Sunday, October 16, 2005

The (in)credible opposition

On the first ever episode of The Young Ones, Rick insisted that he watch a programme called “Nosin’ Around” which was for young adults by young adults. It was all wobbly camera shots and snotty critiques of modern day living. One section saw a selection of disaffected youths explaining all the things you can do before you’re 18 (having sex with a partner of your choice, joining the army etc.) and the irony that, despite all this, you still can’t drink in pubs.

There was a debate on Radio 5 this morning about that reminded me of that sketch. It was about the banning of smoking in pubs. It degenerated into farce within seconds; the anti-ban lobbyist asking why we ban smoking when we still have people working in (dangerous) coalmines. His opposition claimed that there were many health and safety regulations regaring coalmines that protected miners, and there were none protecting non-smokers. This was quickly followed up with “I can’t BELIEVE he’s saying that coalmines are safer than pubs”. From here it basically became a debate on all the things that were more dangerous than smoking (bothering elephants, playing Netball on the M69, invading Iraq).

Eventually Nicky Campbell interrupted them; he asked the anti-ban lobby (a Tory) whether the government were screwing up on this issue. The bloke responded by saying “The Labour party are hypocrites, if they truly believed this they would ban all smoking and why don’t they do this? Because they make millions in taxes from smoking and because most Labour supporters in the north are smokers.”

You have got to love them, haven’t you?


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