No wonder ASH ET AL are demanding that the Gov publishes the ‘new’ tobacco control strategy. Until the Gov does so, ASH ET AL are in limbo. They have nothing to do. We must understand that the purpose of ASH is publicity. That is what it exists for, and nothing else. I have often seen it said that ASH originated some sort of scientific study concerning smoking, but ASH is not equipped to originate such studies. It is a publicity organisation and nothing else. Arnott does not have the skills to decide such things.
ASH is a tiny ‘shill’ cabal, acting as a cover for ‘Big Academia’.
Think about it.
If ASH is defunded, then the taxpayer will no longer pay for the publicity stunts which ASH dreams up via its connections with the MSM. When I say ‘dreams up’, I mean the clever interpretations of studies etc which are so phrased as not to be actually lies – even though they are.
What, for me, is odd is that tobacco companies do not seem to have questioned the veracity of the medical porn pics which they are obliged to cover their cig packets with. Maybe they are biding their time until ASH ET AL go too far. In my opinion, ASH ET AL have already gone way too far in the claims of tobacco harm as depicted on cig packets. But I can understand if tobacco companies want to wait until the claims as so outrageous that a legal challenge will be successful, and the whole edifice will collapse.
Is a pity that such an eventuality has not yet arisen regarding the smoking ban. An intelligent person can see that there are manifold ways for smokers, non-smokers and bar workers, or whoever, to be segregated to a reasonable extent.
How do these people get away with it? It can only be that the people who could call a halt are terrified of doing so – or that they just do not give a damn.
But, from time to time, the desperation of ASH ET AL surfaces. Until the new ‘strategy’ is published, ASH ET AL have nothing to do. They are a waste of time and money. They need the ‘strategy’ to be published before they can issue their prepared press releases. Until then, they are being paid for doing nothing at all.
Being paid for doing nothing at all seems to be normal in Academia. Or, even worse, Academics are paid by Big Industry to produce results favourable to that Industry. Big Pharma comes to mind.
Is it wrong for our Government to stop wasting tax monies on studies which produce minor variations of possibilities and probabilities?
It seems to me that Tobacco Control is quietly being down-graded. The Academics are squealing because they they lack an income stream. In the grand scheme of such pyramids, lack of funding in Academia translates into ‘nothing to do’ for ASH ET AL.
Only after ASH ET AL have ceased to exist will ‘common sense’ (supported by ‘true’ science) take back control. Sooner or later, the owners of a bar/pub will not stop people smoking, and the anti-smoking law will quietly fall into disuse. It has happened before, again and again. A law does not have to be repealed. It will be effectively repealed when it is ignored by everyone, including lawmakers.
At some point in the future, people will ask how a vast international organisation such as the UN got itself hung up about tobacco and other harmless but enjoyable substances. Sooner or later, a Government will realise that ‘one size fits all’ is causing its people great harm.
Thus, the UN will be seen to be a harmful organisation because it cannot function other than ‘one size fits all’. For it to do otherwise would bankrupt the nations which fund it.
So, it really is surprising that the FCTC has actually lasted, as a blueprint, for so long. Why has that happened? It is because most nations did not know what they were signing up for, and that Governments were too weak, and too dishonest to admit that they did not know what they were signing.
The same applies to Climate Control.
The fact is that we are seeing the quite downgrading of Tobacco Control along with other taxpayer funded ‘initiatives (aka ‘wastes of money’).
The sooner the downgrading has a major effect (closure), the better.
Big Pharma sells nicotine patches, gums and inhalers. According the the MHRA in the UK, and the FDA in the USA, those things are harmless. Why so? Surely, since they contain nicotine, they are likely to be a gateway to smoking? But we go further. You can buy the patches and gums without a prescription, which means that you can buy as much as you like. They also claim that it does not matter if you use patches and smoke at the same time. As I understand it, kids (aka ‘young adults’) are not bared from buying patches, etc. There may well be rules, but can anyone see a chemist refusing to sell patches to a young man/woman who looks old enough? Will the chemist demand to see proof of age?
I have just been to Ebay and pretended to want to buy Niquitin. No problem whatsoever. No questions at all. Nothing about age, blood pressure, etc. Anyone can buy that dangerous substance, nicotine. Which just goes to show how much of the waffling about ‘nicotine addiction’ is hypocrisy. I could buy dozens of packets and stick all the patches all over my body all at once. Nobody would give a damn.
What is it with politicians?
Recent under-secretaries of State for Health have all been young women. They have cocked-up again and again. Milton MP was the first that I know of. She cocked-up big time when she declared that the UK Gov was under a legal obligation to do what the FCTC said. What Bullshit! Nothing in the FCTC Treaty is a demand. One of the oft repeated phrases in the FCTC is ‘according to national law’ (words to that effect). In other words, it is up to Governments to decide what laws to create. The FCTC did not impose anything. She was photographed again and again with ASH ET AL. She was unceremoniously sacked and wept. The next one was Soubry MP. She did not know what was in the TPD but committed the UK to it. She too was ‘moved on’ and has since been sacked by PM May.
Why are they always young women? It is not just about smoking. Why are they always young women? Could there be some sort of genetic thing involved? The emphasis seems to be on children’s health, and who are the people who are most likely to be easily swayed when it comes to children’s health than young women?
And yet it is people like Cameron, Brown, May, who appointing young women to be under-secretary of State for Health. Why have we not recently had an old man in that position? The (fake) message ‘for the children’ MUST be accepted by these appointees because they are women. They can be soaked with ‘for the children’ propaganda and have no alternative but to go along with it. They really do have NO alternative. Otherwise, they would be castigated as being un-woman.
I believe that, when the PM appoints people to positions, her first concern is with the high offices of State – Health Sec, Foreign Sec, etc. Lower positions are not important to her. So anyone will do. Who then decides? The probability is that a person will be recommended. Who recommends? It is not unlikely that the ‘advisers’ from the Civil Service will ‘recommend’. “So-and-so is pretty solid. She is voluble and has a good memory. And, she has no qualifications whatsoever other than being female” What can go wrong?
Thus, policy decided by a process of ‘acceptability to the population in general’, backed up by junk science, gets articulated by those women in Parliament, and gets passed.
There is no other explanation for the disaster of ‘plain packaging’.
I must explain why it is a disaster.
It has nothing to do with whether it worked or not. That is a distraction. The critical thing is that it destroyed the ability of consumers to choose as they wish. I am an old adult. If I wish to choose a particular brand of cigs because of the nice colours of the packets, I should be free to do so. Was it Milton MP or Soubry MP who said that she chose to smoke Du Maurier cigs because she liked the green packs?
The disaster lies in the uniformity: the ‘level playing field’; the greyness; the bossiness; the medical porn which has replaced art; etc; but, most of all, the failure of Democracy. Modern Government is not intended to CONTROL citizens. It is intended to free them from oppression. No Government can pass a law which forbids publicans to provide facilities for smokers and call itself ‘democratic’. You see, the idea of a ‘democracy’ DOES NOT mean the tyranny of the majority. It means that people can do what they wish to do, provided that what they do does not greatly damage the ‘demos’ (the people as a whole). Thus, democracy ALLOWS variations. It is not a tyranny.
So when Parliament permitted the Zealots to dictate that pubs could not have smoking rooms, it FAILED to do what it was created for. It permitted tyranny rather than opposing it.
That disaster, in terms of democratic reasoning, has spawned all sorts of similar tyrannies. It is very odd that Politicians fall for the hype again and again and again. What are they afraid of? When the Gov decided that everyone who tells a Supermarket delivery system to use plastic bags is destroying the planet, why did it not outlaw telling supermarkets to deliver in plastic bags?
Over the last few decades, Government has got itself into a glutinous mess. According to a recent survey, people see it as reasonable for smokers to acquire their supplies from ‘sources’ which are not taxed, because cigs are taxed so highly. What can Gov do about the ‘tax avoidance’? The only thing that it can do is spend money on interrupting supplies. That expenditure, by virtue of the enormous problem which it itself has created, is ENORMOUS. Thousands of Customs Officers need to be paid just to check that a person does not have 5 x 200 cigs in his baggage.
That is what Tobacco Control want.
But it will not work and never has done. The blatherings in the MSM about seizures is almost certain to be exaggerated. Does the reporter actually check the supposed seizure? Of course not! He/she accepts what he/she is told.
All the above is about ‘public perception’, which is easily manipulated. How sad is that? How can ‘public perception’ be so easily manipulated?
The truth is that ‘public perception’, for the most part, does not exist. The General Public does not give a damn whether or not there are smoking rooms. The General Public does not give a damn.
Thus, the General Public is not the slightest bit interested nicotine. Nicotine problems will not play a part in the USA Presidential Election. Why not, since smoking bans have played havoc throughout the land?
And yet the Academics say that it is all about the vile effects of nicotine.
I detest them.
The human body breaks nicotine down quite quickly. A few hours suffices to rid the body of nicotine. I do not know the detail, although I have read about it, but it appears that the human body converts nicotine into cotinine, which is dispensed with via the urine. Thus, provided that you do the test quite soon after the intake of nicotine, you can judge the level of nicotine which has passed through the body from the amount of cotinine in the urine. Scientifically, such tests could be conducted, and they would show the level of nicotine absorption – provided that you knew with some precision, how long ago the nicotine was absorbed, and how long ago the subject had his/her last pee.
But what was the point? Why did researchers go to all the trouble to discover cotinine? And what use was their results? What was the point? As far as I can see, the variables are such that cotinine levels, at any specific time, are meaningless. Certain common vegetables that we eat contain nicotine. Everyone who eats those vegetables absorbs some nicotine. It does not seem to drive them to take up smoking, but it does affect cotinine levels in the blood/urine.
So, having spent enormous sums of money and time to discover cotinine (for what reason?) and having tested X people (for what reason?) and having discovered that smokers create more cotinine temporarily that non-smokers, which is to be expected, what has been gained?
The fact is that NOTHING AT ALL HAS BEEN GAINED. It does not matter one jot nor one tit. All the money and effort discovering cotinine has been wasted. It would not be so bad if the cotinine produced by smokers could be harvested and used to cure lung cancer, or any other disease, but the researchers seem not to have researched such wonderful ideas.
If there is no medical benefit about knowing levels of cotinine, or harvesting it, what is the point of the research?
The only sensible reason is that there may come a day when tobacco is banned under penalty of death. In such a situation, any level of cotinine, provided that the person had not just eaten loads of eggplants etc, above a certain level, which would be required to be proven beyond doubt, would be presumed to be a smoker and subject to execution either by the guillotine or by the electric chair – preferably in a public arena, such as a children’s park. Or they could be ducked in the local duck-pond. Celebs seem to be particularly appropriate targets for a ducking. They are regularly ducked in the cesspool of the newspapers. It always seems odd to me how the newspapers report ‘an apology’. Suppose that the celeb in question told the MSM to ‘fuck off’? It is easy to transpose such a reply to ‘an apology’. “Celeb X was upset and expressed a wish to be forgiven”. The clothes model Kate Moss has always impressed me. She does not give an shit and says nothing to the press. Why don’t football players do the same thing? Why do they constantly apologise? They are footballers and not ‘role models’. If I was Wayne Rooney, I would do as I wish. I would be immensely rich. But, if I wanted to continue to be a top-class footballer, I would temper my behaviour, in every way, to achieve that. But I would not do so as directed by tobacco control, alcohol control or the MSM.
There are only a few classes of people whose existence depends upon public approbation. There may be others, but politicians spring to mind.
Has anyone thought of the idea that trade unions should change their objectives? That, in addition to wages and salaries, they should protect their members from persecution? The crazy thing is that many trade unions took on board the smoking bans as a means to bash employers. How short-sighted can you get?
Maybe the discovery of cotinine, a ‘metabolite’ of nicotine, is a wonderful thing. But, for the life of me, I cannot see any use for it.
Despite the fact that I am 77 years old, I am healthy.
How can I declare that, since I do not have a ‘medical certificate’ to prove it? The reason is that I do not need proof. The fact that I am alive proves it.
So why, after some 55 years of smoking, drinking and eating am I still alive and fit? I do not know of any acedemic research which concerns itself with old people who are strong and fit. I know that there are studies about the lifestyles of 90 year-old people, who are still alive, and that they smoked and drank as much as they liked. Among that sub-section, smoking was not relevant their their condition.
The word ‘CONDITION’ is important.
My title is ‘Health’ and Mechanics. Note the commas around the word ‘Health’.
A person who climbs mountains can expect to fall from time to time. Normally, such falls are just a slips which cause no harm. But, gravity being what it is, ANY slip is a fall. In every event of mountaineering, there is a risk of falls. That is a manifest fact.
But are those falls ‘health’ risks?
Superficially, they are, if ‘health’ means any abnormality from perfection. But the reality is that there are no perfect human specimens. The fraud Glantz in the USA is fat – very fat – obese. How does it come that such a fatty dictates?
There are no perfect lifestyles, other than dead lifestyles. Dead lifestyles are perfect.
The Tobacco Control Industry is a death industry. Few people understand that. Death, and not Life is the business of that industry.
Almost all deaths are ‘mechanical’ for one reason or another. EVERYONE who dies does so because a major organ fails, and the effect of that failure causes the heart to stop beating. It is mechanical.
The vast majority of people who die do not die from ‘ill-health’. They die because a major organ of their bodies breaks down. It might be the liver, the brain, the lungs, the heart, the kidneys -who knows?
I feel sure that the confusion between ‘ill-health’ and ‘ill-lifestyles’ has been deliberately engineered. But I do not know why. Perhaps MPs who did not recognise the difference between ‘Health’ and ‘Safety’ when the “Health and Safety at Work” Act was passed, are responsible for the rise of ‘experts’ to be Kings and Emperors. After all, if politicians are obliged to accept as gospel the machinations of academics, then those academics become Kings and Emperors.
‘Health’ is ephemiral. ‘Safety’ is more realistic. Smoking bans in pubs, based upon the the probability of danger to staff, could be justified, if there was danger. But ‘danger’ was never the excuse for the bans. The excuse was ‘health’.
Is that the weakness?
Generally speaking, there is a vast difference between ‘danger’ and ‘risk of danger’.
Oh dear! Talk about opening a can of worms….
I have some time for a bit of fun tonight.
I’ve been reading about a rare event in Australia. An MP there has shown some common sense. You can read Dick Puddlecote’s take on that event here:
The occasion of that outbreak of common sense was an Oz Parliamentary enquiy into childhood overweight and obesity. You will immediately observe the conflation of ‘overweight and obesity’. It really does surprise me about how easily the Zealots get away with such juxtapositions.
Is there a definition of ‘overweight’? The Cambridge English dictionary has only two definitions:
- Heavier than permitted (eg. luggage).
But there is another hilarious take in the dictionary – synonyms:
“ample baby fat beefy blubber broad in the beam buxom chubby dumpy fatness fatten up fatty heavyset husky middle-age spread obesity pudgy puppy fat roly-poly rotund well built” and more if you care to look. I can’t be bothered to put in all the commas. Note the presence of the word ‘obesity’ in the synonyms.
Is that not wonderful? The meaning of the word ‘overweight’ is so ephemeral that the Cambridge dictionary could come up with nothing better than ‘ fat’, and its synonyms.
What this means is that academics who are supposed to quantify their research have no precise definition of what they are researching. Any figures that they produce about how many people are overweight mean sweet bugger all when the best meaning of overweight that can be produced is ‘fat’. You might, at the same time, question the meaning of the word ‘thin’.
But we all know what we mean by words like ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ and we do not need precise definitions. We know what a ‘fat salary’ means; we know what ‘thin gruel’ means.We do not need precision. But academic need precision to build their computer models. How do they build their computer models without precision? The trick that they use is averaging.
But that does not really help us in defining what overweight means. We need another trick. That trick was invented in the 19th century (or before?). It is ‘body mass index’. The calculation produces a number. The formula is weight divided by height squared. Thus, a man who is about six feet tall and weighs about 12 stones will have a BMI of about 20. (NB. For that calculation, I translated 6′ into 2 metres and 12 stone into 76 kilos). It can be confusing to make the correct statement about that number ’20’ as the BMI. What it should read, for that individual, is ’20 kilos per square metre’. Thus, the weight of our imaginary man would be 20 kilos x 4 square metres (since he is 2 metres tall, and 2 squared is 4. 4 x 20 = 80, which is 80 kilos – as near as damn it the weight of our man.
