We know that when the state intervenes to improve our behaviour that there are consequences no-one had thought of. Take the smoking ban — the BBC made dire predictions that it would possibly increase the number of people who smoke; adversely affect global warming through the installation of patio heaters to comfort puffing pub-goers (which has come to pass); inflict more passive smoking on children as more parents smoked at home; and other unthought of downsides.
But if their was an undoubted upside to the ban as it was sold to us by HMG it was that smoke-free pubs and clubs would be fresher, brighter, cleaner places in which to spend a pleasant, tobaccoless evening. Sadly the reality is somewhat different:
The disappearance of cigarette smoke has left many drinkers at many popular nightspots having to put up with the smell of beer and body odours.
This unintended consequence has been confirmed by Miss P who was on the town last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. One of the things she reckons cigarette smoke had masked all this time was the smell of blokes farting. She is now convinced that men spend most of their waking (and sleeping) moments breaking wind, and if you read Jeremy Clarkson regularly, she could well be right.