Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cosmo: stupid name, stupid guy

Cosmo Landesman in the Times has a very silly pop at smokers. There's not much of originality in there—mostly it's the usual bitching about butts and smells—but there are a couple of sentences worth pulling out.
I notice that right-wing critics of the nanny state never call for the legalisation of drugs on the grounds that adults should be free to choose to be addicts or not.

Er... I do. Indeed, I was at Exeter University last week, giving a speech advocating that very thing.
When it comes to choice, we demand to be left alone; but when our choice leads to cancer or liver failure we demand that the state — in the form of the NHS — takes care of us.

Er... I don't. I have private health insurance. It costs me about £51 per month for the very best cover that they could offer me. And, interestingly, Cosmo, the fact that I smoke does not affect my premiums.

Some years ago, I was researching what my National Insurance premiums cost versus what those same services would cost privately. Inevitably—and even at the lower wage that I was then earning—taking out private insurance for medical care and unemployment, and paying into a private pension cost far less than the NICs*.

However, when talking to the insurance rep—to whom I had given the background of my research—I got a quote (which was based, mainly, on my age) and asked whether the fact that I was a heavy smoker (a fact that I had to volunteer) made a difference to the premium.

The answer was that, no, it didn't: basically, because I was likely to die earlier—even if I needed treatment for a smoking related disease—such treatment was likely to be considerably cheaper than having to spend years in a nursing home. Oh, and the insurance companies also recognised that there was an inverse correlation between smoking and Alzheimer's (one of the most expensive diseases as far as insurance companies are concerned).

Just thought I'd share that with you...
But the idea that we are living in a Britain where personal freedoms are curtailed as never before seems bizarre. I never hear young people complain about the nanny state. Why? Because they’re all out of their heads on booze or stoned on weed and having a wonderful time.

Uh huh. Which is why such a high proportion of the Libertarian Party is made up of people under 30.

And being consistently sober is tedious and stressful. Which is why, when you ban various drugs, it doesn't stop people taking those drugs, or looking for legal alternatives—such as the hilariously named "meow meow".

So, tell you what, Cosmo: you fuckers let me opt out of the state healthcare system entirely—let me keep my NICs and stick with my private insurance—and I'll not be a burden on your precious NHS.

Except, of course, that isn't going to happen, is it? Because, for all your whining, National Insurance is a fucking Ponzi Scheme and it is actually my subs that are going to pay for your treatment.

So shut the fuck up.

* There are caveats that I'm sure A&E Charge Nurse will, no doubt, point out. However, my medical insurance premium could double and I would still be paying less for those three services privately than I am under NICs.


D-Rex said...

DK, hope you don't mind me adding a link here to my thought on smoking bans.


BTS said...

DK, I can't help but feel that you managed to rip off the comments that I left in response to that gimp's bilge.

Except for the fact that mine didn't appear to make it past moderation for some reason..

Surely even the Times must appreciate that if they're going to publish such drivel by someone called 'Cosmo' then they have to expect that someone else is extremely likely to call that columnist a prick..?

And I thought I was being rather polite.

No, fuck it, I was being downright complimentary..

Anon 00:32 said...


The Times never lets me post comments where I politely fisk the article.

Now I just have a rant knowing it'll never get posted but that some twat of a mod gets to read it.

The Filthy Smoker said...

I never hear young people complain about the nanny state. Why? Because they’re all out of their heads on booze or stoned on weed and having a wonderful time. routinely breaking laws which are so contemptible that they are barely even recognised as such. Thanks to the prohibitionists, a life of perpetual small-time criminality is the norm for millions.

Is this twat really suggesting that people who buy and consume illegal drugs are in favour of a nanny state which would happily imprison them?

Thank God this kind of shit will soon be behind a paywall.

no longer anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
no longer anonymous said...

When doing my GCSEs back in 2000 I had to comment on an article by Cosmo. I can't remember what it was about but I remember it was from the Guardian and that I thought he was talking bollocks.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

I read this and it wound me up, too. I feel less compelled to rant about him now at my place after seeing you've done one... might do anyway though.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Well, if the RCP has its way and government bans smoking in all cars and parks, I'll be in the same boat as the young he talks about ... breaking the law on a daily basis.

Perhaps then he'll say how cool we are.


Martin said...

Young people don't campaign against the nanny state, huh?

So that training weekend for Students for a Sensible Drug Policy in Manchester I went do didn't happen, did it?


This man is a cunt.

Rob said...

"even if I needed treatment for a smoking related disease—such treatment was likely to be considerably cheaper than having to spend years in a nursing home"

Ah, yes. I remember having an argument with a particulary stroppy hag of a nurse who was having a go at me for attending A&E for a precautionary X-Ray after getting knocked-out playing cricket. She said I was waisting their time by "playing boys games"; my response was that I was fit and healthy and that the cost of the (pitiful and grudging) treatment I was getting was a tiny fraction of what I would need in 30 years time if I was a fat loafer (like her, I didn't add).

NHS staff - in my experience, mostly a bunch of miserable sanctimonious c*nts, with the odd rare gem in the mix.