In 2007, a comprehensive smoking ban was imposed on private property via two ruses. The first was the exaggeration of SHS harm; the second was the redefinition of private property as ‘public places’.
I still do not understand how the Health Zealots got away with either of those ruses, but the second one is hardest to understand. You would have thought that EVERY BUSINESS IN THE COUNTRY WHICH HAS DEALINGS WITH THE PUBLIC would have objected in the strongest possible way against such a definition. The objection would have been very, very simple – private property, by definition, is not ‘public’ in any sense of the word. You could go further. You could say that the only ‘public’ places are outdoors. Libraries and hospitals are not ‘public’ places.
And so we get the irrational idea that the authorities could ban smoking in parks and on beaches because they are ‘public places’, but cannot ban smoking in libraries because they are ‘private property’. That does not stop the owners of libraries and such banning smoking. They are their properties, and they can ban smoking if they wish to.
Everyone with any sense at all knows that SHS danger is vanishingly small. According to Doll’s Doctors Study, it takes thirty years or more for even heavy smoking to seriously affect the health of a smoker. He himself poo-pooed the idea of SHS harm, and not without reason. Only prohibition hype turned SHS into the equivalent of sarin gas.
So why did the Esteemed Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair, and his esteemed cabinet of esteemed worthies, intelligentsia and life-experienced experts, agree to the accept the ruses?
It can only be that all the adjectives in the last paragraph are false descriptions. None of those people were ‘esteemed experts’ at all. It follows that they must have done what they were TOLD to do. But being ‘elected representatives’, why did they feel obliged to do what they were TOLD to do? In fact, why did most of the 650 elected representatives also feel obliged to do what they were TOLD to do?
I don’t want to be cynical, but I must ask, once again, how David Cameron rose through the Conservative ranks to become party leader and then Prime Minister. His ‘history’ seems to place him as a university student who got a degree, and then worker for a couple of years in management, and then a Tory party researcher, and then an MP, and then Prime Minister. What expertise or experience did he have?
Do any of my readers watch ‘Eggheads’? At first, I did not like it because the introduction made the panel out to be ‘Bigheads’. I’m glad the the bosses dropped that segment which described what wonderful achievements the panellists had totted up in the realms of quizland. “I am X and I won Mastermind in 1995” was a typical introduction. But, eventually, I began to enjoy it. But there is still a rankling doubt in my mind. The doubt is that the quiz demands ‘memory’ and not ‘brains’. ‘Brainy’ people ‘work things out’. Such people build aeroplanes and space vehicles and magnificent buildings. Most of all, why are those magnificent brains on the panel of Eggheads not multimillionaires?
No. There is a huge difference between remembering things that you have read and projecting future events.
Our elected representatives know bugger all about the EU Autocracy. It must have been a terrible shock to them to find themselves in a position where they have to think after the Brexit vote. No wonder that Cameron resigned. He had no idea whatsoever what to do. No one could TELL him what to do. The result of the referendum was totally unexpected and threw all the ignorant cabinet ministers into confusion. Who could TELL them what to do? No one could tell them what to do.
I have read that the Government (not necessarily MPs) does not have ‘experts’ to negotiate our exit from the EU. That is not surprising since no one expected The People to vote for exit.
And here is where we come to the crunch. Theresa May has no expertise at all. She has always done what the ‘experts’ have TOLD her to do. She has always been a ‘Spokesperson’, standing up in Parliament and telling MPs what she has been TOLD to tell them. It seems as though such people are like Eggheads – they have very good memories but little else. Perhaps I am insulting Eggheads.
The devastation caused by ‘Experts’ never ceases to amaze me. But it is not the opinions of ‘Experts’ which causes the devastation. It is the acceptance of the status of ‘spokesperson’ by politicians that causes the devastation. They are the people who have power, but act only as though they need to be TOLD what to do.
And so, it is reasonable to assume that not one single MP has any real idea what to do about anything. They need to be TOLD. Only that idea can explain the ascendance of certain academics into Godlike oracles, whether it be tobacco, sugar, alcohol, salt, or whatever.
