Once upon a time, you actually had to commit an infraction before being fined for one. That was in the old UK.
In the new UK, if an enforcement officer thinks you MIGHT commit an infraction, it’s ample reason to write up a ticket. Sound crazy? Not at all. Welcome to 21st century Britain, where official harassment of smokers is part of New Labour’s plan to “empower people to empower themselves” [translation: this slogan means that people must be instructed to think and behave as the government sees fit at all times, or they will be harassed and punished as offenders – even if officials have to break the laws themselves to do it! The real slogan, if it were honest, would be, “all intimidation, all the time!”]
Oh, and in case you think this creeping nightmare is just a New Labour problem that will go away if you vote them out, think again. It’s part of the “sinestra” movement sweeping the western world. What is “sinestra”? The word comes from merging the Italian words for “left” (sinistra) and “right” (destra). It seeks to describe an increasingly totalitarian political tendency where the smudgy lines between ideological poles of left and right lead to virtually identical public policy choices in many areas, irrespective of the party in power. Sound familiar? We thought so. Nothing less than a new, vigorous and focused political movement will push back this dangerous trend.