The Struggle

It’s been a funny sort of day. Overnight, the wind was so strong that the down-draught from the chimney blew the pilot light of the gas fire out (we have these so-called ‘living fires’ which act more-or-less like a coal fire). It was still very windy when I went to relight the pilot. It lit, but would not stay lit. It is one of these devises which need to be held in for 30 seconds to warm up and open the valve which allows gas to flow to the main burner. I tried several times, holding the control knob in for far longer that 30 seconds on each occasion, but still the pilot went out when I released the knob. In the end, I decided that the pilot light device must be faulty (it has happened before). Fortunately, we have a second fire in the other room which is exactly the same, so I took the pilot light thingie off the other fire and replaced the device which I thought was faulty with that one. Still the damned pilot light would not stay in. It is hardly likely that both devices would fail at the same time, and so I reasoned that something else must be fault, so I fixed the first pilot light to the second fire and tried that. This time, although the gas of the pilot lit when I applied a taper, it would not even stay lit. Clearly, the updraught was just sucking the gas rapidly up the chimney.

For 31st March, the weather here in the North West of the England is foul. Damned windy, damned wet and damned cold. It is not a time to be without fires, even though the central heating is on. So I had to get out the electric fire.

Anyway, eventually, the wind died down so I decided to try the fires again. Lo and Behold! Both pilot lights worked fine!

There is something odd about the behaviour of gas. I’ve notice before that if I clean the gas cooker gas rings by washing them and the surfaces generally, when I reassemble the gummages, even though the electric spark is working fine, the gas rings will not light. The gummages are not wet significantly since I dry them. And yet, go back an hour later, and they light.

In the case of the fires, it is probable that some rain found its way down the chimney, which, along with the wind, caused the bits to become unusually cold and perhaps a bit damp.

The good news, however, is that both fires have had a good clean.


That that is not all. I am having trouble with my car battery. The battery is not old and I hardly use the car anyway these days. It is losing its charge, so I’m trying to figure out whether it is the battery itself or some drain of power from it. (Frankly, I must admit that I am just amusing myself toying with different ideas of what might be happening).

But far, far worse than either of those problems is that I am still struggling to get my seeds to germinate. I have never had this problem before. Thankfully, I have a lot of seeds, so I have been able to try different ways. I’m sure that I’ll succeed, but time is getting short if they are to be ready to go outside in mid-May.

Struggle, struggle, struggle. Damn it! I’m 75! Life should be tranquil. A meander down (or up) to the Big Interview with God to see whether it is Heaven or Hell.


The struggle against BIG CONTROL is somewhat similar. Never a day goes by without further incursions into the freedom of the people. The NHS is overwhelmed  by diseases and conditions of old age. Solution? Keep people living longer. Tonight, on the TV, there was short programme about former winners of the Eurovision singing contests from decades ago. Without exception, even though the people were quite sprightly, they were grey, a bit plump mostly, lined, and clearly old. No matter what Public Health says, none of those people will avoid the conditions and diseases which eventually finish them off. I suppose that if any of them have ever smoked, their deaths will be ‘smoking related’. But, regardless of smoking, all of them were old and grey. How come? Shouldn’t the non-smokers have copious, dark or fair hair and have unlined faces?

I was looking at some of Frank Davis’s blogroll links tonight. Quite a lot of them are more or less defunct. I must admit that I sometimes feel like giving up the unequal struggle myself. I don’t think that these people are any less strong in their attitudes. The problem is that the well-funded world-wide tyranny, using the enjoyment of tobacco as a lever, totally ammorally, is too much for most ordinary people to cope with mentally. It becomes a mental burden which is difficult to carry. It impinges too much on one’s life. You wake up thinking about the tyranny and go to bed thinking about the tyranny. And there is not a thing that you can do about it. Also, Big Tobacco abandoned its customers years ago. I can’t help but think that Big Tobacco also thinks that tobacco is more addictive that heroin. But ask yourself this question. Suppose that a person started smoking and continued smoking for a year, and that another person started to inject heroin into his veins and continued to do so for a year, which of those two people would find it most difficult to stop doing it?

The recent capitulation of the Tory party to plain packaging is a case in point. It cannot have been pressure from the LibDems because there was nothing to fear in view of the approaching General Election. Accusations of ‘foot dragging’ could easily have been countered by ‘more important matters to deal with’. After all, the other matter was ‘smoking in cars with children present’, which has not been sanctioned. Why do one and not the other?

