It must have been about 1949 when I was ten. In addition to the Beano, Dandy, etc, American comics were becoming more and more prevalent. I forget their names; it’s a long time ago. I remember especially a sort of superman-type character who railed against the evil Nick O’Teen. Nick O’Teen was depicted in much the same way as were Jews in Nazi propaganda – weedy, with hooked noses and pointy chins and narrow eyes, possibly also a bit hunch-backed. N. O’Teen just wanted to hook kids onto tobacco. Oddly, I don’t remember a motive for N. O.Teen’s behaviour. He was just evil, and wanted to have his wicked way with children. (It cannot but be a form of paedophilia)
Weird, is it not, that we have come full circle. “Nick O’Teen” is back in the news, but not to scare children. He has returned to scare grown-ups – especially those well-educated persons known as doctors, and even more especially, doctors who have become politicians. His excellency, the honourable health minister of Wales, Dr Mark Drakeford, is just one such. He is scared to death of Mr Nick O’Teen. He is so scared of Mr Nick O’Teen, despite the fact that Nick is weedy, hooked-nosed, pointy-chinned, and narrow-eyed, that he must protect all Welshmen against the siren beauty of Nick.
Should there be a public enquiry into the behaviour of people like Drakeford? I think that it is inevitable, but it will only happen when Public Opinion demands it. It is up to vapers and vaper organisations to demand such an enquiry. Legal action is not the way because no one has committed any offence. Only demands for a public enquiry will bring people like Drakeford to account. Only a public enquiry will examine the science and the epidemiology to see if reality coincides with conjecture.
Come to think about it, is it not odd and true that public enquiries always seem to be intended to back up Government intentions? Has there ever been a public enquiry into the conduct of, say, the WHO? How many such organisations are utterly corrupt and draining our ‘hard-working’ taxpayers’ funds? Why do our politicians not demand ‘full PUBLIC disclosure’ in return for our taxpayers’ money? The fact that they don’t, suggests collusion. It seems to me that savings from denying poor people help could be well replaced by denying funding to organisations like the WHO without absolute proof of need.
I think that it is fair to say that the PM and other senior ministers have enough on their plates dealing with the ‘big issues’. But is it not true that they have diminished the freedom of Britons by carelessness about smaller issues? Before bringing in the general smoking ban, should there not have been a public enquiry into the ‘science’ which supported it? I read the hansard report of the verbatim discussions in parliament about the smoking ban. I do not recall any serious examination of the epidemiology.
There was a public enquiry into PP, if you recall. What a fix!!!
Who should have led such an enquiry? Clearly, since the matter was about statistical analysis, a statistician should have been in charge. Who did the government appoint? A bloody paediatrician!!! It is like appointing a physicist to enquire into an outbreak of kiddy-fiddling. Or, even better, appointing an unemployed Tesco shelf-stacker to head an enquiry into the deficiencies of the Banking Sector.
There are parliamentary committees which conduct enquiries, but most of them are superficial. Further, they have no official importance.
It is from the lack of ETHICAL supervision that inequalities arise. But we have to define what we mean by ETHICAL. We are not talking about Christian ideals of ‘right and wrong’, since such ideals require “give all you have to the poor and follow me”. “For a rich man to enter heaven is like a camel passing through the eye of a needle”. ‘Ethics’, in the 21st century, at worst, means Nathanson, Head of Ethics at the BMA, lying when she said that “tobacco smoke in cars is 20 times worse than in a pub”. Ethics, at best, means, “Erm…. Are we sure that the correlation is actually ’cause and effect’?
We have seen that, ideally, laws need an ‘expert’ panel to evaluate them. Recently, it has become obvious that the ‘expert panel’ does what it is told to do. Going back to the PP enquiry, why was it that a paediatrician was employed rather than a Judge? A Judge would have weighed the evidence of culpability carefully – that is, whether or not cigarette packets are advertising media.
And so the ‘bending’ of facts goes on. It is precisely because of this ‘bending’ that ASH ET AL, and the FCTC, will fail. Human being will rebel. They always have done.
Suppose that I say that ‘no one dies as a result of smoking tobacco directly’. Would there be proof that what I say is wrong? For, to demand prohibition of tobacco, only direct proof of causality is enough. Even then, there is the question of personal autonomy. Causality does not mean that personal autonomy is trumped. If I want to eat and eat and eat, and get fat, I can do. That is my personal decision. If the Government wants to punish me for doing so, it can do. What it has no right whatsoever to do is to stop me eating. The obvious consequence is that I must accept the consequences of my actions. If I eat and eat and eat, and get obese, that is my fault.
But that does not mean that I am excluded from NHS treatment. It merely means that my obesity is a factor which the NHS does not considers to be ‘health related’.
I know that this idea is unusual, and yet I think that it is important. Obesity (being very fat) is not a disease any more than smoking is a disease. Obesity is not something that the NHS should be involved in. For example, if a person is so fat that the only way to get him/her out of the house is to take out a window and employ a crane, the question that arises is: “Why was it necessary to get that fatty out of the house?” The only reasonable reason is that the person had some sort of infection. The duty of the hospital would be to cure the infection and not the obesity. There is no reason that a person who is obese should be treated by the NHS. Such a person might come under ‘social security’ but not NHS.
Is there not a plain and obvious punishment regime aimed at smokers, while expecting smokers to fund the punishers? In any case, why should smokers be punished? Why should smokers be forced not to smoke in the open air in the environs of hospitals? Those places are no different from other places. There is nothing special about hospital grounds. Most of the grounds are parking places. You know, places where people park their diesel engines.
It is an interesting idea that individuals and groups should demand public enquiries. In fact, such enquiries were normal a century ago. When I say ‘normal’, I mean as a means to to find out what was happening. Note the difference: “a means to to find out what was happening.” and not a means to ‘command and control’.
I doubt that Cameron et al are able to assist the Greeks, Spanish and Portuguese governments or people. That is because he and his mates don’t give a shit. If they were concerned, they would not have given time in parliament to PP.