Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Thou Shalt Not Shall Be The Whole Of The Law

I am startled (but hardly surprised) by a report (see that the Manx police are seeking (or at least having foisted upon them) a power to stop drinking anywhere on island, rather than just isolated trouble spots which police records have identified. 
My first thought is that it is a shame we cannot have a bill to prevent idiocy outside the Wedding Cake, or public evangelising. Because as the wise and witty P.J. O’Rourke says “…no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
There is also the planned legislation to prevent smoking in cars containing children  (see ), which may sound laudable on a casual glance but is based on poor BMA research, which was quickly debunked but only corrected so quietly that the general public remain unaware of the problem.
One elementary fault in the research is that it is based on what happens if you smoke in a car with the windows fully closed – which even a hardened smoker will tell you is physically impossible. Another is that they simply got the sums wrong, by a massive percentage. See for the latest in the saga plus a number of links which give a potted history of the way the legend has developed.
Further to that is the way that the BMA (and more particularly a professional anti-tobacco lobby) continue to press their case based on the sensational but now totally discredited version of the evidence, not the reasonable but much milder version which would allow for some sort of common sense debate and compromise. It really seems such parties are not interested in debate or democracy, just consolidating a position where they will tell us what to do without question, or else.
As I have never smoked (filthy habit) and am (at least in the true and original sense of the word) temperate I think I can claim an independent, unbiased view of these things. As I am also a responsible parent, what also niggles me is the way that pig-ignorant but powerful prodnoses not only presume, but are being allowed, to legislate based on their ridiculous assumption that most parents simply do not know, and cannot be trusted to do, what is best for their children. That is an insult, especially coming from cretins who cannot even read the Bible without moving their lips.
The most worrying thing about this is the way we’re slipping away from the English Common Law system towards European ‘Roman Law’. In a nutshell, common law is based on the idea that you are free to do something unless there is specifically a law against it. Roman law works on the principle that it is illegal to do anything unless there is a law which grants you the right to do it, i.e. there is a numbered code and regulation for absolutely everything and if there is not you are a criminal, go straight to jail.
Eventually, because smokers (like most Manx people in my experience) are conformists they will lose the latest battle, just as they long ago lost the one over smoking in even segregated areas of pubs staffed and patronised only by consenting adults.
As smoking has been moved by a mixture of social engineering and well connected but ignorant busybodies from being the social norm to the social exception (the action of an ‘awkward’ and ‘inconsiderate’ few), so social drinking is going the same way. It will soon be - at best - not tolerated and at worst actually illegal, because people who want to conform, to be friendly and not make trouble (i.e. to be sociable and neighbourly) do not know how to fight back in a civilised way against anti-social prodnoses who claim the moral high ground and have friends in all the right political places.
In the process, of course, these otherwise useless and unemployable busybodies create a nice little cottage industry as ‘therapists’, ‘counsellors’ and ‘advisors’, which we the public (and their victims) pay for from our taxes.
Nice scam if you can work it, but what a nasty way to destroy our community and the pleasures that community has long held in common. Little more than a miserable, mean-minded, happy clappy fascism, in fact.

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