I am at a bit of a loss what to talk about tonight, so perhaps a bit of ephemera is in order.
A commenter pointed me to:
The commenter told me that Masters had used the Doll and Hill ‘Hospital Study’ as a/the seminal paper on smoking and lung cancer. (Seminal means ‘seed-like’, in the sense that it started off the plethora of smoking-related papers which have avalanched over the past several decades) I pulled Masters up a bit on the grounds that the ‘Hospital Study’ was a minor affair and that the ‘Doctors Study’ was much more appropriate. Nowadays, we would call the ‘Hospital Study’ a ‘proof of concept’ study, which served the purpose of justifying the expense and effort involved in the ‘Doctors Study’. It was never actually stated to be so, but it is really rather obvious. The Hospital Study was planned in 1947, and the Doctors Study began in 1951. It is obvious that the two studies were related. It is impossible to believe that planning for the Doctors Study was not already under way either in concert with the planning of, or during the process of, the Hospital Study.
The Hospital Study was not the ‘seminal’ study – studies in pre-war Germany preceded the Hospital Study and Doll was familiar with them.
You may have noticed that I referred to the person involved as ‘Masters’. That is his surname. In my first comment there, I called him ‘Mr Masters’, being polite. He was upset by that, demanding that I call him Doctor Masters because of his doctorate in maths. Nothing on his site says that he has this doctorate. When I pointed out that I could not know about his doctorate, he said that he was miffed because my comment seemed to portray him as an ignoramus. I suppose that even ‘doctors of mathematics’ can be touchy.
In his post, Dr Masters had said that tobacco kills half its users. I told him off about accepting Tobacco Control Industry slogans (perhaps that’s why he was miffed). Perhaps he was also miffed when I said that, mathematically, given that there is an average age at death, that 50% or deaths must be ‘premature’, and 50% must be ‘postmature’. (Only one person in the UK, or even the world, occupies the exact moment of average)
The Doctors Study did not prove that smoking causes lung cancer. It merely revealed that more smokers die before the theoretical average than do non-smokers. That is all. Lots of smokers die after the theoretical average, but not as many as non-smokers. Give or take a bit, all non-smokers die from the same conditions (diseases?) as smokers.
To give him his due, Dr Masters debated. I would have liked to continue the debate, but there was no point. I drew his attention to the McTear Case, but he would not accept that The Tobacco Control Industry failed to produce evidence that smoking causes lung cancer. He obfuscated. He says that he did not, but by quoting stuff that the Judge said about awareness of warnings on cig packets etc, and saying that this implied that the Judge knew that smoking causes lung cancer, he did indeed obfuscate. the whole point of the McTear Case was that Tobacco Control had the perfect opportunity to ‘prove’ (on the balance of probabilities) that smoking causes lung cancer. They could not produce ANY evidence that it was so. They relied upon the ‘authority’ of the WHO and similar, which means relying upon epidemiology.
To me, reliance upon epidemiology is much the same thing as guessing that malaria is caused by ‘miamas’ from swamps.
Finally, I have no trust in Doll at all. He was a communist and probably totally anti-capital, and therefore anti privately-owned big business. I cannot help but feel that people like him ‘captured’ the WHO at its inception.
I do not quite know what to make of Doll’s definition of ‘a smoker’. In the Hospital Study, he defined a smoker as a person who smoked at least one cigarette (or equivalent in pipe or cigar) per day for a whole year. As far as I know, that was the standard applied in the Doctors Study also. But suppose that a person smoked, say, five cigs per day for only one year? He would then be counted as a smoker, and, subsequently, an ex-smoker. Thus, taking into consideration the prevalence of smoking in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, almost everyone would have started off as ‘a smoker’. Thus, anyone who got lung cancer, and had smoked a little for a full year, would have succumbed to lung cancer as ‘a smoker’, no matter how little the smoking or how short the term, provided that the term was at least a year.
It isn’t always easy to get your brain around the figures, bearing in mind the definitions. Suppose that an individual doctor, at the start of the study, identified himself as ‘smoking five cigs per day’ and had been doing so for two years. That particular doctor was known by name and address. He slots into the category of ‘smoker’, albeit ‘light’ smoker. If he stops smoking, in the Doctors Study, he DOES NOT move into a category ‘ex-light smoker’ – he moves into the category ‘ex-smoker’. Thus, almost all persons who get lung cancer will have been smokers at some time, even for a brief period. Non-smokers will have been an elite. What other ‘bad habits’ did that Elite avoid? Where did they live? To what extent were they exposed to smog and war?
I have statistics (which I cannot be bothered digging out) which show that smoking has decrease in prevalence over the decades since about 1960 from about 65% of males to some 25% of males. I have statistics which show that lung cancer deaths have reduced over that same period by around 25%. I would need to look them up again. Of course, surely, over that period of time, earlier diagnosis and better treatments will have reduced mortality. But the simple fact is that the reduction in lung cancer deaths has not kept pace with the reduction in smoking.In the extreme, there are almost as many lung cancer deaths NOW as there were when smoking was at it height, in the period since WW1 and through WW2.
I must dig out the stats again. But nothing is simple. The question of immigration arises – what are the ages of immigrants and does it matter? I suppose that the naked figures are the first thing that need to be revealed. I think that Tobacco Control is batting on a very sticky wicket and it know it, which is why it is pushing so hard for legislation NOW. God only knows why Cameron et al succumb. It really is weird that they say, “Oh. Go on then. It isn’t important. Ban smoking in cars. Introduce PP. These are not important things, so why not? Who cares? They will not influence the general election”
But they WILL influence the GE. Everyone is sick to death of grinning puppets. But there is a long way to go before the Bullington Club id unseated.
This was supposed to be a short post! Forgive typos for tonight.
I acquired some ‘Red Virginia’ (for experimental purposes, of course). That backie is quite strong stuff. The leaf is dark brown. JB from Ireland opined that it was cured at a higher temperature than normal.
