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Over at British Politics, there is another example of local government officials demonstrating that they know best, in that officious Big Brother Britain manner that is unique to local and national government. Councillors have decided to ban any foster parents that smoke, from 2012. This takes no account of whether or not these ’smokers’ do so in front of the children or, for example, away from the children. British Politics says;

I am a smoker, so I put my hands up, although I am not a foster parent, but I most certainly do take my hat off to those that do provide this care. I choose, as do many of my friends that smoke, not to do so in the house or car. That is my choice, come rain, sun or snow, I smoke outside. As a consequence, according to Redbridge Council’s criteria, I would not be able to foster a child, even if I fulfilled all of the other criteria, how logical is that?

Surely the local authorities primary responsibility is to find the best foster parents. To ban people, simply because they smoke, seems illogical. They could, for example, have just requested that smokers refrain from smoking in front of the children. In other words, a consensual approach, that treats the foster carers as adults, not pariahs.

British Politics went on to echo, what may well be the thoughts going through the minds of other bystanders;

I have often wondered what motivates someone to become a councillor, they are paid allowances, but receive no salary. But because Redbridge Council believe in discrimination, I feel certain they will not be able to object to me claiming that they are all ego-driven, control freaks, that have nothing better to do in their lives other than to interfere in the lives and well-being of others, just because they can. Sorry, if this offends the councillors that did not vote for this initiative, but I am following the lead of the ‘other’ Redbridge Councillors and insisting that everyone should be tarred with the same brush.

I for one sympathise with his position on this matter. I also know of many people that do not smoke in front of their children, wherever they are, at home, in the car etc. This is a conscious decision and they do this in consideration of the children. No-one denies that passive smoking is a risk to health and unpleasant for those that do not smoke, but to smoking foster parents in this manner seems a little over the top, to ban otherwise perfect foster parents is completely unacceptable and only government officials would have the audacity and the ability to get away with it. There are estimated to be 9m smokers in this country, if any other ‘minority’ group was treated in this way, there would be outrage. You can read the whole posting here: Ban on smoking foster carers by Redbridge Councillors.

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