Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Fox Hunt In The Dog & Duck

Ok, so the health nazis have managed to ban smoking in pubs. Surely we deserve a quid pro quo. After all, if being obnoxious and annoying is reason enough for prohibition, why can’t we throw them out ?

The one thing you can’t say about the smoking ban is that it’s an abuse of democracy. Democracy has always had the potential to be two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. The only twist this time is that the two wolves don’t actually eat red meat because it’s kind of unhealthy, but they want the sheep shot and roasted anyway, just in case they might want some mutton at a later date.

Speaking personally, it took me a while to work why exactly the ban on smoking on licensed premises wound me up so much. After all, it’s not as if we’re talking about the Grossly Fat Bloggers Bill (2006), so there’s absolutely no reason why I should be taking it so personally. The penny finally dropped in the run-up to the debate. More than any other, this issue has thrown into sharp relief the assumptions underlying the collectivist mindset. Normally, these people can keep a lid on their loonier aspects, but in this case, convinced they have the full support of the chattering classes, they’ve felt comfortable enough to give free reign to their nuttier impulses.

The excuse for all this is the collectivists second favourite one (behind ‘it’s for the children’), yep, elfensafety. They tried pushing the health angle to persuade smokers to quit – that failed. They tried to persuade the public that being downwind of a lit cigar would induce instant seizures – that failed. Now they’ve abandoned actual persuasion in favour of outright thuggery. Right now, they’re taking out onions for all those bar staff who are threatened by passive smoking. Never mind that the evidence for this is distinctly low-tar, even assuming that the theoretical risk from passive smoking was as dangerous as even the most fanatical of the prohibitionists claim – who cares ? Really. Consider how few people actually spend more than a few years as full-time bar staff. Consider how many are smokers themselves. But most of all consider this – just how many jobs would survive this putative ‘no risk ever’ test. That wraps it up for mining, scaffolders and farmers for sure. Salesmen, despatch riders and pizza boys are goners too. At least the government will be able to take action to protect the people statistically most likely to be assaulted in their jobs – even though I not sure how we’ll run hospitals if nurses aren’t allowed to deal with patients. Then again, it wasn’t too long ago that the same people were complaining that members of one profession weren’t taking nearly enough risks. Being pelted with bombs is one thing, but cigarette smoke – that stuff’s dangerous (although no word yet on the dangers of DIY cigarettes).

Of course, there’s the obvious point that this act offends against the basic principles on which our society is based. Security of property, free trade, self-ownership, freedom of association, presumption of liberty – y’know, the little stuff. This Act marks another turn on the ratchet. Free enterprise is being choked off in this county – that’s been true for a while but there’s something extra here. It was hinted at in the patronising drivel the prohibs came out with when it was suggested that pubs could allow smoking if no food was served. That couldn’t be allowed, said the prohibs, because these pubs tended to be in poorer areas, and you know what those people are like.

Equally, take the rhetoric about smokers themselves. Bad enough though the prohibs patronising drivel is when talking to smokers directly, there’s something truly psychotic about how some of them talk about smokers: dirty, smelly, contaminating the air for decent people. You’d be in prison for hate crimes if you talked about Islamopaths the way the prohibs talk about smokers. And no, you don’t need to perform statistical yoga to prove that blowing up tube trains is a risk to health.

That’s another thing right there. The whole ‘passive smoking’ thing really has marked a new low for British science. At least with global warming there’s the excuse that the biosphere really is complex – deciding the toxicity of a particular mixture of compounds isn’t exactly in the same league. We’re back to what I was saying about the MMR issue – once the debate becomes polarised between the good guys who turn in one set of results and those pigs that turn in contradictory results, then we’re no longer talking about scientists so much as really badly dressed PR guys.

Not that the prohibs really need any more PR, what with the MSM having long ago thrown it’s hand in with them. We’re told that the public supports a smoking ban. Really ? And after only a twenty year media wall of noise in favour ? ATW reminds us that homosexuality has its own health implications. Yes, indeed. How about the MSM starts to cover gay issues the way it covers smoking ? We could have interviews in which people talk about great length about how disgusting they find gays. The science geeks could pitch in and start classifying all deaths from AIDS, other STDs and heart attacks sustained while clothes shopping as ‘homosexuality-related deaths’. Ditto, any deaths amongst hairdressers, air stewards or Tory MPs could be given the same classification. Let’s see what twenty years of that does to the case for gay rights.

