I experienced the smoking ban of 1 July 2007 as a profound loss of freedom. Britain no longer seemed like a free country after that.

But was it ever a free country?

What is a free country?

Maybe it was a free country back in 1914. If so, it waa about to stop being one, and never has been free since then.

In 1914, at the outbreak of WW1, hundreds of thousands of Britons volunteered to join the armed forces. The important point to note is that they volunteered. But it seems that, as the war dragged on, this initial enthusiasm to volunteer abated. It’s not hard to see why. More and more men were being killed in the trenches of Flanders, or were coming back maimed. And there seemed to be no end in sight for a war that was supposed to be “over by Christmas.”

Faced with a shortfall of volunteers, in January 1916 the British government introduced conscription. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 40 could be called up for military service. This law remained in force until 1920.

In WW2, some 20 years later, conscription was introduced from the outset. It wasn’t lifted until 1960.

My question is this: to what extent can anyone say that they are a free man if they can be conscripted at any moment into an army, regardless of their own wishes? A free man is someone who chooses what he will and will not do. Once he can no longer do that, he is no longer free: he’s a slave.

It’s true that there isn’t conscription in Britain right now, and there hasn’t been for the past 60 years. But that doesn’t matter, because if the British government decides it wants to re-introduce prescription, it can do it tomorrow. And it will do it tomorrow.

So the way I see it, us Britons are all slaves.

It’s no better in the USA, “the land of the free”: they’ve had multiple drafts.

And we probably have been slaves for a lot longer than since January 1916.

The only difference between me and most other Britons is that they always knew they were slaves, and I didn’t: I thought I was free. Stupid me. It was why I revolted against the smoking ban, and they didn’t.

I’ve voted all my life, because I thought my vote mattered. But now I think that my vote doesn’t matter a damn, The British government is always re-elected at every election, with one or two minor cosmetic changes. Nothing ever changes.

I’ve become disenchanted.

Does it matter? In my case, not really. But I suspect that when governments lose the trust of their own people, there are likely to be consequences.

Conscription is more important than any smoking ban, but they both boil down to the same thing: in both cases somebody else decides for you what you will do.

We no longer live in free societies. A mantle of control is slowly descending on all of us. First in large matters like conscription, and then in smaller matters like smoking. Soon we will be controlled in everything we do. It won’t just be smoking that’s banned in pubs, but alcohol will be banned too, and then most likely food as well, and then talk. And we’ll all have to wear masks all the time, to conceal the expressions on our faces  (which is what masks are for).

I’m living in an age of dying freedoms. Freedom is slipping away. There was more freedom in Britain 200 years ago than there is now. And there’ll be even less in another 200 years.

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18 Responses to Disenchantment

  1. Mark Jarratt says:

    True Frank, and it seems if voting made any difference we would not be allowed to do it…
    On the issue of the demonstrably unfit for purpose panic based CV19 restrictions, mirrored across much of the risk averse “West”, The Australian newspaper published my comment below. I give them full credit for being one of few mainstream media outlets supportive of individual choice free of incessant officious government meddling…coercive paternalism must be stopped…
    Bravo to Andrew Abercrombie [Victorian businessman] and others with the sense to point out that Dictator Daniel [Andrews, the totalitarian Premier of Victoria] and the other fear stricken impostors masquerading as competent legislators, are Emperors and Empresses without clothes.

    During this so called “pandemic”, according to “doomsday is here” catastrophists, the entire political class has repeatedly ignored the constraints good governance places on them in their haste to impose yet more illiberal, illegal ludicrous constraints on citizens, simultaneously failing to apply prudence and probity in expenditure of public funds.

    Australian, and other, elected officials have violated the trust they voluntarily assumed. This spectacular failure of public risk management must never be repeated.

    The jellyback members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly who enabled State dictatorship and the missing in action Governor deserve severe public censure.

    The cowardly failure of the Commonwealth government and the Attorney-General to defend the Constitution and Federation is also gross dereliction of their duty to uphold the rule of law and the civil rights of Australians.

