“This Country is Shit”

I met a friend and his wife in the pub tonight. I haven’t seen him for months. After a quick shake of hands, the heading above was his opening remark: “This country is shit”. He has just returned from a holiday in Slovenia. I don’t know where exactly he and his wife went to in Slovenia.

We must, of course, take such statements with the understanding that holiday resorts do not portray reality, but this person is not so stupid as to assume that holiday resorts are typical of the country as a whole. He is an intelligent chap.

What he relied upon was the general atmosphere of relaxed enjoyment of life amongst the ‘natives’. The people were easy-going and friendly, restaurant food was appetising, the place was clean and pretty. But most of all, he was impressed by the contentment of people.

Ought it not to be the first priority of Government to do the best that it can to ensure that the people are, in the vast majority, content? When I say ‘in the vast majority’, I do not mean ‘70% of people surveyed want a smoking ban in pubs’. That is not ‘contentment in the vast majority’. That is only one small factor which might influence contentment just a bit. Prior to the smoking ban, non-smokers went to the pub and enjoyed the conviviality. They did not give a shit about whisps of tobacco smoke. Nor did people who went to restaurants give a toss if someone on the next table was smoking. It is easy to understand why – in a restaurant, there are many, many smells due to the cooking. The human nose is very, very sensitive when it first meets a smell, but the ‘sensors’ very quickly fill up. Thus, you might notice a smell when you enter a room, but, after ten minutes or so, you would no longer be aware of that smell. But the smell would still be there when another person entered the room. There is no need for some sort of massive extractor fan running at full power all the time. A small fan, strategically placed, does what is necessary – in the right position, it draws out air from near the ceiling, which is where smells tend to accumulate. That has been known for generations. Do you see extractor fans near the floor? Silly question. They are always as near the ceiling as possible.

So what is Brexit intended to achieve?

I suggest that it is to extract the People of the UK from a straight-jacket. The EU has turned reality on its head. It is trading and innovation which creates wealth, and not EU regulations. The People of Slovenia have emerged from the communist straight-jacket and are happy. Like the Greeks, they will pay lip-service to the autocrats of the EU, but ignore the demands in practice.

Some time ago, I researched the contributions of different nations to the UN tobacco control. The UK, as you would expect, was right up there at the top, paying its contribution spot on time. Japan did the same thing, oddly enough. But many small nations, with small contributions, paid nothing. They just did not cough up. Not a cent. To cap it all, the vastly wealthy USA did not pay a cent either. If Slovakia pays anything, it is almost certain that the payment will be minute.

It is said that the UK economy is the fourth largest in the World. Erm… Do the People of the UK all own yachts and live in country mansions? So what does the phrase ‘fourth largest economy in the world’ actually mean? Could it, perchance, mean that vast sums of money are ‘laundered’ through the City of London? What seems to me to be obvious is that the ordinary people gain very little from this ‘fourth largest economy’. Why else would the NHS be perpetually in financial crisis?

It would be easy to claim that our politicians are thieving bastards, but I do not think that that is true. I think that they have no idea what is going on. I do not think that even Cameron, Osborne, Johnson, have any idea at all. They rely upon ‘experts’, but who decides which ‘experts’ are actually ‘experts’? Who guards the guards? And, most of all, who is PAYING for the ‘experts’, without anyone knowing whether or not those people are really ‘experts’. Is Wayne Rooney an ‘expert’ footballer? Of course he is! But how much of his ‘expertise’ is just instinctive reaction? What does he know about strategy or tactics?

Regarding Brexit, we must think in very simple terms. WE DO NOT ACCEPT THAT OUR WEALTH CAN BE HANDED OVER TO A CORRUPT ORGANISATION. It does not matter that the organisation might, sometime in the far future, be reformed. It is the corruption NOW which matters.

Why is no one talking about corruption?


4 Responses to ““This Country is Shit””

  1. Roberto Says:

    If I had the right to vote I would vote for Brexit. International cooperation, open markets and trade agreements are good ideas, cooperation on defense, migration and resources is OK, but all these nice features should not lead to the creation of mega-states with oversized tyrannical and centralised bureaucracies dictating regulations on every tiny-winy aspect of daily life. A European Union morphing into the “United States of Europe” goes in this direction and thus it is a monster “on the make” that should be stopped in its tracts. Perhaps a major crisis and shock could occur if Brexit happens, but (paradoxically) this may be a good development that will force the current EU to undergo the needed reforms to prevent hypertrophy (which would never happen without this shock).

    Changing subject, the atmosphere in the Check Republic is very similar to what your friend describes of Slovenia. At least in 2012 indoor smoking was allowed and accepted in lots of restaurants and bars in Prague and other cities. Yet, the Check population (which should be drowning in toxic in ETS) is not facing an upsurge of respiratory disease. If such a health disaster was happening there (and statistics would confirm it) the tobacco controllers would be screaming it from rooftops, but I don’t recall reading any news on hospitals in Prague being overburden by patients suffering chronic bronchitis or ETS-induced asthma or some of the countless “smoke-related” diseases.

    • junican Says:

      I visited Prague about that time – 2012. There was no smoking in the hotel, apart from in your room, but the bar across the way was smoking. No one who went in there complained in any way, and not all were smokers. I dined there every evening. On the first evening, I was pondering over the menu and the owner said, “Leave it to me”. From then on, for the seven days that I was there, I let him decide what I was eating! It was fun, and the meals were Chech dishes. Apart from one, which was not really to my taste, I really enjoyed them. “What my mama cooked”, he said.
      Japan has a high smoking rate but the Japanese are among the longest-lived people in the world. Tobacco Control have yet to explain that anomaly.

  2. inisfad Says:

    Not to be the devil’s advocate, but there must be another reason, then, why contentment is rife in Slovenia. They have adopted those anti-smoking laws:

    • junican Says:

      From your link:
      The exception envisaged in the law is smoking rooms. These are closed spaces that are physically separate and arranged especially for smoking. Waiter service is not permitted in smoking rooms, and no food or drink can be consumed in them. The smoking room must be arranged so no air carrying tobacco smoke can flow into another room.
      There is a world of difference between ‘law’ and ‘enforcement’.

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