Here is another article “on our side” that is worth contemplating. In the last few days, cheerful e-mails have circulated, rejoicing in the victory of this British landlord, but this is a slim victory.
Some bar owners advertise defiance while others are more surreptitious. A former Gloucestershire licensee, forsaking crowing, has become the first to be acquitted of flouting the smoking ban, as the link at the bottom of the page indicates. That has created some satisfaction and “grinning” amongst the anti-Healthist activists, especially on the grounds that policing smoking bans is virtually impossible. Many see this as a significant victory.
Close examination leads to different conclusions. During the trial, the licensee denied to have smoked (or allowed smoking) in the "public area" of his property. Do you believe him? Read these lines: “Hemming said that the windows had been open and smoke had drifted in and the ashtrays were full because they had been used to clean up outside.”
Come on. Smoking drifting IN, and ashtrays used as garbage collectors from outside?…
The fellow was acquitted solely on the grounds that the Crown could not demonstrate that he was actually smoking.
Now read this: “Hemming was found not guilty of allowing people to smoke in his pub.” Not GUILTY of respecting a right and a custom that has been going on for 500 years! Touch yourself and see if you are awake: smoking in one’s own property is now a CRIME and, as such, it has to be "demonstrated," like any other crime!
In truth smoking on private property (or even on public property) cannot be a crime because it harms no one and because, even if it did, private property rights must overcome considerations on health when the admission is voluntary.
This is the point that has been missed in enthusiasm over this “victory." It would have been different if the Court had established that a pub is private property and thus the ban does not apply but it was not so.
If our movement wants to start a new era of success in the fight for a Healthism-free future it had better start examining reality objectively.
We believe that one of the functions of FORCES in the global anti-healthist movement is to act as a "reality ballast" to the balloons of enthusiasm that greet fundamentally insignificant victories such as this one. "Getting away with it" is not true victory over oppressive law. We must do much better in the long run.
As the human need for encouragement and motivation is understandable and necessary, the wrong assessment of assets and liabilities is often fatal — in a company, in a war, and in a movement. That reality ballast does not mean discouragement of initiatives, but a realistic assessment of events. The scarce energies and resources of the anti-Healthist movement must be well-directed. Our enemy, "Public Health," is a powerful, publicy and pharmaceutically financed hate enterprise.
Only with a cold assessment of reality, with unification, and systematic focussing and use of our energies, can we develop ways that are truly effective to change policies and trends. We must soundly defeat "Public Health" to re-establish freedom of lifestyle as a protected right in democratic societies.
Everything else is just wishful fantasy to dodge hatred while smoking outside – of bars and restaurants, offices, families, and society. We are glad the landlord got off the hook since that’s what he wanted. We know many others are and will continue defying and we applaud them all. Just freedom and basic happines should not, however, be aspects of law-breaking. We are going to fix that.