    At the least, these vandals require remedial training on the limits of their powers, although their proven incapacity merits being deposed, then incarcerated, as Premier Andrews has inflicted on long suffering Victorians.

    Those who ignore politics will be governed by their inferiors. Every tyrant was once a saviour.

    Story: Business leaders blast Andrews’ ‘Orwellian nightmare’

  2. mr baa says:

    we are all on the queens farm. get used to it.

  3. Rose says:

    Well I didn’t know that.

    Nitric Oxide (Inhaled) for Lung Infections in Cystic Fibrosis

    “Nitric oxide (NO, brand name Thiolanox) is a naturally occurring gas that, when inhaled, may reduce lung infections, leading to improved lung function in people with cystic fibrosis (CF). The gas possesses various biochemical characteristics, such as efficient broad spectrum anti-infective properties, as well as antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses both in vitro and in vivo.

    Thiolanox is an investigational drug product of Novoteris and is not approved for sale in the U.S.
    How inhaled nitric oxide works to treat CF

    Nitric oxide is one of the major signaling molecules in biological systems. It has been shown that it can promote the growth and activity of immune cells at low concentrations, while at higher concentrations it establishes connections with DNA, RNA, proteins, or lipids that contain iron or sulfur to inhibit or kill target pathogens. It also has lipophilic and hydrophilic properties that allow it to cross cell membranes and dissolve readily in water.

    Inhaled NO has the ability to connect to hemoglobin, creating methemoglobin that has a very short half-life. Then it is converted to nitrites that are excreted in the urine within hours.

    Nitric oxide is also a mucolytic and vasodilator. It is a muscle relaxant with an effective short-acting bronchodilator. This effect could contribute to the removal of secretions and maintain airway stillness.”

    Nitric oxide a new treatment option for COVID-19
    5 Oct 2020

    “Researchers at Uppsala University have noted that an effective way of treating the coronavirus that caused the 2003 SARS epidemic also works on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The substance is nitric oxide (NO), a compound that has antiviral properties and is produced by the body itself.The study is published in the journal Redox Biology. “To our knowledge, nitric oxide is the only substance shown so far to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2,” says Åke Lundkvist, a professor at Uppsala University, who led the study.

  4. Rose says:

    Nitric oxide inhalation – Novoteris
    Alternative Names: Thiolanox

    1 Apr 2020
    Therapeutic Products Directorate of Health Canada approves IND application for Nitric oxide inhalation (Thiolanox) in COVID-2019 infections

    Novoteris announces plans for Phase 2a trial of Thiolanox for NTM lung infections
    November 1, 2017

    Novoteris has announced that Health Canada has okayed a planned Phase 2a clinical trial of the company’s Thiolanox inhaled nitric oxide gas for the treatment of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections. The study will enroll 10 patients excluded from an ongoing Phase 2 trial of Thiolanox in cystic fibrosis patients.

    In 2015, the company received $2.8 million from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics for development of Thiolanox for the treatment of bacterial lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients.

    Novoteris President Alex Stenzler commented, “The clearances by Health Canada will enable us to expand our work with this novel therapy to a wider range of people with an exceptional need for more effective antimicrobials and represents another important opportunity for Novoteris.”

    No wonder ASH were so keen on Quit for Corvid

    “Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you’ve got. Till it’s gone. They paved paradise. And put up a parking lot.”

    • Dmitry says:

      Dear Rose, just to nail it down – does it all mean that if I just smoke a cigarette every hour, I get the same effect as when I use that Novoteris? And one more thing: do you second that Lundquist fellow who says that NO is THE ONLY diirect treatment of Covid?

      • Rose says:

        Dmitry, it seems so, in fact I’m relying on it.

      • Rose says:

        What tipped me off.

        Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell ER and critical care doctor” for NYC.