But, for a man who is over 6′ tall, is a BMI of 20 (kg per m²) a healthy weight? I have known lots of men who are very tall but slim, and I have known a lot of men who are very tall and heavily built (who tend to become prop-forwards in rugby teams). I doubt that any of them could be called ‘unhealthy’. And that is another thing – a high BMI or a low BMI does not mean unhealthy.
Combining BMI and the word ‘overweight’ is a double ephemera. It is a ghost multipied by a ghost. It is utterly meaningless.
And yet academics swear that their precise computer models are accurate, and can forecast the prevalence of, say, diabetes.
On the other hand, OBESITY, meaning grossly fat, really is dangerous for the individuals involved. And there we have another problem for the academics. A BMI score is meaningless. Which grossly fat individuals are in danger?
I had a most interesting experience some years ago. I was in Magalluf and, at the time, there was an international chess competition going on there. I decided to spend an hour or two ‘observing’. More than anything, I just wanted to see how such competitions proceeded since it is hardly possible to watch any one game. On the way there, I was passed by a grossly fat man. I mean gross. He was like a ball of fat on legs. Two Spanish girls were walking in the same direction. After the guy had passed us, the two girls could not help themselves – they emitted sounds of disgust, as you do when someone farts in the pub. But the funniest thing was that this huge, very wobbly lump of fat (overweight?) had come from the sports complex where the chess comp was being held! Were the girls cruel? I think so. I thought their thoughts, but did not make nasty hate-crime noises. If the guy had been to the sports complex and done some exercise, then he was trying, and that is the best that he could do.
Something that intregued me about the session which Dick P talks about was the nature of the person who was appearing before the enquiry and making claims about the importance of taxing sugar. Her name is Jane Martin – ‘Jane Martin, BA (Hons), MPH’. I did not know what ‘MHP’ meant so I looked it up. It means ‘Master of Public Health’. It is hard not to ‘laugh out loud’, it really is. How does a person become a ‘MASTER of Public Health’? Is there a difference between ‘Professor’ of PH, ‘Doctor’ of PH, and ‘MASTER’ of PH? Here is her profile from Cancer Council Australia:
Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) and Alcohol and Obesity Policy at Cancer Council Victoria
Jane Martin, BA (Hons), MPH, is Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) and of Alcohol and Obesity Policy at Cancer Council Victoria.
The OPC is a partnership of Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Australia Victoria, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University. In her role at OPC, Jane advocates for policy and regulatory reform to prevent overweight and obesity, with a focus on food marketing, labelling, and tax and pricing measures.
For over twenty-five years, Jane has worked extensively in public health advocacy, first in tobacco control then in obesity prevention. Her interests lie in advocacy, policy oriented research and using evidence based arguments for policy reform.
She has published a number of book chapters, papers on tobacco control and obesity prevention policy, and is active in the media and with other related advocacy initiatives. She is a member of the Expert Committee on Obesity for the Australian Government’s National Preventative Health Agency, the National Advisory Group for the Parents Jury, Chair of the Public Health Sub-Committee of the Australia New Zealand Obesity Society and is on the Board of Family Planning Victoria.
In 2011 Jane was awarded the Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to study advocacy strategies to encourage government to adopt evidence-based policies to prevent Australians becoming overweight and obese and travelled to the UK and USA for eight weeks from late 2012.
The question that come into my mind is, “Who pays her and what for?” Do university student pay her to teach them, or do they also pay her to amuse herself? Does the Gov pay her to teach, or to amuse herself?
But the best thing in Dick P’s exposure is that she could only spout generalities in her evidence to the Inquiry, which ‘Peter Phelps, an Australian politician and Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council’, tore apart. She could only fall back on slogans. It really is weird. The only thing that she could suggest, to deal with grossly fat ‘children’, was to tax ‘sugary drinks’ for everyone. But the number of grossly fat children is minuscule, so why impose taxes on everyone? Why not address the problems of those few individuals?
But I am as sure as sure can be that the Oz Government will side with the academics. What choice does the Oz Government have? It set up the pre-eminence of Academics. Are there Academics in Oz who decide which boat people heading for Australia should be allowed in and which should be detained on an off-shore island? Do they have a computer model depicting which boats should ‘sunk with all hands’, and which should be allowed to berth? They should have, since they have no affinity or affection for their fellow human beings.
It has become obvious, as Blakeman MP has has just recently announced, that the objective of Tobacco Control is to destroy the tobacco industry. That is also the objective of the WHO. Health has little to do with it – it is political. It is about the use of land. Land should not be used to grow tobacco plants when it could be used to grow potatoes. That ‘aspiration’ was vocalised by a previous UN WHO boss who said that those countries which grow masses of tobacco plants could ‘diversify’. “Let the eat cakes” comes to mind.
What seems to be happening is that ‘Academics’ are assumed to produce ‘truth’. After all, they are ‘experts’, are they not? The reality is that they are not ‘experts’ at all. It is like ‘academic experts’ describing how a garage mechanic goes about conducting an MOT test. The only ‘expert’ there is the mechanic. Collating information is easy. Expertise is not easy.
I am beginning to detest ‘experts’, and I am surprised that Universities tolerate them. I am surprised that our Government allows time paid for by student fees to be used for extraneous purposes. Academics who are paid by student fees should not use that time for personal pursuits. They should use their own time for those pursuits. Witness the collection of ‘offices’ which Jane Martin has accumulated above. Did she accumulate those offices in her own time or in student-paid time?
