View Full Version : Smoking and the short step to a police state

03-24-2006, 04:46 AM
Smoking and the short step to a police state

It is a short step from a nanny to a police state. Interviewed on Radio Scotland (March 21), the health minister explained that it would be in order for the smoke police, aka environmental health officers, to pretend to be ordinary citizens, covertly photograph those thought to be smoking in inappropriate places and follow the suspects to find out their home addresses. Anonymous individuals are encouraged to inform on their fellow citizens.

Then there is the Propaganda Ministry, aka the Executive-NHS Scotland. "Fact passive smoking kills," the advert tells us. On a favourable interpretation this reflects breathtaking ignorance of the difference between hypothesis and fact.

On a less favourable interpretation it is a lie. NHS Scotland is devoting substantial sums of money to fixing the framing of survey questions so that the propaganda can be that public opinion moves in favour of the ban once it is imposed. The media should use the Freedom of Information provisions to expose this abuse of public funds.

At a time when 87% of the surveyed population wanted smoking restrictions that fell short of a complete ban in public places, MSPs voted by a similar majority for a complete ban. Congratulations to the Liberal Democrats, who showed their National Socialist spots. Well done to the Stalinist fixers in Labour and the SSP.

Manifesto commitments, consultation procedures and other inconvenient aspects of democratic procedure have been pushed aside in the cause of forcing smokers to be free. It is one thing for Odysseus to have his shipmates bind him to the mast, quite another for the state to attempt to do so.