I had a bit of a barny today with a district nurse today. Readers will remember that herself has MS and, at the moment, has some problems which require visits from the district nurse to change dressings. The lady who came today was new to the local district nurse group and was, indeed, not just a nurse, but a Sister (I wonder if there is a male equivalent of a Sister?) She didn’t know anything about the case and didn’t have time to read the notes, so she asked me what needed to be done. Fair enough – the needs were simply to change the dressings.
Herself had drifted down the bed somewhat and needed to be pulled up towards the bed-head. I did what I always do, which is what we call a ‘snatch-back’. Needless to say, no actual ‘snatching’ is involved. The process involves lowering the raise top part of the mattress so that it is flat, raising the knee area to elevate the lower limbs and then rather gently dragging her up the bed. It is very easy and little force is required.
The Sister said that she did not like me doing it because it was possible that I could dislocate B’s shoulder. I told that that was the way that I had always done it, but she insisted that she thought that it was “a bit dangerous”.
OK ….. Let it go ….. She’s just passing through …..
For various reasons, we put a puppy-pad under herself in bed. We have been doing so for ages and ages.
But she didn’t like that either. She said that it stopped the mattress from working properly (the mattress is one of those computer controlled air-mattresses which constantly change the pressure on different parts of the patient’s body). Now …. I know for a fact that what she was saying is rubbish, both because the nurses themselves suggested puppy-pad and help to put the puppy-pads underneath her, and because they have their own similar pads but puppy-pads work better, and because I have researched these mattresses on the net.
After she had changed the dressings, I said that we usually put a clean puppy-pad underneath herself, but she said that she would rather not.
OK …… The red mist was beginning to well-up, but I held myself in check, thinking that I would put a puppy-pad in place later on. She then proceeded to show me how best to move herself up the bed. She gripped the sheet on one side of the bed and I gripped it on the other side. Together, we lifted and moved the body up the bed. She was very pleased with herself, but the red mist was getting denser by the second. So I asked her who would help me to use the sheet-shifting method. “Oh, it will need two people”, she said. And so I replied, “And will you be coming round every time I need to do it?” Needless to say, she did not give an answer to that question.
The red mist took over somewhat. “I think that you are very bossy”, I said, “We do not have an inexhaustible supply of clean sheets. The puppy-pads are necessary to keep the bottom sheet clean. Also, I pull her back as I do, several times a day. I cannot wait and wait for someone else to arrive to help me. You’ve walked into my house for the first time and immediately started bossing me about. I do not like it. I need your name because I intend to complain”.
Thankfully, she back-tracked immediately. We rolled herself over and inserted a puppy-pad. We had a little chat and parted on good terms. She said that she had been a Sister for 23 years. “That is why you are so bossy!”, I said, jocularly.
This isn’t the first time that I have had a barny with a ‘Sister’. ‘Bossiness’ seems to be a trait, and they have no qualms about lying if that seems to be the easiest way to get what they want. It was this repetition of the barny which set me to think about the use of authority in such situations.
In industry, the boss has authority and what he says goes, but, even so, he would normally want to persuade rather than force. I asked myself ‘in what circumstances do orders become the normal way of getting things done’? Clearly, the military is such a case. I cast about in my mind for other examples, and it came to mind that monopolies are likely to have such militaristic tendencies, since they can get bigger and bigger without any competition, and they tend to be the only employers in that field (otherwise, they would not be monopolies).
What else is the NHS other than a monopoly? Yes, there are private medical establishments, but every taxpayer is obliged to pay for the NHS whether they want to or not. So, if you choose to go private, you do so at an additional expense. For the vast majority of people, the NHS is the only resource, and so, for them, the NHS is a monopoly. And so we can see how these ‘Sisters’ become so bossy. There are no ‘commercial imperatives’, like being nice to your customers, or telling the truth. There are no ‘contracts’ to be signed. the ‘bossy’ people get paid anyway, regardless of their overbearing attitudes. But is that also not a recipe for massive waste? Take the ‘Sister’s’ demand that puppy-pads should not be used. In that case, the bottom sheet on the bed would need to be changed daily, if not more often. How much would it cost to have such sheets washed, washed and washed again? How big would your stock of sheets need to be?
But is not Government itself a huge monopoly? ‘Privatising’ bits of the supply chain might be good, but not if that supply chain itself becomes monopolistic and open to bribery and corruption. In fact, the ‘Expenses Scandal’ showed that such corruption is endemic.
But the corruption is not just related to finance. As I have shown above, there arises a militaristic ‘bossiness’. Since the ‘customers’ have no alternative, you can tell them what to do. They must obey if they want the goods/services. Tobacco Control is a monopoly Industry. It got monopolistic Governments to enact monopolistic laws which silenced any substantive opposition (via the FCTC). Opposition from tobacco companies to this monopolistic control was labelled ‘unethical and profit-motivated lobbying’ and was banned. But the reality is that smokers, in their billions, were abandoned to rot. Not that tobacco companies gave a shit about their customers. That must be the biggest ‘faut pas’ in history.
And then there is this court judgement in the USA, which arrived at the conclusion that a 36 year-old got lung cancer because he smoked and that it was the fault of a tobacco company that he did so, and that the company was liable to massive fines in billions of dollars for those reasons. FACTS were clearly irrelevant in that case. Even the Tobacco Control Industry has not claimed that 36 year-olds are likely to get LC because of smoking. But, unlike our system of civil cases, the USA has a jury system to decide what is true and what is not. Thus, a collection of 12 individuals can decide, against all previous experience and knowledge, that a particular person got LC from smoking and nothing else, at an age where there is no evidence whatsoever of ’cause and effect’. This case shows the stupidity of having a jury to decide in such cases, and nothing else. It is possible for that person to have developed LC from smoking, but it is extremely unlikely. But the stupidity is even more evident if the USA Government itself were involved. The judgement awards a few million dollars to the complainant, but hit the tobacco company with billions of dollars in ‘punitive fines’. Suppose that it was the USA Government which was at fault? Would the punitive fines be in billions of billions of dollars? And to whom would the fines be paid, and who would pay the fines?
