Get em in while you still can

Get 'em in while you still can

A Bill has gone through Parliament, prompting this:

Briefly, as we seem to have had a round of congratulations on the Bill, I want to say that this is a very sad day for the House, which once again shows that the Government are one of the most intolerant, authoritarian and illiberal Governments that we have ever seen. It is yet another triumph for the nanny state. It will not make any difference at all to smoking rates…

This is just another authoritarian victory for a Government who want to thrash around looking as if they have done something. It will have a devastating effect on many, many small retailers, small newsagents and pubs. I hope that we will not see crocodile tears from Ministers when many more small shops and pubs go to the wall as a result of the Government’s policies.

So said Philip Davies in Parliament yesterday. Well the day before, it’s gone midnight. Later in the same debate, he also said,

If Labour Members want to ban tobacco altogether—that seems to have been the basis of their argument—they should at least have the courage to come to this House to argue for what they really believe in and face the consequences.

Tobacco is undeniably bad for my health. I have been smoking for over a decade and I know my health has suffered. It is probably bad for other peoples’ health – if I decided to smoke a pouch of baccy in an enclosed, unventilated room, forcing someone else to breathe the smoke too, for years on end.

However when you have scumballs, who have no other claim to our ears than that are stinking rich and appear on an abominably rude TV show, wanting to have cigarettes “banned altogether“, then things have gone too far. The title and tagline of the article linked are “I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned” and “we should no longer tolerate the minority threatening the lives of the majority”.

First off,

I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned

well, Dunc, many of the rest of us, smokers and non-smokers alike will only be happy when twelve years of interference and nannying – that you helped fund – are repealed and the authors are as jobless and struggling as the rest of us.

we should no longer tolerate the minority threatening the lives of the majority

May I suggest a slight tweak to that?

we should no longer tolerate the minority prying into and interfering in the lives of the majority.

Leg Iron has put up a blog on this as I was typing – illustrating the potentially far-reaching consequences of what has already gone through. I know several of the people who will access this blog are against alcohol/pubs/drinking to excess, but it is undeniable that pubs are an integral part of the economy, and that the infrastructure and systems that they support, and/or are an essential part of, support thousands throughout the country. Anti-smoking legislation has unintended (but not unforeseen) consequences, not unlike other knee-jerk, ill-planned legislation.

Another spectacular bit of idiocy is “The Case for The Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products” (.pdf link). All in an attempt to

reduce smoking by stopping people having brand attachment

Really and truly, what kind of a mind thinks up this insanity? I’m a smoker who has spent most of his smoking life without the evils of cigarette advertising. I have an extremely strong attachment to Golden Virginia. This is not because of the image it portrays of, nor of the image that was presented to me. It’s cheaper less extortionate  to smoke than ready-made cigarettes, but more expensive than many other rolling tobaccos, although not the most expensive. The simple reason that I smoke it is because I enjoy the taste of it more than any other that I’ve found. Believe me, I’ve exhaustively tested nearly all the commonly available brands.It’s the same reason I use Rizla blue papers to smoke it in. the same reason I drink certain whiskies rather than others, why I buy that seedy and oaty Hovis rather than many others. I enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what group comes up with whatever bit of nonsense, patronising crap from anyone is still patronising crap.

The bit I cut out of the opening quote by Philip Davies goes as follows:

Cigarettes are not an impulse purchase. As someone who worked in retail for many years before coming to the House, I can assure people that they are not an impulse purchase like cream cakes. People walk past cream cakes, think that they look nice, and decide to buy them, but they do not buy cigarettes on the same premise.

Which very nicely highlights how far from the point these plans are. To put it in my words, I go into a shop knowing that I’m out of smokes, and that I need to stock up. Anything else I buy is incidental.

I’m finding it really hard to not to go all Incredible Hulk whenever I turn on the news, read a blog or look at anything  these days, but I’ve come to the realisation that it’s all really a good thing: the more and more Government interfere and push through petty, nannying, authoritarian, illiberal, fascist bits of paper, the deeper and deeper the graves of the majority of Labour politicians’ careers will be, come the next election.

And that can only be a good thing.

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