Coffee House

Is it better to ban smoking in cars containing children than in pubs?

3 February 2014

4:39 PM

3 February 2014

4:39 PM

Whenever you cross from Washington, DC into the state of Virginia, you’re met with a sign saying ‘Buckle up Virginia, it’s a law we can live with’. The sign is meant to persuade people in a state where libertarianism runs deep to put their seatbelts on. But, even in the four years I lived in Washington, the sign became to feel rather out of date. Buckling up had become the norm.

I wonder whether the same will happen with the proposed ban on smoking in cars when children are present. At the moment, the idea seems unenforceable, nanny statism taken to the max. But it is worth remembering how quickly attitudes to these things change. Just eight years ago, I worked in an office where people smoked at their desks—something that seems like something from another age today. Even more remarkably, smoking was allowed on the Tube until 30 years ago.

In many ways, there is a better argument for a ban on people smoking in cars with children than there is for one on smoking in pubs. Pubs are full of adults who have made a conscious decision to go in, they know the risks of being in a smoky environment. By contrast, children in cars have little choice over the matter.

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Show comments
  • David Booth.

    The trouble with people who want to ban their fellow citizens from doing something they disapprove of is that they will never be placated. Ban smoking in the workplace>ban smoking in pubs>ban smoking in restaurants>ban smoking in cars> ban smoking in a public place>ban smoking in your own home, etc,etc.
    Can we spot a pattern here folks?
    I write as a life long non-smoker.

  • shaft120

    If you believe the state should dictate how children are brought up and that it knows better than the individual then why let people bring up children of their own at all? Surely the logical conclusion of your argument is to have all children removed at birth and moved into foster care where they can be raised by the state.

    The medical evidencenfornsecond hand smoking wasnever therebin the first place and has been proven again and again to be negligible in comparison to daily exposure to pollutants in any major city across the world. There are simply no statistics which show a link to cancer from so called second hand smoke.

    Parents do all sorts of things with their children which probably aren’t, in the eyes of a certain paternal, collective, ideological mindset, ok. I’m sure they feed them KFC, or let them stay up late watching films with a higher certificate than they are old. Or allow them to have a glass of wine with some water before they are 18, or even 12! Or perhaps they will swear in front of them or loose their temper with them or decide to smack them if they have been especially naughty. Is it for the state to play the role of parent? To step in and decide what is done on private property?

  • s_o_b

    Was it really 30 years ago that one could smoke on the tube? Anyway, the banning of smoking on the tube wasn’t nanny statism – it was a perfectly rational response (albeit perhaps closing the stable door long after the horse had disappeared over the horizon) to the Kings Cross fire which was started by a discarded cigarette and which killed rather a lot of people.

    Beyond smoking on the tube – I seem to remember that the second from front and second from rear were the two smoking carriages on each train – my fondest memory of the tube at that time was alighting from the smoking carriage on the westbound platform at Sloane Square and walking straight into a small bar where I could enjoy a pint while waiting for the correct district line train to arrive.

    Yes, I know smoking was a fire risk and the po-faced do-gooding health nazis wouldn’t approve of alcohol on the network but there was something rather calming and civilised about the whole thing that has been lost along the way.

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    In the car as in the home: why can’t the grown-ups open a window? Mind you, I can’t stand cigarettes and can’t imagine growing up in a home where everything reeks of stale smoke. It’s not even fragrant while fresh!

  • harleyrider1989

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    • Fred Scuttle

      That doesn’t actually prove it’s safe though, does it?

      “lungs from smokers are better than none”

      Says it all. Smoking kills smokers, so good luck trying to prove the same smoke is safe for non-smokers.

  • SimonToo

    You are asking us to discuss the precedence of a louse and a flea. Both are undesirable; whether one is worse than the other is hardly the point.

  • Chris Rose

    Smoking should be permitted in pubs, particularly if there are separate rooms for smokers and for non-smokers and adequate ventilation. Restoring smoking in pubs would greatly help pubs which are struggling. As for cars, it is ridiculous to ban smoking: how effective is the ban on mobile phones? You can’t police such things, and shouldn’t try to.

    • Fred Scuttle

      As things stand there is plenty of room for smokers. Outside, where they belong.

  • artemis in france

    The only justification I can see for it is that smoking while driving is a possible hazard in that it occupies your hand which should be operating the car. I am not convinced that passive smoking is particularly dangerous but don’t like to think of children being surrounded by smoke in an encloses space. Also, will this give them a taste for the stuff themselves? But then if their parents smoke at home, what différence does it make? People use their phones, talk to passengers etc. all the time in the car. These are also hazards. Do we want the police to prevent and solve crime or spend all day watching the interiors of cars?