There again we have a monopolistic system. ‘Justice’ is itself a monopoly. By and large, it works very well, but that is only because of ‘the rules’ – of evidence, for example. But what happens when a jury finds a person ‘guilty’ when even the Judge’s summing-up says that the evidence is insufficient, or even that it proves the innocence of that person? “WE THINK THAT HE DONE IT, MI’LUD”. Cat among pigeons.
I have a driving principle in my thinking, which is that “crimes” are specific, but “wrongs and harms” are not. Thus, civil cases revolve around ‘the balance of probabilities’, whereas criminal case use ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
Finally, as regards the USA system of having juries in civil cases, it is really the Judge’s job to tell the jury what decisions of FACT they can make. It is at this point where cases like the McTear Case become important, even though the McTear Case occurred outside USA jurisdiction. The Judge should have told the jury, unless the circumstances of the case were unusual, that it could not find the defendant guilty just on the basis of emotion.
But there is an added twist. It is not sufficient and acceptable, for such a jury to find a defendant simply guilty or not guilty. The jury must give legal reasons for the decision, otherwise, the decision is just a lottery. “All in favour of hammering tobacco companies?” 10. “All against?” 2. “Motion carried”. “Guilty, Your Honour, and so say all of us” Thus, a jury must have ‘legal advice’ as to what it can decide. On the face of it, the USA system is very, very democratic, but the reality is that it is both fascist and totalitarian, since it depends upon propaganda. Given the correct statistics, no jury with an independent mind would allow that a 36 year-old person could get LC via smoking, without actual physical proof.
And so tobacco companies will appeal, at no cost to their accusers, but at a cost to people who enjoy tobacco. Further, one way or another, the costs will eventually hit non-smokers just as hard. Why? Because all costs are passed down. The Zealots in local authorities of any kind are paid from ALL the contributions of taxpayers, including non-smokers. Non-smokers are paying more in taxes than they should be to finance the War on Tobacco. And they are financing the smugglers because their tax monies are being wasted on vastly expensive experiments.
But only Government has the power to call a halt. We saw yesterday how a Minister, having been chucked out, spoke his mind and condemned the Climate Control lobby. I am amazed that the Health Secretary has not done likewise, even though he is invisible. He is a multi-millionaire, and so should not be influenced by the routine corruption in Zealot controlled MPs. What is the use of being a multimillionaire if you are a coward?
The horror scenario is that these gangs of MPs do not give a shit about anything at all. When civil war erupts, they will scarper. Civil War already exists, without big weapons – a bread-knife will do. The BBC glosses over these things as though they do not exist. If these situations did not exist, why would it be necessary to introduce laws to ‘protect’ children? I admit that the above is a mess of ‘non-sequiturs’.
Finally, the Civil War will not be physical, apart from the odd airliner being destroyed. It will be because a person, somewhere, will demand that this employer stops deducting income tax, and takes the matter to court. Interesting things start to happen in that case, especially as concerns immigrants.
It is easy to point to recent disagreements among The Holy’, but the question that arises is whether or not these disagreements have any effect on politicians, since they, and only they, have the power to persecute smokers and vapers.
I found it quite cheering to read the following via ‘The View From Cullingworth‘:
I soon realised that the greens and their industrial and bureaucratic allies are used to getting things their own way. I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland. My home address was circulated worldwide with an incitement to trash it; I was burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from an operation to save my eyesight. But I did not set out to be popular with lobbyists and I never forgot that they were not the people I was elected to serve.
Indeed, I am proud that my departure was greeted with such gloating by spokespeople for the Green Party and Friends of the Earth.
It was not my job to do the bidding of two organisations that are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups most of whose leaders could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary. I saw my task as improving both the environment and the rural economy; many in the green movement believed in neither.
That is a statement from the out-going Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson.
When such a former Minister voices his antipathy to special interest groups regarding the environment, it ought not to be long before a Health Minister voices his antipathy to health zealots. But the weird thing is that Paterson had to wait until he was out of office to make his statement. Why is that? Why did he not say, shortly after taking up the position, “I will not be influenced by special interest groups”?
But there is a difference between environment and health. ‘Environment’ is something that people might mull over theoretically, whereas ‘Health’ affects them directly and personally. Except that, for the most part, the ‘war on smokers’ does not affect them personally – they have been traumatised into believing that it is so. That makes it far more difficult for a Health Minister, or even an ex-health-minister, to speak out.
But the problem is very, very deep. Decades of propaganda underpin the IPCC in the UN – and lots and lots of money. As a first step to de-bagging the Environment Lobby (‘the green blob’), the simple answer is to stop handing them our money. A lot of small nations have not paid a penny of their ‘dues’ to the FCTC organisation, but the amounts are small. States like the UK, Japan, Germany, etc, underpin the TCTC gang by continuing to fund it. Admittedly, the contributions are small (in the region of a mere half a million pounds each), but these direct contributions enable vastly more knock-on costs. This is a weird variation of normality, since costs generally tend to diminish as they spread out. That is not the case regarding climate control and tobacco control. The costs increase exponentially.
Why is that so? The reason is that the primary costs (contributions to the FCTC gang) are dispensed to ‘experts’ in fund raising. For example:
a) UK provides FCTC with £300,000.
b) FCTC funds NGOs which demand funding.
c) UK gives funds to NGOs.
d) NGOs create new NGOs.
e) New NGOs demand funding.
f) New NGOs are in universities, which demand more funding for ‘studies’.
g) Studies are not quite sufficient, and so more studies are required by the universities.
h) Universities demand more funding for studies.
And so on.
What is the solution? Is it not obvious? STOP FUNDING THE FCTC!!!
We seem to have a ‘democratic deficit’. I know that that phrase is pretty meaningless, but it does suggest some curious effects. To me, it suggests ‘bread and circuses’. It suggests to me that, as long as the vast majority of citizens are content with their menial lives, and are permitted to amuse themselves in ways that are ‘approved’, then the ‘elite’ can enrich themselves with impunity. Having said that, it really does not matter how filthy rich the filthy rich are, provided that the people generally are not excluded from the beneficence of modern, industrial advantages.
