I have said many times before that I become angrier and angrier. But there is a limit.
I went to the pub tonight. The pub is a big pub with restaurant attached. The customers in there at 9.30pm were four young women in a corner over there, a couple at the bar here, and me. At about 10pm the four girls left and a guy I know, who goes to that pub every night entered. That left four of us. The pub used to close at 11pm on Sundays. A couple of weeks ago, it decided to close at 10.30pm.
As I went to the door with the intention of having a fag, half way through my first pint, I seethed a little. I seethed because of the affront to my dignity as an adult citizen of this country and as a human being. But I only seethed a little. My intention was to take a little walk in the evening air and have a couple of pints and a little think, free from distractions (or should that be ‘distractionfree’?), which is what I did. I had a three litre box of red at home, so there was no need for me to hang about in that mausoleum.
So I was thinking about this ANGER which I claim to be constantly in a state of. And it is true, but it does not manifest itself in the pub. There is no point of arguing with the staff in the pub. They dare not infringe the ban.
No… It manifests itself elsewhere. It manifests itself especially when I am confronted with any sort of officialdom.
A couple of examples.
Many readers will remember my report of ‘the visit from the Doctor’s Practice Nurse’. The lady asked if she could visit us because both the wife and I had been on medication for some time and we had not visited the surgery. For myself, the problem is minor being a touch of prostatism (and enlargement of the prostate gland which is age related and which causes difficulty in peeing). Herself is much more serious, being multiple sclerosis of long standing.
In the event, the first thing the Practice Nurse wanted to talk about was our smoking and drinking habits and our weight. I boiled over. I saw red. I fumed. My heartbeat must have been 160. I had to go outside for a few minutes to cool down. But we made peace and they did the tests they wanted and went away. They found signs of infection in the urinary area of herself and sent us some antibiotics. A couple of weeks later, herself and I went on holiday to Majorca for eight day, and the infection developed and she very nearly died. She was in hospital for seven weeks.
I do not blame the nurses, but I ask: To what extent was the seriousness of the infection not recognised because their attention was on smoking and drinking and weight?
Another incident which I mentioned was the District Nurse fiasco. A District Nurse, whose job it was to attend the wounds of B, took it upon herself to upbraid B about smoking in bed. Again, I saw red. I fumed. I almost physically threw that person out of the house.
But the most telling was an incident in Manchester airport. B and I and daughters were going on a cruise for our granddaughter’s wedding. We departed from Manchester airport bound for Rome where we were to board the liner. We had previously confirmed both with the travel agent and the airline that B’s medical equipment (which is contained within an ordinary suitcase) was to travel ‘free of charge’. But no. Some airline official decided that a fee was due because we had three articles instead of two. She demanded £10. No amount of reasoning would dislodge her.
I boiled over. I blew. I saw red. I fumed. My heart rate must have been 160.
Fortunately, the daughter hustled me outside and dealt with it. She paid the £10.
I complained magnificently and received a fulsome apology and an offer of free flights for the two of us. It is an interesting corollary that it was on the holiday for which we used the free flights when she developed the life-threatening condition.
Another example occurred at the library some time ago. I was borrowing Richard Feynman’s ‘Lectures of Physics’. These volumes were not on public display but were kept in the library ‘archives’. I religiously renewed them every three weeks by presenting them at the library and renewing. One day, I took the books in to renew the loan and was told that I had had them for over 21 weeks, and that I could not renew the loan again. I was very reasonable, saying that the books were not on display, and that I was taking care of them (witness, a repair on the binding which I had done) and that I had physically brought them back to the library so that, if anyone wanted them, they would be available and so that they could be inspected. If nobody else wanted to borrow them and they were in acceptable condition, why refuse to loan them to me? I met with official intransigence. I even suggested that I should be allowed one further three week period to finish off what I was doing, but was refused. And the blood rose and my heartbeat hit 160. And the shit hit the fan. I demanded to see the Manger of the Library. She appeared with a security guard. Now, I am a little old man of 73. Why the security guard? Eventually, I secured a three week extension, during which I scanned the whole three volumes of 1000 pages each into my computer. I haven’t darkened the doors of the library since.
