Terminal Disenchantment

H/T Jredheadgirl for this news from Florida:

No smoking outside?: Senate panel passes outdoor smoking ban bill

 TALLAHASSEE — Cities and counties could bar smokers from beaches, parks and other publicly owned outdoor areas under a proposal that passed an early Senate test Thursday, despite concerns from restaurateurs.

 By unanimous vote, the Senate Regulated Industries Committees approved the measure (SB 258), which expands the state’s clear indoor air restrictions to more outdoor venues. Voters approved the Florida Indoor Clean Air Act a decade ago.

 The proposal would allow local governments to enact smoke free areas on publicly owned land as long as smoking sections are also available.

A similar bill stalled last year after concerns over smoking on sidewalks. The current version prohibits smoking only on sidewalks in public parks, on public beaches or in recreations areas, continuing to allow smoking on regular street-side sidewalks.

The bill would also allow cities and counties to extend smoke-free zones from public buildings to 75 feet from the entrance, or the same distance from a ventilation system or windows.

Law enforcement officials would be required to first alert violators of the no-smoking restrictions and ask them to leave before they can issue a citation.

“Nobody wants to put anyone in jail for doing these things but it does send a signal,” said Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. “This state wants to be smoke free, eventually…. this is just one incremental step toward getting there.”

It was that last sentence on which I tripped and fell over. What the hell does he mean, “this state wants to be smoke free“? It sounded like the state was a person. And a person who wanted something. And maybe even a person who liked a cheeseburger now and then. With ketchup. Or French mustard.

It would have been different if he’d said, “I want the state to be smoke free.” Or even if he’d said that “Most people want the state to be smoke free.” But he didn’t say that. And so it sounded like all the people had vanished (himself included), and there was just “the state” remaining, and it “wanted to be smoke free.”

And perhaps that’s exactly what he meant? Perhaps, in his way of thinking, “the state” had become a person, and the only person who counted. A bit like (I read once) that companies are also legally “persons.” Maybe states are too, these days? Who knows.

But isn’t the guy a “representative”? Isn’t he supposed to represent the people of Florida? Maybe he doesn’t do that at all? Maybe, maybe he represents…… the state?

Apart from that, the story is another example of the incremental, salami-slice restrictions on smoking. There’s no public health justification for outdoor smoking bans (not that there was any justification for indoor ones either), but they’ll bring them in anyway. And they’ll say that they’re “great success” and that “everyone loves them”.  But really they’re just based on the hatred and spite for smokers fostered by Tobacco Control over many decades. And when that happens, I’ll spend even less than I already do. They don’t seem to want my stinking money anyway.

It’s no different in the UK. The Florida story reminded me of something Margo wrote a few days ago about her MP:

Have just received a surprise email from my MP re mine about Plain Packaging. He answered that before, but now writes as if he hadn’t answered it (starting with ‘sorry for the delay’). Complete turnabout – he’s now sounding as if he’s in favour, citing the “evidence” that it will deter the young from taking up smoking.

None of these people seem to represent their constituents any more. They don’t even show any signs of wanting to represent them. Not here in the UK, nor in the USA, nor anywhere else. I sometimes wonder whether all these politicians have drunk some sort of kool-aid that’s made them into zombies.

Personally I’m terminally disenchanted with the entire UK political establishment (Nigel Farage excepted), and I’m well past the point where I’ll vote for Absolutely Anybody Else. And it seems they have the same disenchantment in Italy:

Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star movement is not a political party and is not meant to fit into the niche Elitist club of Italian Politics. Started by the readers of his blog in despair at the endless corruption, power mongering and downright Mafia tactics that prevail, his movement is making only one demand. It will not form a coalition with any other party and actually does not want any power. Grillo himself has declared that the support for his movement, 25% of the vote, is a war of generations, fed up with chaos that the last 25 years of greedy, vain and corrupt politics has spawned.

Could it happen here? We have certainly seen the rise of new political movements, nourished through the freedom of information that can flow through the internet instantly – we have seen how everyone with a smartphone has a voice via Facebook, twitter and internet forums but is it really enough to put a dent in the hallowed Hogwartesque regime of the Glorious 650 MPs at Parliament? Yes – it is. Whilst our politicians squabble over who touched whose knee, millions of us are fed up.

