Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Saturday, 21 June 2008

There's No Smoke With Fascists

It's so obvious that this kind of thing is going to happen that when I saw the story in our local paper last night I nearly decided not to write about it . But then I thought it was so indicative of the way in which personal freedom in this country is beoming ever rarer that actually it deserves as much attention as possible.

Just imagine. You're 89. You're in a care home. You haven't many comforts left in life. One of the few is lighting up an occasional cigarette. Anyone who's spent any length of time in those terrible places knows how important it is to have the odd remaining pleasure - a short and sweet escape, something to look forward to.

There is debate within this story about who's exactly to blame. The management of the care home claim to be complying with legislation that comes into effect on 1st July, and appear to say that they are following advice from Kirklees Council (God, I hate those people). On the other hand, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (whoever they are) appear adamant that smoking is NOT banned in the bedrooms within care homes. But for me, just who the villains are in this particular instance isn't really relevant.

The bottom line is this. A few years ago no one would have dreamt of denying an elderly person living the right to smoke a few cigarettes in what is, to all intents and purposes, her own home. Now it hardly merits a mention. It bears testament to the systematic dismantling of personal freedom that has been taking place for many years, and is symptomatic of a country where the ruling few care not a jot for the rights and feelings of the many. It it mean, callous and fundamentally wrong.

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