Yesterday, I ‘toasted’ some of my home-grown stuff. I hesitated to claim that the results of toasting were good, but they certainly seemed to warrant the word ‘improved’.
Today, I decided to ‘toast’ some Red Virginia. The result was odd.
I had put the stuff on a small baking tray in the oven. I did not bother about the preliminary warming up period, but went straight to 130C for half an hour. Daughter two came home and went into the kitchen and shot back out again, claiming that the ‘stink’ was abominable. She was right. There was an awful stink in the kitchen. Further, when I opened the oven door, there was a stinging sensation in my eyes. Clearly, some nasty chemical reaction had occurred. What other explanation is possible?
I allowed the baccie to cool and then misted it with cold water since it was very dry. The baccie absorbed the water easily. After a while, it was in the dry but soft state which makes it easy to tube. I tubed three fags – one being the toasted Red Virginia alone, one being half RV and Lemon V (weak stuff), and one being one third RV and two thirds Lemon V.
I was astonished. When I toasted the RV, the result had the same chocolate-y smell as my home-grown stuff after toasting.
Does it not make sense to ‘toast’ everything?
The ‘Blocked Dwarf’, in the comments on the last post, said that he thought that the first period of ‘warming’ (at about 66C for an hour) was intended to fully dry out the tobacco. Only after fully drying should the tobacco be ‘toasted’ at a much higher temp of 130C – aka only when the tobacco was as dry as possible. In view of the stink noted above, I think that he is right.
So, we may have learnt a lesson which goes in the opposite direction to Tobacco Control. It is only because of TC that many of us started to enquire about home-growing and pure leaf purchases. We are not criminals – we just wish to be self-sufficient, and believe that we have that right. Any other interpretation of ‘LAW’ is tyrannical.
Weird things are happening in the EU. The Elite demand some action. MEPs might argue about it, but the demand of the Elite is voted through, after some slight changes. No one gives a shit that the the original demand was fascist.
What happened in WW2 was that Churchill stopped the political blathering. He, and others, organised the country’s industries to produce weapons. One might ask whether people like Arnott, McKee, Hastings, etc could produce weapons to annihilate smokers. Well, NO, they cannot do it. They can only mess around on the periphery.
All the more reason therefore to see the imposition of PP and kids in cars smoking bans as above political decisions. Those decision are imposed upon The Prime Minister. He has no control. He never has had control.
The passing of the law which enabled the ‘general smoking ban’ highlighted the failure of the Government in the UK to stop fascism years ago.
The EU is Fascist. It cannot be denied. Everyone must comply, and the UK Government exists only to ensure that EU fascist dictats are complied with.
MPs are supposed to fight against fascism and autocracy. It is sad that our political system has enabled fascists and autocrats to gain control of MPs. That is really sad.
I thought that I would have a go at ‘toasting’ a bit of last year’s produce tonight. I did my best to get the oven to a constant temperature of 66C. It was not easy because the cooker is not designed to be used for such low temps, but I got it about right. I put a small quantity of ‘baccy’ on a baking tray. The sample was dry but soft (not brittle) and I popped it in the oven for an hour, as per the instructions. The temp gradually crept up to around 76C, but it did so very slowly. I doubt that it mattered. After an hour, I raised the temp to 130C for half an hour. It was much easier to maintain that temp reasonably accurately. By the way, I was using a probe and external digital thermometer to help me to set the cooker controls.
After toasting, I took the tray out of the oven and put it on one side to cool. After about half an hour, I sprayed the baccy with water and left if to absorb the water, which it did. After about 15 minutes, I carefully stirred it up and left it again to air-dry to some extent. Oddly, there was a strong smell when I wet the stuff, But the smell was different. It was sort of chocolate-y.
After a couple of hours, I put a small amount on a saucer and blasted it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Letting the stuff dribble through my fingers exposed it to the air so that it dried more quickly. Then I made two fags.
I had no idea what to expect when I lit them and tasted them.
I don’t want to exaggerate the effects. Remember that the stuff that I was using had been over-fermented and had, shall we say, a ‘savoury’ taste: like too much garlic, or something similar. JB from Ireland and I concocted a scale so that we could talk about taste. We imagined the taste of an orange (but not literally) at the best end of the scale, and the taste of a lemon at the other end. The pleasanter the taste, the nearer to the ‘orange’ of the scale, and vice versa.
Anyway, without exaggerating, the taste of two fags that I made was ‘acceptable’. There was still a hint of the bitterness (the lemon end of the scale) but less than I expected. Let’s say that, as I enjoyed the second fag, I hardly noticed the ‘lemon’ part.
That is very good news, if it is correct. It means that the over-fermented stuff has been changed to be more palatable and may well be the foundation of a jolly pleasant blend.
Needless to say, ‘more research is required’. Could I get a grant, do you think?
‘Toasting’ could take the place of ‘ageing’ (waiting for years before the baccy can be used).
Eric ‘Plump’ Pickles, Communities Minister, has ordained that no organisation in receipt of taxpayer funding will be allowed to use that money for any sort of lobbying purpose.
Damn! I cannot now find the link. Ah! Found it!:
It seems that Pickles has actually spelt it out pretty clearly. An organisation which gets government funds cannot use those funds to lobby government in any way at all, to get laws and regulations, either at a local level, or through MPs or through Parliament. In theory, that buggers up ASH, Alcohol Concern, etc, unless they can get funding elsewhere. But, then again, if they get funding elsewhere, then they can no longer claim to be ‘official’. ASH is buggered.
But an interesting point arises concerning University academics. They are publicly funded, even if the receive grants from outside. They are publicly funded because they receive salaries as teachers, provided by students who pay for the expertise of the teachers. It is not the intention of their contributions to enable a lifestyle for the academics while they pursue other paid interests.
