“Leading Beyond Authority”

That is the slogan of Common Purpose, isn’t it? As with all slogans, it a huge generalisation. It could just as easily be written, “Leading without  authority”, and would make just the same sense. Further, in place of the word ‘Leading’, one just as well say ‘cajoling‘. For example, officers in the armed forces are said to have ‘leadership qualities’. In real life, what that translates into is ‘get the troops to obey orders. Thus, the slogan ‘Leading Beyond Authority’ could  just as easily, and mean much the same, read ‘Cajoling Without Authority’.

We could take the word ‘authority’ to have the same meaning as exists in the phrase, ‘Appeal to authority’, such as in the statement, “Experts say…..”. ‘Experts’ are the ‘authority’, and what they say is true and can be relied upon. Thus, ‘Cajoling Without Authority’ could just as easily read, “Cajoling Without Truth’.

“Leading Beyond Authority” means the same as “Cajoling Without Truth”.

And didn’t we see such behaviour aplenty leading up to 2007 general smoking ban? What is wrong with the statement, “Bar staff must be protected against the harm done by second hand smoke at their workplace”? It is becoming easy to recognise the faults in that statement of fact in retrospect:

1) Many bar staff actually smoke. Why should the be protected against SHS?

2) What if they do not want to be protected?

3) What reasonable proof is there that anyone suffers harm from SHS?

4) If there were such harm, how much, and over what period of time would the harm take effect?

5) Why only the workplace?

The reason that the general smoking ban passed (apart from the trickery of Tobacco Control Academics and ‘planted’ Lords and MPs), was that the ‘science’ had already been fixed over a period of 50 years or so, beginning shortly after WW2, and financed by the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, in a number of countries. The volume of statistics alone, never mind the interpretations and possible confounders, rendered those studies almost impervious to attack.

And yet, to the best of my knowledge, having read the minutes of Parliamentary debates about the general smoking ban, minimal mention was made about THE EVIDENCE. The ‘evidence’ was assumed to be true.

But there was no evidence that SHS significantly harmed bar staff. 

There is something weird about the way that Parliament works, and it is no surprise that it fails again and again. One of the reasons is that it puts procedure above reality. For example, there is a Health Committee. If the Health Committee opine that there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ of SHS harm, and that the serving of food, or lack of, is irrelevant to saving the lives of bar staff, would anyone know if that committee had been packed with anti-smoking Zealots? Who decides who sits on these committees? Are they just volunteers, in the sense someone has to volunteer to shovel shit in a collective from time to time? Or are they the people who actively sought these positions – to the relief of everyone else? WHO DECIDES WHO SITS ON THE HEALTH COMMITTEE? In any case, who decided to exempt non-food pubs? It is true – if SHS is so damaging, what has food got to do with it? Was that exemption a deliberate ploy, intended to be overturned at the last minute? It seems to be so.

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I have outlined only a little of the trickery of ‘Cajoling Without Truth’ above. It is all reminiscent of ‘Animal Farm’, ‘1984’ and Fascism, as well as Totalitarian ‘one size fits all’.

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But big cracks are starting to appear.

We have already seen the split between tobacco harm reduction people and prohibitionists. The case of ecigs is especially indicative. Rather than the Zealots promoting ecigs, being far less dangerous than tobacco cigs, they have created ephemeral objections. “We are not sure …. ” is ephemeral – devils and demons – much like SHS.

The Royal College of Physicians, via its loud-mouth ASH organisation, which it owns, has been vaguely supportive of ecigs, which is contrary to the desires of academics in the USA, Australia and the UK.

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While this combative hysteria among Zealots is going on, a strange thing is happening. Doubts about scientific integrity are appearing. A study, published in the BMJ, shows that it is not the fault of journalists that the proper results of studies are not being reported. In fact, the study revealed that the abstracts of studies especially exaggerated the importance of the study’s findings, and that journalists merely passed the exaggerations on and magnified them.

Exaggerations.

Exaggerations are what propaganda is about, especially fear. Fear, Fear, Fear. And, as the Nazi extermination of Jews, homosexuals, mental defectives, and gypsies showed, it can be done, without the general population being aware.

We must differentiate between genuine (even if exaggerated) studies of phenomena which are not tobacco related and ‘sexed-up’ Tobacco Control reports. The two are similar, but not the same.

