Italian and Irish Zealotry

First, the Italian one:

“Italy is making moves to ban smoking in parks, beaches and stadiums, while actors could be stopped from lighting up on film and television sets.”

It’s like a game of leapfrog, isn’t it? “Parks and beaches and stadiums”. What sort of stadiums? Aren’t they a bit behind the times? But then they chuck in “while actors could be stopped from lighting up on film and television sets”. 

Here is a quote from Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, ““We’ll begin with films and cars with children in board, and then we’ll assess eventual new measures. It’s a subject to be explored, and will eventually lead to a debate.”  No dear, it will not lead to a debate, it will lead to more intolerance and persecution.


The Irish one:

HSE: don’t smoke in your home if our staff are there”. 

Again, a bit of leap-frogging. Why have they not already got such a regulation? Has that not been the case (in theory) in the UK since the smoking bans?

SICK and elderly smokers are being banned from having a cigarette in their homes while healthcare workers such as home helps, nurses, doctors social workers or therapists are making a care visit.” 

In the same way that banning smoking in cars with young men and women (aka ‘children’) in them is an obvious precedent for banning smoking anywhere where ‘children’ are present, including the home, so is this ban a precedent for getting inside people’s homes directly. But is not using sick and elderly people as guinea pigs not a detestable way to do it?

Sometimes I have said that the Zealots are sociopaths/psychopaths, but only in a vague sort of way. This Irish wheeze is beginning to make that assertion look very, very real.

Health Service Executive (HSE) staff have been told that as a “last resort” the service may be withdrawn if the client or patient resists the ban.” 

And why?

The HSE has now decided that it has a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for workers, including agency staff.” A safe working environment?

It wants the area for the visit to be properly ventilated if smoking has taken place, with windows and doors opened.” 

Under the new HSE policy rules, the client is also instructed not to smoke for at least an hour before the visit. The same restriction applies to others in the house, who also cannot smoke while the health worker is present.” 

Now, I must admit to having an interest here. As many will know, my wife suffers from MS. In addition to being unable to use her legs at all and other less significant matters, she also cannot urinate and so needs a catheter. Once a week, a district nurse comes to change the catheter. She can arrive any time between roughly 10 am and 3 pm, although mostly she arrives around midday. But we can never be sure when she is going to arrive, and therefore we could not know when the ‘hour before the visit’ would start. So, what actually happens is that, when the nurse arrives we put our cigs out. Is that because we are afraid? Of course not! It is a matter of not putting the nurse in a difficult position, and that is all. Actually, this whole thing is quite silly, since, as regards our situation, there really ought to be two nurses to do the job, but she relies upon me to help her when she comes. But there has never been a single occasion when any nurse has complained about cig smoke (of which there is hardly any in any case). At least the nurses do not live in cloud-cuckoo land.

No, the whole Irish thing is being promoted simply because, a) the zealots in Ireland have no bobbins, and, b) to use the sick and the old to promote their anti-social agenda and to find ways to invade our homes.

Read the Irish article. You need only replace the words ‘sick and elderly’ with ‘Jewish scum’ and you have National Socialism.


In yesterday’s post, I pondered about the statistics from the USA Gallup Poll. I am becoming more and more convinced that politicians are going along with the Health Zealots because of the VOTER statistics about second hand smoke. In the USA, 85% of people have been brainwashed to believe that SHS is either ‘very harmful’ or ‘somewhat harmful’. Is it any wonder that politicians are afraid of standing up to the fascists and totalitarian Nazis? But, in the same way that smokers are not a strong group, neither are politicians. In respect of the Health Zealots, political parties have no part to play. Each individual MP (apart from a few) seems to believe that if he stands up against the Health Zealots, he will be accused of killing babies and 85% of voters will turn against him. THAT IS THE WAY THAT POLITICS WORKS.

If we cast our minds back to the smoking ban in 2007, the whole point was said to be ‘to protect the health of workers’. The ban was introduced as a ‘health’ matter, and not as a ‘danger’ matter. Why did the Government (political Government – the Cabinet) of the day not engage independent statisticians to advise them of the REAL risks of SHS? Had they done so, they could have averted, once and for all, the rod which they made for their own backs. I read something earlier where the cost of Public Health, when you take into consideration all the salaries of professors, researchers, enforcers, etc, around lifestyles, comes to over 2.5 billion pounds per an. That money would almost all have been available to cut the deficit if Public Health had been told to concentrate its attention on real diseases, and leave ‘dangers’ to the Health and Safety Executive. You see, Public Health does have a part to play in reducing danger, but only by providing its views. Its ‘competence’ is not to decide levels of danger and what is acceptable. That is the job of ‘danger level experts’, and not epidemiologists.


Will attitudes ever change and bring the edifice built upon sand (SHS danger) crashing down? It could well be so, and it could happen quite quickly (but don’t hold your breath). We cannot expect the Coalition to do anything now other than appease what they have been told that VOTERS believe to be the case. It is too late now for them to poo-poo the idea of SHS harm. They have a general election right before their eyes. But they should have been aware of what they were letting themselves in for eight years ago.