I get the impression that our elected representatives, at every level, are terrified. In which case, why do they stand for election?
It may be that many elected representatives would like to regain power from the modern autocrats. Perhaps they could do so, if they rely upon principles and not detail. For example, it would be cowardly not to rail at length against a stupid smoking ban on a beach.
It seems to me that there comes a point where civilised discussion breaks down. SHS danger is such a point. Anyone who supports SHS danger must be ridiculed again and again and again.
I hope. I hope. But we have entered into a new phase which is totally different. It is the ‘overweight or obese’ scenario. I await with bated breath for a politician to demand that the ideas of ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ MUST be separated. But I guess that such a fundamental idea would not occur to a person who needs to be TOLD what to do.
The People of the UK, indeed, of Great Britain, voted, on 23rd June 2016, to divorce from the EU. The marriage has turned out to be kaput.
It seems that the EU publicity department has tried to claim that the Olympic successes of Member States reflect glory upon the EU:
One becomes weary of trying to shout as loud as possible that a house built of cards has no future. It exists NOW, but will be literally demolished tomorrow.
The EU Parliament has tried to claim that Olympic successes have been the fruit of their endeavours. I suppose that could be so if the EU Parliament found a way to surreptitiously bribe judges.
I mention the EU blather only as an example of total waste of resources.
There are various immediate consequences of the Brexit vote. Negotiations about trade might take some time, but the immediate and irrefutable consequence is withdrawal of UK MEPs. We, The People voted on 23rd of June to cease to have MEPs IMMEDIATELY. There is also no continuing justification for funding any aspect of the EU at all.
Has the PM, Ms May, blocked the transfer of UK taxpayers’ funds to the bank accounts of EU apparatchiks? If not, why not?
It may take some time to change the Treaties and come to some arrangement about trade agreements, movement of peoples, and justice. But, in the meantime, it is imperative upon Ms May to defund the EU. There is no excuse at all not to do so. None whatsoever.
It would be easy to say that I have returned from my holiday and am now suffering from ‘post holiday blues’. But I am not. So what should I say? “I am in the envious state of returning from holiday and enjoying ‘post holiday …. reds? greens? yellows?” Is there no colour which signifies pleasurable contentment?
I had a very pleasant break, wining and dining, reading, playing chess on my electronic chess set, drinking many pints of lager and just lounging about. I saw no Olympics or football other than the occasional news item.
Am I a spoilsport? I mean, I was pleased for the girls and boys who won medals – it was nice for them – but the success of ‘Team GB’ left me cold. And yet I do get a buzz in the England football team or the England rugby team win.
I think the answer is that ‘Team GB’ is an artificial construct as regards athletics. The individual competitors are not part of a team at all. For example, Justin Rose won gold in the golf tournament. What ‘team’ connection is there between him and a boxer? There is none. The success of a boxer did not improve Rose’s shot making.
No, ‘Team GB’ was an artificial construct, dreamt up by marketing experts to excite the population.
I would have regarded myself as a cynic were it not for the fact that I am a smoker. I have seen ‘popular support’ engineered for nefarious purposes by tobacco control. Popular support for smoking bans was engineered, and I do not doubt that the same applies to the Olympics.
What was the nefarious purpose?
It is a weird thing how totalitarian states have, in the past, seen it as important to whip up nationalism via sporting prowess. Hitler did it and Stalin did it. The MSM seem to be critically important in the whipping up of hysteria.
And it works. For two weeks, the BBC was wall-to-wall Olympics, showing Team GB successes over and over again.
What amuses me is the intention. One cannot help but feel that the planners assumed that Brexit would not occur, and that it would be ‘a good thing’ for a bit of nationalism to override the loss of sovereignty to the EU. It is amusing to think that the plan has backfired. The success of ‘Team GB’, in the popular mind, has reinforced the wisdom Brexit. See what GB can do! We won loads of medals in the Olympics! We came second in the table, beaten only by the all-powerful yanks!
Where was the EU team? The EU has a specific seat in the UN – where was its team? The EU is another artificial construct.
