By Blad Tolstoy
Whether or not you are religious, the Bible has a lot to teach and reference to the Bible is particularly apposite where Gordon Brown - known to some as Gordon Broon - is concerned, for he is a son of the kirk.
The question has often been asked: why did Christ prefer to mix with sinners such as whores, tax collectors and publicans, as opposed to the great and the good? One answer is that it is only sinners who need the salvation that Christ can offer but another is that the sinners were simply more fun to be with. Christ was not particularly partial to Pharisees and Zealots for he found them intolerant, self satisfied and convinced of their own moral worth.
This is what many people find with todays puritans and post-modernist moralists who are the architects of the nanny state. Many of these people are boring, smug and self preening in their occupation of what they fancy to be the moral high ground.
Brown would undoubtedly seem to fall into this category for at the age of ten, when other boys were playing with Mecanno and reading Biggles, Brown wrote a paper on the dangers and damage of alcohol and smoking and expressed the prohibitionist hope that people would stop indulging in these pleasures.
Now many people would agree that such pleasures should be indulged in, in moderation, but as we can see with Browns endorsement of smoking bans - and no doubt the alcohol prohibitions that may follow - his zeal is not that of the newly converted but of one so nurtured from the cradle. He must indeed be happy that so many public houses are going out of business due smoking bans, as for him, this must be the perfect double whammy.
Unfortunately, however, Brown is not as moral as he probably considers himself. He claims his muse is prudence but the impression we receive is that it is really spendthrift.
This man as chancellor - and now as prime minister - is intent on bleeding the country dry with taxes, and those taxes which he extorts are never enough as large numbers will testify when they assess the continually deteriorating condition of many of our public services and institutions.
Britain now has a debt mountain of 1.3 trillion and star amongst Nu-Labours recent rip-offs of the less well off are the removal of the 10p lower income tax rate and the removal of the zero corporation tax levy on profits and surpluses of under 10,000 per annum. The latter has been supplanted by a 19% rate which will adversely affect many small clubs and community organisations which are not registered charities. So much then for Browns concern for the less well off.
With regard to the smoking prohibition issue with which many of the readers of this site are very familiar, this last week, in Browns Britain, we have been bombarded with new and exaggerated smoking mortality figures as the anti smoking lobby, desperate the shore up the publics declining belief in the dangers of second hand smoke, ups the hyperbole to new and increasingly hysterical levels.
To date, we have heard claims of 10,000, 13,000 and even 44,000 smoking related deaths per annum and, moreover, we know how such figures are obtained. They are obtained by taking records of anyone who smokes or has ever smoked and categorising any subsequent diseases or deaths with regard to those people as being smoking related irrespective of whether they are or not.
This last week heard figures of 13 smoking related deaths per hour bandied about as fact. If we get out the calculators that now increases the smoking mortality figure, at a stroke, to 113,880 each year. Small wonder then, that ASH, at the BBCs invitation, refused to debate the smoking ban issue publicly with Freedom to Choose this last week (28th August 2007), for they would have been confronted by Freedom to Choose's formidable media debater Bob Feal-Martinez, and the result of such a confrontation would have been the exposure of the junk that ASH and their cronies present as science.
That junk science should be the order of the day in this field and others (such as climate change) is of course, no credit to Gordon Brown either, for this man, in his puritanical zeal, is content to preside over a diet of lies and scientific subterfuge. Worse still, whilst castigating and discriminating against smokers, he is still content to take the enormous revenues generated by smoking taxes. These taxes, I shall add, are twofold: they consist of both the direct tax levied on the sales of tobacco products and the corporation tax levied on the profits of the tobacco companies.
Yes indeed, beneath the facade of every puritan lives a hypocrite.