Pandering to the feeble at every turn, forcing motorbike riders to wear helmets ‘for safety’ (whose safety? Mine? I can’t ride any bike so having someone pile into me at 40 mph is going to be worse if their head is encased in steel).
Forcing the fitting of seat belts to cars and then later, enforcing their use (for safety – whose? I don’t care whether the occupants of the car that hits me are belted in or not. In fact, they’ll feel safer so they’ll be going faster and being less careful).
Helmets were available to anyone who wanted them, seatbelts were available to anyone who wanted them. Forcing them on those who don’t want them was pandering to the feeble.
Skipping a few, we come to the smoking ban, which was the ultimate in pandering to the feeble (so far – next will be the terrible threat of second hand steam and then we’ll need a new word beyond feeble).
Helmets for motorbikers led to helmets for cyclists and then helmets for walking-pace donkey rides over sand. Front seat belts in cars led to rear seat belts then seat belts in buses and soon (if not already) in trains. In planes, okay, they make sense. If your plane hits an air pocket you don’t want your head poked through the overhead lockers.
The fear of tobacco smoke has, naturally, overspilled into the fear of all smoke. The feeble will soon be recognisable by the wearing of Underdog(TM) bubblewrap clothing. In hi-vis colours naturally.
<digression> – I routinely forget to wear the smoking jacket (hi-viz vest) when nipping out for a smoke at work. It’s not that I have any objection, it’s hardly an onerous requirement, I just forget. It has occured to me that there are so many hi-viz jackets around now that nobody takes any notice of them any more. They all notice the guy who isn’t wearing one. Therefore I am more noticeable and therefore safer by not wearing one – everyone is pointing at me and saying ‘Why are you not dressed like a traffic cone?’ </digression>
Actually, bubblewrap is highly prized when you are homeless in winter.. whoops, another digression looms.
The fear of smoke has now gone beyond absurd. A pub that had open fireplaces to inject a bit of real life into the soulless world we inhabit has been told they can’t have them any more. Why?
I think that’s a lie.
In the olden days I frequented a pub where one barmaid didn’t like the smell of tobacco smoke. She didn’t kick up a fuss. She just lit a candle on the bar.
It does work. Light a candle, the remnants of tobacco smoke are still combustible or something – sod it, I don’t know how it works but it does – the open flame makes the smell go away.
That will be why my smoking parents and smoking grandparents never filled the house with tobacco smell. We all had coal fires. Now that we all have central heating, there’s no open flame. The tobacco smoke lingers.
Not here. I have a candle burning when I’m writing. We writers are full of superstition and strange routines. And I like candles. This might be why I am often given the ‘all smokers are horrible’ rant by antis and why nonsmokers will say to me after months of knowing me ‘I didn’t know you smoked’. There is no residual smell on my clothes (hint, antismokers, get a washing machine and change them often) nor in my hair (even when it reaches Neanderthal appearance because barbers are like dentists with less pain).
I have to wonder if the Righteous have realised that an open fire effectively removes all smoking-smell from a room. In a pub, therefore, it cannot be permitted.
And soon in a home. Can’t have the inspectors doing any actual work, can we?
A tenuous connection – a smoky-drinker who lives in a council house was generously upgraded fom open fire to gas central heating recently. He can’t afford to run it. He could run his fire on offcuts of wood his brother brought home from a building site, but his open fire was walled up as part of the deal.
Part Green God Tyranny and, perhaps, also part Tobacco Control Tyranny?
It’s hard to work out who is the worst these days.