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Smokers harrassed – with the encouragement of a school, and the co-operation of the police

Mob Justice Students at the Hundred of Hoo Comprehensive School in Medway have been running up to smokers in the street, shouting "ciggy busters" and snatching their cigarettes from them. And filming themselves doing it. Should you wish to, you can find these self-righteous little vigilantes on YouTube.

Here's a quote from the responsible "adult" from the school in the write-up in the Medway Messenger:

I was scared about doing something so crazy on the street – I mean you can get arrested.

And should be.

And here's a quote from the write-up at This is Kent:

Kent police in Medway were made aware of the planned filming, prior to
the event taking place.

And didn't stop it!?

Disconcerting, isn't it, that rather than seeking to dissuade young people from exercising their authoritarian views in a way that frankly amounts to straightforward robbery, a school in this country is encouraging them to do so and empowering them with video equipment, funding and a rent-a-prat "teacher" to boot? We supposedly live in a pluralist society, in which the views and wishes of a minority can be respected. Live and let live. Instead, the "tolerance" of these self-appointed minor Stasi of course extends solely to the things of which they approve. Beyond that, they film themselves cackling away as they intrude upon and assault those with whom they disagree. It is with good reason Winston Smith and co constantly fear betrayal by the youth League and the Junior Spies, as children swallow Big Brother's propaganda most keenly in 1984.

Lest you think that I'm misinterpreting a set-up which occurred as part of a drama exercise, this quote from the teacher makes it clear that the "ciggy busters" extended their attacks beyond their own stool pigeons:

I knew we could not really go and film in public and attack people
in that way and take goods off of them, so we devised a cunning plan.

We planted some people and we started with them. People were
watching and following us and at the end we tried with some other people.

So you did go and attack people "in that way" and "take goods off of (ahem, from) them." Name and shame time: the school's "mentor" for the project is Italian media artist Margherita Gramegna. Perhaps in Italy "media artist" is how one spells "idiot."

This is a remarkable and quite disgraceful story. Law-abiding people in Kent are being robbed on the street, with the tacit approval of the local constabulary. The mob action is part of an ongoing scheme from the school and
is going to continue in September.

Shame on you, Kent Police. Shame on you, the school!

By Alex
Deane

Hat tip: Phil

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home

59 Responses to Smokers harrassed – with the encouragement of a school, and the co-operation of the police

  1. startledcod

    Shouldn’t this possibly be considered a hate crime. “Hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity”.
    Unquestionably it is a ‘bias-motivated’ crime and there is an arguable case for saying that smokers suffer from te disability of addiction.
    I think Plod should be heading to the school to make some arrests for common assualt and robbery aggravated by hate.

  2. Dave Atherton

    Alex, this is a valuable contribution to the debate. Most anti smoking rhetoric tends to be hyperbole but as you rightly point out it appears harassment is now physical.
    The British Medical Journal has a blog and Professor Ruth Malone was inviting readers to come up new language for a smoke free Brave New World. “In keeping with this theme, editor Ruth Malone raises the issue of how important language is in defining and framing the tobacco pandemic and challenges readers to share their own creative ideas for “language weapons.” This strikes me as Orwellian Newspeak.
    Anti smoker advocates make no secret in their wish to have the segregation and apartheid of smokers.
    For those with a real penchant for anti smoking can I recommend the latest video game for the computer. The idea is simple, every time a smoker pops up on your screen, shoot them. The blood effects are quite good too.
    Of course whenever you have a debate on smoking on an open forum you have people feel it their public duty to point out “Smoke in your own home. Get cancer. Die.” and “let’s have free loaded pistols for use by these smokers there too so that they can end their pathetic lives in a dignified way and save us and our already burdened health systems a lot of problems.” That was from the Daily Telegraph two days ago.
    I am sure if these remarks were aimed at ethnic minorities and gay people there quite rightly would be outrage. Now we have state sanction from the police and schools, definitely the way forward.
    Dave Atherton
    Director
    Freedom2Choose
    http://www.purely-games.com/smoker_sniper_game.html
    http://blogs.bmj.com/tc/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/philipjohnston/7949524/Smokers-could-breathe-life-back-into-pubs.html#disqus_thread

  3. Dick Puddlecote

    Truly staggering!

  4. neil

    This is appalling. Have the victims reported the robberies to the police?

