What are ASH ET AL Doing Now?

Everything was in place. The HoC has voted to allow the Sec of State for Health to decide whether or not to impose a Smoking Ban in Cars (with children present), and Plain Packaging. Surely a determined push by The Zealots would tip the scales and propel these ideals into legislation.

But the Scottish Referendum kerfufle has buggered up the time-table. Imagine what would happen if the subject of PP was brought up in Cabinet in the present atmosphere by the Sec of State for Health. “What!!? We have a situation in which almost half of the population of Scotland do not accept the authority of the UK Parliament; we are obliged to bomb foreign countries; the NHS is falling apart financially; and you want us to waste Parliamentary time on pointless regulations? Are you mad!”

But that is not to say that PP won’t happen. MPs might regard it as light relief from the major decisions which they do not take. You know – a bit of fun.

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Even so, I can imagine The Tobacco Control Industry being a bit peeved by the adverse effects of the Scottish kerfufle and the bombing and killing, on their time-table. At this time, no one gives a shit about smoking in cars and PP, therefore, all the propaganda of the Zealots and Charlatans will have to be repeated. It has now lost its force – it is yesterday’s news.

You see, Propaganda has a limited effect. It only works for a short period of time. It does not produce permanent changes. Thus, legislation based upon propaganda, must ensue rapidly after the propaganda blitz.

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It is really odd that politicians are failing to observe the correlation between smoking bans and the diminution of economic activity. (Or rather, it is odd that those people who should be telling Government about these consequence are not doing so)

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I have some thoughts.

Why did Parliament vote in favour of the Smoking Ban in ‘Public’ Places in the first place? Why did they do so? Part of the explanation is that the ban was only a small part of a much bigger Bill, placed before Parliament. The idea was to protect workers from tobacco smoke.

I need not go into detail because it has become evident that the objective was nothing of the kind. It was to drive smokers out of ‘enclosed public places’ to punish them for smoking. Make them smoke outside in the rain and cold.

Why did the Zealots not start with smoking at home when there are children present? Can I say that again for emphasis:

Why did the Zealots not start with smoking at home when there are children present?

The answer is obvious when you think about it – such a restriction would be so draconian that it would be recognised at once as, a) based upon lies, since no children are affected by tobacco smoke in the home unless they are already ill; b) It would be absolutely impossible to prove what the Zealots say is the case (because it is not the case).

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The good news is that, at the moment, the Zealots are stymied by wars of one sort or another. The bad news is that they are still getting money in great quantities to spread the perfidious propaganda.

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7 Responses to “What are ASH ET AL Doing Now?”

  1. artbylisabelle Says:

    Head them off (pardon the expression)LOL, at the pass and vote their stupid arses out as soon as we globally individually and unifiededly can. This is a revolution.

  2. Rose Says:

    Why did the Zealots not start with smoking at home when there are children present?

    What use would that have been?

    What they needed was public spectacle to promote the idea that secondhand smoke was harmful by forcing people to behave as if it was.
    There is no visible impact of people simply not smoking in their house. someone could be smoking outside for any amount of reasons including not spoling the wallpaper.

    .

    Smoking ban ‘is based on bad science’

    June 7 2006

    “The Government takes more notice of scare stories than of evidence, a Lords committee has said

    THE ban on smoking in pubs was an over-reaction to the threat posed by passive smoking and symptomatic of MPs’ failure to understand the concept of risk, a House of Lords committee has said.

    “The Lords Economic Affairs Committee accused the Government of kneejerk reactions to scare stories about health, saying it did not weigh the risks. Ministers placed insufficient weight on available scientific evidence and relied instead on “unsubstantiated reports” when formulating policy.”

    “The report said: “It may be that the unstated objective of policy is to encourage a reduction in active smoking by indirect means. This may well be a desirable policy objective, but if it is the objective it should have been clearly stated.”

    Times

    .

    Select Committee on Economic Affairs Fifth Report

    Passive Smoking

    76. The recently introduced bill to ban smoking in public places illustrates a number of worrying features connected with the formulation and promotion of legislation[49]. The stated objective of the bill was to ban smoking at work and in enclosed public places, because passive smoking imposes a significant health risk on workers and others exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

    77. In order to evaluate the operation of risk policy in this area, we considered a range of evidence, much of which cast doubt on the stated rationale of the legislation. In her evidence to us, Caroline Flint, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, commented that:

    “it is clearly the case that, in relation to deaths from smoking and second-hand smoke, the most serious aspect of that is smoking in the home. Ninety-five percent of deaths are related to smoking in the home”[50].

    Other evidence we received suggested that the health risks associated with passive smoking are relatively minor and the main harm, if there is one, concerns children who are exposed to passive smoking in the home, which is something the bill is not designed to address[51]. Sir Richard Peto did suggest that ex-smokers might be more at risk from ETS than those who had never smoked at all, but the general tenor of his evidence indicated that the risks are uncertain and unlikely to be large[52].

    78. Given the evidence about the impact of passive smoking, we are concerned that the decision to ban smoking in public places may represent a disproportionate response to a relatively minor health concern. It may be that the unstated objective of policy is to encourage a reduction in active smoking by indirect means. This may well be a desirable policy objective, but if it is the objective, it should have been clearly stated.”

