It’s raining, and little rivulets of water are running down the window pane.
The rain has no force, no power. A single raindrop has little impact on anything.
But once the rain has fallen, it starts trickling downhill. That’s when it forms little rivulets. And the rivulets merge to form streams, and the streams converge into brooks, and the brooks unite into rivers. It takes a while for the raindrops to do this. It takes hours or days or weeks.
And once every now and again, when the rain falls hard for a long time in one area, the streams grow stronger, and the brooks grow wider, and the rivers burst their banks or become raging torrents, and sweep away trees and rocks and bridges and roads and houses.
And then the harmless raindrops unite with other raindrops to become an unstoppable force of nature.
It’s been raining hard everywhere for smokers, and it’s been raining for years. And the smokers are themselves like raindrops. They have little power on their own.
And at first, just like rainwater, they just trickle slowly downhill in one direction or another. How fast they flow depends on how steep the slope on which they lie. Some of them just lie in pools, inactive. Others form little streams here and there. And in the streams they flow faster.
My blog is a little stream or brook. It flows fast and angry. And its comments are little tributaries, feeding into it, and adding fresh impetus to the stream. And it’s one of a growing number of similar streams, that have sprung up everywhere.
Not all the comments add fresh impetus. Some of them try to slow the stream, or try to dam it. But when that happens, the stream soon finds a way around the obstacle, and keeps on flowing.
But the streams have little more force than raindrops. They can carry away leaves, but nothing much bigger than that.
But as the rain keeps falling for smokers, it’s not hard to foresee what’s going to happen. The streams will merge into brooks, and the brooks will flow into rivers, and the rivers will become torrents. That’s what always happens when it rains hard everywhere for a long time. And for smokers it’s been raining all over the world for years. And what’s going to happen is that they will form a torrent that will sweep away everything in its path.
Tobacco Control lies on the downhill path of these multiplying streams and brooks. And Tobacco Control is like a rickety wooden bridge. It’s going to be swept away. There will be no stopping the force of nature that Tobacco Control has itself helped unleash, and whose nature it doesn’t understand. They can’t see what’s coming down the hill for them.
Tonight I’ve been wondering just how powerful that torrent will become, and how much it will sweep away. Because it might not just be Tobacco Control, but also much of the medical profession as well. And quite a few uncharitable charities. And rich foundations like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And maybe even the multi-million dollar pharma industry.
Because a lot of rain has fallen on smokers. They’re being reviled and demonised and excluded all over the world, all at the same time. And there’s something between a thousand and two thousand million of them in the world, all being beaten with sticks. There’s a lot of fast, angry water in that.
So tonight I wondered whether even more might be swept away by tens of millions of angry smokers. Like the mendacious mass media, and the corrupt political parties, and even the EU.
In fact, I began to wonder what wouldn’t be swept away. And began to draw up a list. Here in England, the Crown isn’t in danger from the torrent. The Queen hasn’t joined in kicking the smokers. Nor have any of the other royals. And the Churches aren’t in any danger either. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope haven’t joined in the attack on smokers either. Neither have the police, or the army. So they’ll probably be safe. And so will most honest business enterprises. And most families.
The politicians and the pundits can see that it’s raining for smokers. It was, after all, them who helped make it rain. And they can see the smokers huddled outside the pubs they once belonged inside. And they can even see and read minor streams like my little blog.
But they haven’t yet seen what’s coming. And so they’re not worried. And they keep making it rain harder and harder on smokers. They keep pissing on them, just because they can, and because that’s all they know what do.
One day though, they’ll start to get worried, when they start to see things being swept away here and there. But by then it will be too late to do anything to avert the coming disaster. Because nobody will be able to stop it.