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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The old and the new.

Were this the 1770’s I would be a traitor to my sovereign King George III, my government and my people.

The very phrase NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION would see me swing from a gibbet, cut down and the entrails and heart cut from me while I watch, my remains hacked asunder and sent to the four corners of my country.

That one phrase heralded the democratic constitution of the United States of America, any red blooded American will proudly tell what it says, and what it means to them as a nation. They will tell you of a war to end tyranny, of freedom and equality for all, the very same things that I as a British citizen also believe in.

Even here we know of the Boston tea party, the Continental Congress, George Washington, the minutemen and of the Founding Fathers of what is now the United States of America. In the centuries that have passed our nations have enjoyed a bond that is unique in the world.

What does this have to do with the world in 2006 is the frustrated cry from the populous!

It is this; the principles of democracy enshrined in the U.S.Constitution, that all people are born equal, that all people have the right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness are still valid, under both British and American law we share those rights.

Today those rights have been removed from us, if you smoke, if you are overweight, if you drink too much on a night out, you are no longer considered to be equal. If you smoke you are considered a killer, a pariah an outcast from decent society!

If you are overweight you are considered to take up too much room on transport, to be unsightly, snide comments made about your size and aroma, it is claimed that like smokers and drinkers you are a drain on the health services. It does not matter to them that you too pay for them it is WHAT THEY WANT!

If you drink too much, even if you go quietly home you are declared a binge drinker, a criminal like smokers who wish to smoke in a pub, if you break the law while drunk you may rightly expect prosecution to the full extent of the law, I have no quarrel with that, it is as it should be, and the laws are in place to deal with that problem they are simply not enforced so why the need for persecution? Why not just enforce the law?

If you smoke you are bombarded with cries of you stink, die slowly smoker, you are a walking health hazard, you are restricted as to where you may indulge in a legal activity, herded into shelters unfit for a pig never mind human beings it is reaching the point where animals are better protected by law than smokers, drinkers and the obese, where is the equality? Where is the freedom, what has happened to our pursuit of happiness?

I do not suggest that we toss bales of tobacco into the Thames, neither do I suggest that we load up ‘Ole Brown Bess’ then run down Rotten Row screaming the Redcoats are coming! I do suggest that NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION still exists in both our countries, Neither Tobacco companies or smokers groups, or even individual smokers were allowed representation when the recommendations for these bills were enabled ASH demanded this to be, they said that the tobacco companies would win concessions if they did, they got their way, ASH demanded that we herded in to shelters, it is so, ASH demands that cigarettes be hidden from display, it will be so!


You the people yes YOU! The same ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ in the U.S.Constitution, the same citizens of the United Kingdom who pay tax on tobacco, and because you pay tax you have a right to representation, demand your rights, if they will not give you your rights vote them out of office, if the next lot won’t vote them out too, repeat until you get a government that represents you! Democracy, the law, and our respective constitutions tell us WE HAVE THAT RIGHT, GO FORTH AND CLAIM YOUR RIGHTS as they did in 1776.

Written by John Watson.

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