By Blad Tolstoy
Yes folks, in leafy Ealing, the Daily Mail reports that innocent smokers, minding their own business, will be stopped by “Smoking Police” and asked to take a carbon monoxide test and all for the sake of London’s most “hard-hitting” anti-smoking campaign.
This clever inspiration was the brain child of Ealing Primary Care Trust which is spending £75,000 to fund the scheme to try and shock smokers into giving up. Smokers will be asked to breathe into a monitor to show how much carbon monoxide is in their bodies, and could then be signed up to local stop-smoking services and given access to counsellors.
Aside from the fact that the accompanying poll has shown to date (19/9/08) that 91% of those polled, including non-smokers, are against such tactics, one is forced to ask why, with a recession in progress and forecast to get much worse, Ealing Primary Care Trust is wasting precious financial resources on a scheme that is doomed to failure?
Not only that, the scheme initiates outright harassment (smokers are becoming increasingly irritated at being victimised and bullied at every turn) of a large minority of the population who consume a legal product the revenue from which the Exchequer can ill-afford to do without.
Indeed, we know, because the government has admitted it in 1986, that the tax on over-the-counter tobacco sales brings in £8 billion in tax. This not only handsomely offsets the government’s guesstimate that smokers cost the NHS £1.7 billion, but, in addition, £8 billion is the cost of the entire NHS drugs budget. This is not the only income that the government gains from tobacco tax either, as there is, moreover, the monies gained from the corporation tax levied on the profits of the tobacco companies.
The next question then, for those of a logical frame of mind, is where would the NHS be, except in greater trouble, without the taxes paid by smokers? Furthermore, if smokers stopped smoking, how would the non-smoking public like to make up the tax deficit from their wage packets, and particularly during a recession?
More than all this, however, for those familiar with the chemistry of road fuels, testing smokers with carbon monoxide detectors will seem fatuous given the infinitely greater amounts of the same chemical being emitted by all the passing traffic, not to mention all the carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Schemes like this make no sense at all unless we know how to analyse the thinking behind them. This thinking is instigated by an anti-smoking movement which seeks to harass and intimidate smokers at very turn. It is nothing to do with health at all but generated by hate, and the fact a primary care trust has decided to jump on this bandwagon does not say a great deal that is commendable about its governing body. Most certainly, this is a tactic that former anti-smoking
zealot Adolf Hitler would have been proud of and, subsequently, it gives Uncle Blad great pleasure to award Ealing Primary Care Trust the Hypocritical Nazi Scum Award for September 2008.
Finally, I have accompanied this article with a picture (adjusted for purposes of clarification) of a member of the Smoking Police harassing an innocent smoker. This is, in fact, the Daily Mail’s picture and it is interesting that they chose one where this “officer” has his bottom to the viewer. We can only surmise that, subconsciously, they intended to tell us that a person who does such a job is an arsehole. For the benefit of those who don’t know where the arsehole is, I now hope I have left them in no doubt…