Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Nanny State'

Nanny doesn’t want you smoking outside. Nanny’s a real spoilsport!









Health professionals in Auckland have proposed that smoking be banned in all outdoor public places in the city. At least I think that’s what they’ve proposed. The front-page story in this morning’s Herald isn’t entirely clear on whether the ban is intended to be universal within the Auckland City boundaries or restricted to certain public spaces.

Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether banning smoking in any outdoor public space can be justified in what we like to call ‘a free society’, a limited ban (on virtually anything) invites public confusion and is therefore much more difficult to enforce. A total ban, on the other hand, leaves no room for confusion or the excuse, ‘I didn’t realise you couldn’t smoke here.’

As I write this, a poll on the Herald’s website reports:

Excellent and sensible idea – 43%

 Good in theory –  27%

Not a fan but would go along with it – 4%

Outrageous, a step too far – 26%

That’s 74% of respondents variously in favour and 26% adamantly against. An unscientific poll of course, but indicative at least of majority support for banning smoking outdoors as well as indoors in public spaces.

So yes, if there were such a law, you would essentially only be able to smoke in private indoor locations, including your home and garden, other people’s homes and gardens with their agreement, and (I’m guessing here) other privately owned indoor premises with the agreement of everyone who ever used the premises.

Put even more simply, you would not be able to smoke in any outdoor location where  you might come into contact with another  member of the general public – on the street, in the park, on the beach, in children’s playgrounds, tramping, climbing, jogging, playing or just plain walking.  Read the rest of this entry »


Incoherent Rave about Smoking, Nanny State, Spring, Phil Goff, Obesity and Low Self-Esteem



Photo: Greg Bowker/Herald

Photo: Greg Bowker/Herald

I read that New York’s Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley, has said he wants to take the Big Apple’s war on smokers to the city’s beaches and parks. There will be the inevitable cries of ‘Nanny State’ from smokers and possibly even from some civil libertarians. My own view is that the only right smokers have consists in the freedom to very slowly take their own lives, as uncomplainingly and as far away from the rest of us as possible. This may seem harsh, but there really is no difference between the smoker and the heroin user. Both are drug addicts. I hear no argument in favour of junkies having the right to shoot up in public places, whether indoor or out. Read the rest of this entry »


Leaf Blower Hell

[Warning! Violence and Obscene Language!]

Judy and I were taking our regular constitutional around Herne Bay last Saturday when our ears were assaulted by what had to be a fleet of  SAS attack helicopters landing on the normally tranquil Marine Parade. There could be no other explanation for the impenetrable wall of sound that threatened to  knock us off our feet. 

‘Maybe we should go back,’ I said.

‘No,’ said Judy, ever the brave one, ‘This could be serious. There could be casualties.’ Read the rest of this entry »