"They dislike me intensely because of my prominence and persistence. But I also confuse them because I'm very against the censorship and rating of films because of their tobacco content."
"Hey, look at me—I'm only half-mad!"
Expect much more about plain packaging in the next few months. The Department of Health has lined up its usual NGOs and fake charities to persuade the public that a policy that is so preposterous that even the most deranged anti-smoking headbangers have only recently endorsed it, should be a priority as we slide back into recession and the EU goes bust.
It won't surprise you to hear that I see plain packaging as a gross infringement of intellectual property, private property and the free market. That it will be extended to other products in due course I consider to be a near-certainty. It is a lunatic idea dreamt up by people who have long since run out of ideas. The entire self-serving and deceitful cabal of 'tobacco control professionals' should be put out to grass. They have done enough damage. Chapman is very proud that the Australian supernanny state has banned e-cigarettes and snus, for example—these people should be in a smokefree prison cell.
David Hockney has better things to do that smack down pointless wowsers like Chapman, but he has done so all the same in today's letters section and it is quite glorious...
Why doesn't Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone whose friends died of alcohol consumption, not tobacco. Someone who has smoked for nearly as long as he has lived. Someone who knows about the fanatical attitude of haters of tobacco. Someone who is not so naive about advertising and packaging.
Someone who has almost outlived a fanatical anti-smoking father. Someone who is fed up to the teeth with people who think they really know what health is. Someone who is not afraid of the cowardly, crooked politicians who stifle the debate about pleasure in the now. Someone who knows that time is elastic. Someone who knows how easy it is to lie with statistics. Someone who is not a professional agitator, who knows there is no such thing as a professional smoker but knows there are hundreds of dreary, professional, highly paid anti-smokers.
Someone who thinks laughter is good for you as it drains fear from the body. Someone who has something better to do than to try and control the quiet lives of others. Someone who knows we are all a bit different and is fed up with the growing regimentation of people. Someone who knows that smokers can live perfectly average-length lives but heavy drinkers rarely. Someone who is shocked by the growing conformity among people, and what that might mean for a reasonable free society. Someone who prefers the centre of Bohemia to Australian suburbia. Someone who knows we have to die.
Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Taxi for Chapman...
|David Hockney's contribution to culture|
|Simon Chapman's contribution to culture|