Friday, May 18, 2007

The techonology here at NigeCorp is in a peculiarly bad mood, so there might not be much from me today - but I must say something on a truly burning (hehe) issue - the impending smoking ban in England. Was there ever a more illiberal, malicious and oppressive piece of legislation passed by even this government? (Possibly the hunting ban - but at least that's been widely honoured in the breach). This one - like so much else - can be traced, of course, to the 'European' entity that is the source of most of 'our' legislation these days, but that's no excuse. Besides, our continental cousins have a more robust attitude to the interference of the state than we do - partly, I think, because they tend to have much stronger local institutions and identities. Here we can't even manage to cobble an English indentity together, let alone anything more local - so we are at the mercy of the State in all its meddling madness. As a result, we are apparently going to go along with this ludicrous blanket ban on smoking in all 'public places' - and even disfigure our churches and cathedrals with No Smoking signs (and no doubt they're looking into the effects of incense inhalation). So infuriated are my good friend Loophole and I at all this that we have actually resumed smoking, despite having 'given up' - simply in order to savour a last few weeks in something that still vaguely resembles a free country.
And then there's this - about to be 'rolled out' nationally, and exactly the kind of thing Brown will bring us more of. The State wants to get its hands on us even before we're born. Aieee....


  1. the online pixie rides againMay 18, 2007 11:21 am

    It is a bit daft isn't it? Who's going to enforce this law? Will there be arrests for smoking? Will our prisons be able to handle the strain of having to house all the nicotine addicts? Still it's not as if the police haven't got anything better to do with their time. I mean, it's not as if there's a dangerous amount of crime not being tackled by the police...

  2. hmm, a bit of the chicken little on that health item, nige. no bad thing in any account and anyway, it clearly states it's voluntary.

    as for the smoking, I read in the local rag that the council will employ wardens to sort out the miscreants - though I think that's to do with the irrational idea smokers have that fag butts and ciggie packets don't constitute street litter. then there are those in remission who spit their masticated gum on the footpaths - there's no end to the offence these people cause ordinary law-abiding citizens of our country.

    I think the solution is simple: it's a free country and if they really can't live with the laws, then they are free to live somewhere different.

    As for policing - well, that's not understanding the full picture. It is against the law to shit in the street but who complains at the police man-hours spent preventing the populace shitting in the street? This is a social law passed to enforce a changing cultural opinion.

  3. perhaps we can get back to


    afterall, it is the premiss of the blog, and not debating the mainstream news.

    I would like to propose a what if.

    What if this blog carried no advertising for messagespace? The equation states the addition is ''thinking readers''. Presumably someone volunteered to carry these adverts believing this to be true as it is embedded in the code. The experiment would be to disable the ad for a specified duration to see if the thinkers went away.

    Photographs ARE different to what our eyes see. I mean, the similarities are wonderful but only a simple soul would believe they're one and the same.

    What if Bryan never went to Oxbridge? Does formal education make anyone more of a free-thinker, or less so?

  4. Poor analogy about that smoking law, Ian. The accurate one would be they want it to be illegal to crap indoors. Or at all.

  5. sorry about that choice, Peter.

    now I wish I had used the right to nudity in public spaces instead. What harm does it do yet we seem quite happy with our liberty curtailed as far as nakedness goes.

    These so-called Libertarians are cherry-picking types!

  6. As a non-smoker, it doesn't bother me -- though the streets are paved with disgusting fag ends as everyone sneaks out for breaks the nation wide. I'd like a law to ban noise on trains next, please. (Happy for everyone to carry on hunting, though.)

  7. River of DeceitMay 18, 2007 5:54 pm

    I hated it when they brought it in up here (Scotland). If it's any consolation, you do get used to it.
    Although there are a few zealots in the scottish parliment who want to ban it outside pubs, restaurants, work places and in the car-even when it's parked.
    It's hard to fathom but their arguement is that the smoke can blow back into the pub!

  8. Yes, yes, just a little encroachment today and a little tomorrow and a little more the day after that. Little bits never add up.

    I'd like to quote our modern day Cassandra, Justice Thomas, from his dissent from the Supreme Court decision on McCain-Feingold:

    It is not difficult to see where this leads. Every law has limits, and there will always be behavior not covered by the law but at its edges; behavior easily characterized as "circumventing" the law's prohibition. Hence, speech regulation will again expand to cover new forms of "circumvention," only to spur supposed circumvention of the new regulations, and so forth.

  9. Totalitarianism wasn't built in a day.

  10. Susan B., commuter,May 18, 2007 7:43 pm

    Maxine, I agree. I'd like to ban idiotic cell phone conversations on the commuter rail trains. Esp. when you get to hear the *same* idiotic conversation five times as said idiot makes call after call to tell his acquaintances exactly the same story or bit of information.

    I like to read on the train; I hate to listen to people on their phones!

  11. Even from afar, it is disheartening to watch English civil liberties disappear with what appears to be increasing speed. The nanny state being erected will take care of almost everyone, but none too well, no matter how much is spent, or how many activities (or foods) are proscripted. The 24-hour surveillance of your lives will be put to other uses as crime will likely continue largely unabated. The national ID cards soon to be dispensed will render it impossible to forget (or forgive) even the most minor of infractions no matter how many decades ago it may have occurred. I believe that the record shows that those who trade freedom for security usually end up with much less of both. Pity that.

  12. We've had this in Ireland for a couple of years it's brilliant.

    As for enforcement it's pretty much self enforcing. The significant portion of the population does not smoke and is very opposed to it. Once the law is in the moral weight is with the non smokers and the smokers are no longer tolerated. There is no reason why they should have been tolerated in the first place as it is deeply unpleasant thing to be subjected to as a non smoker and would be regarded as deeply rude were it not for everyone being used to it. As soon as the ban is it this situation is changed completly.

  13. Like many, I find myself the awkward position of tutting at this law for its illiberal nannying, but looking forward to smoke-free pubs with barely-contained glee.