  5. Dick Puddlecote

    Neil, I’m wondering if one needs to be the victim oneself to report a crime, which this is.
    Perhaps a complaint could be registered with Kent Police. What’s your expert opinion, Alex?

  6. Bucko

    This is a totally unbeleiveable step. Its now state sponsored thuggery.
    I,ve done my own peice on this and included the schools email address [email protected], so people can get in touch and vent their spleen. I would advise everyone who is capeable and inclined, to get off an email to these hideous people.

  7. Alex Deane

    One’s entitled to ask the police what their policy is on such an issue (especially as they plan to do this AGAIN in September) – and one could report an offence if a witness or a victim

  8. G D

    According to OFSTED this schhol is under Special Measures and the report can be found here:
    http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/download/%28id%29/121912/%28as%29/118799_346439.pdf
    It mentions the 6th form doing an anti-smoking film as part of it’s media studies.
    I really don’t think OFSTED should condone such uncontrolled activity by the pupils at a school that is under scrutiny for poor performance.

  9. alastair

    That is quite outrageous. I’m no smoker (it’s a dirty, smelly habit, and I’ll thank you not to smoke near me – or to pay my laundry bills if you insist on doing so), but I certainly wouldn’t support this kind of behaviour.
    Worth pointing out, though, that if there is no expectation that a police officer will make an arrest, you can make one yourself, then hand the arrested suspect over to the police officers (or at the police station).

  10. PJH

    @alistair: “Worth pointing out, though, that if there is no expectation that a police officer will make an arrest, you can make one yourself, then hand the arrested suspect over to the police officers (or at the police station).”
    ..and then get arrested yourself for assault / deprivation of liberty / whatever they can pin on you.
    Do you really expect citizen’s arrest to be valid these days? Your word against theirs, and since it’s evident that you’ve committed a crime (by dragging them there) and it’s not evident that the person you’ve dragged has committed a crime, you’re the one going to be put in the cells.

  11. PT Barnum

    Given that all we smokers are such craven and venal addicts, it’s only a matter of time before one of us, when robbed of our drug by one of these vigilantes, fights back. The risk assessment by the school therefore seems somewhat inadequate. Smokers kill, you know.
    Seriously, this is very alarming. Take away the school involvement and this is Happy Slapping, ie a crime.

  12. Ethan

    Indoctrinate the young, encourage them to criticise their elders….ah yes I know where I’ve heard about that before. Pol Pot – The Killing Fields. Cambodia oh yes. So anti smoking fascists is that now your business model? Do let me know how your ‘Year Zero’ strategy works out.
    Ignorant of history the fascist zealots of the anti smoking camp are condemned to repeat it. Shame on Kent Police for allowing this outrage. Would the plod have intervened had it been the BNP running amok taking away Burkhas and Niquabs? I doubt it.
    A word of advice kiddly winkles – try that stunt with me and you won’t like the response.

  13. David Cooper

    It is bad enough to hear tales of how parents find themselves browbeaten at home by children whose impressionable minds have been filled with propaganda about vegetarianism, man made global warming or indeed smoking. Perhaps an incident such as this might be the tipping point for the Coalition to take a very careful look at teacher training colleges (the mentor here may have been an Italian media artist but the buck would surely stop with the Head) and shake out the political correctness with which they have been infected.

  14. Jacky

    The teacher concerned with organising this sorry little exercise should be firmly disciplined. What happens if one of the members of the public targeted later discovers that their purse, or their wallet, or their mobile phone has also gone missing? The police, shamefully, may tacitly approve of the cigarette-stealing but I bet that doesn’t extend to purse-stealing, too. Faced with such an allegation, even if the students concerned are not responsible, the teacher has encouraged them to place themselves in pole position of being suspected of the crime. I bet that possibility wasn’t covered in the risk assessment. Smokers in the area who were victims of this should check their belongings very thoroughly and report any losses to the police immediately.

  15. The Talking Clock

    Nazi Germany starting, right there.
    They’ll probably burn a few books next, then we’re really doomed.

