Today, I had the very great pleasure of and honour of having a comment on the Guardian deleted. I was not in any way nasty nor did I swear. I did not name anyone nor accuse anyone of anything awful, and yet my comment was deleted because, apparently, I broke the rules.
The article upon which I commented was this:
It’s the one about the new advert which claims that “every fifteen cigarettes you smoke will cause a mutation in your body”. That claim is false. The reason that it is false revolves around the word ‘mutation’.
I have just counted the number of breaths that I have taken in the last minute, sitting quietly on the sofa. I took 16 breaths. In those breaths, were thousands of chemicals in minuscule amounts. My body is currently reacting chemically with those chemicals. It is dealing with them and extracting such useful chemicals as it finds. The rest, it will discard. I am also drinking a glass of beer and smoking a fag. It will deal with the products of those substances in the same way. That is how my body is designed and how it has been working for seventy three years. Those activities are perfectly normal activities and in no way involve ‘mutations’, UNLESS we define the word ‘mutation’ as any physical change at all in the cells of the body, in which case the word ‘mutation’ is almost meaningless, since cells are changing all the time. The only way for that sentence to make sense is for the word ‘mutation’ to mean some sort of permanent alteration, and, as far as I know, it has not been proven that smoking cigarettes causes permanent changes in cells.
But that was not what my comment was about.
I cannot remember the exact words, but this is something like my comment:
Royal College Physicians.
British Medical Assn.
We wish you a happy new year.
We wish to thank you for your efforts on our behalf over the last five years. Never in our wildest marketing dreams would we ever have expected to have our products promoted so widely. Never would we have expected to have smoking advertised on every doorway of every cake shop, every library, every school, etc in the country. We are especially grateful for your help in placing the visibility of our products into every doctor’s surgery and every hospital where people feel most stressed and in need of our products.
After decades of decline in demand for our products, you have arrested the decline. The enjoyment of tobacco is becoming fashionable again, especially among young people. You have saved us billions of pounds in advertising costs.
We note that 2.7 million pounds is to be spent on your latest TV adverts campaign and that it will run for nine weeks. Please be assured that we are more than willing to equal that sum in order to run the campaign for a further nine weeks.
Thank you again.
I suspect that a Zealot ‘reported’ my comment because it was actually published.
They don’t like it up ‘em, do they?