“New Labour’s new dunce? Don’t they have so many?” I hear you ask in surprise.
Yes, well they do, but Johnson is yet another and very current manifestation of how stupid and devious they can be.
Let’s consider matters simply. New Labour is finished and we all await with impatience for the demise of this “fag end” of a government (pardon the pun). Things can only get worse for them now and matters are horrendously terrible as they run into yet more trouble with proposed road fuel and road-tax price rises.
Enter Alan Johnson (he’s the cone head pictured here) who attempts to seize a new initiative which shows that our idiot government has still not learnt enough from the kicking it just received at the Nantwich and Crewe by-election.
No, of course it hasn’t. It thinks it’s all down to outside factors affecting our economy adversely - plus poor leadership demonstrated by gormless Gordon - that are all the cause of its present ill fortunes.
The public thinks otherwise, of course, and identifies correctly a whole host of reasons why New Labour is finished, ranging from the government’s own mismanagement of the economy, swinging taxes, the failure to grant an EU treaty referendum and excessive regulations and interference in citizens’ lives.
The smoking ban is certainly one of these factors, for not only has it adversely affected the lives of smokers but also many people’s businesses such as pubs, clubs, bingo halls, some cafes and restaurants, and hosts of connected occupations dependant upon smokers. These make up a very large percentage of the population, but of course, as this government has a severe reality check problem, it prefers to believe ASH and their toadies who whisper honeyed words in its ears about how popular the smoking ban really is. Well, I’m sure it is with some people, but it also isn’t with a lot of others either, and many more think it’s gone too far, and that’s precisely the message our government fails to grasp along with the Nu-Tory Party and the Lobotomised Dead (better known as the Liberal Democrats).
So, what happened next? Well, following the announcement by the Scottish Executive that it intends to ban the display of cigarettes in shops, Johnson announces he’s going to do the same in England and Wales. This came as a shock to many tobacco retailers (newsagents, grocers and others) who thought they were undergoing a consultation process with the government about this issue, as suddenly, Johnson jumps the gun, which is to completely ignore their contributions, to make a decision before the conclusion of the consultation is reached. (Typical New Labour: pretend to consult and ignore.)
I was struck by the final part of the discussion on 5 Live last night (26/5/08) when the ASH representative intoned mollifyingly: “Of course, there will have to be careful discussions about this.” Does she believe that? Does she heck, for she knows she has the ear of fuckwit Johnson and that he’s stupid and gullible, and, dishonest. Like most politicians in a fix he’s looking for a way to look good when the NHS is unable to cope. So off we go. “We’ll extend further this ‘popular’ smoking ban,” thinks Johnson, which demonstrates precisely why he should be wearing a dunce’s hat.