They Do So Because It Is Easy

I have an hour at most.

I still have trouble in understanding why politicians are so bendy and squashy. Do they start off having some sort of conviction, some sort of philosophy, and then gradually lose that conviction or philosophy as time passes and as they realise that, in the ‘real world’, only FORCE matters? By ‘Force’ I mean any sort of pressure.

Why did Blair introduce the Total Indoor Smoking Ban?  Why did not everyone in the leisure industry protest extremely vigorously? Why did not publicans etc march in their thousands in protest before the enactment?

It is easy to say that they were fooled by propaganda, but I personally do not see the propaganda as such a huge influence. I think that ‘the problem’ was more basic than that. I think that no one could actually BELIEVE that the smoking ban would actually happen.

I didn’t. I had some sort of ‘mental blockage’ which refused to accept the idea that I could not go the the pub, order a pint and have a cig at the bar with an ashtray to hand, and chat, or not, to other people, smokers or not.  Perhaps people who are condemned to death suffer similar blockages. They cannot actually accept, in their minds, that tomorrow, they will have a loop in a rope placed around their necks and be dropped through a trapdoor.

My experience of the start of the smoking ban was something similar. Perhaps soldiers in WW1 did not expect to be mowed down by machine gun fire.

It reasonably follows that Blair et al did not fully realise what they were doing. They too ‘blocked from their minds’ the consequences of such a ban. It is hard to believe that they believed that bar workers were dropping dead like flies as a result of SHS.

I doubt that they believed it. But I can imagine a situation where getting a smoking ban became a challenge for people like Blair et al. They would have been pestered to death by academic and medics, all acting in collusion, to do so. Blair et al figured and figured how to appease the medics and academics, always wanting to be seen as ‘saviours of the world’. And they came to the conclusion that a vast propaganda assault, backed up by a vast police assault, would do the trick. They would be seen as virtuous and enlightened.

It worked wonderfully well. Nothing was actually achieved health-wise, but the formula worked wonderfully well.

It proved to be easy.

And so we arrive at ‘alcohol unit pricing’. Like smoking bans, no one sees any sense to it. And they are right not to. Such things are communistic ‘one size fit all and someone somewhere will drink less’. That is the argument for Minimum Pricing. Clearly, Alcoholics will not stop drinking. Will fewer people become alcoholics?

That question reveals the motivation. It is EXPECTED that unit pricing will reduce the number of alcoholics, but there is no actual evidence that it will. It is a vague assumption, based upon computer models, which reflect only the biases of the programmers.

No matter how much messing about occurs in influencing politicians, the fact is that politicians look for the easy way out. They do not give a shit about you and me NOW. Why? Because voters, on the whole, are not very volatile. Labour voters vote Labour, Tories vote Tory. Those two are all that matters. You just need to please, or at least not annoy, your voters. The clever tactic is to so complicate things that your voters are perplexed and just accept your word.

Is that not exactly what has been happening as regards smoking?



One Response to “They Do So Because It Is Easy”

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