“Fed up” puts it far too mildly. I’m hopping mad. And this isn’t just “mid-term blues” or something. It’s terminal. I can’t be won back. I’m never going to vote for any of these fuckers again. Not the ones in the big parties that betrayed 25% of the electorate – the 25% who were smokers.

Look, I voted Lib Dem for 25 years, automatic as clockwork. Yes, I know I’m stupid. And now I utterly hate the bastards. And there seem to be lots of people in the USA – Tea Party members – who feel the same way, except about a different bunch of reptiles – like this Thrasher joker in Florida -. And there’s Beppe Grillo. And there’s more popping up all over the place.

It’s a new experience for me, to feel this way. And it’s a new experience for me to see so many other people feeling equally disenchanted. And it seems to presage some sort of political tidal wave, in which the entire ‘professional’ political class – the kind of people who appear year after year on TV talk shows and current affairs programmes – simply get completely swept away. And are never ever seen again. Ever.

I’m beginning to think that it will actually happen.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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51 Responses to Terminal Disenchantment

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Some good news for a change
    Kentucky smoking ban not likely to come to vote

    Statewide Kentucky smoking ban not likely to come to vote
    http://www.courierpress.com
    Legislation that would institute a statewide smoking ban in restaurants and other public places has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for further review, making it unlikely it can pass in this legislative session.
    http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/feb/26/statewide-kentucky-smoking-ban-not-likely-to-to/

    • beobrigitte says:

      Harley, I believe even the Americans (we are constantly being told how much you over there LOVE this ban and HOW WONDERFULLY it works….) become wary of full smoking bans…..
      Good for us to know!

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank I wouldnt be so sure about that beach ban in Floriduh. Ive been fighting there for the last 2-3 years since they started it. The thing is there hasnt been any support in the Florida house for it at all. In fact its why it started out in the senate an unusual place for a bill like that to start life. Bills usually start life in the state legislature and then make their way to the full senate for review. This is actually a backdoor attempt to squeeze it in. Just as what the kentucky nazis tried this year and last by taking control of the health and welfare comittee. Its totally stacked with nazis and the bill was authored by the lead Nazi-Westrom of lexington and was endorsed by 2 other nazis on the same comittee.

    I rather think thats whats going on in Floriduh senate comittee,its full of Nazis getting a backdoor headline and trying to scare folks. Oh it will definately destroy tourism I guarantee you and thats floriduhs number 1 industry!

    We will wait to see,but Id say its a dead issue too,but ehh I been wrong before!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Heres what happened 2 years ago to the same bill and I was posting around Fla comments sections

    Naples tried to get bill 211 passed to remove the states preemeption law on smoking.It was D.O.A. in comittee! yet the smokefree advocates are still pushing it!

    2011 HB 211 Florida Clean Indoor Air Act Died in Health & Human Services Quality Subcommittee

    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/ … ssionId=66

    Current state law:

    This legislation expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject”.:

    Sarasota and other communities are in clear violation of state law!

  4. cherie79 says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I have been a political ‘junkie’ since university days but now, I just don’t care any more and, for the first time, I doubt I will vote at the next election. I am utterly disillusioned with them all and find I am just concerned with making sure, as far as possible, that my family is ok. Maybe we will have to get to the desperate situation that Italy is in before we finally rebel, I live in hope.though not much.

  5. wobbler2012 says:

    These people are completely insane.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    I called WinterPark Fla last year about an hour before they were to have a city council meeting on a proposed parks ban. It seems the nazis failed to tell the council about the state law at the time and I headed it off before it got going,the meeting was cancelled!

    Naples is a hotbed of Nazis and I still end fighting there like 4 nites ago………….But we have to challenge them everywhere and all the time. Make them defend their claims and propaganda.
    Its a war we will win,we have to world freedom depends on it! Smoking bans arent just an attack on smokers,their an attack on the worlds freedom as they are using the same tactics to attack everything under the same blue print as anti-tobacco tactics…………….We who have been fighting the longest have the knowledge and know how to defeat each of these new attacks on the free peoples of the world. They will join in as we fight,they havent caught on yet but they will and many have caught on. To the end we go as their is no alternative but serfdom.

  7. mandy says:

    Restaurant smoking ban goes up in flames – Sydney Morning Herald ( sorry I cannot cut and paste the link with this new fangled flipping system – outside ban mind you.
    I have had 3 great holidays with the children in Florida, they would all love to go again with the Grandchildren, I could not bear to go again, I hated the fight (even though the first one was a smoking one). Even if it was free for a fortnight, my idea of hell along with Australia,

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Australia backsliding now!

