It isn’t often that we get the opportunity to observe ‘Yooffs’ all together, at the same time, in great numbers. Such is the situation in Magalluf, Mallorca, in the early hours of the morning.
There is a street which is popularly known as “The Strip”. The street is on something of an incline. It is lined on both sides with bars, tattooists, fast-food outlets and so on. About halfway up is a good spot to sit and watch, so my practice during this last week was to turn out about midnight for a couple of hours and amuse myself by watching the antics of these “children and young people”. There are hundreds of them, milling about and parading up and down. (I should imagine that, in the resort as a whole, there are thousands of them) It really is damned amusing. These ‘yooffs’ know how to enjoy themselves!
But is this ‘population’ typical of ALL ‘yooffs’ (mostly British)? It is hard to say. Certainly, it is unlikely that they could be expected to include many ‘layabouts’, since the cost of such a holiday is not negligible. Even so, it did not appear to me that these ‘young people’ were other than ‘average’. That is, they displayed no significant ostentation. Further, my visualisation of ‘youthfulness’ might well be somewhat skewed. Perhaps many of these ‘kids’ were older than the ASH-type definition of ‘kids’ as ‘up to the age of 24′. But ‘yooffs’ they were, whatever their ages.
Of course, my ‘visual survey’ was most concerned with smoking, but I was also interested in ‘over-weight and/or obese’. Let’s consider the ‘over-weight and/or obese’ first.
I do not recall seeing one single ‘yooff’ who was obese. Not one. A few were, in my judgement, over-weight, but my opinion is based merely upon visible ‘tubbiness’. The vast, vast majority of the revellers were slim and fit. I fact, many young men were clearly rather conscious of their ‘fitness’ (as they think that young women see ‘fitness’). In all the hundreds of people, I saw only about five tubby young men over the whole five times that I conducted my ‘visual survey’. Interestingly, tubby young women outnumbered tubby young men by around five to one, if not more, but that is not to say that they were in any way unhealthy.
But I also kept my eyes open during the daytime. Again, although there were lots of people suffering from ‘middle-age spread’, there were no ‘blubbalubs’. In fact, the only time that I saw one person who was ‘obese’ was in the airport coming home. She was very fat and used a walking-stick and she gasped for breath a little, but she seemed to be very cheerful. She was certainly over sixty.
I was also interested in the ‘obesity epidemic’ among children. As it happened, my balcony overlooked the pool area of the hotel, so I was able to see the ‘kids’. Not only did I not see any obese kids, but I did not see any fat kids. My observations were confirmed by the appearance of kids in the restaurant – no fatties.
So where is the epidemic? Perhaps it is only in America.
My other interest, as I said, was to observe smoking among the “children and young people”. The opportunity to observe is very much more restricted, of course, because of the milling about. Nevertheless, I was able to conclude that smoking was significantly prevalent, but, perhaps, what is more important is that there seemed to be no ‘stigma’ attached to smoking in the minds of the youths. I saw many smoking as they walked about, but the lack of ‘stigma’ was most apparent when they sat down at a table. Some smoked and some did not. There was no frantic hand-waving or artificial coughing and spluttering. It is impossible for me to put numbers on the smoking (as compared with overweight/obese) since the ebb and flow of people was just too great. But I did get to have a word with a couple of young women (around 20) who sat sat down at a table adjacent to me.
I tried this once before, but, on that occasion, the girls involved got upset because they thought that I was criticising them. On this occasion, I chose my words very, very carefully. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Can I ask you something?”
Me: “I’ve been smoking all my life and I really enjoy it. I don’t believe the lies about smoking harm that we hear all the time. But I am wondering how you young people cope with all these lies?”
Them: “Well, it’s life, isn’t it?”
End of conversation.
I didn’t know what to make of their answer. (By the way, obviously it was only one of the girls who answered) What does “Well, it’s life, isn’t it?” mean? It may be that she herself did not really know what she meant. I suppose that it could mean any number of things, but my own interpretation is that the girl meant, “Life is for living and not for dying”. If her meaning was something like that, then she is a great philosopher!
