THE public are to be told not to smoke in their own homes as part of plans to protect public sector workers from the effect of passive smoking.
The move is the latest part of the Scottish Executive's ban on smoking in public places, which will come into force on 26 March next year.
Ministers have told councils, health boards and social work departments that they should compile a "smokers' map" of Scotland, focusing on those who regularly receive visits from officials and carers. This would identify individual households where a smoker is resident.
The smokers would then be sent letters asking them not to smoke for one hour before a council worker or health worker called round. Public bodies have also been advised to use the smokers' map to ensure that any workers who suffer from breathing problems are kept away from the homes of smokers.
But the Executive advice, which was issued to all councils, health boards and care service-providers yesterday, was derided as a "bureaucratic waste of money", and "politically correct nonsense".
There are tens of thousands of people who get visits from public sector workers at home. Many council house tenants receive official visitors for a whole variety of reasons; women with babies are visited by midwives and health visitors; the elderly and infirm often get called on by social workers and home helps; and the sick are visited by GPs.
I'm a smoker, and I'm outraged at this.
We can't' smoke in public places, and in some locales (such as my home town, Corvallis, Oregon) this includes not only bars but Public Parks.
I've posted before (and I'm too lazy too look up the reference) that at least one person has been sued to prevent him from smoking cigars on the balcony outside his own home.
Now the UK (those wonderful folks who have determined that only Criminals can own firearms for personal defense) has determined that State employees must be protected from the evil influence of the Demon Tobacco. If your own welfare state insists upon visiting you to determine whether you are a Worthy Person who is entitled to receive (mandatory) Public Assistance, you are constrained from smoking in the privacy of your own home during the period of time when the smoke may linger in your home . . . and therefore may endanger the health of the social worker who is expected to visit you.
What happens if the Nanny State Bumpkins decide upon an un-announced visit? They do this from time to time, you know, if you have been deemed worthy of such Special Attention. (That is, if you are suspected of Unacceptable Social Behavior, as defined by The State.)
The issue is not whether you should apply for benefits from The State, and thus are responsible for making every effort to present your home life-style in a manner which is acceptable to The State in order to encourage acceptance of a proposition which you have proposed.
Rather, it is whether The State can arbitrarily and unilaterally attempt to impose restrictions upon your lifestyle (unrelated to your personal habits), and whether they can use this as a springboard to be even more intrusive.
If you have never encountered the Socialist State, you may not be aware of the degree to which its minions are encouraged to infringe upon your personal freedoms.
Let's look at the question in a RKBA perspective:
We in the United States do not YET suffer such indignities as do our brothers in the United Kingdom, but let us suppose that this kind of intrusive surveillance is common 'here'.
If you are a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder in the USA, and this law were enacted, if the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) scheduled the visitation of an agent to your tobacco shop, you would be constrained not only to cease smoking in your shop, but also to prevent your customers from smoking in you ('free smoking-zone') shop for at least one hour before the scheduled visitation from the BATFE. It would not only compromise your personal freedoms as a smoker, but also would impose unreasonable restrictions upon your right to do business.
To take it one step further, suppose you are a firearms dealer in a locale (increasingly rare!) which does not forbid smoking in your workplace. You would still be required to forbid both your customers and your employees, as well as yourself, from smoking within one hour of the SCHEDULED visit.
BTW, the Social Worker is not obliged to cleave to the announced schedule. If they don't show up, you must still have 'not smoked' for at least one hour before the SCHEDULED visit.
Is this intrusive? Yes, it is.
Is this unilateral and intrusive? Two more in the YES column.
Is it reasonable? Depends upon whether you are an individual citizen of a supposed free state, or a Social Worker. Believe me, the UK does not have the best interests of their citizens in mind when they impose this sort of legality upon their citizens.
This is just one more way in which a Socialist State can become more intrusive in the day-to-day life of their citizenry. They have no real concern about the well-being of their agents; Social Workers are a dime a dozen, and here I inflate the value of these predatory prostitutes.
No, they care not a whit about the health of their minions.
Instead, this is just one more way in which they can demonstrate that The State is more important than The Individual.
Is smoking such an important issue, to other than the 20% of any state which practices the Evil of Smoking?
No, but personal freedom IS more important than the excuse for imposing these regulations.
When you see these bureaucratic regulations imposed, you might consider that you are witness to another step up the gentle slope of Nanny State regulation of your personal freedom.
1984 is past, but "1984" as a concept is on a roll!
You're about to be rolled over. Don't let it happen without noticing that yet another of your personal freedoms . . . the freedom to live a private life . . . is being infringed upon.