Teens: old enough to bear arms, but not smoke?It's hard to imagine what it's like to be 17 years old in Gordon Brown's petty authoritarian Britain - if you're 17 you can legally have sex, get married and start a family, you can even volunteer to join the army. At 17 you have the right to bear arms and be professionally drilled and trained in lethal fighting and killing techniques. Indeed, according to Matthew Happold, the author of Child Soldiers in International Law, under-18s 'were deployed during the first Gulf War, where nearly 500 British soldiers were aged under 18, and in Kosovo'. Yet, in Brown's Britain, these teenagers will not even be allowed to purchase a simple packet of cigarettes.
Oh, come on Courtney I here you say 'how on Earth can you oppose the raising of the minimum age to purchase cigarettes'? Don't you know that smoking is bad for your health and can kill you? Yes, I'm well aware of that, being a smoker myself, and I suspect like most other smokers, we don't smoke for the benefit of our health. And in any case, there is no law on Earth that can stop teenagers from smoking - none.
Don't take my word for it, professional health bodies from the Department of Health to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh publicly admit that 'there is no evidence that raising the age of purchase on its own will influence tobacco sales to young people'. Indeed, even the World Bank agrees that in wealthy nations like Britain 'such restrictions have not been shown to be successful'.
This doesn't mean that I'm in favour of more teenagers smoking, of course not - but the facts are, if teenagers want to smoke, they will, and there is nothing that New Labour, or anyone in the world can do to stop them - so why the new 'crackdown'? It appears that the British government have completely run out of ideas about how we should go about building the Good Society - instead, what we have is a Supernanny state that is addicted to anti-smoking - I think it's high time we stubbed them out.