(DK is away)
As has been widely reported, the jokers at Liverpool City Council are proposing to ban under-18s from watching films that depict people smoking, in case it warps their fragile little minds.
The logic underpinning this proposal is that if it is illegal to do something, it should be illegal to see it. The implications of such thinking scarcely need underlining. If you really can't see a massive slippery slope here, then you should know that the 'evidence' required to extend this policy to drinking is already waiting in the wings:
Rutger Engels, professor in developmental psychopathology at the Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), said: "This is the first experimental study to show a direct effect of exposure to alcohol portrayals on TV on viewers' immediate drinking behaviour."
"If other research confirms the findings of this study, then there will be implications for policy..."
"Implications of these findings may be that, if moderation of alcohol consumption in certain groups is strived for, it may be sensible to cut down on the portrayal of alcohol in programmes aimed at these groups and the commercials shown in between."
Leg-iron has done a fine job of examining the book-burning mentality of the Righteous in the once proud city of Liverpool. I will only add that the City Council has put its public consultation online. Why not pop over there and tell them to get a grip?
On an only slightly different topic, if you want to see what a pub will look like when the puritans are in total control, check this out.