Are ‘Irish Jokes’ Racist or True?

Well, you must admit that the imposition of PP in Ireland is comical. I mean that no thought seems to have been given to how the policy will be imposed upon non-resident manufacturers. In Australia, non-resident manufacturers complied, but they didn’t have to. They could have refused and stopped exporting to Australia. If they had, what would the OZ Parliament have done? Perhaps tobacco companies too wanted to see how the experiment turned out. Evidence that PP had no effect would greatly assist them in future conflicts.

Suppose that Big Tobacco invoked Trade Agreements about intellectual property, and refused to supply Oz? All that lovely tax lolly would go up the spout. The Oz State would have to organise the import of ‘Manchester’ cigs from Indonesia or wherever.

There are similarities between Ireland, Australia and Corsica. The State’s control over ‘The People’ has always been tenuous in those countries. I am not talking about the compliant 70% – I am talking about the self-reliant 30%. The more that the State uses ‘the tyranny of the majority’, the more hidden becomes the defiance of the minority. The Irish have always had a sort of tribal attitude to loyalty, as witnessed by ‘The Troubles’. Australia has always been a bit Wild West. Of course, in both those countries, there is a nod to ‘high culture’, but the history of both those countries over the past couple of centuries has been one of rebellion and not compliance. The aristocrats were seen off in both of them. The new aristocrats will be seen off eventually in the UK.

But it is reasonable to ask why Irish MPs passed the law. Surely, the Irish Parliament is not packed with zealots? Surely there must be a majority who are sensible? Why do they roll over so easily?

Are these sensible MPs frightened? They could be if they were afraid of being accused of being baby killers, supporters of Evil Big Tobacco, denialists of ‘the true faith’ of Healthism, exploiters of the weakness of addicts. What is the easy option which is least likely to damage them in the polls? Passing PP is a ‘no-brainer’. It is easy to vote for and the harmful consequences of voting that way are negligible.

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Tobacco Companies are obviously going to challenge that ruling in the courts, but I wonder what they will do in the short term? I cannot see them doing anything before the UK Parliament has decided about PP. If the UK Parliament decides likewise, I can see tobacco companies going to court in the UK rather than Ireland. For some reason or other, UK judges seem to have less political bias. What would be the argument? Essentially, it would be that ‘entities’ involved in the production, distribution and sale of tobacco products have the right to substantially differentiate between competing products. Health does not come into the equation.

I assume (but do not know) that that argument was put in Australia, but the court there upheld the right of the State to pass PP laws on health grounds (potential to reduce youth smoking). There is, however, a difference on this occasion, which is that a reduction of youth smoking has not appeared in Oz. Therefore, there cannot be assumed a potential health benefit. Or rather, that the presumed health benefit of overturning international trade rules re intellectual property for health reasons do not hold water. Therefore, tobacco companies are entitled to compensation for the loss of their intellectual property. I would not sue a small country with a history of ‘Troubles’ if I could sue a big country with a settled history (in the last couple of centuries, at least).

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But nothing in the above matters that much. The events are very local. What matters are the General Smoking Bans and the lies which produced them, along with the persecution of smokers via taxes. The lies were that SHS can damage a person significantly within a normal human being’s lifetime. You see, much has been said about the effects of SHS on people like bar workers, but not a word has been said about the length of time for exposures to have any significant effect on the health of those workers. Also, battering smokers with taxes is a cruelty just as whipping them would be a cruelty. Why should smokers be whipped just because they enjoy tobacco? According to studies, the peg out ten years before non-smokers, and thus save the State tons of pension payments. Why are they being whipped?

Everyone who survives for more than seventy years will almost certainly require some sort of medication or help. The reason is that the human body tends to fail, if unassisted and not subjected to trauma, slowly. It winds down. Eventually, the ‘winding down’ will produce a traumatic event, such as a stroke or heart failure, in a specific place in that person’s body. That is why people die, whether smokers or not. All the studies, including the Doctors Study, by their nature, do no more than recommend postponement of death. They do not specify that a person whose death is postponed, will be ‘healthy’.

The world-wide ‘moral’ panic is not justified. The General Smoking Ban is not justified by evidence of harm over a period of time (as required by by Doctors Study). Evidence from Boffetta and Enstrom and Kabat does not support SHS harm on normal human time-scales.

