told me that the smoking had actually been controling it all the time. He said it wasn't the best thing to do but admitted that he hadn't ever seen an actual medical solution that worked as well as passive smoking did and had seen the same result as mine quite a few times.

  7. EN - a guy I used to work with told me something similar about some serious condition "appearing" when he quit smoking. His doctor gave him the same advice.

    As for fence-sitting, this *is* the Labour government we're talking about. If there's one thing they *are* good at, that's it. They simply won't legislate strongly one way or the other in case they offend anyone. After all, they don't give a crap about achieving anything - they just want to ensure they get enough votes for another four years.

    Thankfully something they appear to have finally screwed up beyond all repair.

  8. Grant1:24 AM

    I have been saying for some time that Oz is well ahead of us in the race to see who can introduce the most draconian social rules without actually adopting some of the more extreme 'moral' standpoints found in other parts of the world.

    The problem one might have with Mosher's position is that now he and his like minded chums can go out and enjoy a smoke free evening they are not doing so in enough numbers to keep the more social premises (pubs) open. So net no gain unless they want to frequent vomit shops and drug dens.

    Such is the nature of the unexpected consequence. No doubt there will be many more are our 'leaders' focus their and our concern on our personal welfare and distract us from piffling things like, er, expenses claims.

    So, what next. I suspect the 3 F's.

    Fat, Fornication and Freedom. The things that help dictators, whether individual or groups, to keep the masses cowed.

    Personally I would like to see just 2 Fs - Fraud and Football - but I doubt anyone will go for those.

    As for the children - it's odd what the public can be wound up about with a bit of careful propaganda. For example how do the child health risks so assiduously targeted by the road safety and anti smoking lobbies stack up against, say, military deaths of young persons serving in Iraq or Afghanistan?

    How does the unproven claim of, for example, second hand smoke risk compare with the risk of being blown up in an overly expensive but totally unsuitable military vehicle? And why are our politicians, who allegedly make the decisions about which distant fights to pursue and and have responsibility for procuring the equipment to prosecute them, not subject to continual investigation for their lack of oversight and predilection for deliberately exposing their charges to clear an ever present danger?

    Rhetorical questions of course, I think we all know why.

    Following on from Mosher's point about the 'benefits' of actions being a reasonable arbiter of whether they should be controlled (not written in so many words but that would be a logical point to consider), how many of our activities could be said to have a clear benefit with no negatives?

    Let's consider a few activities that have disproportionately high personal risk - or so we are guided by the statistics.

    Horse Riding - dangerous and pointless.

    Rock/Mountain Climbing. Completely pointless.

    Mountain Biking. Dangerous and only undertaken 'because people can'.

    Skiing. OK for Austrians and the Swiss and acceptable for people who insist on wintering in high mountains (though one wonders if that should be allowed ...) but pointless for anyone else. Skiing holidays should be banned.

    'Travelling' for pleasure, especially to far flung parts of the planet or places like Mexico. Needless and pointless. A direct ban would be so much more effective than attempts to limit the activity by creating world recession, announcing health pandemics or trying to force airlines out of business.

    I could go on but I think most people will get my drift.

  9. Ooh, debate :)

    Grant, you ignore one of my other points (but counter well on others) - smoking harms those immediately surrounding you. Yes, I can now go out and enjoy a smell-free evening in a restaurant or pub. Believe me, you notice how *great* this is when you go to a country where such laws aren't in force - and I travel a lot.

    Oz was crap at introducing their smoking ban, though it seems to have taken hold "properly" in recent months. France was the same. At least when England *finally* got round to doing it after the government decided it had to take a side at least it was put into place firmly and, yes perhaps, draconianly (I may have just made that word up).

    On thing I do agree with is the downturn in people going to pubs and the effect this is having on business. However, as usual, we have two sets of "statistics". Some saying it's made no difference, and some saying that it's causing the death of the public house as a whole. Which do you believe? Given the current economic climate, how many pubs have died due to the smoking ban and now many because people don't have the cash to go out? If you head out on a weekend, does the town look any *less* busy than it ever was?