The directives from Plump Pickles make it even more incomprehensible why Cameron and Hunt have capitulated to the anti-smoker gang as regards smoking in cars and PP.
I mean ABJECT capitulation since 99% of the responses to the PP consultation were against the idea. Even Cameron himself said that government intrusion into private lives was a bad thing. And yet, the arsehole has approved just that.
This is weird and incomprehensible. Will a person who smokes in a car in the presence of his own children be required to shop himself? After all, ‘CONFESSION’ is very much part of our judicial system. If you confess, then you are likely to get off lightly. If you do not, you are likely to be battered. That idea certainly helps magistrates, but at the same time encourages further criminal acts. I suppose that it is a Catch 22 situation.
A person presents himself at the police station. He says, “Officer, I must admit to a transgression. I cannot tell a lie and I cannot live with it. While driving to London from Manchester, I smoked a cig in the car in the presence of my two kids, Angela, who was 15, and Andrew, who was 17. I feel really bad about it and deserve fifty lashes – and, no, I do not want a fine because I can easily pay a fine, I want fifty lashes of the cat-o’nine tails. Don’t give me no shit”
One might ask what the response of the police officer might be.
And yet that is the driving force behind the Bristol ‘voluntary ban’. Few people will see that the ideas of ‘voluntary’ and ‘ban’ are contradictions.
OK. Well, at least Plump Pickles has made a break for it. But it will not stop me personally voting UKIP, since the Tories abandoned me, a disgusting, filthy, stinking smoker. They have lost the historic knowledge that most of their heroes enjoyed tobacco. What about Churchill? He was fat, and he drank too much alcohol in the form of brandy, and, worst of all, he enjoyed tobacco. Clearly, he was not, and is not, a role model for the ‘yoof’.
There is a word in the English language which perfectly describes all of Tobacco Control. That word is ARTIFICIAL. The whole construct of Tobacco Control is ARTIFICIAL. Smoking causes lung cancer? Miasmas from swamps cause malaria. What is the difference? The statistics at the time would have supported the idea that ‘miasmas’ from swamps caused malaria.
H/T Anna Raccoon:
A boy of 7 died in suspicious circumstances. He suffered head injuries which killed him. The parents claimed that he fell off the couch and hit his head on the carpeted floor.
The boy is described as ‘child K'; his name was actually ‘Blake’. The mother was described as ‘Ms L’. She insisted that the father of ‘K’ was ‘Mr X’, but DNA tests later revealed that the father was ‘Mr A’, a guy whom ‘Ms L’ had a shag with. She also had two younger children whose fathers were ‘Mr C’ and ‘Mr X’. All these people were in their mid-twenties when K died. Oh, and there was a ‘Mr Y’, the brother of ‘Mr X’, who does not really figure in the shagging quartet. Some of the males has criminal records for a variety of transgressions and ‘Mr X’ had been imprisoned.
This ‘family’ (LOL) was in a mess: a massive, massive mess. The group might just as well have been animals with human characteristics. Ms L and Mr X hated each other but shagged and shagged. They constantly came to blows. It seems that Mr X thought that Mr C was the father of K (when it was actually Mr A who was the father), and threatened to kill Mr C. There are implications in the report that Mr X resented the presence of K and ill-treated him for that reason.
All of this stuff had not gone unnoticed. The Social Services were onto the case. So were the police as a result of being called out when neighbours reported screams and arguments.
Somehow or other, FIFTEEN government or quasi-government organisations got involved. Some of them were government funded organisations which were intended to support women subjected to violence from men. Thus, Ms L could do no wrong. Any problems were caused by Mr X, who was “big, strong and intimidating”. Reading between the lines (and this is brought out in the report by inference), the social services were concentrating on Ms L as a VICTIM of violence, and failed to see the danger to the children.
Oddly enough, Ms L’s mother saw through it and wrote to the social services describing her worries about the children. Social Services took no notice. Some workers in the vicinity saw this kid, bruised and battered, and reported what they had seen to the NSPCC. The NSPCC reported to the Social services which did………NOTHING. Well, they sent someone round to have a chat with Ms L.
And then K (Blake) was killed, either by accident, neglect or deliberately. No one knows, and the Police are not going to charge anyone with anything.
If you want to read the report, here it is:
In my opinion, the report is a classic whitewash. It seems, as you read it, to be hard-hitting, but the reality is that it spreads ‘blame’ thinly over all the people and agencies involved in Government, without actually pointing out where the precise failure occurred. For example, if my central heating fails, I want to know what precisely was the fault and how to fix it. I do not want someone to examine every component and assess that component’s weakness. Just fix/replace the component which broke.
So what actually happened to Blake which killed him? The report does not say. It does not even describe, in detail, what the trauma to his head was. Was he bludgeoned by a blunt instrument? Was his skull fractured? Did he just have bleeding in his brain for no obvious reason? Where other parts of his body injured?
That event, if you read the report, suggests to me that The Government Monopoly must be broken up. It is monolithic. It cannot deal with individual cases.
Our Representatives, MPs, as we vote for them, regardless of Party Affiliations, must be automatically against any restriction on our freedoms in order to avoid being a monolith. There is no such thing as a Party Affiliation which permits the destruction of our freedoms. Our freedoms are not for sale.
Do Only Politicians Still Support the Totalitarian, Fascist Organisation Known as The Tobacco Control Industry?23/02/2015
It is rather late, and so I do not propose a lengthy blather about this subject. In the same way that Tobacco Control has attempted to control the people by innuendo, propaganda and superstition, it is possible to seriously ask whether or not our ‘political representatives’ have been doing their duty, to protect even the smallest of minorities against the predations of majorities of any kind, including multinational businesses, which can skew our knowledge by verbal trickery. A typical example would be a toothpaste multinational telling us, via adverts, that their toothpaste will ‘help‘ to avoid the corruption of tooth enamel. Erm… What is ‘tooth enamel’? Is there really any such thing? What is it? Is it just some sort of calcium coating on the teeth; is is it metallic? What is it? How does toothpaste actually do anything at all about ‘enamel’?
