Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Burning issue

….and back again! Think I may just have found the impetus to get back into this stuff.
It may seem an odd jump from the life-or-death Ugandan issue I blogged on yesterday, but if you are serious about civil liberties, then when a local issue comes up you act – even if you might cross the road to avoid those most affected.
And so it is with the smoking survey reminder at http://www.gov.im/lib/news/health/lessthantwoweeks.xml
I am in a unique position in that the removal of freedom & choice here doesn’t really affect me individually, except that every time anti-democratic prodnoses manage to take away a right from the public we all suffer, because it makes it that much easier for them to remove another one in future. But the notion that the ideas, opinions or objections of people who smoke must be automatically discounted because they might be wrong or deluded, while an anti-smoking lobby underwritten by government cannot be questioned - and must be assumed to be honest and accurate – is ridiculous and insulting.
Even minimal investigation of the ‘surveys’ and ‘evidence’ of that government-sponsored lobby shows basic mistakes and a failure to correct or even acknowledge this, while the way in which false information is presented again and again (and heavy-handed attempts to screen out ‘unhelpful’ public views in the government and public funded ‘surveys’ which are supposed to precede any change in legislation) is a matter which ought to be of grave concern to anyone who still believes we are living in a democratic country and that government is there to provide the services and society the electorate and taxpayers want.
There is also something plain wrong about government paying to lobby itself, then pretending to ask our opinion ( but skewing the survey questions so that we cannot object to the ill-informed decision they made in the first place), then expecting us to pick up the bill for the lot while they take away another of our liberties.
It seems there is an element in the public sector which now believes it is the electorate’s job to simply sanction a government which will do as it pleases, while the taxpayers are supposed to fund this and not ask embarrassing questions, such as whether it is professionally and objectively done, good value for money, or even fit for purpose.
Time to cut that element down to size, I would suggest. And if you need a joke to help you along, try http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/smoking-makes-smokers-more-like-non-smokers-2012112650493 .
No seriously, fill in that survey, but stop reacting to all the kneejerk tabloid twaddle and think about what happens when a bunch of prodnoses (probably in naff armbands and badly fitting peaked caps) get public money to invade the privacy of people’s homes and property and start ordering them around.
Because that is what we are talking about here. Nothing else. And think about what happens when, having done it once, they feel like doing it again, but this time to interfere with some simple pleasure of yours which ISN’T HARMING ANYONE ELSE AND ISN’T ANYBODY ELSE’S BUSINESS.
Because when health strategy is in the hands of the kind of thin-lipped puritans who come up with this nonsense, that is, if anything, a damn good reason to take up smoking. Because dying earlier as a result would be a merciful release from a drawn out, miserable death in whatever kind of joyless government facility these mean-spirited, anti-human fiends will come up with.
Over the top reaction?
Compared to the way Manx government officials and their dim little ‘third sector’ friends behave every time they want to brighten up their dull little lives by screwing up ours, and even expect another handout from us to do it?
Get real.

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