Clearly, many blogs have given up the struggle, and who can blame them? It gets depressing. It eats into your life and mind. It becomes too much.

I must admit that I have been tempted to give up, but I’m not going to. What I have determined to do is to stop bothering my head about some tiny district in the USA becoming tyrannical, or even some city there, like New Orleans. Or Australia, or New Zealand. We have enough to cope with here and now in England.

What it comes down to, in the end, is that you might obey, but you refuse to accept the regulations. You obey because of the force applied, and not because of conviction that the regulations are good. For example, I do not mind in the least that we have little bins into which we put leftovers from our meals. I do not mind at all separating paper from  bottles/tins and garden waste. But I would object if the authorities expected me to take the stuff to the tip while still paying for the stuff to be collected. What would I do if force was applied? I would probably do what was demanded, but with hatred of the bastards who forced me to do as they wish, in my soul.

Thus, perhaps we ought to lighten up. Perhaps we should antagonise the Zealots by issuing BIG LIES. For example:

“Tobacco Companies are smokers’ best friends. They fight to ensure that we smokers are supplied with tobacco products. What would we smokers do without them?” A little grain of truth, you see.

“Tobacco Control is doing a great job. I am an old fart who enjoys tobacco, but children are of paramount importance. They must not be allowed to live to 85 and smoke tobacco. They might become ill”

“Everyone who smokes tobacco gets lung cancer. That is well-known. Only because of the reduction in smoking has the incidence of lung cancer decreased from 5% of death causes to 6% of death causes”

“It is clear that, if everyone who buys tobacco stopped that disgusting activity, then government receipts of tobacco tax would increase. That is because there will always be people who are rich enough to pay taxes on unsold tobacco”

“It is well-known that smokers die agonising deaths. That is because they refuse painkillers. They refuse painkillers because they demand cigarettes instead”

“Richard Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ proved that smoking causes LC because, out of 24,000 doctors, mostly smokers, 1,000 died from LC. The other 23,000 do not matter”

“The Tory/LibDem coalition has shown its contempt of the EU by going further than the Tobacco Products Directive requires”

“It is necessary and desirable for England, with its population of 55,000,000, to be linked to the population of Scotland, being about 5,000,000, and with the population of Wales and Northern Ireland, being another 5,000,000 or so. Only a fool would dispute this”

“The pleasures of drinking and smoking are illusory, temporary and destructive. Compare that situation with the uplifting effect of being teetotal. Teetotal people have the permanent pleasure of being sober”

My serious point is that we should be cynical. We should be cynical about everything. Tobacco Control has taught us to be so. There are no TRUE regulations. Not one. All are suspect. If you want to bury your deceased, aged relative in your back garden, then do so. Regulations which forbid it do not prevent it. In general, regulations which forbid do not prevent.


Lighten up! Ridicule the bastards! Don’t argue with them rationally because they are irrational. Don’t argue against their surveys and studies from a rational point of view. Dismiss their studies as emotional. For example, studies about ecig use among ‘kids’ make no attempt to allow for bravado. Such studies are totally worthless if they do not take account of ‘bravado’.

Ridicule works. Rational argument does not work.





10 Responses to “The Struggle”

  1. cherie79 Says:

    Glad you will keep going, I would miss your informative posts. I thought people would rebel when the ban came in but it never happened. I guess we just carry on doing our own thing, smoking but denying the government our taxes. A total deprivation of taxes might work if all smokers stopped buying for a time, but don’t know how it could be organised.

    • junican Says:

      Well, I am off to sunny Spain shortly to top up with half-price cigs. I could go Prague and get them at one third of the price (about £2.50 per 20), but Spain is nice and warm in April generally and is a nice holiday. I suppose that Bulgaria would be even cheaper. Actually, when you get down to around £2 per pack, there is no real incentive to grow your own plants even, not because it is not cheaper to do so (it very much is still cheaper) – it is the time and effort involved. Course, because I’m retired, it is a good hobby which keeps me active.
      I think that a lot of people who do not think about, say, taking a trip to Prague and stocking up because, a) they only smoke, say, 10 cigs per day, and, b) they cannot afford the outlay of hundreds of pounds at one go. There again, I don’t suppose that it would occur to them that it is worth getting a loan to do.

  2. garyk30 Says:

    We can not quit, ranting and raving is the only legal outlet we have for our frustrations.

