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Tuesday 8 April 2008 4.18pm
This is what Uncle Matthew called the thin end of the wedge.

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Tuesday 8 April 2008 4.26pm
To compare the police fining people for smoking in a public place with 1934 Germany is ludicrous .

1934 Germany

1934 January 1 All Jewish holidays are removed from official German calendars.

1934 January 2 A German law is passed for sterilization of the "unfit."

1934 January 6 Catholic worshippers are told at services that according to Catholic doctrine it is forbidden to volunteer for sterilization or apply for the sterilization of another. "We appreciate every consideration for the basic principle." (Lewy)

1934 January 7 Germany bars "non-Aryans" from adopting "Aryan" children.

1934 January 11 The homes of dissident German clergymen are raided by the Gestapo.

1934 January 15 An antisemitic racial exhibition opens in Munich.

1934 January 15 Goering orders the Gestapo to arrest and question all political emigres and Jews returning to Germany.

1934 January 15 Goebbels demands that all Jews representing German companies abroad be dismissed from their positions.

1934 January 16 The League of Nations protests the treatment of Jews in the Saar and Upper Silesia.

1934 January 30 A Nazi reorganization strips German states of their sovereignty.

And that was just for January
Tuesday 8 April 2008 4.48pm
They've had the signs up for ages at London Bridge saying that as from a certain date they'll start enforcing the law. Since last July you haven't been able to smoke in the enclosed areas (including the bus stops) at the station and people really can't plead ignorance about it. I say, "sew their mouths up" - it's horribly smoky on the concourse and people all stand around, obstructing the pavements and blowing clouds of noxious gas over others.

And I speak as a smoker, but one who is conscious of the fact that the majority don't want to walk around in a fug of my choking slipstream of fag smoke.
Tuesday 8 April 2008 4.57pm
What exactly is the thick end of the wedge in this case? Somehow I can't see the police going in for genocide.
Tuesday 8 April 2008 5.37pm
It is different, but it is far from ludicrous to make this comparison. It is the steady erosion by the state of personal freedoms.

You never know what the thick end of the wedge is until it arrives.
Tuesday 8 April 2008 5.56pm
The Mapmaker wrote:
It is the steady erosion by the state of personal freedoms

Smoking on the concourse at LB is not a personal freedom - it's against the law. Glad to see the police clamping down on the thoughtless.
Tuesday 8 April 2008 5.57pm
If you had talked about detention without charge, control orders, identity cards, the use of DNA records, the way new anti terrorist laws are so open to misinterpretation (such as section 44), ASBO's, the weakening of the right to remain silent, the spread of CCTV with little public debate and so on, then perhaps I'd have had some sympathy for your view although even then a comparison with 1934 Germany is ludicrous.

But talking about people who have been fined 50 for smoking in a place where smoking is not allowed and comparing that to the imposition of a dictatorship based on race is absolutely ridiculous.

ps - people can also be fined for dropping litter, causing a breach of the peace, obstructing a public right of way and so on. Does that mean we're even more advanced down the road towards a fascist state ?
Tuesday 8 April 2008 6.21pm
There was *much* more to 1934 Germany than racial issues. The thought police were out to get you then too. It IS the thin end of the wedge, and you rightly list a long line of other infringements of personal liberties.

I was stopped and searched in my car under s44 Terrorism Act last week. Whilst not catching terrorists with bombs in their cars, they catch people for other offences very effectively. If we need a law for random stop and search then let Parliament debate it. As it is, such a law has been pushed in through the back door.
Tuesday 8 April 2008 9.39pm
I thought this was going to be more drivel about house prices, and the economy. Perhaps just fining those who litter with cigarette butts, or prosecuting those who assault others by blowing smoke in their faces would be more appropriate. The thing with personal liberties is, they are only personal if they don't affect others.
Wednesday 9 April 2008 7.51am
smokers are thoughtless fascist litter droppers.
many a public space especially beaches are ruined with their butts.
now it's a matter of freedom to smoke - don't make me laugh.
lock them all up i say in a confined space so they die quicker ...
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