Ever since Theresa May called an early General Election, I’ve been wondering whether to vote Conservative for the first ever time in my life, in order to help give her the Conservative majority she wants to have behind her in her Brexit negotiations.
But a couple of news reports have ‘nudged’ me away from this idea. Firstly:
Six new smoking laws come into force this month – here’s what you need to know
The Government is increasing its efforts to strongly discourage smoking – particularly among young people – by making changes to smoking laws this month.
The changes are being introduced as the Government says: “There are still more than eight million smokers in England. We want to reduce smoking rates to 18.5% or less for adults (compared to 21.2% for April 2009 to March 2010) – meaning around 210,000 fewer smokers per year.
“Smoking causes more preventable deaths than anything else – nearly 80,000 in England during 2011. There’s also an impact on smokers’ families: each year, UK hospitals see around 9,500 admissions of children with illnesses caused by secondhand smoke.”
Sorry, but I don’t think it’s any more the business of the UK government to reduce smoking rates in the UK adult population than it’s their business to reduce the consumption of custard or Danish Blue cheese or kippers. To do so is to reduce adults to being children who need to be told what to eat and drink, and when to eat it and drink it.
I’m not even sure that treating children that way is the right thing to do. I’m more and more inclined to think that children ought to revolt against being treated as children.
And then secondly:
The stupidity of prison smoking bans
When you think of the principal threats to the health and welfare of prisoners in the UK, what comes to mind? Overcrowding? Severe staff shortages? Last year’s riots? The overwhelming consensus from those in the prison system is that there are simply not enough resources being dedicated to creating a safe and secure environment for prisoners and staff. Given these problems, I imagine that worrying about the effects of smoking tobacco on prisoners will be far down people’s list of concerns.
So it might come as a surprise to discover that England and Wales are beginning plans to make all long-term and high-security prisons completely smoke-free — a goal they want to complete by the end of August. Prisons already have non-smoking communal areas; the new legislation would push these regulations further and prevent prisoners from smoking even in their own cells and in open spaces.
Here’s the government treating prisoners like children as well. It’s not often that I feel sympathy for prisoners, but I hope they burn their damn prisons to the ground.
And since it’s Theresa May’s Conservative government that is introducing these stupid enchildefying (I made up that word, because I can’t think of the right one,… [which is infantilising]) laws, why should I vote for people who want to make adults into children, or who see adults as children?
So I’ll stick with UKIP, which is the only party that speaks up for smokers. Because obviously I’m not going to ever vote for the Labour party that imposed the smoking ban on the British people on 1 July 2007, and nor am I ever going to vote for the Lib Dems who so enthusiastically supported them. I’m sorry I ever voted for the Lib Dems. And if UKIP isn’t on the ballot, for the very first time in my life I’ll spoil it.
For, as I was writing just yesterday, it’s the smoking ban that has defined my politics for the past 10 years. It continues to do so. Perhaps it shouldn’t matter more than Brexit. but it does.
I’m not sure that Donald Trump is going to be any better than Theresa May for smokers. But James Delingpole reports that the EPA is beginning to be purged of its global warming zealots:
This new boldness coincides with a purge of warmist scientific advisers at both the EPA and the Interior Department.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has chosen to replace half of the members on one of its key scientific review boards, while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “reviewing the charter and charge” of more than 200 advisory boards, committees, and other entities both within and outside of his department. EPA and Interior officials began informing outside advisers of the move on Friday, and notifications continued over the weekend.
Pruitt’s move could significantly change the makeup of the 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors, which advises EPA’s key scientific arm on whether the research it does has sufficient rigor and integrity. All of the members being dismissed were at the end of serving at least one three-year term, although these terms are often renewed instead of terminated.
So that’s a start in doing something about another form of madness.
Last, and not least, I had a phone call this morning from Rose. Yes, that Rose. The Rose who’s been commenting for years and years under my blog. I’d sent her my phone number a week or so back, and she was phoning to tell me hers.
It was like getting a phone call from the Queen.
What with that, and talking for hours with Emily Wieja on Skype, and talking to Gary K last week on Skype as well, it’s reminded me how little I’ve actually talked to anyone for the past 10 years, since the smoking ban shattered my social life.
I’ve almost lost the use of my vocal chords and mouth. I’m surprised I don’t just emit grunts and barks.