Firstly, this post is not about smokers and smoking, it's about our freedom to choose being lawfully denied each and every one of us.
Secondly, I must record my gratitude to Anna Raccoon and Old Holborn who have fought feverishly raise the money to pay Nick Hogan's fine and return him to his family. Nick, you may remember, is the ex-landlord who was fined £11,600 for permitting two people to smoke in his pub - even though he was not present in the building at the time. He was able to pay £1,600 but was unable to lay his hands on £10,000 and the judge decided such a failing required 6 months in prison.
The blogosphere raised the £11,600 to show that this was not justice and OH delivered it to the prison today.
Each and every one of us ought to be aware that the smoking policy is just the beginning of government's complete control over our freedom to choose.
Any one of us is at risk. If you come under any of the following headings: over 65, slightly overweight, drink alcohol, want the best school for your children, drive the 'wrong' car, take a photograph of a police officer - the list is endless - you are at risk.
What does concern me in the over 65 issue. It's well recorded over 65s don't matter. They don't give enough money to the Treasury although what they do give is on money which has already been taxed. The recent report on Stafford Hospital stated most patients were over 65 - obviously passed their usefulness date. Finally it's being reported that 60% of inspected hospitals in England were not accurately assessing their own performance.
Please consider this, if a landlord is fined/imprisoned for 'permitting' two people to smoke on his premises when he wasn't even present, do you feel that the justice system will deal with you fairly even though your 'offence' is nothing to do with smoking?
The smoking issue is the tip of a very large iceberg. You'd better believe it. Only we can change this and we must take some responsibility for allowing a government to destroy our beliefs of fairness and justice.