From The Sunday Times (Scotland):
Puritans are taking political correctness to another level — and they want us in their pious band, says Mary Braid
Beware the onward surge of the killjoys. Once we used to see them in little groups in the veggie cafe, muttering over their Fairtrade coffees about the iniquities of cheap diesel; or at the school gate tut-tutting as another child was dropped off from his parents’ SUV. But now, according to one Scottish researcher, they are so numerous they have become a new model army on the march. Meet the latest breed of puritans who have been dubbed the neo-Cromwellians.
The neo-Croms (the diminutive makes them seem only a little less threatening) are a group of sour-faced individuals who won’t let their children eat sweets, but will piously buy organic local produce. They eschew cheap flights and religiously travel by train. Most importantly of all, they want you to do the same.
According to the social forecaster Jim Murphy, in the neo-Crom world smoking and fizzy soft drinks are a distant memory...
Hey Skipper of the Daily Duck often observes that irony appears to be the driving force of the universe. Here’s another story to support his theory.
According to a survey for Bupa, more than a third of Britons think that smokers should pay for their own NHS treatment, while a hardline 8% think that they should actually be refused any kind of treatment at all.
The argument being, why should we non-smokers pay for the illness they’ve brought upon themselves? Smoking-related diseases cost the NHS some £1.7 billion per year.
Yet here’s the irony: smokers contribute approximately £8 billion per year to the Treasury, so that’s a profit of £6.3 billion on the face of it.
But what you also have to bear in mind is that even vegetarian, non-smoking, fairtrade, organic-eating, bicycle-riding tee-totallers eventually get old and die. What’s more, they take longer about it, so not only do we have to fund their NHS treatment when they finally succumb, we also have to pay for their state pension while they take an age getting around to it. Bloody freeloaders!