No country for old smokers

pandj

The Aberdeen Press and Journal does have a website but they don’t give much for free. A link would be futile.

There is something called the Movember Foundation which relies, for its existence, on ‘male isolation’ being a problem that they must pretend to solve. Like all the other do-nothing do-gooders, actually solving the ‘problem’ would put them all out of a cushy and lucrative job so they aren’t going to solve it. They are going to change it around a lot and in the process, make it worse. Just like all the other problem solvers out there.

Apparently this is a particular issue for men. Some of us can go for a month without speaking to anyone. It’s true. Sometimes we just don’t have anything to talk about. Sometimes we’re just wrapped up in a project and don’t notice the time. Things like, say, militarizing a cockroach army or putting the final touches to that machine that bores into the earth’s crust to create a volcano wherever you want one… things like that require concentration. And let’s be honest, they are not things you generally bring up in idle conversation.

But then, hardly anyone does those kind of things.

There is also the Campaign to End Loneliness who declare that being alone is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What about those of us who live alone and also smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day? Oh we must be already dead so there’s no point worrying about us.

I should apparently have high blood pressure. I don’t. I should have depression. I don’t. I should have dementia… okay, we’ll come back to that one.

I should have lung cancer and emphysema and dandruff and leprosy and all the other things smoking causes. I don’t. I don’t cost the NHS money (that’s what all this really hinges on) and I definitely do not want neighbours poking in to say hello just to make sure I haven’t jumped out of the window or tried to gas myself in the electric oven or spontaneously combusted. I have no plans to do those things.

If I did, I’d hardly tell the neighbours. In fact, after three and a half months in this town, I know two people. I knew them before I, or even they, moved here. I have no idea who lives in the other flats in this block and no interest in finding out.

Linking being alone to smoking is interesting. They have, however, missed the real link entirely. The elephant in the ashtray.

It’s true that a lot of old men are now isolated and most of them don’t like it as much as I do. They would much rather have a social group to be with. Not too long ago they would have had no problem with that. This little town had three pubs. It now has none.

None. All the pubs are closed. Sure, it’s a short bus ride to a nearby town with pubs but the buses don’t run very late. If you are in a group and one person is driving, that driver can’t have one pint of beer or they can’t drive back. Few are willing to take that role.

So it’s taxis on the way back. On a State pension? It isn’t likely to happen often, if at all.

Pub closures have hit their limit in this little town. They are all gone. Yes, there is a link between smoking and isolation in older men and it’s because the older men were in a routine where they’d visit the pub a couple of times a week, have a beer or two, a chat with their mates… and a smoke. The Righteous put a stop to that.

Scotland’s winter weather is not pleasant to be out in, most of the time. This winter is quite mild so far but even so, it gets damn chilly out there. It’s much nastier the older you get. The old smokers can’t stand out there smoking so in winter they don’t bother with the pub. Their nonsmoking pals then have nobody to talk to, the pub isn’t interesting so they don’t go either.

It doesn’t take too many winters before the pub isn’t making enough money to stay open.

There is now nowhere for those old men to go. Their gathering places have been killed by the antismokers, the same type of people who now wail in simulated anguish at ‘the problem’ of old men who have nowhere to go. The ones who know best. The Righteous. They caused the problem they are now sapping taxpayer money to ‘solve’.

The pubs won’t reopen. You’d have to be insane to try running a pub in a small town now. The smokers won’t come. Out of town people won’t come because they can’t have one drink and drive home. The young have been indoctrinated into thinking that a sniff of alcohol will make their livers into Swiss cheese so they aren’t a reliable customer base either. The pubs are gone for good.

Even if the smoking ban is repealed, the ‘tax on account’ system for small business means that you will pay double tax on your first year’s income. That is enough to stop pretty much any startup business in its tracks. No, those pubs aren’t coming back.

The old men will have to stick to being alone… in their pub sheds with their mates. At smoky-drinky evenings.

Oh yes. That’s what the Righteous are really scared of. Socialising happening without State oversight. They don’t even know where it’s happening, much less who is talking to who, or about what.

When the Government or any of its agencies is ‘thinking of you’, what they are thinking about is how they can keep you under control.

They don’t think about anything else.

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25 thoughts on “No country for old smokers

  1. I don’t think there’s much I can add to that other than that you are right. I’ll just quote one of my favourite parts of ‘1984’ again:

    O’Brien asks:

    “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“

    Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.

    “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are some who are perfectly content with solitude; there are some who carefully choose their friends.

    And the more those busybodies attempt to interfere with that chosen lifestyle, the more those loners will insulate themselves from society. Up to now, choice of friends and acquaintances has been free from state diktat, thankfully.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is an Article 11 thingy – about freedom of assembly and association:

    http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/your-rights/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-act/freedom-assembly-and-association

    You are free to mix with whomever you like, except when authority doesn’t like it:

    ‘This is the case only where the authority can show that its action has a proper basis in law, and is necessary and ‘proportionate’ in order to:

    protect national security or public safety
    prevent disorder or crime
    protect health or morals
    protect the rights and freedoms of other people.’

    Seems like death-breathing smokers are in a bit of a jam… Ooh there’s a Song for that 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know I plug this blog post a lot, but ‘Human Rights’ is a complete misnomer. (Same with ‘Children’s Rights.) All the rights go to the State. We have the ‘freedom’ to do as the State dictates.

      Article 4 of the ECHR states that, “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person…but not persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts, or vagrants.

      And that one article probably covers the majority of the population these days!