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

      You’re not convinced it’s dangerous? Do you have any supportive evidence to backup this statement?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Have you any evidence that passive smoking is dangerous?

  • Eddie

    As an ex-smoker, I have not become an anti-smoking convert Taliban extremist, unlike many.
    Why?
    Well, I can see no real evidence that passive smoking is harmful in the general population or a cause of non-smokers’ bad health (the assumption these days is that if any non-smoker gets lung cancer it’s because of passive smoking! Such are the idiotic views of the general public). Some people don’t like the smell – but hey, I don’t like the smell of some people (and their stinky perfume, hairspray, deodorant, takeaway food, acidic spray oranges etc BAN ORANGES IN THE WORKPLACE NOW!).

    The only exception is with children growing up in homes with smoker parents/step-parents/single mummy’s latest bf etc. Evidence shows that is harmful.

    The irony is that banning smoking in pubs, being draconian about fining people for dropping dog-ends, and now banning smoking in cars has increased and will increase the incidence of smoking at home!

    Thus, the smoking ban is already harming children by encouraging smoking in the home. Mad.

    (BTW in Wales smoking is banned in the workplace INCLUDING on film and TV sets – a real issue here – the movie about Dylan Thomas being filmed right now starring Elijah Wood almost went over the border to England where smoking on film sets is allowed).

  • jonik

    Have doctors or safety experts provided input into this idea to ban smoking in cars?

    Legislators ignore or are unaware of the dangers of driving while going Cold Turkey withdrawal from smoking. Some effects are irritation (road rage?), distraction, appetite increase, and sleepiness (sometimes without warning).
    Also, many will do all sorts of unsafe distracting tricks to hide the cigarette if a police car is near. .

    Tobacco (best w/out adulterants) produces alertness…a benefit when driving. It reduces stress (less road rage). It reduces appetite to perhaps minimize
    distracting eating while driving, it fends off sleepiness, and it provides a
    pleasant change from the monotony of driving, especially on long trips.

    Has even one young person been diagnosed as harmed by smoke from tobacco itself, OR even smoke from typical Pesticide Pegs (adulterated tobacco), in a car? If not, there’s no health justification for such bans. Likely, the pesticide-dioxin-contaminated smoke is doing harm, but no studies on even that have been presented.

    When a driver, experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms, has an accident, will police note the smoke ban as contributor? Or will legislators immunize themselves from responsibility by blaming the driver?

    Civil rights groups must weigh in about how this law provides yet another pretense for police to stop and search motorists, even if they just have a lollypop in their mouth (“probable cause”) or a passenger who “looks” “under age”. Must young people carry ID to prove they are old enough to handle 2nd hand smoke?

    Prohibitionist officials prove that their “concern” for kids and health is either misguided or outright bogus. After all, those very officials have, for many decades perhaps, allowed typical cigarettes to be contaminated with industrial substances (pesticides, chlorine-dioxins, etc.) that are particularly harmful to children…and mothers and fetuses. Not one humane warning about those adulterants is required. Ask “concerned” lawmakers about that lapse.

    The real purpose for the car smoke bans is to continue the crusade to scapegoat the tobacco plant and unwitting victims for the effects of what may be the most
    industrially-contaminated products on the shelves. The perpetrators are thereby
    ignored—excused from scrutiny, liabilities, and prosecution.

    Search up “Fauxbacco” http://fauxbacco.blogspot.com to see what else legislators ignore.

    • Fred Scuttle
      • jonik

        That Med. News Today link is about “smoking” causing asthma.

        Comment to Medical News Today—

        Any
        article about asthma that fails to mention, or indict, pesticides and
        dioxin-creating chlorine…and which aims to blame the victims for
        “smoking”…is at best suspicious.

        It
        is more suspect when it is not even noted that tobacco is the 6th most
        pesticide-intensive crop, that any number of tobacco pesticide residues
        are chlorine (dioxin-creating) chemicals, and the paper on most (not
        all) cigarettes is, incredibly, allowed to be
        chlorine-bleached. “Concerned” officials don’t tell anyone or demand
        specific warning labeling about those (and many other) non-tobacco
        adulterants.

        Considering that, it’s a
        virtual miracle that every smoker doesn’t get asthma symptoms from
        typical cigarettes. Isn’t that a clue that asthmatic smokers have
        heavier…un-investigated…chemical exposures elsewhere? It remains
        that even non-asthmatic smokers (who
        are told and who believe a cigarette is just tobacco) have been
        endangered and
        experimented upon with known deadly substances without their Informed
        Consent.