There is a corruption, but, like carbon monoxide, you cannot smell it.
Finally, for tonight, a ditty. The words of the song ‘Those were the days’ need only be changed a little:
These are the days my friend,
We know they’ll never end,
We’ll sing and dance forever and a day.
We’ll live the life we choose,
We’ll fight and never lose,
For we are Dons and sure to have our way.
Acedemics are often described as ‘Dons’, but you do not see that description much these days. ‘Don’ = ‘Boss’. I dare say that the use of the word ‘Don’ was expunged around the time that academics became ‘Experts’.
Gosh! How I detest them!
When I heard about the release of a video/tape about a conversation between some males in a bus on the way to some sort of TV show, or whatever, and they started to talk about sex with nubile women, I was curious. I listened to the tape and, although I could not hear what was being said mostly, I was amused by what I could hear. It was the sort of banter which males indulge in when they have not much else in common. They look for something that they have in common to laugh about. Sex is the obvious topic. It would be a strange hetrosexual male who has not indulged in: “Cor…. Look at that!…..” on seeing a pretty young woman wearing a mini-skirt and projecting big boobs.
And the conversation took place eleven years ago.
Who retained the tape and cashed in on it?
I was surprised that Trump did not major on that and thought that he made a mistake by not doing so.
But some comments on the debate here:
made me look again at the debate. My previous effort to watch the debate stymied when I became bored, after some 10 to 15 minutes, by the muck-raking. But the article at ‘4liberty’ above changed my mind about watching the debate. I decided to watch it.
In my opinion, Trump walked it. Everything that Clinton said was ‘politically correct’. Only Trump questioned that ethos. “I will do everything for the kids”, said Clinton (or words to that effect). “Oh no you won’t”, said Trump, “because you have said that before and done nothing”.
And so it went on – Clinton talking ‘politically correct’ and Trump talking ‘reality’. But there are weird and comical things. Clinton wiped out 37,000 emails. Erm… Who could deal with 37,000 emails? Even over several years, 37,000 emails is a lot of messages to personally deal with. Is it fair or right to assume that those emails were important? Well, you would assume that were ‘relevant’ to the issue in question since she was Secretary of State.
But what impressed me most, as the debate progressed, was that Clinton relied more and more on ‘pretty pictures’ of happy-slappy Americans while bludgeoning foreigners to do as they are told. Frankly, I thought that her emphasis on Russian aggression in Syria was contemptible. Time again, she brought up ‘The Russians’as though they were smokers. I can only assume that Yanks are terrified of Russians.
Russia is an enormous country, but lots of it is frozen tundra. The tundra warms up a bit in summer and billions upon billions of insects awake. Only animals with thick hides and thick fur can survive. Those places are not for humans to inhabit. So Russia is really only the inhabitable places, such as Moscow and other places in the South.
But it is good that Russia has escaped from Communism. But we must recognise that Communism, in its way, rescued the Russians from slavery, or, if you prefer, serfdom – same thing.
I am glad that I decided to watch the debate in full. Both candidates obviously knew what the questions were going to be. Clinton had learned a script, and to some extent, so had Trump. But Clinton was ‘word perfect’, whereas Trump was ‘flexible’.
Trump ‘won’ the second debate hands-down.
I am beginning to come round to the idea that a Benign Emperor would work better in the modern world than a multiplicity of UN, WHO, IPCC, etc, committees. But is that not a ‘contradiction in terms’?
Brexit is not just a break with the EU. It is also a break with the UN and all its manipulations.
ASH ET AL have recently said that smoking prevalence is now at 16.5%. But they will say that, won’t they? It is in their interests to say that. It is not long ago that ASH ET AL said ths smoking prevalence in the UK was down to 20%, whereas the EU said that it was 26%.
Which estimate is trustworthy?
The fact is that it does not really matter. The probability is that occasional smokers will describe themselves as non-smokers. “Never admit that you have ever committed a crime – the admission might come back and bite you!” Is that not what has happened to Trump, apart from the fact that what he said was not criminal? Ten years ago, long before he had any thoughts about standing for President, he took part in a ‘bar-room’ conversation with other guys of a sexy nature. “Oh, look at the tits on that! I’d give it one!” – sort of thing. Just ‘man’ talk in a situation where you have not much else in common other than fancying girls. It happens ALL the time. “Eh, look at that!” has been a cry among men since time immemorial.
But is it exclusive to men? Of course not! I was standing at the bar in a nightclub many years ago, waiting to be served, and standing next to me were two young and attractive women. One of them said to her friend, “God! I could just do with a grope!” At the time, there was a slow dance record on, and many ‘young adults’ were smooching on the dance-floor. Maybe I should have offered my services, but I really wanted a beer. In any case, despite being really nice-looking, she had the aire of a predator, if you know what I mean. If you do not know what I mean, you are in good company because neither do I.
But I must come to the point.
ASH ET AL say that the number of smokers in the population is trivial. It follows therefore that ‘prohibition’ of tobacco products is on the cards. Politicians can safely call for, and enact, prohibition of tobacco.
Well, they can – in just the same way that they have prohibited parents from taking their kids on holiday at times when prices are low enough for them to afford a holiday. I have just booked a trip to Spain. I had to book a period during the half-term schools holiday because my teacher daughter will be available to look after her mother while I am away. It is October. Prices for flights should be at their lowest. But they are astronomical. Why is that? Airlines have taken advantage of the political decision to punish parents who take their kids on holiday during term-time by escalating prices during half-term holidays.