  16. Nick S

    The Medway area seems to have its own peculiar rules.
    Anyone else confused by the fact that you cannot take a picture of a chip shop in the Medway towns without being arrested as a terrorist but you can legally assault people.
    http://monaxle.com/2009/07/08/section-44-in-chatham-high-street/

  17. Phil Johnson

    I have sent “a better medway” the following:-
    To whomever be in charge,
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have read the reports in the Kent Times & Medway Messenger about the discrimination aginst smokers and the outlaw tactics used to promote smoking cessation.
    http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/news/Students-bust-smokers-action-packed-movie/article-2489342-detail/article.html
    The video, freely available to watch is here:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB5wjn4fdcc&NR=1
    Do you now purport to educate the young and mindless into the ways of thuggery, theft, robbery and many other crimes in your bid to improve smoking cessation programmes. Does it not matter to you, as a funded quango, that you are teaching the youth of today about ‘incitement to hatred’? Does it not bother you that you are amplifying discrimination?
    I suggest you read this link:- http://freedom-2-choose.blogspot.com/2010/08/ciggy-bustin-bstards.html
    and see what people think of this atrocious activity. To admit that you funded the filming is unbelievable and shows that you, in reality, are no better than the gutter press who feed off such wrongful doings on a daily basis.
    To support open warfare on our streets is irresponsible and makes you look as stupid as these indoctrinated kids in the film. WShat would have done had one of these ‘smoke vigilantes’ been knocked out by an angry smoker defending not only his property (the cigarette) but his right to smoke? Would you want the smoker prosecuted for defending himself against the marauding mass?
    What’s next on the agenda to intimidate a minority faction? Dustcarts patrolling the streets to chuck smokers in? Stun Guns to stop smokers lighting up. You ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves for backing such a hairbrained scheme as this, no, less, prosecuted for incitement of civil unrest.
    Yours sincerely
    Phil Johnson,
    Chairman,
    freedom2choose.info
    T: 0116-2997760 M: 07773926818

  18. Tonyc

    In the light of reports that mobile phones are dangerous to health, especially for the young, perhaps you should organise groups to go round the streets snatching their lethal iPhones out of their grubby little hands. Why should the rest of us have to put up with second-hand brain tumours from their phones?

  19. Phil johnson

    I have now sent the following to Medway plod:-
    Dear Sirs,
    On this day, Thursday 19/08/2010, I wish to bring formal charges against one Margherita Gramegna, media artist of The Hundred of Hoo Comprehensive School, Rochester, Kent & the organisation known as “A Better Medway”, these disgraceful antics, having come to light on U-TUBE (Ref)
    http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/news/Students-bust-smokers-action-packed-movie/article-2489342-detail/article.html
    clearly show incitement to commit a number of crimes, those being:-
    ambushing innocent people
    theft of peoples property
    intimidation
    vigilante style raids on person/s
    discrimination against a minority faction
    inciting hatred toward smokers
    What I find even more unbelievable is that this was going on with the approval of Kent Police, after being assured this morning by that very body (telephone) that kent Police were totally unaware of such proceedings! Ref:- “Kent police in Medway were made aware of the planned filming, prior to the event taking place.
    ref: http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/news/Students-bust-smokers-action-packed-movie/article-2489342-detail/article.html
    Support also came from “A Better Medway” – a joint initiative between the council and NHS Medway that encourages healthy living – which part-funded the project, paying for filming equipment. Does encouraging healthy living include harassment, intimidation and possibly giving some one a heart attack as a vigilante anti smoker swoops from where-ever to commit robbery?
    Sixth form students at The Hundred of Hoo School filmed an anti-smoking movie with their mentor, media artist Margherita Gramegna, in which they mobbed unsuspecting smokers and nabbed their cigarettes. Yes, initially they used ‘plants’, but, “….and at the end we tried with some other people and they were very happy.”
    Pray tell, had a smoker clouted one of these irresponsible illegal street thugs for attempting to steal his/her cigarette, would you arrest the smoker or the vigilante?
    This is a remarkable and quite disgraceful story. Law-abiding people in Kent are being robbed on the street, with the tacit approval of the local constabulary. The mob action is part of an ongoing scheme from the school and is going to continue in September.
    Therefore I re-iterate my request for formal charges to be brought aginst both parties on the above stated grounds and I look forward to your reply with interest.
    Yours sincerely
    Phil Johnson (a very concerned citizen)
    37,Windley Road,
    Leicester.
    LE2 6QX
    T: 0116-2997760…M: 07773-926818

