In 2004, my wife and I left our rural home in the Scottish Borders, and relocated to southern British Columbia.
The subsequent four years – a sadly prevailing lack of courtesy, consideration, or civility (especially whilst driving); along with an assumed haughtiness that seems to accompany urban materialism – have made me long to be able to ‘get back’ the life savings that were used to come here, and return once again, to the serenity of rural, ‘old fashioned’ Scotland.
But it is the bureaucratic mentality that staggers me!
Last December, two men were severely beaten – one died – in separate daytime attacks, bludgeoned by 14 year old savages using skateboards. The following day, a policeman stood in the centre of a road, two minutes away from the location, conducting ‘seat-belt checks’.
And yet, even living in the countryside, and never bothering to leave our property after dark, is not enough to keep ‘the government’ from inflicting its retrogressive insanity upon even the willingly reclusive … such as myself …
It is now the determined effort of the government of British Columbia, to ban tobacco. Since 2008, no tobacconist (and there is only one premiere pipe tobacconist here), is allowed to visibly display ANY pipe, or tobacco-related products, to public view.
Living without a television or stereo; and taking no newspapers, I know only what I see (and, even that is too much); and my MacBook being my only concession to modern gadgetry, necessitated my own 15 minute ‘investigation’ on the Internet.
The results astounded me.
The government in Canada assists in the use of illegal drugs …
News article from the CBC News … Thursday, January 3, 2008 11:26 AM ET
"Free crackpipe mouthpieces to be distributed in B.C.
As part of the province’s harm-reduction strategy, the B.C. Ministry of Health will provide crackpipe mouthpieces to people who smoke crack.
Dr. Perry Kendall, the province’s chief medical officer, said simple mouthpieces made from surgical tubing will be distributed by outreach workers through needle exchanges and other community health services as early as April.
The program is intended to cut down on the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and syphilis, which can be spread by smokers sharing glass crackpipes, Kendall said.
Crack smokers often have burns and sores on their lips, he said, so when users share a pipe, they will be able to use their own mouthpieces and reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Kendall said there would not likely be any age restrictions to stop minors from receiving the mouthpieces, since young drug users are the most likely to contract a disease through shared equipment.
The program is expected to be cheap to run because it will be rolled into existing programs, such as needle exchanges, and it will only use a relatively small amount of cheap surgical tubing, Kendall said.
Crack is a cheap and highly addictive illegal drug made from cocaine."
… but enforces a ban on pipe tobacco !
"We intend to take action: we will stop youth from starting; we will help people quit; and we will protect British Columbians from exposure to second- hand smoke. We can and must work together toward a Tobacco Free BC."
HONOURABLE SUSAN BRICE
MINISTER OF STATE FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Targeting Our EffortsÃ¢â‚¬Â .tobaccofacts.org/pdf/bc_strategy.pdf
These, then, are facts –
(I would not have the audacity to make these things up … even if I wanted to) –
1. Supply the equipment needed Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ help and encourage minors and others Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ to use illegal drugs;
2. Remove ordinary tobacco Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ make criminals out of mature adults Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ who want to quietly smoke their grandfatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pipe.
Now, I am the first to state that there was nothing more nauseating than to enter a room thick with the stench and sight of choking, hanging, ‘ceiling-fog’ from cigarette smokers. I most certainly welcomed the various bans on smoking inside public buildings.
But that has nothing to do with a man sitting alone in his study, the door to the garden wide open … or sitting peacefully outdoors, to quietly enjoy a bowl of pipe tobacco.
These politicians do not speak of a crime-free society … a drug free society … a violence-free society … They do not return hard labour to prisons … demand that people suffer the consequences of their own selfish actions … or use products – whether alcohol, cars, medication, or tobacco – responsibly.
Rather than make those who refuse, to be accountable; they adopt the ‘police state’ mentality: criminalise the conscientiously good, along with the wilfully bad.
And, in Canada, ‘outlaw’ pipe tobacco …. whilst supplying drug equipment for those who want it.
There is no effort to hide the liquor shops, or ban alcohol … with all the public violence, social crime, and family degradation that drunkenness produces. The man smoking a pipe may well slowly damage himself … the drunken male racing through the streets is a violent threat to all around him.
But still, villify the tobacconist; not the liquor store.
Where, under the vacuous excuse of ‘concern’ for public health, are the laws designed to counter epidemic obesity and remove from public view, the artery-clogging products and retail swill-troughs of the ‘fast food’ industry?
Far easier too, of course, for bureaucrats to publicise their tyrannical determination to ban and blame pipe tobacco for causing cancer … whilst saying nothing about the fact that the same cancer claims the lives of thousands of people who have never smoked tobacco in their lives; or to even differentiate between the furious sucking of cigarettes with the repulsive sight and requisite litter of contemptuously discarded cigarette butts … and the calm non-inhalation of the pipe, returned carefully to its pocket or pouch.
Then there is that great travesty of mass hysteria and misinformation: The public "danger" of "Second Hand Smoke". An automobile exhaust can be used by individuals to commit suicide … but how many parents think twice about leading their children back and forth through parking lots on their way to the shopping mall?
And for how many years would I have to sit quietly smoking on my pipe, in order to produce the amount of "second hand smoke", carbon monoxide, and other toxins; that comes spewing out of the end of passing motor cars, buses, and semi-trailer trucks in a mere five minutes?
Why do children not die upon inhaling the exhaust of an idling motor? Because the body naturally rids itself of excess toxin – sudden coughing is not the body’s way of curing boredom; it is the means of expelling foreign matter. But again, there is no hysterical panic, or abusive legislation about banning automobiles …
And, as may be expected, this attack on tobacco does not merely take the form of absurd legislation. The taxes and price of pipe tobacco in this part of Canada has to be – surely! – the most outrageously expensive of any country in the world (?)
No concern at all, to keep children from turning into violent, abusive drunks;
But every effort possible to forceably stop the old man who wants to sit quietly and smoke his pipe.
The whole thing makes one wonder if this same insanity is occuring anywhere else in the world?
Or is Canada still the supreme dominion of outrageous political correctness?