Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Labour's spiteful little twists

London is amongst the worst places in the EU for air pollution. A report for the London Assembly, published in May 2009, produced evidence that air pollution in London contributes to over 3,000 premature deaths in the capital each year. What action has the Labour government taken over this appalling risk to life? Nothing. Rien. Nada.

When leaded fuel was the norm, the most shocking evidence was produced that those living long-term in the shadow of London's Westway had accumulated such high levels of lead in their bodies that some actually exhibited symptoms of lead poisoning, but this wasn't the most horrifying impact. The effect of accumulated lead in young children, many of them of West Indian origin, had caused irreversible brain damage manifested in mild cases as learning difficulties and in severe cases as severe behavioural disorders. Did Labour legislate to ban lead from fuel? Did they re-house everyone living under the Westway? Did they horsefeathers.

Kids don't get a choice, of course, as to where they live, but I do. I know the increased risk to my health of living in London with its polluted air, and the visible signs of this pollution are evident when I remove a shirt after ten hour's wear or in the fine coating of soot that gathers in door and window embrasures.

My only satisfaction is that London's most vociferous anti-smokers are breathing the same filthy air.

The idling engine of a 2 litre diesel vehicle produces more air pollution in two minutes than a smoker produces in a year of smoking. It's actually possible that a child locked into a sealed vehicle with a smoking driver is less exposed to polluted air than one standing outside the vehicle in a traffic jam. Opening the window to let the ciggie smoke out lets in the far more polluted air outside.

So let's not pretend that Burnham's proposed smoking reforms have anything to do with health or child welfare. They don't. It's pure Labour bile and spite towards a cohort of the population least amenable to Labour's Levaithan Statism, where smoking is a proxy for civil disobedience.

I shall continue to be civilly disobedient, and watch with pleasure Mr Burnham breathing Europe's most polluted air in the Commons.

6 comments:

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Blue Eyes said...

No, it was the Tories that got rid of the lead in fuel.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Quite. I remember standing at Darlington station watching a smoker being chastised for lighting up next to a 4,000 horsepower diesel locomotive.

hatfield girl said...

I remember standing at Darlington station when there were steam trains.

Bill Quango MP said...

It's pure Labour bile and spite towards a cohort of the population least amenable to Labour's Levaithan Statism.
Not sure about the conclusion R.

The Royale family won't be too happy to be banned from smoking outside the pub, in the pub garden or in the street. This is a straight sop to the entire anti-smoking brigade, which is odd as they are surely onside by now, having won the battle and the war.
There is potential to turn this bit of social engineering into an anti-labour campaign. Not sure why they risk it.
If I were Eric Pickles I'd be thinking about pointing out where the local pubs used to be in the marginals and the numbers of yoofs drinking in the streets so they can smoke.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

If they ban smoking in pub gardens that really will be the end of the licenced trade.

But then, for NuLab, that is a feature not a bug.

I have to keep reminding myself that despair is a sin.