Puffed-up nonsense

Happy new year from Scots politicians, who’ve decided to extend the forthcoming smoking ban to include the great outdoors. Local authorities are being urged to ban smoking in public parks and other “areas where children are likely to gather” because it will “discourage young people from being influenced by what they may see as an ‘adult’ activity”. No sign of councils cracking down on other adult activities that set a bad example, such as spending £48,000 per day on food and booze for themselves and their pals.

Scottish smoking ban rivals California – Newspaper Edition – Times Online

Update, 8 Jan

One of the key bits of guidance from the Executive is that firms should under no circumstances provide smoking areas, such as outdoor shelters, for employees or visitors. The reason? It undermines the anti-smoking message. So…. you’ll never guess which Scots organisation is about to spend £20,000 on such a shelter. I’ll give you a clue. It begins with “S” and ends in “cottish Executive”. The Sunday Times reports:

POLITICIANS who voted for a ban on smoking in public buildings have given the go-ahead for a £20,000 shelter at Holyrood that will allow them to continue to light-up at work — in breach of their own guidelines.

The executive’s guidance argued against smoking shelters outside public buildings, including councils and hospitals, stating that clamping down on smoking at work would make people more likely to quit or cut down.

“There is equally strong evidence that the provision of any smoking area for staff — including external smoking shelters, undermines this potential health gain,” the guidance states. “In terms of health and wellbeing a smoking area does little to benefit either the staff or the organisation in the short or the long term.

I’m reminded of the building in Glasgow’s St. Vincent Street that has plastered its street-level windows with posters stating “only idiots smoke here”. I’m finding it very hard to resist the temptation to create my own version – “only ****s work here”.





0 responses to “Puffed-up nonsense”

  1. russmas

    I recon that traffic wardens need a more rewarding career structure. The chance of promotion to City Sniper would give then something to “aim for”. City Snipers could be placed in towers around our fine cities and take out miscreants such as smokers, people who cycle on pavements, people who cycle without lights on at night (a more challenging target), and of course skateboarders (for a wee laugh).

    Public Parks would of course be covered by the scheme and the health benefits of the resultant drop in both smoking and passive smoking would soon win over the wishy-washy “human rights” crowd.

    Anyone who thinks this makes me a nazi deserves to be driven into the countryside and shot.

  2. Are any of us surprised? Really?

    Happy New Year.

  3. Ronnie

    With one eye on the upcoming no-smoking-in-pubs-law, I had my last cigarette at 5am on New Year’s Day. According to my quit-o-meter, I’ve now gone 4 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes without smoking.

    So far, so good…

  4. Congratulations :)

  5. David

    Ronnie – I thought you’d already stopped.

  6. tm

    On the subject of politicians, nearly crashed the car whilst driving to manchester between christmas and new year. Somehow managed to tune to radio scotland and got some politcian doing a review of the year. He was complaining about the negative press the scottish parliment gets. He had a list of four big grievances. I can’t really remember them all (preusmably being spitting mad with rage a patronising fucker who’s actually being payed to represent you talking down to you affects your memory) but the first one was that the scottish parilment building fiasco was always reported in the light that either politicians or civil servants were at best totally incompitent or at worst wilfully negligent. He seemed to think that us getting (what he regards as) a great, interesting building made up for it and we should be happy.

    It literally never seemed to occur to the guy that having someone tell you something and getting you to agree to it on the basis that it would cost 40 million quid, only to have it turn out to cost 400 million quid is still a monumental cock up no matter how good the building you get at the end is, and there is simply no way that this can happen without (at best) gross incompitence.

  7. Sounds pretty symptomatic of the executive’s attitude in general.

  8. tm

    What gets me about the attitude they have (and a lot of other scottish public sector bodies and charities suffer from the same thing) is that any argument is always presented along the lines of “If you just *thought* about this you’d aggree with me….”. they seem incapable of realising that I might actually *have* thought about it and still have decided what they want is innefectual/stupid/both/simply not worth its knock on effects on some other area.

    And they dont seem to ever account for option 4 actually being a valid choice – worrying since it is kind of the point of gournvment to make exactly these decisions is it not?

    Mr Blairs line on the recent terroism law changes was very similar actually. “If you just saw those extra documents i’ve seen you’d immediately agree to have a policeman accompany you at all times and vet your every action.” The perfectly acceptable response – that i’ve decided on the basis of what I know that the powers are too much and, taking account of what you’ve said Tony, I’ve also factored in the possibily of some other really horrifiying stuff and hey, Guess what! I still think the powers are too much! didn’t even seem to be considered.

  9. Talking of people being ineffective at the job they’re paid to do, can I just say that the Sunday Times subeditors should be ashamed of themselves?

    … that will allow them to continue to light-up at work …

    Someone needs-to brush up on-their hyphenation.

    (Pet hate.)