      Although the previous Article states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

      This “No one” seems to be without conditions, therefore the smoking ban in psychiatric hospitals (and elsewhere, I would argue) constitutes infringement of Article 3 of the ECHR.

      http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2010/11/human-rights-what-do-they-mean

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Following on… here is a good example of how they can make up the rules as they go along and what hypocrites they are. In 2013, a patient with schizophrenia who had been locked up for 18 years in Carstairs (a high-security psychiatric hospital in Lanarkshire), went to court to challenge the smoking ban indoors and outdoors.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13120158.Patient_wins_fight_against_smoking_ban_at_Carstairs/

    He won the right to smoke again as the ban was in breach of his rights under the ECHR, but the judge ruled “with a degree of reluctance” and added, “I want to make clear I am not endorsing the idea of a ‘human right to smoke'”.

    The judge’s comments make no sense (probably out of fear that he had opened the floodgates). He is saying it is a human right for this one patient, but not for everyone. I also wonder why the case hasn’t been quoted in the legal action of many others. I think I do – people won’t stand up for their rights like this man did. Maybe because he felt like he had nothing to lose.

    The judge also said, “The decision to compel the petitioner to stop smoking was flawed in every possible way.”

    So why did he rule “with a degree of reluctance”?

    Fear of going against the grain, I suppose.

    However, he added: “I want to make clear I am not endorsing the idea of a ‘human right to smoke’. The fundamental right in terms of this aspect of article eight ECHR is to have your identity, how you choose to express it and other personal, private and intimate choices, whatever they may be, respected, even if your choices are harmful to yourself, morally reprehensible or laughable.

    “If you are an adult, the state cannot interfere with your choices in the private sphere except for weighty reasons to do with the protection of others and the good of the community as a whole.”

    “Lord Stewart said if McCann was of sound mind or his condition was such he could be treated in the community he would be able to smoke at home and in other places. If he were a prisoner he could smoke in jail.

    “The judge said: “I infer that the smoke-free policy has been imposed on mental health detainees and not on penal detainees simply because the latter are in a better position to defend their smoking habit whereas the former are not.”

    “The judge said the hospital had failed to show an “objective and reasonable justification” for treating him differently from long-term prisoners who can smoke.”

    When prisoners are banned, if they aren’t already, then the judgment in the Carstairs case cannot be used again, but the judge already admitted that, “The decision to compel the petitioner to stop smoking was flawed in every possible way” and that “the ban was in breach of his rights under the ECHR”.

    Hypocrisy, confusion and state-sanctioned “torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ECHR).”

    Liked by 1 person

    • XX “….. except for weighty reasons to do with the protection of others and the good of the community as a whole.” XX

      An THAT is his get out clause.

      All he has to do is bring up the (non) evidence for “Second hand smoke,” and he is off the hook.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They would try that now, I’m sure, but the judge even two years ago was well-balanced enough not to (seem to) include the patient’s smoking as part of the get-out clause. which means that in this case, it only needs to read:

        “If you are an adult, the state cannot interfere with your choices in the private sphere.”

        Seeing as a psychiatric hospital bedroom is considered one’s ‘home’ (private sphere) it should be for every patient who wants to to do the same.

        Although, of course, the nurses, while spending two minutes changing the sheets, could breathe in Hiroshima-like levels of toxins, but the patients could change the sheets themselves, I’m sure.

        Or maybe the (many) nurses who smoke could go into the bedrooms. Now there’s a novel idea, but:

        “Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. (‘1984’)”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s not just men, I live alone and like it and have family near enough when I want to see them. It was never my thing but I know many friends who liked Bingo and no longer go since the ban, a lot of the Bingo halls have closed as have all the working men’s social and trade union clubs leaving many older people very isolated. One of my friends almost never leaves her home now and her health has deteriorated badly. One day they might look back on all this health fascism as cruel and criminal.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To me there is one thing far, far worse than being alone; enforced socialisation. To be pushed into association with people you have nothing in common with by well meaning morons.

    I believe it’s a form of torture and is thus outlawed under the Convention 1 of the Geneva accords. Or doesn’t that cover civilians?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like others on here, I’m not uncomfortable with my own company. I do sometimes think that I probably should “get out more,” as they say, but to be honest, I find that after the smoking ban most places are so unenjoyable for me that when I do go out I end up wishing I hadn’t bothered and I often “make my excuses” early and leave, which often breaks up the entire party, for some inexplicable reason (maybe, as many have said on here before, things just aren’t so much fun anyone – smokers or non-smokers – now that smokers are part-excluded). The choice is a stark one – spend several hours in a state of enforced withdrawal (which isn’t pleasant), or spend a fair bit of time standing outside some establishment in the cold grabbing a quick cigarette (also not pleasant). The only alternative is – well – not to go. So I don’t.

    On the plus side, I’ve saved LOADS of money as a result (far more than I spend on cigarettes). I never realised that going out was so expensive until I stopped!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is sad. Why did we ever let this get out of control? We are all just human with flaws, all of us. And to create this monster, perhaps the catholics are right and the devil does exist? The rational thing would be to return to the 1950’s…I wish I had that time machine now

    Liked by 1 person

    • “The rational thing would be to return to the 1950’s.”

      Just what I was thinking a few hours ago. With some adjustments, but imagine the sense of freedom compared to these days of supposed ‘human rights’ and ‘equality’.

      “…perhaps the catholics are right and the devil does exist?”

      The Catholics are wrong on lots of doctrine, but the Devil knows his time is nearly up, hence the times we live in are becoming more immoral and confused so he can gather as many souls as possible before the return of Christ.

      The real Christ, that is, not the imposter which will be unveiled, possibly by the Vatican.

      Liked by 1 person

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