I’m glad that I don’t have a TV set. Because it seems that Ed Mili, who is probably the leader of the Labour party or something (as if I cared), wants Britain to be One Nation.
It’s almost as bad as Dave Cam and his Big Society, which I’m not a member of either.
Britain can overcome the current challenges by coming together as it had in the past, he said, adding: “One nation: a country where everyone has a stake. One nation: a country where prosperity is fairly shared.
“One nation where we have a shared destiny, a sense of shared endeavour and a common life that we lead together. That is my vision of one nation, that is my vision of Britain, that is the Britain we must become.”
I don’t have a stake in Britain. I’m an outcast. Or as Deborah Arnott would say, an exile. I have to stand outside.
But the focus was on his own philosophy, which he explained had been forged through his experiences as the child of Jewish refugees from Nazism and days at a London comprehensive school…
He spoke of how his Jewish mother was rescued during the war by nuns and his father joined the Royal Navy after fleeing the Nazis.
Well, now that the Nazis are back, this time with more of their smoking bans, he might find himself a refugee again pretty soon. Unless, of course, he’s one of them now.
Anyway, I thought his parents were communists. And illegal immigrants as well.
“Have you ever seen a more incompetent, hopeless, out-of-touch, U-turning, pledge-breaking, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, back-of-the-envelope, miserable shower than this Prime Minister and this Government?” he asked.
The last few Labour governments spring immediately to mind.
It’s kind of bizarre really. Here we are, living under a piece of divisive legislation that has made social pariahs of millions of people, and we’ve got a Conservative leader who spouts a lot of baloney about a Big Society, and now we’ve got another one who gabbles about One Nation.
Look. We don’t have a Big Society. Nor do we have One Nation. Nor are we going to have any One Big Nation-Society any time soon. We have a society divided between insiders and outsiders. The insiders sit inside the pubs, and the outsiders sit outside the pubs (like I was this afternoon). It’s a deep division, and it’s set to get deeper.
Anyway, it’s all hot air. Ed’s not going to do anything for smokers or pubs. No more than Dave Cam or Nick Clegg.
But reading some of today’s comments, about age and age differences, I’m reminded that the current crop of British party leaders all look pretty juvenile to me, particularly Ed. And that doesn’t inspire much trust. I don’t have the sense that these people have lived very much, or made many mistakes, or been made any the wiser for it. They are − all of them − curiously insubstantial people.
Along the same lines, I had the further thought today that, in the war on smoking, it’s the older generation that is being quietly and deliberately sacrificed. It is upon the older generation that the impact of the smoking ban is felt most strongly. Many young people have never known anything else. Too bad if our oldie pub communities and networks of friends have been shattered by the smoking ban. We are disposable, and we are being disposed of. And a deaf ear is being deliberately turned to our protests.
A propensity to sacrifice large numbers of people in the pursuit of an ideal, purified world is of course a characteristic of Nazism.
The antismokers are fighting a very long global war on smoking. First they introduced bans gradually in trains and buses and planes. Then they banned advertising. Next they’ve banned smoking in pubs and cafes and restaurants. Recently they banned tobacco displays in shops. Now they want to bring in plain packaging. After that they’ll bring in car smoking bans. And outdoor smoking bans. And home smoking bans. And finally they’ll make tobacco illegal. I know people say that they won’t do that because they depend on the tax revenues from tobacco to fund their antismoking drive. But by then they’ll be living off the tax revenues from alcohol and everything else. The Deborah Arnotts of the world will seamlessly shift their aim from one target to another, barely changing gear in the process, or even using different formulations of words. In fact, they are already doing so.
I read once that when a fox wishes to dispose of a population of fleas, it first takes a leaf between its teeth, and then it walks very slowly backwards into a lake, until only the tip of its nose sticks out of the water, and all the fleas have gathered on the leaf. And then it releases the leaf.
Tobacco Control has adopted a similar strategy. Their aim is to gradually purge society of tobacco, and then alcohol, and then whatever comes next on their long list of things to be banned. It’s a transition they hope to accomplish within a couple of generations. And if a couple of generations have to be sacrificed to achieve their goal of a smoke-free and alcohol-free society, then so be it.
Although of course it makes complete nonsense of any notion of “One Nation” or a “Big Society”.