A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Permit me to have a permit, please", smokers to ask!

Another New Labour stooge has come up with a wheeze to help smokers overcome their wheezes! He wants them to opt-in to the smoking culture by filling out a form. He thinks this will put them off smoking before they start. This financially dodgy-thinking former chairman of Health England goes by the posh name of Julian Le Grand. I suppose a New Labour type couldn't get a better name.

He thinks £10 annual licence would help them kick the habit. To be fair to this logic (but only a bit!), I would think it a real hassle filling out the form, especially if there were hundreds of irrelevant questions on it. But that's where my support ends.

The real problem here is that it would cost TEN times as much for bureaucrats to vet the wretched things. Not only that, it would give the authorities unwarranted information about people.

Stephen Pound, a not-so-New Labour MP, quite rightly says it is "completely insane”. He added, “I hope they consider this for five minutes then spit it out. It is crazy and will divert attention and money from the real issue - helping people to give up smoking.” Hear! Hear!

Professor Le Grand (professing what, exactly?) should think before he speaks, because this sort of stuff just makes a mockery of good governance. And what of the smokers who don't fill in the form? Perhaps they can be locked up in the smoking chamber at East Midlands Airport!


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