  20. Purlieu

    I fucking hate political correctness

  21. Joan

    It had to happen, I’m surprised it’s taken this long, and is anyone even remotely surprised that the police have done/will do nothing.
    It shows the mentality of those like the ‘so-called’ teacher who organised this. This useless article of a woman must be aware that not everyone they attack is going to take it laying down, or do they pick their targets carefully? I wonder if they would’ve attacked a young, hefty built man who dared to light a cigarette in their midst, I don’t think so, I think they very carefully targeted their marks.
    I know if it had happened to me I’d have defended myself no matter that I’d have probably been prosecuted. Pity some of the victims didn’t wait on the kids that did it and snatch their drugs/drinks.
    I wonder if the parents of these mindless idiot kids knew of the project, knew that their little darlings were being exposed to a slap by one of those they attacked? If they did then they should be prosecuted for putting their children in harms way, reckles endangerment. If I was one of the parents I’d want the teacher prosecuted for endangering my kid.
    I don’t suppose there’s any chance of the MSM taking this up and actually condemning the attacks.

  22. andy5759

    This has been coming for a long time. Schools have been indoctrinating our children for years; climate change, vegetarianism, secularism, multi-culturalism, health fascism – all are blights on our once “free” country.
    Oh well, I wasn’t using my civil liberties anyway.
    It’s a free country – they can ban what they want.

  23. Paul

    Joan: you mean they deliberately picked on vulnerable people, people who would not or could not fight back?
    What kind of lesson does that teach the kiddiewinks? That it’s OK to go out and pick on vulnerable smokers, drinkers, fat people et al? People like myself, who can’t fight back?
    Those kinds of practices lead to gassings and death camps.

  24. Lee

    Video now removed – I managed to grab it seconds before it was deleted – I will upload it to my own Youtube channel later tonight.

  25. Bucko

    They’ve taken down the video from Youtube.
    Probably sick of getting emails

  26. Olly

    @lee if you could post a link to that youtube please mate
    Cheers
    Olly

  27. parent-with-graduate-children

    In all honesty – I would look forward this teacher and her pupils trying this with me.
    The video has by now been removed from youtube by the person who put it up, so I have no chance of warning these kids that their action might not only cause pain to the back of their heads; it might cause much more than this to this unresponsible teacher of theirs.

  28. Dave Atherton

    I got a gracious reply from Medway Police.
    Dear Mr Atherton
    Thank you for your email of 19 August 2010.
    As your letter refers to policing matters involving the Medway Policing Area, I am forwarding your correspondence onto Chief Superintendent Corbishley, the Area Commander, with responsibility for policing in Hoo. Please be assured that he will arrange for your concerns to be dealt with appropriately, ensuring that a response is sent directly to you on this matter.
    Kent Police are committed to meeting public expectation on service delivery and we aim to respond to all letters regarding our service levels within 20 working days. If you have not heard from us within this time, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Regards
    Enquiries Support
    Chief Constable’s Executive Support Office
    Force Headquarters
    Sutton Road
    Maidstone
    ME15 9BZ
    ‘Protecting and Serving the people of Kent’
    P please don’t print this e-mail unless you really need to.
    >>> 19/08/10 11:08 >>>

  29. Phil

    Rachel Noxon, Medway’s tobacco control strategic co-ordinator also gave her approval for this stunt. You can contact her as follows:
    Rachael Noxon, Tobacco Control Strategic Coordinator
    Medway public health directorate
    telephone: 01634 331074
    email: [email protected]
    It is interesting to note that Medway Council is cutting funding for before and after school clubs for children and for library books whilst retaining the “services” of the Tobacco Control Strategic Coordinator and the spy cars featured on this blog a couple of days ago. Medway Council is a Tory council and it gives an interesting insite into their take on Dave’s proclamation about smaller government and getting the state off our backs.

  30. Dave Atherton

    Phil thanks for that.

  31. Lee

    @ Olly . . . .
    Here is the video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heJpxeSHSfY

  32. James Tobin

    This council seems to be completely out of control. They were on the local news a couple of nights ago for threatening people who dared to put a for sale sign in their car. Apparently you need their permission in Medway.
    http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/news/Council-let-sell-car/article-2514409-detail/article.html
    David Cameron made much of his idea to recall rogue MP’s. This whole rogue council seems to be worthy of recall. Organising assault and robbery of the electorate is really going too far. I wonder what he thinks of their behaviour.

  33. Phil Johnson

    I received this, this morning from Kent Plod:-
    Dear Mr Johnson
    Thank you for your email which has been logged under reference number 5598/2010 and forwarded to Medway Police for a response.
    Regards
    Enquiries Support
    Chief Constable’s Executive Support Office
    Force Headquarters
    Sutton Road
    Maidstone
    ME15 9BZ

  34. geraldine

    This is tantamount to mugging!!!!!!