        PS: Sadly, troublingly, in the
        largely privatized US health system, even doctors rarely, if ever, warn
        about the pesticides, dioxins and chlorine. Why not? Well, medical
        professionals and hospitals are Very Tightly Linked to a) pharmaceutical
        firms that make tobacco pesticides, b) many aspects of chlorine
        business, and c) for-profit health insurers that invest Billions in not
        just cigarette manufacturing but also in pesticides, chlorine and just
        about every
        health-damaging industry on Wall Street.

  • pearlsandoysters

    My take is that loads of health & safety regulation can only re-train reasonable human beings to become less reasonable. Risk assessment capacities are vital for life, so being told what to do seriously dulls thinking abilities as such.

  • lgrundy

    “Just eight years ago, I worked in an office where people smoked at their desks—something that seems like something from another age today”.
    And just 17 years ago I lived in a country where people could voice their opinions freely without fear of official censure…

    • Baron

      Baron also remembers a world you describe, Igrundy, the world of ‘barbaric Britain’. How could we live without the myriads of agencies of the State looking after every aspect of our live beggars belief, we should be all getting a medal or something.

      • Fred Scuttle

        Things are so much better now.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I remember that country too. A much more agreeable place to live and work which makes the ‘progressive’ boasts even more fantastic.

    • Fergus Pickering

      They smoke like chimneys in Prague. Is Czech health much worse than ours? The pubs and restaurants were lovely.

  • London Calling

    I can remember as a child sitting in a car with both parents smoking, it wasn’t nice, it wasn’t healthy, however I am a little cautious about becoming a nanny state and have to draw the line somewhere, I would therefore not implement a law banning adults from smoking in a car as there is only so much you can enforce before it becomes scary as to how far it can go………….:)

    • London Calling

      Hello James………..:)

  • Daniel Maris

    Of course it will happen, yes it’s enforceable and yes it’s right. Children have a right not be poisoned by smoke in such a confined space.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Children have a right to have you authoritarian socialist nutters be resisted, so that your fascism doesn’t suck freedom and liberty away from all, forever.

      • Daniel Maris

        Well tell us exactly how far back you want to go in restoring parental liberty, beginning with beating your child – is that OK by you?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No need bothering with your 20 NSDAPer questions, lad. We already know what you want, and why.

          Why don’t you save yourself the time and trouble, and go work on your goosestepping?

          • Daniel Maris

            As per usual, you won’t answer a perfectly reasonable question.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              As per usual, a socialist nutter demands compliance with his nuttery.

              That’s one of the ways you can identify a socialist nutter… their sense of entitlement.

        • Colonel Mustard

          How far do you want to go in reducing parental liberty? That is the question that needs to be asked here.

          There are principles involved beyond the demonised issues peddled in order to intimidate and oppress dissent.

          • Daniel Maris

            I think there has to be a rational balance between the rights of parent and child. For instance I don’t believe in stopping parents from smoking in their own homes.

        • rubyduck

          I don’t know about the Colonel, but giving the kids a whack when they get out of line is ok with me.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Well, you could try giving me a whack but I’m spry for my age and might retaliate.

    • Darnell Jackson

      Best keep the kids out of cars altogether then, those diesel fumes are far more toxic than second hand smoke.

    • Colonel Mustard

      No, it’s not right. It’s just another step down the road of criminalising on the basis of disapproval.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Well put, Colonel. I’m waiting for the criminalising of UKIP voters.

    • Fergus Pickering

      But we are suggesting that the are not being so poisoned. Frankly I don’t believe in the effects of passive smoking except possibly at very high levels.

  • Curnonsky

    A small correction: northern Virginia is essentially a suburb of Washington, D.C., inhabited by well-compensated bureaucrats and those who love them. Libertarians are about as common there as Eskimos.

  • Baron

    Spending a year in a smoky environment is the equivalent of smoking one single cigarette in that year.

    The agency that came up with this finding worked for Ash, was kicked out by Ash because of it.

    • pearlsandoysters

      I’ve always suspicious about this type “research”.

    • rubyduck

      Always seemed to me that there’d never have been a statistical link between smoking and lung cancer if “passive smoking” was a significant danger.

    • Fergus Pickering

      That is a most interesting statistic, Baron. Tell us more about it if you can.

      • Fred Scuttle

        He made it up.

      • Baron

        Sorry Fergus, all replies get moderated.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Is God doing the moderating?

  • Kitty MLB

    I did not read this in the correct manner to start with,
    I thought it said ban children.
    The nanny state trying to manipulate and control again, of course
    children need protecting, but that is up to the parents.
    Politicians should just stick to running a country and not running the lives
    of the people who live in the country.

  • Alexsandr

    yes we banned mobile phone use while driving. everyone does it again now
    we banned smoking in the workplace, including smoking in company vehicles. again not enforced.
    yes we should protect kids from smoking but another unenforceable and unenforced law will not help.