A friend of mine (sadly deceased now), who spent many years in America and Canada, told me that: “Anyone in employment in the USA is well-paid”. Whether or not that is true, I do not know, but it sounds about right, in the majority of cases. But it might have been a reflection of the American dynamic – people will move from one job to another at the drop of a hat. That has not always been the case in the UK since we have always placed a premium on ‘loyalty’.
It is a sad reflection on modern life that ‘loyalty’ no longer means any more that ‘bread and circuses’, in the form of loyalty to football clubs and such. Despite our individual and regional differences (I speak to some extent about Scottish devolution), we used to be a Nation. That Nation was “Britain” and “British”.
It is getting late. The title of this post is “Disarray in the Tobacco Control Industry”. Even the most violently anti-tobacco-industry are becoming aware that there is a difference between anti-tobacco-industry and anti-tobacco-harm. That is, people like Glantz are becoming ‘pillars of salt’ (being toxic entities). You might like to look at this:
‘People who Enjoy Tobacco’ need to divorce themselves from ‘statute laws’ created by vicious tyrants. The statute laws cannot and dare not mess about with our rights to be self-sufficient.
When looked at from the perspective of individuals who enjoy tobacco, nothing matters other than persecution.
A short post tonight and nothing to do with smoking.
It occurs from time to time that ‘the authorities’ cock-up, and, as a result, you are inconvenienced, and in a way that costs you financially. Just such an event occurred to me yesterday.
Herself is ‘seriously disabled’ by multiple sclerosis. [Thankfully, her type of MS is a slow deterioration, and she seems to have plateaued. The biggest problem is that she cannot use her legs at all] Because of this, she is entitled to certain travel benefits. In her case, travel vouchers are the most useful. She is entitled to £120 worth of vouchers for £30 – no big deal, but well, it is a matter of fact that transport is expensive when you cannot use you legs. For example, it cost us £30 for a round trip to the dentist’s for her earlier this year.
In typical local authority fashion, obtaining these travel vouchers is as complicated as getting a passport. You have to be ‘a member’ of the ‘scheme’. You get a plastic card like a credit card, except that the card has an additional requirement of a photograph.
In February, we received a letter from Manchester Transport, or the Local Authority, or some combination of the two, telling us that her membership of the scheme expired on 31st March. Now, I am very good at reading such documents and understanding them, but this letter was odd. It only made sense if the renewal of her membership would be automatic unless her circumstances had changed. But, I must admit, that I have seen this sort of confusion in local authority documents before, and I really ought to have phoned a clarified the position. But ….. Well ….. What is more reasonable than to expect that the local authority knows what it is doing?
In early April, I phoned to get some travel vouchers. “Oh Dear,”, came the response, “Her membership has expired. We wrote to you about it etc”
“Well, Yes” said I, “But your letter said that she need do nothing (like sending proof of her condition) UNLESS she was a new applicant. There was no application form as such enclosed. I still have the letter.” “Oh …. Well, what we can do is send the letter again”.
There being no immediate need, I said OK. A few days later, a letter was received. Again, no application form was enclosed, so I phoned again. “Oh, sorry – we’ll send it to you” So we got the application form, which was almost as nonsensical as the original letter (“WE DO NOT NEED A LETTER FROM YOUR DOCTOR OR PROOF OF YOUR DISABILITY AS YET ……. but a statement of entitlement to x, y or z benefit will be required”) Erm …. What are the ‘statements’ of entitlement to x, y or z benefits other than proof of the disability? In other words, they said, “We do not need proof of your disability but we need proof of your disability”.
So I filled in the nonsensical form and sent in ‘proof of entitlement’ (with a few logical comments) and, after about ten days, got a new membership card.
So, about three weeks ago, I phone them to get the vouchers for this year, paying by debit card. I was told five to seven days. On 2nd July, my bank account was debited. I waited patiently. No signs of the vouchers. Sixteen days elapsed, and still no sign. So I phoned them again.
The young man that I spoke to told be that the vouchers were sent out on the 1st July. I told him that we had not received them, but I said that I would check again and phone back. So I thoroughly checked everything that we had received – no joy. Phoned back again and told the chap so.
“We will need your confirmation in writing before we can re-issue the vouchers”, he said.
I am sure that we are all familiar with ‘the red mist’. ‘The red mist’ is not really anger, although it is hard to stop it erupting into anger. I suppose that you could describe it as ‘cognitive dissonance’, if you wish. But it seems to me to be some sort of conflict between emotion and rationality. The guy said, “We need written confirmation…..” without emotional imput. But we, on the receiving end of the demand, have done nothing wrong. IE, we have done nothing which is emotionally ‘naughty’, nor have we ‘made a mistake’. The implication is that the local authority cannot possibly have done anything wrong. That is what brings on ‘the red mist’.
‘The Red Mist’ makes you shake with suppressed emotion. There is anxiety in there as well as conflict, and what makes things worse is that your ‘enemy’ seems to be inhuman. It seems to be a robot.
Often, it is a matter of luck whether or not you arrive at the right ‘form of words’ which can break down the edifice of roboticism. In this case, I managed to do so.
I gave ‘Tom’ (not his real name) an alternative – either send out the replacement vouchers TODAY, or refund my payment TODAY. That seems to have set the cat among the pigeons. His personal certainty of his position collapsed. He did not know what to say. I further increased the pressure by saying that, when he said that he COULD NOT replace the vouchers, what he actually meant was that he WOULD NOT replace them.
Anyway, I got to speak to his boss – and the answer was simple and satisfactory. She asked me to send her an email, which I did, and I received a reply half an hour later that the vouchers were on their way.
Of course, it is always possible that the vouchers will not arrive.
But there is another emotional extension, which is ‘feelings of guilt’.
After all the blather, and later on, I went for my usual Friday night beer. For some reason or other, a visualisation came into my mind. I remembered taking travel vouchers out of the envelope in which they came and checking them. I could not believe it. I even, vaguely, remembered putting them in the folder where I keep such things. I managed to restrain myself and enjoy the rest of the evening at the pub. When I got home, in fear and trepidation, I check the folder.
