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frank_davis


Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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Betrayal
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With the Conservative-led coalition government today unveiling an insane tobacco display ban, I'm reminded how a lot of people were arguing a year back that UK smokers should vote Conservative at the upcoming election. Voting UKIP, they said, was a wasted vote. The thing to do was to vote Conservative, because iDave wouldn't wear any further antismoking measures.

I wasn't convinced, and voted for UKIP anyway. I'm glad I did, because iDave and the Conservatives have proved today that they're as much the party of antismokers as the Labour party or the Lib Dems. And today the faint chance that I might one day vote Conservative at some election was finally extinguished.

These days I just wonder what sort of socialist 'Big-Society' iDave is, and if and when Conservative voters are going to recognise that the Conservative party isn't conservative any more, just like the Lib Dems aren't liberal.

What a turn-about! Five years ago, I thought of myself as slightly left wing. Now the Conservative party isn't right wing enough for me.

What happened? Well, the smoking ban is what happened. The smoking ban that expelled me from society, and shattered my social life. Five years ago, I was a member of society, and more than happy for less fortunate people - blacks, women, gays, etc - to be given a helping hand to equal status as me. Now I couldn't give a damn about any of them. Because I have myself become an outcast. An outcast Englishman in England! It's something I could never have foreseen happening in my wildest imaginings.

I'm becoming an ultra-conservative, I think. Or maybe a nationalist. I dunno. I just want my country back the way it was 10 or 20 years ago. No, make that 50 years ago. Back to the days when you could go into a pub, and drink a pint of beer, and smoke a cigarette, and think nothing of it. Because I hate everything that this country has become over the past five years. And it hates me.

Actually, I don't think my core beliefs have changed at all. I remain pretty much a 'liberal'. However, because this word has become corrupted to mean something more like its opposite, I now have to say I'm 'libertarian'. It isn't that I've changed, but that the entire British political establishment has lurched leftward, particularly when iDave took over the Conservative party and repositioned it slightly to the right of Labour. This leaves everyone who is politically to the right of, say, Stalin, without a party to vote for.

And I feel betrayed. Betrayed by all the political parties. Betrayed by all the institutions. Betrayed by the BBC. Betrayed by the medical profession. Betrayed by science.

I think that, with the smoking ban, all these cheerfully betrayed their own people. Or the quarter of them who were smokers. And they been busy betraying them again today.

And it seems to me that if you can betray that many people, you can betray absolutely everybody. And maybe that's what these same people have been doing as they've set out to bind Britain into the EU. To do that, they had to be prepared to betray Britain, betray democracy, and betray absolutely everything that it ever stood for. Everything.

And why? Why are they doing it? Probably because they've been bought. Bought by an EU which seems to vote itself ever more taxpayer money every year. Bought by pharma companies who want to win the nicotine franchise from the hands of the tobacco companies.

It's as good an explanation as any. If you're a politician these days, you just sell yourself to the highest bidder. And there's a lot of money swilling around out there. And a lot of people who'd like a cut of it. If smokers get stamped on, who cares. If an entire nation has to be sold into slavery, too bad.

Perhaps that's all we're looking at. Corruption. The complete and utter corruption of the entire political class. From top to bottom. From the lowliest council official to the highest EU bureaucrat.

Whatever the reason, it's clear that it's not their electorates that these people are serving. They've betrayed them all. The Labour party has betrayed its labour roots. And the Conservative party has betrayed conservatism. And the Lib Dems have betrayed both liberalism and and democracy. They're all soiled goods. They're all empty vessels, hollowed out inside by maggots. It's a wonder that, when you see Nick Clegg or David Cameron on TV, that a maggot doesn't pop out of their forehead or their nose, and peer about, before burrowing back inside again.

Perhaps it's something that just happens quite naturally from time to time. Particularly at the end of a long economic boom, when there's a lot of money sloshing around. What started out once as something noble and principled gradually becomes corrupted. Eaten away by rust. Dissolved in the universal solvent of money. It happens to everything sooner or later. One day it ceases to be fit for purpose, and needs to be replaced, even it's a family heirloom. Nothing lasts forever. If there's a smell of corruption in the air, it's because something has died, and needs to be laid to rest.

There's some sort of explosion coming. All these people are going to be swept away. It's only really a question of whether this is done through the ballot box, or whether it's done in the Libyan fashion.

And in a country like Britain, it'll almost certainly be through the ballot box - unless that also has been corrupted. And in these volatile times, as old loyalties are everywhere breaking down, the next political regime may spring up very rapidly from nowhere - a bit like the Tea Party in America. The end of the old regime may be very sudden. After years of habitually voting one way or other, the electorate will vote en masse in some new and totally unexpected way. It just hasn't happened yet.

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I wrote up a lengthy comment suggesting that the next regime to spring up already seems to exist and it's called the UKIP. Then I went to the wikipedia page on the 2010 UK General Election and decided to scrap it.

Even if 8 million smokers piled in en masse, while cannibalizing the Big Three, it would still wind up with Them - 18 million and the UKIP 8 million. They would overtake the Liberal Democrats however, and I assume become a brawny kingmaker in the process.

After reading that powerful Counting Cats Mood: Angry posting the other day, it crossed my mind that someone out there needs to tap into all of this pent up anger and frustration. That's supposedly what politics is all about.

Just dreaming and crunching some numbers here.

Re: Reality Check (Ian B from Counting Cats)

(Anonymous)
The problem is that the anger and frustration is all pointing in different directions. There isn't a commonality to the counter-hegemonic opposition. Some of it is very liberal. Some of it is very conservative. Some people are furious about immigration, others (among libertarians particularly) won't vote for a party that doesn't support open borders. Some us are anti-Temperance, while others want fierce government action against binge drinkers and fat people and so on. It seems everyone is angry at the State, but everyone has a different reason why, many of which are totally incompatible with each other. We don't form a unified "logroll" in the same way that the Progressives are able to achieve.

The Proggies have over a century of practise of managing consent by moral panic- be it about smoking or binge drinking or child abuse or rape or myriad other such panics. They're expert at maintaining high enough arousal levels in the general population that keeps people clinging to the State to protect them.

I don't know what political strategy would work in this situation. All the revolutionary theory is written by authoritarians as strategies for acquiring authority. There is little or nothing about how to abolish it, probably because nobody ever has a revolution (whether an overt one or a gradual takeover type) in order to give power away. We seem to be starting from scratch with this situation.

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