I sometime wonder if people like Cameron are politically cleverer than we think, or that they have political advisers who are cleverer than we think.
Consider the PP and car smoking ban (with kids). We have wondered why on Earth Cameron didn’t just let the last Parliament run out of time. Why push those two useless events through?
Suppose that I say that Cameron ET AL are perfectly aware of the huge conglomeration of anti-smoking organisations and money as compared with the poverty-struck, disjointed opposition. For C et al, the fact that the antis are few in number compared with the number of smokers does not matter one jot. Only power matters, and it is the organisations which have the power, and not the smokers.
So, from C’s point of view, which is the better option’, follow the organisations or follow the smokers? But it isn’t just that consideration. There is also the idea of diminishing returns. What actual result is PP supposed to produce? I cannot think of a single one. I don’t think that the Zealots have actually claimed a specific result. They say that children will be deterred. That could well be true – as it applies to children, but it will hardly apply to people what are not children – ie. teenagers. Is there any doubt that ASH’s attempts to class 17 year-olds as children will backfire eventually? And what actual result is the car-smoking-with-kids ban expected to produce? If I were to take my youngest grandchild, who is 13, to school, and I didn’t smoke while he was in the car, then I would most certainly light up when he left the car. Further, on a long journey, the only result would be that I would stop more often for a cig break. Nothing would basically change.
Thus, from C’s point of view, he did not get the backs of the medical profession up in the run up to the election, and also, another arrow in the Zealots’ quiver has been shot off to no effect. I think that most of us have noticed that more and more people are just getting absolutely fed up with all the lecturing. Thus, for us smokers, the more of the anti-sugar, anti-salt, anti-alcohol blather we hear and see the better. Should we play devil’s advocate? I’m beginning to think so. In fact, I am certain that it is so. When we see anti-sugar reports in newspapers, we should plough in with anti-sugar, inflammatory claims. “Our next-door neighbour’s kids are all very plump. They always seem to have lollies or ice-creams in their mouths. Both the neighbours are themselves horribly fat. I think that it should be a crime to treat children like that”. Stretch the elastic. Stretch the spring. Stretch them until they snap back with force.
I think that the British Isles have reached the plateau of tobacco control damage. TC has driven smoking so far underground that no one knows the real extent of sensible use of alternative sources. I spoke a couple of days ago about ‘deception, etc’. Does anyone note that news stories about smuggling are almost always about the confiscation of millions of cigarettes? You rarely see any new items about seizures of rolling tobacco. When it happens, it seems to be incidental to the seizure of cigs. Think about how easy it would be to disguise several kilograms of rolling tobacco as some other product. Blankets? Duvets? Cotton? A container-full of wool? And then, after a little moving of ‘the goods’ about, a nice little cottage industry churning out thousands of fags per day. In Australia, these fags are called ‘Manchester’. How ironic if, in Ireland, they were called ‘Melbourne’. What a giggle.
And let’s face it, tobacco control is becoming something of a giggle, is it not? They did their worst with the smoking ban. Anything later is an anti-climax. Since the smoking ban, everything has been subject to the laws of diminishing returns.
But we further have the matter of Unintended Consequences.
The Scottish excuse for a Government has issued a survey open to all about: a) battering ecigs, and, b) persecuting smokers who need to go to a hospital. This is where the unintended consequences come in. Think about that general phrase: SMOKERS WHO NEED TO GO TO A HOSPITAL. How many people go to hospital when they do not need to?
So, if the Scottish excuse for a Government enact a law banning smoking on hospital grounds, who are the people likely to be affected by it? The first group is going to be the staff. Right – it is up to staff to demand that their Union protects them from persecution. But will any of them be persuaded to stop smoking? On the contrary. It is almost certain that they will become defiant.
Those who ‘need to go to a hospital’ fall into two obvious groups, inmates and visitors. (I realise the connotations of the word ‘inmate’) Assume that inmates cannot just pop outside to have a smoke, but need to walk hundreds of yards. Suppose that one of them gets really ill because of exposure. Who then would be said to have ’caused’ the exposure and the illness?
But all of that is really an aside since the ‘unintended consequences’ are what are interesting. We trip into motivations of individuals which are impervious to the tricks of tobacco control. What is most likely to happen when a hospital patient who is a smoker, and is denied smoking, when he is released? He will undoubtedly smoke even more than before. What will visitors do? They may refrain while visiting, but they will undoubtedly make up for the forced abstinence thereafter, as well as retaining the feeling of hate and distrust of the management of the hospital. How much more would that be the case if someone you loved had died there? The hospital did not stop your loved one from dying, but stopped you from smoking.
But it is even worse. The unintended consequences of smoking ban notices all over the place – on every wall and every door – give an impression that nothing else matters. The notices are forbidding and reduce the hospitals to the status of workhouses.
“Arbeit macht frei” might as well replace the ‘No Smoking” notices, for those two ideals are simply opposite sides of the same coin. Both mean servitude.
And is that not what happened when publicans did not rebel against becoming unpaid policemen? Why did they not rebel against being forced into ‘Arbeit macht frei’?
Is it too late? Or are the unintended consequences still on hold? It is still possible for the association of publicans to fight against “Arbeit macht frei”. Remember that “Arbeit macht frei” in this context means, “You publicans will work and take all the risks of violence and loss of business, and your work will make your place smokefree and customer-free”.
It is not for smokers to fight anything since we cannot combine meaningfully. Tobacco companies could have created a smoker union of some sort, but they were too arrogant to bother.
The lowest leaves of my plants are starting to yellow, which means that they are dying. Meanwhile, the topmost leaves are thriving. Almost all empires start to rot from the inside out. It is clear that tobacco control is subject to that same law. The only real question is ‘when will the likes of Chapman, Glantz, Siegel, Bates, etc, etc, be seen to be false prophets’? Regardless of what they say and defend, all of them want CONTROL of ecigs. And they want that CONTROL to be at the expense of others, and not themselves.
Clive Bates may be useful to vapers, but he is a false prophet. He still wants vapers to be controlled and regulated on the grounds that ecigs are ‘cessation devices’. He does not want them to be enjoyable.
‘Unintended consequences’ of gradual tobacco prohibition has, in my mind, created precisely the conditions for ‘chemical highs’. How easy would it be, when on an aircraft, to sniff a bit of cocaine?Or even a pinch of snuff?
What is absolutely clear beyond doubt is that the likes of ASH ET AL are dinosaurs. Or perhaps the word should be ‘lizards’ since they have no other purpose but to grab and inject poison. The FCTC was the construct of lizards. Oopst! I do not mean extra-terrestrials! I mean sneaky, poisonous, omnivorous rats.