Philobiblon: A pub with fresh air - finally civilisation

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A pub with fresh air - finally civilisation

Well the MPs have got it wrong on ID cards and terror "glorification", but they got it right at least on the smoking ban - yahoo - I'll soon (well "summer 2007" - why SHOULD it take so long) be able to go into a pub without making myself ill with second-hand smoke.

And what is interesting is the lack of fuss; despite Blair's timidity, everyone knew this had to be the decision, and England is only just catching up with the rest of the UK.

Health officials proclaimed the vote a historic victory, to be compared with the 1948 NHS Act or the clean air legislation which ended city smog in the 50s. ... That should cut the 85,000 smoking related deaths a year, pro-ban MPs believe. Scotland and Northern Ireland have already enacted public bans and the Welsh assembly has agreed in principle.

A judge has also been seeing sense, in refusing to direct that the NHS supply a drug as yet unproven for the proposed use - early-stage breast cancer. The word that keeps popping into my head on this is "thalidomide". The approvals process is there for a reason, having been slowly and painstakingly assembled over decades to avoid disasters. Yet the problem is now that as soon as a drug starts to look promising, patients are going to demand it - hey, if it were me I might be doing the same thing, but the fact is checks do have to be maintained, to ensure the benefits do indeed outweigh the risks.


Blogger Gert said...

If that's your "big idea" on civilisation then I don't think I much care to hear your other "ideas".

But, hey, I'm glad you feel civilisation has now been achieved on these isles, it is indeed a MOMENTOUS day. Perhaps we should call for a National holiday, to celebrate this victory...

What's it like to live in a one-dimensional world?

2/16/2006 04:56:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Well from a personal point of view, I look forward to being able to enjoy a drink without having my nose running like a tap, and having to afterwards dry-clean my clothes.

But in terms of civilisation, I was thinking about the protecting of workers from totally unnecessary workplace hazards ... surely a basic human right.

2/16/2006 10:39:00 pm  

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