Monday, July 02, 2007

Thanks for the ether

So, that is that. You can no longer light up in public without the full force of the law coming down on you like Two Ton Tony Tubbs and banging you up and throwing away the key. Or something.

I feel very uncomfortable about this. Let me lay my stall out: I smoked for many years until I gave up for the last time about 2 years ago. The last place I am likely to tempted to indulge was the pub. This means I will, as certainly as I can say, never smoke again. I will return from the pub not smelling of stale smoke. In terms of my own personal well-being, this ban is all to my benefit.

And yet... on Saturday I stood on platform 1 of London Bridge Station, looking at a large sign that informed me that as of July 1, smoking on this platform, or anywhere in this station (and all stations) would be AGAINST THE LAW.

Smoking is a vile habit, and if you smoke you ought to stop, really you should. But it's your choice to. Who benefits from this draconian law? Who is harmed if someone smokes on a platform, in the open air, other than the smoker?

I will doubtless find a smoke free pub a more comfortable place to sit. But I can't applaud a piece of legislation on the grounds that it suits me personally. That seems an attitude brimming with sanctimonious selfishness.

Most people I know don't smoke these days. But there are still some. Am I to cast them from my presence until they forego the perilous weed?

What happened to tolerance? What happened to taking responsibility for oneself? This law is attacking both these things. This comes from the same mindset that is slowly chipping away at our civil liberties, turning us into a nation of suspects.


Rhina B. said...

Eerily, we seem to be on the same wavelength of late... I bow to your superior posting, though! Mine was in haste and clearly not as well thought out (sigh).

Unfortunately, our civil liberties are more likely to keep eroding, not less. See you in 1984!

petemaskreplica said...

heh, I thought your post put it very well :)
1984? I fear we are already there...

Rhina B. said...

You see? It sneaks up on you before you know it!