Contradictions

I suppose that when an organisation depends upon half-truths and propaganda for its existence, it is bound to start to contradict itself eventually.

Before the smoking ban, I rarely smoked when walking to places such as my local pubs or to the shop. Those journeys took only a few minutes so it was hardly worth bothering to light up. Now, factored into my calculations, is one of ‘do I have time for a cig during the course of the journey?’ If the answer is ‘Yes’, then I light up. Thus, whenever I am out and about, I can be seen smoking by ‘children and young people’. That is especially so when I am ‘exiled to the outdoors’ when I have a fag at the pub. All smokers who go to pubs and restaurants can be seen in large numbers by kids and young people standing outside these places smoking. Thus, in one swoop, the Zealots have created the very situation that they are now pulling their faces about.

A similar situation surrounds the increase in the supply of illicit tobacco products (if there is such a thing). I listened to the radio discussion in which Chris Snowden took on ASH’s Ms Cheeseman. I must admit that I was quite taken aback when Ms Cheeseman claimed that there was no connection between smuggling and the price of tobacco products. No wonder Chris jumped in and called her out on that one straight away. He rightly pointed out that there would be no point in smuggling stuff if there was no profit in it, and the profit in smuggling tobacco is the price differential created by high taxation. It is as clear as a bell. So there’s another contradiction. ASH ET AL claim that high prices are one of their key strategies, which is fine provided that you also have total control over the supply, but the fact is that ASH ET AL have no control whatsoever of the supply. They can only make noises about it. So, to avoid the truth, they pretend that the problem of smuggling does not exist. THEY are as responsible as anyone for the smuggling. THEY caused the criminality. But is smuggling criminal? Who says so? Is it the criminal expenses fiddlers and kiddy fiddlers who used to inhabit parliament at the time that the smoking ban was passed, and who were largely removed in the 2010 election, and who have been further depleted in the the 2015 election? It is interesting to observe, for example, that Stephen Williams, the LibDem MP for Bristol West, lost a big majority to Labour and, in fact, came third after the Greens! (Erm…..No…. I am not including him among fiddlers)

What came across very clearly in that discussion between Snowden and Cheeseman was that ASH ET AL accept no responsibility for causing the increase in smuggling. Further, they think that it is none of their business. It is up to border force to stop it. So, not only is the government losing tax, but also it has to pay more for border force operations – a double whammy.

And then there is the experiment (strictly contrary to medical ethics) with mental health patients. How do ASH ET AL get away with it? I suppose that, strictly speaking, the experiment of forcing mental health patients not to smoke is not a ‘medical experiment’, but it is a ‘social’ experiment. And yet the contradiction endures – forbidding smoking is not a treatment for the mental health problems of such patients. Nicotine patches and gum are not medicines for mental health problems. The same applies in prisons. Has anyone heard of Judge condemning a criminal to two years of incarceration with hard (no smoking) labour? ‘Hard Labour’ was outlawed decades ago – it has been replaced with ‘No Smoking’.

Here’s another contradiction: ASH ET AL demanded the release of ALL tobacco company documents and got them. However, last year, journalists etc were banned from attending a FCTC meeting in Moscow.

ASH ET AL say tobacco company profits are made on the backs of dead people, and yet they are demanding a share of those profits to pay their own salaries.

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So what can we say about the ethics of tobacco control? It is impossible not to draw the conclusion that they have none. In that case, it is also probable that everything that they say is lies. I mean ‘Everything’. Or you could put it another way. You could ask: ‘how do we know what part of what they say is true and what part is false’? In that Cheeseman/Snowden radio thing, she did what they always seem to do – she strung together a lot of ‘accusations’ in a stream. “Tobacco companies want to addict kids, etc, etc”. The accusations appear in a stream of non-sequiturs, one after the other. There is never time to take the stream apart. At least Snowden got the chance to ‘punch’ on that ridiculous statement that smuggling and price are not related.

The link to Snowden’s radio thing is here (1hr 12mins in):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02sc83z

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I noticed also another event where Simon Clark got the opportunity to ‘punch’ Arnott:

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/782462/26303484/1433953468487/10.06.2015+-+BBC+Radio+Cambridgeshire+-+08.36+hrs+-+Simon+Clark.mp3?token=0eAzYpMsA8yipMObPROH6DxZ0G0%3D

Listen to it and marvel that Simon ‘punched’ back and hit Arnott where it hurts – individual choice and individual enjoyment of smoking, along with who is funding who.

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All the time, despite the ‘successes’ of ASH ET AL, their claims about the heinousness of the enjoyment of tobacco become more and more weak.

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If Cameron and Osborne are serious about creating surpluses over the next several years, then they should NOT be producing such surpluses by hitting internal costs. They should hit external costs. The UN, WHO, IPCC, EU, Foreign Aid, are draining taxpayers’ money out of the country. For example, the UN is based in the USA – all our contributions benefit the USA economy. The WHO is based in Switzerland – all our contributions benefit the Swiss economy. The EU is based in Brussels – all our contributions benefit Belgium. Foreign aid? God only knows in whose hands our tax monies end up. Note that the Government never even try to find out what is happening to our monies. For example, one might reasonably ask how much it has cost to create the most recent ‘Tobacco Products Directive’ which will produce no direct benefit to the people, and will, as it is constructed, almost certainly destroy private enterprise in the ecig world? What is the benefit which that extremely expensive exercise will produce? And what will be the costs?