  35. Rose Whiteley

    From the “teacher”:
    “We were going down the street grabbing cigarettes from people and running off.
    “It was so funny.”
    So, exactly like “Happy Slapping” then? But with a bit of theft thrown in for good measure?

  36. alastair

    @pjh:
    Yes, I do expect citizens’ arrests to work. They are a fundamental part of the power of arrest enjoyed by the police, never mind everyone else. The power of arrest may have been watered down by New Labour, but it still exists and it *can* still be used.
    If the police did decide to play it the way you suggest and arrest me for a perfectly valid arrest on suspicion of a criminal act, that’s fine, we can go to court and I’ll press for exemplary damages. Even better if one of their senior officers agrees that they should behave that way, since the fine goes up dramatically.

  37. Chris

    You can arrest another if they have committed an indictable offence. What you can’t do is take them anywhere. You must detain them on the spot & remain there until the police arrive

  38. PJH

    @Alastair, while I applaud your opitmism, I fear that in practise you wouldn’t succeed.
    I’m not attempting to critisise your opinion, but I’m sure any attempt at citizens arrest (at the moment) in the UK would initially result in a charge of assult, and any further attempts at dragging it through the courts would prove costly.
    And as pointed out above by Chris, I’m sure Citizens Arrest involves ‘detaining until a police officer arrives’ and certainly doesn’t include ‘transporting them to a police station.’
    I welcome anything that would disabuse me of the latter (or the former for that matter.)
    Without (deliberate) malice….

  39. Lee

    Indoctrination of children, promotion of attacks on law abiding adults, theft, destruction of property + presumably the dissemination of trophy video to further humiliate the victims and, no doubt, an inculcated sense of righteousness.
    Nasty stuff on so many levels, I doubt those behind this can see further than the health issues surrounding tobacco use.
    The use of children to impose one’s values on others will, unfairly, get the children a smack in the mouth, when it clearly should be those manipulating them for their own sociopolitical ends.

  40. PJH

    On the ‘plus’ side, however, an incident of citizen’s arrest gone wrong(http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Coroner-rules-death-car-thief-accident/article-2513733-detail/article.html) – those detaining the suspect were not charged with the death of the suspect.

  41. Perry de Havilland

    The correct response to a physical assault is physical violence. We call this “self defence”…
    …and happily the perpetrators of the assault are thoughtfully providing video evidence to prove that the reason you punched that nasty little turd in the face was that he was robbing you on a public street.

  42. Diamond Geezer

    If the zealots want some aggro,
    ready when you are.
    About time this anti smoking hysteria
    had some added meaning.
    Now then ,where do these Medway Gauleiters
    sink their smoothies.
    7 sister’s cousins

  43. Big Smoker

    Anyone tries it on me and I’ll kick the shit out of them! Just what we want. Teenagers (and I’ve nought against teenagers per se – used to be one myself) being given free rein and encouragement to run around happy slapping folks by some hair-brained teacher who needs a good slap herself… Does this give me carte blanche now to go around attacking anyone whose annoying habits I object to? Hope so. If so, Labour voters and Muslims be afraid! Be very very afraid!!!!!

  44. JohnRS

    So when I happen to be walking down a Medway street and am attacked without warning by a group of thugs who attempt to steal my property, how much of a kicking can I give the little bastards and their odious ringleader before I overstep the bounds of self defence?

  45. Dave Atherton

    An indequate reply form Kent Police in my opinion.
    “Dear Mr. Atherton,
    Thank you for contacting us to highlight your concerns and those of your members
    with the recent Hundred of Hoo school ‘Ciggie Busters’ campaign/event.
    The school contacted Medway police prior to the event and discussed it with our events manager. We were advised that actors would play the role of the ‘smokers’ with students approaching them, before taking the cigarette from them and ‘advising them’ about the health issues.
    In addition to this Medway NHS were to also be involved as well as the council.
    We did advise the school that to approach non-actors could cause problems and to our
    knowledge no non-actors were approached. No one has made any allegations of crime
    regarding this matter, (in so far as no one who was approached has made any complaints).
    The school involved police and other agencies in their planning and I believe took on board all our advice and comments. The filming and actions were part of a project the students were under taking and I am told the cameras were clearly visible to all in attendance. This was a deliberate part of the planning as overt cameras and the use of actors would hopefully prevent the people being approached being offended in any way.
    If a person who was not an actor was approached and their property taken etc. we
    would consider their complaint. However, as no one appears to have been approached in this manner, we shall not at this time be taking this matter further.
    I am sorry you feel offended by this incident, but I can assure you that it was
    meant to be a light hearted educational project, with no harm intended.
    Yours faithfully,
    Michael
    A/ Det Chief Inspector
    Medway Police Station.

