Another BMA ‘Spokesperson’ Turns Up and Spouts the Same ‘Doubt and Distract’ Propaganda

Adam Williams, in a comment, provided a link to Joseph Goebbels’s ‘propaganda principles:

It is worth reading since his principles are the database of all TV and other advertising, public relations, lobbying Government, fooling the public, creating scapegoats, etc. It is all in there.

One of the principles is to spread doubt and fear. By doing so, it is easy to get people to rely upon ‘their heroes’ (in Nazi Germany, the ‘hero’ was, of course, Hitler).

So a different BMA Wales spokesperson turns up.

The odd thing is that the TV interview is dated 9th June 2015, which, I think, pre-dated the radio session with the slightly slat-at guy named Temple. In this interview, a Dr Banfield from the BMA Wales, took to the field. Here is the link to the TV interview (the whole segment is only a few minutes long):

Right from the first instant, Dr Banfield employs the primary tactic which I have spoken about before – he avoids answering the question put to him. Instead, he moves immediately to sowing doubt and uncertainty.

The presenter of the programme asks him to say what harm there is in ecigs. Banfield’s response is to say that the concern is not about the harms but about safety. His next words try to move the agenda to nicotine and its supposedly tremendously strong addictive qualities. Thus, he attempts to change the agenda of the discussion. It is all premeditated and follows precisely Goebbles’s propaganda imperatives. Also, it all follows the Common Purpose ‘Delphi’ system. EG (a discussion chaired by a Common Purpose chairperson):

Chairperson: “It is a well know fact that smokers are terribly addicted to the nicotine and that they cannot help themselves. They must continue to smoke at all costs. Erm…. George… it is George, isn’t it. Sorry, Peter. What’s on your mind, George?”

Peter: “It’s Peter. I used to smoke and I enjoyed smoking, but the costs were too much when I got married and had a couple of kids. So I stopped smoking. It wasn’t that difficult. The first day was the worst. That first day was hard, but I suffered no pain, no vomiting, no depression – I just missed the pleasure of puffing and feeling relaxed. So I don’t think that smoking ‘addiction’ is such a big deal”.

Chairperson: “Good point, George – er, Peter. Anyone else? Susan (a plant)?”

Susan: “I think that Peter is one of the lucky few who are strong willed! There are loads of studies which show beyond doubt that smoking addiction is terrible. And, these studies are conducted in hospitals among those smokers who are suffering terrible agonies from lung cancer and other ‘tobacco related diseases’. I think that Peter did wonderfully well to pack in smoking, but he is one of the lucky ones who were strong enough to avoid the risk of terrible suffering”.

Chairperson: “Indeed, Susan, George…. sorry, Peter…. has shown great strength of will, but very few smokers have such strength of will. What can we do to ‘help’ those sorry people who are condemned to die prematurely if they continue to be addicted?”

Etc, Etc, Etc.

And is that not precisely what Dr Banfield tried to do? He tried, right from the outset, to move the discussion from actual health dangers to non-dangers. I am ‘addicted’ to tea. I cannot imagine life without tea. He used the usual tactic of employing words which people usually associate with danger, equals in this case, ADDICTED.

Later in the interview, he employs the same trick again. He was asked why it was, if he acknowledges the lower potential harm from ecigs, that the BMA did not encourage ecigs. He uses the trick of moving the goalposts. He says that the worry is about advertising. Who mentioned advertising? They were talking about ACTUAL risk and harm-reduction, and not advertising. Advertising is a different matter altogether. And what is this thing called WORRY? What right do these people have to worry and be concerned about what I and you decide to do? Who the fuck do they think they are?

The reality is that these people DO NOT GIVE A SHIT! They are not in the least bit concerned or worried as they claim to be, and it’s about time that someone called them out on it. Such expressions are typical propaganda tools, a la Goebbels.

The final bit of that video produced another non-sequitur from the Doctor. When asked if nicotine addiction was worse than caffeine addiction, he started talking about brain pathways, dopamine, and such hypothetical blather. In comes the pseudo-scientific blather to confuse and overwhelm the poor ignoramus. It is a case of: “I know lots of complicated words, and I know what they mean. You don’t know what they mean, therefore you are stupid and must ‘follow me'”.


I think that it is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT that the Welsh Assembly politicians have jumped the shark. (As I understand it, the expression ‘jumped the shark’ means deliberately to claim to have done something extraordinary and to gain plaudits thereby) The idea that they might actually proceed is almost inconceivable, but do not be surprised if they do. The arrogance of The Tobacco Control Industry in the UK and Ireland is plain to see.

