It’s my personal opinion that American politics is always more interesting than British politics. I think that in part this is because there’s much more at stake: the President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world, and a sort of modern Roman emperor. But also the rival political parties in America are far more polarised than those in Britain. Political figures in America (e.g. Donald Trump) attract far more support and opposition than those in Britain: some people love Donald Trump, and some people loathe him.
All that aside, I’m actually far less interested in British politics than I have been for a long time. Why’s that? Well, it’s because none of the politicians speak for me. And when I say that none of them speak for me, I mean that none of them speak for smokers like me. In my view the British political class comprehensively betrayed millions of smokers when they voted in 2006 to exile them to the outdoors. At the time I was a regular Lib Dem voter. But when 95% of Lib Dem MPs in Parliament voted for the expulsion of the smokers from society, I ceased to vote Lib Dem. And since 90% of Labour MPs in Parliament also voted for the highly discriminatory UK smoking ban, I was hardly likely to vote for them instead. And since only about 35% of Conservative MPs voted for the smoking ban, I can just about bring myself to vote Conservative these days. But I’d far prefer to vote for UKIP with Nigel Farage as leader – because Nigel Farage has been the only man in UK politics who presents himself to the world as both a smoker and a drinker. Show me the man with a beer in one hand, and a cigarette in the other, and I’ll vote for him.
The net result of my lack of interest in UK politics is that I no longer know who most of the politicians are. For example I have no idea who the leader of the Lib Dems might be, and furthermore I have no wish to know. And also I no longer know who the pundits and newsreaders on the BBC might be, because I no longer watch the BBC or any other mainstream TV channel, for the simple reason once again that none of them speak for me. An entire political class, along with its attendant media circus, has more or less completely vanished from my sight.
Nobody should be at all surprised at this. For once people have been expelled from society, why should they continue to take any interest in the society from which they’ve been expelled? One reads about exiles from one country or other who are longing to return to their native countries. But I can well imagine that there are also plenty of exiles who never want to go back. There were, for example, plenty of Englishmen who set sail for America in 1620 or thereafter, and who never went back to England. Tom Paine, for example. He was born in Norfolk, England. And he died in New York City. And he was one of many.
Now the current leader of the British Labour party is somebody called Jeremy Corbyn. And there’s only one thing I know about Jeremy Corbyn, and that is that he was one of the MPs in Parliament who voted for the UK smoking ban. And that is really all I need to know about him. Once I learned this, I realised that here was someone to whom I was wholly and completely and eternally opposed. The man is obviously an utter bastard.
So I’m not in the least bit surprised to learn that he’s also a raging antisemite. For antismoking goes hand in hand with antisemitism, as I have frequently noted. The only difference between them is simply that they identify different people to exclude and expel and persecute. And once anyone has set out to discriminate against one group of people, they will find it very easy to discriminate against another group.
Public Health is now engaged in large scale discrimination against multiple groups of deplorable people. Smokers are taking the brunt of this assault, but drinkers and fat people are in the firing line as well. They are all to be lectured, browbeaten, and shamed. Public Health provides a perfect excuse for zealots of one kind or other to portray themselves as holier than thou, and to launch campaigns against entire groups of people, while feeling smugly superior about it. Such people advance themselves by suppressing others. They are never interested in hearing anyone else (except a token select few minorities), but only in silencing them.
I’m a smoker, and I belong to small and dwindling minority upon which Public Health England, assisted by the likes of Jermey Corbyn, have declared open season. It’s probably also a minority of people who are drinkers or fat people, or Jews or global warming deniers. But when politicians advance themselves by silencing and suppressing entire groups of other people, there must come a time when they will have managed to alienate and estrange themselves from enough of them to ensure that they will never get their votes again (in the way that Labour and Lib Dems will never ever get my vote). So the antismoking and antisemitic (and probably anti-alcohol and anti-obesity) Corbyns of the world must be slowly but steadily alienating many of their former voters.
In a couple of months time in the USA there are mid-term elections to the US Congress. And the Democrat party (the US equivalent of the Labour party) are hoping to make the elections a vote of no confidence in the reviled Donald Trump. But I suspect that many Americans see themselves in the reviled Donald Trump, and will identify him all the more closely the more reviled he becomes. For many of them are equally reviled, as smokers or drinkers or fat people or Jews or global warming deniers or whatever other deplorable characteristic they possess. They might once have voted Democrat, but will never vote for the party that reviles them again. And I suspect that come November these reviled and shunned and excluded millions are going to come out and vote for the party of the reviled and shunned Donald Trump, because he is one of them, and they each are one of him, and they are all reviled together.