"Why don't the Government just give me a razorblade now and let me finish it? I mean, they tell me I shouldn't smoke; I definitely shouldn't drink too much, and now they're telling me if I use sun beds I'm going to get cancer and probably die so shouldn't. What's the point in living if I can't enjoy myself?"
That is what the other half said this morning whilst she straightened her hair (they'll probably be calls for banning those next) and she hit the nail on the proverbial head when she did so.
Almost every paper this morning is carrying news that sun beds will kill you goddamit, with at least one quote from some killjoy bloody quack saying they should banned ideally or at least restricted to over-18's only. This isn't of course 'new news', the snubbed thing started many moons ago, in fact I reported and predicted (timescale out mind you) on this blog that calls for a ban along with an EU directive would not be far away.
I'm willing to bet that even if they restrict the use of snubbed to over-18s the calls to ban them will continue. The calls come of course, just like booze and tobacco, on the grounds of public health. Unavoidable pressure on the NHS they say. We must be protected from ourselves!. Why should the NHS pay to treat people who harm themselves when it is avoidable?
Fatty? Smoker? Drinker? Sun worshipper? It doesn't matter if you paid NI and income tax for 15 years and barely used the NHS, you brought it on yourself and the NHS should not have to pay for your bad decisions. I think that kind of sums up the general gist of the argument that we so often hear and read.
What I find strange though is where these arguments so often come from. In general terms they tend to come from the authoritarian Left (although there are exceptions from the Right as well). Those on the Right are of course just wrong and anti-freedom, but what astounds me is those on the Left who are not just wrong but blatantly hypocritical about their beloved National Health Service.
Just think about this for a moment. If anyone so much as dares to suggest the NHS ought to be privatised there is uproar from the Left. If you state, as Dan Hannan did, a plain a real fact that on reflection the NHS structure that was created 60 years was a mistake and could have been achieved in a better way, you are some evil bastard that wants to kill everyone and you don't believe in the principle of universal healthcare.
However, that principle the Left so cherish is immediately undermined by their stances on public health needs, which are followed by bans and suggestions of prioritising those that live virtuously in line with the cultural orthodoxy against those who do not. Do we hear screams internally from the Left when they undermine their own principle of universal treatment? No we do it. Orwell had a word for such things, doublethink.
When the Left talk of universal healthcare it seems that that what they actually mean is state paid for healthcare if they consider you've lived a virtuous life and are thus entitled to their help using your money. Is it not a bit rich then when they wonder why people dare to suggest privatising parts or all of the NHS? If the principles behind it are so fluid as to say "we'll take your money in tax but we won't treat you unless you live the way we say" what do they expect to happen?
Sun beds, like tobacco, booze and being a bit of a porker before it, are going to be the next bit of enjoyment on their list that will be banned or regulated, and you can bet your bottom dollar that in the build-up to it someone in Government will note that the rise in skin cancer is causing the NHS resource to be stretched, with the implication that priority may not be given to someone foolish enough to go under one of them for too long.
They'll probably be calls for a ban on windsurfing next!