    Besides, the mental activity helps to keep us old geezers( turned 72 on Sunday) from going senile. 🙂

    • junican Says:

      A, a youth. You do realise that if I was 20, you would only be 17 and prohibited from buying tobacco? Are there any studies examining the importance of being mentally active as a determinant of senility onset? I doubt it, somehow. Big Pharma are only interested in making pills.
      In addition to ranting, we also pass information around.

  3. The Blocked Dwarf Says:

    Junican, as you may know, I know nothing about gardening or seed germination but Blocked Dwarf Logic would suggest that if you, with your amount of experience, can’t get the seeds to germinate properly after 4 attempts then I would think the seeds are in someway nonviable -no matter that , by all the rules, they should be fine. Have you considered quickly buying in some seeds and germinating them -if only as a comparison and so you have something out this spring?

    • junican Says:

      The short reply is “Yes”, I have thought about buying seeds, and I may still do so. I had a disaster a couple of years ago and had to buy plants from an on-line seller who had a garden centre. He seems to have been warned off since he no longer sells such plantlets.
      But I am as sure as I can be that it is not the seeds.
      If what I am doing works, then I’ll be sure to disseminate the the ‘ups and downs’. The crazy thing is that my ‘up-market’ heated propagator is useless, as compared with my pathetic old model.
      There are too many ‘confounders’ (sound like TC?) to be sure.

      The ‘panic’ is not as severe as seems. The major part of the harvest comes from the huge leaves which occur in early autumn. The later leaves, at the top of the plant, have far less volume.

  4. Ed Says:

    Going back to your earlier post as to why do academics do it; I stumbled over a book on the Gutenburg website, titled Tobacco Leaves, by W. A. Brennan, published back in 1915. The chapter on health was interesting as it is quite obvious by its content that the academics were just as bad back then as they are now and the antis were in the majority;

    “Finally most investigators have made their inquiries for the exclusive purpose of discovering the evil effects of tobacco smoking. They proceed to their work with a biassed mind. They have already assumed that the habit is harmful and they simply want to find out how much harm they can discover. They are prejudiced from the beginning. It is to this class of investigator that Dr. John Aikman refers to (New York Medical Journal, Oct. 30, 1915),… ”

    The full chapter is here;

    And for those interested, the full book can be read here;

    I do hope you keep posting your informative and lively posts too! I did similar to yourself last week and clicked a ton of links from yours, Franks and others blogs and it was quite sad to see some inactive, but everyone of them contained gems of good information and they are still reaching people today despite them not being updated.

    Personally, I would love to see a climate where everyone decided to give big government, big pharma and big tobacco the finger and grow their own. If they can’t grow their own then buy whole leaf instead, or buy leaf off a local grower. I see a ton of US home tobacco growers now springing up, and all taking real pride in what they produce and most often it’s organic too. There’s no Monsanto crap being sprayed on their tobacco (can you say the same for your shop bought cigs?). Wouldn’t it be nice if they had growers markets where you could obtain it? Maybe we could even see tobacco growers back up there at horticultural shows and county fairs competing to see who grows the best tobacco. Have a look at this old film here where they are doing just that!

    There’s a few other really good films there on US tobacco culture which are well worth a watch.

    I know it’s just a dream, but look how far the cannabis movement has come in such a short time and after so much demonisation. Considering Tobacco science was built on sand, it shouldn’t be that hard to topple it, but I’m damned if I’m going to fund it anymore!


    • junican Says:

      Thanks for the links, Ed. I’ll read them tomorrow.
      What is important is that smokers must become criminals. It is as simple as that. We must ignore any laws which demand taxes etc. We must go our own way. We must become more canny. For example, I have a super relationship with my dentist. Whenever I visit (which is not often!), I get a questionnaire which always includes ‘Do you smoke?’ and ‘How much do you smoke?’. I always say ‘Yes’ and ’60 per day’.
      Perhaps we should all say “No”. If we all said, “No” (we do not smoke), then the stats would reveal that there cannot be smuggling since no one smokes.
      Lovely idea, do you not think?

  5. smokingscot Says:

    Very unfortunately it seems that Redhead has decided to call it a day. Heck of a writer.

    My one’s off at the moment on account of a duff one man band hosting firm that went bust. I expect to have it up and running again by 15th of this month. New URL though.

    • junican Says:

      Yes, it is a shame about redhead. One of my favourite reads. She seems to have just decided ‘Fin’. I know that she has had problems with her mental health.
      I have also noticed your sites difficulties. Hope that you get up and running again soon.

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