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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em

What the elite are trying to do, it seems to me, is to fashion identikit people, all holding the same ‘acceptable’ opinions on a range of issues, all liking the same movies and the same music, all going to the same coffee shops. In this increasingly standardised world, where ‘bad habits’, ‘bad thoughts’ and ‘bad speech’ are officially proscribed, individuality and eccentricity — the very things which make human beings interesting — are being gradually erased.

Imagine a pipe-smoking lady politician like Millicent Fenwick, ‘the conscience of Congress’ in the US in the 1970s, achieving prominence today. Or a figure like Winston Churchill, hardly ever seen without a cigar, becoming British Prime Minister. Deciding whether or not we smoke and then making up our own mind what we smoke — be it a pipe, cigars, filter cigarettes or roll-ups — is one way we can express our individuality, and one our legislators are taking away from us.

You can read the whole of my Spectator Australia article on how the anti-smoking crusade has gone too far, here.


Douglas said...

I know you well enough to say without qualification that you have an inner libertarian, who occasionally escapes before he is wrestled to the ground and sent to a re-education camp.

How did the Soviet Union feel about tobacco use? How do other tyrannies like North Korea feel about tobacco use?

Robert Heinlein wrote about this phenomenon in the book Time Enough for Love:

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Brambo said...

Are you perhaps suggesting this is yet another example of PC gone mad Neil? :-)