These sort of events must be happening everywhere to untold numbers of people. The vast majority comply – at the time – but who knows what resentments are building up? When are these resentments going to boil over?
I doubt that there will be civil war. What I foresee is wholesale destruction and looting on a grand scale, as happened in the riots, but massively bigger. Massive looting by the dispossessed and ‘unequal’. But the Zealots have it wrong. It is not health inequality – it is wealth inequality, and especially joblessness.
It takes a while to realise what is going on in your mind. Actually, it is not in your mind, it is in your emotions. Every time that I take that walk to the door of the pub, I feel as if I am literally being pushed. I am being impelled by a force. But there is no actual force. There is no magnetic force or electrical force or physical force. So what force is it? I’m damned if I know. Well, I do. It is psychological force. In the end, there is only one way for us to rid ourselves of this psychological force and that is to defy it. But it must be on a big scale. One person can do nothing, but even a small group of, say, twenty could, provided that they are prepared to accept the fines. The fine for smoking in a pub is a mere £50. It would be important to alert the media and to make it clear that the ‘event’ is intended to highlight the iniquity of the position of the publican. He is required by law to act as the physical imposer of the law. That is, to physically stop the smoker from smoking. That is, to beat him up and throw him out and ban him, if necessary.
An acquaintance of mine, who works for ASDA, delivering groceries to people’s homes, told me that he had been dragged before a manager for smoking in his van. He was doing no such thing; he was using an ecig. Nevertheless, the manager said that he looked as though he was smoking. He was suspended from duty and escorted from the store. But the suspension was revoked and he carried on working.
No one knows the destruction that the Tobacco Control Industry has wrought. How can it be that publicans were not immediately up in arms about being forced to be unpaid policemen? And yet the situation was so simple. All they needed to do was plaster their pubs with ’No Smoking’ notices. That is all they needed to do. That is because the law required only that they do not ‘permit’ smoking. Whether or not people actually smoked was not their concern.
Publicans should have been prepared for magisterial appearances and had the support of their fellow publicans and the drinks and tobacco industries as regards legal costs. The few who defied the authorities were pilloried and fined and sent to jail. The industries left them to their fate.
Therefore, it is not unreasonable to see a GRAND CONSPIRACY. I am not a person who is normally fanciful, but this conspiracy is so obvious as a possibility that it must be stated.
Tobacco Companies, Big Pharm and Tobacco Control have agreed. With only a little manipulation, all three can milk billions from the public. Tobacco Companies can gain from the eradication of competition. Big Pharm can gain from medication. Tobacco Control can gain from salaries and shareholdings. QED.
Curiously, that does not anger me at all, in itself. It is normal, day-to-day business. What angers me is the part of politicians. Either they are stupid or they are corrupt. I hope that, by and large, they are not corrupt. I don’t really think that they are stupid. I think that they are blind. I think that they have totally lost the idea that they are each an independent person who has an absolute right to disagree with party policy. In this respect, it would be in the interests of the UK if MPs were elected for only one session of Parliament and then had to stand down for the next session (by session, I mean a five year period). Thus, being an MP is not a career but is a temporary representation situation.
If we think back to the 2006 Health Bill, it really ought to have been torn to shreds. MPs should have demanded to know the actual names and addresses (just in areas) of people who suffered from SHS. Statistical mumbo-jumbo ought not to have been even remotely enough. The likes of Cunningham MP and Williams MP should have been ridiculed for their ignorance of the facts.
The fact that they were not so ridiculed and that actual instances of harm were not demanded shows the disconnect between Parliament and The People.
It seems to me that Tobacco Control is similar to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It may have a brain of sorts, but, despite the animal’s size, there is not much of it. It repeats and repeats.
If there is an answer to the problem of the Tobacco Control stranglehold, it must come from Members of Parliament. MPs must understand that they are outside the loop and are being used.
Time for an MP revolution?
The anger will never go away because it devolves from the carelessness of MPs. MPs exist to protect us from Zealots.