    Council smoking ban backflip sparks criticism
    The Parramatta City Council, in Sydney’s west, is under fire for relaxing its ban on outdoor smoking until state-wide laws come into force.

    The council has approved a motion to lift the restrictions because of pressure from restaurants, which say their businesses are suffering.

    The New South Wales Government’s smoking ban will be extended to include commercial outdoor dining areas from 2015.

    The Greens MP John Kaye says the council’s decision is putting people’s health at risk.

    “They have tried to run upstream against the inevitable state wide ban on outdoor smoking,” he said.

    “They’re exploiting a loophole left open by the O’Farrell government which isn’t going to introduce its ban until 2015.

    “The O’Farrell government and Parramatta Council should stop playing these games. We should introduce an immediate ban.”

    Parramatta Labor Councillor Pierre Esber says it was a motion put forward by the Liberals.

    “I don’t agree with the decision,” he said.

    “There’s a rescission motion being put in so we’ll be debating this when it comes back to council in a couple of weeks time.”

    When Parramatta Council announced it was implementing the ban in December 2011 it said its survey showed 68 per cent of residents and 60 per cent of diners supported it.

    It also state it would write to the government and ask for state-wide laws
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-27/council-smoking-ban-backflip-sparks-criticism/4542332?section=nsw

  9. GDF1 says:

    Jeez Frank!
    Because I no longer eat in restaurants, or stay in smoke-hater hotels (and so on) – I bought a used truck camper and I’m ready to hit the road for a vacation. I chose Florida for the first camper trip — and as I’m preparing to go – I read your first paragraph.
    I guess I should just laugh.

    • GDF, head on down and stir them up! Right after a new piece of nonsense comes in is *exactly* the time when people are open to hearing something different than the usual pap.

      Plus, as far as I know, Florida still allows smoking in stand-alone bars! (And I’ll bet there are a lot of non-stand-alone bars that have gone back to allowing it as well.)

      - MJM

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        you got that right! especially out in the woods! Apalachicola bay area

        • GDF1 says:

          MJM — I’ll try — I had to look up what a stand alone bar is — apparently one that doesn’t serve food?
          Harley – I have plans this time for the Everglades and the Keys — but I’m open to other suggestions! I hope to make a number of trips now that I have a way to travel, eat and sleep without being bugged by anti’s.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Bars that serve food have smoking in floriduh. But its more sandwiches,burgers and the like. But make note the beach ban bunch arent going after the bars in this attempt YET!

    • smokingscot says:

      There are stacks of places in Miami that allow smoking. Used to do a list of them but quit on account of the time difference (I used to phone to confirm – and still do for the lists I currently run).

      Anyway, this place came up and Yelp is a great source of info – just whack in “smoking bars and you’ll be astonished). There is no restriction on bars that sell food, however most restaurants are indeed smoke free.

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/macs-club-deuce-bar-miami-beach

  10. Junican says:

    I was reading something (I forget where) about the fact that the Conservative Party membership is shrinking and shrinking. I suspect that the Labour Party is in the same boat.

    I suspect that the traditional voters for parties are dying (literally) like flies and that young people do not have the political party allegiances of old. If that is true, then the current leaders of the main parties are not responsible to the members of the party since there is not much of a party. That may explain why it is that all the party leaders look and sound much the same. So why do the traditional parties continue to attract votes? I suspect that it is a result of very expensive marketing. In other words, membership of the party is no longer important. Marketing (aka propaganda) is the main deciding factor in which party has the majority in Parliament.
    The time is ripe for a new Party to emerge. Maybe UKIP is the one – although the election of one or two UKIP MPs would mean very little in the short term. However, if UKIP actually announced its PRINCIPLES (especially personal freedom to open a new bar for smokers staffed by smokers and similar restoration of freedoms) it might just take off very rapidly.
    Is there any such possibility?
    There most certainly is.
    UKIP should announce that it is not against the EU as such. It is against the failure of successive Governments to examine closely EU propositions which are designed to diminish the authority of the UK Government. It should make it clear that Treaties are only temporary arrangements and, in themselves, have no legal standing (which is why they are not ‘passed’ by Parliament).
    But even UKIP would come up against the problem of who are the real rulers in the UK. In the end, the only way to assert the rule of THE PEOPLE will be to de-politicise the Civil Service. In particular, of course, to remove Zealots of all kinds from the Health Dept.
    Government is a MONOPOLY, and therefore needs no propagandists/publicists. It needs only to say things as they are.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Junican, thank you for your summary!
      This is basically what I think, although I am aware that UKIP’s media coverage is mainly as being anti-foreigners. Obviously as someone happily contributing to THIS country by paying the tax I am supposed to pay after having taken risks to live STATE INDEPENDENT I would feel insulted if I was told that I should leave, so UKIP needs to provide much more information with respect to this policy, as potential FOREIGN voters tend to be reluctant.

