Does anyone ever stop to think about how Puritans tar everyone with the same brush?

Smoking is a good example where there are many types of smoker.

There is the sixty a day habit, and the person who might have a cigar at Christmas.  There is the pipe smoker who [like myself] has a pipe which filters out most of the goo and tar.  There is the person who might smoke ten a day but discards each stick only half consumed.  There is of course the new phenomenon of e-cigarettes [or whatever you want to call them].  All of these are lumped together as dirty filthy smokers with no degree of separation whatsoever.

So whether you enjoy a cigar once a year or smoke like a chimney you run the risk of all the penalties applied to "smokers".  Life insurance and health insurance are typical examples, where quantity is irrelevant – you are a smoker or you aren't.  In some cases you can even be fired from your job for that one smoke a year.  Enjoy one cigarette after a day's work and you can forget about applying for some jobs, and that can even apply to those who "vape".

The Puritans got away with this one as the penalties originally were proportional to the amount smoked.  The heavy smoker pays more, and the very light smoker only has to step outside occasionally.  But this has changed in recent times.  Users of electronic devices [95% safer?] are lumped with precisely the same discrimination as those who gulp down several packs of untipped a day.  Even vapers are "nicotine abusers".

Now we are moving into the areas of obesity and alcohol abuse.

Once again, anyone who takes a sip of wine is an alcohol abuser and if we like sugar, we are by default obese.  This is patent nonsense but the Puritans just don't see it that way.  Unlike smoking, their proposals now affect all those who like the odd tipple or a spoon of sugar in their tea.  We are all disgustingly fat alcoholics whether we like it or not and we must all pay the penalty.

There are those who like to down half a bottle of vodka before heading out on the town with the express intention of getting hammered.  Good luck to 'em but they are a tiny minority compared to those who might like a glass of wine or a couple of pints down the pub.  But now those of us who might enjoy a quiet pint or five have to pay the price, and I say that literally as well as figuratively, in a country where drink is already overpriced.

Are we going to see all our food "dumbed down" with stiff sugar restrictions because of a minority?  Am I to pay extra for the sugar in my tea because someone thinks someone else is overweight?

What next?  Will they be banning all items containing nuts to "protect" those with allergies?  Will all dairy produce be banned for the sake of the lactose intolerant?  Will meat be outlawed "for the sake of the planet"?

This sweeping intolerance of lifestyles is totally out of hand.  If they really want to cut down on binge drinking then tackle the binge drinkers.  If they really must interfere with those they consider overweight then let them tackle the overweight.  Targeting all for the sake of the few is indefensible.

The purpose of government is supposed to be to serve the people, provide services and to protect the rights of the individual.  It is none of their business what we eat or drink.  Our lifestyles are our choices.  If I want to stuff myself rigid, wash my meal down with a bottle of Irish and smoke a few, then that's my choice and my choice alone.  No one has any right to say otherwise.  If I am in danger of lung, liver or heart damage my doctor will inform me and that is fine – that's at an individual level and affects no one else.

Punishing us all for the sake of the few is reprehensible and wrong.

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For the sake of the few — 10 Comments

  1. "Targeting all for the sake of the few is indefensible."

    You missed a bit off the end, Gramps: " …  but it is, of course, highly profitable."

    • There's a nasty little rash of anti-alcohol "charities" breaking out lately all right.

      According to our esteemed minister tonight – "minimum alcohol pricing will save dozens of lives!".  Do they really believe this shit?

  2. This has all nothing to do with puritans, it's not about health, not about protection of anyone or anything, it's all exclusively about profits.

    Vaping is cheaper as smoking, therefore it has to be priced up and if the ingredients are too cheap to get anywhere even with a 1000% price increase, regulations have to be passed and bans on cheap devices have to be implemented, to make sure vaping brings just as much profit as smoking.

    Sugar is too cheap to make big profit for big business, it has to be priced up to make the profits high enough so big business can enter the market.

    And so on and so forth, there is NOTHING in it for the consumers, just the opposite. After basic things in life become expensive enough and people need all their money for some minimal recreation, consumers will seek the cheapest junk food in the supermarket and nobody will complain about genetic modifications anymore.

    •  Welcome Thomas!  I agree it's about money but I don't see how any business would profit.  Maybe if people switch from vaping to smoking that would benefit the tobacco companies but all the other measures just mean more taxes which go to the gubmint.  The minimum pricing of alcohol may give a marginal increase to retailers but I doubt it would amount to that much.

      No, the real winners are the so called "charities" which are paid out of the public purse to lobby the gubmints for further restrictions.  In the UK and Ireland there are now loads of these organisations all frantically lobbying for tighter restriction and of course more funding for them.

  3. I've already god my first batch of 23 liters of red wine on the go in the hot press, hopefully all will be good and i can have a go at beer, white wine and with a bit of internet searching, vodka!

    Cheap, quite satisfying, and 2 fingers up to the Gubmint

  4. Quite, Gramps.  Honestly, Rik – you don’t think they’ll let that go on for too long, do you?  Perish the thought!  Once enough people start to realise how easy making one’s own booze is, and doing it, they’ll immediately generate all manner of scare stories about the risks people are taking (“as lethal as Prohibition moonshine,” is a headline which immediately springs to mind as a possibility, complete with all the potential health risks, not to mention the inevitable “tragic” death of some wee toddler who happens upon his parents’ wine kit and, after glugging the lot, dies of alcoholic poisoning etc etc).  “Something must be done,” the anti-alcohol brigade will cry.  And something will be.  To home brew legally – whether for personal consumption or not – one will have to obtain a licence and adhere to tightly-controlled restrictions, and failure to pay the necessary duty will be regarded as every bit as illegal as, now, is smuggling booze or tobacco over the border.

  5. People just need to become better liars, we need to adjust to the fact that being honest about our little luxuries or habits is no longer wise, and can be very harmful. I'm a vaper, but do I tell insurance companies, government agencies, or anyone who could use this information against me, nope. How the hell would they know to discriminate against me, if I simply don't tell them? When I was a smoker, I knew that revealing this to any health care person, would see me discriminated against, so if they asked, I just said, nope, I don't smoke. Not a single one of them could tell the difference, unless I had a smoke just before seeing them. Not doctors, surgeons, nurses, none of them. If I had been honest I would have had my much needed surgery delayed, so they could bully me into giving up smoking with threats of further discrimination, refusing treatments, etc.

    Same goes for drinking, how the hell will anyone know how much you drink unless you tell them? Or unless you are obviously pissed in their presence? If you smoke a couple of cigars at xmas, or a few cigs a day, just don't tell your insurance company, or your doctor, or anyone else that will use that information.  When dealing with puritan prodnoses, honesty is not the best policy. If you're doing surveys, lie, skew the stats, that's what they do anyway to come up with their "big scary numbers", they lie. Does anyone, outside of the puritan nutters, really believe that so few people smoke now  ? Or is it a case, particularly when asking kids or teens, that they will automatically lie about it ? 


  6. If they really want to cut down on binge drinking then tackle the binge drinkers.  If they really must interfere with those they consider overweight then let them tackle the overweight

    As a fat alcoholic I don't really want them on my back thanks all the same GD!

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