It is difficult to understand, but I do not see the EU as being a real thing. It is a collection of ‘institutions’. It is constructed from words and nothing else. The same applies to the UN, WHO, IPCC, and all the rest of the ‘Institutions’.
But perhaps what is most important to understand is that ‘institutions’ like the World Health Organisation are not in the slightest bit medical – they are political.
Whoever thought of it was brilliant. I am talking about ‘the long march through the institutions’. Ignore political parties and politicians. Get control of the institutions. In the UK, there is no doubt that the Health Dept in the UK Government bureaucracy has been taken over by Zealots. Even the Royal Society, that bastion of Pure Science, has been infected. Cancer Research UK was infiltrated long ago as was the College of Physicians. There is a plethora of charities and institutions which are nothing but words, and yet they leach taxpayers funds.
I was heartened by my trip. All the youths were having great fun and I saw no trouble at all. I was challenged five times to a game of chess while sitting outside a popular nightclub/disco bar between 2 am and 4 am. The challengers were Italian youths, Scottish youths and English youths. 3 am, after several pints, is not a good time to play chess, but most of the games were good games. I won all except one which was stalemate. But, unlike the Olympics, winning was not the important thing. Amusement was the important thing.
Tobacco Control does not do ‘amusement’. It exist in a realm of words, mostly nasty words. I does not, and cannot, recognise pleasure and amusement.
I’m waiting for my taxi to the airport, so this will be short and sweet.
A perfect example of the correlation/causation problem. Daughters and I were watching some of the Olympics. We just happened to catch the last couple of holes of the golf. Coming to the last hole, Justin Rose (GB) and Stenson (?) (Sweden) were level and the third competitor was out of it. Rose and Stenson both hit the green with their third shots (the hole was a par 5), but Stenson was around 12′ away from the hole and Rose was only about 2′ away. When Stenson putted, the four of us shouted, “MISS! MISS! MISS!”. His putt missed. It must have missed because we shouted so loudly. Don’t believe me? Right. Stenson charged the putt 4′ past, so he had to go again because he was furthest away. The same thing happened again! He missed! That must surely prove it? Why not?
There are loads and load of similar correlations which are clearly just that. I have often quoted how divorces rose in line with the import of apples after WW2.
Fisher, the great statistician, was not happy with Doll’s correlation of smoking and LC. Other studies found similar results in different parts of the world, but the methods used were very similar. Why expect a different result? Kitty Little, in South Africa, found that windy cities had no where near as much LC and those cities which were more likely to have stagnant air. Similar results came when studying city dwellers and country dwellers. But those studies were ignored.
‘ Health and Wellbeing’. Are they the same thing? Could you have poor health but lots of wellbeing and vice-versa?
See you all next week.
As is my wont, I went up to the pub tonight. ‘Up’ is right because the walk there is slightly uphill. But that is OK because the walk back home is all downhill. Nice. The walk is about a quarter of a mile – no big deal.
When I turned out, it was raining slightly, so I put on a coat. I have had that coat for 30 years or more. The beauty of it is that it is slightly insulated by padding. The important word there is ‘slightly’, thus it is perfect for those evenings which are neither warm nor cold. We get a lot of those evenings in the UK. It has a hood, which is not quite useless. It is just a piece of nylon, I suppose, but it does somewhat deflect rain but still does not completely stop some rain gaining access. I suppose that the hood was designed with micro holes which were small enough, generally, not to permit rain drops to penetrate.
Well, fine in light rain, but the rain got heavier on the way back home. Not very heavy, but a bit heavier. My coat started to absorb the rain and my trousers started to get wet. My journey was only a quarter of a mile, and the rain was light. Even so, I was not ‘comfortable’.
On the way home, I began to reflect.
My reflection began with why I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat. I have lots of coats of one sort or another, and I generally do not use some of them at all. They are nice coats, and some of them are very new (prezies), but I never wear them.
I think that it is a case of ‘need’. We might consider several weather conditions without going to excess.
Very cold = heavy, padded coat. Very cold and wet = heavy, padded, and waterproof coat. Both conditions can be combated by a heavy, padded and waterproof coat. There is no need to differentiate between the two conditions.