    Given the huge crowds of people I see outdoors smoking, I don't think it's made much difference in a lot of places. Precisely no pubs I can spot in any of the areas I've been through have closed since the ban, or at least no more than I'm used to seeing as the businesses "churn" over. Though this is a small number of the premises across the nation as a whole.

    As for your "these are dangerous, ban them" arguments, you miss the point I made about them being dangerous not just to the person doing them but to those around them. Your "ban horseriding" argument would go alongside "ban cars and knives".

    I'd say "ban horseriding at speed through crowded shopping centres" because you risk ploughing into a group of people and hurting them. In much the same way that I'd say "don't smoke in a restaurant around a group of non-smokers".

    Conversely, I'd say "ride a horse in an environment where it's suitable like a big field in the country". Somewhere, coincidentally, it's still legal and acceptable to smoke.

    Likewise winter sports. They're risky, but people taking to the slopes accept the risk and - here's another point - to a large extent have insurance to cover their injuries. How many smokers pay a tax that covers their costs? I'm not certain of the exact figures but I'm pretty certain that skiiers cover their NHS costs whereas smokers - it has been claimed recently - do not. And, yes, I'm taking into account the tax on a pack of fags. Apparently this still doesn't cover the cost of treating smoking-related diseases in hospitals.

    Recent campaigns have hinged around "don't think of yourself - think of those you'll leave behind". Liam Neeson and Mrs Christopher Reeves know that snowboarding and horse-riding can take your loved ones from you. But it's *far* less likely than with smoking. Every time you smoke - or breathe smoke on someone else - you're risking triggering some nasty disease. Just as every time you get on a horse, you're risking being thrown and so on.

    However, and again I have no figures but I'd be genuinely interested in seeing them regardless of whether they support me or you, I'd love to know the proportion of horse riders who end up losing their life as a result of their hobby, compared to smokers who die from smoking-related issues.


  10. (continued from above - never had a comment "too long" before!)

    But to bring in my original issue, how many people in the audience and staff at horsey events suffer from their equestrian activities compared to those with diseases from working in smoky pubs?

    Oh, and don't even start on foreign travelling. Yes, people get hurt and injured but the benefits of visiting foreign countries are many-fold. You simply can't compare that with smoking (see "banning cars and knives") and any health-related downsides (such as having to go to bas where there is no smoking ban!) vastly outweigh the educational and social benefits. You're comparing apples and space shuttles with that one.

    Grant, I'm not "arguing" any of your points. I'm just giving the other side of the argument. I happen to believe firmly in mine as you do yours. Smoking is selfish. Smoking around other people is very selfish. Smoking in an enclosed area around children is a horrifically selfish thing to do. This was the original point of the argument and I can't understand anyone who would argue *that*.

  11. Anonymous10:04 AM

    To Mosher
    Spewing authoritarian drivel on the internet is selfish. Doing it anywhere near me is horribly selfish. Get a life.

  12. Anon - selfish in what way? Demanding that I revoke my right to free speech strikes me as a somewhat selfish attitude also.

  13. This "law" will be as unenforceable as the so-called ban on mobile phones while driving. But getting back to the real topic.. surely the contents of the vehicle exhaust fumes are more dangerous than ciggy smoke?

  14. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Horse riding is fun! Albeit I have hurt myself a few times, but once mended I am straight back on again, although with my advancing age I do sometimes wonder why - but the thrill takes hold and I am seduced by the lure of the equine *rubs aching back and makes another appointment for a massage*

  15. Anonymous11:48 AM


    We'lle do a deal.
    You stop me doing what I lke
    I will stop you doing what you
    like doing
    Just because you cant maintain
    normal relationships with your
    fellow humans, why spill out a
    load of pap against smokers

    Hope you dont have a car

  16. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Of course, the WHO report (commissioned over 17 years) that concluded that children of smokers were 17% less likely to develop smoking related diseases in later life has convienently been buried.