My serious question, as formulated in the title of this post, concerns the formulaic substance of Tobacco Control’s utterances. They ceased to have any scientific justification some time ago, and now rely upon hysteria. For example:
“Smoking expert Professor John Britton, consultant in respiratory medicine at Nottingham City Hospital, said: “Smoking is the biggest threat to public health in this city and tackling it should be the biggest priority. Any attempt like this has to be applauded. Is it a good thing for young kids to walk through the town centre and see adults smoking? The answer in any civilised society is surely no.”
There is so much wrong with the above statement that it renders ALL THE PREVIOUS statements from The Tobacco Control Industry suspect at least, if not visibly dishonest.
If I had a ‘respiratory disease’, as a smoker, the last person that I would wish to be involved with, medically, would be Professor John Britton. Of course, the probability is that Prof JB has never, in his life, actually met a patient in a hospital. Like the Queen, he might have passed through and asked, “How do you do?”
I hate people like Prof John Britton beyond imagining. People like him are no better that those in Nazi Germany who saw ‘civilised society’ as being one without Jews. But Prof John Britton does not understand that he is a Nazi. He would be a bit upset if you told him so to his face. He does not understand, at all, that smokers DO NOT GIVE A DAMN that they might peg out before they get dementia or become senile, or get Parkinsons Disease.
I have known very few people who have not wanted to have fun. Frank Davis has described, to some extent, the epitome of ‘funlessness’ in his description of Dr. W (?), who lived his life in a state of austerity.
Other people of great renown have also been austere. For example, the greatest experimental physicist of all time, Michael Faraday, belonged to a Christian sect which deplored exhibitionism. That is, everyone in that group helped each other on an equal footing. Faraday refused a knighthood. It is hard to sufficiently describe the contribution of Faraday. It isn’t just that he worked out how to produce an electric current by spinning a magnet adjacent to a conductor, it is also that he had the humility to realise that the power of the forces involved were way beyond anything that mankind had ever experienced before.
People like Prof Britton are killing that humility and creating False Gods. It does not matter if people in the healthy, wealthy West die a little earlier than, say, 90 years old because they enjoy smoking tobacco. What really, really matters is that the People of Africa, for example, have not yet enjoyed the vast resources of that continent. When I say ‘vast’, I mean incalculably huge. And that does not include the energy resources which lie deeper within the Earth.
And, no, the exploitation of these heat resources does not mean that the Earth will warm. It is already warm and emits heat into space, and will continue to do so until it becomes an iceberg or something like Mars.
Such things are ‘common sense’, and yet Cameron, Clegg and Miliband play political games with their declaration of intent to be greener-than-green.
There really ought to be a way to hold Politicians to account. Not just on the basis of expenses claims and such, but also upon their votes. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, legislators who cocked up seriously were permitted to end their lives painlessly. In more recent times, an Admiral, around the time of Nelson, was executed on board his ship by his officers because he made terrible errors and cost the lives of hundreds of sailors. I forget his name. Bing?
The Zealots will not always get away with their hysterical claims. What is likely to happen, eventually, is that a Judge will strike down the provisions of the EU Tobacco Control Directive in its entirety, on the grounds that it is simply UNJUST in every way sense of the word.
But we must wait and see. In the meantime, vote for anyone other than the Neo-communists who inhabit Westminster.
It is an interesting idea, is it not?
Now…. I’m not very sure of the facts, but it might be worth thinking about these things.
Ever since the end of WW2, the UK has been involved in wars over and over again. Without being exhaustive, and in no particular order, we could list them:
Kuwait crisis (1962 aborted).
Iceland (fishing rights. No fighting).
Have I missed any?
In the 70 years, since the end of WW2, the UK (previously known as ‘Great Britain’) has been constantly battling for one reason or another, almost always without there being any real direct, physical threat to these islands. However, these military involvements have become more and more surreal, with less and less direct ‘UK Interests’ involved. Say what you like, but the supply of oil to our industries in of great importance to us, and, in so far as we have contracts with various nations to supply that oil, it is in our interests to protect that supply. Thus, we ought not to support tyrants from political attack, but we need not to actively defend them, but rather protect the oil supply. Clearly, the result of such considerations would be messy, but they would be manageable. At least, such a stance would be honest.
How did we get involved in bombing Libya? What was the point of interfering? Why not let the antagonists fight it out among themselves? I don’t know if we are involved in bombing Islamic State. The Yanks seem to be? Why?
I had an idea which involved some lateral thinking. The idea was that the Yanks were supporting Arab revolutions so as to help the revolutionaries to succeed, so as to make them take responsibility. Get rid of emperors like Gadaffi and ‘assist’ in the making of a ‘democratic’ State. Oh dear. It does not seem to have worked. The new State is just as bad as the old one, but is medieval. Kings and Emperors proliferate and garner the wealth to themselves while promoting prayer among the citizens.
But is the UK (formerly know as ‘Great Britain’) any different? I think not. It is true that we ordinary Brits are, generally speaking, much better off that we ever have been. Within my lifetime, we have gone from abject poverty (outdoor toilets and no bathrooms, no fridges, no telephones, no electricity, no cars) to relative wealth. And yet …..
The ‘and yet….’ refers to the fact that only a few Brits can consider themselves to be ‘safe’. Almost all of us are in grave danger all the time. If you take out a mortgage to buy your home, you are always on the brink of catastrophe. DO NOT STEP OUT OF LINE! OBEY INSTRUCTIONS! OR ELSE….