    83. Another aspect of this issue that concerned us was the Government’s attitude to the possible trade-offs between personal liberty and risk reduction inherent in many areas of legislation. In the case of the legislation to ban smoking in public places, we were concerned that the preliminary stages of policy formulation appear to have given little or no weight to this important factor. We note that government risk guidelines do not emphasise any requirement to assess the impact of legislation on personal freedoms or civil liberties. This is something that needs to be considered further.”
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/183/18309.htm

    Deborah Arnott’s feeble attempt at justification.

    Peers attack public smoking ban

    “Ms Arnott said: “The aims of the legislation are crystal clear: to improve public health by minimising people’s exposure to a major carcinogen [cancer causing agent].

    “The fact that more people may be exposed to smoke in the home than in public places does not mean that no action should be taken to protect people from exposure to smoke in the workplace and public places.”

    “Furthermore the evidence is that legislation to control smoke in workplaces helps to reduce smoking in the home.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5053350.stm

    .

    No, it was to make people feel embarassed and uncomfortable and “denormalise” the practice of smoking in the public mind.

    After all everyone knows that no lady ever smokes in the street – so let’s make ’em do it – by force of law!

    Smokers are known to be gregarious so isolating them socially was an obvious choice.

    Just think school bully, it’s not all about pinches and punches, it’s about mental torment and public humiliation as well.

  3. smokingscot Says:

    On the other hand Junican, it does appear that Mr. Miliband is definitely on board with respect to all suggestions made by tobacco control.

    Doubtless you’ll be aware that his rallying cry to the Party Faithful last week (it was the last Labour Party Conference prior to the General Election) was extremely negative for business, those in expensive houses and tobacco companies.

    Seems Mr. Miliband has deduced that tobacco companies should be taxed at a far higher rate to pay for all the illnesses claimed caused by people smoking their products.

    (You’ll recall that this was the angle adopted in Korea recently. Indeed I believe you made mention of it some time ago.)

    And all this tax will be used to assist the NHS get out of its financial predicament.

    Of course one or two of us are aware that tying in tax on tobacco has its downsides. The Americans certainly have because as less tobacco is sourced through legitimate outlets, the amount available through tax drops substantially.

    I’d also expect the tobacco majors to move their headquarters to a less hostile tax regime, leaving the UK as a stand alone distribution centre. After all they no longer have one single processing plant in the UK.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/22/ed-miliband-speech-tax-tobacco-nhs-labour-conference

    Of course Mr. Miliband needs to get the Labour Party re-elected with an outright majority to implement all of these policies. We’ve got Clacton as well as Heywood and Middleton by-elections on the 6th and 9th of October to get some measure of what 2015 holds in store for us.

    • junican Says:

      Now only Japan Tobacco International (JTI)’s Gallaher cigarette plant in Lisnafallan, Northern Ireland, remains.

      From the Daily Mail a few months ago.

      There are trade treaties which protect inward investors. It may be that Japan International benefits from them as an ‘inward investor’. I should imagine that Milband is unaware of these provisions which would almost certainly protect JTI from being especially targeted for increased taxes. It’s hard to see how Miliband can do anything other than increase duty or introduce a special tax on tobacco company dividends. But how do you tax dividends at source if the company paying the dividends is based in another country? That means that individual shareholders would be taxed on their tobacco dividends. Very tricky.

  4. Tom Says:

    Rose said, “What they needed was public spectacle to promote the idea that secondhand smoke was harmful by forcing people to behave as if it was.”

    Yes – that is it in a nutshell. It had to be a big spectacle, similar to how in prior ages, some were put into stocks and pillories to make a spectacle and then a minority could be condemned, so those among the majority would feel smug and secure enough they would support and approve of whatever administration of government was in effect at the time. The majority was, after all, “safe” since they were not like the hated minority they spit at in the public square for their “crime” of being non-conformist in some way.

    The dummies nowadays, among the common-Joe’s who still fake cough, hand wave and oh-so-support the smoking bans and “know” the SHS Fake Fraud to be a “real danger” deserve the kind of over-lording tyrannical government they, but more importantly, their children, will have to suffer through till the day they die.

    These fools. Instead of making the world better for their children, they have made their children’s futures a living nightmare from hell, simply because they gave into the propaganda effects that the spectacle of forced outdoor smoking was to cause to happen, the effect being that of tyranny – and they endorsed it – willingly, for the feeling of a little smug righteousness, of feeling “better” than “those smokers”.

    • Rose Says:

      As far as I know, it is was the first time a government has dictated where a person may or may not sit or stand.

      The crash helmet law came first when the government decided that it could fine a minority for not protecting their own heads, followed a little later by seat belts for the rest.
      It established a precedent.

      • junican Says:

        Have you noticed the escalation, though? I don’t know if motorcyclists were responsible for any pillion passengers, but I know that car drivers are not responsible for their adult passengers re seat belts. What happened with pub bans? >i>The publican is responsible for enforcing the ban. That is the outrageous part about the ban. What other criminal laws are the public responsible for enforcing? There are very few. Imagine if ordinary citizens were obliged by law to stop a gang of burglar from breaking into premises and were fined thousands of pounds for failing to do so?
        I’m amazed that this tyranny was never challenged properly in court.

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