Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ed West's list of things to ban before banning public smoking

One of my favourite bloggers, the Telegraph's Ed West, writing about the possibility that Coventry will become the first city in Britain to ban outdoor smoking, has  drawn up a list of ten things which should be banned before we even consider clamping down further on smoking:
  • Public swearing
  • Public displays of sexual affection

  • People who reveal inappropriate levels of flesh (especially if they're obese)

  • People talking on mobile phones (obviously)

  • People talking above a certain decibel level

  • Tattoos with Celtic, Japanese or any non-Latin script

  • CCTV

  • Those police signs warning of thieves operating in the area (and, by implication, police not operating)

  • Coventry's architecture (if you want to make your city more pleasant, knock down everything built after 1930 and rebuilding the charming medieval city it replaced)

  • No smoking signs, especially enormous comedy-sized ones (the one outside my nearest hospital looks like something from a Trotskyite demo from the 70s)

He then points out “all of these thing damage our mental health in tiny but noticeable ways, probably more so than open-air second-hand smoke damages our physical health”.


Here are another twenty annoying behaviours to add to Ed West's excellent list:
  • Chugging
  • People who evidently arrived in Britain last week selling the Big Issue 
  • Young people selling crappy tea-towels door to door
  • Asking people to pledge money for charity fun-runs
  • Criticism of current economic policies by the politicians who helped destroy the economy in the first place
  • Medical staff using our first names without asking our permission to do so
  • Birthday whip-rounds in offices
  • Canned music of any sort, anywhere
  • Calling Islam "a religion of peace"
  • Headphones attached to MP3 devices leaking noise on public transport
  • Broadcasting Radio 4 comedy programmes
  • Students pissing away their parents' money by demonstrating when they should be studying
  • Any "protest" which entails the occupation of public spaces
  • "You are entering a low emission zone" notices on roads into London
  • Council signs announcing that they are "nuclear-free zones"
  • Blaming "The Cuts" for shoddy work or bad behaviour
  • Anyone using the word "ain't" who ain't a working-class American
  • People who don't own a country property driving 4x4s in London
  • Setting up wind turbines 
  • Closing motorway lanes and then not having anyone do any bloody work on them

That'll do for a start!

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