The more that you think about these things, the more messy it gets. For example, suppose that the whole financial system collapsed, who would own the houses which have a mortgage? It is hard to see how a Building Society which collapsed totally and disappeared could have any rights in the properties which it lent money on. No doubt there would be historical documents, but of what use would they be? Would they be good for a liquidator who is winding up the affairs of the defunct society? Well, Yes, if those ‘assets’ were saleable. But think of the enormous complexities. Lawyers’ fees would eat up all the assets, as we have seen in the Case of Jimmy Savile.
That reminds me of the situation which followed Trafalgar. When the Spanish and French navies were defeated, British sailors expected bumper remuneration from seizures of the ships. Oh dear! It did not work out. Many of the Spanish and French ships drifted into the shallows because of the direction of the wind and tide and became un-salvageable.
Thus, it would be the most wonderful thing for people who have mortgages if the whole financial system totally collapsed! They would own their houses outright with no encumbrance. True, the World would have to exist for a while on barter, family cohesion, having a chicken pen rather than a garden, candles for light, no TV, no i-phones, etc. Interesting, do you not think, that that situation is not much different from conditions in WW2.
Would such a situation make much difference to the NHS?
Of course it would! The NHS would collapse unless the doctors and nurses kept on working ‘pro bono’. They might, but the ‘executives’ and ‘bean-counters’ would not, for they have no actual involvement in CARE. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the following ‘survey’ was promulgated within the NHS:
“If you were told that the NHS could not pay you your salary, would you:
1. Not go to work.
2. Go to work because the patients rely upon you.
“If the NHS told you that all salaries other than doctors and nurses would be cut by 50%, would you (assuming that you are neither a doctor or a nurse) decide:
1. Not go to work.
2. Go to work and see what happens in the short term.
3. Go to work and carry on working even though you are being paid only 50% of your previous salary from now on.
Of course, it could be the doctors and nurses who ‘went on strike’ and not the bean counters. Why? Because the bean counters have nothing to fear. They are Civil Servants – the cream of the cream.
I have had experience of “Civil Servants”. They are indeed the ‘cream of the cream’. They have wonderful expertise at finding problems. Sadly, they have no expertise at solving problems. Every solution that they provide creates more problems.
We have seen this situation accumulate since 2007 when the monstrous penalties on publicans, who might just permit a bit of smoking late on in their premises, were raided, condemned and imprisoned. Let us not forget that.
Let us not also discount the lack of real emergencies that the UK (formerly known as Great Britain) has faced. Given that Cameron et al want statues to erected in their memory, it is entirely predictable that they will endorse smoking bans on hospital grounds. Every hospital will have a statue of Cameron, Miliband or the boy Clegg in its grounds, and all and every statue will have Cameron, Miliband and Clegg holding a “NO SMOKING” sign.
For if the Ban on Smoking in Cars and PP go through, then Christianity falls. Mohammedanism reigns, since ‘forced prohibition’ is what it is about. But that discipline already reigns due to the “General Penalty”. The Government needs not to chop off heads. It can merely fine thousands of pounds or imprison. Thus, other than degree, our Government is just as bad as ISIS. It governs by fear.
The EU is just the same. The Tobacco Control Directive depends for its worth on fear. Fear in every way that you can think of – fear of disease, fear of debilitating health conditions, fear of penury, fear of imprisonment, fear of debt.
It may not be a Churchill who ‘corrects’ the EU. We must not forget that we Brits do not have a sinecure on Great Politicians. It may be that Greek Politicians are the ones to be Great in the situation as it exists in the EU at present. What is important, at the moment, is that THE PEOPLE must overcome ‘THE MACHINE’.
The fight against those who would imprison us must go on. Imprisonment is not only physical; it is also mental.
I’m not sure, but I think that General Bans on smoking are a Westminster matter. Thus, no matter how much the Propagandists try to imply that smoking can be banned in the open air by the Scottish Parliament, the fact is that the Scottish Parliament cannot make open air smoking a criminal offence. It is limited to ‘substantially enclosed places’, just as is England. I know that many football grounds and similar places ban smoking, but that is their choice, and their answer to anyone smoking could not be to call the police, merely because that person is smoking. They would have to eject that person from the ground for disobeying the club’s rules. That is quite different from enforcing a law of the land.
I draw this matter to the readers attention because of a report on the BBC website:
the headline states:
“E-cigarettes to be banned from Scotland hospital grounds”
When I saw that headline, I wondered WTF? Not because of the emphasis on ecigs, but on the idea of a ban in the open air. I thought, “Is it correct that the Scottish Government has passed a law banning smoking, never mind ecigs, on hospital grounds?
I remember some time ago seeing a report concerning an attempt by a Scottish hospital to ‘police’ a hospital grounds smoking ban, and that, after a week, all the ‘wardens’ packed the job in because of the abuse which they (rightfully) were receiving.
I have just searched google and can find nothing which suggests that such a law exists.
OK. So what is the BBC article saying? I think that it is the epitome of a ‘puff piece’, if I understand that phrase correctly. The clue to the meaning is in the idea of ‘to puff up’. IE, exaggerate significance. So, by including the idea of banning ecigs on hospital grounds, the BBC ‘puffs up’ the significance of such a ban as though it is actually likely to be the case. At the same time, it vaguely normalises the idea of banning actual smoking in the open air on hospital grounds.
But to see the verbal trickery involved, you need to read the BBC article carefully.
Let us reiterate that there is no law in Scotland banning smoking in the open air. However, the BBC articles says this:
“Scotland health board smoking ban policies“
Ah ha! No laws involved then – just ‘policies’.
Taking a couple of examples of these ‘policies’.
NHS Lanarkshire: Smoke-free grounds date: 2008.
NHS Shetland: Smoke-free grounds date: 2009.
So the above health boards have had ‘policies’ about smoking in the open air for several years.
I just love this statement from the article:
Under the terms of the Scottish government’s tobacco control strategy, all NHS boards must make their entire hospital grounds smoke-free by the end of March.