What surprises me about these situations is that people do not see the connections. Or do they? It might well be that 90% of parents do not see the connections. BUT 10% DO.
All the time, the dissatisfied and annoyed part of the population increases. Some smokers, but not all. Some parents, but not all. Some Vapers, but not all. But when you add up all the dissatisfied and annoyed people, you get Brexit.
Almost all politicians SAID, before the vote, that they wanted to ‘remain’. Oh dear! They are stuck with what they said. Most of them are now trying to slither under what they said.
If UKIP could get itself together and stop trying to destroy itself, it could become a real political force. It would need to draw together all those people who, for one reason or another, whether it be smoking, vaping, holidays, duty taxation, 5p charges for plastic bags, global warming, etc, etc, wish to remove NANNY from the State. After all, the basic aspiration of UKIP was to take the UK out of the NANNY Super-state of the EU. If the EU had been benign, then there would have been no need for UKIP.
What illustrated most clearly that the EU was not benign? It was the treatment of smokers. And it should have been OBVIOUS to politicians in the UK Parliament. The EU is not benign. It is tyrannical.
Enough people in the UK saw that, although they would not have the words to describe it. They just knew.
But it goes further. Tobacco Control picked on smokers to be persecuted in order to bring about the destruction of tobacco companies. That is the war – TC versus TC. Smokers are cannon fodder, as are non-smokers. Do non-smokers realise that, if all smokers stopped buying cigs, their taxes would increase substatially? And suppose that drinkers stopped drinking alcohol. Think about how much more teetotals would have to pay in taxes. And suppose that everyone started to go to work on bicycles? What taxes would replace petrol duty? The taxes of the non-smoking, non-drinking cyclist would rise enormously.
Smokers as part of the electorate could be ignored because they are a 20% ish minority. But it is not so simple. That 20% is a very big proportion of voters. If that 20% vote together, then vast changes in the political landscape would occur. Add to that the vapers, and the parents, and all the other people who have been demonised, such as fatties.
All those people need A CHAMPION.
UKIP could become that champion, but it will not do so whilst it elevates turncoat Tories as its best examples of virtue.
Back to basics, chaps! Who are the decent people who are dissatisfied? How are they being ripped off by sin taxes? Who are the ‘Elite’ who are draining our Country’s wealth? The emphasis there is on ‘WHO’. That is the important thing. It is not HOW.
For decades, our politicians have been ever so clever regarding WHAT. Not one word have they ever uttered about WHO.
I think that our National Health Service is wonderful. I mean it. On the whole, its medical staff is devoted to curing and caring. By ‘caring’, I mean alleviating symptoms if the condition cannot be cured. I suffer from prostatism – enlargement of the prostate gland – which makes it difficult to pee: not impossible, but difficult. The condition is allieviated by the simple taking of one pill per day. The substance is called ‘tamsulosin’ and it does the job of relaxing the prostate so as to take the pressure of the prostate gland off the uretha so that the urine can flow normally. It works. That is all that we old farts need. It is not a cure for the condition, but it might as well be. It works.
We have to consider the overarching importance and difficulty of diagnosis. Without a correct diagnosis, then everything can go horribly wrong. We must all have read of misdiagnosises which have caused death.
Do you see the fault in reasoning in that last sentence? No, it was not the misdiagnosis which caused the death – it was the illness. The MSM take great delight in publishing stories what claim that misdiagnosis ’caused the death of ….’.
In the reverse way, one might reasonably say that guesses, via epidemiology, that smoking causes lung cancer are misdiagnosises. Thus, the putative ‘cure’ for LC, stopping smoking, will be found to be ineffective. Why has Tobacco Control not trumpeted and trumpeted, again and again, that the LC has fallen because of the reduction in smoking?
There are two reasons:
- LC mortality has fallen in the male population somewhat, but not an awful lot, and female LC mortality has risen.
- Drawing attention to those facts would undermine the Industry.
But that is not my point tonight. My point tonight concerns inefficiency and ignorance in the ‘caring’ sector outside of the hospital. It seems to me that there is a HUGE problem, which is that the ‘caring’ people, the Social Services, know nothing about the medical stuff. But we have two different definitions of ‘caring people’. By and large, nurses in hospitals are not ‘curers’. The doctors are curers. Nurses are carers.
And here is my important point.
Herself has MS and lots of problems. Her legs do not work at all. She cannot walk. The legs do not work. And she cannot pee. She needs a catheter to empty her bladder, and now her bowels are not working properly. She has to be dosed with laxatives. But we can cope with these things.
What is odd is that she has had a ‘wound’ on the upper surface of her skin on her left leg, above her shinbone, which has not healed for the last two or three years. It scabs over, and the scab gets thicker and thicker, and then it comes off. But, when the scab come off, the skin underneath is wet, and a new scab forms. The wound never heals.
No NHS carer, aka District Nurse, gives a toss.
I do not blame them. Nor do I blame them for other errors. They are human. Thus, when one of them left her bedsores saturated with saline solution and put dressings over the top, the fact that her skin around the sores chapped, and became red and wet was ‘an accident’.
But who can one TALK TO about these happenings? There is no one. If you want to talk to someone, you have to go through your General Practitioner. No doubt he has to go through some sort of ‘reporting procedure’ which might reflect badly upon him.
What has recently happened regarding herself is that I have used my Common Sense. The district nurses come once a week to change dressings, replace the urine legbag, do a ‘bladder washout’. But they know nothing at all about ‘symptoms’.
