Is there no end to the lambasting of smokers?
If Rob Rattenbury was as vocal about the damage caused by alcohol as he is denigrating and attempting to belittle smokers and tobacco production I think
I'd attach more credence to his views as expressed in Monday's Chronicle.
He claims that the "arrogance is ... simply overwhelming", presumably applied to proponents of smoking, and suggests workers and poor people have the "need to be rescued from the drudgery of blighted lives by substance abuse".
I question not only where the arrogance actually lies, but also the rather patronising ignorance of such a viewpoint.
I have previously made my views very clear about the hypocrisy of the draconian measures taken against smoking and the far lesser attention that the issue of alcohol consumption receives.
It is far more damaging to others, on roads, in domestic violence, with regard to foetuses, children's welfare and in the economic cost to our country.
I reiterate my view that largely all the constant tobacco price hikes are achieving is to make struggling lives more difficult.
Also that trying to enforce abstinence by attempting to take away the responsibility for the free choice to smoke or not is not the way to go.
It's a basic freedom relating to a personal free choice.
There seems to be no end to the lambasting of smokers and smoking as a convenient scapegoat, I would suggest, and as a distraction from addressing the less palatable and actually real issues that often don't receive the same animated and effective attention.
On behalf of all the contractors involved with the Sarjeant project I have to take Gaye Batty to task over her comments in today's (Chronicle, October 5).
She tells us that the contingency fund held in reserve to cover possible unexpected costs will never be revealed because of possible contractors using that knowledge to inflate their prices when an unplanned event occurs.
To quote her, "the value of the contingency cannot ever be published - doing so would give the contractor an advantage and could drive up the price of unforeseen variation items paid from the contingency fund".
This indicates to me that she has no faith in the contractors engaged in the project. If this is the case, they should not have been engaged in the first place.
Perhaps Gaye Batty should choose her words with greater care in future.