There were no vouchers in the folder. THANK GOD! It was not the possibility that I might have to eat humble pie (because I would certainly have emailed the boss and apologised), it was the possibility that I was becoming senile. I really mean it! Ordering the vouchers after all the trouble of the membership thing, waiting for them to arrive, receiving them and then absolutely totally forgetting that one had received them, and them creating ‘trouble’. That is senility, or nearly so. Well, I am 75. My memories of opening an envelope must have come from a previous occasion. There is nothing wrong with that because we do it all the time. We mix up the timescales (and the facts) of our memories.
‘Experts’ in Tobacco Control know all about human psychology. They know that our memories do not really have timescales. Our memories reproduce pictures, words and feelings. We have to deduce, using our ability to reason, to what times our memories refer. Thus, I remember a firework exploding in my pocket when I was a child. My memory includes my childish state, but not my age at the time. I have to deduce my age at the time by reference to other happenings around that time. Thus, we moved house when I was not less than 4 yro and not more than 9 yro. Therefore, the incident must have occurred between my age of 4 and 9, because we moved after the incident.
Even as adults, we tend to live ‘day by day’, even if we do plan ahead. I should imagine that very, very few of us plan our whole lives from beginning to end. But is that not precisely (and I mean ‘precisely’) what the Healthists demand?
Taking this idea to its reasonable limit, there is a generalisation which is true, which involves a simple ‘Yes/No’ – Does an individual person have the right to indulge in heroin or not? There can only be one answer, which is that he does have that right. If that means that he is gradually committing suicide, so be it – it is his decision. Does that mean that the NHS has to pick up the tab? Well ….Yes and No.
“Thou shall not kill.
Nor need thou strive,
to keep alive”
Dealing with ‘Authority’ requires clarity of thinking, perseverance and demands that they do whatever to correct the situation which they have created. Thus, in the simplest terms, the ‘Authorities’ MUST repeal the Smoking Ban, if only because it is based upon emotion and is irrational.
From the Daily Mail:
BBC bans use of electronic cigarettes from all of its offices and studios across the country.
BBC has enforced blanket ban on use of electronic cigarettes in its offices.
Corporation said ban comes after advice from British Medical Association.
Follows in footsteps of JCB and Standard Life which has also banned e-cigs.
Since the BBC has a perfect right to ban e-cigs on its premises, the only really interesting thing is the reason – “Corporation said ban comes after advice from British Medical Association.”
And what is the advice?
“But others claim that they are ‘renormalising’ smoking and actually encourage people, including teenagers, to take up tobacco.”
Despite the headline saying “Corporation said ban comes after advice from British Medical Association.”, there is no direct attribution to the BMA. But if that ban is dependent upon BMA ‘advice’, then it is reasonable to ask what right has the BBC to inflict the BMA’s opinion upon its employees? “You cannot use an e-cig in this office because the BMA say that you will encourage children to take up smoking”. That is about the sense of it.
It would have been far more honest of the BBC to say that it has no particular reason to ban e-cigs, and that it has done so only to be ‘politically correct’, in the sense that using an e-cig looks a bit like smoking, and that it dare not confront the Medical Establishment.
What can vapers do?
Employees can do nothing, but if sufficient numbers of vapers made it their business to enter BBC premises, in public areas, they could blow the whole thing apart. This in not the same thing as smokers smoking in such premises since smoking is banned by edict. This is just having moral courage.
But I doubt that there are sufficient numbers of vapers who are aware and have the time and inclination to contest these impositions and persecutions. But we must always remember that the BBC bosses have the perfect right to ban sneezing and farting if they wish to. I see no problem there.
Vapers hold the ‘high moral ground’. They have done what the Medical Establishment has insisted that they do – give up smoking. These Medics have now ‘moved the goalposts’ to deny vapers the little pleasures of a bit of nicotine and some flavours. Vapers must fight like mad to hold their ground.
The comments on the Mail article are amazing. The vituperation addressed at vapers is exactly the same as was addressed at smokers. “Disgusting, filthy, stinking”, “Hopeless addicts”, “Like kissing ashtrays”. “Sucking dummies”, etc. Pig-swill of that nature abounds. The sheer ignorance is astonishing – “Nicotine causes lung cancer”, etc.
But there were a couple of anomalies in the comments. One was this take:
“The MHRA has decided that e-cigs WILL be ‘medicines’ from 2016. What right has the BBC to stop people taking their ‘medicines’?” This is important since the MHRA has declared that it WILL regulate e-cigs as medicines from 2016.
All this nonsense started with the Smoking Ban. Be in no doubt. The Smoking Ban was always irrational. And I mean IRRATIONAL! That is because it attempted to ‘cure’ an extremely marginal potential for ‘disease’ among employees in places where people smoked, by banning the least likely cause of those diseases.
And so the hysteria continues…….
Simon Cooke, in his blog ” The View from Cullingworth“, has suggested that ‘Public Health, England’ should be scrapped. His reason is that it has issued advice about the ‘heatwave’:
Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm. Apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection. Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf. Drink lots of cool drinks.
“What heatwave?”, says Simon. (Temperatures were expected to reach 29ºC in places) How on earth do Spanish and Italian people survive? To say nothing of middle-Eastern countries.
It was that which prompted the title of this post.
What happened before anyone invented suncream and UV sunglasses? Take out the modern inventions and discoveries and you are left with:
Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf. Drink lots of cool drinks.
Further, how can people whose jobs entail being out in the open avoid the hours 11am to 3pm? We do not have siestas in this country because we have no need for them. And how can such people wear “light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf”. People who are not obliged to be outside between those times are hardly likely to stand about in some sort of stupor just frazzling. They move around, in and out of buildings, sometimes facing the sun and sometimes with their backs to the sun. That is, unless they are deliberately sunbathing, in which case they will take appropriate precautions. Finally, why should drinks be cool? You have a drink when you are thirsty, or for pleasure – like tea or coffee. Beer is cool and nice, but you don’t drink it simply because it is cool.
But Simon’s post led me to think. Let us suppose that ‘Public Health, England’ had one useful brain within it. What might that brain suggest?