Going back to the wound on her leg, you would think that nurses and doctors would be curious about why the wound would not heal. Not to be interested would reveal ‘deliberate ignorance’. ‘Deliberate ignorance’ is normal. No ‘Health Zealot’ talks about death. They only talk about ‘saving lives’.
The doctors in hospitals do their job. The nurses do their job. They do what they can and are 99% successful. It is when vulnerable people come out of hospital that the problems pile up. It is not a ‘medical’ problem. It is a ‘CARING’ problem. By that I mean that the ‘caring nurses’ dare not tell their superiors that ‘something is wrong’.
But what is just as bad is that I, the REAL carer, have no one to get in touch with who can sort things out. There is a ‘blank space’. Even if you manage to find a contact, nothing actually happens.
We have a special bed with a mattress which is constructed of ‘cells’ which inflates and deflates one in three cells in rotation. The idea is to rotate ‘pressure points’ on the patient’s bum, back, legs, or whatever. It works wonderfully well, although it is prone to malfunctions occasionally. Those malfunctions are as nothing as compared with the general benefits.
At the moment, all is well. But that is mostly because I personally use my ‘common sense’. The nurses come once a week and do what they do, and then they go away. They are nice girls. But the fact is that there is no need for them. I can do everything that they do, provided that I can get the supplies of dressing etc easily.
Ah, you might say, but supposing that they spot a problem? My answer, after several years of observation, would be that they would not and cannot observe a problem. They are not trained to observe such problems unless the problems are obvious to ANY observer.
Thus, I see a lot of the problems of the NHS as coming from ‘top down’ control. That is, it is the Secretary of State for Health who starts the problems. But what is manifestly true is that the Health Sec can only manipulate the situation via budgets. There is no other way. Money dictates. Ministers are trapped, or allow themselves to be trapped. Personally, I have an intense dislike for the current Health Sec, Jeremy Hunt MP. He is the epitomy of ‘upper class’. Need I say more?
The NHS is wonderful, and the doctors and nurses are wonderful and dedicated. It is the Managers who are slick and slippery, and it is they who damage the reputation of the NHS.
Who are the people who are demanding ‘exclusion zones’ for smokers around the roads close to hospitals? Are Patients demanding such zones? Are visitors demanding such zones? Who are the people, names please, who are demanding those zones?
The NHS must be de-politicised. It is a wonderful thing, but it suffers from passing political interference. That is especially so when ‘artefacts’, such as the WHO, dictate that smoking prevalence is more important that contagious diseases.
The word ‘Artefacts’ just about sums things up. ‘Climate Change’ is an artefact. It is a tool.
Enough for tonight. It is enough, generally speaking, that we can think about ‘global warming’, but not ‘climate change’, as artefacts.
The NHS is wonderful. The likes of Jeremy Hunt are slimy slug aristocrats who hide behind timid girls who are pronounced to be ‘Health Ministers’. Can anyone forget Milton MP, Health Minister, who said that “WE MUST” impose smoking bans because the FCTC said so? And what about Soubry MP who did not know tha the latest TPD all but destroyed the ecig industry? She said: “Haven’t ecigs been removed from the TPD?” They had not, but she, a girl (or boy for all that it matters), committed the wonderful UNITED KINGDOM to helplessness.
For is it not true that acquescence to EU Directives equals ‘helpnessness’? You do not ‘cure’ a sore on a leg, you cut the leg off. Or, to be more precise, you do not maintain the health of a leg, you infect it.
I do not know what to do about the gap between ‘common sense’ and ‘directives’ as regards herself.
But I am tired and must to bed.
An interesting subject. Who guards the guards?
Forgive typos – I am too tired to bother.
Most seats in Parliament are already spoken for at a General Election. We all know that, and we all know that it is the ‘swing’ constituencies which matter as regards which political parties’ candidates will outnumber another. The ‘swing’ constituencies are those which are most evenly divided between Tory and Labour. The constituence with the lowest difference is the one most likely to ‘swing’ from the present party political incumbant to the other party, and the likelihood of a ‘swing’ gets smaller and smaller as the difference increases.
Prior to smoking bans, there was generally no specific issue which ‘hit on’ a specific group of people in quite the same way. Sure, there were huge groups of people who felt that they were losers, and huge groups who felt that they were winners. Those who feel that they are winners with the status quo will vote to maintain the status quo, and those who feel that they are losers will vote to change the status quo.
But what if there are millions of aggrieved smokers who are confronted with a situation where both the major parties are intent upon persecuting them more and more?
As we saw, the Brexit vote was very even. One might ask how it was that the vote was so even. You would have thought that there would have been a big majority either one way or the other – either there would have been lots more people who saw the EU as benefical to them, or lots more who saw the opposite. Because the vote was so close, it is reasonable to look for people who were really, really aggravated by the EU. Thinking smokers was one group. But we should also not forget that the TPD Directive, which attacked Vapers, had recently been promulgated. Thus, it is not unlikely that Vapers had an immediate incentive to vote for Brexit. Smokers are in the gutter, but Vapers have dragged themselves out of the gutter. It is reasonable to assume that they were much incensed by the TPD.
So, combine thinking smokers and Vapers, and you have a very great number of people who resent the intrusion of the EU into our lives and our lifestyles. As far as I know, the British Government does not have a specific ‘tobacco control’ department, but the EU has. The UN also has such a department, known as the ‘FCTC Conference of the Parties’. That department demands world-wide obedience from everyone who is involved with it. But, it is not OWNED by anyone, so who decides what should be obeyed? Note the very, very important point – decisions of the Conference, and the votes, commit everyone involved to certain actions. And yet, the Conference has no such authority. No wonder that it excludes the press.
