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Saturday, 11 February 2012

To the anti-smoker I say this! Guest post by John Watson

I do not need to change your minds, nor do I wish to. But anyone who believes in freedom believes in these words of Voltaire:
‘I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.’
It was Abraham Lincoln who in 1858 said:
‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
These words have stood the test of time: the anti smoking lobby seek to divide the world. If they succeed then evil wins: in the words attributed to Edmund Burke:
‘All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.’
Continuing with Edmund Burke, he also says that:
‘In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority’ and that ‘Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.’
The last quote was echoed centuries later when George Santayana said:
‘Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.’
Those quotes could have been written today; they all apply as much today as when their illustrious authors penned them. I do not address such words toward the anti smokers for that would be equal to casting pearls before swine, but to those who smoke and those non-smokers who are tolerant and caring of those who smoke, whom I believe make up the majority of non-smokers, decent freedom loving people so unlike those anti-smokers who breed hatred and intolerance, who seek to pass laws on the back of such evil.

The smokers and the tolerant non smokers have a choice: to live in freedom and tolerance of each other, or to live under the tyranny of the anti-smoker. I remind all those that believe in freedom and tolerance of Burke’s words already quoted:

‘All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.’
John Watson

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