    I emailed my MP about this some time ago and was told that 17% was not statistically significant.

    Mosher: if you did drop nicotine and arsenic into a child's food, do you not think that their immune system would develop an immunity to these drugs?

  17. death to false metal12:25 PM

    Mosher-"How many smokers pay a tax that covers their costs?"

    well i just looked up some figures on the net and it is estimated that smokers cost the NHS 5.17 billion quid in 2005/06.


    total tax from tobacco for the year 2005/06 was 9.8 billion quid.


    so i guess smokers are paying for themselves and a few skiers as well

  18. Anonymous12:29 PM

    "Given the current economic climate, how many pubs have died due to the smoking ban and now many because people don't have the cash to go out? If you head out on a weekend, does the town look any *less* busy than it ever was?"

    A quick look at Greene King and Wetherspoon share prices the week after the ban was introduced will answer your questions effectively I think.

    The price of beer has never stopped people going to pubs - the huge gap in the prices between supermarkets and/or black market and pubs have never effected the numbers of people visiting pubs.

    By the same token, the cost of a packet of cigarrettes has never effected the amount of people buying them.

    The moment a smoking ban was bought into pubs, the numbers started to dwindle almost immediatly, despite it being introduced in the summer months in a cynical attempt to postpone the effect.

    I notice that if one firm (LDV) lays off 800 people it's big front page news.

    The fact that the pub trade lays off 800 people per week, seems to be acceptable.

    In Ohio, they abolished their ban as it was destroying their bars. Three weeks later, their bars are once again healthy businesses.

    To claim that the smoking ban has had no effect is blatent new-liebour lies.

    FYI: I do not smoke, but DO visit pubs, however, not as much as I used to as the people I used to enjoy socialising with no longer go as frequently as they once did - why, because they cannot smoke in comfort.

    Pubs are for 'grown-ups', you know, those people that do not need to be told what to do all the time. They are a place to kick back and call-the-odds. Swear, drink, smoke and relax.

    Despite the French being born with a Camel fag in their mouth, eating more butter than anyone on the planet and drinking a decent amount of wine - they also live longer than any other nation on the planet.

    Ban all you like - it will make no difference.

    Incidently, I am pleased to see some of the rural, village pubs that I frequent doing much better financially since they decided to flout the ban.

  19. Anon - don't you think that it'd be a bit of an extreme experiment to attempt? Although it is a point. However, have we developed a resistance to cancer as a result of smoking? Your 17% could be onto something...

    Socrates - who's stopping you doing what you want? Have I during the course of this series of comments actually stopped you doing anything? Methinks you're just a little annoyed that Nanny has stopped you smoking in the pub.

    I'm also curious to know the basis for your assumption of my inability to have a "normal relationship". Given that you actually don't know me and the only experience you have of me is over a subject that we both seem to have passionate viewpoints on. Thing is, it seems I can handle you having an opposing opinion. You, on the other hand, seem to be freaking out. I'd therefore put it that you may be the one with issues.

    I'm not going to apologise for having an opinion, nor for expressing it. Last time I checked this was allowed in this country and many others. Perhaps you'd prefer a holiday in Tehran? I believe smoking's permitted there.

  20. d-t-f-m (great name, btw) - thanks for the figures. I believe I recently read, and I mean *recently*, in the news that the tax generated from tobacco sales was outstripping the cost of hospital treatment for smoking-related illnesses.

    I guess this is another of those statistic / figures anomolies where someone is always going to come up with numbers that fit their own viewpoint.

    Anon - I take your point with the 800 jobs / 800 jobs. I think the issue there is the same as publishing details of accidents - 650 car crashes resulting in a total of 800 deaths will make the relevant local papers. Three plane crashed resulting in a total of 800 will make international headlines.

    I'd also say that the week after the ban was imposed was going to be a bad time to look at the share prices as people would - at that point - be more likely to refuse to go out.