  • WatTylersGhost

    It’s called natural selection.

  • Count Dooku

    Will you then make it illegal for parents to smoke in their own home when children are present? Just to take your argument to its logical conclusion.

    • arnoldo87

      That is an illogical conclusion. Cars are enclosed spaces, whereas parents can smoke in a different room of the house.
      Smoking in the house is also impossible to monitor and enforce.

      • saffrin

        Smart phone, the spy in every home/vehicle/workplace.
        Video/Audio recordings e-mailed direct to the nearest politically correct station.
        No one is safe.

        • arnoldo87

          Especially the children

          • Colonel Mustard

            In your world the children become an important tool in the denouncement of non-compliant adults. It has already become reality where children have been urged to report the re-cycling ‘habits’ of their parents.

            “Youth must no longer be confronted with the choice of whether it wishes to grow up in a spirit of materialism or idealism, of racism or internationalism, of religious or godlessness, but it must be consciously shaped according to principles which are recognized as correct according to the principles of the ideology of national socialism.”

            • Fergus Pickering

              Ah! Telemachus, if I do not mistake.

          • saffrin

            Labour youth spring to mind.
            13 years of mindcontrol as our children worked their way through state school.
            Every single one pro-EU.

        • Kitty MLB

          You make a very insightful point.
          Which reminds me of a film set in East Germany
          in the 70s. This couple had their houses bugged by the state,
          they were listening into every part of this couples lives,
          nothing was sacred. When the couple found out they committed suicide- the film was very sinister and sad.

          • Colonel Mustard

            ‘The Lives of Others’ (2006)? Unfortunately we have a mainstream party in the UK that appears to take East Germany circa 1960 as the model upon which to ‘forge’ our society with very little cogent opposition to its more preposterous proposals for state intervention and limiting freedoms. Having had a dose of that authoritarian madness from 1997 to 2010 it is difficult to understand why so many seem to want another one so soon.

            • Kitty MLB

              Thank you most kindly Colonel,
              you are a gentleman, I could not remember for the life of me what it was called.
              Big ‘C’ Conservatives like myself and my Kipper likeminded
              people say ( I do apologise Colonel, I am not sure what group you fall into) it never went. its influence and control
              over politicians is so great, and the dominance of the left
              in society as a whole is so ingrained now, that Conservatism
              is well and truly stuffed!
              Cameron is very authoritarian, he just hides it well
              behind his husky hugging image.

      • HookesLaw

        People do indeed smoke in houses but I also see people stepping outside to smoke.
        Sir Keith Joseph did suggest once that some people were not fit to have children and he got howled down. He had a point of course but then again I do not have much faith in social services decisions in respect of removing children from unworthy parents.

        • Kitty MLB

          Children should be removed from unworthy parents-
          people who abuse children and those who treat them
          as a way to receive extra benefits.
          Yet not because they smoke- I am sure even a leftie like
          your good self will agree with me in this instance.

      • Count Dooku

        Parents can choose to feed their kids unhealthy food, which along with a bad education, is among the worst things you could do to a child.
        You can’t legislate for everything. It’s a stupid law. Mark my words, they will make it illegal for pregnant women to smoke or drink next.

        • arnoldo87

          And, of course, we must protect the right of selfish women to harm their unborn child, mustn’t we?

          • Count Dooku

            It’s a sensitive topic, but the answer is yes. Unless you are saying a woman isn’t the mistress of her own body.
            What about fathers who smoke ane damage their ‘gene seed’ (Disqus censorship)? Or work in mines with high levels of toxins that have a similar effect?

            • arnoldo87

              I am saying that a woman is the mistress of her own body. Let her smoke if she wants to, by all means, but not if it is harming another person.

              There is evidence that smoking and drinking harms the unborn child; I’m not sure if there is evidence that smoking damages a man’s “gene seed”. Are you?

              And men working in mines is a more complex argument. Miners don’t go down mines as a leisure pursuit, but to earn a living, without which the impact on their children could be really harmful.

              • Count Dooku

                I know smoking is bad for babies, but I am trying to point out that there should be limits in what the govt tries to impose on someone’s body. Even though it can extend to babies etc.
                There is lots of evidence that smoking harms male fertility and can cause defects in children. Using proposals on pregnant women, the same could also apply to fathers.
                The same applies with anyone who ever does anything dangerous that could harm their children, like taking them in a car, swimming, giving them treats, etc etc.
                PS: I used ‘gene seed’ as disqus kept modding my use on se**n and sp**m.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Oh, there is no conclusion to his argument. It goes on and on. That’s the whole point of these nannies. You will get no respite. Your life is to be fully supervised. You live by others’ leave, the others being your betters in government.

