Sunday, 17 August 2008

Getting something off my chest....

. Apologies in advance for this because instead of the normally (well, mostly normally) well rounded argument you find here this is going to be rant. Please don't hit that back button! Ok, so I smoke, my gf smokes and we both feel that the prejudice against smokers and smoking is irrational and wrong. Of course, it has it's rational kernel in the health implications which all smokers are totally aware of but let's stop and think for a second about other 'bad habits' that incur similar risks and as a point of fact do just as much damage to other people.

I moderate and write for a well-known relationships advice site and can say without hesitation that drinking causes so much pain to others it is untrue; especially what people do while under the influence. If you don't believe me then shall we tot-up how many Alcoholics Anonymous there are in Britain alone?? Or how about how many relationships breakdown after an ill-advised drunken fumble; how many instances of domestic violence start with drink? How about how many suicides or instances of self-harm follow binge drinking?? You can start to see my point.

Unprotected sex with numerous partners is no doubt practised by far more people than smoke; with just as ruinous consequences but do any of these people get the hammering smokers do?? No they don't; smokers are increasingly social pariahs and the judgements are encouraged by government legislation that has turned away from prevention of health problems in non-smokers to active persecution of smokers. Prejudice on the grounds of habit is no better than prejudice on the grounds or race or sexuality yet it seems to me that the liberal left is more than willing to entertain and encourage the former while being rightly disgusted by the latter. I am a big fan of consistency and especially in politics and it has rightly been said of liberalism in the past that it isn't consistent; that it vacillates. Isn't it time to get our house in order over this and make a stand for everybodies liberty where it is attacked???


Alix said...

Well, quite. As an ex-smoker (5 months ex, though they say it takes 15 years to quit altogether), I look on my former ashy brethren with sympathy.

I think the thing that always got to me (if we're doing ranting) was the particularly unpleasant attitude of people with children, who look at you with this nasty, curled-lip expression like you're a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler if you dare to be smoking on a section of pavement where they are shockingly FORCED to pass within five yards of you! I mean, why couldn't you have forseen their approach by telepathy and taken the precaution of topping yourself before they and their precious little mopheads arrived, eh? Sheer selfishness!

By way of reassurance, in a recent Indy (I think) interview, the Cleggster admitted to still cadging a cheeky one from time to time.

Jennie said...

What Alix said