Do we want children to smoke or not? I think of Auberon Waugh here sometimes.


Today, outside the tobacconist/sweetshop near my boy’s secondary school, I observed the usual groups of schoolchildren, lounging about in that studiedly televisual way (you know the attitudes and body-positions) pretending to look at nothing and nobody in particular, which the bored mass of today’s British teenagers adopts when it thinks it is performing something…..coool.

Obviously they were smoking. Currently this activity is still legal. There are no state strictures (yet) on who can smoke at what age in the only place left, which is the “street”. I was sorry for them; I would not smoke you paid me, taking as I do the Chris Tame line that smoking is a disgusting smelly habit that makes you like kissing an old ash-tray, and could make you ill (but it’s your body not mine. you are not my Farm Animal. I cannot, and I may not, do with you as I wish; that is called rape.)

You can legally buy tobacco products. (But since 1st October only if over 18….so how come you can shag or leave school at 16, and drive cars at 17 – all activities which “could cost the taxpayer” shagloads of dosh via the “healthcare budget”?)

You can legally own tobacco products – as much tonnage as you like too - provided you have not gone to the trouble of enriching the State’s coffers even further by buying lots of fuel to get them elsewhere, such as Calais, where the state-take on them is a smaller %.

For all I know, you can even grow plots of Nicotiana variations in your garden and manufacture your own (bet you can’t sell it as spunk or even tobacco though…) the flower-seeds are sold for ornament; ergo it must be possible, in these days of global warm-mongering, and ice ages as of now,  to grow your own. 

However, let is now turn to the GCSE “science” parts of the nationalised Curriculum, in particular the Biology syllabus. Here you can find one example. These days, it is quite interesting in a sociological kind of way, for it bears little resemblance to formal biological science. This is because, as we all have rumbled, the “New Science” GCSEs have been craftily designed so as to be able to be “delivered” by non-science graduates in schools. This in turn is because there are now no Formal Science Graduates, much, in the UK, who want to work as teachers of what now amounts to what my boy labels as Marxism.

The “New” Biology is all about socialising the behaviour of the “kids”. Not content with PSHE (more Marxism) and Citizenship (yet more – I told the youngfella to tell his mates all either tot ext each other or to go to sleep in the sessions, so they do) the DFEE or whatever it’s called this week has injected yet further enlargement of the parts about Smoking and Health; Alcohol and its effects; Drugs and their status/effects/penalties/results for your body and brain. I paraphrase – the language used is just too patronizing and portentious for words.

For instance – you have in one exam question (I bet you 5p it will be set) to classify some “drugs”….Alcohol, Nicotine, Ecstasy, Cannabis, as one of the following; Recreational….Addictive….Illegal….Harmful….there are no marks for ticking the wrong box in each case.

Other questions focus on “obesity”, and “heart rate” before and after “fitness training programmes” (the participants featured in these exam questions are always and invariably “athletes” and “female”……and a “student” is always “she”…… Sometimes they are called “Samina” or “Preethi”.) I don’t object to this at all, for women sometimes are athletes (Poor girls! Whyever?) and also sometimes are called this sort of thing (there may even be more Preethis and Fatimas on the planet than Kerry-Annes and Jades) but then I am not a child living in Slaidburn or Hawes or Benbecula; not all the children of the UK reside in Leicester or Tower Hamlets or Bradford, only a few.

For the scientists reading this, there is almost no Classical Biology at all. Hardly any biochemistry, except for the fine details of hormonal changes and physical structure of the uterus-lining versus days-after-last period, in the female menstrual cycle (which is well-tested, and boys have to know it too) plus stuff about how contraceptive pills can “help a woman to regulate her fertility”. There is also stuff about IVF and hormone-treatment to “facilitate planned pregnancy”. (Yep, if you’re a hard boy, who’s into the footy and yer X-Box, you have to learn this stuff too or you will not do well and you will get a “D”!)

But back to smoking, and why do these poor children do it? I mean, it smells bad, and it means you have to carry baggage about like fags and matches or lighters, and it costs a bomb coz’ of socialism whan it does not even need to, and it’s utterly disgusting – only ameliorated in totally and utterly-disgusting disgustingness by the axiom that Hitler, who brought in the first State anti-smoking laws in the world, was not someone you’d have wanted your daughter to marry. At least the smoking of fags went up every year in the Third Reich until 1945 (probably after it too, the poor sods. wonder where they got the tobacco – and what exactly was it made of by then? I mean, I’d never wish the poor Germans all the deaths they all got, but they imho were morally liable as a nation for what then occurred, having  failed to not vote for Hitler in 1933.)

They do it, I believe, because they are dinned and drummed, every day, in pshe, citizenship, and now in science (and probably in “English” lessons too if the truth be told) that they must not. That’s even worse than “ought not to”. Any child of six with a degree from a jumped-up-socialist up-the-road-Poly in psychology, would tell you that what you are told not to do, you will do. The more? The more.

Ciggies are easy to get. You just either threaten the shopkeeper if you are a big male Y11, or else you get yer-mum to get you some, or else you steal them from her bag hoping she can’t count, or you go out aged 13-dressed-as-19, on Saturday, if yoo izz a chick or a babe. (I know they do; they tell me. They know I won’t grass them up.) Then, you peddle them at 50p (the going rate) a fag.