    Again, I've no figures to back this up (and I don't trust them anyway for reasons above) but I'd guess that trade may have returned and stabilised some time later once people realised they could still go out and enjoy themselves.

    Mind, I'm curious to know why this subject has raised *so much* ire. Seriously - for having an opinion about something that's categorically regarded as harmful I'm being pilloried and classed as a Nazi.

    *shrug* Maybe you lot should pop outside into the rain and have a fag and calm down.

  21. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Mosher - the share price has continued to drop from that point - I didn't just look at one week.

  22. Anon - *nod* Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    And look. I didn't bite your head off for proving me wrong :)

  23. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Mosher, it raises *so much* ire, simply because the ban, whilst being draconian at best, is also based on lies and misinformation.

    The studies [on the effects of so-called passive smoking] that are quoted by the government were funded by the government and have since proven to be a complete crock of horse-shite, yet the result of relying on this information is still in place.

    Secondly, this raises peoples anger because of all those that claimed "oh, good, once the ban comes in I'll be able to visit the pub once again and I won't smell of smoke".

    Of course, those people didn't go to the pub, NOT because they didn't like the smoke, it was because they were unsociable bastards who wouldn't have gone to a pub if it the was the last refuge from the four horsemen of the apocalypse; as can be proven by the fact that they are not there now.

    So, they succeeded in getting smoking banned from pubs (and public places) on spurious grounds whilst claiming to replace one sector of people with another (smokers with non-smokers) then failed to keep their end of the bargain resulting in the pubs being closed down and depriving those of us that had no problem with smoking in pubs from being able to go to one.

    Couple that with the fact that the government claim the ban as a success (which I suppose it was, if their aim was to close down drinking establishements - maybe the owner of Wetherspoons upset Blair one day at a piss-up, who knows?), and also claim that people who work in pubs are now healthier (despite non-government funded research pointing out the opposite - I mean, how many smokers have been outside having a fag with the barman/girl?).

    It's the lies to cover up their disasterous ban whilst ignoring the very real problems it has caused, that riles people.

    That, Sir, in a nutshell is why it makes people angry.

  24. Hey Anon - and thank you for a well-reasoned rant without getting personal.

    You are, however, generalising in the same way I have been. You are correct that numbers must have dropped at pubs. To blame every single non-smoker for that, though, is unfair and incorrect.

    I don't smoke. I didn't stop going to pubs as a result of smoke there, but didn't go as often as I would otherwise have done so. That has changed. I do visit more.

    I also know many smokers (including my mother) who prefer the ban. It's helped them reduce the amount of smoking they themselves do.

    So while overall changes have been noticed, don't blame *every* non-smoker. Why don't you blame the smokers who are refusing to go as they're not allowed to smoke? If so many people can handle popping into the beer garden or outside the front door for a fag, what's wrong with the rest of them? It's as much *their* fault as it is the "we'll go if you ban it" brigade, surely?

    Let's get onto draconian. Yup, I will tend to agree with you that an outright ban on something that so many class as a "right" is pretty harsh. However, I don't recall seeing any reports stating that passive smoking doesn't pose risks. Were these reports funded by the tobacco manufacturers, by any chance?

    Think about it. If health wasn't an issue, then why ban it? It's a lucrative source of income for the government - the tax on cigs *and* booze. Why on earth would they try to prevent the former if it's not in the public good from a health point of good? This is a genuine question - I can think of no other reason.

    There will *always* be two sides to a story. Especially one as "ire-raising" and economically as important as banning smoking.

    And again (maybe - there are a lot of Anons on here) I thank you for your strong response which I appreciate you fully believe in. Just as I believe in mine.

  25. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Yes - you are quite right - I did generalise there, and for that I am suitably embarrassed ;-)

    It's a very good point as to why I don't blame the smokers who refuse to go, rather than the non-smokers who continue not to go.