“We are having some really pleasant weather at the moment. Let us enjoy it. We are sure that everyone who enjoys sunbathing knows that it is desirable to use some sort of suncream. But there are some people who should be especially careful. These are people who …………………………”
And there is the rub – who are “the people who ……”? For that is what PHE should know. It should know who are the sort of people who are most at risk of, say, suffering melanomas. Surely, multiple epidemiological studies have discovered what those factors might be? Well …. There have been such studies, see here: (When reading the article, pay attention to how much greater the risk is for some people – up to 15oo% in some cases)
If you read that article, you will see that CRUK does not have the foggiest idea why some people get melanomas and others do not. The best they can do, as a general rule, is to say that ultra-violet light seems to have something to do with it, but only for some people, who are ………. blank. They do not know. They do not know WHO IS AT RISK.
Clearly, the reason that PHE can only present advice which is pathetically inept is because it has no alternative. It might as well just say, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”, but mad dogs do not get melanomas, so don’t do it!” That makes more sense that the advice given above.
But is this not also true of the enjoyment of tobacco? As far as I know, few if any studies about lung cancer have really investigated possible associations other than smoking. You might like to look at this page from CRUK:
You will see that CRUK claims that LC is caused by smoking, smoking and smoking. Other possibilities are glossed over pretty quickly. For example, here is the quote re ‘air pollution’:
We know that air pollution can cause lung cancer. The risk depends on the levels of air pollution you are regularly exposed to. At UK levels, the extra risk is likely to be small – and much smaller than being a smoker.
But what about the ‘great smogs’? These smogs did not only occur in London. They occurred all over the country in industrial areas. How many people’s lungs were permanently damaged by breathing sulphur-laden air with every breath they took? That is the most important thing – ‘with every breath they took’ – and not the occasional puff on a fag. So where are the studies of ‘lung cancer ‘hot spots’? You will not see them, but they exist. One such was a study by Kitty Little in South Africa. She found a greater incidence of LC in smoggy inland cities than in smoggy coastal cities. She also found far less LC in country areas, at the same level of smoking, than in city areas. Smoggy City versus Smogless Countryside. Allowing for smoking habits, far more LC cases were observed in Smoggy City than in Smogless Countryside. There have been other studies more locally. Again, LC has appeared far more in cities like Belfast than in surrounding country areas, even when the people smoked as much in either place.
Drawing this post to a close, regardless of what compromised organisations like CRUK say, the fact is that no one knows why one individual succumbs to cancer of any sort before or instead of another individual. And that is one reason that ‘population statistics’ is not a reasonable basis upon which to base Government Policy, especially when that policy includes prohibitions (or their equivalent, such as minimum unit pricing of alcohol).
If Cameron (and indeed Clegg and Miliband) had any sense whatsoever, he would realise that posturing on the world stage means nothing to voters. What matters to voters is what hits them personally. Why are voters so anti-EU? It can only be that they see their lives being eroded by the EU in all sorts of ways, rather than their lives being enhanced. They see ‘strangers’, wearing funny clothes and talking in funny languages, and they ask themselves, “What is going on?” And they are unhappy about it – deep down.
And all of this unhappiness is cause by academic ‘experts’, since their deliberations and prognostications are based upon rumours and superstitions. There is no difference to speak of between Public Health, England and Medieval Witchcraft.
In times gone by, the Aristocracy described people who owned vast tracks of land – like 40,000 acres or more. They extracted rents from farmers, such that they ‘earned’, say, £4,000 per an, when £1 was the weekly wage of a labourer. It was this plenitude that enabled the landed gentry to build and maintain their vast mansions. This plenitude also enabled the more enterprising of the Aristocrats to establish ‘Estates’ in, say, the Caribbean islands.
WW1 put paid to many of these aristocratic ‘birth-rights’. But they are still with us. Ordinary people are still paying these Aristocrats vast sums of money via land rents which are now paid to corporations rather than individuals. I fail to understand why it is that we continue to accept the idea that any individual or corporation can “OWN” land. The land belongs to THE PEOPLE as a whole. No one individual can OWN it. That is not to say that individuals or corporations cannot have the use of land, even if that usage is described as ‘for ever’. That merely means ‘for the foreseeable future’. The NATION should own the land, and it is the NATION which should levy land rents. Also, it is THE NATION which should own what is under the surface of the land, such as oil, coal, minerals. Anything other than that perpetuates the old-fashioned idea of Aristocracy.
But we have a new Aristocracy.
Instead of the word ‘Baron’ and ‘Lord’, the new Aristocracy has the words ‘Doctor’ and ‘Professor’. These ‘titles’ are handed out willy-nilly to anyone who is part of the Medical Establishment. This distribution of Titles extends to granting the Title of ‘Doctor’ (which is supposed to represent extreme learnedness) to anyone who shouts loud enough. Thus, Nathanson (who works for the BMA) was elevated to the Aristocracy ‘honoris causa’, in that she was proclaimed to be a ‘DOCTOR’. That means that her mates in tobacco control declared that she was AN ARISTOCRAT.
What therefore has happened is that nonentities, if they are able to string together plausible sound-bites, have become “Sirs”, and “Lords” and “Baronesses”.
Thus the Title of ‘Professor’ or ‘Doctor’ has ceased to have any meaning.
Are there any genuine “Professors” any more?
Gosh, there are some heavy-going subjects in the News at the moment: the cabinet reshuffle, the DRIP fast-tracked legislation (DRIP means ‘Data Retention and Investigatory Powers’), the paedophile investigation. I suspect that it is no accident that this collection of tricky subjects has been introduced in a heap. It surprises me that Cameron did not also introduce plain packaging, no smoking in cars, alcohol-free pubs and lights out at 10 pm, at the same time. Out of the list, only one thing astonishes me – the promotion of Soubry to a Defence MINISTER. Why did Cameron do that when she is clearly incompetent? Maybe the fact that she is female, as well as incompetent, was the deciding factor.
