Thursday 18 September 2008

Know Them By Their Words And Deeds…

A few days ago, we were treated to the unedifying spectacle of nurses patrolling Scotland's streets to pounce on fatties and give them advice on losing weight.

Well, plenty of bloggers said at the time that they wouldn't stop there, and, and picked up by The Devil's Kitchen, they haven't:
Some health trusts in London are resorting to "direct action" to encourage people to stop smoking and to look after their mental and sexual health.

Not content with warnings for smokers in adverts, posters and on cigarette packets, they are employing people to confront them in the street as they step out for a few quiet puffs.
I can see how they plan to target smokers, but 'sexual and mental health'?

"Oi! Slapper! Have you been tested for STDs lately?" will get you a punch in the mouth. And are they going to look out for people muttering to themselves in the street? If so, there's an awful lot of Bluetooth-users who are going to get a wee bit hacked off with them...

Needless to say, this is being outsourced to professionals - professional marketing people:
She works for the marketing firm "Don't Panic", which has also done this type of work for other London health trusts.

The company started out in events-promotion, and has brought techniques from that business to public health.
So, basically, you will be approached in the street and asked intensely personal stuff by the same type of people who try to hand you 'complimentary' tickets for the latest wine bar. Nice...
James Gubb, health director of the think tank Civitas, says this is a big step too far.

"I think this is just another road on a very slippery slope.

"What are you going to be doing next? Are you going to be coming up to people in the street and saying why are you overweight?
Bit behind the times there, James. They are already doing that...

But prize comment of the article goes to, you guessed it, a reformed smoker and Nu Labour mouthpiece:
The local Labour MP in Ealing, Stephen Pound, famously kicked his cigarette habit of 40 years after voting to back the ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

He is all for going after smokers on the street.

"You've now got this new phenomenon. These self-affirming groups of outlaws huddled around, outside buildings, and what they do is reinforcing their addiction more and more.

"So I think we need to confront - which is not too harsh a word.

"People are happier having given up smoking, therefore lets spread a bit of happiness and make a bit of a nuisance of ourselves on the highways and byways of west London."
Nice use of language there...

I'm reminded of an Orwell quote:
Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.


DJ said...

See, this is what gets me. We keep getting told we've got to pay through the nose to support ospitalanskools but then you find this stuff and the government throwing money away like it was on-fire.

Mac the Knife said...

""People are happier having given up smoking, therefore lets spread a bit of happiness and make a bit of a nuisance of ourselves on the highways and byways of west London."

I'll be happier when they fuck off and leave me alone, tabs, scotch and all...

Anonymous said...

Totally agree, mac. I plan to give up smoking even though I enjoy it, and I might well be happier for it (having the extra money every day, and all), but if I do it'll be MY decision, and an informed one at that.

But anyone ever trying to pull me up in the street to hand me leaflets in retard-friendly language telling me that "Smoking is bad for you!!!" is going to seriously wish that they'd phoned in sick that morning.

Anonymous said...

"These self-affirming groups of outlaws huddled around"

Outlaws are criminals, these people have not broken the law by smoking outside buildings. If I smoked, I would sue the lying fucker.