It may be true, according to the Surgeon General of the USA, that ‘there is no safe level’ of SHS, but without time-scales, that statement is meaningless. It is meaningless because the evidence requires a time-lapse. Regardless of how short the time-lapse might be, a person, exposed to SHS MUST be exposed for a period of time for the effect to become apparent.

I drift away. I suppose that it is sad. But I do not have to be logical or statistically minded. As a smoker, I just want to be left alone. Leave me alone. If I die as a result of smoking, that is the way that it is. Do not punish me in the meantime.

Taxes and Smoking Bans are enemies. Not a lot else matters.

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6 Responses to “Are ‘Irish Jokes’ Racist or True?”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “In Australia, non-resident manufacturers complied, but they didn’t have to. They could have refused and stopped exporting to Australia. If they had, what would the OZ Parliament have done? … Suppose that Big Tobacco invoked Trade Agreements about intellectual property, and refused to supply Oz? All that lovely tax lolly would go up the spout.”

    Yep. And that’s EXACTLY what they should have done. Australia would have rescinded their decision within months. Not only would the gvt have had to make up for the lost cig taxes, they would have found a HUGE expense in fighting the black market.

    The tobacco companies have always suffered from the vice of short-term capitalism: They’ll do whatever they need to do in order to ensure the present well-being and prosperity of the executives and shareholders. What happens ten years down the line is meaningless to them because by then they’ll be retired and the problems will be blamed on their successors.

    – MJM

    • junican Says:

      That sounds about right. Such an action from Tobacco companies might have isolated Australia. What is certain is that the blandishment of TC would have come under serious inspection.

  2. garyk30 Says:

    “It may be true, according to the Surgeon General of the USA, that ‘there is no safe level’ of SHS,”

    SG Carmona said in a press conference, and anti-smokers continually say, that “there is no safe level of exposure to SHS.”

    However, that is not exactly what his 2006 report said!

    The report said:”evidence INDICATES that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke”.
    (Chapter 1,page 11)

    There is a low level of risk to all we do, very little is ‘risk free’.

    There is a risk that you might get struck by lightning the next time you walk to your pub; but, the risk is so small as to not be a hazard.

    • michaeljmcfadden Says:

      “SG Carmona said in a press conference, and anti-smokers continually say, that “there is no safe level of exposure to SHS.”

      However, that is not exactly what his 2006 report said! The report said:”evidence INDICATES that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke”.
      (Chapter 1,page 11)

      ===

      What’s left out of the “no safe level” claims usually is the point that it was NOT stated in the studies of the Report. It was stated as an OPINION of the SG about his evaluation of what the studies “indicated.” There was never any actual *finding* of no safe level.

      Sometimes the Antis will try to argue the “no-threshold” theory of carcinogenesis, but when they do that, they’re also leaving themselves wide open to there being an equal necessity to ban outdoor patio dining since the *only* way to truly achieve zero exposure among pub service people at work is to have all drinking and dining done indoors and in rooms without windows.

      And, as you’ve seen me argue in the past, alcohol service would also need to be forbidden since alcohol fumes most definitely involve an involuntary exposure to a Class 1 carcinogen. Food prices in pubs might have to double to make up for the losses of higher profit liquor sales, but hey, who could object? It’s for the health of the workers, right?

      – MJM

  3. garyk30 Says:

    TC nannies do have their uses.
    Cancer Research, UK(CRUK) has data on their web site that proves that: compared to smokers, never-smokers are 70% more likely to die from a ‘smoking related’ disease.

    Published in 2004, the Summary of Doll’s Doctor Report showed that 84% of never-smokers’ deaths were from the diseases related to smoking.

    This what CRUK says:

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/smoking-and-cancer/

    “The fact is that half of all long term smokers eventually die from cancer, or other smoking-related illnesses.”

    Half = 50%

    84% is 70% greater/higher than 50%.

    Soooo:
    ” Compared to smokers, never-smokers are 70% more likely to die from a ‘smoking related’ disease.”

    • junican Says:

      Ho! Ho!
      Your maths are somewhat convoluted, garyk, but correct. That’s what comes from creating propaganda. The propagandists do not know the maths, and therefore make exaggerated claims.
      I think that what is critical is that what Doll’s study showed was simply, at best, that smokers die younger than non-smokers. That is all. So what?

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