Every lifestyle seems to encompass what you might call a sub-group.

For example, with sky-divers there is a sub-group that likes to jump off towers and buildings.  With joggers there is a sub-group who take it to the extreme and end up with a heart attack.  With swimmers there is always someone determined to swim the Atlantic.

Of course with alcohol there is a minority that likes to get its face wiped off and end up either in the gutter or beating the crap out of some bystander.

With food, there is the sub-group who basically eats nothing but pizzas, chips and stodge washed down with Red Bull and ends up like the Great White Whale.

With smoking, there is a sub-group who would really rather quit.

Where am I going with all of this?

Actually, I'm not quite sure but we'll see where it leads.

With all these major groups there are few problems.  People eat and don't become obese.  People drink alcohol and have a pleasant time but don't get smashed out of their gourds.  People smoke and have no intention of quitting because they enjoy it and it relaxes them.

The Puritans though can't seem to differentiate between the major groups and the sub-groups.

Their philosophy is to attack the entire group in the hopes of damaging the sub-group.  All food eaters will suffer penalties because of the few who are obese.  All drinkers will pay the price because a few can't control themselves.  All smokers have been stigmatised and tortured for the sake of the few who want to quit – at least the Puritans tell us that they are just "helping those who want to quit" and have nothing against the rest of us.

On the face of it this approach may seem to have a sort of twisted logic.  It's all for our own good after all?

But when you examine it, the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

Those smokers who want to quit have already done so.  The rest of us are perfectly happy with our choice but are still being vindictively punished for the sake of the now miniscule sub-group.

Those who eat to excess aren't damaging anyone else but themselves and that presumably is their choice.  If they die early or become disabled then that is a result of their choices and not ours, unless of course it's a medical condition in which case punishing them will have no effect whatsoever.

Those who drink to excess are a slightly different group as they are the only ones who potentially damage others, such as those bystanders, spouses or whoever.  There are many laws to cover violence and disorderly behaviour so surely that should be sufficient?

My point [I think] is that the sub-groups have their own risks and penalties, be they declining health, or laws against violence.  The obese aren't harming anyone but themselves and the smokers who want to quit should just quit and stop annoying the rest of us.  So in essence there is no need for any intervention by any Puritans whatsoever.

There is a strange exception to all of the above and that's the major grouping of Vapers.  They don't damage themselves or anyone else and as far as I am aware have no sub-group.  Maybe there are a few who might experiment by hooking their devices to the mains electricity for "that extra throat hit" but Darwin will quickly see to them.  Maybe the Puritans see them as a sub-group of smokers which is nonsense as smoking and vaping have very little in common.

When you look at the wood and not the trees the whole business is more than alarming.  Virtually any group you wish to examine will have its own sub-group, and the Puritans will inevitably target that to the detriment of the major group.

So what's next in the firing line?

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Minority report — 6 Comments

  1. My thoughts exactly. I am so sick and tired of being found guilty and punished for doing nothing illegal. Trial by numbers seems to be the new legal process; that those numbers may/may not be correct, but definitely skewed by this months trendy obsession, is irrelevant.

    One can't help but feel that these trendy obsessions are somewhat manufactured by those who need to be seen to be doing something useful. These people are doing a great deal of damage to the well-being of our society and the individuals therein.

    • It's a simple enough process – find yourself some area where people injure themselves [say, for example, cycling].  You then set up a "charity" to "protect" cyclists and demand ever increasing penalties for all cyclists.  This is "good" work so you get funding from the tax pot.  As cyclists persist in cycling, you demand ever increasing penalties.  The less effective your measures are, the more you demand in funding to increase the pressure.  You can never stop all cyclists so you are assured a job for life.

  2. You miss the point entirely, GD. It's nothing to do with the groups or attendant sub-groups of whichever category. It is entirely to do with a totally separate group who get their kicks out of being self-righteous bullies, who cloak their perverted desires in the charade of benefaction. They seek out groups of whom they disapprove, and then seek to 'help' them escape their depravity. We've  had people like this throughout history, whether they be religious, political or healthist. The  bottom line is that there will always be one group or another which is the object of their attentions. To paraphrase CS Lewis, better to be the target of a robber baron than that of a self-righteous moralist.

    • You know me well enough [I hope] to know that I know exactly what they are at.  See my comment above!  People do seem to have the idea though that taxing sugar for example is a great thing [as it will of course eliminate obesity] and will happily be screwed for no other reason than funding the tax pot.  Thay can't seem to realise that taxing the whole to catch the few is immoral to say the very least.

  3. Yes , these are all simple applications of 'collective punishment', just adult equivalents of giving a class detention because half a dozen kids failed to do their homework. It's in contravention of the Geneva Convention in time of conflict – but somehow I doubt we could fight punitive taxation on that basis?

    • It has struck me as strange that there is no law that can be applied to discrimination.  For using a perfectly legal product we can be denied jobs, healthcare and the right to a normal social life.  There seems to be a law for every other damn thing…..

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