      • Kitty MLB

        Indeed we know what better for you, quite scary really.

      • Daniel Maris

        BS. If you really believe that, you believe in the Roman paterfamilias’s legal right to beat his child to death. It’s a scale and there are reasonable points on the scale where the law can settle.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No, I don’t believe in that, although that won’t stop a socialist nutter like you from fantasizing so.

          • Daniel Maris

            Well then you are just arguing for another point on the scale – but obviously you’re not going to tell us where because that’s not the way you argue.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Sorry, lad, but you authoritarian socialist nutters invented the scale, which is just another tool you nuts use to hijack freedom and liberty.

              • Daniel Maris

                As I predicted you aren’t going to tell us where on the scale, between the Roman idea of father as complete master of the child up to and including their right to life, and the opposite of the state having complete control of the child, you want to put children’s rights. So you have nothing to contribute to this debate. You’re just a complete poseur.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you mean, you’re STILL in here shrieking your authoritarian socialist kookery? Give it up, lad.

                • Daniel Maris

                  no, I mean you refused to indicate where you think parental rights should stop and children’s rights begin.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, you mean that you’re a self-entitled socialist nutter and you hysterically demand that everybody owes you something, in response to your nuttery.

              • Fergus Pickering

                N they didn’t. The English law has never allowed a father to kill his son or daughter. Muslim law allows it of course. Nor does the English law allow an upper class man to rape a lower class girl. And a lot of other things. You are drivelling, viceroy. Nothing to see there, then.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I really don’t know what in the world you’re jabbering about, lad. You’re posting something in response to me, apparently, but it has nothing to do with anything I posted.

                  Not surprising you’d jump in to push the socialist line, though, as usual.

          • Kitty MLB

            There is no reasoning with the socialist mind,
            give up if I were you. They do like to purposely annoy.
            Then they will say ‘ Nasty Party’- Give up if I were you old chap!

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Well, I’m not really “reasoning” with these nutters. It’s more about exposing them. I don’t think they respond to reason, as you mention.

              • Kitty MLB

                To be quite honest, I am new lady here,
                and I still get confused with who supports
                which party and who is a real conservative.
                I even managed to assume someone batted
                for the same side and got that wrong-oops!
                Lefties are just white noise.

    • Daniel Maris

      That doesn’t follow. It’s perfectly possible for a parent to smoke in their own home without risking their child’s health. But if, for instance, it is possible to deduce from blood tests if a child is being regularly exposed to high smoke levels, then I think parents should be held legally responsible for that.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, because as you NSDAPers always tell us, those are the Fatherland’s children and property.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          It is bizarre how quickly you socialist nutters leap to “blood tests” as a tool for your authoritarianism.

          The camps are next, eh lad?

          • Daniel Maris

            I think you’ll find that when a child turns up repeatedly in hospital with chest infections they will undertake blood tests. Perhaps you feel that is an unwarranted intrusion in the sacred bond between parent and child.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Nobody has a concern about the normal medical practice, lad.

              We do have a problem with you fascists destroying freedom and liberty.

              • Daniel Maris

                Yes, but when the medics analyse the blood and discover the child is being habitually exposed to noxious gases from cigarette smoke, what are you saying should happen at that point? Or don’t you like to deal with real life? I say at that point the parent has to be held to account. If the parent is the cause of the problem, the law should oblige them to change their behaviour.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Pity the poor parents in your world whose little tyke has been smoking like a chimney behind the bicycle sheds. But presumably arrest and interrogation would get to the truth.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Perhaps, but I fear detention would be required in many of these cases. New facilities could be constructed, with proper education provided for those falling short of expectations. All efficiently provided for, so that the parents can be properly aligned with state requirements.

                  It will all go perfectly this time, unlike before.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, the cause of this particular problem is you authoritarian socialist nutters, lad. If we roll back your fascist attempts to steal freedom and liberty, we’ll be better off.

              • Kitty MLB

                ‘Strawman failing’- that reminds me- of a poem.
                ‘We are the hollow men, we are the strawmen,
                leaning together, headpiece full of straw alas!
                Our dried voices when we whisper together are meaningless’.
                I though it seemed quite suitable .

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …”we are the hollow men” fits many of these situations, yes. Well spotted.

        • Daniel Maris

          I’m not expecting any sensible contribution from you and so far I haven’t been pleasantly surprised by your comments. Just the usual guff.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            You shouldn’t tag along behind with your fascism, lad. Nobody sensible wants it, and pointing that out is general order. Best cease your whining. It will always be this way with you types, we should hope.

