Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban

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No Voice, No Rights
H/T Junican and Chris Snowdon for this ONS study:

ONS is developing new measures of national well-being. The aim is that these new measures will cover the quality of life of people in the UK, environmental and sustainability issues, as well as the economic performance of the country.

To develop better measures of the nation's well-being we want to ask what matters most in people's lives and what is important for measuring the nation's well-being.

I signed up (just name and email address required) and wrote my answer to the following question:

What things in life matter most to you?

The simplest of things in life: to be able to sit in a pub and drink a pint of beer and smoke a cigarette and talk to friends. This simple thing brought pleasure and laughter, and allowed networks of friendships and pub communities to grow and flourish within a shared culture.

It's illegal now to do this, of course. And so the happiness it provided, and the friendship, and the community, and the shared culture have all been crushed. With them also, needless to say, freedom and democracy were also crushed.

There was no indication that the above would be published anywhere, or even considered. Still, no harm done by writing something.

It will almost certainly be ignored. Smokers are people whose opinions are systematically ignored. They have no voice in this 'society'.

Chris Snowdon's piece is tagged 'pretend consultation', and he's almost certainly right. The British people will be found to be deliriously happy about everything.

Along similar lines is Michael Kelly's comment on Stewart Cowan's Facebook page:

Stop defending smokers' rights. They have none.

michael kelly

I took the trouble not only to check the Facebook page, but also to find out a bit more about Michael Kelly:

Michael Kelly - Celtic director (1990-1994)

Michael Kelly is a Scottish politician and businessman. He held the position of Lord Provost from 1980 to 1984, and was Lord Rector of Glasgow University from 1983 to 1987.

It's one thing to hear such vicious sentiments from some anonymous online commenter. It's quite another to hear them from someone who has held a number of senior posts in public life.

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I can’t believe how many people on the ONS site have suggested such superficial, temporary things as “flexible working hours for parents” or “cheaper childcare facilities” as being important to their own happiness. Make life easier for a few years, yes; give parents a bit more time and money, yes. All very nice things. But the key to real, true underlying happiness? Do these things really "matter most" (as per the question) to people over and above things like "happy, healthy children," or "a secure, loving family life?" Jesus, it seems that the majority of Joe Public are even more inward-looking and superficial than I’ve thought in the past with their hand-to-mouth view of what real happiness is. I’ve long thought that the majority of the general public are a fairly dim-witted, small-minded, self-oriented, gullible lot, but the responses to this survey confirms it.

The Government will be rubbing their hands in glee at what they read on here. Throw the proles a few sweeties and they'll think all their problems are over …… (shakes head in despair)

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