Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Politicians are generally not that bright.

New Zealand is about to have a new, stupid law come into being on 10th December. It’s an anti smoking law. This law is designed to stop people smoking in any place of work that has walls and a roof. Outside is OK.
Before I begin my rant, I need to make it clear, that I am not a smoker. I use to smoke 25 years ago, but gave it up as I knew it wasn’t doing my health any good. I am not against smokers, but I am sad about their poor old lungs taking a hiding.

The government have designed this law so that the only people who might be penalised will be the employers. They have a clause that says, "If an employer or proprietor fail to take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent someone from smoking in an internal area’ they will be fined a maximum of $4,000. Employees and Joe Public will be fined $400. They however add this "Fines will not be imposed on individual smokers for smoking in indoor workplaces…" The only place an individual will be fined if they smoke is inside an aeroplane……….

So what is this saying. Basically, we, (the Government) will fine any employer who doesn’t try to stop smokers and we wont touch the smokers. If you as an employer however put up signs etc and can prove that you have done your best, we wont fine you either.

My question is, why then have the stupid bill in the first place ? It doesnt have teeth and is just another perfect proof that politicians are generally not very smart and love wasting our tax dollars..


Blogger Aaron said...

I agree, Bernard.

Smokers are a revenue-gathering resource for the gov't, it seems. And the best reason for making bosses responsible for the enforcement of the new law is to pass on the costs of doing so.

What I cannot understand about the new law is the refusal to allow any exceptions at all - such as for a cigar bar. The rationale for the Act (healthy workplaces) seems to fail at precisely the point that workers take a job in a place that they know will contain smoke, and in fact would not exist at all but for the smoke. Surely that's a choice that people should be able to make, and the government has no place taking it away (either for the smokers or the workers). I see this failure of the rationale as evidence that it is, after all, a smokescreen (ahaha) for the real agenda, which is yet more social engineering.

And this would be consistent with the other social legislation they have passed. Despite appearing to believe that people should be free to choose anything they like, including forms of sexual union, the biggest choice - what sort of society we want to live in - appears to be one that Labour are prepared to make unilaterally. Why, for instance, are they passing the Civil Union Bill so far out from an election, and without any form of referendum?

It seems clear to me that Labour are excercising power in the name of what they think is good and right: and others' opinions be damned.

December 7, 2004 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Daniel B. McClelland said...

I like how the law seems to be against clogging our lungs, but totally fine with blowing the rubbish into the outside air... just pushing aside the niggling concern that one day the Ozone hole will have as much nicotein as it does CFCs...

Sorta like of a lot of their new legislation really. Metaphorically speaking.

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