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Tuesday 24 April 2012

Warning signs

do not enter

This post is all about plain packaging of cigarettes. So if you are affiliated with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), you know where the exit is.

ASH are pressurising the government to bring in legislation forcing cigarette manufacturers to package their perfectly legal product in a plain box. There will be a standard font for the brand name, and the package is expected to be an olive green. The only thing that will be in glorious Technicolor will be gory graphics of blackened lungs (Wait a mo while I just take a peak at a packet to find what else), hideous growths, etc.

How many smokers actually even register these pictures? I certainly don’t. Part of the reason being is that in this day and age we are bombarded with a plethora of warning signs. We are suffering from Warning Sign Overload SyndromeTM  in this present day.

A case to prove my point is what you find on a ship’s machinery space entry door. The list below contains some that you will see. There are so many, that your brain doesn’t really register any of them. 

Wear Ear defenders.

Authorised personnel only.

Machinery may start without warning.

Danger high voltage.

Hard hats to be worn.

Do not open this door in event of fire.

No smoking.

Safety boots to be worn.

Inflammable liquids

Freon gas.

No sex please, we’re British.

(OK I made the last one up).

My point is, we are becoming immune to warning signs (Well I am). All it needs on an engine room door is one sign.

This is a dangerous area, take care. 

The same with graphic images on cigarette packages. They just don’t register with me. I just open the packet without a glance.

ASH. You may re-enter.

A reader writes……

To her water supplier.

An open letter to Anglian Water

Anglian Water
Customer Services
PO Box 10642
CM20 9HA

Dear Sir,
A neighbour has just told me that there is a hosepipe ban in force, with threats of £1,000 fines. As I don't take a newspaper, rarely watch television or listen to the radio, and have little interest in current affairs, this came as something of a surprise. Perhaps you would be kind enough to answer the following questions ...

(a) Is it true?

(b) If it is true, when were you going to have to courtesy to inform your customers?

(c) By what right do you tell me how I can use the water I pay you for?

I can think of no other commodity that comes with conditions imposed by the supplier, let alone threats of fines. For instance, if I buy a new computer, PCWorld doesn't tell me which ISP to use or place limits on the websites I visit. When I bought a secondhand car last year, the Ford dealer made no demands on my driving habits and did not tell me how far to drive or how fast.

What's so special about water? I presume that as I have a water meter and therefore pay for every drop I use, once the water enters my property it belongs to me and I can use it as I see fit. If, on the other hand, it remains your property, you are just lending it to me, and you continue to exercise control over it, why am I paying so much?

(d) If you find yourself with a shortage through your own failure to plan ahead and conserve stocks or take measures to obtain fresh supplies from elsewhere, why should I suffer? The energy companies aren't too popular at the moment, but at least they're constantly on the lookout for new oil wells or new countries to buy oil from. What have you done to try and find new sources of water? Have you even talked to the Scots yet, because they've got loads of the stuff?

It's a fairly simple task we all have, isn't it? I do my job conscientiously and thoroughly, so why can't you do the same?

And please don't tell me how hard you've been trying to stem the colossal wastage for which you are responsible. If it had worked, you'd deserve credit for it. But it hasn't, has it?

Yours faithfully,
R.E.Cluse (Mrs.)