But we are seeing cracks in the edifice. Brexit has been one, and it has been a HUGE crack. The ‘Leading Beyond Authority’ of ‘Common Purpose’ is breaking down. Gradually, ‘Leading Beyond Authority’ is becoming seen as imposition, which is what it is.
But one might reasonably ask this question: “If, say, the Tories vote against a Bill which is introduced into Parliament, and the Bill becomes an Act because Labour has more MPs, and, at a subsequent GE, Labour is dislodged, why does not the new Tory Gov repeal the law which it voted against?
It never happens.
But Brexit is a different kettle of fish. It has thrown the Political Establishment into a tizwas. I suspect that that is because they were not aware of the ‘marginal propensity’ of smokers and Vapers.
Let me put it this way. If you were to ask a smoker who is smoking just outside his local pub, the question: “Do you resent the smoking ban?”, he might well say “No”. Who knows what thoughts might produce that answer? But if you asked him: “Would you prefer to be indoors out of the cold, wind and rain?” He would certainly say, “Yes”. The two ideas are contradictory. A person who would rather be indoors ought to resent the smoking ban since it forces him to go outside.
Some seventeen million people voted to Brexit and some sixteen and a bit voted to stay. What swung the vote? In my opinion, from very brief conversations in the pub, it was “CONTROL”. ‘Control’ in every sense of the word.
But why did so many people, the minority, vote for EU control? That is what I cannot understand, especially since various politicians have stood up in Parliament and justified Government actions on the grounds that ‘the EU said so’.
So it depends upon PM May and her Cabinet to decide what to do. I only hope that they exclude the opinions of academics.
Neighbours are having an extension build. From time to time, I pass their house and see what progress is being made. The builders are now installing the roof timbers, having done most of the brickwork. No doubt a considerable amount of detailed planning has preceded the actual construction, but nothing really, really complicated. The drawing up of the plans for such a small construction would have been childs-play for any professional architect. Even so, those plans and quantifications must be done. No one these days throws up even a shed without detailed plans and, possibly, local authority permission. I well remember my Dad and my uncle throwing up a shed in our backyard when I was little. They used planks of wood and six-inch nails. I think that they built it in half a day. But it was never designed to last forever – it was just a shed. Both were miners and the shed was built shortly after the end of WW2, so it is quite possible that the materials, the wood, came from WW2 mining projects which ceased to be necessary once WW2 ended. Certainly, I remember that the whole thing was built with a lot of jollity and banging and thumping. Foundations? You must be joking! a few bricks at each corner. I dare say that the roof was covered with some sort of waterproof membrane, but such detail is beyond my memory. Bang, Bang! Thump, Thump! is my memory.
Anyway, it seems to me that the human body has been constructed in a similar way. It is very remarkable that a huge tobacco plant grows from such a tiny seed. I have lupin seeds, and those plants grow quite tall, as compared with, say, marigolds. Lupin seeds are big. Tobacco plant seeds are tiny – around half a millimetre, or less. And yet they produce very big plants – up to or around 2½ metres. The lower leaves can be up to a metre long and some 60 cm wide.
But they are annuals. In our climate, the dropped seeds die in our winter conditions. That is generally true, but there are isolated pockets, I believe, where tobacco plants in this country, self-seed and and survive. I have no confirmation of that as a fact. Sheltered places near streams in the South of England is where tobacco plants have been found growing wild.
Every one of us, when we are conceived, have a genetic construction plan in our genes. Ocasionally, things go massively wrong, and a foetus is naturally aborted. But sometimes things are not so bad as to require that the woman’s body aborts. Thus, babies with genetic abnormalies are born. These things happen, and no one should be surprised.
But abnormalities, in the sense of, say, ‘dwarfism’, is not my point. ALL of us are genetically different. Some of us have blue eyes, some green, and some brown, or, in many cases, combinations of colours. Some are tall and some are short; some are ‘thick-set’ and some are slim.
Why should such genetic traits not affect the ‘life-time’ of organs of the body?
I must admit that I am out of my depth. There may well have been studies. But I remember reading about cromasomes having a certain ‘length’. As the years pass, a human body loses ‘length’ in the cromasomes, so that reproduction of essential cells might falter.
That is why we age. Our genes are a construction plan which dictates how our bodies grow and survive for a time, but they degenerate after X decades. The cromasomes stop creating essential cells – and we shrink away and die. I like the word ‘shrink’ in this context. The cromasomes ‘shrink’; our hair goes grey, our skin wrinkles, our muscles lose flexibility, our bones become brittle, our brains degenenerate.
But we do not see it. Medical professional have different names for each and every manifestation of our genetic deterioration. Frankly, I think that they know about it very well, but it suits them to bury it.
The human body is not a construction such as a house. It is more akin to a swirling whirlpool. It is changing all the time.
Sooner or later, for every human being, an essential organ will stop working. That body will cease to be alive. It is as simple as that. What happens to ‘the person’ is a different question.
So all the ‘studies’, such as Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’, have to take the ‘genetic construction’ into account. And that is their major failing, since they cannot do so. I am 77 years old and am pretty fit; I have smoked since I was about 17 with very rare breaks. I have also drank alcohol a lot, and I have ate whatever I want to. But I am still slim built. That is my personal ‘genetic construction’.
Tobacco Control has completely distorted evidence by ignoring ‘genetic construction’ as though the human body is not designed to die. It IS designed to die.
There is nothing that TC can do to alter that design.
Eat, drink and be merry. TC demands that you count calories, avoid alcohol and be miserable.