The Scottish Hospital Grounds Smoking Ban – The £1,000 Fine

From Forest site:

Today, as I mentioned earlier, Scotland on Sunday has reported the result of a survey – not any old survey but a Scottish Parliament survey – that found that:

Almost two-thirds of Scots oppose “nanny state” plans to impose a smoking ban in hospital grounds, a Scottish Parliament survey has found. A greater number of people are against plans for a £1,000 fine for anyone caught breaching the ban.” [My bold]

I think that there is nothing more obvious as an indication of PANIC than demands for totally ‘over the top’ punishments. What would a person be fined £1.000 for? It would be for setting fire to a tiny paper tube containing a bit of dried leaf in the open air. Does the phrase, “Hung for stealing a sheep” ring any bells? As I understand it, people have been fined occasionally £50 for lighting up in a pub, and a few publicans have been fined a couple of hundred pounds for ‘permitting’ smoking after hours when their pubs are locked up and closed.

What this demand for huge fines indicates is that the Zealots know very well that no one will take any notice of their ridiculous demand, and that the only way to make sure that people comply is by threatening to hang them. “…plans for a £1,000 fine for anyone caught breaching the ban” might just as well read, “hang these wanton criminal scum”. 

I was reading something today about ‘stigmatisation’. Here is a link:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/15/640

Essentially, the link says that public health initiatives run the risk of stigmatising individuals or groups of people. It cites, especially, the problems with pigs in Denmark being resistant to antibacterial medicaments. It seems that the farmers who own the farms which have such pigs are being shunned, as though they themselves are ‘infectious’. Does that surprise anyone? There was a time when people who had a cancer were equally shunned because of the ‘omerta’ about cancer. Lots of people actually believed that not only the person who had cancer was ‘infectious’ but also that anyone who was in contact with that person who had cancer was infectious. It is called, “FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN”. Tobacco Control deliberately and maliciously transferred that FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN from cancer victims to smokers. Smokers were to be FEARED, because they ’cause’ cancer. Thus smokers have been stigmatised – marked with the sign of the devil. The article in question actually states that the stigmatisation is akin to Nazi stigmatisation of Jews.

I won’t go into detail, but the article says that there are several steps in the process of stigmatisation. I won’t go through them -read the article – but there is one prime requisite. That is POWER.

I doubt that anyone could deny that Tobacco Control has been harnessing POWER for decades and decades, starting before WW2. In the 1930s, the Nazis were demonising tobacco. (Note the difference between ‘stigmatising’ and ‘demonising’) But even the Nazi emphasis was preceded by the eugenicists in the USA around the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

What is different today is that there is a growing recognition of the mechanics at work. For example, it would not surprise me if the demand for a £1,000 fine was weakened to only £950 pounds, or even only £900. People must realise that these fines are irrelevant because they would never actually be applied. You can bet a pound to a penny that the £1,000 is a maximum. No magistrate would actually fine anyone such an amount. Thus, the £1,000 has no other purpose than to be a frightening threat. What that shows is that the Zealots know very well that their proposals cannot be enforced in the normal sense of ‘willingly agreed to by most people except criminals’. They can only be successfully imposed by aggression. For the imposition of even the possibility of a fine of £1,000 for setting fire to a tiny paper tube containing a small amount of dried leaf in the open air is beyond satire. Good heavens! My local hospital has a huge chimney from the incinerator. Presumably, the incinerator burns aborted foetuses and the still-born, body parts and infected detritus of all sorts. On a foggy day, the smoke will drift into the hospital, along with the smoke from vehicle emissions from the roads around the hospital and the road which runs through the hospital.

===

If the Scottish Parliament put the demand into law in any form whatsoever, then it renders itself to be worthless. It will show itself to be a parasite. Sure, in the Big Picture, the hospital grounds smoking ban is of minor importance, but if the MSPs cannot get their minds right about that idiocy, how could they possibly deal with vastly more powerful apparatchiks in the EU?

Damn it! Why didn’t the Scots vote for independence? Damn it! The vote MUST have been fixed! Scotland is an embarrassment. It needs to be cut free, which goes also for Wales and Northern Ireland. ENGLAND is big and strong and can only be weakened by the hangers-on. Let them go and let them come under the protection of the EU. I am sure that the EU will protect them from immigration. I look forward to helping to build the new Hadrian’s Wall and the new Offa’s Dyke.

You see, it isn’t the people. It is the Zealots who are buggering everything up. It is because they are Zealots that they are prepared to give up their valuable practices as doctors and become MPs. It is really weird. They combine a death wish with dreams of immortality – import thousands of terrorists and, at the same time, lengthen the extent of old age into the immortal.