      UKIP should announce that it is not against the EU as such.
      To my knowledge, UKIP is for a revised, common sense, Europe; this does make sense. I fully agree with their policy on that.

      It should make it clear that Treaties are only temporary arrangements and, in themselves, have no legal standing

      UKIP has recognized the fact that every country finding treaties unworkable can just leave these, especially if these treaties are based on lobbying and misinformation.

      In the end, the only way to assert the rule of THE PEOPLE will be to de-politicise the Civil Service. In particular, of course, to remove Zealots of all kinds from the Health Dept.

      Civil service is there to serve the people. Since the healthists’ invasion I find myself declared “evil” “smoking scum” “burden to society” “guilt ridden” etc. etc. without my consent. Furthermore, I find that the healthists use tactics that can, even for them, be described as being below the belt.

      If UKIP also promotes transparency in policy making, it DEFINITELY will have my vote (and I am eligible to vote) – even at the risk of being sent “back-to-where-I-came-from”; one country has to make the start of stopping this nonsense! It might as well be England.

  11. smokervoter says:

    Does anyone know where Beppe Grillo and his party stand on smoking bans and the nanny state in general? Something tells me they’re probably not much into the interfering bastard state.

    The Republicans are groveling around like utter fools thinking they’ll chip off, what, an extra 5% of the Latino vote. Meanwhile if they played their cards right and got rid of people like this Sen. Thrasher RINO and actively courted smokers, and especially latinos and blacks who smoke, they could grab hold of a huge chunk of 27 million likely voters. If they can achieve even a 65% share that would constitute a lopsided 18 million to 9 million preponderance. That’s more than a quarter of what it takes to seize the White House.

    The same holds true for UKIP. Don’t pussy foot around Nigel, there are 7 million likely votes to be had. Get rid of the antismokers in the party. Smokers are mad as hell.

  12. waltc says:

    So maybe this guy in Florida thinks he’s a French monarch (L’etat c’est moi). Sure as hell our Bloomberg thinks HE is, having turned NYC into Bloomburg. But the question arises: why do the people let these egotists get away with it? Is it the effectiveness of propaganda? Are the run of human beings really Pavlovian dogs in clothes? Or is it just lethargy, the tendency to seek inertia?

    Unfortunately, after the last US presidential election and, observing the frightening direction this country is taking, I’ve also turned off on politics but, as much as– or more than– the preening pols, I blame the knee-jerk, know-nothing electorate who seem now to be a kind of permanent majority. It’s possible to get rid of a relative handful of senators, reps, and even a one-man-band of a president, but wtf can you do about a couple of hundred-million countrymen? That’s what inspires a true sense of futility.

  13. Margo says:

    Have a look at Charlie Brooker’s ‘Waldo’ (the last of his Black Mirror dramas), if you can find it on i-player (it was on Channel 4, Monday 25th at 10pm). I think you’d find it very relevant (not least a propos of Beppo Grillo), and rather brilliant, and it has a sinister ending.
    If there was a general election tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t vote. Unfortunately, the propaganda machines would be wheeled out and the stupid people would start prattling on (as they always do) about how it’s our ‘duty’ to vote and not be ‘apathetic’, and doing their ‘tactical voting’, thinking themselves clever to vote for someone they don’t want, in order to keep out someone they even more don’t want – and then wondering why they end up with someone they don’t want.
    I’m sick to the gills of it all – lying, corrupt, power-seeking, war-mongering, toadies. All of them.

  14. Rose says:

    The new, toned down, BHF campaign.

