The British Medical Association has called for a ban on people smoking in cars. Not other peoples’ cars – their own cars.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s an outrageous idea. What business do doctors have telling us what to do in our own spaces? But if they really are intent on stopping people doing things for health reasons, why stop there? Why stop at banning people doing things in cars? Let’s just ban cars. They are, after all, extremely dangerous. They kill people, either directly, by running them over, or indirectly, by producing harmful pollutants.
And while we’re about it, let’s stop people from drinking. Alcohol is evil and probably causes more health and social problems than just about anything else put together. But why not be really imaginative, and stop people having sex? Having sex in cars is certainly very dangerous, especially if you are trying to negotiate the Hanger Lane Gyratory at the same time, but if nobody’s driving any more, because you’ve banned them from doing so, then ban sex altogether. Not only does sex spread an awful lot of very nasty diseases, it also causes children, of which there are far too many already.
While we are in the mood for prohibition, let’s ban The Spectator, the organ that published this very good article on the BMA’s proposal (thanks to Timandra Harkness for the link). Were I in the mood for forcing other people to do what I think is best for them, whether they want it or not, I’d pass a law requiring that copies of the Spectator are forcibly shoved up the bums of every do-gooding, holier-than-thou, humourless, self-righteous Guardian reader.
I note that the Grauniad has not published a comment on the BMA’s antics – wimping out with this poll, which shows, when I last looked, that more than 29 per cent of respondents actually agreed with the BMA’s proscriptive suggestion.
Only 29%, Guardian? Shurely you can do better than that.
But perhaps not. The Guardian does seem very confused, which is not surprising given that its ethos is to promote the freedom to believe in anything you like provided it’s their view. Take, for example, this hysterical rant against the very sensible proposals of a parliamentarian that abstinence from sex might be something compulsorily taught to young girls as a normal part of sex education (which, having two daughters myself who’ve had sex education, I thought they were advised as a matter of course.) But this is the Grauniad we are talking about – I thought the do-gooders were going to ban sex, not promote it, despite its evident dangers? Is the Guardian‘s line that girls should be free to have under-age sex in private but abstain from having a cigarette afterwards? Or is it just people smoking in their own cars?