Is it not true that the Holy Zealots of Tobacco Control are obsessed by DEATH? “Well, it’s LIFE, isn’t it?” makes sense, if you are not prepared to worry and worry about death. For ‘worry about death’ is what The Tobacco Control Industry thrives upon. And the same applies to all the other quangos who promote ‘worry about death’ in connection with alcohol and food etc.
Perhaps that girl’s remark should give us hope. ‘Young People’ are not as slavishly encumbered by ‘worry about death’ as the Zealots would like. The Young People are right and the Zealots are wrong. ‘Worrying about Death’ is for the very aged, and not for the young. If fact, ‘worrying about death’ ought to apply to no one, since death is inevitable, and is caused, eventually, by old age. The older you get, the less that you should worry about death. In the end, you make a Will and accept the inevitable.
So what this means is that it is organisations like ASH which are ‘purveyors of death’, and not tobacco companies. Not that I have any truck with tobacco companies – they have let their customers down something awful in defence of their corporate interests. Is it normal for a company in business not to give a shit about its customers? I fear that it is becoming more and more the case that that is true. And it also applies to Government. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband do not give a shit about The People. They care only about themselves.
But what is clear from my ‘visual survey’ is the reason that Tobacco Control is doomed, which is that YOUTH will please itself and embrace its own values. The Zealots and the Quacks in Government will not rule the YOUTH. Even if tobacco was banned, the YOUTH would merely move to something else without the blink of an eye.
One final thing.
I also observed a massive amount of “INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING” among these ‘yooffs’. Many a hand, both male and female, strayed into ‘private parts’. Oddly enough, not one person did I observe seeming to be less than overjoyed at these predatory and, obviously, paedophiliac, sexual approaches. But we all know, as we have been told again and again, that these approaches are not in the least bit welcome, despite appearances. Everyone hates being touched.
I was thinking about just adding an update to last night’s post, but most readers who have read last night’s post are hardly likely to re-read it, so I am adding this as a short new post.
I decided to pot up the plants in this pic:
As you can see from the ruler, they grew enormously during the week that I was away. So I decided to set to and transfer them to outdoor containers. This is how they look:
Three plants in ordinary buckets, one in a fairly big, wide container and one in a tallish pot. (Note the usual 30 cm ruler for scale leaning against the pot.
That container is made of glass. It used to be a fish tank. I can’t remember how I came by it. I suspect that Daughter 1 asked me to store it for her several years ago and it has been in the back garden ever since.
All the pots have layers of compost and soil. In fact, in the last pic, you can see the layers. The grey stripes are soil and the black ones are compost. I bought four bags of ‘gypsy compost’, as Daughter 1 called it (street traders who might well have been gypsies for all I know), towards the end of last year. I feared earlier in the year that it might contain slugs or slugs eggs. If it contained eggs, you would have thought that they would have become slugs by now. I didn’t see any, but what I did see was hundreds of baby worms. I only saw a couple of grown up worms – they must have been ‘having it off’ to some tune!
I don’t really expect much from these plants. To start with, it is very late in the year now. It is more in the nature of an experiment. The glass container might make it possible to see the roots as they grow, and the different sized containers might affect the growth rates of the plants. That will be interesting to know.
Considering how badly damaged the plants were by slugs in May, I have been surprised how well the plants have developed. I was even more surprised that I was able, today, to do a bit of harvesting. Not a lot, but sufficient to be worthwhile. Here is a pic:
Rather blurred, I’m afraid, but good enough at this time of night. Those are the very bottom-most leaves which have gone pale green or actually yellow. They needed to be rinsed to remove detritus – warm water and a rub with the hands is all that’s needed. At the moment, they are just draining. Before I go to bed, I’ll just wrap them in a bath-towel overnight so that they do not start to dry out prematurely. Tomorrow, I’ll start the process of towelling and wadding. Those that have turned completely, or almost completely, yellow will be wadded right away, but the greener ones will be towelled for a few days. These processes are fully described in the “GROWING Etc” essay linked to in the sidebar.
(I hope that regular readers are not bored by all this stuff. The thing is that I get a lot of new visitors who are interested in the subject)
I think that the last couple of updates about the plants should suffice for the time being. Let’s hope for the best.