Many health boards have already implemented the restrictions while others, like NHS Tayside and NHS Lothian, are in the process of removing smoking shelters.
A spokesman for the government said: “It is a matter for boards to decide how they implement and enforce their smoke-free policies, this includes whether they chose to incorporate a ban on e-cigarettes.
“No specific resources have been allocated. However, the Scottish government allocates around £11m a year to NHS Boards for smoking-related services.”
So, it seems that ‘implementing the restrictions’ means nothing more that removing smoking shelters, and the boards have to ‘enforce’ without teeth, and they will have no ‘resources’. Clever, that.
It’s just more propaganda, isn’t it? Just more of the well-paid charlatans finding themselves something to do. What amuses me is the tortured way in which the BBC has gone about making something out of nothing. I sometimes wonder if the BBC gets revenue from publicising these ‘puff pieces’. If the Government uses the BBC for ‘public information broadcasts’, does it pay for them? It is hard to see why it should not, since the BBC has to pay staff etc. Their organisation does not come cheap. It is one thing to report ‘News’ if it is worth reporting, but a different thing altogether to publish ‘puff pieces’. There is no doubt that the Government pays for anti-smoking adverts on Commercial Channels.
A thought which always comes into my mind when I see articles about ‘smoking on hospital grounds’ is that we do not smoke ‘ON the ground’ – we stand on the ground and smoke in the air. The only thing that is ‘on hospital grounds’ is the soles of my shoes. If I fart, do I fart ‘on hospital grounds’?
Actually, despite my support for vapers, I am quite pleased with the plans to ban ecig use ‘in the air above the ground on hospital sites’ (but only in a reverse propaganda sense!). The more stupid the proposals, the better. The more stupid the propaganda, the sooner the general public will wake up from its slumber. And the sooner the public wake up, the sooner politicians will start to remark, “Well, personally, I do not smoke, but I do think that it is going a bit too far when bans on smoking ecigs are being advocated. Actually, I’m getting a bit fed up with these do-gooders and its about time the government spoke up for my voters ….. erm….. sorry, I mean ‘the general public”
I don’t like to be political on this blog, other than in a general sense, but I do hope that UKIP do well in the GE. They do not have to win many seats. They merely have to take a sizeable share of the vote. If they do, then many seats could change hands because UKIP has eaten into the normal voting patterns and upset the equilibrium. That would be brilliant, because, as we know, the three (or should that be two) main parties have allowed themselves to become mirror images of each other.
All of the credibility of tobacco control, organised world-wide, seems to depend upon making progress in the direction of a ‘tobacco-free world’ in the foreseeable future, even if that future is a good way away. That is why Chapman has called for a law which would ban anyone born after, say, the year 2000 from buying cigs no matter how old they are. The idea is, of course, extremely silly, but you can see why Chapman has floated that idea. The reason is this:
On the 1st Jan 2015, X number of youths will have turned 18 during the previous 12 months. Many of them will go, “Wee Hee! I can now buy my own cigs and booze! Wee Hee!” and they will do so, with great aplomb. They have become adults. On the 1st Jan 2016, X number of youths will turn 18, and become adults……… The process will repeat and repeat. ASH ET AL have again and again, claimed that anyone who does not start smoking before 25 will almost certainly never start smoking. But they have no actual definite evidence that such is the case. They used to say much the same about the age of 16. The reality is that the sooner a youth is working and earning, the more likely he is to buy cigs. A law which forbid him from buying cigs does not mean that he will not buy cigs. What will happen is that he will have to wait until he is 18 before he can buy them for himself. If the age to buy is pushed to 21, he will still start to buy at 21. If 24, then he will buy at 24.
I hope that you see my point. Teenagers start to drink and smoke as soon as the are permitted to do so. If, in the past, the usual age for a youth to start to smoke was, say, 16 (and he was working and could afford it), that age would be ‘the mean’. Thus, statistics which show that people who do not start to smoke before the age of, say, 20, will never start smoking depend upon historical evidence which showed ONLY that people not inclined to smoke (or drink) did not start to do so. Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ showed that young doctors did not start to smoke, on average, until they were 19½ years old. Is that surprising? The vast majority would have been students, and thus not very well-off. Thus, the fact that they started at age 19½ shows that they started to smoke as soon as they reasonably could. Thus, anyone who is not permitted to smoke until the age of 25 will start to do so at that age, provided that he is inclined to do so. ASH’s claim that anyone who does not start smoking before age 25 (or whatever) will not start smoking at all is false.
But is there anything that ASH says which is not false?
Eventually, all the lies of the Tobacco Control Industry will rebound. Ecigs are a new way to enjoy the fruits of the tobacco plant, particularly the pleasantly soporific effects of nicotine. But there are also other ways to enjoy tobacco, such as the ‘ploom’ type of ecig which uses actual tobacco but merely heats it rather than burning it. I wonder if it could be possible to adjust such machines to use one’s own stuff? Interesting. Must investigate.
There seems to be little doubt that tobacco control is panicking. Bans which are not bans in Bristol. Bans which are not bans on hospital grounds. Plain packaging in Australia which has increased youth smoking. Excessive taxation which has resulted in more and more ‘underground’ trade. Vast increases in taxation which have produced no increase in overall revenue – imminent collapse of that revenue. No change in hospitalisations, other than an increase in old-age problems, both medical and physical, and costs (not ‘tobacco related’ per se).
One of the weird things to me is the fact that tobacco companies have not used their financial clout to change the perception of them as ‘evil empires’. I know that some have tried to help in various ways to alleviate poverty. But those efforts have not had the effect of making them seem to be ‘good guys’ – of course. What I am talking about is financing studies which have nothing at all to do with tobacco. They could, for example, finance research into Ebola. Would the BMJ refuse to publish such research merely because Japan Tobacco financed the research?