But I must not extend this blog further than its remit. We do not do immigration etc. Persecution, Stigmatisation, denormalisation, etc, of smokers is enough for the time being.

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5 Responses to “The Scottish Hospital Grounds Smoking Ban – The £1,000 Fine”

  1. Frank J Says:

    To be fair, I did see 2/3 of the MSP’s having a go against it but if it’s what the Nats. want as the only way to make a name (poor souls) then no doubt, they’ll do it. How else can they put themselves in the headlines?

    Small people, small, desperate and stupid ideas.

    Btw, “Fossa”? Offa, dear boy!!

    • junican Says:

      Thanks. I know there was something wrong but the name ‘Fossa’ would not get out of my mind.

  2. Rose Says:

    Junican, another thing that caught my eye in that study was not only the reference to the Nazi stigmatisation of the Jews, but yet another mention of the public’s mass panic and the stigma over AIDS and a reference to Goffman’s Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity

    I think the subject is worth revisiting.

    2005

    Abstract

    “The AIDS epidemic has borne witness to the terrible burdens imposed by stigmatization and to the way in which marginalization could subvert the goals of HIV prevention. Out of that experience, and propelled by the linkage of public health and human rights, came the commonplace assertion that stigmatization was a retrograde force.

    Yet, strikingly, the antitobacco movement has fostered a social transformation that involves the stigmatization of smokers. Does this transformation represent a troubling outcome of efforts to limit tobacco use and its associated morbidity and mortality; an ineffective, counterproductive, and moralizing approach that leads to a dead end; or a signal of public health achievement? If the latter is the case, are there unacknowledged costs?”

    “Although interest in how societies stigmatize outsiders and the impact of stigmatization on those marked by unacceptable differences was spurred by Erving Goffman’s seminal Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity,6 published more than 40 years ago, and although the sociologists of socially discordant behavior underscored the ways in which a stigma imposed burdens on those who were labeled “deviant,”7,8 it was the AIDS epidemic both domestically and globally that provided the context for the articulation of a strong thesis linking stigmatization and public health.

    Within the United States, discussions centered on the fact that those who were initially most vulnerable to HIV—gay and bisexual men and illegal drug users—were already stigmatized.9 But even persons considered less culpable for their illness, such as children with HIV or persons infected through tainted blood products, were also the objects of fear, the targets of exclusionary impulses.10 Globally, in nations where HIV was primarily transmitted heterosexually, a pattern of discrimination and even violence emerged.

    Whenever stigmantization occurred, the negative consequences were predictable. Herek,11 who has studied AIDS-related stigma, noted,

    The widespread expectation of stigma combined with actual experiences with prejudice and discrimination exerts a considerable impact on [people with HIV], their loved ones and care-givers. It affects many of the choices [they] make about being tested and seeking assistance for their physical, psychological and social needs. . . . Fearing rejection and mistreatment many . . . keep their sero-status a secret.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470446/

    Even Chapman refers to Erving Goffman in Markers of the denormalisation of smoking and the tobacco industry

    “Several authors have suggested that Erving Goffman’s18 classic analysis of stigma and its resultant “spoiled identity” is consonant with how the meaning of smoking has changed in societies with widespread tobacco control. Goffman described stigmatisation as the transformation “from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one”, writing that “Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity”. Writing in 1963 before the first US Surgeon General’s report on smoking was published, Goffman did not list smoking as a stigmatised behaviour but did list “blemishes of individual character” that included addiction and alcoholism.”

    It’s almost as if Tobacco Control had used Erving Goffman’s Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity as a handbook in reverse as a means to create stigma in a population that had been previously considered normal.

    Of course , no one under the age of 35 will remember the widespread panic over AIDs when it first appeared so it’s worth looking at if even TC can see the similarities.

    It was a terrible time, no one knew how it was spread,or even if touching money or the handle on a shop door could infect someone.

    30 Years In, We Are Still Learning From AIDS

    “Some patients were shunned by friends and relatives. Customers avoided restaurants for fear that gay waiters would spread the virus. Some parents, fearing their children might catch AIDS from infected classmates, kept them out of school. Ryan White, a teenager with AIDS in Indiana, spoke up for all infected children and became a national hero before his death in 1990. His case also helped the medical profession address its obligation to care for all patients.

