Liverpool Council would like to consult with organisations and members of the public upon a proposal to revise its licensing policy that would mean an “18” classification would be given to new release films exhibited in Liverpool if they depict images of tobacco smoking and do not already carry an “18” classification.
The lunacy of this proposal is beyond argument, but is further evidenced in the details. Apparently smoking will be permitted if it shows “a real historical figure (not an historical era) who actually smoked” and/or shows “clearly and unambiguously, the dangers of smoking, tobacco use or second-hand smoke.” Imagine the jobsworths who will judge this; they would have had to make Saving Private Ryan an “18″ . Under such circumstances this of course could have been avoided: Steven Spielberg could had also pointed out the dangers of smoking while telling the story of the Omaha beachhead assault of June 6, 1944.
If Liverpool Council really wants to stop people smoking I have found the solution and it also makes use of an underused recourse, namely civil servants. Sitting as I do, opposite the colossal Department for Children Families and Schools, nothing ruins the unequalled pleasure of the early cigarette more than the sight of four score civil servants sucking away on rotation throughout the day.
As such, I suggest the government moves civil servants to smoking hotspots around the country, located squarely opposite schools. If the glamour of watching the stars of Hollywood smoke encourages the habit, the solution is not to hide it behind the mystique of prohibition, but to replace it with the future that a depressingly high number of these state educated children have to look forward to.
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