There is something that is extremely weird about the behaviour of tobacco companies. They say almost nothing and let tobacco control stamp about all over the place. I understand that tobacco control seems not to be affecting tobacco companies’ businesses world-wide (which is why their shares continue to be valuable), but I fail to understand why they do not finance individual smokers who dare to take on The Zealots. For example, it took us smokers to raise the £10,000 fine to release Nick Hogan from prison. But what is important is that Nick Hogan should have had the best legal defence available, courtesy of the tobacco companies.
Oh dear! Perhaps these companies are not stupid. Perhaps they understand that, like Prohibition of Alcohol in the USA, these things have to be allowed to run their course.
But what is the point of politicians if they just roll over? Is not the whole point of having politicians that they DO NOT roll over? Weird, and largely why our political system stinks.
Reilly is the Minister in Ireland who is pushing ‘propaganda packaging’ of cigs. He used to be ‘Minister for Health’, but was sacked from that position and moved to ‘kiddy-fiddling Minister’. Why he is still being allowed to fiddle in the health dept is beyond me. Anyway, he is the prohibitionist who has proposed that Ireland pays billions of Euros in compensation to tobacco companies for despoiling them of their logos and trade marks. International Law does not forbid governments from doing such things, but requires that compensation should be paid to the holder of the logos/trademarks. I would be very surprised if tobacco companies could not prove reasonably that their brands (such as ‘Marlborough’) have not lost ground since Australia introduced logo-free and trade-mark-free packaging of fags. Can that effect be justified on health grounds? I doubt it. For example, suppose that vintage champagne has to be bottled as demanded by law in just the same bottles as cheap plonk (not knocking cheap plonk, I assure you) with just the same ugly, untrue pictures of diseased penises and vaginas, with nothing other than the name of the vintage champagne/cheap plonk in small print on the label?
Of course, the National Government can decree such uglification and misleading claims about diseases, but such a process is the epitome of misrule. The recent EU tobacco product directive is also the epitome of misrule. Even worse, as regards the EU, it is the result of the the rule of autocrats.
So Reilly has played the equivalent of the ‘race’ card – he has claimed to be David fighting Goliath. He is, in effect, claiming to be a ‘black’ fighting against ‘whitey’. You would think that Irish MPs would not get ‘the hump’ and decide emotionally that ‘WE RULE!!’, but, instead, would think rationally. There are international agreements which protect logos and trademarks – live with it or get these agreements changed. The same applies to the UK. Why are Cameron, Clegg and Miliband tempting fate? Why do they not at least await the outcome in Australia? What is the rush?
And there is the stupidity of the likes of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. “They do not know what they do”, or, if they do, then they just do not care.
The fact is that ‘Public Opinion’ regarding any specific topic is unreliable. For example, public opinion might be all in favour of some project. But that opinion would very rapidly change when the public realised that the project would cause taxes to increase by, say, 10%.
I have read that the Roman Empire collapsed, over a period of time, because the costs of an ever expanding central bureaucracy starved the extremities of the Empire of funding. Are we not seeing something similar in the UK, Ireland and the EU? Are we not seeing more and more resources going into ephemera? Who is going to police the ban on smoking in cars when kids are present? Who is going to chase after sellers of ‘chop-chop’? The ‘war on drugs’ will pale into insignificance when the ‘underclass’ start to buy ‘chop-chop’ tobacco.
And, no, the ‘chop-chop’ will not be grown in the UK. It will not because the climate does not lend itself to large-scale growing. Anyone who ‘grows their own’ does so as a hobby for fun. It will grown and cured in other countries and, literally, smuggled in described as blankets, or something.
But there is another consideration.
We Brits have always believed that our Government acts in our collective best interests. It is a shock to find that our modern-day government has decided to interfere and force change in the way in which we conduct our lives, day by day. Is it any wonder that citizens are rebelling in great numbers? No one with any sense obeys laws any more, unless forced to do so. It is comical that Bristol thinks that the ‘voluntary ban’ on smoking outside will, somehow, police itself. What rot! What will happen is nothing.
Such interference requires a massive allocation of resources, if it is to be effective. It is absolutely not like the Smoking Ban where publicans could be pressured and convicted of crimes. The same applies to ‘voluntary hospital grounds bans’. It amuses me to think of a ‘volunteer’ hospital grounds smoking ban warden telling a person not to smoke. I suppose that he/she might be brave if there was only one person smoking, but would be less brave if there were twenty people.
The understanding of the nastiness of the smoking ban is not yet complete. It will only be complete when a publican/bar owner demands the right to allow smoking in his establishment.
I managed to get through to the Oxford Union, suggesting a debate entitled: “Is the world-wide tobacco control movement corrupt?” I received a reply.
It seems that the Union has been thinking about holding a debate about the tobacco industry in the near future. I am not sure whether or not the phrase ‘the tobacco industry’ is used loosely. I hope so, since another debate centring on the wickedness of Big Tobacco would be so absolutely boring. Much more interesting would be a debate about how the Tobacco CONTROL Industry has become a fascist, totalitarian, corrupt, socially and economically damaging, tyrant.
I offered to suggest some names of ‘prominent’ people who have been in tobacco control for a long time, but who have been ostracised (with their permission, of course), but I could not approach such people to ask for their permission to put their names forward without knowing what the debate would be about. My contact at the Oxford Union has asked me to suggest names of those who have been ostracised, but I cannot, as I have explained, until I know what the OU intend.
I don’t hold out much hope that the Oxford Union will have the courage to take on the massed ranks of those parts of the corrupt medical establishment which are obliged by the weakness of their position to employ every possible under-hand means at their disposal to defend themselves. The vicious attacks upon ecigs clearly emphasis the point. Imagine a child sucking on a lolly which is packed full of tooth-rotting, obesity-making sugar and other addictive toxins. Imagine that Big Lolly invent a NEW lolly with almost zero quantities of those ingredients, but just as tasty, would Public Health condemn those NEW lollies, claiming that the only acceptable course is to be LOLLY-FREE?
