A day or so back, Sheila left a link in the comments to the blog of John Redwood, MP. In it, he wrote:
Let us begin with the vexed question of tobacco.
I am a non smoker. I accept the medical advice that smoking can be damaging to your health. I decided not to smoke as a teenager, when I discovered that my lungs rejected smoke when I tried a cigarette. I always disliked the smell of tobacco smoke, and the taste smoking left in my mouth.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always found John Redwood a bit creepy. When he first appeared on TV, he used to have an weird, convulsive neck movement, which sort of looked like he was screwing his own head back on. And he had zero sense of humour. He was perhaps British politics’ Mr Bean. As Welsh Secretary, he was once caught mouthing the wrong words for the Welsh national anthem.
And I can well imagine he was the sort of creep who couldn’t smoke a cigarette without first calling an ambulance. In fact, he’s probably the sort of creep who would never have tried a cigarette in the first place unless someone had sat on his chest and forcibly stuck one in his mouth. Same probably applied with beer and spirits. I bet he never learned to ride a bicycle either. Or roller-skate. Or climb trees. Or swim.
I am also a freedom lover. If tobacco remains a legal substance I have no wish to stop others smoking in ways which do not annoy others.
This is bollocks. John Redwood voted for the UK smoking ban. Anyone who did that is not – repeat, not – a freedom lover. He may have done any number of freedom-loving things in his life for all I know, but the smoking ban provides the true and exact measure of love of freedom. Vote against it, and you were a paragon of freedom. Vote for it, and you were an authoritarian little shit.
And it’s ‘annoyance’ that matters to him, not health, it seems. He doesn’t smoke, and he doesn’t like anyone else smoking either. And he’s quite happy to ban whatever he doesn’t like.
The law has moved on, and now favours the majority who do not smoke and controls the places where smokers can smoke. Today the issue is should the law be moved further?
Is there somewhere that smokers can smoke?
And is that the issue? Does he really want to tighten the law further? Well, yes, he clearly does. He’s not just a non-smoker; he’s an antismoker:
Should government leave things as they are? Should it ban more advertising/promotion like the packet designs? Should it make smoking illegal?
No option there to relax or repeal the sodding law. But then, what else is to be expected from a tyrannical little scumbag?
I left a comment on the blog, pithily summarizing the above arguments. It didn’t get through moderation, somehow or other. Clearly a self-important little twat like John Redwood doesn’t like being criticised. But then, is that much of a surprise either?
And most of the comments that did get published weren’t supportive of him either. But then, none of them suggested that he go screw himself with his own front door knocker, I suppose.
But for me it illustrated yet again something that has been a constant for the last six years. And that is that, as soon as some public figure is revealed to be an antismoker, any good opinion that I may have had of them completely evaporates within the space of a few seconds. And conversely, when I find out that some public figure smokes, my opinion of them jumps instantly.
I even think that if I found out that Jack the Ripper occasionally enjoyed a cigar, I’d feel a surge of new sympathy for that much-misunderstood (and normally kindly and considerate) man. Perhaps it was that those unfortunate harridans hated smoking, and were busily telling him to stub it out, or go outside and take his filthy habit with him, when he sort of snapped, and began to unfasten the straps on his black bag. And who wouldn’t?
John Redwood seems to be quite thoughtful, and writes lots of stuff on economics, some of which I might even agree with. But I never read any of it. Because he was one of the MPs who voted for the smoking ban in February 2006, and I’ll never forgive him. Nor any of the rest of them. And it has poisoned everything. It’s the only thing I can remember about any of them. Like with Jack the Ripper.