Saturday, 3 March 2012

Your freedom is at stake

Here’s an excellent article from Rob Lyons on how plain packaging for tobacco products needs to be resisted. He is spot-on on the reasons why normal people should reject prohibitionism:

It may come as a shock to those who want to micromanage our lifestyles, but drinkers, smokers and lovers of fast food are not stupid. We’ve got the message that fags, booze and all the other wicked little pleasures are bad for us. The real reason that people engage in moderately unhealthy behaviours like these – so mildly unhealthy that we have to do them often and regularly over the course of decades to cause us serious harm – is that we enjoy them. We balance the long-term risks against short-term pleasure. That’s a far more sophisticated understanding of what it means to live life well than these grey and miserable latter-day Puritans could ever manage.
There is far more to life than just minimising every perceived risk. And the Puritans are surprisingly quiet when it comes to sport, most forms of which involve entirely avoidable risks to life and limb.

And plain packaging, and display bans, will never be applied to alcoholic drinks, of course. Or will they?


  1. All so very true.
    Amazing, how if you choose to smoke tobacco, which I believe is still legal, you are now treated (by a highly vociferous minority), as a social leper, but if you inject yourself with an ILLEGAL substance, you are a victim of circumstances etc., and there are an army of 'Health Professionals', all with vested interests (usually financial), advising you of the best benefit to seek.
    Madness, complete madness.

  2. Amateur Sport costs the Country £billions but it's acceptable pleasure (and not taxed).
    Break your leg on Sunday and your employer picks up the tab.

  3. Yes, "Spiked" is an oasis of sanity in a mad world. It's been required reading for me for years now.

    And Rob Lyons is completely right - we are all (or at least, almost all) capable of assessing the risk / gain factors in any pursuit, whatever it might be.

    It truly is an insult that these intellectual pygmies in parliament and their wormtongue courtiers presume to dictate our choices.

  4. Puritans,levellers,prohibitionists,killjoys
    are not new amongst the human species.
    They huddle in dark corners and wait untill
    the ordinary don the cloak of apathy and compliance, then they run around shreiking their
    torment and despair. Seeing sadness in others
    gives tham a kick ,a feeling of fullfillment.
    There is a simple cure for these malcontents,
    allbeit unsavoury in its application
    When extremists are faced with extreme reaction
    they melt away into obscurity,slithering back into their covens of darkness and misery.

    The unbended Knee

  5. You might like this cartoon about normal people.


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