Today I finally got around to writing to my Conservative MP to protest about prison smoking bans:
I hope you enjoyed your summer recess in some country far from Britain.
I am writing to protest on behalf of Britain’s prison population, who are now being subjected to absolutely unnecessarily draconian smoking bans. Since some 80% of prisoners smoke, it is entirely unsurprising that they are rioting.
One day it will be seen for what it is: an act of madness – and unnecessary cruelty – on the part of the British government. Does anyone – apart from zealots like Deborah Arnott in ASH, and our Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies – really believe that secondhand smoke poses any threat whatsoever to anyone? It is most distressing to see what amounts to an eugenic social programme (masquerading as “Public Health”) being undertaken in Britain to stamp out smoking, even in prisons and hospitals. One might have understood it a century or so ago, when eugenics was all the rage, but not now when we have seen the consequences of such eugenic programmes.
Last month your former PM and party leader, David Cameron, was photographed smoking (and drinking) in public. Last week I gather he even told assembled Conservative MPs that he had taken up smoking again. Clearly he doesn’t believe that he’s killing people with his tobacco smoke, or giving them cancer with his wine. Does he believe that prisoners are any different? Perhaps this is a faint indication that attitudes to smoking are beginning to change within government, and common sense is beginning to prevail again.
I’d delayed writing because parliament was in recess until last week, and the impetus to write had almost slipped away. I only got a little new impetus, oddly enough, from listening to Ted Nugent on Infowars.com, telling people to “raise hell” (although not about smoking bans). We British are far too polite to do that, and so my letter is probably far too restrained.
But it at least pressed most of the buttons I wanted to press. It “protested” at the “madness” of an “eugenic programme” to stamp out smoking, even in prisons and hospitals. And it pointed out the erstwhile party leader and PM David Cameron had, at the same time, rather ostentatiously taken up smoking again.
What I missed out writing was that Cameron was maybe doing a bit of a Nigel Farage. Nor did I link smoking bans to a wider cultural war on more or less everything faintly traditional. I had also been toying with the idea of saying that, since the smoking ban of 1 July 2007, Britain had itself become a sort of open prison, and signing myself as “Prisoner Y”.
The letter will probably do no good. My MP was anyway one of those who voted against the 2007 smoking ban, so he probably feels much the same as I do about prison smoking bans. But maybe he could use my letter as evidence of a lack of public support for this measure.
And here’s the recent aerial photo I was sent by JVD Humanitarian Aid:
A scene of complete devastation.