Monday, November 28, 2005


I have never tried smoking. I detest it. I used to battle with my dad when I was younger. He's only allowed to smoke in the kitchen. Whatever the weather I would fling open the patio doors and die dramatically over the kitchen table while attempting to eat my Weetabix.

Now, in some instances I would agree with the idea of not knocking something until you've tried it. But not when it comes to smoking. Everything about it is objectionable and you don't need to have tried it to work that one out.

I was interested to read in the paper at the weekend that banning smoking in enclosed public places has come up against yet another obstacle. Prisons.

Two thoughts popped into my head. Firstly, I hadn't ever registered the fact prisons are public places and secondly, if they want to smoke who am I to stop them?

I then got to the crux of the matter. According to the article in the Guardian, 'the Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart told MPs this week that the record prison population meant that prisons should be exempt as non-smokers would have to share cells with smokers'.

Outrageous. It must be bad enough to share a little space with someone else for an extended period of time. If that person also smoked it really would be hell on earth. So, we uphold the smokers right to smoke but not the non-smokers right not to breathe in the smoke.

A legal loophole apparently means prisons cannot ban smoking in cells as they are designated as a “private home”. Now, I do not allow smoking in my flat. So, were I in prison could I not say that smoking is not allowed in my “private home”? Who wins? Me or the anti-social puffer?


coolbuddha said...

Interesting. How bizarre that cells are classed a "private home". That's silly. It's not as if the occupant can pop down the road for a newspaper.

gawblimeyman said...

They can, sort if, if they're a Cat.C or D in an open prison, and get daily release for work duties.
But what is really crazy is that you can't stop the prisoners smoking, but you can stop them having unsafe sex by not allowing them condoms. Like it or not there is a huge amount of 'man on man' sex in prisons, and not all of it consensual. And many 'straight' cons have gay sex inside just because they need sex.
Letting them smoke has nothing at all to do with legal loopholes. It's about keeping the lid on the inmates. Jails are pwederkegs which would erupt if tobacco were to be banned. It would make that Strangeways riot look like a Ramblers convention! Finding a loophole is just a convenient way of tell the 'health police' not to be so fucking stupid!

pat said...

many moons ago there was a story on the radio about units that blocked the signals on mobile phones (oh how i want one).

but the units are illegal in the uk and the usa.
the units come in two types: personal (small circle of interference) and base units (much larger area such as buildings). the home office were a little annoyed by this because they wanted to use them in prisons because there is a "problem" of illicit use of mobile phones.

did make me smile.

Shep said...

Do you know I've never ever tried smoking either! I never thought I'd find anyone the same!

The reasons for this are mainly due to my 40-60 a day parents chainsmoking their way through my childhood (wonder what caused that LOL). Even to this day I have trouble touching cigarettes even, providing comedy when someone asks "Can you pass me my fags plaease?"

ems said...

Thank you Shep. People often don't believe me. You must have - just a little drag - surely when you were a teenager. No, no and no.

Che-Jay said...

I like a cigar when pissed and with the boys, though I usually cough and look silly!

Rehan Qayoom said...

I've taken up pipe-smoking instead!