And how do I know? Simple, it has already started.
OK, let's start with smoking. I smoke, and I hate it. It is expensive, makes me stink, destroys my taste buds and is generally unpleasant. I started when I was 21, it was the single stupidest thing I've ever done and I wish I'd never started. The whole bansturbation mania surrounding smoking pisses me off, although I personally prefer pubs without smoke, I can see no reason why smoking exclusive and smoking inclusive venues can't be had, but that and the new proposals surrounding the display and sale of cigarettes isn't the point here.
The point is that as soon as smoking is trussed up, the target of the nannies is going to be alcohol. We've seen the first shots fired today. Firstly, today is the day that drinking on the London transport network is now verboten. We also have notification of plans to stop the under 18's drinking in public.
Now, most reasonable people would respond that this is a reasonable step. Isn't socio-political conditioning a wonderfully insidious thing? Because teenagers drinking in public is immediately associated with teenagers fighting, intimidating passers by, vomiting and any other of a legion of anti-social activities. It always starts with the children. (Won't someone pleeeeeease think of the children?) Firstly, isn't existing drunk and disorderly and public order legislation robust enough to deal with this?
Secondly, the reason that kids are carrying on like this is because they're so fucking bored. There's nothing to do, where are the town centre cinemas? Closed, to go out of town with the wonderful shopping centre, and there's no public transport, that's where. Where are the youth clubs of yore? Closed, because of obscene insurance rates brought about because if an accident happens, it must be someone's fault and thus they owe you a shit load of cash.
Thirdly, what about kids drinking perfectly legally, such as is allowed under licencing laws with their meals with a family. That is drinking in public, is this to be banned as well?
Once again we see huge amounts of our cash spunked on another initiative, the Police with loads of PCSOs but no officers to enforce the law. It isn't a legislation problem, it is an enforcement and parenting problem.
I smoke, and smoke responsibly, but shortly will not be allowed to do so, or if allowed my perfectly legal behaviour will be made very difficult indeed.
I drink as well, I await the ban on alcohol advertising, drinking in public (excepting Royal palaces, obviously), the display of alcohol in shops and so on. This will be because a small number of people cannot behave in a reasonable fashion. It is akin to the teacher threatening to keep the whole class in detention if the miscreant fails to own up. . . And when the miscreant does own up, punishing the whole class anyway.
Then the ban on advertising confectionary and fatty foods, eating these products in public, the display of said items. . .