Friday, 3 August 2012

Only officials want to get at smokers? BBC interview

Had to like this clip: features Carol Cattell from Freedom2Choose being interviewed by Adrian Goldberg earlier this week.



And I hope the official anti-smokers will take note: smoker hatred comes from them, not from the general population (c. 7.11 minutes into the clip: the discussion starts around 2:33 into the clip). Not content pointing out that the war on smokers is more official than popular, Adrian Goldberg goes further and says that the war on smokers – being an official war that does not represent the view of most people in the street – can be compared with the Iraq War. 'It's a war being carried out in our name', he says, but when it comes to fining people more for litter than for theft, he is on the side of the smoker.

'Goldie' was laughing a bit over the Iraq War comparison – because no doubt it will seem an extreme comparison to many. But the point is the quality of the issue, rather than the scale. Since the system penalises the lesser offender more than the greater one, it can be seen to distort values. At the root of the Iraq war was lies about the military capacity of Saddam Hussein. At the root of the current war on smokers is a determination to denormalise smokers because of the perceived danger of secondary smoke. The evils of both Saddam and smoking are not the issue: the issue is that legislators have chosen to pursue a course a propaganda war in order to achieve their aims.

For this issue, we can see huge fines imposed on droppers of tobacco related litter, while other litter is ignored for propaganda purposes, and other petty or less petty crimes (such as the thefts that Goldie used as a comparison) are portrayed by officials as less heinous than the dropping of tobacco litter. This is the point where we are no longer equal under the law, which is being used by the powerful for their own ends.

2 comments:

cfrankdavis said...

the war on smokers – being an official war that does not represent the view of most people in the street – can be compared with the Iraq War. '

I like that!

Belinda said...

Yes, so do I!