Amongst the plethora of SIFs (‘Single Issue Fanatics’ TM - the late, great Bernard Levin) perhaps the most odious in my eyes are the anti-smoking Gauleiters. They exemplify the very worst of human nature in that they seize upon a not unreasonable proposition that sometimes smoking might be bad for the health of some people whilst ignoring the obvious truth that the biggest risk of dying comes from living!
These swivel-eyed SIFs have managed to bamboozle the Australian government into passing a law that removes all logos from cigarette packaging replacing them with nasty pictures of diseased lungs and eyes. If, say, some ghastly rock group proposed putting such pictures on the cover of their ‘music’ album no doubt some other gang of SIFs would instantly leap up and down because of the effect it would have on their little kiddie-winkies! I stress the word ‘would’ because SIFs are never nuanced in their use of statistics.
Thus, at a ‘couldn’t care less’ stroke, other peoples’ property rights, the cartons belong to the manufacturers, are infringed; their freedom of speech, that is, their right to advertise their own brands is invalidated; and their customers’ rights to be able to pick and choose their preferred cigarette is denied – and all with the meek acquiescence of the Australian ‘Cocklecarrots’ who, being in some cases the descendents of ill-judged convicts, should have known better. It is only a matter of time before smoking is treated as a crime and then some people might complain but it will be too late.
There-in lies a lesson for all those minded to listen to the bleatings of the Dowlers, the McCanns, the Mosleys, the Grants and the rest of all those with claims, some more justified than others, against the scrofulous hacks of Canary Wharf who wish to cement their bitter recriminations into law. It always begins well with the best of all possible intentions and ends up in cold, immutable, heavy-handed, not to say, heavy-fisted, tyranny.