Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Aren't You Forgetting Something?

There's been predictable outrage at the suggestion that new social housing should be made non-smoking:
Simon Clark, of Forest, the smokers' campaign group, said: “Reaching into smokers’ homes takes tobacco control in a new and rather sinister direction.”
Dave Jennings, 71, said he had no plans to stop smoking in his council house.
“It is just nonsense,” he told the Mirror near his home in Poplar, east London. “It is not anyone’s business what I do in my house,” he said.
Non-smoker Gary Brown, 66, said people smoking in their homes was no one’s business but their own.
It's not 'their house'. It belongs to someone else. It belongs to the state. And if you are a social housing tenant you are, literally, living in someone else's house.

What they say goes. It's that simple.

H/T: LegIron via Twitter

17 comments:

Longrider said...

Give it time.... State housing is just the soft target here. Soon they will be targeting private homes. First they will go for homes where there are children, just as they did with private cars.

So, yes, you have a valid point - they do not own the home, however, there's another, bigger issue here. It's one of those where liberties collide.

PJH said...

I await the calls for them to stop eating sugar in their 'not-their-home' to follow soon.

Anonymous said...

Would you say the same if they said "no drinking"?

Bucko said...

What Longrider said.
They can't target homeowners with this nonsense, so they will get their foot in the door with people who don't own their homes
They're not just looking at people living off the taxpayer either. They've also identified private tennants as targets. This is the pub situation all over again. It should be the property owner who decides, not the state

Timbotoo said...

Even private housing is “not their, or your home”. After you pay off the mortgage you still have annual taxes as a subtle reminder of who really owns the property. Against that background it’s not a stretch to having the State in your living room, bedroom and everywhere else.

Fredrik Eich said...

Yes, the bricks and land may belong to someone else, in many cases the the bank. But there is a reasonable expectation the you can mostly do what you want your home. Banning recreational sex in peoples homes may well cut down on sexually transmitted diseases but is that compatible with notions of liberty? One could go a step further and ban sex completely and insist that procreation happens as a medical procedure. Or ban alcohol use to cut down on domestic violence? etc,etc

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a deeply unpleasant character trait to want to interfere in other people's lives in this way. Sadly there seem to be far too many people who have said trait and like to get themselves into the kind of positions where they can impose their prejudices on other people. I say this as someone who is no fan of smoking, but if other people want to smoke I consider it to be non of my business.

Stonyground

Ted Treen said...

As with any other form of "for your own good" state prohibition/interference, this would just be the thin end of the wedge.

Longrider and Bucko are completely correct in what they say. How long would it be before we have Orwell's telescreens and compulsory monitored morning exercise "to counter obesity"?

Anonymous said...

Well up to a point there's a civil liberty issue here, and if social housing tenants paid a market rent, including dilapidation, then fair enough, say I.

But the simple fact is that smoking stinks the place up, discolours the decorations and so on, and if the tenancy changed hands, would require the property to be redecorated first. That's not really fair on the owners (which is us).

On the other hand, quite a lot of social housing requires fumigation before it can be re-let, and the taxpayer has bottomless pockets, so it's maybe not a big issue in the scheme of things.

Bucko said...

Anon - If the owner is you, why don't you decide if you want to allow smoking or not?

Longrider said...

But the simple fact is that smoking stinks the place up, discolours the decorations and so on, and if the tenancy changed hands, would require the property to be redecorated first. That's not really fair on the owners (which is us).

For private rentals, this is what the deposit would be used for.

Andrew Scarborough said...

Private let's are an easy target. Simply encourage providers of landlord insurance to make it financially ruinous to insure smoking tenants.

Shadeburst said...

Yes there is a difference between ownership and possession but in the majority of instances the law treats them as identical.

Shadeburst said...

+Andrew Scarborough in a free market, all it would take is one insurer to discount the others by five per cent to get all the business. These Stalinesque policies don't work outside of gulags.

JuliaM said...

"Give it time.... State housing is just the soft target here."

Oh, indeed. But it's not a ditch I'd die in. Not this.

"I await the calls for them to stop eating sugar in their 'not-their-home' to follow soon."

Can't really claim harm to the structure as a result, can they?

"Would you say the same if they said "no drinking"?"

See above. No toxins resulting from alcohol fumes.

"They're not just looking at people living off the taxpayer either. They've also identified private tennants as targets."

No, that's the landlords themselves. They need to protect their investment.

"Even private housing is “not their, or your home”. After you pay off the mortgage you still have annual taxes as a subtle reminder of who really owns the property."

Technically, yes.

JuliaM said...

" One could go a step further ..."

And they will, as Longrider & Bucko pointed out.

"I think that it is a deeply unpleasant character trait to want to interfere in other people's lives in this way. "

Yup. I have never subscribed to it, even though I'm not a smoker. But if harm (to infrastructure) results from it?

"How long would it be before we have Orwell's telescreens and compulsory monitored morning exercise "to counter obesity"?"

Probably 2023 the way things are going!

"+Andrew Scarborough in a free market, all it would take is one insurer to discount the others by five per cent to get all the business. These Stalinesque policies don't work outside of gulags."

Good point!

PJH said...

"Can't really claim harm to the structure as a result, can they?"

"But if harm (to infrastructure) results from it?"


What harm to what infrastructure?

Especially over and above any 'harm' that would be caused by, for example, non-smoking tenants with small animals or children, with a propensity to urinate everywhere and use the walls and other immobile fixtures as scratching posts.

Those last two apply to pets as well, for the avoidance of doubt.