When the smoking ban was announced, and plans for it made, it was emphasised that it wouldn’t be a criminal offence to smoke, per se. It wouldn’t be something, really, for the police to get involved with; it would be dealt with more by council staff.
And more than that, there would be a nice period where politeness would be the order of the day.
I didn’t believe either then, and I don’t now. Especially when you see stories like this:
Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has been “spoken to” by police for smoking on a train.
Police said a man was advised of the no smoking policy on the Paddington to Plymouth train on Friday morning.
They were told he was smoking on board and “refusing to stop”, believing it was fine to smoke out of the window.
Mr Kennedy, you stand accused of wilful refusal to stop smoking. Ten years.
Now, if this is what they do to one of the most recognisable politicians in the land, what do you think they’ll be doing to normal folk? Do you think they’re likely to go easier on them, or harder, knowing that it won’t be on the BBC that same afternoon?
Answers on a postcard please to: