Op-Ed: BMA call for smoking ban leaves Libertarians fuming
By Alexander Baron
In the Current issue of Digital Journal
The British Medical Association has called for a ban on smoking in cars; Sean Gabb, Britain’s leading Libertarian, is left hot under the collar.
Three months ago, the world was presented with “evidence” that passive smoking can make teenagers go deaf. This week, surprise, surprise, there is new “evidence” that passive smoking in cars can be a danger to – you guessed it – especially the young. As Chris Tame used to say, when they talk about protecting children, what they really mean is destroying your rights. Like cars haven’t been around longer than anyone now alive, and suddenly they’ve just found the conclusive evidence of the lethality of their combination with twenty filter tips a week.
Let us be quite clear about this, the BMA and other proponents of the ban are not motivated by concern for your health nor even the health of your children, while those who genuinely do care won’t get much of a look in when push comes to shove, because it will be the police or the smoke police who have the final say. And a ban on smoking in cars will be anything but final, it’s the old story of the salami technique. Ask a man for a whole salami, and he will probably say no. Ask him for it a slice at a time, and you may well end up taking the whole sausage, or rather nanny will end up taking all your rights.
The same has been applied in other fields with great success, if destroying freedom, individual liberty, dragging people into court, fining them and even throwing them into gaol can be called success. In the United States, there are constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, so the incitement laws and other Draconian measures that have been foisted onto the sheeple in Britain don’t apply. So what have the statists done? They have created something called hate speech, which they argue totally spuriously falls outside the normal remit of protected speech. Is what you put into your mouth any less important than what comes out of it? Sean Gabb believes not, and earlier this week he sounded off to the Daily Mail alluding to the latest findings as ‘Junk statistics’ – as he has before.
‘The demand for a smoking ban in cars is an instance of the “saving the kiddies” argument.
‘This proceeds by hiding the agenda of control behind a cloud of hot air about the need to protect children.’
Sean is not a regular smoker, but if you are as well as a regular driver, the hour is late, because according to The Independent: “The BMA spelled out its message in a briefing paper launched to coincide with the second reading of a Private Members’ Bill calling for a smoking ban in private vehicles when children are present.”
And if the statists get this ban, they will look to ban smoking completely in the home, and then outright. If anyone thinks this would be a good thing, let him look back to the Prohibition Era, and to the carnage the war on drugs has caused worldwide to civil liberties. Of the people in gaol in America, over two million of them, perhaps a quarter or more are behind bars because of this in some way, and no, there is no comparison between the war on drugs and the Islamic prohibition on alcohol which is shored up by centuries of deeply entrenched social mores rather than by statute.
For the overwhelming majority of people, smoking has absolutely nothing to recommend it, and even those who do find it helps them cope with stress, etc, can find better substitutes, but at the end of the day, this is not a health issue, it is a civil liberties issue. Once the statists and health fascists have proscribed smoking, they will look around for something else to ban, which will be…anything they choose.
The aforementioned bill, introduced by Labour MP Alex Cunningham, is due to be debated on November 25. Details can currently be found here.