And grind it seems to be. The Health Zealots are trying every dirty trick in the book to get their way, not only on tobacco, but also on booze, food and everything else that takes their fancy.
But, having been up early and being tired, tonight is not the night to comment on these matters. Instead, can I say that I have been truly astonished by the growth in the plants over the past week. Here is a pic from a week ago:
And here is a pic from two weeks ago:
You can see a very visible improvement in only one week. Imagine my surprise when I got home today to find this:
[The white object is a 30 cm ruler]
On the other hand, the plants in plot 2 are not doing particularly well:
Those plants are in a much more shady area. Since both plots were prepared in the same way (urine and split tea bags dug into the ground), it makes sense to attribute the difference to the lack of sunlight to plot 2. It is also true that the plants in plot 2 did not perform last year as well as plot 1. Having said that, it is also true that many of the plants in plot 2 are new ones, because of the initial problem that I had with slugs.
Here is another interesting pic (note the ruler):
A week ago, those new plants were much smaller:
It looks as though being on the kitchen window sill has been good for them.
But what to do with them? (NB. I have another 20 0r so upstairs) I have 3 buckets and a couple of other containers, so I think I’ll experiment with them. I know that LegIron produced some decent plants using buckets. I tried using buckets indoors to see what would happen, but that experiment was not successful – the plants grew and even seeded, but the leaves were very small. This time, I’ll keep the buckets outdoors to get the sun, and we’ll see how well they do.
It is all most intriguing.
It is not easy to see, but some of the very lowest leaves are turning yellow or pale green. That is because the plant ‘turns off’ the supply of nutrients to them. They have not much substance, but I have in mind to collect them and treat them anyway. Why waste them?
I had a very pleasant ‘rest and recuperation’ period while I was away. Magaluf, in Mallorca, has a reputation for being somewhat wild on the youth party scene. That is true to some extent, but not as bad as is made out. It isn’t often that one has the chance to observe at first hand the behaviour of hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of ‘children and young people’ milling about in the early hours of the morning.
I shall have something to say about that tomorrow night.
The Site Administrator is away on another trip to Sunny Spain for a week. It will be pleasant to relax. I am taking my electronic chess set and a couple of books. One is Michael J Macfadden’s ‘Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains’ and the other is called ‘Atlantis’, which is about some guys who discover the lost city under the sea, from which a fair amount of skulduggery arises. This isn’t a cigs run – I did that in May. Actually, the May trip turned out to be fraught with difficulties, so you could truly call this trip a holiday to recover from a holiday.
So tonight’s post is lacking in serious content. I thought that I might update the plants saga.
Only a week ago, I posted this pic of plot 1:
Here is the plot today:
[The white thing is a 30 cm ruler for scale]
I’m pleased with the growth in only a week. Things are starting to look up.
ON the other hand, plot 2 is still rather in the doldrums. Last week:
There is some improvement, but not much. Both plots were treated exactly the same in preparation, so I suppose that it must be the the sunshine which is making the difference. Plot 1 faces South West and plot 2 faces North West and is rather shaded. But the plants are trying, so I expect that they will come along eventually.
I can’t resist having a dig at ASH. It seems that they have come up with another ‘proof’ that almost everyone, smoker and non-smoker would just love to see smoking banned in cars:
Not only do they lie about the content of the survey, they also lie by saying that they cannot divulge the source. Redhead… found the source in minutes, apparently. It was car-hire company. Hardly a surprise that a car-hire company would not want people smoking in its cars, is it? I wonder how the survey was conducted and how the questions were phrased? “Would you mind of we banned smoking in our cars so that they don’t get mucky and smell?”, might be a good question. “No, it wouldn’t bother me. I rarely smoke in the car anyway”, would be the obvious reply. A car-hire company has a perfect right to ban smoking in its cars if it wishes to do so. If it did a survey of its own for its own purpose, who could object? But to extrapolate their results to the general population, who might want to smoke in their own cars, is silly. Isn’t there a phrase for that sort of thing? Could it be “Clutching at straws”?
That’s it for now. Back in a week’s time.
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?