Monday, 8 August 2016

The Trouble With Prodnoses

Two news articles caught my eye this morning and got me thinking, and it's all to do with the ever-deepening phenomena of the prodnoses. That is, people who have nothing better to do than interfere in the lives of others simply because they can.

There are two distinct types in this category:

1. Professional Prodnoses

Professional prodnoses can be found in an array of (usually tax-funded) organisations or charities. Quite a few of those professional prodnoses are Politicians originating from the Left of the political spectrum and delight in making laws interfering in our day-to-day lives and civil liberties simply because 'they can'. However, the vast majority of these professional prodnoses are to be found in the various (tax-funded) public health organisations and charities. These people attempt to justify their (often hugely inflated) salaries and egos by continually hounding the politicians to introduce new laws further restricting the personal freedoms of the general public based on worthless junk-science that they probably thought up on the back of a fag-packet. When they are not doing that, then they are usually using their contacts to get their junk-science out as fact in the compliant national press.

That these tax-sponging non-entities are well remunerated was amply shown by the recent Tax Payers Alliance study into the incredible wages that many in their 'profession' earn. Chris Snowdon gave an excellent commentary on this in his recent blog that can be found here (he also has a link to the full TPA report).

As Chris points out, the key findings were:

  • There were at least 325 individuals employed in public health who received remuneration of over £100,000 in 2014-15
  • 43 of which had total remuneration over £150,000
  • There were at least 105 public health employees in local government with total remuneration of over £100,000 in 2014-15
    • 27 had total remuneration of over £150,000
    • Two Local Authority Directors of Public Health had total remuneration of over £200,000 in Cornwall (£207,302) and Oxfordshire (£202,349)

Now compare that to another report that came out in the Daily Express today which can be found here. In that report we see that the funding of Trading Standards has fallen massively since 2009. It tells how funding has fallen from £213M to £124M in that time period.

Trading Standards, in case you are not aware, have an important role to play in our society. They are people who ensure that the goods we buy in stores are not counterfeit or dangerous, they are involved in areas like vehicle emissions, electrical product safety and ensuring food hygiene standards, such as their recent involvement in the horse meat scandal. In short, they protect us, the public, from unscrupulous acts or sheer carelessness, holding those responsible to account for their actions. It is a useful and vital service.

So how on earth have we ended up in the situation where we have an ever growing public health lobby, each coming up with ever more dubious junk-science to justify their existence (and wages), putting ever more restrictions (or imposing taxes when they fail to get said restrictions) on the general public, seemingly running riot and expanding exponentially. Few of the edicts from these public health bodies do anything more than plunge millions of people into poverty or places severe restrictions on business to trade (e.g. the smoking ban in Pubs that took away the owners ability to decide what to allow on their premises).

Meanwhile, bodies like Trading Standards - who actually do provide a valuable and useful service to the public - get cut down to such an extent that they are no longer able to perform the ever lengthening (thanks to public health) list of tasks they are expected to perform.

The function of Government is protect its citizens from harm. It is NOT to interfere in people's lives and civil liberties. Yet the above examples prove that the Governments priorities are completely the wrong way around.

2. Amateur Prodnoses

It is fair to say the amateur prodnoses have probably been around since people first started thinking for themselves thousands of years ago in our evolution. We have all seen them and we all know them. They are the (otherwise ordinary) people who will whinge about just about anything - because they can and have nothing better to do. They are the ones who complain about the noise from a pub that THEY chose to live near. They used to complain about people smoking in pubs, but now complain that they cannot sit outside in the beer garden on a warm summer day because it is full of smokers. They complain about kids playing a game of football on the (rare) patches of green in suburban communities. They complain about parking, about traffic etc etc etc. In short, they complain because they can. The problem is, due to the actions of the Professional Prodnoses, they are now taken far more seriously.

An example of this was shared earlier today by @oldmudgie in a tweet about an article that has appeared in the pub trade journal The Morning Advertiser.

The gist of the story is that a pub in County Durham has been forced to remove a sign that simply said 'Its all about meat', because it offended vegetarians. Now that in itself is not really the issue. What really got my attention was how activists have basically dictated to the pub in question how they should be conducting their business and what they choose to sell, even going so far as to make death threats.

What on earth is the world coming to ?   If you don't like what a business is doing, then don't give them your custom. Go somewhere else. It really is that simple.

I have to question how many of the people who complained about either of the issues actually go to a pub with any regularity. It was exactly the same when the smoking ban was introduced. You had all the non-smokers celebrating how they had reclaimed the spaces from the 'dirty smokers'. The problem is, the majority of those non-smokers hardly ever go out to a pub, so over the past 10 years we have witnessed the slow demise of the pub trade as the unwelcome smokers decide to no longer give their patronage the places that have been forced to make them feel unwelcome and consequently those pubs close.

The age of the prodnoses - amateur or professional - is slowly killing our society. An unsilent minority are dictating to the majority what kind of world we should be living in. We are heading towards a very sterile world of the future where everything you eat, consume, desire, say, think, possess, or wear will be carefully regulated and decided for you by the prodnoses. It is Big Brother becoming reality. We are sleepwalking into this because we are allowing the prodnoses to dictate the world we live in.

It's time to wake up and take back control people. The only way to do that is kick up a bigger fuss and noise than the prodnoses can muster. Though an excellent place to start would be to stop the enormous amount of tax money going to myriad of public health bodies and reassign them to a body that actually DOES something USEFUL - like Trading Standards (and probably still save a shedload of public money).

The world is upside down and is going to hell in a barrel otherwise.

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