A ‘Social’ Law

Since the law prohibiting smoking in cars with children present was passed, there have been ZERO prosecutions throughout the whole of the UK. NOT ONE person has been apprehended, charged and prosecuted. NOT ONE. It has been said that about a dozen people throughout the UK have been told off, but that can only be hearsay. It is more likely that NOT ONE person has even been told off.

Generally speaking, there is only a need for a law to prohibit some action if people are acting, in sufficient numbers, in such a way that prohibition of those actions is important. For example, there would only be a need for a notice, erected as a result of a bylaw, which said, “Walking on the grass is prohibited”, or, “Keep off the grass”, if people actually habitually walked on the grass and damaged the grass. Even if people walked on the grass, if there was no harm to the grass, then there would be no need for a prohibition.

But there is always someone, is there not?, who demands a law ‘just in case’ someone might walk on the grass, or just in case ten people walk on the grass, or just in case a thousand people walk on the grass.

That idea of ‘just in case’ translates into ‘the precautionary principle’.


No prosecutions at all have resulted from the prohibition of smoking in cars with children present. As far as I can see, not one caution has been issued either. If there was a problem with smoking in cars with children present, then you would have expected a ‘crack down’, immediately after the law was promulgated. But nothing at all has happened. Any reasonable person would ask why that law was enacted when there was obviously no need for it.

When confronted with the facts about enforcement, or lack of, Ms D Arnott from ASH came up with a wizard idea (the production of which ideas is what she is paid lots of money for). She invented a new category of Law. That new category is ‘SOCIAL’ law.

Stop giggling at the back, children.

The law which prohibits smoking in cars with children present is a new category of law which is called ‘Social’ Law. There used to be two categories of Law – ‘Civil’ law and ‘Statute’ Law. We now have to add another category, created by Arnott and TC. That is ‘Social’ Law.

It appears that this new category of Law is one which is enacted by the highest Court in the Land, Parliament, but which is optional. It is not intended to be enforced. It is a recommendation. It is a ‘Social’ law. The new category of Law, ‘Social’ Law, is intended to be enforced by public disclaim. AKA via Propaganda.

The fact is that it is not a ‘law’ at all. It is a joke. It is a comedy. It is an episode of “Yes, Minister”.

So how would this idea of a ‘Social’ law be interpreted in a court? We would need thousands of new courts throughout the country to make judgements, since we do not have a system which can make decisions on contraventions of ‘Social’ laws.

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We can take this line of reasoning right back to the smoking ban. The prohibition of smoking in pubs, regardless of the wishes of the publican and his staff, was always a ‘Social’ Law, but, in that case, it was easy to enforce. In fact, it was enforced very vigorously. It had little to do with health. It was a Law intended merely to force people to behave in a prescribed manner – that is, to behave as directed. There was no aspect of criminality involved.

But the idea of ‘Social’ Law is what drives tobacco control. They are not that interested in enforcement. They just want Laws.

That may be their undoing. Sooner or later, someone in Government will see the smoking bans and the excessive taxes as ‘Social’ Laws and repeal them.

That is why we have to get out of the EU. No EU law can be repealed. There is no system to do so. Every EU Law is perfect and immutable.

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7 Responses to “A ‘Social’ Law”

  1. inisfad Says:

    A theoretical question: My 16 year old smokes. If I am driving him in the car, can he smoke, but I, as an adult, cannot? If a 17 year old, still deemed as a ‘child’ is driving alone and smoking, is this considered ‘self harm’? LOL

    • smokingscot Says:

      A theoretical reply. Both examples you give are not supposed to be able to purchase cigarettes or tobacco. It’s not illegal for a 16 or 17 year old to smoke; it is however illegal for anyone to sell ciggies or baccy to anyone under the age of 18 in Britain.

      With your example – should they be stopped then the police may well want to know who their supplier is.

      The police have stated time and again that they’re not going to enforce a law that’s essentially about health and lifestyle choices – and they’re not prepared to accept the argument that smoking detracts from your ability to concentrate whilst behind the wheel.

      Those in charge of day to day law enforcement in Britain still do so on the basis of “Policing by consent” – thankfully.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_Kingdom

      That’s why – with the exception of a very, very few cases of individual officers who seem to be zealots in their own right – the police do not enforce the smoking ban. That’s left to local council officials who may or may not call in the police if they feel they may face extreme hostility.

    • junican Says:

      Inisfad,

      The law is that it is an offence to permit smoking in the presence of someone under 18. If you let a 16 yo smoke, you would be committing an offence.
      Your second example shows how silly the law is. A 17 yo is old enough to drive, is not forbidden to smoke, but would be committing an offence if he smoked in his own presence in the car!

  2. Samuel Says:

    The purpose of many of these “laws” seems to be merely one more way to find people”guilty” of something so they may be fined and so that, if stopped by a policeman for something else that policeman may have a laundry list of thing to look for to heap more and more crimes onto someone who may have simply had a light out on their car. No actual crime has happened but the police must show justification for each minute on the job and stopping or solving crimes is not enough. They must generate revenue to prove their worth and revenue can only come from finding innocent people guilty of “something”.

  3. garyk30 Says:

    Don’t know about the UK; but, in the USA over the last several decades we have judges that have decided that they must ‘interpret’ the law.

    Thus, the laws only mean what those judges say and want the laws to mean.

    Sad to say, this extends all the way to the highest court in the land.

    • junican Says:

      In the UK, the lower courts generally do not do much interpreting. It is the appeal courts where points of law are discussed and interpreted where necessary. For example, a few publicans were prosecuted for ‘permitting’ smoking because they did not actually force the smoker to stop. Were they required to use physical force? Well….. almost. One thing that the publican might have done was take away the offenders drink and tell him that he was barred. In a serious situation, he could call the police. He had to do SOMETHING. Doing nothing was construed as ‘permitting’.
      None of the offending publicans appealed. It would have been interesting if one of them had appealed.

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