The Tories ban on laughter is really not funny.

In an effort to curb ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’, the Tories are banning possession of Nitrous Oxide, AKA Laughing Gas.

That’s right, the Tories are actually banning laughter.

Anti-Social Behaviour is defined as ‘behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person.’ The effects of Nitrous Oxide are ‘rapid but short-lived feelings of euphoria, relaxation, calmness, and sense of detachment.’ So basically, people get the giggles. I can see it being annoying, but it’s a far cry from anti-social.

I can think of some behaviours that would fit the definition of Anti-Social. Allowing energy prices to spiral out of control has certainly caused significant distress to many. It was distressing to find out our Prime Minister was partying while people were dying alone, their families unable to visit them due to government covid restrictions, I’d call that Anti Social Behaviour.

The plummeting pound alarmed many last Autumn. The reduced value of the pound was made even worse by the fact that stagnant wages mean we have even fewer pounds to spend. The Cost-of-Living crisis is alarming. The crumbling NHS is alarming. The Government refusal to negotiate with unions; the fact that our Prime Minister is in power, not by the will of the people, but by the will of 200 Tory MPs; the fact that we’re more than a year away from an election, coupled with the government restrictions on protests means any dissenting voices are effectively gagged. The Conservative Government are alarming the hell out of the populace with their actions, and their callous indifference. Like Lee Anderson (30p Lee) telling people they can eat well for 30p per meal (Do-able, but only if you remove all flavour, protein and nutritional value). Like Therese Coffey (who has clearly not missed many meals) telling people to eat turnips if they can’t get tomatoes. Like almost everything Jacob Rees-Mogg says.

And as for Harassment… Boy, Howdy, where to start. The Tories are harassing migrants all the way to Rwanda. They are harassing Trans people, first by outlawing conversion therapy for everyone EXCEPT Trans, then by blocking passage of the Scottish Gender Recognition Act. They allow and tacitly condone the harassment and assault of women by police officers, doing little punish or expel the offending officers.

Our Tory Government of the last twelve years has overseen the biggest fall in living standards since records began, all the while enriching themselves and their patrons, securing cushy jobs for themselves when they are forcibly ejected from power, whether by election or less peaceful means.

Young people today are unlikely to ever own a home, are saddled with student debt, have ever diminishing job prospects, and will be significantly worse off than their parents or grandparents, on a planet that is entering it’s death throes. Is it any wonder they are seeking ¬†euphoria, relaxation, calmness, and sense of detachment through chemical means? It must be hard to find in the real world.

I get that the Government wants to be seen to be doing …. Something. Anything really. But it seems cruel to take this small, short term pleasure away when there are so many other things they should be doing. Perhaps address the problems that prevent people from achieving euphoria, relaxation or calmness naturally.

Sidenote: I saw the headline where Michael Gove announced the ban on Nitrous Oxide. The next headline had Michael Gove declaring Boris Johnson a ‘Man of Integrity.’ I think the drug they should ban is whatever Hallucinogen Michael Gove is on.

If you enjoyed this rant, you can check out my previous work; So That Happened by Sheila Power. available from Amazon in digital and paperback. 

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