Friday, February 15, 2008

Smoking license

If you want to smoke in the UK, you might have to purchase a yearly license and display it when you buy cigarettes. This is being planned as a part of the government's fight against smoking.

This is not very surprising in a country where you need to pay the government for almost everything you do. I suspect they give it different names just to ensure that you don't wise up to their tricks.

There's the driving permit, the TV license (for every TV you own and you have to pay more if it's a colour TV), council tax (to be allowed to live in the council area and to have your trash picked up every week), parking permit (if you are one of the majority who do not have a garage and have to park your car in the road), congestion charge (to drive your vehicle into London. You pay 3 times equivalent if you happen to own a bigger car or a gas guzzler), marriage license, pet license (you have to pay a fine if your dog poops on the road and you don't clean it up) – those are some I can think of. I am sure there are more in that list.

So who obeys all these rules? Everyone. Every Smith, Oliver and Molly. The secret lies in the nature of the English. They obey all rules. You just have to tell them about the rule. And then watch the money flowing into the bank.

July 07 saw the entire UK pledging to be smoke free. From 1st July 07 you were not allowed to smoke in any closed public places - including restaurants and pubs. You might imagine that such a rule would take months to enforce and there would be public uproars and protests against it. No such thing. They were told to stop smoking from July 1st and they just stopped. All you have to do is to tell them.

It's definitely something in their genes.


Shanks_P said...

How stupid rules can be a good quesiton and if there is a competition for that, West will beat east by far .....
Another soul ruptured by rules in US .....
All i feel now is INDIA Rules :)

Rinchen said...

You know, I'm getting to know more and more about UK mainly through your blog. While I dont necessarily agree with all the rules (dog poop picking mainly) still, I understand its all an effort for the betterment of the country.

In the meantime, I have to agree with the above said line: India DOES rule!

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hi shanks,
I would like to differ and say that these rules actually makes life much easier here. Though your pocket might have big holes in it :)

I knew you wouldn't like the pick-up-your-dog-poop rule :)
I personally witnessed a lady running behind her poodle with napkins in her hand to clean up the evidence.
Maybe later, we can see dogs walking around with diapers on them :)

Rinchen said...

Dog diapers!!! Now thats a goldmine. I would be the first to invest in it given that I had to spend a year cleaning up dog poop at my place ;)

Ms.N said...

lovely - while rules are a pain at first, u are right, they make hell a lot of a difference.

and India could definitely do with some "rule obeying" crowd!!!

ps: as for the dog poop bit, it seems to sound ridiculous at first. But its definitely better than having owners who seem to think the roads are their dogs play field!

Girl With Big Eyes said...

I will consider a doggy diaper business when I get bored of surfing all day at work :P

Ms. N
Yup, don't mind paying a little bit more for a comfortable life and cleaner surroundings.

themidnightspecial said...

Your post reminded me of the Matrix somehow.

My jaw dropped with each line I read. Not been on a long trip to London in over six years, and just wondering... well.

We live lawless in India in comparison, and I guess after reading this, thankfully so.


themidnightspecial said...

You know my jaw dropped with each word I read... My last long trip to the UK was 7 years back, and things have changed, well quite a bit (one desont get to know about TV tax, and much less marriage tax in 3 months).

Anyway, we live lawless, pretty much in comparison, in India, but somehow I don't mind it so much.

This post reminded me of the Matrix :)

Girl With Big Eyes said...

7 years is a pretty long time, but I am surprised that you were surprised as my belief was that these 'rules' were in place in UK since forever! Maybe you did abide by the rules, but didn't know about them. Or maybe you were like the previous resident of my flat, who apparently, hadn't paid his TV license (maybe he didn't know about it) and keeps getting court notices every once in a while threatening to but him behind bars :)

I wouldn't say we live lawless in India - it's just that we don't really care about the law and people know more about ways to get around the law than how to abide by it. And the learnings are passed by from generation to generation! :)