I do not need to describe other conditions – readers get the idea.
As I walked home from the pub in the slight rain, I thought back. It was normal in the 1960s and beyond for men and women to wear long raincoats. Those coats reached beyond knee length and they were waterproof for all intents. They did not have hoods. Males and females wore hats of one sort or another when it rained. Caps and trilbies were most common for men. Women wore – damn it! I know not what. The carrying of rolled up umbrellas was ubiquitous.
On my way home from the pub tonight, I regretted that I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat.
Why do I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat?
In the 1950s, 60s, everyone owned a ‘proper’ raincoat.
The obvious answer is that we experienced lots and lots of rain. People were prepared for lots and lots of rain, which reflects the prominence of long raincoats, furled umbrellas and trilbies. From around 1970, the expectation of rain got less, and so ‘proper’ raincoats, furled umbrellas and trilbies were no longer needed. During that long period of time, the rains ceased. That is not to say that rains were insufficient for agriculture. In fact, during the 1950s/60s, harvests were often ruined by incessant rain.
Incessant rainy conditions are not unknown. I forget the name, but there was a diarist in the 1700s who complained that the incessant rains meant that she could not ride out on her horse for days on end.
In the last couple of decades, we in England have not been troubled by the sort of weather which requires ‘proper’ raincoats and head-gear.
And so I thought about the fraud of ‘Global Warming’. For a while, a decade or so, we did not need ‘proper’ raincoats because there was little rain. Now we do.
I need to buy a ‘proper’raincoat which reaches below the knees and has a water-proof hood.
I shall be away next week. Sunny Mallorca beckons. I have been organising. A little ‘Rest and Recuperation’ will do me good. Herself cannot come because her MS has been playing up. Our daughters will look after her while I am away. I enjoy my trips. I stock up with half-price cigs, make a banquet of every meal, read in the afternoons and play chess on my electronic chess set in the evening. It is quite amusing to be playing chess at 2 am whilst sitting just outside a night club, vaguely watching the antics of the yooff. This year will be a bit different since I usually go earlier than August. The reason is that I have to fall in with my daughters’ plans. But I do not mind that at all. This year, they went off to Corfu with my sister’s sons and family at the end of July, which is when I would usually go – at significantly lower cost. But, what the hell.
Mallorca used to be a year-round resort. It is now a sad reflection of Puritanism brought on by Tobacco Control Zealots. Our favourite hotel used to have Christmas dinners and New Year’s Eve events. Now, it closes at the end of October, if not sooner, and does not reopen until April, if not later.
A few years ago, the entertainment bars (those with acts on) were pretty full inside. Now, hardly anyone is inside. The vast majority are outside. What seems to have happened, over time, is that smokers have exiled themselves to the outdoors. Let us get that right. Deb Arnott said, “Smokers will be exiled to the outdoors”. Not quite right, Deb. Smokers have exiled themselves to the outdoors. Thus, in sunny Mallorca, few holiday-makers are indoors. The fun people, people who take risks, are all outdoors. Further, the non-fun people, the non-smokers, have no fun-people, indoors, to entertain them. They too exile themselves to get some fun. Even the night clubs have suffered from the same effect. Comparatively far fewer people are dancing around indoors. They are all outside.
Well, that has been my observation over the last several years. When smokers abandon a place, the non-smokers follow.
But I do not wish to overemphasise. How can we know? Tobacco Control does not do research on the ill effects of Prohibitions. But you would think that the Authorities in Mallorca would notice. Perhaps they prefer smoking bans over employment for their citizens.
I often think about extraction systems. It all seems very simple to me. Tobacco smoke rises in the air because it is warm. So why did/do pubs etc not have simple extraction systems in the ceilings? I do not mean ferocious, massive fans. I mean small, slow fans. Even vents alone, in the ceiling, might have been enough for tobacco smoke to escape. The words ‘in the ceiling’ are the important words.
The real issue, as regards tobacco smoke, revolves around extraction. But we do not want freezing cold pubs because the extraction system is viscous. But there is no need for it to be so. Smoke rises, just as it does so in kitchens. A gently rotating fan in the ceiling will remove all rising gases pronto.