    Communications to the public often lacked clarity. Because health officials and journalists used the phrase “bodily fluids” instead of specifying semen, blood and vaginal secretions, many people feared they could contract AIDS from toilet seats or drinking fountains.”
    http: //www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/health/31aids.html?_r=2&ref=lawrencekaltman

    Why ‘Fearbola’ reminds me of the early AIDS panic

    “AIDS phobia,” a term used to describe discrimination against those with HIV, ravaged the United States because of a dearth of political leadership, misleading if not inaccurate information from public health officials, and a news media that stoked anxiety in its quest for ratings and headlines. Together, these became almost as dangerous to public health and civil rights as the virus itself.”

    “How did this happen? President Ronald Reagan’s record is forever tarnished by his lack of leadership on HIV/AIDS; he infamously refused to address it until 1987. By that time, the CDC reported that more than 40,000 Americans had contracted the disease and more than 23,000 of them had died. When the president did speak about AIDS prevention, he recused the government and alarmingly mingled science with ethics: “The federal role must be to give educators accurate information about the disease. How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let’s be honest with ourselves — AIDS information cannot be what some call ‘value neutral.’ After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don’t medicine and morality teach the same lessons?”

    “When AIDS first appeared, the media barely paid attention. As Randy Shilts reported in his book, “And the Band Played On,” at first mainstream news organizations avoided covering the emerging health crisis because it only seemed to affect gay men and injection drug users.

    Once the epidemic was deemed newsworthy — meaning heterosexuals were at risk — the media exercised almost no restraint, writing the most attention-grabbing headlines and stories. Among the most inflammatory from those years: People magazine’s “AIDS: Fatal, Incurable and Spreading”; and Life’s 1985 cover story “Now No One Is Safe From AIDS.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ebola-a-growing-epidemic-of-fear-eerily-like-the-early-years-of-the-age-of-aids/2014/10/15/5781f1fe-5479-11e4-809b-8cc0a295c773_story.html

    2008
    The Aids scare was one of the most distorted, duplicitous and cynical public health panics of the last 30 years

    “It is time to recognise that the Aids scare was one of the most distorted, duplicitous and cynical public health panics of the past 30 years. Instead of being treated as a sexually transmitted disease that affected certain high-risk communities, and which should be vociferously tackled by the medical authorities, the “war against Aids” was turned into moral crusade.

    Both Conservative and New Labour governments exploited the disease to create a new moral framework for society. Through baseless fearmongering, officials sought to police and regulate the behaviour of the public. No longer able to appeal to outdated Victorian ideals of chastity or restraint, the powers-that-be used the spectre of an Aids calamity to terrify us into behaving “responsibly” in sexual and social matters.

    They were aided and abetted by the rump of the radical left. Gay rights campaigners, feminists and left-leaning health and social workers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, first with the Tories and later with Labour, in spreading the “glorious myth” of a possible future Aids pandemic. An unholy alliance of old-style, prudish conservatives and post-radical, lifestyle-obsessed leftists latched on to Aids as a disease that might provide them with a sense of moral purpose.

    And they ruthlessly sought to silence anyone who questioned them. Those who challenged the idea that Aids would devour sexually promiscuous young people and transform once-civilised western societies into diseased dystopias were denounced as “Aids deniers” and “heretics”. Anyone who suggested that homosexuals were at greater risk than heterosexuals – and therefore the focus of government funding and, where necessary, medical assistance should be in gay communities – was denounced as homophobic. Nothing could be allowed to stand in the way of the glorious moral effort to make everyone submit to the sexual and moral conformism of the Aids crusaders.”
    http: //www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/jun/12/aids.health

    If anti-tobacco really has tried to model it’s “denormalisation” campaign on the panicked reaction of an ill-informed public in the 80’s as I am beginning to suspect, there is one glaring problem for them, AIDS came out of the blue and there was then no treatment.

    You just can’t get the same terrified public reaction to something as familiar and ordinary as smoking.

    • junican Says:

      The more that you read, Rose, the more obvious it is that the ‘denormalisation’ of smokING is actually a euphemism for ‘stigmatisation’ of smokERS. Tobacco Control (including the powers that be in the FCTC organisation know exactly what they are doing.

    • Some French bloke Says:

      there is one glaring problem for them, AIDS came out of the blue and there was then no treatment

      – Lung cancer also sort of “came out of the blue” from the beginning of the second industrial revolution onwards, eventually leading to the stigmatisation of an age-old habit – arguably for want of a more convenient hypothesis.
      – The AIDS epidemic didn’t stop the gay community from gaining (probably unprecedented) social acceptance from the 1980s on.
      Yet, from a health standpoint, it seems nowadays you’re worse off, if you get a (correct) LC diagnosis than if you get a HIV positive result.

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