Coincidentally, I was sent two different articles both on the same subject.
The first was "Antrim man fined for smoking in tractor" [thanks, Ian].
The second was "Tractor cigarette could cost farmer £1k" [thanks, Ipse Cogita!]
So here we have a bloke sitting in his tractor minding his own business and enjoying a fag when along comes a Brownshirt and slaps a fine on him for smoking.
We will ignore the fact that [as far as I am aware] most if not all tractors are single person vehicles. We will ignore the fact that if he was parked at the side of the road and therefore technically he wasn't using it for business purposes. We will ignore the fact that £1,000 is grossly disproportionate as a fine. We will ignore the fact that this "crime" was harming precisely no one.
What we can't ignore is the depths to which this whole Anti-Smoker purge has sunk.
A cash strapped council which can't afford to cut back roadside hedges is able to afford a "tobacco control officer" [or more than one?] who is presumably being paid at least the minimum wage. The whole concept of a "tobacco control officer" is wrong – a person employed on a full time basis to go around snooping on people to see if they are enjoying a surreptitious fag?
Can anyone give me one good reason why I shouldn't compare the Anti-Smoker campaign with the early days of Hitler's campaign against the Jews?
In each case, a political ideology achieved almost religious like fervour and hatred. In each case there is no basis for this hatred. In each case the public are actively encouraged to vilify and demonise the minority. In each case the public are encouraged to spy on their neighbour and report them to the "authorities" in the event of some imaginary transgression. In each case the government passes tighter and tighter restrictions in order to eradicate this imagined evil and employs spies to ensure that the minority group toes the line, and applies disproportionate punishment in the event of a transgression. Children are being indoctrinated into an ideology before they are mature enough to make their own judgements.
Just one good reason?