But tonight I have a couple of pics of the baccy plants to show for a little light relief. Here is plot 1:
The pic does not do justice to the size of the plants. The leaves of the bigger plants (mostly in the middle and on the right) are about a foot long. So, fingers crossed, they are doing OK. But there are a lot of plants which are unsatisfactory. You can see that some of them are tiny.
Here is a pic of plot 2:
The plants are much smaller, but seem to be healthy enough. In that corner, there is not much sun, but last year they did well enough to be worthwhile. The problem in my garden is, where else to put them? I’m thinking of having a re-organise this winter and enlarging plot 1 significantly by taking off the corner of the lawn. I like that idea because, even if I abandoned baccy plant growing, that area could be used for growing vegetables and such. Plot 2 could be planted with shade tolerant shrubs.
Yes, I think that is the way forward.
Some of the tiniest of the plants are useless. They will do nothing because their roots are ‘corrupt’, so they will be replaced. It does not matter if the replacements do not reach their full potential, provided that the biggest, bottom leaves do well. So I have plants in reserve:
The pots are 3″ pots, so you can see that the leaves are quite large. In addition to those, I have about 30 upstairs, but those are the best. You can see that those plants have done very well. I have a bit of a problem. I am off on my travels again in a week’s time. Should I plant them out now or wait until I return? That is two weeks. How big will they grow in their pots? I think that I shall wait, and surrender them, as far as watering is concerned, to daughter 2. UPDATE: I changed my mind and have planted them out today. I’ve decided to re-pot eight of the other reserve plant into the 3″ pots.
This year has been another year of learning by adversity. For example. we had no frost this winter to ‘condition’ the soil. It is hard to know whether or not that matters. How the plants in plot 1 develop might help to ‘learn’ us. But is this deficit in knowledge typical of the ‘bully’ state? In effect, the way we are going, only ‘experts’ will be allowed to grow anything at all because of the ‘dangers’ of people deciding for themselves. What then will happen to TV programmes devoted to gardening? The ‘Experts’ will demand legislation banning home-grown vegetables. because they might contain nicotine.
Not to worry. As time passes, the Zealots are getting themselves into seriously contradictory situations. Somewhere in the USA, a State wants to increase tobacco taxes for the direct purpose of funding education because that State has a budgetary shortfall in its funding of education. It wants smokers, and only smokers, to make up the shortfall. Why should a 20% smoker population pay for the education of non-smokers?
That is the sort of nonsense that Tobacco Control has germinated.
Herself and I have watched a strange film on ‘Film 4′ tonight. It was about the guy who set himself the task of making the electric chair more efficient. I suppose that he was a person similar to Dr Guillotine – if you intend to execute a person, then do it economically, efficiently and, as far as possible, painlessly. His name was Fred A Leuchter Jr. He was described as ‘Mr Death’. Because he did a good job of raising the standards of electrocution, the Governor of a different USA State decided that he could also do a good job of improving that State’s ‘lethal injection’ method of execution, regardless of the fact that Leuchter knew nothing about poisons. I suppose that Leuchter. as an ‘Expert’ in executions, was happy to ‘help the Governor out’ (at a price) by relieving pressure on the Governor regarding ‘cruelty issues’.
But the culmination of the film (which had a documentary style) revolved around nazi gas chambers in places like Auschwitz. I have little doubt that Leuchter was honest, but the fact is that he made a simple error. In order to ‘prove’ (or ‘disprove’) that certain rooms were used as gas chambers, Leuchter chipped bits of stone and plaster off the walls of the chambers. He then had the chips analysed to look for the remnants of hydrogen cyanide. But he made a grave error – if that gas affected the walls at all, it would only affect a few microns of the surface of the walls. Therefore, analysis of ‘chips’ from the walls of the chambers is useless. Such chips reveal only the chemicals which are characteristic of the plaster or brick. What might have been useful might have been scrapings of the surfaces of the plaster and the bricks.
The film was a good film and very unusual. What intrigued me was the logical comparisons which could be drawn between ‘practical efficiency’ (the electric chair) and the equivalent ‘practical efficiency’ of tobacco control, being prohibition eventually.
enough for now.
I was thinking of this little post last night, but did not dare because Frank Davis wanted to watch the match on i-player or something.
The thought popped into my mind when I saw Angelic Miracle, chancellor of the Reichtagg (spellcheck does not like that spelling, but its alternative is ‘ Airfreight’ – Ah well) in the stands. She seemed to be doing a lot of cheering, considering that Germany is just a little State in the collective of the EUSSR. Do the USA have inter-state sport rivalries? I suppose they could have ‘county championships’ as we do in cricket. I would not know. It seems altogether wrong that she should be jumping about and cheering. Suppose that Holland had been playing instead of Argentina? What a terrible example she would have been giving – it is disgraceful.
Don’t you think that, from the point of view of European amalgamation, it is a terrible thing to have stuff like ‘The European Football Championship’, where states within the Glorious EUSSR compete with each other, and thus encourage nationalism? There again, I suppose that these minor, rather ancient allegiances serve the purpose of channelling aggression in a harmless way, thus allowing The Elite to carry on quietly amalgamating the nations into a single entity in more important matters, such as the strength of e-cig liquid.
Talking about the strength of e-cig liquid, I came across this tonight (h/t Redheadfullofsteam here). She linked to this report:
It is about the toxicity of e-cig liquids. It seems that toxicologists have decreed that the stronger liquids are no more toxic that washing-up liquid and the weaker ones do not register as toxic at all. So how did the EU Elite allow itself to be advised that these liquids were so toxic that the merest drop would kill children, so that they have to be reduced in strength to the extent that they are useless for proper smokers, must be encased inside impenetrable wrappings, and must be ‘leak-proof”?
Weird, isn’t it? I have a small bottle (10 ml) of wart-remover to hand. It contains ‘urea hydrogen peroxide’. It originally had a tear-off seal, but other than that it dispenses the ‘acid’ with a drop applicator. It is ‘leak-proof’ only to the extent of how tightly you screw the cap up after you have used it. I also have several cans of compressed lighter fuel. The cap is not easy to remove, and I suppose that it is designed to be that way, for the sake of the children, but, once the cap is removed, the extremely flammable, and toxic, vaporised liquid is easily dispensed. Oh, and each can contains 300 ml. Oh, and, of course, you can go to a petrol station and fill up a two gallon can with petrol with no ‘safeguards’ whatsoever – or you can syphon off petrol out of a car with the greatest of ease.
