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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Et Tu, Britannia?

Not that the United Kingdom was brimming over with freedom last I checked (after our little run-in with King George, things just went from monarchial oppression to socialist nanny-state oppression), but now they've really gone and made things worse by banning all smoking in public places. After visiting the U.K. (twice) I was convinced that they would never buckle under the prevailing trend to ban smoking that so many other countries were adopting. Smoking is such a staple of pub life, I thought. Smoking is just so...English. It would surely be Britain contra mundum.

Yesterday I was proven wrong by British Parliament, and instead we get Britain contra fumus. So I thought the topic would be a worthy addition to Mongrel Horde's recent, inadvertent smoking theme. The grouchy, Tory, English expatriates from National Review weigh in:

Iain Murray: "...the UK isn't really a free country any more."

John Derbyshire: "The madness is upon us. We are doomed, doomed."

And a random, hilarious quote from a Scotsman just for grins: "I don’t understand how we’re supposed to police this. If a big 6ft tall guy comes in and says ‘I’m going to have a fag’ what I am I supposed to do about it? Dial 999?" [So that there is no confusion, consulting your English-to-English dictionary will tell you that "fag" is British slang for "cigarette." -DG]

I'm sure there is going to be some civil disobedience and light enforcement of the ban in remote rural areas in the U.K. I'd love to hear about someone lighting up a big, stinky cigar in a pub and yelling "FREEDOM!!!!" like William Wallace at the end of Braveheart, as the local bobby fines him £50.

Category: Civitas Terrena


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