    However, it must be said, that smokers (not all of course) said that they would no longer visit pubs if they couldn't smoke, and non-smokers in their droves (there's a Facebook group left over from before the ban with thousands of non-smokers) claiming that it would allow them to visit pubs again.

    Most smokers HAVE stayed away - hence the dwindling numbers - most non-smokers have also stayed away, breaking their promise.

    Of course, this is generalising again, and there are many factors that have contributed to the downfall of the local pub, although I believe that the downfall started with the ban.

    Many people would put up with the high prices and price gap for the convienience of visiting friends in a local, central place.

    Now, I hear cries of "what's the point - it's cheaper to stay at home, and I can smoke when I want to, plus, so-and-so won't be there because he never comes out any more." etc....

    Of course, the raising of the entertainments licence by ten-fold cannot have helped much either - couple that with the introduction of the draconian measures public houses - and musicians - now have to go through to play, they have effectively banned live music as well - an entertainment known to drag people into pubs. If you add in the fact that even duos, band of two members, who previously did not need the place to be licenced for entertainment, if they use a computer or recording to playh along to, now need a licence as the machine is now deemed as a 'performer'.

    The reports that I had read were funded by the WHO - so no, in this instance the tobacco companies were not involved.

    I too have wracked my brains to find an answer to the 'why ban it?' question.

    Clearly to a reasonable person, a ban on smoking in a pub is not going to create any real, noticable health benefits. Smoking IS the curse of the lower classes - all statistics (if you believe such things) point to this being the case.

    Most bar workers are hardly at the top of the societical ladder, and an awful lot smoke and were against the ban - the very people it was purported to help.

    It's odd, but it may be something as simple as Blair having a bee in his bonnet about his mother-in-law dying of lung cancer.

    I don't know the answer, although I do know that this must have impacted the amount of taxes flooding through the door - in cigarettes (maybe) and tax revenue from pubs and clubs - and that may be an indirect cause for taxes rising everywhere else.

    However you look at it - smoking ban or not, this government has a bee in it's bonnet about pubs - these measures (and there are many more not mentioned here) can only have been by design - and designed to destroy the pub trade.

  26. Anon - the entertainment thing's been going back longer than that. I recall one pub in Newcastle having to stop people dancing to music as they only had a license for a DJ to play... not for people to have an accompanying jig. That one's definitely pre-Blair!

    I will confess that part of my reasoning for the ban is also personal. But then, aren't most people's opinions and reasons for forming them such?

    While I was a student and for some time after I was a pub worker (while also holding down two other jobs). I loved working in the pub - except for the smoke. It stank and it gave me problems with my eyes and my breathing. I also have several relatives who've died of smoking-related diseased (most themselves smokers, others married to smokers).

    The other thing you have to bear in mind is that we're not the only country to initiate a ban. Blair will have had naff all to do with Eire and they did it before we did. I've visited Ireland and the pub culture there is very much alive. Pubs are busy and buzzing, they're a social hub in the way that only village pubs seem to be in England.

    This despite their ban which *is* enforced.

    I enjoy going to the pub and I enjoy travelling. But much as it may be part of the "character" of a drinking hole, one thing that continues to put me off having an indoor beer in some countries is the smoking. Budapest is an example - superb, gorgeous, underground hovels... with low ceilings and hardly any clean air! (IMHO, again, as ever).

    So what's the difference between the English and the Irish? I know they (the Celts) complained pre-ban about pubs closing as well, but my personal experience says this has had no obvious effect. Likewise I can't see a change in Scotland. I've barely been in England since the ban, in honesty (I'm currently north of the border).

    Oh, incidentally, the WHO also recommends that mosquito nets are used to protect children against Dengue Fever. And malaria. Despite the fact that the relevant mosquitoes are active during the day and the night respectively. Essentially they're telling Cambodians to keep their children inside a net 24 hours a day rather than issue inoculations. As such I tend to take WHO studies with a pinch of salt ;)

  27. Tonk.7:13 PM

    Although a non smoker myself, I would have prefered a ban on children in pubs as used to be the case.....In general terms, it tends to be the chavs that take their children to public houses and allow them to run around and create havoc and woe be tied anyone that says anything to them, especially after the brain dead tattoed father has had a few drinks!!

