They came for Niemöller, when are they coming for you? – UPDATED

No diversity tolerance for smokers

This is where smoking bans eventually lead: being unable to smoke not just in places where once you could, but even in the places that have been specifically set aside for smoking. It’s as unreasonable as demanding that you be prohibited from off-roading in your Land Rover and then following it up by banning you from using it on the road as well. Sadly I have absolutely no doubt that someone somewhere wants to do exactly that, though obviously further down the list of pastimes to be thoroughly regulated and restricted than enjoying a smoke with your drink, enjoying a drink with a meal, or indeed enjoying your meal at all because of the fat and salt content.

The reason the enthusiasm for bansturbation bothers me so much is that if you put yourself in that mindset you can come up with a justification for banning practically anything. I don’t do any drugs or legal (for now) highs, I don’t smoke anymore and at some stage that isn’t easily pinned down I morphed from a light drinker into a non-drinker. And even though I have no desire at all to smoke or drink or get stoned in the future these ban happy bastards still worry me because I do like a plate of salty chips from time to time and my car choices would certainly be seen as environmentally unsound. Niemöller had it right all those years ago, and when they’ve finished with the smokers and drinkers* they’ll move on, probably to people like me. At some stage they’ll move on to people like you, and I can say that without knowing a damn thing about you beyond the fact that you’re human and that there will be something you do that you enjoy. Whatever it is that gives you pleasure, and no matter how harmless it might be to anyone else, someone somewhere will come up with what they think is a good reason to make you stop it.

We know the way they work now, these killjoy neo-puritans. Obviously they’re great fans of divide and conquer and so the drinkers were told that only the smokers are going to be affected, and then the salad dodgers are told it’s only the drinkers who’ll be affected, and then the meat eaters will be told that it’s only those who eat unhealthily who’ll be affected, and so on until the days of being able to go down to the pub for a pie, pint and postprandial fag are lost even to memory (as well as the pub itself in all likelihood). This is because they know they can’t win any other way – if they’d tried to go for everybody on their list they’d have been up against, well, everybody. This much has always been obvious, but it’s only fairly recently that the arrogant bastards felt powerful enough not to bother hiding their favourite weapon – denormalisation. They decide what is normal and lobby accordingly, claiming that the vice de jour should be seen as abnormal and progressively removed. And since, as I said earlier, you can make a case for doing this with virtually anything this process will never stop.

The way I see it short of giving in to the thought control and accepting the rule of neo-puritanism we have two options. We can try drawing a line and saying that this is as far as it goes, but when has that ever worked? The alternative is to stop waiting for them to pick off various other groups in the hope that they’ll ignore people like you or that you’ll grow old and die first, and demand a simpler system where anything and everything that affects nobody else is allowed. Nobody else has to like what you or I or anyone else is doing, there’s no implication that freedom to do something means that we should all approve of it, but if you can’t demonstrate that it hurts you in some way then you don’t get a say. This means getting everybody, or nearly everybody, on board. We all have a stake in this no matter what past liberties you want to go back to and whatever present liberties you want to protect. So while you might personally object to burqas, biker gangs or breastfeeding in public, if you fail to support those who are fighting bans on such things you not only risk having little or no support when they want to ban something that affects you, you won’t fucking deserve any.

We are all targets for the neo-puritans. Denormalisation must be fought with deNiemöllerisation – on the basis that they’re coming to get me one of these days so I’m bloody well going to object to what they’re doing now.

UPDATE – with all that in mind I’m adding a little something from Leg-iron’s to one of the sidebars along with an addition to the blogroll that I saw there. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we must hang together or be banned separately.

* Actually they’ll probably never be truly finished with the smokers and drinkers. Aside from all the money smokers and drinkers contribute I feel the ban-bullies will miss their favourite victims if they were to go completely.

Posted on August 7, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on They came for Niemöller, when are they coming for you? – UPDATED.

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