Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Mosquito Madness

In my June 11 post, Puff of Hot Air, I commented on patio heaters, and how pubs were installing them by the thousand as an ingenious way for their customers to sidestep the new anti-smoking legislation.

Unfortunately, it emerged that patio heaters were (allegedly) really bad for the environment, and, in unwittingly causing so many of them to be installed, the Health Fascists had inflicted major collateral damage on the Holy Grail of reduced CO2 emissions so coveted by their fellow tub-thumpers, the Environmental Zealots. I predicted that this conflict of ideals would stimulate a dirty fight between these groups of obsessives, and it seems I was not mistaken.

Since then, the environmental hazards allegedly associated with patio heaters have been covered in various newspapers on several occasions - the Daily Mail's "Save the world - ban the patio heaters" is a typical example, but there have been many others along the same nauseating lines. The Energy Saving Trust, Friends of the Earth and other assorted tree hugging nitwits are whipping themselves up into a frenzy of self-righteous indignation, but, I suspect, nobody else is even remotely interested.

Which probably explains this highly entertaining article in the Metro, and a shorter piece along the same lines in The Publican. It seems that patio heaters attract mosquitoes. Which, in the UK at least, don't carry Malaria, and haven't since the 1800s. But they might do so again one day. So now you know.

Pathetic, isn't it? Having totally failed to raise a storm - or even a shower - of genuine public protest over the increasing use of patio heaters, the Environmental Zealots are now trying to instill fear of disease into the public, and fear of liability and prospective litigation into publicans.

Do they think we were born yesterday? Well, maybe. But it seems more likely to me that this is a tactic born of the desperate realisation that nobody gives a damn about their latest pet hate. Of course, that won't stop them from trying - they wouldn't be Environmental Zealots if the knowledge that everyone else thinks they're pillocks had any impact upon them.

Still, if a plague of mosquitoes does indeed descend upon the beleaguered British smoker, the smoking ban - that has already cost one man his life - is likely to become even more unpopular. How will the Health Fascists react? Watch this space... :-)

Billy Seggars.

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