I must admit that this post is just a ‘ramble around the mind’. The problem is that I can’t think of anything to talk about and I have time on my hands.
I have read a few report about Australia today, linked to by various sites. I can’t remember which sites, so I hope that the owners of those sites will forgive me for not linking. One report was about the new ‘lock-out’ law in Sydney. That law says that bars, nightclubs, etc, must lock their doors at 11.30 pm and refuse entry to punters, although they can stay open until 3 am. There are other daft provisions as well.
It appears that Sydney used to have a vibrant night-time economy. It seems that it was common for people not to even turn out until around 11 pm. I wonder if that was because of the weather? But I have seen that sort of thing before. I remember being in Magalluf and returning to my hotel around 11 pm to drop off my bag before turning out again for a couple of hours, to be met at hotel entrance by a Spanish couple just turning out with a couple of children whom I would estimate to be around 11 years old. It was mid-summer, and the weather was hot, so I can only guess that they enjoyed a lengthy siesta during the late afternoon before dinner so that they could turn out in the cool of the evening. I do that myself. I make my way to my favourite bar around 2 pm, enjoy a good read, in the shade whilst watching the world go by, a couple of pints and a bit of lunch, and then make my way back to the hotel around 4.30/5 pm. It is all very pleasant and relaxing. After a cup of tea and a sit on the balcony, I pop into bed for a couple of hours before showering and getting ready for dinner. These days, dinner is the highlight of my day. I try my best to make a banquet of it. The hotel is four star, so, as you would expect, the range of foods available is reasonably extensive. Provided that you have only a little of this and a little of that, you can easily stretch out the meal to six or seven courses. There are lots of choices. There are always two choices of soup. I tend to have a small bowl of both, but with only a little bread. Usually, there are tit-bits of, say, pilchards, or other appetisers, which go nicely with a little salad potatoes and such. Just a little, mind – one does not want to spoil one’s appetite. A little salmon or other fish is quite nice with just a few chips – just a little and just a few. I personally particularly like lamb cutlets, but I am an omnivore. A piece of sirloin with some greenery and a bit of buttered cauliflower and a bit of mashed potatoes goes down a treat. The sweets are always particularly tempting. I prefer profiteroles more than anything else, but there is a good choice. And then, who can argue with a little stilton and biscuits with a few figs on the side? It is not my normal practice to consume a whole bottle or red wide during my repast – I do not wish to become inebriated – half a bottle is fine.
But I have digressed. Where was I? Ah, Yes – Sydney.
It seems that the night-life has been slowly strangled in Sydney. The crowded plazas are now empty and loads of bars, restaurants, clubs, etc, have closed down.
Are we seeing a pattern in Australia? Is it true that not only smoking, as per the WHO/UN dictat, but also alcohol and dining are under deliberate attack? The particular article that I read went into some detail about the decline of Sydney’s night-life. Let me find the article….
You could imagine the puritanical Zealots around a table. Someone might say, “We can kill several birds with one stone here. Just a few little laws about opening times and who can come and go, will cut the availability of alcohol, cut down on people stuffing their faces with fast food, cut traffic and get all the workers in bed early. Thus, several wonderful health objectives will be achieved in one go. Alcohol harm will be reduced, obesity will be reduced, global warming will be reduced, and NO ONE WILL DIE!! Also, anyone who is trapped inside a club or bar at 11.30 pm will not be able to go outside for a smoke!! How wonderful is that? Oh, and we have virtually banned ecigs. That has been a masterstroke! Tobacco revenue will continue until we deign to let it fall at the pace we decide. Are we agreed on what we decide that the Government does? All in favour. Passed”
I have been saying for ages that the politicians that we elect are almost irrelevant. Theresa May, when she becomes PM, will find very quickly that she is blocked. Whatever the road she want to take, she will encounter a road block. To save herself, she will have to make the right noises, because to do otherwise would make her look precisely what she will be – powerless.
What did Cameron achieve during his seven years as PM? Maybe someone could list his achievements. Banning smoking in cars with kids? Plain Packaging? Windmills? The success of the England football team? Youth employment and zero hours contracts? Even more ‘competencies’ passed to the EU commissariat? Oh wait! A Brit went into space! Not on one of our rockets, but what does that matter? Our economy is the fourth biggest (or fifth) in the world, which means that we cannot afford our own rockets. Maybe the reason that we cannot afford a rocket is that we are handing our earnings over in taxes to the EU. For be in no doubt. Our contributions to the EU bureaucracy are directly linked to general taxation. They are not linked to the profits of multinational corporations.
It seems that a date has been set for a debate in Parliament about the petition signed by millions of people to have another referendum to stay in the EU. Note the words… “A referendum TO STAY IN THE EU”. The questions would have to be, “Do you wish to Remain or Not Leave?” And yet, I bet a pound to a penny that some MPs will support another referendum. They will twist and turn. It is to be hoped that the electorate will dispense with those individuals at the next GE.
To finish this ramble, I’m wondering if politics can be truly localised. For example, it might be that 95% of the population just go about their business and have no interest in politics whatsoever. They might vote Labour or Tory in a GE, but don’t really know what they are voting for or against. Has anyone ever voted ‘for’ or ‘against’ the persecution of smokers? When did National Statistics survey the population asking the question, “Are you in favour of persecuting Smokers?” For massive taxation of smokers is persecution. Imagine massive taxation of tea drinkers. It would not be long before voices spoke out about persecution, especially if tea drinking was prohibited in public places because of the pollution in the air resulting from the heating of tea leaves. SHS tea fumes. And that coffee fumes were exempt.
The mind boggles at the stupidity of it all, the obsequience to ‘experts’ and the lack of real understanding. There are two ways to interpret the Smoking Ban. 1) It will make people healthier, and, 2) It will persecute smokers. 1) will not happen. 2) has happened. Detail is of no importance.
At the base level, politicians lost the plot at least a decade ago when they voted to persecute smokers. There as been a truism around for decades, which is, “Love the sinner but hate the sin”. Erm… Does anyone not see the illogic in that statement? It is that ‘the sin’ is ‘a thing’. You can neither love it nor hate it, any more than you can love or hate a lump of stone. You can only love or hate the sinner, because the sinner is a human being.
I’d better shut up while I am ahead. But readers might wish to peruse the thoughts of Roger Scruton, a renowned philosopher. An example of his thinking:
He can be difficult at times, in the sense that he differentiates between the ‘educated’ and the ‘uneducated’. But he is a great philosopher, so it might well be that he differentiates between the ordinary circumstance of our lives, which do not require great learning, and very important decisions such as Brexit. The implication is that Brexit should only have been decided by ‘great minds’. But ‘great minds’ in the Medical Profession, produced the persecution of smokers. That does not seem to me to be ‘great’ philosophically.