Thursday, September 24, 2009

Safety Nazis out in force

A Kerikeri hospice is going to lose up to $15,000 a year from selling jam because the jam maker doesn't have a licence.

Auckland CitiRat councillor Aaron Bhatnagar is seeking to do unto the hospitality sector what John Banks did to the sex trade; try to regulate it out of existence. Suggested outcomes include mandatory CCTVs, bouncers at fine dining restaurants and pumpkin o'clock enforcement. Licences depending on garrymandered favoured property sites and cap in hand pleading with the rubber stampers.

Bhatnager has more dollars than sense. Thank Dagg I'm a Wellingtonian!

Finally, tobacco.

It was a great night at the Backbencher last night. I had been down the hill for the launch of The Republican Handbook (which I'll write up after a read. In the meantime, join the Republican Movement and get the book for free!) Saw many old faces and met some new ones too at the Grand Hall launch.

I planned to go straight to the supermarket afterwards, but was sidetracked to the Backbencher. Didn't plan to stay too long, but I did. It was a most excellent night with wit, gossip and crowd watching. One of the most festive crowds I've ever been there for too.

Hone Harawira had successfully gatecrashed the Backbenchers show talking passionately about his detestation for tobacco companies. All that talk of tobacco had me craving a cigarette out the front door. I all but missed Hone's Cunliffe line, but the audience loved it.

I also caught Ian Lees-Galloway out back later on arguing about the alleged evils of dairy tobacco walls; Power Walls, he calls them. Fair go for him trying to sell it to the ring of smokers out the arse end of the building. He's pushing a private member's bill to that end, after all.

But he's pissing in a Southerly if he thinks one more ban will make a blind bit of difference. In spite of killing sponsorship, print and web advertising, and attempting to kill smokers through hypothermia outside public bars, tobacco use shows very strong resilience.

While Hone Harawira can act as born again non-smoker all he likes, you will find that a good percentage of humans will always smoke. I quite enjoy the rite. Smokers are humans with inalienable rights. We have a right to food, shelter and warmth too. Stop sticking us in the gulag.