A few months ago, I was coming home from Mallorca. There must have been some delay in the normal processes pre-departure. The passengers had boarded the plane. While we were awaiting completion of baggage loading, etc, a strange mist was emitted from vents in the ceiling of the aircraft. The mist did not drift downwards. I was quite fascinated by it. It billowed around, but always near the ceiling.
Was it physics at work? Was the mist a disinfectant which ought to have been deployed before a new, stinking, infected passenger group boarded the plane? There is no other reasonable explanation. Someone forgot to fumigate the plane before the passengers boarded.
But what did the fumigating mist consist of? It is almost certain that it was propylene glycol. (Is that right?) The critical thing is that PG is safe to breath. It is widely used in hospitals to fumigate wards.
‘Fumigate’ – ‘to fill with fumes’.
Tobacco smoke has similar properties. It can catch bugs because bugs stick to the smoke.
I have more or less ‘cleared the decks’. I do not give a shit if Local Authority zombies ban smoking in parks. No sensible smoker will take his kids to parks. Thus, the zombies will, eventually, have no parks to go to. But there is an upside – the parks can become housing for immigrants from Syria and Iraq.
What is the problem?
If we look back several decades, the roads were ‘killing fields’. Thousands of people were killed every year in road accidents. The solution needed several steps – better roads, better road markings, better signposting, separation of ‘up’ traffic from ‘down’ traffic, different colours to indicate severity, better braking systems, etc. People are still killed in road accidents, but not nearly as many per mile driven. The incident of accidents has been driven down almost to the point where the only possible ‘improvement’ could come from banning driving. When I say ‘improvement’, I mean only in the statistics. It will always be true that the the lower the incidence of driving, the less accidents there will be. But nothing is certain. It is quite possible for a person driving along an empty motorway at 70 MPH to have a blow-out of a tyre and crash, killing the occupants of the car.
The above is a very good example of true ‘harm reduction’. Better roads and markings, better warnings, etc, reduce accidents.
But what is clear is that there was never an academic drive to work towards a ban on driving. Well, not in the recent past. For all I know, there may have been a time when the driving test was so severe that few people passed first time. That was an impression I had when I first took my driving test. As it happened, I passed first time, but I had been told many times that it was hard to pass the test first time. I do not know why that should have been so.
Anti-tobacco smoking has a long history. King James the First railed against the ‘foul practice’ hundreds of years ago. His railings were a super excuse to tax tobacco imports, which he did.
The ‘Spirit of King James 1st’ is not dead. It is alive and well. Either you smoke and pay swingeing taxes or you do not smoke. There is no in-between.That is the ‘credo’ of tobacco control.
The important words are ‘there are no in-betweens’. That is the reason for the anti-ecig drive. All the crap about minuscule levels of toxins in ecig vapour exists only to pursue the ‘quit or die’ narrative.
Carl Phillips has an interesting take on the subject of ‘harm reduction’ in general. I know that I am putting my own interpretation on his opinion, but why not?
The ‘war on drugs’ was a misconceived adventure from the beginning. All it did was criminalise law-abiding people who just happened to enjoy a substance, just like beer or whiskey, which raised one’s mood. For heaven’s sake! Is that not precisely what approved anti-depressants do? But it is also realistic that many people, who are not depressed, enjoy having their moods elevated, which is just what alcohol does. Alcohol cheers you up and overcomes inhibitions. Sure, it sometimes does so to excess.
Here is a link to Carl’s post:
He also links to another post:
I do not disagree with anything in those posts – other than ‘degrees of harm’. Thus, the number of people who suffer from AIDS or are at risk, is very, very small. That fact suggests that the problem is not worth massive expenditure on prevention. A comparatively small number of people are at risk. In that case, ‘cure’ is more important than ‘prevention’. That is not to suggest that homosexuals should not take precautions.
Carl P suggests that all forms of force are inhuman, and I agree. People who need to elevate their moods via drugs have every right to do so. There should be no ‘war’ against them. It follows that there should not be a ‘war’ against those who supply the drugs.