  28. Whoa,

    Don't visit for 24hours and look what happens ....

    Mosher, most of the points to make in response to my earlier post have already been subsequently covered in some detail, in so far as they can be covered. A bit like MP's expenses, all reports will have sections that either don;t make it into print or are 'blanked out' in one way or another. I have come to the conclusion that none are reliable in the modern age because so many people are inclined to push their personal beliefs ahead of studied facts. Whatever 'facts' are.

    As for the 'third party effect', being absent from horse riding or mountain climbing or skiing - not so in my view. There is always risk to someone. The horse rider often employs someone at a stables to look often their mount - that person is at risk form the horse and the activities they perform around the horse. Mountain Rescue teams put themselves at risk every time they are called out. Skiers have been known to crash into other skiers causing injury and death. And they potentially cause risk for rescue teams.

    If for a moment we absolutely accept the SHS risk exists as promoted then we might conclude that the absolute risk of harm from all these activities is quite similar even if the nature of the harm is different. One might also think them to be selfish activities since none of them has any direct purpose in the modern world for the majority of the participants.

    The nature of the acquiescence of the the populace to the acceptance of bans will almost certainly be a tendency for them to greater acceptance of bans that very widely in their objectives. So when a 'leader' emerges who dislikes, say, Baked Beans, people will simply allow Baked Beans to be banned on health grounds (too much salt/sugar/whatever) and or ecological grounds (too much greenhouse gas produced/poor use of packaging/whatever) without a thought. ("Our leaders say they are BAD so it must be so".)

    If you ever see this happening be very worried. Even when in support of our pet loves or pet issues that we would would like see addressed, such as SHS in your case - not sure what it would be in mine, no politician of any sort should be trusted. To make the connection, as you did a post or two above, between political decisions being made and them being in the interests of the populace to which they will be applied is, in my view, a most dangerous assumption. (That is my most polite description of the statement.)

    I suspect you feel the same way but it suited the discussion point at that time to suggest that Nanny and her minions are 'absolutely clear' that they have our best interests at heart. When they say that they are either lying or delusional since they should know that with diversity, even the smallest amount, comes the impossibility of being a kindly overlord to all. Not that I imagine for one second that they would wish to be cast in that role other than for publicity purposes.


  29. (cont'd)

    It would not surprise me to see the constant Nannying, delivered by nearly all 'First World' politicians these days, lead to the dismantling of the First World we know with the wreck being re-absorbed into the second and third worlds along with their underpinning cultures and attitudes.

    I doubt the children and grandchildren that we are so often instructed to think about will thank us for that. Unless of course History is re-written or eliminated in the intervening period or perhaps just never taught.

    I heard a story last night related, iirc, to a quiz night, where a young person (late teens or early 20s) was asked questions they were unable to answer.

    Apparently, and assuming they were not playing dumb, they had no idea who Adolf Hitler was, who the British Prime Minister is or even the name of one of the Beatles for a question related to the celebrity of one of the Beatle's offspring (i.e. something vaguely current in the celebrity culture that might be of interest to them.) These were, apparently, not the only example of general ignorance. If enough of that age group are in that state it won't be long before Nanny can do anything she wants and nobody will know enough to raise an objection.

    In the land of the blind ...

  30. death to false metal3:13 PM

    How many parents do smoke in the car with thier chidren? Does opening the window make a difference.

    What we have here is another case of the state mistrusting parents to know what is good for their kids.

    Personnaly when my brother brings his kids round I boot them out into the garden when i want a smoke, it gets them off my playstation and the fresh air is wasted on me anyway.

  31. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Wow - Grant!

    Fantastically put across - far more elequently than I could ever.

