I was thinking back about the 2007 Smoking Ban, and wondering why on earth Blair permitted it. I was also thinking about the massive rises in tobacco taxes at much the same time, and why Blair permitted them. He must have been aware that the people most affected by such things were basic Labour supporters who had vote Labour, on principle, all their lives. And yet he decided to persecute them. Why?
It is also a bit odd that the smoking ban was not preceded by a massive TV campaign as the seat belt law was. Parliament voted in favour of the Health Act, of which the smoking ban was a small part, and then all went quiet until 1st July 2007, at which point a massive crack-down was instigated. Fear of massive fines stalked licensed premises and bar staff became little dictators, enjoying power which they had never imagined that they could wield. The effect was immediate – smokers went outside and sat outside on the warm evenings which just happened to coincide with the ban in July. And there was, I must admit, much fun. But Autumn crept in and that amusing scenario evaporated, just as the SHS did. It evaporated permanently and never recovered. But that was because smokers no longer found their local pubs to be welcoming places – they became hostile places. The publican appeared to be a nice pleasant chap – unless you dared to light a cig, in which case he turned into a raving demon. So we smokers started to avoid those unwelcoming places most of the time. Frank Davis has recounted much the same experience as mine, though in a slightly different way. He has started to visit his local only in the afternoons and only when the weather is suitable, and he sits outside having a fag and a pint and avoiding human contact most of the time. I do the same. I now only frequent my local three evenings a week, and I avoid human contact. I do not mean that I am unsociable. I’ll chat with anyone who wants to chat, and I know almost all the regulars, who are now few in numbers. The Manager and staff are lovely, but I KNOW that if I dared to light a cig they would become raving lunatics. And yet they are almost all smokers themselves.
It is because of the ‘raving lunatic’ aspect that I am so pleased that the Political Government has rounded upon Haringey Council with such vehemence.
From Frank’s site:
Marcus Jones, a minister for local government, said: “We already knew that Labour councils charge higher council taxes and levy more red tape.
“Now Labour’s municipal killjoys have been caught with a smoking gun, trying to ban adults enjoying their local pub garden. If implemented, these ill-founded proposals would lead to massive pub closures.”
“Conservatives in Government will be vetoing these Labour Party plans. Ahead of May’s local elections, local voters have a right to know the bad and mad ideas that are being peddled by Labour councillors.”
What I find curious is that the same could be said, in its entirety, about the indoor smoking ban.
We could also ask similar questions about Cameron permitting ‘plain packaging’. Why did he do it? Did he KNOW that the UK’s smokers were being subjected to experimentation?
And so I cast about in my mind for some reasonable explanation for these Political vicissitudes. PP had been introduced in Australia, but only recently. There was no evidence that PP had any effect on anything. So why did not Cameron not wait for evidence of some sort of effect? Why did he permit PP to be rushed through? And why have successive Governments persecuted smokers with excessive taxes? And why did Blair permit the persecution of smokers via the smoking ban?
The actions of Blair and Cameron make no sense. And I have been pondering how such nonsense could become reality.
The idea occurred to me that we in the UK have our own ‘deep government’. Unlike the USA, positions such as ‘Chief Medical Officer’ seem to be ‘tenures’. That is, once a person is appointed Chief Medical Officer, the Political Government has a devil of a job to replace that person, no matter how incompetent that person might be. But what do we mean by ‘incompetent’? To decide whether or not a person is incompetent, one would have to know what that person’s job was and have some measure of results.
Does anyone at all, including the PM and the Health Sec, have any idea of what the Chief Medical Officer’s job is? Silly Sally has pronounced on drinking alcohol by saying that whenever she has a glass of wine, she thinks about breast cancer. She was also a proponent of the idea that a sixteen stone prop forward cannot take the effects of alcohol any differently from a seven stone girl.
Do you see the problem?
The problem lies in the fact that the CMO has tenure and is very hard to get rid of, no matter how useless that person might be at the job – if anyone knows what the job is.
Our whole system of Government in the UK is stricken with ‘tenures’. That is not the case in the USA. In the USA, the President’s incoming Administration can remove any political appointee. I dare say that ‘compensation’ is due, but that does not stop the process. People as sacked and the appropriate severance payments made.
When Ms May became PM, I expected wholesale redistribution of Ministerial posts, which duly occurred. And yet, for some strange reason, the post of Health Sec remained in the hands of Jeremy Hunt. That is really weird. You would think that Jeremy-darling would have wanted to escape from that trap. But perhaps his tenure is a good example of ‘say a little as possible’ is the best policy. Jeremy passes the problems to his juniors.
But who controls Jeremy? Since Jeremy cannot control or sack the Chief Medical Officer, he is in the position of having to accept her advice. But it is good to see the Political Government bashing Zealots.
I have a vague feeling that PM May and her Ministers know full well that smokers and vapers swung the Brexit vote. They know that the smoker vote is important. The hardcore of smokers is not stupid, illiterate peasants. It is the realisation that the smoker votes decided the Brexit decision which has energised the ANTI-outdoor-ban enthusiasm.
The worm is turning. There is appearing a realisation that the UN, WHO, IPCC are essentially Communist. One World Government equals conformity and regulations, and not ‘common law’.
Only in the last few years have I become aware of the importance of ‘Common Law’. The whole idea of Common Law was not that the law was perfect, but that erudite judges had decided what was fair and equitable. Statute law is anything but ‘fair and equitable’. It is ‘one size fits all’. The smoking ban is a perfect example.
PM May must sack Silly Sally whatever the cost. There is no need for such a position (Chief Medical Officer) anyway. The CEO of Public Health England is far more important. But even he has no real job. What does he do? What is he for?
It is heartening that, at last, a government minister has derided the propaganda. We hope for more.