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?