    Some of the quotes from the Fenland Citizen do appear but the somewhat derisory poll of 185 smokers appears to have now gone up to a more respectable 2000.

    “Out of the 185 smokers questioned in the East of England, almost a third (29%) surprisingly reported that money is actually a bigger motivator to quit smoking than the effects on their long-term health.”
    https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/wartime-housewife/#comment-74310

    • Rose says:

      Charity launches new anti-smoking campaign

      “The British Heart Foundation says almost a third of smokers in Wales say their family wants them to give up the habit.

      It’s launching a campaign to show people the amount of money they could save by quitting.

      As part of its No Smoking Day campaign, the BHF Cymru is encouraging smokers to ‘swap fags for swag’ and think about the financial incentives of quitting.

      According to figures from the charity, an average person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day an save £7 a day, £49 a week, £210 a month and £2,555 a year if they quit.

      Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “These figures reveal the emotional burden smokers endure by feeling guilty about the impact their addiction has on family life and their finances. Fortunately, if you smoke and want to stop, we’re here to help”
      http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2013-02-27/charity-launches-new-anti-smoking-campaign/

      Third of smokers admit family hates their habit

      Almost a third of smokers in Wales admit their children or family hates them smoking, according to the British Heart Foundation.

      The charity has released figures from a recent survey to mark the 30th annual No Smoking Day campaign.

      The survey found almost a third of smokers said they also felt guilty about the amount they spend on cigarettes and a fifth of those admitted they could buy more for their family if they were to quit.”
      http: //www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2013-02-27/third-of-smokers-admit-family-hates-their-habit/

      Cost biggest reason to quit smoking

      “A quarter of smokers claim that the cost of their habit is a bigger motivator to quit than implications for their health.

      And 34% said they feel guilty about the amount they spend on cigarettes, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

      A poll of 2,000 smokers found that 25% reported they are more inclined to kick the habit because of money over the effects on their long-term health.

      Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: “These figures reveal the emotional burden smokers endure by feeling guilty about the impact their addiction has on family life and their finances. Fortunately, if you smoke and want to stop, we’re here to help”.
      http: //money.aol.co.uk/2013/02/27/cost-biggest-reason-to-quit-smoking/

      Smokers motivated to quit by money

      “According to a study conducted by the British Heart Foundation, 34% of smokers said they felt guilty about the amount they are spending on cigarettes.

      A poll of 2000 smokers found that 25% reported they were more inclined to kick the habit because of concerns about money over the effects on their long-term health.

      As part of its 30th annual No Smoking Day campaign, the charity is calling on smokers to think about how much money they could save if they quit.

      A person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day would save themselves £2555 over the course of a year if they decided to quit.

      Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “These figures reveal the emotional burden smokers endure by feeling guilty about the impact their addiction has on family life and their finances.
      “Fortunately, if you smoke and want to stop, we’re here to help.”
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/smokers-motivated-to-quit-by-money.20351002

      • Tripling the cost of gas would cut down on a lot of road deaths and a lot of the money people waste on cars and driving could be spent on their families instead. So what else is new?

        - MJM

        • Rose says:

          Bingo!
          Persistence pays off.

          Here is the Fenland Citizen article with only the odd word change.
          It seems that the Citizen may have published 4 days too early and in full, but tailored to the area.

          February 27, 2013
          Fags over family? Smoker’s choice sparks hate from loved ones
          http://www.bhf.org.uk/media/news-from-the-bhf/no-smoking-day1.aspx

          (East of England Smoker’s choice sparks hate from loved ones Fenland Citizen 08:54 Sat, 23 Feb 2013)

        • beobrigitte says:

          Rose, what a “gem”.
          Not only were smokers keen to dodge calculations on cost but self-deception was also evident, as one in five acknowledged they probably underestimate how much they spend on cigarettes.

          So, smokers are keen to “dodge calculations”? The British Heart Foundation might wish to dodge calculations when it comes to donations from the public.

          The data showed money matters often prick the conscience of smokers; as just over a third said they feel guilty about the amount they spend on cigarettes and a similar number stated they avoid thinking about it.

          What is the EXACT meaning of this? Denormalisation? I am looking forward to have this explained by the British Heart Foundation.

          We’re using this insight for our No Smoking Day campaign this year by encouraging smokers to ‘swap fags for swag’ and think about the financial incentives of quitting.
          Ah, we smoker scum cannot afford anything unless we stop smoking? I might have puffed away a VW beetle and that is why I have to drive a 2L Nissan Primera which is currently being traded for an A-class Mercedes. Hard times.