      • Baron

        Daniel, why go to the expense of blood tests, tell the kids to inform on their parents, anonymously, promise them rewards if they do. The Red Menace of the East ran a similar scheme, it worked, the only other expense you’d have though is the camps to hold the parents in, but this may pay for itself if you use the inmates to build canals or, more appropriate for our enlightened age, wind turbines.

        You ready to start a petition?

        • Daniel Maris

          Red herrings and aunt sallies.

          I am just arguing the specific issue of children’s rights. It’s quite clear that if a parent made a child sit in a plastic box in a garden and pumped in the same gases as found in cigarette smoke they would be charged with child cruelty.

          I don’t think there is the same issue over parents smoking in their house.

          I’m not sure what your point is. Is it that the state should always ignore children’s information about their parents’ behaviour?

          • Baron

            Daniel, get real, there are so many things that one can shove under the heading of parents behaviour that may influence the child – swearing, eating junk foods, drinking, lying (to strangers, neighbours, authorities), cheating on the other parent ….

            You what, want the State to come in, control it all for the same reason you want to control smoking at hoem? That it affects the child? Please, Daniel.

            • Daniel Maris

              I think there are minimal standards of parenting. And actually using foul language constantly in front of a child could certainly constitute child abuse.

              Parents should not be force feeding their children junk food on a daily basis , smoking in confined spaces where there children are, becoming insensate due to alcohol or drugs while in charge of their children…these are all minimum standards. Parents – if they want to be parents should be able to meet them.

          • Darnell Jackson

            Daniel, you would do well to remember that smoking remains an entirely legal pursuit.

            The only logical conclusion, if it really is that bad, would be to outlaw it altogether.

            • Colonel Mustard

              The tax intake from it is too useful. And if it was banned outright what would all those righteous people on lucrative salaries in the multiple anti-smoking ‘charities’ do for a living?

              Well, ok, that last wasn’t really valid. We know that they would slide seamlessly sideways into some other fake charity convened for the purpose of telling others what they should or shouldn’t do.

            • Daniel Maris

              Not at all. Running is an entirely legal pursuit. But if a parent made their child run for hours on end they would be charged with child cruelty. It’s about common sense.

            • Fergus Pickering

              No government is going to outlaw such a money spinner. I an surprised they don’t legalise marijhuana and then tax it. But perhaps they will.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Pumped in how much for how long? Incidentally, anyone my age who used buses to go anywhere when a child was subject to enormous amounts of smoke on the top deck, where we invariably sat to avoid having to give up our seats to adults. This ought to have affected us adversely. Is there any research to show that it did?.

            • arnoldo87

              We don’t need the research, Fergus.

              We’ve had years of reading your posts.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Well, not years. But my aim is education of the young.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …outstanding!

      • Count Dooku

        We could also deduce from these tests that their parents passed on cancer-causing, unintelligent or worse, socialist genes to their children.
        I totally agree, they should be held legally responsible.

        • Daniel Maris

          Being silly is one way of avoiding the logic of your position I suppose.

          • Count Dooku

            My logic is impeccable as usual.
            Unlike yours.

            • Daniel Maris

              Now you’re just being doubly silly.

      • Darnell Jackson

        Wow.

        Now you want compulsory blood tests.

        • Daniel Maris

          Nope, I didn’t say that. But I would point out that compulsory health checks for children were the norm in schools in the post war period. I don’t know when they were dropped. Probably in the Thatcher era. Most of you look back on the 50s as a golden era of freedom but that was when we had all sorts of compulsory health checks for children.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Speak for yourself. I have no desire to go back t the fifties, a miserable time. The watherwas worse too.

            • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

              Interested in this, Fergus. Would you like to enlarge a bit on the miserableness? There was rationing still, or shortages in the early years. I assume it had something to do with that.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Well of course I was a child so it didn’t touch me very deeply. But no telly and no car and those horrid long shorts that scraped the inside of your legs. I never ate in a decent restaurant (I don’t know that there were any decent restaurants). The couple next door were an actor and his Viennese wife. They ate exotic things like courgettes and goulash. And you would NOT believe te dreadful stuff we had to eat at school. You wouldn’t feed it to pigs. Seems a lot about eating. One good thing was the steam trains. I loved the steam trains,

                No fridge, no vacuum cleaner and the cold, cold houses because central heating hadn’t d been invented. And nobody had any bloody money. Oh, and the dentists were appalling. It’s a wonder I’ve got any teeth left..

