Bottling Up Personal Choices; Filling the Damn Plastic Bottle Up with Free Rainwater Is My Own Personal {Lsquo}up Yours' to the Bottled Water Industry

Article excerpt

SUFFERING as I have been this week from a new medical condition called MJTF (Michael Jackson Tribute Fatigue), in an effort to distract myself I turned my attention to the latest attack on personal freedom by the do-gooding crowd, namely the ban on the drinking of bottled water by a hitherto unknown NSW backwater called Bundanoon.

Astute media-watchers will have noted this dull-sounding community - evidently named after the noise trains make as they pass through at high speed due to there being no reason to stop - has big-noted itself by being the first town in the country and possibly the world to outlaw this horrific practice.

All right, so Bundanoon has finally put itself on the map, I thought to myself. It may of course be a quietly clever ploy by the local tourism authority to achieve this - and if so this body has my grudging respect - but I doubt there's anything more behind it than the usual self-righteous howlings of a bunch of modern-day Spanish Inquisitors who want to put the heat on the rest of us for whatever offends their misguided and hypocritical sensibilities.

What we're faced with yet again, thanks to the witch-hunters of Bundanoon, is the extent to which some folk feel that their own personal distaste towards a particular activity - as undesirable as it may be - entitles them to demand that the personal freedom of others should be curtailed. The question is, where will it all end?

The obvious parallel is the banning of smoking in public. I am an ex-smoker myself of three years now and while I disdain the habit (apart from the odd occasion after consuming a large quantity of red wine when I may need to be physically restrained from lighting up if someone nearby does so) I would never dream of insisting others should be forced to desist. …