But we have a problem with the word ‘drugs’. Why should Aspirin, a drug, be wonderful whilst Heroin, a drug, is evil? Look at those words – ‘wonderful’ and ‘evil’.
Tobacco Control is based upon the idea of ‘evil’. It is surprising that it is taking so long for recognition of that fact to impinge. But it is happening. People in scientific circles are beginning to ask why no steps have been taken to persuade tobacco companies to extract nitrosamines, and other carcinogens, from cigarette tobacco.
‘Harm Reduction’is obvious – you have to take the harm out of the equation and not destroy the equation altogether. Tobacco smoking + carcinogens = pleasure + cancer. Remove the carcinogens and the word cancer and you get ‘smoking = pleasure. But TC has never acknowledged the term in the equation ‘pleasure’. Tobacco smoking + carcinogens = cancer. That is their equation.
Once the presence of carcinogens it tobacco smoke was known, why was it that the removal of those substances was not given priority?
I read a submission from someone who patented a method of removing nitrosamenes from tobacco leaves by microwaving the leaves. I wish that I had the document to hand, but it is too late to try to find it. It was only a couple of days ago that I read it.
When you think about it, it is very surprising that ‘harm reduction’ was not the first thing that academics thought of. Why have academics supported punishment, persecution and gradual prohibition when they could have supported ‘harm reduction’ for all these years?
In 2015, I bought Euros for a trip. The exchange rate was almost €1.40 to the £1. Unfortunately, I had to cancel my trip in October 2015 due to problems with the health of herself – she had to go into hospital. But I still had the euros which I bought at that time when it came to my trip in April of 2016, so I had no reason to check the exchange rate in April of this year. Only since Brexit have I needed to check the exchange rate. But what I found was that the exchange rate was falling for months before Brexit. I wonder why?
Here is a pic:
You can see that in 2012, the rate of exchange was about €1.20 to the £1, and that that continued until the beginning of 2014 when the rate started to rise, culminating in a rate of around €1.40 to the £1 throughout 2015. That was when I bought the Euros that I mentioned. Now, the rate is back down to below €1.20 to the £1.
The above graph does not really show the effect of Brexit, other than that the rate of exchange started to fall well before the referendum. I have seen other graphs which are more detailed and show that the exchange rate started to fall towards the end of 2015, months before the referendum.
So what started the downward trend? Our economy was on the up whilst the overall economy of the EU was stagnant. Why does the pound now purchase a lower number of Euros? Why, now, is the pound at a low ebb compared with the Euro?
First, you can discount Brexit. The fall in the value of the pound started well before Brexit.
But wait….. What do we mean by ‘value’?
Think of it this way. Anyone in the Euro zone has to pay less Euros to buy British goods. Thus, for example, if a pound of sugar cost £1 in the UK in 2015 it would have cost €1.40 for a Frenchman to buy that pound of sugar. Now, that Frenchman can buy that pound of sugar for €1.20.
But, as usual, there is a price to pay. Imports cost more. Hard though it might seem to understand, going on holiday to, say, France or Spain, is the same thing as an ‘import’. When we book a room in an hotel in France, we ‘import’ that ‘value’. We ‘export’ the pounds Stirling.
If you book an hotel directly in Mallorca, the prices are quoted in Euros. If the exchange rate is low, then it costs you more pounds to book that room. Thus, in terms of pounds Stirling, that room becomes more ‘valuable’. But that also means that rooms in British hotels become ‘less valuable’, and thus tourism into the UK is encouraged. Tourism from the UK to the Eurozone is discouraged.
It is hard to get your thinking right. At a basic level, money is just a means to exchange value here and now. It has no future value. But there is no easy way to convert money into ‘real value’. You can by shares in companies, but that ‘value’ has risks.
So when I go on my trip, I shall be looking for ‘value for money’. I expect that competition will reduce prices. And I expect to pay less for my pint and coffee.
That might not happen, but I do not care. I have paid for my half board and will take the best advantage of it that I can. And I shall buy tobacco products at the best price that I can. I shall demand a discount for quantity.