Well, YES!! In condemning ecigs, that is precisely what BIG HATE has done.
The phrase “Denormalise smoking” sounds reasonable, until you think more carefully about the meaning of the words. Volcanoes smoke. Chimneys smoke (or used to). Fires smoke. Burning tubes of tobacco smoke. Deep sea vents smoke. The verb “to smoke” used to mean “to emit smoke”. When I enjoy tobacco, I inhale the product of the smoking cig, and then I myself smoke to some extent when I breath out the smoke. I know that we have become use to the corruption of our language, but we should resist. Thus, a piece of wood which has been burning, is often referred to as ‘smouldering’ when it has almost all been consumed by fire. What else is ‘smouldering’ other than ‘smoking’?
OK. I digress. And my words above may be silly, but they are typical of ‘newspeak'; for example, do not accept the phrase ‘climate change’. Absolutely refuse to do so. Do not use that phrase at all. It is stupid since the climate is constantly changing. It heats and cools, rises and falls, compresses and decompresses, swirls left and right. IS IT HEATING UP? That is the only important thing.
So is the phrase “Global Warming” accurate? Well, obviously NOT!! The idea that mankind’s activities are heating up the whole of the Globe is beyond ridicule. Damnation! The Globe has a diameter of 8 000 miles! Mount Everest is only one thousandth of that diameter. Clearly, whatever might happen at the surface of the Globe has no effect whatsoever, even the tiniest bit, upon the Globe as a whole, since the Globe as a whole is still extremely hot internally and subject to change.
So what phrase could be used? I doubt that there is one, since there is nothing to describe. Suppose that I have a glass of whisky and I drink the whisky so that there is nothing in the glass. “What is the colour of the liquid which is no longer in the glass?” That is the sort of nonsense which Cameron, Clegg and Miliband believe.
Will the Oxford Union dare to upset the Establishment? It has a long history of doing precisely that. It would be a pity if it did not buck the trend.
Obviously, I have been back in touch. I hope that the contact does not break. I hope that the contact sees the significance of anti-smokER junk science persecution and thinks about a debate highlighting the persecution.
H/T Frank Davis for the information.
Cameron, Clegg and Miliband have had a meeting. They agreed to a joint declaration:
They have pledged a pledge. They want a legally binding treaty (like the FCTC, I suppose) to stop global warming going beyond 2ºC. They pledge to work together, across party lines, to agree a carbon budget. they want to end the use of unabated (?) coal for power generation.
There are so many things wrong with these pledges that they are comical. I mean, if global warming exceeded 2ºC, what would they do? Would the stand together on Hampstead Heath waving the parliamentary mace at the Sun, demanding that it withdraw? And there’s the old chestnut again – a ‘legally binding’ treaty. No, the FCTC treaty is not legally binding. No treaty ever is or ever has been. Treaties are temporary arrangements between groups of countries where their interests coincide, like The North Atlantic Treaty. The government of the day agree treaties and not parliament. They do not commit a future government in any way at all. And what will happen to their pledges when the lights go out and industry grinds to a halt due to electricity supply failure? Are they going to beg the UN for mercy?
Another serious point arises. The Opposition has no democratic right to agree not to oppose, because opposing is what it exists for. It’s job is to examine all legislation with a fine tooth-comb for faults and to point those faults out.
Nah….. It is bold-faced politicking. What party (besides UKIP) has shown some strength in recent times? It is the Green Party, isn’t it? So what have the Tories, LibDems and Labour done by making their pledges just before the General Election? They have attempted to draw the sting of the Green Party. That is what their joint declaration is about. Simple, obvious politicking.
And thus we see the reason for the rush to enact anti-smoker legislation. Labour said that they would do so if the win the GE, LibDem are also in favour, so what is the best ‘politick’ course of action for the Tories? Again, it is to draw the sting. Do it NOW. Level playing field, innit? I suppose that it was clever thinking, purely in a political sense, for the Tories to rush the legislation through once Labour committed to doing so after the election. If there is any backlash from smokers, it will affect all the main parties equally, more of less. Would it matter if, in every constituency, all three parties lost a few votes each to UKIP because of the smoker-bashing? One or other of those three would still win in the vast majority of constituencies.
In effect, Lib, Lab, Con are clearing the area so that the three of them can engage in their normal jousting in the run up to May.
I am sure that they are right in the sense that actual controversial topics will be out of the way. Between now and May, Lib, Lab, Con can blather away in generalisations over the economy, the NHS, immigration, without having to be in the least bit specific. And they will ensure that their generalisations are somewhat mixed up, so as to say as little as possible. In that way, traditional supporters will be confused and fall back into line.
So be it. We know full well that the pledges of Cameron, Clegg and Milband are worthless. For a start, let’s face it, it is almost certain that Clegg will fall immediately after the election. Also, whichever of Cameron and Miliband fails, he too will fall. So that’s two of the three pledges not worth the ink right away.
Personally, I think that there are just too many people who are sick to death of the corruption for traditional supporters of the ‘big three’ to fall back in line so easily. What is the point of voting traditionally for the Tories if you get Cameron, who is sort-of pink? What if you vote traditionally for Labour and get Miliband, who is also sort-of pink? What is the point of voting LibDem at all? In fact, why vote at all since we are governed by the EU and the UN? Have not Cameron, Milband and Clegg, by their pledges, expressed a wish to hand over control of the UK to some sort of ‘legally binding treaty’ created by the elite in the UN?
So what should we do? Well, if you want to vote, vote. But under no circumstances vote for any of the ‘big three’. Whether Tory or Labour get the most seats, and whether there is a hung parliament, or a need for a coalition, you will still have withdrawn support for any of the main parties and have no obligation to them. You will only obey their laws to avoid going to jail or being fined. They will have no hold over you other than that created by force.
Have I just described East Germany before the liberation?