  32. Anonymous9:53 PM


    You start from the assumption that ETS (or SHS) causes harm to such an extent that adults should not be exposed to it. Our caring Government has, therefore, rightly banned it in adult venues and it seems only proper that children should also be protected

    Like many others, I don't believe that passive smoking harms the health of others. It might inconvenience, but that's a different ball-game. I believe that passive smoking is a ploy to denormalise active smoking which is driven by a well-organised coalition of powerful groups with various vested interests. Their power has enabled them to successfully lobby for a ban despite the evidence (epidemiological) on the dangers of passive smoking being so poor that epidemiologists who work in other areas publicly discredit it for fear that they will be tarred with the same lack of integrity.
    If you start from that standpoint then you will appreciate the ire.

    When they lobbied Westminster, ASH subsequently confessed to, in effect, conning MPs. Since the ban their demands have become ever more wild with little or no supporting evidence and a disregard of conflicting evidence. Here is a link to a short article that shows the contempt in which they're held:

    It also links to sites that contain a wealth of information about active and passive smoking.

    The war on smoking makes no sense on an economic level and it offends the generally held notion that adults in a free society should be shown the courtesy of self-determination.


  33. Jay, allow me to be devil's advocate here. I seem to be doing a good job already ;)

    1) Given that people get exposed to second hand smoke over a long period before exhibiting symptoms of anything, wouldn't the best (realistic) test be to see what happens when smoking is banned on a large scale?

    2) In fairness, haven't smokers had it their own way for a couple of hundred years, now? Regardless of the health aspect (which we and others can argue over till hell freezes over), it stinks. I don't even know any smokers who don't think so - although I expect a load on here will jump up and go "me, me".

    3) If you can argue that it's not harmful to those around you and it's not antisocial, then why haven't we legalised cannabis? Heroin? Coke? Speed? There's no passive effect from any of them and, short of driving under the influence, the chances of anyone other than the informed adult taking them dying.

    I'm being slightly flippant with the first two, but the third question is a genuine one. Why legally allow one nasty habit despite evidence (according to people on here) stating that it's not really that dangerous to those around you... and make umpteen other illegal when there's the potential for a huge amount of tax off them?

  34. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Hi Mosher -

    1. You can see right now the effects of passive smoking by witnessing the longevity of a generation that experienced prolonged exposure throughout most of their lives before smoking began to be restricted, then banned.

    2. Many people do find smoke unpleasant and I sympathise with that view but it doesn't have to be a zero sum game. Both smokers and those who dislike it can be accommodated by allowing business owners the right to decide. Although smokers are in the minority it is arguable that among non-smokers, 'anti-smokers' are also in the minority and they have no business foisting their intolerance on the majority!

    3. I think that some MPs do want illegal drugs to be legalised probably because it would control the crime associated with them. It's for that reason that MPs argue against the illegalisation of tobacco (although being cynical, I think it's more to do with loss of revenue!)

    What I find so repugnant about the current war on smoking is that the Government has, as a means of justifying the ban, encouraged people to hold smokers in utter contempt on the basis of the spin wrought by the likes of ASH. The good Professor's call to ban smoking in cars with children is based on..what? In a radio interview he admitted that he'd never suffered any ill-effects as a result of his parents smoking in the car - so why the hell is he wanting to criminalise smoking drivers?? Arnott of ASH has offered as grounds that a car is a tin box by virtue of which ETS becomes significantly more dangerous. She expects such nonsense to be taken seriously - and it probably will!

    If any other group were demonised on the basis of such drivel the Government would be outraged and I'm almost at the point of wondering if smokers have been set up as the scapegoat du jour.


  35. Mosher wrote:

    "2) In fairness, haven't smokers had it their own way for a couple of hundred years, now? Regardless of the health aspect (which we and others can argue over till hell freezes over), it stinks. "

    So there we have another benefit of smoking - you live longer.

    Why are these people not contacting the Guinness Book of Records?