          “These figures reveal the emotional burden smokers endure by feeling guilty about the impact their addiction has on family life and their finances.
          Why SHOULD I feel guilty? Because I am being told I should?

          Fortunately, if you smoke and want to stop, we’re here to help.
          Thanks for the offer; I can and do smoke just fine on my own and have no plans to stop. You may keep your Zyban and Champix.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Tripling the cost of gas would cut down on a lot of road deaths and a lot of the money people waste on cars and driving could be spent on their families instead. So what else is new?

          Good point!

          Co-incidentally; hasn’t the WHO declared Diesel to be far more carinogenic than they classed SHS? I am not aware of any Diesel prohibition coming soon….

  15. roobeedoo2 says:

    At PMQs today: Labour’s Ian Mearns asks if Cameron would support a ban on smoking in cars containing children.

    Cameron says he will look carefully at all proposals relating to smoking. “There have been real advances in this area,” he says. “Mearns is making “a good point”.

    And this from the BBC yesterday: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21593334

    It’s one thing banning smoking in pubs – people have the choice to not frequent them (and they have made this decision by deserting the pubs in droves); however, it is going to get very nasty if the state legislates to stop people smoking in their cars.

    I love they way they think they’ve ‘advanced’ – I’m sure German politicians thought the same in the 1930s.

    • beobrigitte says:

      The prime minister has said while he supports the smoking ban in pubs and clubs, he is “more nervous” about legislating what happens in cars.

      Ah, great. Tories, you are definitely going.

      And, yes, he is quite right to be nervous about extending this senseless ban to MY car! I smoke in my car. MY property. End off. No discussion.
      Kids need to lose weight, anyway, so they can walk. So spare us the “poor chiiiiiiiiiildren” rubbish.

  16. garyk30 says:

    “It would have been different if he’d said, “I want the state to be smoke free.”

    That is what he did say.

    Just in a typical OCDer’s fashion.

    • Rose says:

      Less about OCD, Gary.
      A trace of it runs in our family, or hadn’t you noticed? : )

      • garyk30 says:

        Like myself, I think of you as being charmingly eccentric. :)

        • Rose says:

          I’ll settle for that. : )

        • smokervoter says:

          I had a charmingly eccentric aunt named Rose. She and my uncle were Cessna airplane pilots in the early 60s. Together they set some sort of aeronautical world record, don’t recall exactly what it was, I was very young. She smoked, drank and swore like a sailor and was very pretty. She was my favorite ‘grown up’ as a wee lad.

          Rose has got to be one of the prettiest womens names there is. It’s almost like you’d better be a lovely creature with a quasi-sobriquet such as that to live up to.

        • Rose says:

          Rose is the name my friends call me.

  17. jay says:

    Whenever I’m feeling disenchanted and hopeless I cheer myself up with the memory of how I felt when I first heard about ‘Duffygate’ – that wonderful moment when Gordon Brown sealed the fate of NuLabor’s chances in the general election by dismissing a loyal Labour voter, typical of many, as “some bigoted woman” and then, gloriously, went on digging the hole for himself. Then, of course, having got rid of one set of bastards we got another set in. My anticipated joy for tomorrow is seeing how badly (I hope) Lib/Lab/Con do in the Eastleigh by-election.

    Simon Clark a few days ago raised the intention of Gateshead Council to introduce a voluntary ban (choke) on smoking near children’s play areas. I spend a lot of time in Gateshead and, believe me, it’s got real economic problems. I went to a meeting a few years ago which was addressed by a Gateshead Councillor. A glossy brochure was produced with five year health objectives for the population. These f*ckers seemed to have forgotten that they’re there to empty the bins and sweep the streets. Gateshead Council is no doubt blissfully unaware that it became a laughing stock a few years ago when it issued salt-cellars with fewer holes to fish and chip shops to reduce salt consumption :>

    Does anyone know if, in the UK, there has to be a minimum percentage of voter turnout below which a government can’t be formed – like the quorum for a meeting to be legitimate?

    • smokingscot says:

      Re Minimum % turnout cutoff.

      No there is not. Nor is there one at EU elections.

      Two years ago the SNP “won” a local council election with a 10% voter turnout.

