A subject upon which I occasionally ponder is the topic of “Rights”.
One of the clarion calls of the Anti-Smoker is the claim to “a right to clean air”. What the fuck does that mean? Apart from the fact that after half a century of nuclear tests, a proliferation of pesticides and non stop exhausts from cars, planes, factories and power stations, there is no such thing any more as clean air. So if something no longer exists then how can anyone have a right to it?
So what are Human Rights? I did a little search and came up with The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now there are a couple that I might quibble over [how can you define a Right to Adequate Living Standard for example?] but certainly there is no mention of clean air in there, or even dirty air.
What triggered this little train of thought was ASH’s claim that Tobacco Production, Marketing Violate Basic Human Rights.
What. The. Fuck?
My human rights are being violated by tobacco farmers and manufacturers? How?
I cannot see a single mention in the Declaration that implies that the manufacture of something infringes my rights. You could argue that the manufacture of auto-engines, aircraft, pesticides and nuclear weapons mgiht infringe on a right to clean air, but as I argue – that doesn’t exist any more. In fact denying tobacco farmers their income would surely infringe on Articles 1, 2, 3, 7, 17, 23 and even 25?
How about ASH themselves? How many rights do they infringe upon?
Article 1 is a good starting point. Is the smoker equal? What is ASH doing about that?
Article 2 is a no brainer. ASH positively encourages discrimination both by society and in law.
Article 5? Constantly telling the world that smokers are disgusting and that they stink isn’t degrading?
Article 7 – How many laws are there directed solely at smokers who are doing something that is perfectly legal?
Article 9 I’m not sure about. But Arnott in the UK did gloat that smokers were to be exiled to the outdoors?
Article 10 is a beauty. When have ASH ever listened to smokers or even the Tobacco Industry?
Article 12 is under attack and has been repeatedly breached.
I could go on but it gets tedious.
So I would suggest that ASH take their press release, roll it into a cylinder, fill it with tobacco, set fire to it and then stuff it up their collective arses.