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  Wow: glad I asked! I think the lack of heating would have driven me bonkers. Also, one does have to wonder why English dentition has always until recently been quite so dreadful! You know that chap that does the nature shows (‘I’m here, 800 feet up in the canopy’)? I don’t wish to bandy a ‘national treasure’s’ name. When he doesn’t smile, he’s a handsome man (or was). Then he shows his teeth: the picture changes of a sudden.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Lack of money was an issue, but it is also the case now.
                  We have more people, less money.
                  Yet technology and better healthcare is a bonus.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I have to say I think lots of American teeth are too big. Like Kennedy. And do you remember Farrah Fawcett. Big teeth. I’m sure yours are just right.

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  This is true Fergus, what you say about the big horsey teeth. However, the even bigger thing about Farrah (besides the bust) was her hair. She had an unpleasant end, poor woman (I mean her demise not her figure).

                  Very gracious of you to suppose mine are OK. It’s a shame really that we don’t design ourselves yet are stuck with what we’ve got, for the most part. I’ve heard of plastic surgery and nose jobs but no one to my knowledge has been able to replace his or her set of teeth. My great grandfather did have all his taken out though, aged 30 if you can believe it (I’ve had this straight from my non-demented grandad quite recently), on the theory that if teeth encourage germs, a germ-free mouth will be a tooth-free one. He was given dentures that never quite fitted (this was in the 1920s). Madness.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I have been told that lower class Scots (what we rather ridiculously call working class though in those days of course most of them worked) used to have their teeth removed as a birthday present and lalse ones fttted instead. Certainly the generation before mine often kept their teeth not in their heads but in a glass beside the bed. I do not know anyone of my own generation similarly afflicted, though my best friend at school (now dead) and my younger daughter, still vital and glowing, both have a false tooth in the front, monuments to the dentist’s art. My friend could unscrew his, and did, so given half a chance. Clark Gable didn’t have a tooth in his head. When drunk he would perform a dance, using the false teeth as castanets. How I warm to the man..There are poems to be written on teeth, though tooth has few rhymes. The word ‘dentures’ is non_U I believe, like toilet and serviette. I bet you don’t even know what a serviette is.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Americans always have lovely white teeth,
                  I suppose image is very important in the US.
                  Some of the people walking around the UK- similar to your hill billies- Mediterranean people are quite different.
                  Dentists now are much better but they used to just want to pull them out, and sometimes the numbing drugs did not work.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Good Lord, some were perhaps too small to remember,
                  but honestly.
                  Poor old stick, no idea you probably just had cold porridge for
                  breakfast, an apple in a stocking at Christmas, and all
                  that open space- with no cars or wretched wind farms-
                  and less people.
                  The lack of a fridge would have been an issue, and
                  as half- Italian I deplore the cold- this is a very damp little
                  Island ( no idea why people want to invade it so much)
                  so lack of heating._ No thank you.
                  Yet everyone looked so health by nice fires and healthy
                  home cooked meals.
                  Dentists are still rubbish.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  My dentist is an Indian and jolly good.

                  Nice fires if you have some slave to do the dirty work. And of curse all the cities were filthy dirty. London is much improved and Edinburgh even more so.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes everyone likes a little decadence, and its most fortunate
                  we live in a reasonably wealthy country.
                  In recent history ( including the wretched 50s) we have never had the poverty they do in India, children in rags,
                  the wealthy walking over them, and they do not even see them.
                  Also, there was and is no need for ‘slaves’ to light fires.
                  Before we were benighted with the unfortunate infeminate
                  husky hugging liberal elite, we had big tough chaps,
                  some shock horror were husbands who chopped wood,
                  lit fires and even cleaned them out afterwards- men did that!
                  London is clean in places, yet parts are full of seedy characters ! Edinburgh was never a dump! most of our cities are not too bad,
                  Bristol much better, yet not poor unfortunate Glasgow,
                  which seems like a separate country within itself.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  It was my mother who lit the fire and she didn’t like it one bit. t would never draw properly up the chimney unless you placed newspapers in front of it which had a habit of bursting into flames. In the days of servants who got up at five in the morning this was OK, but when they were no longer about we had to find something better. He presto! central healting, something I believe rich Romans had 2000 years ago. I think my father probably did it at the weekend. Wood?What wood. This was coal from the bunker outside which my brother and I assaulted with hammers to break it into smaller pieces. Bloody awful coal. I think the best stuff wnet to the factories and such. There was also nutty slack. Do you want to knw bout nutty slack?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Servants got up before 5 am, life was not like Downton Abbey
                  they had God awful lives.
                  What your mother was doing was dangerous, the chimney
                  could have caught light, she should have screwed up
                  newspaper very tightly and placed it at the base of the fire
                  leaving gaps and then placed some twigs on the paper before the coal- and then more twigs or Wood would have been helpful ! it would have lit – maybe. I am sure you boys could have found twigs- where in gods name did you live? did never see a tree- the countryside was not that far away, this is
                  The United Kingdom, not massive Australia.
                  Indeed the Romans created underground heating-all to do with clay pipes and hot water. I think there was something
                  similar here in some point of history, I think Norman times, but it never caught on.
                  What the devil is nutty slack? the mind boggles.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I have never watched Downton Abbey. I don’t care for costume drama (except if it is Shakespeare). Have you never heard of firelighters? We were’t living on the prairie you know. Dangerous? Open fires are dangerous by their very nature. Yes the paper often shot up the chimney, though it never set it alight as far as I remember. The secret of nutty slack wil die with me.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Shakespearean plays, in my humble opinion should always
                  be enjoyed at the theatre or out in the open- you have to
                  be able to feel Shakespeare, impossible through a TV.
                  I thought firelighters were modern, did not realise
                  they had them in the last days of the gramophone, and I have
                  a little feeling that you call the radio a wireless.
                  I think if I could have chosen a decade to be born into
                  it would have been the roaring twenties, as it is I was born
                  in the 60’s which was meant to have been great fun,
                  and I am a bit of a rebel, but clearly too young for any of that- I do feel like I missed out.
                  I do wonder if nutty slack even exists, ( it sounds rather obscure) rather like
                  fried mars bars that Salty says exists when he’s winding me up- who on earth would fry chocolate ! mind you I do get my own back when I say at
                  least I wear underwear under my skirt- that is another one of those secrets.
                  Well you can keep your secret if you like. I promise
                  not to nag you to death about it- mind you ,
                  you did not say anything about after death!