      To my knowledge only one country in Europe has that – Bosnia. They have to get a 50% voter turnout, or the result of that election is nullified.

      There have been attempts however to set a minimum for the Scottish Independence referendum. Thus far they have failed.

      Re Eastleigh: That should be quite amusing in a cold, quiet, calculated way. Not quite payback time, for that we must endure until EU elections in June 2014.

  18. jay says:

    Just in case anyone (understandably) didn’t believe the salt-cellar remark:

    Can’t seem to post the link but Google “Salt Shaker Shortlisted for Health Award”

    Yes – this is the level of stupidity in the UK…

  19. jay says:

    Thanks for that info, smokerscot – I wrote a more lengthy reply but have lost it and it is now time to retire in expectation of another shit-filled day tomorrow alleviated by the news of the by-election.

  20. “None of these people seem to represent their constituents any more. They don’t even show any signs of wanting to represent them.”

    Some don’t even know that major developments are going on which a significant proportion of the population care about.

    The public have effectively been amputated from the democratic process entirely.

    • beobrigitte says:

      The public have effectively been amputated from the democratic process entirely.
      The best example for this is 01.07.2007. Others followed and will more will follow. The BBC already announced that the number of alcohols sold does NOT compare to what people state they drink. However, the BBC omitted home brewing and with that the discrepancy is even higher.
      Doesn’t this apply to cigarettes, as well? Substitute “home brewing” with cigarettes bought abroad/bought-not-quite-legal-but-much-cheaper and there you are.

      It never is a good move to attack people’s comfort zone and dictate a fictitious “health” regime where we all live longer, yet are of no use except being a burden to society as our brains have not yet adjusted to this longevity. (The BBC lamented recently the increase of numbers of old people suffering from dementia/Alzheimers – curiously these old people are still alive when a whiff of SHS KILLS?)
      Nature looks after itself and evolution does take it’s own time.

  21. beobrigitte says:

    Could it happen here? We have certainly seen the rise of new political movements, nourished through the freedom of information that can flow through the internet instantly – we have seen how everyone with a smartphone has a voice via Facebook, twitter and internet forums but is it really enough to put a dent in the hallowed Hogwartesque regime of the Glorious 650 MPs at Parliament? Yes – it is. Whilst our politicians squabble over who touched whose knee, millions of us are fed up.

    Well, even the BBC didn’t manage to edit out all the people lighting up when going to see Beppe Grillo speaking. As far as I know he didn’t object to it, either.

    Then, Teflon Tony appeared on BBC news, calling for “action” with respect to the Syrian Government. Well, perhaps he could first deal with his “actions” when he was in power in this country. Some of his “actions” did kill a well doing pub trade and caused further this mess we are in.
    The tories and liberals (what a joke; WHAT is “liberal” about them) squabble; the tories are rubbing their hands about a liberal MP groping women whilst hiding their own and the liberal leader is making a laughing stock of himself by contradicting his own press responses.
    Right. It just shows that MPs have far too much time on their hands, so they apply these to their “best friend” and confidence extension. Can we PLEASE vote for somebody who actually WORKS during his/her working hours and DOES NOT impose their PRIVATE lives and attitudes on us all the time? (MPs, whatever you do after work is not something I am interested in; but I can expect you to do your job! It no longer is an issue; – anybody groping me now would be met with the advice to get his eye sight tested – but when I was younger, any boss trying to grope me was met with a slap in the face. Women, we can pack a good punch, why go on whingeing and whining?)

    Watching debates in the house of commons is like watching children squabble in the play ground. Shuddering to think that these very people decided that I am a socially unworthy person.
    UKIP I don’t know yet; I guess that in the next few days we will hear more. At least this party does recognize the damage the previous and current government has done to us all. (And I say this as a foreigner in this country; I still am a German national. I just happen to live here amongst other hard working English people. To constantly go on about English “work-shy” citizens (as our government does) is wearing even me thin; I see plenty of English people desperately applying for any jobs this new Job Center replacement provides. Unfortunately these “job offers” are often well out of date and the vacations have long been filled. It’s the same scam as the NHS smoking cessation offer. (Do those who fob smokers off to stop for 2 month still get this £40/head they could add to the statistics?)

    This isn’t an English only problem. People are disillusioned.

  22. Pingback: The Hollow Men | Frank Davis

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