It should have been obvious to all that implementing a smoking ban in prisons would have undesirable results. Public health experts, however, see the world in an entirely different way. James Campbell in the Herald Sun today:
It would be hard to imagine a better example of the size of the gulf that separates our rulers from the real world; the difference between what they told us would happen when they took tobacco off people locked up in prison and what actually happened.
What, you wonder, did the people who dreamt this up think would happen?
For as long as anyone can remember, prisoners have smoked. Why the hell wouldn’t they? There’s nothing else to do in prison. Smoking is a pleasure. It helps to pass the time. It creates camaraderie among smokers.
If prisoners are smoking in an area away from other people where their smoke can do no one else any harm, surely that is their choice.
For those prisoners who have already been in prison for years and for whom smoking is a consolation, is it not unfair to suddenly take it away for no reason other than the minister thinks he knows best?
I ask you, what conceivable business is it of the Government’s?
Indeed. And make no mistake, it won’t end with tobacco in prisons:
You might think that whether smokers have the right to smoke or not has nothing to do you with you. And unless you are planning on committing a crime and getting caught, you would be right. But I would argue that it does matter because from the way our rulers treat prisoners you can get a pretty good look at how they would treat the rest of us if they had their way.
When the health industry has finished with the smokers, they’ll come after the drinkers, you mark my words.
Senator, and IPA member, David Leyonhjelm drives the point home:
Like all bullies, health mandarins are picking on prisoners and mental health patients because they see them as easy targets. But make no mistake the nanny-staters are coming for all of us. Smokers are shoved into ever more isolated areas and forced to stand outside in the cold and rain.
Thousands of people have been bailed up at train and bus stops and fined $300 for lighting up.
Some people won’t be happy until the whole of society resembles a vast prison, where all of us are regulated “for our own good”.