Cracks will appear. In fact, they are already appearing. The recent study which showed that cancers are more predominant in the human body where cell apoptosis (death) and division are most frequent is one such crack. The Enstrom and Kabat study about the effect (lack of) of SHS on spouses has not been forgotten, neither has the Bofetta study. And then there is the Nonagenarian (90 year olds) study which showed that 90 year olds did not live especially ‘correct’ lifestyles. Further, as cousin Hartley as point out many times, smokers’ lungs are used in transplants. [Please, cousin, don’t repeat the detail in the comments!]

And here is another thing to think about:

Twenty-five different cancer treatments will no longer be funded by the NHS in England, health chiefs have announced.” 

Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of pounds are being wasted on what are, essentially, repeats of Doll’s Doctors Study, or variations thereof. Further, these studies are being repeated, again and again, in all the universities in Europe, with small variations.

The present coalition had a golden opportunity when it declared that there was going to be a ‘bonfire of the quangos’ – but it chickened out.


And so we have the present situation of propaganda and ignorance, with not a single verifiable FACT in sight.

As regards the politicians’ terror of the 85%, we have still have some hope. The 85% (being VOTERS who have been brainwashed into believing that a whiff of tobacco smoke will kill them), are more or less evenly split between Labour and Tory (Libdem is finished). That situation lets UKIP in big time. Why? Because the other 15% have NOT been brainwashed. They see Nige with a pint and a fag, and they see a guy with whom they ‘can do business’. Also, an awful lot of the 85% are not as dim as they may seem. They know, in their hearts, that when they say that SHS is ‘very harmful’, that they are repeating what they have been told, and they resent being herded. It would not take much to hear them saying, “Well, although I accepted the idea of SHS danger because ‘experts’ said it was, I always knew that the idea was dodgy” That is, only a tiny portion would truly have personal experience or knowledge which supported the idea of SHS harm. Clearly, none of them would have considered the time-scale over which SHS harm might have any effect since, as far as I know, no such considerations have been ‘studied’. I have seen estimates of SHS harm which quote about 1.23 relative risk of various health conditions. Zealot say that the risk from SHS is therefore “23% greater”. But they never say (because it is not in their interests to say) that 23% additional risk of negligible is still negligible.

I do not know how tobacco control has got away with it for so long without the trickery being observed, but it is being observed now, little by little.


What is the answer?

The whole situation could change overnight if politicians suddenly realised that the 85% was an illusion; that no one really believes that SHS is harmful, but that many people have just gone along with what ‘the experts’ say.

A lovely example of the effect of misunderstanding statistics is the likelihood of a golfer being struck by lightening when he is holding a golf club in his hands in a thunderstorm. In epidemiological terms, the likelihood of being struck by lightening in dry, pleasant weather is zero, but will we give that likelihood a numerical factor of 1 (one). One could count the number of golfers who have been struck by lightening, even though there might be millions of golfers who have played in thunderstorms, and find that five golfers have been struck by lightening over a period of time. Thus, the Relative Risk of being struck by lightening would be five times greater than for a person not holding a golf club. But the period of time is also important. Suppose that the five golfers holding golf clubs in their hands were all struck by lightening on the same day, and that, other than that occasion, zero golfer who had golf clubs in their hands during thunderstorms, were struck by lightening in the past ten years?

It is the manipulation of statistics in that sort of way that TC has used to get away with its brainwashing.

Enough for tonight.




4 Responses to “Italian and Irish Zealotry”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    The manipulation of statistics has fueled the propaganda that led to the smoking bans and ultimately the widely held belief that smoking and second hand smoke are hyper-dangerous. Those claims are demonstrably weak and/or false but the belief persist even among smokers.

    My question is how does that false set of assumptions get countered. In every new ban that’s announced, scores commenters laud the ban and claim that it is time the ‘filthy’ smokers stop their selfish smoking that threatens the health of others. The problem is the smokers aren’t actually threatening the health of anyone but themselves (if the are indeed threatening themselves which is questionable in many regards).

    There are signs the tobacco control propaganda is being challenged by the release of new data that calls their exaggeration and misstatements into question (perhaps the reason for the recent uptick in increasingly draconian bans). The question is what next?

    • junican Says:

      It certainly seems that TC are in a terrible rush to get their laws passed, but I put that down to the fact that they seem to be on a roll. What bothers me most is the fears of politicians, which seem to be because of fears of voter repugnance, which might get them voted out at the next GE.
      What next?
      Sooner or later, the discrepancy between reality and propaganda will be noticed. For example, deaths from LC (of the bronchi etc) as a proportion of all deaths has fallen by about 20% since around 1960. It is possible that the reduction is due to less air pollution, better and quicker diagnosis and treatment, and, indeed, less smoking. But the fall in LC deaths does not mirror the fall in smoking prevalence.
      I really must dig out those figures again!

  2. smokingscot Says:

    There are 3 polls doing the rounds at the moment, two of which seem to confirm your hypotheses that circa 15% of the electorate have had it with the BS.

    • junican Says:

      Thanks for the link. I have read the article.
      I am not interested in the fortunes of Tory and Labour. What, to me, is of the greatest significance is the rise in UKIP’s fortunes. In the three polls mentioned, UKIP scored 16%, 13% and 17%. Whether those figures turn into seats is another matter, but they certainly indicate a very high level of dissatisfaction.

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