Am I saying that there is no need for any safeguards at all? No I am not. I am complaining about the over-regulation.
Cameron et al should be aware that the major problem with the EU is not about the big picture – all this stuff about ‘repatriation of powers’. If the shit hit the fan, then be in no doubt that the ‘powers’ would be repatriated with immediate effect, EU or no EU. In other words, the EU is no more that a Treaty, which can be terminated, unilaterally, by the UK at any time. And so can any part of it. There is no need to obtain ‘permission’ from Juncker, or Angelic Miracle.
I don’t think that Cameron et al understand. The UK is still strong, although not as strong as it used to be. But the answer to EUSSR encroachment, via a thousand cuts, is to cut the funding. Extract the UK from supporting stuff like tobacco control and climate control. Get the hell out of there by just stopping paying for the leaches. If Angelic Miracle wants to up the Germanic contribution, that is for her to decide. No negotiation needed. It would be a good idea to examine the workings of the World Bank at the same time. What is its purpose? Does anyone know? From what I understand, it is riddled with Zealots of one sort or another. But what is it FOR?
I get fed up. I get fed up with our elected representative passing repressive laws which, more and more, confine us to our homes. We are allowed out to shop, but only in approved shops. We are allowed out to go to pubs, but only in approved pubs. Such places, according to regulations, must be clinically proven to be ‘clean’. Is it any wonder that pubs are empty and cheerless and CLOSED?
But Youths have their own ways. It seems that they are mostly avoiding the regulated places. I have no idea where they go. No doubt they go to the equivalent of the ‘Palais de Dance’ of the era, whatever or wherever that may be. That may well be a place where there is no tobacco smoking (which one could describe as a gentle and harmless relaxant), but there is a plentiful supply of other energising substances, like cocaine and its derivatives, or even simple substances like Red Bull (mixed with something or other).
An interesting idea is that the EU is upside down, as is the World Bank, the UN, the WHO, the FCTC and the UPCC . All of them are upside down. Thus, these matters are not subject to academic slicing into tiny pieces. It is possible, for all we know, that, in the lead up to WW1, lots of academics pontificated. I do not know. The same might be true of WW2. How can we be sure that German academics did not weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of France and Britain and conclude, and advise Hitler, that invasion and take-over were very likely to succeed?
You see, ‘very likely’ equates to ‘smoking harm’ and ‘SHS harm’. There is no certainty. In fact, the more that you contemplate, say, the Doctors Study, the more doubtful that you become. Sure, the study seemed to identify smoking as very influential in lung cancer. But, as garyk as pointed out, again and again, statistically, there is no difference to speak of between those doctors who smoked and those doctors who did not smoke, when it comes down to the ‘tobacco related diseases’ as the cause of death. The implication is that these diseases are not ‘tobacco related’ at all, since they are not ‘tobacco specific’.
People die for ‘specific’ reasons and not for ‘related’ reasons. There is no such thing as a ‘tobacco related’ disease.
I was reading somewhere today about how Bloomberg, Gates and other Foundations have been financing the imposition of taxes on tobacco in under-developed countries. Typically, these countries are in Asia, Africa and such places. The funding seems to have the objective of training government employees in those countries how to impose such taxes with the least amount of squealing. I do not know if there is some sort of contractual obligation for these Foundations to get their money back eventually – it would not surprise me if that were not so.
The imposition of extra taxes on tobacco products is a key demand of the FCTC, and, after a little thought, you can see why. It is a triple whammy:
1. There is a ‘choke point’ at the manufacturer/importer stage. Such companies are required to self-police and pay the duties under both criminal and common law. These companies must keep accurate records and have secure warehouses, all of which cost the companies lots of money. These costs are paid eventually by the consumer, who is not represented at any step in the process. The consumer PAYS.
2. From the FCTC point of view, the increased costs to the consumer are likely to have the effect of forcing many poorer people to stop smoking. Since more poorer people smoke than wealthier, it is likely that there will be a numerically greater amount of ‘smoking cessation’ among the poor relative to the wealthy, and so statistics will show ‘great success’.
3. Governments generally find it difficult to resist clever schemes which have the effect of increasing taxation income at minimal cost. It is a no-brainer, especially when there are supposedly ‘massive health benefits’ to be had (in the far distant future, maybe).
There is no doubt that this ploy worked wonderfully well – for a time. But, in modern times, when people are much more ‘savvy’, what with the internet and such, and with much greater ‘savviness’ among manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and consumers, the consequences of these tax policies are having the opposite effect. There is now no major tobacco manufacturer left in England. So who is collecting duties? It can only be importers. But importers are a much bigger group than manufacturers, so, even though they have to do all the work, it is far more difficult for the authorities to ensure that they are fully complying. The previously simple systems come under stress. Further, as we know. the massive taxes (in Ireland, for example) have driven a new Industry, which is hidden imports. I refuse to call it ‘smuggling’ since that implies some sort of iniquity. The real iniquity lies in the taxes. The taxes are unjust – the hidden imports are just.
It is fairly easy for the ‘Authorities’ to impose their ‘tax efficient demands’, provided that there are easy targets. These impositions take little time. But it takes a much greater time for THE PEOPLE to overturn the demands of this Elite. It is a much slower process. It is a moot point as to which group is the more ‘evil’ – the Elite or the Smugglers.
How on Earth did publicans etc permit themselves to be recruited as unpaid enforcers of the smoking ban?
I dare say that there are many other examples. For example, there used to be the ‘drinking up time’ law. Publicans were forced to force their patrons to sup up and get out. That was a law for a long time, but it was always seen as silly since it only really applied to ‘public houses’ (aka, the masses). It did not apply to the places which ‘The Elite’ frequented. Also, car drivers are forced to ensure that under-age passengers are properly secured (but they are not required to ensure that adults properly secure themselves). (I suspect that that is only so because of the great difficulty which taxi-drivers and bus drivers would have to enforce such a law) In fact, when you think about it, the only reason that the Smoking Ban was possible was because it was possible! That is, there was no inherent reason that ALL pubs, clubs, buses, taxis, etc, etc, should NOT be recruited to enforce the bans. Thus, the General Smoking Bans WERE ONLY POSSIBLE because they were possible. There was no great need for them, but they could be imposed.
