Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I don't like cigarettes, but the smoking ban stinks

There is less than a month to go before the smoking ban, and there is talk of free medication on the NHS to help people quit smoking. In liberal circles, cigarettes have become the new social menace, but the whole thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Yes, smoking is a dirty habit and kills thousands of people each year, and yes, many are also killed by secondary smoke, but why not just set aside designated areas for smokers?

I've heard all the nanny-state arguments before. That we want to protect smokers from themselves, that it will save the NHS billions of pounds, but it all smacks of hypocrisy.

All the while that we are banishing smokers outdoors, we are letting the country drink itself to death. Britain is currently suffering from an epedemic of alcohol addiction and little is being done to stop it. The government have offered little more than improved labelling of alcohol products.

There is a deep rooted culture of binge drinking that cannot be easily changed (how do you hear the expression on British soaps: "Lets get hammered"). Whether Britons are in the mood for celebration, or whether they want to drown their sorrows, the solution is always the bottle, and it is going to cost the health service billions of pounds. Then there is the cost to the economy in general through days lost to sick leave, and the social cost of reduced life expectancy.

There are of course things that can be done such as curbs on advertising and heavy taxation of alcohol, but that is something politicians wouldn't dare to do. Just as the Americans have their right to bear arms, the bottle has become Britain's second ammendment. No one would dare to take it away from them.

There is now talk of denying certain treatments on the NHS to smokers. When thousands of Britons start suffering from liver failure as a result of binge drinking, will the NHS deny them treatment too?

400,000 dead in Darfur, but they're more interested in boycotting Israel

A number of hard hitting adverts have been launched to counter the wave of anti-Israel boycotts taking place in Britain.

The only thing is, the adverts originate from the Anti Defamation League who are based in the States. They have even launched their own dedicated website.Why is no one in Britain doing anything??? Doesn't say much for Anglo-Jewry.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why is there no outrage in Britain at Alan Johnson's kidnapping?

Charles Moore has asked a question that begs an answer. Why is there no anger in Britain at Alan Johnson's kidnapping? What if Israelis had carried out the kidnapping? Would journalists have taken such a 'softly softly' approach? It all smacks of double standards.

So Stansted Airport is to blame for the melting ice caps

If you saw the front cover of the Independent last week, you will have seen a personal appeal by one of Greenland's Inuit leaders not to expand Stansted Airport. The basic message was: "If you take more flights, you'll melt our ice caps".

I'm not sure how expanding a tiny Airport in Essex will bring about a global warming catastrophe, especially as all the flights in the world only make up 2-3% of carbon emissions. But facts don't count for much at the Independent, emotional impact matters much more.

There is a good write up here.

Michael Moore is a real sicko

Predictably, they have all been sucking up to Michael Moore at the Cannes Film Festival. It has given the European arts world another opportunity to give the great satan (aka The United States) a good beating.

Yes, Michael Moore is back with his latest movie, Sicko, and as with his earlier movies, he excels at twisting the facts to suit his agenda. Those who have watched Bowling for Columbine will remember his visits to various homes in Toronto left unlocked by their owners. No they don't leave their doors open in Canada and even Toronto has had its fair share of shootings.

Michael Moore is up to his old tricks in his latest movie, visiting an NHS hospital with no waiting patients. I'd love to know which hospital he visited, as would millions of other British taxpayers.

I have a suggestion. Why not give Michael Moore UK citizenship and let him see what the NHS is really like.

Never mind abortion, Scotland biggest problem is its dying population

Whether you're pro-abortion or anti-abortion, Cardinal Keith O'Brien has done a great service by opening up a debate on abortion in Scotland. All too often, decisions on social policy have been made with little or no debate.

The British are faintly embarrassed by religion. We like to think of ourselves as more enlightened than the Americans. We don't need to discuss the rights and wrongs of gay marriage or abortion, we're know better....or do we?

Many people are angry with Cardinal Keith O'Brien. He has clearly rocked the boat. But maybe he's onto something. Scotland's population is declining rapidly as a result of its plummeting birthrate. The way things are going, I wouldn't worry about Scottish this rate, there won't be any Scots left to celebrate it.

Russia say's stop being so emotional over Darfur

Russia has told Britain and America to stop being "so emotional" about Darfur and to accept that they cannot force Sudan to find a peaceful solution to conflict in the region.

It seems a rather tactless comment when you consider that hundreds of thousands have already died. But then again, You can excuse the Russians for being hardened to mass murder. You have to remember that during seven decades of communist rule, tens of millions of Russians were murdered by their own government. Stalin famously said A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. Five decades after Stalin's death, attitudes haven't changed much.