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Thankfully, events are beginning to press on TC. It is reported that in Australia and Ireland imports of ‘illicit’ tobacco are growing and growing. That can only indicate that The People no longer respect their Governments. Thus, Governments, even though elected by the majority, are seen by the minority as oppressors and tyrants. What then happens, and I am sure that it is happening, is that the minority refuse to cooperate. It may not even be a conscious refusal. It may be just a simple refusal to tell the truth. For example, I took two Xmas present parcels to the post office today to send them off. I was asked what was inside. Because they were not MY parcels, but my daughters’, I had no idea what was inside them. And so I lied. I invented the contents. Did I feel guilty? NOT ONE JOT! Oppression must be opposed.

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That is what politicians, in their fear of offending the ‘for the children’ brigade, forgot when they passed the general smoking ban. They forgot that the children are not theirs.

 

 

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4 Responses to ““Leading Beyond Authority””

  1. psok Says:

    are the people who have no interest in freedom going to be able to connect the dots now this minute i see that on the news vapers are ok . i hope so.
    kind regards, dr sok

  2. mikef317 Says:

    Junican, from your 12 / 16 post. “I do not understand why anyone buys cigarettes in California. How can people be so stupid? They need only take a short trip and buy their fags outside that State. In fact, I am shocked that the smuggling in New York is only 50%. It ought to be 100%.”

    In terms of land mass, the U. S. is a huge country. Look at a globe and compare the UK to the U. S. Except for people who live on the border between two states, there is no “short trip” to another state. (Drive from Bolton to Glasgow.)

    I live in New York which has higher taxes than New Jersey. I’ve tried the “crossing state lines” idea, and it doesn’t work between NY and NJ.

    From my house in NY, I have to take a bus to a subway, transfer to another subway, and then (walking between these points) take a PATH (NY-NJ) train (another subway or in some places an above-ground railroad) to New Jersey. Having got there, I have to walk around to find a store that sells cigarettes. (There are no “tobacconists.”) Having found a store, they might have two cartons of my brand – and maybe it takes the store manager five minutes to find where the goods are hidden. (Two packs are not a problem – two cartons are – ten cartons? – go to NJ and try; the most I ever bought was four because that was all that was available.)

    So…. Easily two hours to get to NJ, and another two hours to return home (not counting walking around and “in store” time – all to pay a somewhat smaller tax on two cartons of cigarettes? No thanks. (But, “walking around” time, NJ is an interesting pace, different from NY, as is London [which I once had the good fortune to visit], and I’m sure Bolton.)

    People who live in New York City are atypical Americans in that lots of us don’t own cars. (I don’t; hence my reference to buses and subways.). But there are tolls on bridges and tunnels between NY and NJ, so if I had a car, while the trip might be faster, there would be the added expense of the tolls. In terms of cost, there’s no benefit to driving.

    But – could I head south to states with low taxes? I considered this and rejected it. Don’t take my numbers as gospel, but consider…. Would it take me a 7 hour train ride (at a cost of easily $100.00) to get to a state with low taxes? Would I spend the night at a hotel, or just take the next train back to NY? (14 hour trip? – no thanks!) There’s also air travel – faster but more expensive. Same problem with cars – drive hundreds of miles for lower cigarette taxes?

    Bottom line, in the U. S., with some exceptions, there’s no such thing as a “short trip,” at least not to avoid tobacco taxes.

    • junican Says:

      I did think about that, Mike, but to say so would have spoilt my post!

      What I had more in mind was the fact that there are no ‘border controls’ between States, so you can travel freely anywhere. What I do is fly to Spain (1,000 miles) for a short holiday three or four times a year. While I’m there, on each occasion, I buy thirty sleeves of 200. Here is a breakdown of the costs involved (roughly translated into dollars):

      Flight: $300.
      Hotel (say, 5 nights): $300.
      Entertainment (little more that at home): $100.
      30 sleeves: about $1,500.
      ———————
      Total: $2200.
      ===========
      Cost of tobacco at home: $3,000.
      Saving, $800 per trip.

      So, if I go four times a year, I save $3,200 dollars per year. If you think that is lot of cigs, both herself and I smoke.
      The one disadvantage that I have is that I have to get past Customs, but I am acting within the law since the cigs are for my own use, although there is still a slight risk of confiscation. But I have never been stopped yet. You do not have that disadvantage.

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