21 November 2011 14:02

They do say that there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker.
They are invariably the worst Nazis when it comes to cigarette smoke in restaurants and pubs.
And, as one of these people who has not tasted a cigarette for nearly two decades now, I place myself in this rather unpleasant self-satisfied, smug band
There was no-one more scathing than I when someone lit up in a restaurant and the smoke drifted in my direction. I would wave my napkin around and cough heartily to show my displeasure.
A real pain in the neck, you might say.
But more recently I have found myself mellowing a little. And you might even say I am backtracking a little on my old extremism with regard to smoking.
It was prompted by yet another piece of nannyish busybodying.
There is an awful lot of this around and it seems to have started with the busybodies’ success in making crash helmets compulsory. Don’t get me wrong, the person who rides a bike without a skidlid is a fool, but I don’t believe anyone has the right to force them to take a measure that protects only themselves.
Not content with making smokers into pariahs (I can see a law not far in the future that will make them ring little bells to warn of their approach) the busybodies are now actually invading their personal spaces.
And there are not many places as personal as your car.
Just think of all the things you do in your car that you wouldn’t do anywhere else (in the mistaken impression, of course, that no-one else can see, or hear).
It is your haven. Slam the door and the world is on the outside.
Well if a group of doctors have their way, you won’t even be allowed to smoke in there. Second hand cigarette smoke is the excuse.
I would hope that if such a law is ever introduced then even people who don’t smoke would light up in their cars as a sign that they have had enough of this pompous interference in their private lives.
Next step, your own living room?
Hitler would be shaking his head in admiration.
Too many people think they have the right to tell other folk what to do.
It is time they understood that grown ups can make their own decisions. They may be wrong decisions that will be bad for them, but that is up to them.
Tell the busybodies to mind their own business.
PS You might like this from C S Lewis, he said in a few words what it took me 400 or so to do.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”


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