Thursday, July 05, 2007

hypocritical bastards

My name is Trixy and I enjoy smoking. I like having a wee ciggy when I'm having a drink, or after a meal, or when I'm thinking about what to write, or when I'm bored waiting at a bus stop, get the idea.

And now, thanks to this government, I can't enjoy it like I used to. Because Auntie Patsy decided she knew best, and we were going to ban smoking everywhere. Even if the landlord of a pub wanted it to be a smoking pub, or it was a private members club. No, you can't have a cigarette. oh, by all means go and drink yourself into a stupor and end up in casualty (I was in casualty on Saturday night and saw quite a lot of evidence of this) or mug an old lady and get a slap on the wrist. But smoking! Gasp!

Those MPs who voted this through really piss me off. And I'm not even sure any other party in Westminster would overturn the ban, either. Which is another reason why I'm glad I'm with UKIP. You see, it's not a question of whether smoking is bad, it's about civil liberties. First it was hunting, now smoking. What next? No having any bloody fun? We'll have to start off with some kind of 'day' first: no having any bloody fun day, then 'no having any fun' sections of pubs and restaurants, then a ban. Miserable bastards that they are. So imagine my disgust when, having been in 2 pubs and the Houses of Parliament today, I read this on the BBC:

MPs have been accused of flouting the smoking ban - and even sneaking cigarettes in the Commons toilets.
If I see anyone who voted for the smoking ban having a ciggy in the loo I am going to tar and feather them. And then steal their cigarettes.

she (Harriet Harperson) had been pleased to see "smoke enforcement officers in high visibility jackets" on her way into the Commons, which showed the ban was in operation elsewhere.


hillary said...

Hi, I just randomly came across your blog. I just wanted you to know that I understand your frustration... But let me just share another thought. I'm currently undergoing months of chemotherapy for leukemia. I'm 31. Almost everyday, I sit in the hospital for hours with other cancer patients undergoing chemo. I have no idea why I got leukemia, nor do my doctors. Sometimes it's just an "unlucky" thing, they say. It's different for lung cancer. Kids who are exposed to secondhand smoke actually 2x as likely to be hospitalized for respiratory illness. I'm not sure what the increase is in the likelyhood of lung cancer, but I think we can assume it's a lot higher.
I am all for the right to live/eat/do whatever we want. But smoking is tricky -- we just don't have the right to pollute other people's air. I guess this rings truer to me now that I see the horrible effects.

Trixy said...

Hi Hillary,

I hope you get better! My cousin had to have chemo and it was just awful.

On the children breathing smoke in, here's the point I would make. Isn't it better that people who smoke can go to a pub where the landlords don't mind them smoking than, say, parents smoking at home around children? Children aren't allowed in pubs so pushing smokers out of pubs into areas where children are allowed seems a silly idea to me.

Lots of things are bad for us, but it's up to us to make a choice. Personally, I think the NHS should be some employment based private health care so people have the added incentive not to smoke, or pay the bigger bill if they do. But it's not the role of the state to tell me what I can and cannot consume.


Chris said...

I totally agree with people's right to choose. But, as a non-smoker with an 'allergy to smoke' problem, what do I do if I choose to go to my 'local', sit as far away as I can from those smokers that I can see, but then someone comes in and lights up right next to me? Do I give up and go home? Do go on a pub crawl 'til I find one full of non-smokers? Same applies to restaurants. I could choose a restaurant to go to but I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't be seated near someone who lit up between each course. And, yes, there were 'no smoking' areas but unless the air conditioning was really good smoke drifts.

Don't know a good resolution to the problem because I'm all for people being free to live their lives as they choose. But neither do I like having my freedoms compromised.

Realpolitik said...

Personally I would have preferred a licensing system ie. include smoking in the alcohol/dancing/music licence that they already have to apply for every year anyway. That way we might have got a mixture of smoking and non-smoking venues.

I saw one of the non-smoking signs (which are legally required although often unnecessary) at a bus stop which does seem particularly unfair.

And then there is all the advertising both by central government and now local councils as well which is all paid for by the taxpayer despite the fact that this has been one of the most publicised pieces of legislation in years and, oh yes, we've got the signs everywhere as well, haven't we?

Vindico said...

It is a liberty issue fundamentally. The old "my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins" applies to smoking as one persons smoke affects me breathing it in. However where should be balance be struck? I think allowing the establishment to choose to either allow or ban smoking should be the 'decision making unit'.

Lord Straf-Dresden said...

Funny you should write "hypocritical bastards" when those are the exact words I wrote on the same issue elsewhere not ten minutes ago.