Pride comes before a fall.



9 Responses to “Another BMA ‘Spokesperson’ Turns Up and Spouts the Same ‘Doubt and Distract’ Propaganda”

  1. Uncle Nick Says:

    Hopefully this doesn’t get flagged as spam – but jumping the shark is actually:

    • junican Says:

      Yes, I understand. In general terms, when a TV series starts to flag, it is common for the writers to introduce some ‘special effect’ to reawaken interest. For myself, I like to interpret the idea of ‘jump to the shark’ also to be useful to describe ongoing greater and greater exaggerations. For example, how have we come from a situation where Richard Doll said that he would not be worried about being in a room where people were smoking, to outdoor vaping bans in case the ‘smoke’ was harmful? Each step along the way has been a sort of ‘jumped the shark’ in the sense of creating alarm.

  2. Rose Says:

    I cannot imagine life without tea. He used the usual tactic of employing words which people usually associate with danger, equals in this case, ADDICTED

    The old definition of an addictive substance included intoxication, to class nicotine as addictive, they had to change the definition of the word.

    All plants have to defend themselves against insects which attack them or they wouldn’t be around today.

    If you dislike a plant and want to stop people enjoying it, you find out which plant chemical it uses to poison tiny insects and then accuse anyone who insists on consuming the plant they despise in whatever manner as only doing it, despite their continual warnings and objections, because of that one chemical out of an entire plant.

    With coffee the insect poison is caffeine, I love coffee and to quote Bill Godshall, am a “multiple daily user”, but not only do I enjoy the flavour, I also get more than my Recommended Daily Allowance of Niacin which might have something to do with it.
    Caffeine seems to be more something you have to put up with to get the benefits.

    However, as I can’t stand tea and don’t understand how anyone can keep drinking the filthy stuff repeatedly throughout the day, I can only assume that they are addicted to tannin as they can’t possibly enjoy the practice.

    “A tannin …. is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound… ”

    And I do mean filthy, if you think what tea does to tea cups, just imagine what it’s doing to your insides!

    : )

    • junican Says:

      Hello Rose. You may be interested to know that I have just employed the ‘towelling method’ to the sand lugs which I have obtained from the plants that Ed gave me. I got about 12 small leaves, some of which were really pale yellow, some were yellow and some were pale green. Interleaving them, and rotating their positions within the pile, is producing a gradual yellowing of the pale green leaves. Two days should be sufficient for the yellowing in this case because the leaves are already part way there. I am reluctant to wad them because the effect is too intense. I have in mind to hold them until we have a sunny day and them let them dry in the sun.


      I’m not sure whether to take your comments about tea and coffee seriously. On the one hand, your comments seem to be serious, but, on the other hand, they could be ‘jumping the shark’. IE, deliberately exaggerated for effect.

      Regardless, it might take some time, but it is inevitable that the new definition of ‘addiction’ will play itself out as more and more activities fall under the new definition until almost all habits and ‘likes’ become addictions.
      Clearly, health zealots are addicted to ‘liking’ press releases.

      • Rose Says:


        The coffee is information is real, the tea information is real, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking tea.

        The smile I put at the bottom of the post was to show that my anti-tobacco style rant on the subject of tea was in no way serious.

        But it’s true that I don’t like tea, it’s a small pleasure I just never took to.

      • Rose Says:

        13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You

        “Researchers attribute tea’s health properties to polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) and phytochemicals. Though most studies have focused on the better-known green and black teas, white and oolong also bring benefits to the table.”

        Though I don’t drink tea my husband does and he tells me that I make a very good cup of tea even though I never drink the stuff.

        That’s not quite true, I do drink nextdoor’s Indian tea when its offered, the spices disguise the taste.

      • junican Says:

        Ah – the little smile thingie. I missed it.
        I used to drink quite a lot of coffee. For some reason, after drinking coffee Spanish-style on holiday, when we got back home I just didn’t fancy nescafe. That was about five years ago. It just happened.

  3. Ed Says:

    This made me smile. Seems it’s not only adults that collect old cigarette packets;

    • junican Says:

      It’s a lovely spoof report, but it is almost certain to happen in real life. Kids love gruesome. What is very interesting is that the Zealots are actually causing kids to be interested in cig packets!
      Unintended consequences……

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: