Thursday, 29 November 2012

Farewell to Free Will

image courtesy of Digitalspy

Be dreadfully careful when you look at the above photo. It may just make you start smoking. 

That is the message given across by disgruntled viewers complaining to Ofcom in droves, all because ITV dared to show Helen Flanagan puffing away on cigarette after cigarette during her time in the Australian jungle. Political correctness fanatics claim that it glamourises smoking and encourages youngsters to start. Really? Are we still churning out that old chestnut?

Apart from the fact that Helen Flanagan looks awkward and somehow childish when she smokes is the simple truth that people are perfectly capable of making their own decisions. I have been a smoker myself and sometimes you watch someone enjoying a cigarette and do think "ooh, that's a good idea". But seeing a celebrity doing it has never once made me think "ooh, that looks so sophisticated". As for young people being influenced, the show is on pretty late. I think the real problem here is lack of routine...

The general public aren't quite as influenced by celebrity as the PC brigade seem to think. Britney Spears once shaved her head and attacked a member of the paparazzi with an umbrella. There was not a sudden spate of violent, slightly bald twelve year olds running around. 

Now we have the issue of minimum price alcohol rearing its ugly head again. It is claimed that charging 45p per unit will cut the number of alcohol related crime and hospital admissions. I beg to differ. Prohibition failed once, and for good reason. I foresee a sudden rise in people being admitted to hospital with ethanol related blindness. Cheap alcohol is always available if you look hard enough, isn't it better to regulate where it comes from?

I know it isn't black and white, and I'm fully aware that we have an incredibly overstretched NHS, but where do we draw the line? 

Will the woman who had unprotected sex once at nineteen be less deserving of treatment for cervical cancer because she contracted HPV? Will the child without sunscreen on now be a burden on the NHS when they're an adult suffering with malignant melanoma? That woman eating more chocolate than she knows is good for her, should she be bullied by the press when she needs diabetes treatment in the future?

Almost any ailment can be traced back to a choice made somewhere in our lives. The NHS is there to treat the consequences of living, we should not be warned away from it.

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