The more that the Zealots persecute us, the more that I shall resist – in my own way.
It is late and I haven’t much time.
It seems that some individual, alleged to be speaking for the UN, has demanded that red meat should be taxed specially. Do we have to accept that that person speaks for the whole UN? In fact, it is reasonable to ask who that person speaks for. Certainly, the justification for that tax is premised upon animals farting and causing runaway global warming.
One would think that the proposal would would be laughed at since it makes no sense. The animals that we eat are herbivores. They eat grass and turn it into meat. Even those animals which are fed with grain are eating the produce of plants. So the cycle, in big, general terms, is that grass absorbs CO2 and emits O; cows and sheep eat the grass, turn it into meat, and, in the process, fart a lot and shit a lot. What they fart and shit came from the grass that they ate, thus, they only emit what they have absorbed. Do cows emit methane? Then the methane must have been in the grass that they ate. Does grass absorb methane? No one says that grass does not – a missing step in the process.
Vast numbers of animals have existed on this planet for eons, and their activities have been neutral during all that time – the chemicals that they absorb, they emit, one way or another. Until we eat them. At that point, our own metabolisms return what we absorb to the earth and the atmosphere.
But these ‘authorities’ in the UN want TAXATION. Thus, as is obvious to any one with a single brain-cell, the people most to be affected are those with the least ability to pay. I thought that I could not re-find the link about this latest UN persecution of the poorest people, but I have found it( H/T Joe L at:
Here is another if you can be bothered:
But note that the Zealots want red meat to be taxed at the production stage. I suppose that must mean at the wholesale stage. It is the Tobacco Template. It is intended to be a form of duty or excise tax, just like tobacco, alcohol and petrol.
But who are these ‘experts’ and collaborators who are driving these ideas? No one knows. They seem to be ‘professors’ and ‘doctors’ in universities. Do these people actual teach subjects, and to what extent is their teaching ideological and political?
There is an imperative that Politicians must must ensure that education is not political or ideological. Even ‘political studies’ must be objective.
It is hard to know what ‘expertise’ is needed for a politician to be good at his job. I do not know, but it seems to me that the worst possible people to be politicians are the fruits of academia and the medical profession. Practising lawyers, practising builders, practising doctors, practising teachers, etc, should be OK. But academics must always be suspect. Such people always want persecution.
I went to the dentist’s today. I’m sick of filling in the initial questionnaire. I don’t mind the health questions, like ‘do you suffer from asthma’ or ‘have you ever had HIV’. It is the smoking and drinking questions which annoy me. They are not ‘health’ questions; they are lifestyle questions. And we know why they are there – to nudge, nudge, wink, wink. But I wonder if anyone actually collates the answers? Are the forms sent off somewhere for the answers to the smoking and drinking questions to be collated?
There used to be only one question, which was about smoking cigs. It asked if you smoke and how many per day. Now, there is another question regarding other tobacco products like cigars and chewing tobacco. The alcohol question is recent. It asks if you drink more than 14 units per week. The form demands that you give your date of birth.
It seems obvious to me that the form has changed from a nudge, nudge, wink, wink vehicle to a full-on information gathering vehicle. Think about it. Every time a person goes to the dentists, he has to fill in that form. The form does not have your full name and address, but has your name and date of birth and the date on which you filled in the form. If the ‘authorities’ were so inclined, and did not bother about costs, I suppose that your name, date of birth and locality would be sufficient to identify you, although I don’t think that that is the purpose.
It seems to me that the forms must be sent off somewhere, and that the answers to the questions are collated. Think about it. There are thousands of dentists, and they all use the same form. I suspect that 9 out of 10 individuals would downplay their smoking and drinking habits because they think that the dentist might punish them – maybe by denying them treatment for this and that ‘smoking related dental condition’ or by inflicting pain while chanting ‘it’s your own fault’. So most people probably lie when filling in that form.
But the clever buggers in Public Health are not bothered by lies on the forms. They are only interested in ‘trends’.
That is a bit weirder than it seems at first sight.