        “COVID-19 lung disease, as far as I can see, is not a pneumonia and should not be treated as one. Rather, it appears as if some kind of viral-induced disease most resembling high altitude sickness. Is it as if tens of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers are on a plane at 30,000 feet at the cabin pressure is slowly being let out. These patients are slowly being starved of oxygen.

        And while [patients] absolutely look like patients on the brink of death, they do not look like patients dying from pneumonia… I suspect that the patients I’m seeing in front of me, look as if a person was dropped off on the top of Mt. Everest without time to acclimate.”

        Previously I’d read

        “A group of Medical School researchers has discovered a bizarre twist on the harmful effects of car exhaust and cigarette smoke: nitric oxide, a component of both pollutants, can help treat a deadly type of pneumonia.

        “Instructor in Anaesthesia Dr. Jesse D. Roberts, Jr., a member of Zapol’s research group, said the discovery also explains why mountain climbers short of breath often claim that smoking cigarettes makes them stronger. The seeming paradox may be due to the presence of nitric oxide in cigarette smoke”

        “And nitric oxide may only be the tip of the iceberg. The idea behind the treatment, that pollutants that are toxic in high doses are actually essential chemicals in the human body, may open a whole new world of safe drugs for other diseases.

        Carbon monoxide, another toxic gas present in automobile exhaust, has also been shown to be a chemical messenger between cells, Brain said. “It’s remarkable that it’s escaped everyone’s notice for so long,” he said.”

        “According to Zapol, it all reduces to one simple thing. “Good things hide in pollutants and cigarettes,” he said”

        So nitric oxide was a good place to start looking.

      • Rose says:

        It’s the results of this trial that I’m waiting for.

        April 10, 2020
        “The final study, which is just getting started, will examine whether giving nitric oxide to health care workers who aren’t sick, might actually prevent them from getting COVID-19.”

        “The prevention trial will eventually enroll up to 470 health care professionals working with COVID-19 patients. The workers will inhale nitric oxide at the beginning and end of their shifts, and go about their business as usual in between. (A control group will not receive the drug.) Researchers will check the workers for fever or other COVID-19 symptoms every day.”

        • Dmitry says:

          Right, and then someone will have to remind the world that we are talking about cigarettes, not only about a new drug or a method. And that’s where, I’m afraid, a lot of people will go numb and dumb, failing to connect it all to al those amazing facts about smokers being immune…

        • Rose says:

          I fear so

  5. Clicky says:

  6. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Simon Dolan is challenging the UK Government in court on Thursday over its Covid lockdown response. “My rights don’t end where your fear begins” sounds familiar…

    *That’s it… /pats snout… Thanks, Clicky…*

  7. waltc says:

    Unfortunately, I agree with your thesis, Frank. Life is way more constricted than it was thirty years ago; there seem to be mine fields and barbed wire everywhere and, as an American, I think it will get much worse if the control freaks win here in November.

  8. Clicky says:

  9. Joe L. says:

    OT: It’s great to see that John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame, is still a proud smoker. And it might surprise many that he is a Trump supporter. Personally, I’m not shocked, because Trump is viewed by many as a political “outsider,” and it is the bedrock of the punk ethos to fight the establishment. However, Lydon disappointed me a bit by parroting the COVID-19 face mask propaganda without any scientific evidence (“It’s about being generous. You might be contaminating someone”), but I guess it’s not all that unexpected, as the Sex Pistols were a somewhat-manufactured band, after all.

    John Lydon: ‘Don’t become entrenched in one opinion and get stuck there for ever’

    He shunned heroin because of his meningitis: “The fear of not waking up ever again was unacceptable.” However, he took a lot of methamphetamine, which left him prone to flu and pneumonia. “I go through the worst tortures. You’d think I had coronavirus. My lungs aren’t working at proper capacity. All the doctors tell me not to do this.” Lydon waves his cigarette at the screen. “But if I didn’t I wouldn’t be me. I can’t play the vestal virgin for my art. My art is the fact that I’m alive at all.”

  10. DP. says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    From 1931:


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