Saturday, 28 August 2010

Presumptions From Medway

Oh dear, it seems that the negative reaction to the 'ciggy busters' stunt has incurred the misguided ire of Labour blogger Tristan Osborne:
'Ciggy Busting' attracts right wing wrath.
As well they might, the actions of the students and teacher are potentially illegal. He continues - linking to me twice, as the token UKIP view:
The 'ciggy busting' campaign run by Hundred of Hoo students last week to highlight the health risks surrounding smoking, is being savagely attacked by the right wing blogosphere, and on sites closely associated with the Libertarian and UKIP political vantage.

Individual bloggers have been writing letters to the Police and Council to attack school pupils for trying to highlight a real and remaining health problem which blights parts of Medway.
No, Tristan, the blogosphere weren't attacking school pupils for trying to improve people's health. They are criticising this particular campaign because it was, and still is, legally dubious. Don't take my word for it, here's the words of one of the participants:
“I was scared about doing something so crazy on the street - I mean you can get arrested."
But to him the finer point of legality is irrelevant - to condemn this stunt in anyway must mean you support smoking and the repeal of the ban. So by using the complaints as an excuse to deploy a straw man of leviathanic proportions he tries to reinforce his self-righteous views on smoking and the smoking ban, including this astonishingly puerile comment:
The Libertarian argument that someone has the right to smoke in a confined public space, where it can harm others is mad, just as the argument that someone has the right to rape, hit or harm someone else by violence.
Aside from the fact that smoking is a legal activity and the others aren't, a point again overlooked (he's not very good at technicalities is he?) I don't think he fully appreciates what he is actually saying. By linking smokers to rapists he is arguing that rape and passive smoking are similar crimes which means the logical extension of that is the impact on the victims must be the same also. In effect he is telling a rape victim; "I know how you feel because I suffered from passive smoking once".

He continues:
Perhaps those Libertarian and UKIP individuals should reflect on their own environment before passing comments on our hard working young people who are trying to highlight the harm to health of smoking to our community.
Perhaps Mr Osborne should stop passing off assumptions. Either he hasn't been bothered to read my blog in detail or he has ignored the inconvenient parts which don't fit in with his view. I've made it clear on this blog that I'm a non-smoker, disagree with my wife doing so and support anyone's right to campaign within the law. I've never made any comment on the smoking ban either for or against. But to him this point is irrelevant, just mere inconvenient detail. Criticism of this particular stunt according to the simple uncomplicated world of Tristan Osborne must automatically mean we criticise all anti smoking campaigns per se.

He concludes:
Right wing bloggers calling for a relaxing of the smoking ban have it totally wrong.
As I pointed out earlier I haven't made any such assertions. No matter, the 'ciggy busters' get his full support:
Smoking Kills. Passive Smoking Kills. Well done our young people.
So buoyed by his own sense of moral superiority, legality is unimportant, and the law is just an a la carte menu where he can pick and choose which bits of it he doesn't agree with; he argues it's not right to hit someone but then endorses just that view if it's against smokers. Ends justifies the means even if illegal you see.

Interestingly he's been selected to stand in Luton & Wayfield for the local elections in 2011. I wonder what potential voters will think when they discover that he apparently supports the incitement of theft, mugging, assault, steaming and happy slapping?

hattip:Corrugated Soundbite


  1. That's the ward next to mine, I doubt he'll win, even so he wont have much of a voice as Medway is staunch Tory.

  2. Good to hear QM, though I sometimes wonder how many Tories would sympathise with his view.

  3. Only the authoritarian bansturbating ones (most all) though a lot of people are not happy about the idiots who did this.

  4. The latter part of your comment is encouraging.

    It's only a relatively small rebellion but there's an element of 'enough' in the air regarding this particular episode, which has caught Medway by surprise I suspect.

  5. Many thanks for the link ;-)

    Tristan also seems to have a distinct disliking for prostitution. Which is odd, because being as he is, I'd suspect he'd need to procure the services of (a not so fussy) one every so often. Perhaps he got stung...

    He's certainly a Righteous of the highest order. It really is a question of "who next", in terms of who him and his more senior ilk decide to pick on.

  6. No worries CS.

    You're right about the 'who next' part. It's disturbing how smokers have now been dehumanised to the extent that any action is now deemed to be 'acceptable'.