There have been other situations in the recent past where similar considerations have applied. Take for instance the ‘bail-in’ in Cyprus, where the bank accounts of Cypriots were raided by EU dictat to ‘bail in’ the losses of Cypriot banks which had resulted from their extravagant interest rates on deposits. It was something like a ponzi scheme. No need to go into detail. Suffice to say that the EU had encourage the Cypriot Banks to misbehave in the first place, and then forced Cypriots to correct the EU’s errors.
The problem with these sort of laws is that they extend themselves. For example, it seems that there are moves afoot to make it a criminal offence NOT TO report SUSPICIONS of child abuse. Also, they become more and more ephemeral -in other words, lacking in definition. How is ‘child abuse’ to be defined for such purposes?
Our political system stinks. It used to have the objective of controlling the executive so that THE PEOPLE could go about their daily lives free from imposition and persecution. Now, it seems to exist to enable that imposition and persecution.
A quiet night tonight – nothing much to talk about so one might as well reminisce a bit. Over at here people have been reminiscing, mostly about old films, like Casablanca.
I can remember very little about my childhood (up to, say, 11). Most of the happenings that I remember are not very nice ones. For example, I remember a firework exploding in my trouser pocket. I have no idea how old I was, but it cannot have been much later than when I was about 7, because we moved house when I was about that age, and it happened while we were at the old address. I remember being outside in the evening with my ‘best pal’, Alan Moore. We had built a small tree-house in some bushes (which seemed to us at that age to be huge trees) and we were caught out in a violent thunderstorm. I don’t recall any rain – what I recall is violent thunder and lightening directly overhead. It was wonderful to behold the fizzing slashes of red, white and blue lightening streaks, followed by the crashing thunder, which rolled away into the distance. Perhaps that was the origin of my abiding interest in science. Another incident, for which I received a rollicking from my parents, was rushing into the living room and throwing the door open, thus sending the ‘wireless’ crashing to the floor and completely demolishing it. That was not nice.
But, more than anything, we kids had freedom to roam after school and after tea for an hour or two. No one for a moment considered the possibility of paedophiles hanging around, waiting to capture and kidnap kids, which is not surprising since there were none. Nor, also, was there any hysteria about kids injuring themselves when they were playing out. Perhaps we were all very bendy and elastic in the structure of our bodies because scrapes and scratches were plentiful, but no serious injuries. Moreover, we ventured into the most disgusting of places. Ponds in fields covered with cow dung held masses of frog-spawn in spring. If you tried to grip a lump of frog-spawn, it slipped and slithered in your hand. A couple of weeks later, the frog-spawn turned into tadpoles, and then into tiny frogs. Dragonflies were plentiful, along with any amount of strange insects, beetles and bugs.
The mind shudders at what horrors would be conjured up by Public Health at such horrid ABUSE of children at that time by NEGLIGENT parents. And yet I would bet a pound to a penny that there are more children injured today, for various reasons, than there ever were in my childhood. That is not to say that there were not lots of children who caught diseases. Mumps and measles were common, along with most other child diseases. I’m talking about a period from 1939 to about 1950. The attitude then was, “Get it over-with”.
Today’s platitudes from Public Health would not have been possible then. There was no ‘Public Health Industry’ (with the implication that it exists to grow itself and become more and more profitable to a certain group of people). There is something wrong when an ‘industry’ can exist which can claim to be ‘not for profit’. Do the Public Health Experts ‘give away all they have and follow ‘Saint Sir Richard Doll’? They do not – they take the profits from the industry. The only difference between the Public Health Industry and the Tobacco Industry is that the ‘shareholders’ (aka ‘stakeholders’) in the PHI receive their dividends/profits in the form of salaries and grants.
But it is not possible to tax the PHI as though it was a commercial concern. But is it possible in another way? I think that it is possible.
If a specific group, like ASH, receives public funding (by which I mean, for example, grants from the national lottery, as well as funds directly from the public purse), it must get physical results. In the case of ASH, such results would be in actual diminution of NHS costs from smoking. Has ASH ever proven such a diminution as a result of its efforts? I think not, and therefore the tax needs to be applied. In this case, the tax would be the withdrawal of funding. IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED YEARS AGO!
Think about it. The idea is a sort of reverse of normality. Normally, an industry makes profits and then pays tax on the profits. In the case of ASH, it receives tax in the expectation of profits. In the same way that a company cannot normally reclaim tax that has been paid if it hits a sticky patch, nor can the government reclaim grants which were made in the expectation of profits. All it can do is make ASH go bust by refusing any more grants. However, it could, if it wished to, demand that ASH, if it survives, should repay previous grants from future income which might come from, say, Big Pharma. Why not? After all, Big Pharma can only be giving grants to ASH in the expectation of sales and profits. Before BP can get those profits, it must repay the taxpayer. And what about the National Lottery grants? The same principle applies there. There is an obvious escape – to go bust and rename the organisation and start again. Erm …. NO ….. Not when public funds (and quasi-public funds like the lottery) are involved.
But what about “Tobacco Free Kids” in America? That organisation is entirely funded by Big Pharma. It has spread its tentacles all over the world. What is the answer there? It is pretty clear – the funds granted to ‘tobacco free kids’ are profits of Big Pharma and must be taxed as such because the objects of ‘TFK’ are commercial – the sale of patches and gum.
Rambling again, but I cannot help but feel that the modern hysterias about smoking, drinking, obesity and paedophilia, etc are generated by tiny gangs, similar to the Guy Fawkes group which plotted to blow up parliament.
The Political Government (our elected representatives) have been singularly remiss in not observing and eliminating the rise of these gangs. Perhaps it was the expectation of ‘profits’ which blinded them.