Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Smoking bans get silly

With Dick Puddlecote organising a smoke-in for Saturday at Stony Stratford (I'd like to be there but probably won't be), and Iceland proposing a total ban on the sale of cigarettes (I've always said the Nordics made the most enthusiastic Nazis) we need to look to Australia for how the truly absurd could arrive at a street near you soon.

This is King Street, in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney undergoing 'gentrification'. The local council responsible for the pavement on the left of the pic has just banned all outdoor smoking, but the pavement on the right, within the City of Sydney area, still permits smokers to sit at the outside tables. Cafe owners on the left side are up in arms; all their trade has crossed the street. Most absurd is that it's a busy four-lane road, and that particulates, smoke, and carcinogenic PAHs from vehicles are probably many thousands of times the levels produced if every smoker in Newtown was puffing away at the tables. This isn't about health at all; it's all just spite and bigotry. At times of economic stress people used to immolate elderly women; today's witches are we smokers.   


Barnacle Bill said...

I think the next time I put something on a certain well known auction site I shall put at the bottom of my listing in large, bold letters -


That's if they even allow me to put that!

Jeff Wood said...

"Cafe owners on the left side are up in arms; all their trade has crossed the street."

Perfect, just perfect.

Tell us what to do said...

"We're on one side of the street and on the other side the law is totally different. It would be all right if there was some consistency".

Said one conditioned patron... sigh.