  46. Michael J. McFadden

    So the police wrote, ” We were advised that actors would play the role of the ‘smokers’ with students approaching them, before taking the cigarette from them and ‘advising them’ about the health issues. … We did advise the school that to approach non-actors could cause problems. … I am told the cameras were clearly visible to all in attendance. This was a deliberate part of the planning as overt cameras and the use of actors would hopefully prevent the people being approached being offended in any way.”
    Now wait a minute, WERE they or WERE THEY NOT supposed to be doing this stuff to “non-actors” ? If they were NOT then why would there have been any concern to “hopefully prevent the people being approached being offended in any way.”
    Clearly the plan, and evidently the advice from the police, specifically concerned groups of young teens noisily running up to ordinary citizens, screaming something at them and then grabbing things from them.
    This reminds me of a similar action that I believe took place just a year or two ago where kids were taken out of school to stage raids on bars by having them all run in and grab all the ashtrays in sight and then run off with them. I can’t remember just where or when this was though. :/
    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  47. Andy

    Its irrelevant if the film used actors or not with regard to incitement to hate and anti discrimination laws.

  48. Alex Deane

    The police attitude is very strange, given that the school’s comments explicitly make it clear that they BEGAN with stooges but moved on to members of the public – the statement deliberately just ignores that.

  49. Jonathan 25

    It makes no difference whether exchanges between students and smokers were stage managed or not. Making a video like this sends out the message, that its ok to harrass and to assault. Clearly if there is robbery, assault or harassment of people that smoke in Medway it will be the likes of Rachel Noxons fault for encouraging such behaviour in this video.
    A video of this kind is inciting hate crime
    The police and the school should be ashamed.

  50. K2

    Ah huh, such a vitriolic response for those who are so wrapped up in themselves. Open your mind, get out the front door and live a little. Get things in perspective. These are young people who have yet to form coherent arguments, give them a break. With the freedom of speech we are allowed in this country who knows what they may achieve in the future. This is not 1930-45 no blackshirts around now. Stop reading the Daily Mail and think for yourself. One who is so wrapped up in oneself makes a very small parcel. I am a self confessed fascist and I certainly do not find this behaviour in any way ‘outrageous’. But then I guess I would? That’s an expert talking, get off the band wagon. Methinks you are amateurs. As for you Mr Deane, I feel you may be inciting the great unwashed for your own means. Sir, I find that you have the temerity to include ‘Chief of Staff’ as one of your roles. This is a highly respected position within the Armed Forces. I find it misused all to often by greasy coves such as yourself. By those who are merely answer the phone and lick stamps. To all those made incandescent by the actions of a few ‘kids’ I would suggest go out and fight in a real war.

  51. PJH

    “Ah huh, such a vitriolic response for those who are so wrapped up in themselves”
    I think you’ll find it’s the anti-smokers who are wrapped up in themselves.
    “These are young people who have yet to form coherent arguments, give them a break.”
    We aren’t the ones indoctrinating them, depriving them of the opportunity to form their own opinions – they’ll never form coherent arguments if all they hear is pseudo-scientific arguments as to why they should believe what they’re told to believe.
    It’s not us who need to “open our minds” – it’s those who are closing the minds of the young, who not only need to open theirs, but to allow the next generation to have to opportunity to open theirs also.

  52. Dave Atherton

    @K2
    I am trying to work if your post is satire or serious, I will assume serious.
    “I am a self confessed fascist” Tick
    Blackshirts on a point of information were an Italian creation in 1919 and adopted by Moseley’s British Union of Fascists. The Nazis were and wore Brownshirts.
    “get out the front door and live a little”
    Not when there is apparent incitement to assault smokers, dangerous occupation. Also on private property out of sight of the Hundred Hoo school children a landlord is not allowed the discretion to allow the consumption of a legal substance.
    Like many anti smokers when all else fails, resort to cheap abuse and limp ad hominems. I guess it saves having to resort to a coherent argument.
    K2 I believe is the 2nd highest mountain in the world behind Everest, your pitch has not even made base camp.

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