“Doctor, doctor, there’s smoke in my eyes”
By Simon Heffer
We should be used by now to the self-important berks of the British Medical Association using their annual junket to suggest some aspect of our over-regulated, over-nannied lives in which they feel there is insufficient interference. This year, though, they have excelled themselves, demanding higher certification for films that show anyone smoking. Soon, the films of Bogey and Bacall (the latter of whom is still going strong and looking pretty good at 83) will be top-shelf material, and allowed to be shown only on subscription channels well after the watershed. Let us, though, consider the sheer unmitigated claptrap of this idea. I am addicted to old films, watch little else when I go near a television, and have been so since infancy. People smoke in them all the time. Yet I have never smoked so much as a salmon in my life. Do you, like me, start to feel troubled about what role the medical profession would find for itself if we had a totalitarian state? What did that nice Mr Mengele do for a living, by the way?