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I think that we really, really need a revolution, and that it is bound to come eventually. I don’t mean a violent revolution. The internet is buggering up the propaganda value of the MSM. Even on sites such as the Telegraph, a wide variety of views are evident. Clearly, there is no ‘one true path’.

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Do you know what would be wonderful? A NEW MAGNA CARTA. Would not that be wonderful? You see, the 800 year old Magna Carta limited the power of the King. Prior to Magna Carta, the King had legal authority to do anything at all that he wished to do. Magna Carta enshrined the right of people not to be arbitrarily deprived of their possessions, or indeed their lives, just on the say-so of the King. Many people point out that the ‘rules’ only applied to the Nobility, and they are right. They did not apply to serfs, peasants and slaves. But that argument is inconsequential, since we are all now ‘Nobles’. Well, I doubt that Cameron would refer to citizens of this country as ‘serfs, peasants or slaves’.

We need a new Magna Carta to free us from the new interregnum of the EU, WHO, IPCC, UN, etc. And it very simple. No Treaty Can Bind The People Of The UK. Thus, the FCTC would be illegal in the UK. We can do what is envisaged or not.

There is an important point of principle here. Generally speaking, Nations will create treaties for mutual advantage. EG, we will supply manufactured goods in exchange for oranges. Do not giggle. We might have the resources and skills to make the manufactured goods, while the other party has a massive surplus of oranges.

The FCTC is not a Treaty. It is a demand. For example, the exclusion of tobacco companies from discussions is clearly intended to remove the economics of world trade from the discussions.

Thus we finish up with a MASSIVE INDUSTRY which produces no benefits but, instead, is devoted to costly wastes of monies in the chasing a mirage – the elimination of all pleasurable experiences other than those which the Zealots permit.

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Interestingly enough, there is fun to be had. In the end, it will be ridicule which ends the persecution of smokers.

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6 Responses to “Contradictions”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    This is an excellent essay. I completely agree. The contradictions of tobacco control are eroding their movement from the inside out.

  2. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “In the end, it will be ridicule which ends the persecution of smokers.”

    Some of my favorite pastimes on the boards involve ridiculing them by backing them into corners from which there’s no escape.

    They’re concerned about the children seeing smokers? Fine. I challenge them to move the smokers back into pubs and adults-only offices and out of their sight.

    They’re concerned about litter? Same deal except it’s to allow the smokers to sit down inside comfortably with an ashtray. Litter on the beach? Point them to an article about how they come back in with storm drain runoff exits which spew the butts caused by smokers exiled from the pubs.

    Concerned about the black market? Eliminate the taxes.

    Children smoking? Again, the taxes and black market.

    Etc.

    The trick lies in getting them to state their primary concern strongly and clearly, then show them explicitly how it could be most simply met using a smoker-friendly solution. Most run away at that point, but if they try justifications you can then simply point out, “Oh! I’m sorry I misunderstood you. You don’t REALLY care about the children then I gather? Stopping smokers from smoking in strip clubs is more important to you?”

    Sure it’s ridicule, but the passers-by readers love it because it’s bloody and it’s fun … and as a result they remember the discussion and remember whose point “won the duel.”

    VERY effective…. at least I believe so!

    – Michael

    • junican Says:

      There’s no doubt that it is effective – provided that the reader has an open mind. Yes, it is not is not the devotee which your comments are aimed at. Those people just don’t want to know. Amusing the casual reader is the objective.

  3. smokingscot Says:

    Wholly agree with what MJMcF said – and it’s a refreshing change to see Mr. Clark actually do some homework before an interview. Those are indeed the ones people remember.

    Re your (pretty darned good) analysis, notably the-one-size-fits-all of hiking prices. It may seem to work in NZ, though I have my doubts about that, especially amongst the Maori people. They’ve been royally pissed in NZ that 44% of Maori women smoke and as a whole 41% the First Nation People of NZ still smoke.

    http://www.quit.org.nz/file/Documents/handy-factsheet-sept-2013.pdf

    (By the by re our exchange a couple of days back, this is why TC in the UK want funding – to produce detailed crap like this. To justify their continued existence).

    It certainly hasn’t worked in Australia, yet both nations are very heavily monitored at the usual entry points of international airports and ports.

    Don’t work in the EU, in fact it doesn’t work anywhere that has a land border and free movement of goods, such as NY State.

    However you got my interest in where our overseas aid goes.

    This is the best I can find at short notice on what we give:

    http://ampp3d.mirror.co.uk/2014/02/11/the-4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-uks-international-aid-budget/

    (and I’d draw your attention to their claim that Zimbabwe has a GDI close to £400 pa. Odd one that.)

    Then there’s a far larger one that gives details of the global picture.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_foreign_aid_received

    (you’ll note that Afghanistan, Israel, Turkey and Vietnam are doing very well out of this, while Iran and North Korea get close to diddly squat).

    • junican Says:

      Thanks for the links. I’ve read all three.
      None of them actually say what our national contributions are being spent on. The nearest statement was in a comment – that aid pays for inoculations for babies, etc. But most of the aid is said to be ‘for development purposes’. What I am interested in is what those ‘developments’ are. Is our aid money paying Chinese companies to build roads in some godforsaken place?
      In any case, it seems that our money goes to some sort of international body which distributes the funds. I am sure that it is all above board and that there is no corruption. Aren’t you?

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