I’m still thinking about Mandy’s boyfriend. The one who asked me for a light in the pub garden, and then sat down and said, “I’ve quit.” Mandy was going to kill him if she found out that he’d been smoking, and he was going to have to buy some mints to disguise his breath.
I wonder if it worked? Maybe it didn’t? Maybe, with the first peck on the cheek from him, she caught the unmistakable stench of tobacco smoke, and recoiled away, coughing and spluttering. And so she got a broom from the broom cupboard, and used it to kill him there and then.
She’s probably just finished burying him in the back garden, and already has found a replacement for him.
The trouble with Mandy’s boyfriend, I’ve been thinking, was that he was simply too nice. He wanted people’s approval, and he’d do anything they asked to gain it. He was a doormat. And now the doormat had been thrown out and buried in the back garden – and replaced by a brand new doormat.
Most smokers are nice, friendly, sweet people. And if you ask them to step outside to smoke, they’ll do just that. And if you then tell them to not just step outside, but to walk 50 yards outside before they light up, they’ll do that too. And if you then tell them to walk 50 yards outside, and put on a dunce’s hat before they light up, they’ll do that as well. And so on. And with each humiliation, the smokers’ self-esteem drops another notch or two.
I know what it’s like. Something very like that happened to me a long time ago. I was aged about 15. Everybody liked me. Or everybody used to like me. But now I was finding myself coming under attack from a few people. And I didn’t know why. And so I responded by being even nicer to the people who were attacking me. But somehow or other that didn’t do any good. They only got nastier. They only got more and more mean and abusive. And my self-esteem started to tumble. My friends drifted away from me.
I’ve told this story before somewhere. But the long and the short of it was that I learned to stop being so nice, and started to get nasty. First I stopped being nice to my bullies. And then I started to resist them a little bit. And finally I started to attack them. And attack them out of the blue.
I was standing near one of them once, and he was talking happily about something to a couple of other people, and I was listening, waiting for a chance. And then I stepped in and landed a brutal insult on him. His face fell a mile. He looked like he’d been hit by a brick. And I was delighted. I was cock-a-hoop.
And I never had any trouble out of him again.
The same thing is happening to smokers today as was happening to me over 50 years ago. We’re witnessing large scale bullying. We’re seeing bullying on a global scale. Tobacco Control is a whole army of bullies, stomping all over the world.
And smokers wonder what they did to deserve this. And they try to be nice. But it has no effect, and it only makes TC nastier.
Smokers are going to have to stop being so nice. They’ve got to start to get nasty. They should stop treating their enemies with a respect they don’t deserve.
I know that’s going to be hard. Because I can still remember how hard it was for me to stop being so nice, and to start getting nasty. I really didn’t want to be nasty. I found it very, very difficult. I could only manage it by slow degrees. It wasn’t too hard to stop being so nice. But it was much, much harder to get nasty.
My uncle Francis, after whom I’m named, was a nice guy. I keep a photo of him on my mantelpiece, and his sunny niceness oozes out of it. And he was also someone who’d had to learn to get nasty. He’d had to learn to be very, very nasty. He’d had to learn how to climb into a Spitfire and shoot at other planes and kill their pilots. You don’t get much nastier than that. And I bet he found it hard, because he was a nice guy. But he did the right thing. He did what he had to do.
I’ve never met Deborah Arnott or Linda Bauld or Stanton Glantz or any of the other bastards in Tobacco Control. But if I did chance upon them, I wouldn’t be nice to them. I wouldn’t be polite and deferential.
I’d attack. I’d walk straight up to Deborah Arnott and call her a poisonous little shit to her face. Because that’s what she is. That’s what they all are.
And if I was feeling sufficiently nasty, I’d spit in her face as well.
And if I’d got up to Spitfire pilot levels of nastiness, I ‘d put my foot on her scrawny neck as I drove a wooden stake through her rotten stinking heart – assuming she’s got one.
Smokers are going to have to stop treating these people nicely. They’re going to have to stop according them respect they don’t deserve. They’re going to have to learn to be nasty.
And I think smokers are going to get nasty. Because if they haven’t yet learned the lesson I learned 50 years ago, they sooner or later will. Maybe, like me, they’ll only learn it when their self-esteem has dropped to near-zero.
They won’t just get nasty with Deborah Arnott. They’ll get nasty with bullying doctors and dentists. They’ll get nasty with any antismoker they encounter. They’ll get nasty to their MP who voted for the smoking ban.
They’ll get nasty with pretty much everybody.