Has My Twitter Account Been Hacked?===The Canadian Judge’s £8 Billion ‘Fine’ on Tobacco Companies

A few months ago, a commenter emailed me and told me that he thought my Twitter account had been hacked. I wondered if he had been misled because I know that there is a person in Thailand or somewhere who seems to have the real name of ‘Junican’. It is a girl:

Pretty girl! Her twitter thingy is “jungyoonju ‘at’ junican”.

She tweeted a few times in 2010, but nothing since.

Despite opening an account, I HAVE NEVER USED TWITTER! I have no idea whether you need a password and, if so, what mine is. I don’t know how it works – I don’t know what these hash tags, ampersands, etc are supposed to mean. I have never had the inclination to find out, either.

If I have time of an evening, and I have read my favourite blogs, I go to Dick P’s site and amuse myself by reading his twitter feed that he has in his sidebar.

Anyway, I was looking at my statistics  a little while ago and noticed that there was a ‘referrer’ from twitter. I clicked on it, and, lo and behold, my twitter account appeared! No password required or anything. I simply cannot, for the life of me, understand.

To make things worse, it seems that I am following 34 somethings. Actually, they are almost all newspapers. As I sit here, I can see my twitter account clocking up more and more newspaper reports – the sum at the moment is 29 since I ‘signed in’. I do not know how this can have happened.

I’ve found out how to deactivate the account, and I’ll do that after I have finished this.

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But a good thing has come out of this – I have found out about the Canadian court case. Here is the link:

http://news.sky.com/story/1494845/one-million-smokers-win-8bn-in-compensation

This court case, and its preparation has been going on for years, and it is still not finished because the tobacco companies can  appeal. It has been taking place in Canada. I would like to see the Judge’s ‘Opinion’ in due course, because it flies in the face of the precedent set by the McTear Case.

There are a number of very strange paragraphs in this newspaper report. The headline is:

One Million Smokers Win £8bn In Compensation”

And it goes on:

Smokers in Quebec have been awarded more than £8bn (C$15.5bn) in damages after the biggest class action lawsuit in Canadian history was brought against tobacco companies.

Most of the compensation will be given to about 100,000 current and former smokers, who alleged that three of the world’s biggest brands did not adequately warn the public that cigarettes could cause cancer and other illnesses, even though the industry was aware of the dangers in the 1950s.

About £69m (C$131m) is to be split between 900,000 people who became addicted to tobacco, and could not stop smoking.”

Odd, do you not think? They have ‘won’ £8 billion, but only £69 million will be shared by the 900,000 people. Remember that the headline said “One Million People…..”, which is only a little more that 900,000. C$131m shared by 900,000 people is C$145 each. So what will happen to the other billions of dollars (CAN)? The article says:

“Most of the compensation will be given to about 100,000 current and former smokers,…”

What is ‘most of’? I’ll bet a pound to a penny that, when the details emerge, it will turn out to be much like the Master Settlement. But even if the £8 billion was shared out among the 100,000, it would mean that the ‘victims’ would receive only £8000 each. But there is nothing there about whether or not the £8 billion includes lawyers’ costs, which must be astronomical.

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So the newspaper report tells us little about the detail. It is, as usual, mostly propaganda. These Canadian judges intrigue me. I’m not saying that they are corrupt, but they seem to be ‘political’ – not unlike American judges.

What we should bear in mind is that the Master Settlement in the USA terminated court cases because the parties to the court cases came to an agreement. I’m not certain, but I think that tobacco companies admitted to some sort of minor infringement, perhaps about knowing of health risks but still advertising as though they did not know, but the Settlement was wholly between the Attorneys General of the States, acting as a group, and the tobacco companies, as a group, and the settlement paid large sums of money, extracted from smokers, to the States to do as they wished with.

On the face of it, this Canadian judgement gives the money to individuals, which is why I do not believe that the report is accurate.

In the McTear Case, Lord Nimmo Smith applied the Common Law of Scotland. He insisted upon adequate evidence, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that McTear’s LC was caused by smoking, which involved the need for evidence ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that smoking, as such, causes LC. TC could not produce such evidence. I wonder what was different in this Canadian case? Was the judge influenced by ‘allegations’ that smoking caused the diseases which smokers (and non-smokers) suffered from? How many ‘allegations’, when summed, become ‘proof’? The answer is political.

There will be appeals. The most immediate appeal will be concerned with the demand of the court that TobComs must lodge “£517m (C$1bn) within 60 days”. That, in itself, is a sort of ‘extortion’. Lawyers will get fatter and fatter, and smokers will have to stand the costs.

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It is, however, true, that TobComs brought this whole situation about decades ago when they tried trickery and political corruption to protect their lucrative empire. If they had only realised at the time, around 1950, that their business was one of ‘supplying to a demand’, and not ‘creating a demand to supply’, Tobacco Control would not now have them over a barrel.

Will the Canadian Judiciary overturn this judgement on appeal? I suppose that it will depend upon the real facts and not upon newspaper reports.

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What I think is certain is that even more Canadians will either, a) go to ecigs or, b) go to chop-chop, or, c) grow their own, or, d) import cigs from the USA, or, e) import whole leaf, or, f) any combination of those. Only two groups will not change their ways – the well-off, who do not care about prices, and those smokers who smoke very little.

What would concentrate Canadian minds wonderfully would be the rapid collapse of legit tobacco sales.

How about the idea, of which I spoke a couple of days ago, of ‘civil disobedience’ in the sense of actively seeking out ‘chop-chop’ suppliers? And the point arises: “Why should chop-chop be adulterated?” After all, it is produced simply from the (dried) leaves of plants, just like the lettuce that you buy from the supermarket.

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I have said before, and I’ll say it again, APPEASEMENT does not work. Tobcoms should have grasped the nettle decades ago. It is because they did not that there are now punishment regimes in the form of smoking bans.

What is important is freedom of the supreme individual. State control of ME, as a supreme individual, is persecution, no matter how small. That extends to my freedom to open a bar FOR SMOKERS, and risk failure. The State has no rights over my freedom. It can insist that my bar is clean and physically safe, and that any food that I sell is uncontaminated, but it cannot dictate to supreme individuals what they do. That also applies to adults who decide to work in my bar, or my customers.

Magna Carta guaranteed precisely that. Only in the very recent past (due to political subservience to pressure groups and their own focus groups) has magna carta been chipped away in the direction of ‘1984’.

What should happen is that Tobacco Control should be swept away as irrelevant. We have, even though we do not know it, gone far beyond smoking bans. We have entered into a world of Orwellian ‘pigolotry’. In Animal Farm, it was the pigs which were the rulers. I don’t think that the pigs, in animal farm, achieved godlike status. That is what I mean by ‘pigolotry’. In the recent past, Tobacco Control has achieved the status of ‘pigolotry’.

 

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One Response to “Has My Twitter Account Been Hacked?===The Canadian Judge’s £8 Billion ‘Fine’ on Tobacco Companies”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    Yes, we have entered the ream of ‘1984’ and liberty is at state in the UK and globally. In some cases the ‘Dominions’–Canada, Australia, and New Zealand–are further afoul than the UK (and it’s first breakaway the USA). Steps toward wholesale prohibition are gaining popularity.

    In today’s news we see the the NOLA legal challenge to the smoking ban was rejected in court (we also see the the Harrah’s casino removed itself from the suit before the hearing–reasons unknown). Also, an indoor ban in the Czech Republic is moving ahead, the California Senate approved a bill to raise the smoking age to 21 (now on the Assembly and then the Governor), Quebec is looking to ban patio smoking, etc., etc., etc…

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