Mr X—-, the deputy-Head, doing fag-patrol outside the shop at 3.30, can do nothing. they’ll just wait till he’s gone in freezing to death in the rain, and carry on. Their role-models, on the Wireless Tele-Vision every evening, on “Corrie” or “Eastenders“, will continue to tell them how to behave.

Once more, we have a scenario in which the Hegemonic Mediarati prescribe behaviour with one hand – and even enshrine in  the state “Curriculum” as “Science” (I mean, for f***’s sake!) enforcing draconian laws so to do, while yet allowing themselves to make an opinion-forming climate of beliefs that glorifies the very sort of habits that they purport to want to extinguish. In the meantime they collect billions in taxation, mainly from the constituency that’s least able to afford it, and in which smoking represents one of the few pleasures left to the poor. 

This leads me onto foreign aid, a probably-large and gaping orifice of state-resource-swallowing, which Peter Bauer described as wicked and immoral, in that money was hoovered off poor people in rich countries, to be given to rich people (mercs-4-jerks) in poor countries. But I’ll “do” foreign aid another time,  maybe tomorrow, maybe not.

There’s no wikipage for “Mercs for Jerks”. Would anybody like to write one? I think it should be done!

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4 responses to “Do we want children to smoke or not? I think of Auberon Waugh here sometimes.

  1. Pingback: daviddavis

  2. While you’re at it, you might like to consider why people drink alcohol. After all; it damages your health (and can even kill you). It’s addictive. It costs a fortune. It makes you act like a twat. It makes you stink (kissing a drinker is like kissing a slop bucket, really, it’s gross if you haven’t been drinking yourself).

    Why on earth does anybody drink? Clearly those who defend drinkers are themselves alcoholics in denial, with their yellow eyes, foul breath, bulging stomachs, shaking hands…

    Sorry, but I’m sick to death of this “well, as a libertarian I think they have a right to smoke but they’re idiots who stink” line, especially when as often as not it comes from drinkers.

    Playing into the hands of the health nazis is really not helpful, you know?

  3. Did I mention also that for all our faults, at least us smokers don’t fill innocent doorways with piss, vomit, and discarded kebab?

  4. GREAT!!! >:-}

    Many thanks for an enchanting glimpse into life at a modern school. I look at kids teaching themselves all sorts of arcane skills in the video arcades, spending their own money to do so, and a vision comes to life, of a school organized like a shopping mall, with any number of “subject”

    providers, and with the _kids_ having the books of vouchers that they use to pay for their sessions. The teacher cashes in the vouchers, to provide his or her living. Good teachers of interesting subjects can expand their bizness and take over more space, and teaching staff.

    Both smoking and alcohol use in moderation would be OK. However, there would be rival providers of these materials, and advice centres, and this could include hubble-bubbles (to clean up the smoke), BHT (E321) to double the effect of small quantities of alcohol, those nice ersatz-ciggies which have glowing charcoal tips and nicotine- and flavour-soaked wadding to give you the “stimulus-barrier” effect of nicotine without all the tars and fumes and stuff.

    Ecstasy is a good idea invented by Dr. Alexander Schulgin to provide a Martini of drugs. There would be lots and lots of ‘alternative’ substances without kids getting into heavy and expensive stuff like cocaine and heroin (much of which is analogues these days).

    In the “good old days” in the ’60s, heroin was free via the NHS, quite openly, and there were 1,600 registered addicts (half of them American, over here for cheap, pure ‘stuff’).

    Then the “do-gooding” criminalizers got busy, and we now have 850,000 users feeding criminal empires mostly run by Intelligence people. Nice one…

    Alcoholism is mostly genetically determined.

    You have to work really hard to get into cigarettes. We tried photographic negatives, lengths of dry vine, all sorts of idiocies. There was no ‘anti-smoking’ guff. (I kinda wish there had been).

    I gave up smoking on 15 October 1985, when they showed a film clip on TV from Yul Brynner, who had just died. He said: “By the time you see this, I’ll be dead. I’ve been smoking a hundred cigarettes a day, and it’s killing me. If you would like to do anything in remembrance of me, please give up smoking.”

    I haven’t smoked since. It had been getting silly, with two packs of cigarettes a day and a bottle of Benylin to suppress the coughing…

    I watched my eldest brother Chris dying of tobacco-caused emphysema over some five years. He had no problem with four bottles of wine a day, but hand-rolled ciggies by the dozen were doing him in. A brilliant historian, he could present precise accounts of every battle in human history: both sides, the locations, the commanding generals, the weapons, the uniforms, the strategies, the tactics, the outcomes. Scintillating brilliance.

    To watch him coughing his life away, on oxygen and nebulizers all the time, was very hard. He was found dead on the kitchen floor in our parents’ former home in Burwash, East Sussex (Rudyard Kipling’s home, Batemans, was just down the road). His glorious pet cat Jezzy was sitting quietly next to him. He’d been dead for four days. As Deputized Assistant Chief Jezzy-Keeper, I looked after her lovingly for the last year and a half of her nineteen years of life.

    Oh Tempora: O Mores…

    Regards,

    Tony