Mind you, I did enjoy the Freudian slip from one of most notorious groups of dogs in the manger. Cancer Research UK called the ban ‘the biggest step forward in public health for half a century.’ Well, indeed. Never mind wondering what definition of research includes lobbying for restrictive legislation – or how much of their income actually comes from smokers - just think about this: a group of folks who’ve been living the life of Reilly for years under the banner of cancer research call a ban on smoking the biggest step forward for fifty years. Say no more.

So, the debate has revealed a nasty and vindictive streak in British society and exposed scientists as whores, but that’s not it. What really sticks in the throat is the sheer chutzpah of the whole thing. Regular readers will know that I am something of a drunk. I like drinking, that goes without saying, but I like the culture of it too. Footballers have their clubs, stamp collectors get together to talk trends in sticky postal things and prohibitionists meet up to reaffirm their loyalty to Satan, but do you see any drunks demanding that cocktails be served at the AGM of Peterborough Philatelist Society ?

No, you don’t. The whole prohibitionist argument rests on a fundamentally absurd premise. These people claim that allowing smokers to smoke in the Captain’s Bar of The Ship means that smokers will inflicting their smokerness on their noble prohib selves. But what would they be doing down there in the first place ? In what parallel universe is it in which health freaks stop off on the way home from the gym to dive into the Captain’s Bar and announce they want 10 double vodkas, and their mate will have the same ? As if.

Of course, the prohibs always claim that they would go to the Red Lion, if only it wasn’t for the smokers, ‘cause you know, you can’t expect them to down ten pints if they’re going to be exposed to a dangerous narcotic while doing so. Or to put it another way, while everyone talks about how this new law means some of our top drinkers will be exiled, it also means the pub will fill up with people drinking eco-friendly organic Perrier water. In case you’re wondering, this is supposed to be an argument in favour.

This is exactly why these people have to use the power of the State to enforce their writ, because there’s so much demand for smoker-free pubs. Or something.

That’s it, that’s what gives me this killing rage. This isn’t about whether people set fire to rolled-up tubes full of dried leaves or not. This is, in the fullest sense of the word, the latest front in the culture wars. Forget the junk science claiming that everyone in the pub will die if Dave lights that fag. What it’s about is what it’s always about: a bunch of collectivist weasels want to inflict their whiny cry-baby lifestyle on the rest of us.

To Hell with them all. It makes me wish I had a donor card so I could tear it up. I want to drive down to the chippy and order chips and pies, with extra chips, and extra pies. I want to sneak up to one of these prohibs’ yuppiemobiles and slash the tyres, so they can’t ‘inflict their fumes’ on me, most of all I want to be there the day the ban goes into effect and one of these freaks goosesteps into my local and start strutting around. You won’t need some hooker in a white coat to find the negative health implications of doing that, I can promise you.

I hate them, everyone one of them. This isn’t about health, this is the ban on foxhunting part II. In both cases yuppie scum collectivist chattering class weasels indulged in vacuous moral posturing to conjure up some bogus justification for their thuggish attempts to stop people they don’t know doing stuff they don’t agree with in a place they never go anyway. That’s the real evil of the whole thing.

These pasty-faced yuppie scum, urban 4x4 driving idiot, crypto-castrato loser femimen, sensitive snivelers, lemon-sucking, no mark, congenitally less-of-worth sleazeballs aren’t motivated by any deep convictions. They aren’t looking forward to the Golden Age when the last pub is closed, they don’t think that pubs are the work of the Devil. There’s nothing so sophisticated – they’re motivated by hatred pure & simple.

You know what this is ? This is what happens when all the whiny losers from school get hold of the levers of power. This is their vengeance for all those years of having their lunch money robbed. Now, they’re going to pass a law making them the cool kids, and if you don’t agree, why, they’ll set the Filth on you.

That’s the silver lining to all this. Plenty of folks are prepared to buy into collectivist ideals as a kind of Devil’s Pact, preferring group power to no power at all, well now they’ve just seen the downside to that theory played out in glorious Technicolor. The sight of Parliament using it’s power to push the agenda of a bunch of vicious, spiteful health Nazis should give these people a reality check. No doubt Nu Lab stabbing its traditional supporters in the back will convince some of them that they need to go back to the good old days of Real Labour, but I’m guessing at least some will start to see the light. Governments are in the business of thuggery. Sooner or later, you will be the sheep not the wolf. The only true security is in individual rights. And one right above all, namely the right to beat to death any health Nazi found in the confines of licensed premises. It's for the children.

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