Saturday, July 19, 2008

Anti-Smoking hysteria reaches even greater heights...


Last week I wrote a piece for The Guardian on how anti-smoking hysteria had reached new heights with Dr Judith Nathanson of the BMA's call for films which feature smoking to be reclassified. A week is a long time in politics, but it's also a long time when it comes to anti-smoking hysteria.

Welsh Culture Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas has been forced to resign. What do you think his offence was:

(a) claiming an extraordinary amount of expenses for himself and his family
(b) being caught having an extra-marital affair with the wife of a colleague
(c) walking into a pub with a lit cigar

Yup, you've guessed it, it was c.

It's sobering thought that if this wave of anti-smoking hysteria had been around in the 1940s, Winston Churchill (pictured above), a chain smoker of cigars, would never have become British Prime Minister. Britain- and the free world- would have lost the war and the Nazis would have ruled supreme. Millions of Jews, Slavs, Roma, communists and others deemed to be 'untermenschen' would have been exterminated.

But for the anti-smoking fanatics it wouldn't have been all bad news: old tobacco-hating Adolf would undoubtedly have passed a smoking ban.

10 comments:

Davros said...

Divide and Rule.
The age of hysterical moral censure is upon us, and it's all about identifying the "Enemy Within" and diverting attention away from real issues.
It's probably also connected to the re-ascendency of infantile sanctimonious religionism and it's attendant rejection of thought, to which our ruling "elite" seem so attached.

P.S. I might make more sense when I'm fully awake, but then I might not feel like posting!

Uncle Joe said...

Britain would not have lost the war for long. The Soviet Union would have simply taken an extra couple of years to get the Red Army to France and accross the channel. Then Uncle Joe would have walked into a pub with a lit pipe, and we'd be back to square one.

Charlie Marks said...

Gotta feel sorry for this guy. He makes a gaffe at an awards ceremony - the result being that Welsh literature got global attention via youtube, heck, they even Richard & Judy discussed it on their tv show...

He got a fair bit of criticism for that - but his remit is Welsh culture, and he did a great deal to promote it with that award error - and now he's off to the pub to relax - but no! Another mistake, accidentally entering a public house with a lit cigar that you can legally purchase in shops.

Never mind what he was smoking, what are his collegues smoking? They seem to think this is serious enough for him to resign as a minister...

Roland Hulme said...

Godwin's law.

Roland Hulme said...

SORRY - technically that should have been: Reductio ad Hitlerum

Neil Clark said...

Er, not in this case Roland. You see mentioning Adolf and the Nazis in the context of anti-smoking hysteria is highly relevant: the first country where bans on smoking in public places were introduced was Nazi Germany in 1936.

Hope Martin's getting along fine.

Roland Hulme said...

Damn, you're right.

He banned hunting with hounds too - something Blair copied with one of the first of the Labour party's acts of psuedo fascism.

Martin sends a hello!

Neil Clark said...

Hi Roland: absolutely right. To paraphrase Pastor Niemoller:
first they came for the fox hunters... I was not a fox hunter. I did nothing. Then they came for the smokers....

Regards to Martin, and get him up blogging soon!

Anonymous said...

You have to be slightly careful with Nazi comparisons - not least because the Nazis were riddled with double standards and hypocricy from the top down.

Hitler was famously a non-smoking animal lover. But that didn't stop Goebbels and Göring, his two closest side-kicks, being chain-smokers! And the latter was also a fanatically keen huntsman!

I guess my point is this: the people behind the smoking ban are assholes. But it remains to be established whether they are actually Nazis!

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