This is a new one from the NHS. It smacks of scraping the barrel, of ‘experts’ tearing out their hair and screaming ‘We don’t know what else to do!’

They are going to initiate antiemployment. They are going to pay people to not do something.

This was a dream of mine, long ago. I wanted to find a cure for all known diseases, a cure that was cheap and easily assembled in any kitchen from household ingredients. Then I would tell all the Pharmers about it and ask how much they’d pay me to keep quiet.

If I found it now I wouldn’t keep quiet. Sod the Pharmers, sod the money. They are behind the whole antismoking crap, the pretend obesity nonsense and all the rest of it. No, if I found such a cure now it would be on every internet forum I could find. I don’t have one. Yet.

Antiemployment is a word with a long history (ten minutes) of common usage (three times counts in my book) and it is, as I said, paying someone to not do something. It is especially relevant when their doing or not doing of that something is really of no consequence to you at all.

The NHS want to pay us to not smoke.

They don’t want to pay very much. Their ‘experts’ imagine that offering plenty much money is no more effective than offering the price of a can of beans, which is nonsense. Offer me £3 to stop smoking. Get stuffed. Offer me a million pounds if I stop for six months and all my tobacco will be in the chimenea as soon as the cheque clears.

After the six months is up I’ll spend a little of those millions on some leaves, seeds and papers. Even with a million I won’t be back at the tobacco counter. The way things are going, in six months you won’t be able to find it anyway. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it’ll be in the cellar with no lights or stairs, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the leopard’.

Employment works like this. You pay me to do something, so I do it. I do it your way even if your way is wrong (I might point this out depending on whether I’m paid enough to care) and I abide by any rules in place while at work. Once you stop paying, I stop working and no longer abide by workplace rules. Well, obviously, if you have a rule that states ‘do not slit your own throat’ I will carry that one over into non-work time but otherwise, when you stop paying you lose all control. Not that you ever really had any, it was all just an illusion brought on by the unreasonable cost of whisky.

Antiemployment works like this. ‘I really don’t care whether you do that thing or not but I’m going to pay you to not do it anyway’. It only works when it’s not your money you’re piddling away.

The delightful irony in it all is that the NHS depends very heavily on the tax take from UK-bought tobacco for its very existence. They are using the money extorted from smokers to bribe smokers to not give them any more money.

Perhaps this post would have been better titled ‘assisted suicide’. Maybe it spells the end of the NHS.

We can only hope so. They have long since passed the point of being expensively useless.

10 thoughts on “Antiemployment.

  1. One of the funniest side effects of this will be that if it becomes a big thing, the statistics showing a decline in the number of smokers will suddenly do a global warming hockey stick! EVERYONE will want to be on the freebie bandwagon so they’ll all start telling their docs they’ve taken up smoking but would consider quitting if the price were right.

    Meanwhile kids will see what a great idea it is: smoke and people give you money! What more could they want?

    Heh, now you know why I needed to go out and rent a yoctoscope to properly examine Antismokers’ Brains!



    • It is wide open to abuse. Nonsmokers can go to their doctor, answer ‘yes’ to the obligatory question and then ‘yes’ again to the ‘will you stop it if I give you money?’

      I hope they all do it. If nothing else, it’ll send their smoking rate figures into random-number mode.


  2. That’s sort of how I stopped smoking, although I did it myself, being capable of rational thought without State assistance. Much as I enjoyed it, despite having been an anti smoke office Nazi in my younger days, smoking is too expensive; a good second-hand motorbike a year’s worth of cash.
    So firstly, I imagined the tax per year the cigs cost me, in cash in a bag, and me handing it to Tony Blair across his big shiny desk to help pay for his goons who stop him getting beaten up in public. A horrifying scenario. Secondly I imagined the alternative, B&H giving me the same amount of cash for not buying their product, as a thank-you for not helping Tony in his attempts to avoid a hiding.


    • Everyone I know who stopped and stayed stopped did it without patches and gum or any other aids. They just didn’t want to do it any more.

      Unless someone wants to stop, they will either fail or become a vicious born-again nonsmoker filled with hate and envy. One day I might decide I don’t want to do it any more, but that is the only thing that will stop me. Money won’t, not now I can grow it myself 😉


  3. The very concept of paying people to stop doing something which is already costing them money (as smoking/drinking/eating does) is ludicrous. If money was a good enough incentive to stop doing something one enjoys then, as Richard points out above, just giving up that “something” will get a whole heck of a lot more money in your wallet than any piffling little amounts that the NHS might be prepared/able to pay, especially in the case of smoking or drinking, both of which are now astronomically expensive habits.

    As you say, Leggy – it’s all a case of cost as opposed to pleasure for the individual concerned (the “for the individual concerned” bit, of course, is always the part that our public “services” can never get their heads round). Everyone will be different, but with the huge taxation loaded onto cigarettes then anyone still smoking today obviously enjoys it far too much for any government department or public body to be able to afford to “buy” them out of doing it.

    Methinks I hear the sound of the bottom of barrels being scraped. If our money-grasping public services are seriously now mooting the idea of actually giving some of their precious funds away then they must be really, really bereft of worthwhile new ideas for their “cause.” But then, everyone on here already knew that, didn’t they?


  4. “Amanda Sandford, of campaign group Action on Smoking and Health, said that financial incentives are likely to be most appealing to those of a lower socio-economic status.”

    Unlike Amanda and all her cohorts suckling on the taxpayers tit or the academia gravy train eh?

    Bet she secretly sucks on a Silk Cut in the stationery cupboard every time HM Gov pays the money in…


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