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Deep Fried Mars Bars certainly exist. What you have to do is freeze them first. They are a Scottish delicacy.I used to call the radio the wireless, since that was what it was called. Now I call it the radio, I really do.

                  Shakespeare is better in the theatre certainly.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Disgusting! It sounds even worse with frozen batter…Yuk Yuk.. I thought haggis features was
                  winding me up- although we are as bad as each other.
                  Both you and he are not painting Scotland in a very good
                  light, good heavens- No wonder Nicola Sturgeon has turned to
                  drink!
                  Perhaps its just the people from Glasgow ( apologies
                  if anyone from Glasgow reads this- sorry ! )
                  Salty says Edinburgh and other cities are far more sophisticated, not been their for years but hubby and I will
                  be wandering around inverness at the end of February-
                  So I shall find out about, their eating habits myself.
                  We will not eat Haggis ( do not know what is in it)
                  but will try Crappit Heit ( that’s probably wrong)
                  Husband says I must not embarrass him by looking for the Loch ness Monster.
                  Also, I do not believe you when you said you say radio now
                  its the way you said ‘ really do’- porkies !
                  I really should send shorter posts- never got the hang
                  of Brevity Being The Soul of Wit !

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Oh don’t shorten them. They are like something from James Joyce.I once FLEW to Inverness. In an aeroplane.The Loch is extremely deep. That is why…

                • Kitty MLB

                  Long posts reminds me of something quite funny
                  that ConservativeHome does.
                  Someone called Mobius and I ramble on quite a
                  bit, and we used to take up a lot of space.
                  If you use up too much space, ConservativeHome make your posts become
                  more narrow, like the walls coming in
                  rather
                  like
                  this.
                  It was quite amusing, but took an absolute age to create
                  a post, yet made you determined to squeeze out the last word.
                  I shall not shorten them then, but only if people
                  feel free to say put a sock in it from time to time.
                  It must have been stunning to see the Loch from above,
                  an exceptional view.
                  If I see Nessie I shall let everyone know…
                  Might get sent to Bedlam…but such as life !

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Yup, Kitty. The loch looked good. Inverness is full of shops selling knitwear.

          • Kitty MLB

            The England of the past is much better then the England of the present- which has lost its identity and belief that it was once a great nation.
            Apart from technology I suppose, and maybe healthcare,
            that is it though, Daniel.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That seems like bollocks to me in view of the fact that health checks in schools today are far more comprehensive than they were when I was at school. We just got weighed and measured by the PE teacher in front of everyone and some vaccinations. The state was just not in your face then.

      • Colonel Mustard

        What about obese children? Should parents be held criminally responsible for them too?

        Of course you and your kind would say ‘yes’. Protection of the child is now entering the realms of trumping every other right and liberty even where that protection is based on unproven, risk averse, worst case scenario extremism and little more than hysteria.

        • Daniel Maris

          Yep, definitely. Any parent who allows their child to become grossly obese is not being a proper parent.

        • Kitty MLB

          It seems chubby children will be removed.
          We are no longer allowed original thought,
          all will be decided for us.

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