Let us suppose that everyone who fills in such a form automatically downplays his smoking habit. Suppose that he says that he smokes 10 cigs per day when he actually smokes 20 per day. Let us suppose that those are the most average numbers, and that there are comparatively few people who claim to smoke 2 cigs per day when the smoke 3, and that there are very few who claim to smoke 50 per day when they smoke 100. When the figures are collated, the very big ones and the very small ones will be excluded. Only the mainstream average will be included. The ‘two per day’ and the ‘fifty per day’ will be binned. The hoped for trend will be that fewer people will tell lies in the direction of lower levels of smoking cigs. That is, suppose that X number of people say that they smoke 10 cigs per day, even thought they smoke 20, the hoped for trend would be that that number X would become X – y, over time, y being those who write down reduced numbers of cigs smoked, regardless of the the real number of cigs smoked.
Needless to say, such tricks are meaningless. I don’t tell lies to the questions. Do I smoke? Yes. How many? 50 per day. Do I drink more than 14 units per week? Yes. I do not give a shit what ‘the authorities’ do with those numbers. There may be a lot of them, but they are undisciplined. Collating them is a total waste of time and money.
But wasting time and money is a ‘trend’ in Public Health. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is a mantra which does not stand up to logical analysis, unless the cost of Prevention is less than the cost of cure. How successful have flu jabs been? It is impossible to know, since it is impossible to know how many recipients of the jabs would have got flu had they not had the jabs. It is IMPOSSIBLE to know. Thus, it makes far more sense to find a quick cure for flu than try to inoculate the whole population against flu. I read somewhere that true influenza is rare; that the common cold is very often referred to as ‘flu’. Our Government was conned again. It had to pay for millions of jabs, and then had to pay for them to be destroyed when few people bothered with them. And yet, in the doctors waiting room, they are still demanding that people get flu jabs.
There is a simple understanding, which is that no one wants to get flu, but no one wants flu jabs. It is ‘first preference’ and ‘second preference’ thing. Many people say that they would like to give up smoking, but the continue to smoke. Why? Because smoking is enjoyable Thus, smoking is their first preference. Stopping smoking is their second preference. Thus, those people who say that they regret smoking are fibbing – they did not ‘regret’ smoking at the time. Fibbing is not the right word.
I don’t know quite how to put it.
Suppose that persons A and B were mercenary soldiers. (I met one such person years ago). Suppose that both killed X number of ‘rebels’ or whatever. Suppose that A got seriously wounded but B came through the experience unscathed. Which of the two is more likely to wish that he had not been involved?
Thus, all the figures which ASH has produced about people who wished that they had never started smoking reveal only that those people would have preferred to spend their money on something else, and not that they did not enjoy smoking. When they spent money on smoking, that was their first preference at the time.
We all look back and wish that we had done things differently to some extent. That is human nature. We should be thankful that we have such an ability to be self-critical. What we do not need, and must fight against with all our might, is paragons of virtue using force and persecution to drive us like herds of cattle in the direction dictated by them.
A specific case in point is something that I read here:
In essence, that post says that the Zealots believe that it is better that everyone loses a couple of pounds in weight than that those people who are really obese should shed a lot of weight. That idea is so hilariously stupid that it is hard to believe that almost everyone on the committee involved voted in favour. That shows the invincibility of ‘experts’. The stupidity of the idea that a person who weighs 20 stone losing a ‘couple of pounds’ is comparable to a person who weighs 10 stone and loses a ‘couple of pounds’ is just risible.
But what is contemptible is that the ‘elected representatives’ on that committee voted in favour of ‘whole population’ punishment rather than punishing only fatties. Can you see the trick? If everyone is punished, then that is OK, but it is not permissible to punish only the wrongdoer.
That idea needs to be investigated. Being obese is almost a crime these days. But the criminally obese are not punished especially. Instead, all of us are to be punished by increases of taxation on sugar.
The idea also works in the other direction. Any academic who argues against Global Warming will be punished and ostracised.
But we must always bear in mind that ONLY the people that we elect are actually responsible. It is for THEM to put academics back into their place as teachers and nothing else.