No Smoking Provokes Ire

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Having parked himself in a place previously occupied by a disabled person, Andrew Stone ('The Drag Factor', December SR) proceeds to use the back page to demand special lanes on the pavement for 'slow pedestrians'.

Just as most victims of smoking are working class, so most 'slow pedestrians' are sick, disabled or, above all, just old. Perhaps Andrew knows the poem by Enoch Powell that starts 'I hate the old, the sick, the lame' (or something like that; I don't keep Powell's verse to hand). Powell was minister of health when he wrote it.

If Andrew blamed blacks, gays, Muslims, women or Jews for clogging up the pavements, his career as a columnist would be limited. But ageism is the last resort of the bigot.

Andrew seems obsessed with speed (no ambiguity intended). When he leaves messages on my answerphone, they are always gabbled so quickly that someone like myself with mild hearing loss has to replay them six times over.

What's the hurry? Relax, Andy, have a fag.

Ian Birchall
Enfield