Simple Simon’s Comeupence

I think that we all know of ‘Professor’ Simon Chapman from Australia. He has been a kingpin of tobacco control in Australia for decades. But he has involved himself in all sorts of other areas of ‘public health’ such as wind farm damage to the health of those people living near them. He poo-pooed the idea in evidence given to an Australian ‘Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines’. The committee tore his evidence to bits. You can read about it here: Of particular note is this sentence: 2.21      The committee highlights the fact that Professor Chapman 3 years sociology; 3 years psychology; 2 years philosophy; 1 year English But that is not to say that Chapman is not a clever chap: “1984 (finished, graduation ceremony 1986): PhD in Medicine Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Sydney. Subject: Cigarette advertising as myth: a re-evaluation of the relationship of advertising to smoking. Published as: Chapman S. Great Expectorations: Advertising and the tobacco industry Comedia: London 1986 ISBN 0906 890 86 1). 1970-2: Bachelor of Arts, University of New South Wales (3 years sociology; 3 years psychology; 2 years philosophy; 1 year English).” I don’t quite understand the last sentence. How do you do 3 years sociology; 3 years psychology; 2 years philosophy; 1 year English between 1970 and 1972? He must have crammed all four subjects in the years 1970, 1971 and 1972. Herself likes to watch ‘Eggheads’ on BBC2. I too have got to enjoy it. For furriners, it is a quiz show in which five challengers pit their brains against five people who have won very difficult quiz shows. The ‘expert’ panel nearly always wins. But do you see the slight misnomer? It is not about brainpower, it is about memory power. There is no doubt that the panellists have amazing powers of recall. Absolutely amazing. On any subject, they all seem to have vast knowledge. Sea creatures? No problem. The atomic table? No problem. Sporting prowess? Easy-peasy. Of course, they are not invulnerable and lose from time to time. We used to have a phrase for people like that. It was ‘photographic memory’. There are those of us who can read a book once and remember almost everything about it. Very few are so gifted, but they exist. It would not surprise me if Chapman was also one so gifted. One so gifted could easily excel in academia. His memory is such that he can quote excerpts from learned treaties with the greatest of ease and plentifully. I remember a boy at college who was like that. He was very gawky – couldn’t play football or cricket to save his life – but he took on some strange subject, something like hebrew, and did the ordinary school certificate after one year and the advanced certificate after his second year. Most of us took five years to complete such a process. But, not only was he gawky, he couldn’t converse. You could not have a conversation with him. He never seemed to be really present in the room. Very strange. So, yes, it is quite possible for a gifted person to cram four subjects into a one three-year period and come out of it with honours all round. What that means is that he/she has a phenomenal memory – that is all. It doesn’t mean that he can think.  What is most notable about Chapman? It is his aggression. He is never wrong and is quite prepared to insult those with a lesser memory. —- There is also this character from the USA who also seems to have a lot to say. He is Stanton Glantz. He is of much the same ilk. He started as an aircraft engineer. Nothing wrong with that at all. But, again, the phenomenal memory enabled him to learn a huge amount of information easily and quickly. He too “… not a qualified, registered nor experienced medical practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, acoustician, audiologist, physicist or engineer.” Both are ‘huge’ in tobacco control, and yet neither have any real depth of understanding. They can remember huge volumes of statistics and stuff, but neither of them can really think. You see, it may well be true that smokers die younger than non-smokers, but – SO WHAT? Suppose that you compare a group of people who never ever approach swimming pools, ponds, lakes and the sea with those who do. It is 100% certain that people who do swim and go to sea will be more likely to drown. Even so, a very small number of people, who have no intention whatsoever of swimming, will, accidentally, fall into a river and drown. Thus, epidemiology can create a ‘relative risk’. Without the occasional accident, epidemiology could not create any meaningful risk. Thus, there need to be non-smokers who get lung cancer for TC to create a number for relative risk. If NO non-smokers got LC, the RR would be infinite. What that infinite RR would mean is that all smokers, no matter how light or heavy, or how young or old, or how weak or strong, or with what family history, or anything else, would all have the same 100% risk. In that scenario, it would not matter if your connection with water was occasional, like paddling in the sea when on holiday, or frequent, like being a seaman – your risk of drowning, as compared with someone who never has anything to do with expanses of water, is 100% greater. Clearly, that idea is nonsensical. And yet is is people like Chapman and Glantz, despite (or because of) their phenomenal memories, who have been promoting infinite relative risks. It is for that reason, illogical though it might seem to be, that the American Surgeon General produced a report which said that ‘even the smallest whiff of tobacco smoke can produce a heart attack’ (or words to that effect). I wonder if Chapman and Glantz were gawky and not easy to converse with when the were youths? Do they have friends, and what is the nature of their friends? Are they all gawky, and do they sit around in silence until one of them ‘pronounces’? Do they have a glass of wine in their hands and a cig, or do they inhale water vapour from a shisha-type vessel? Do they wear masks at all times to guard against diesel fumes when outdoors? If not, why not? If there is ‘no safe level’ whatsoever of tobacco smoke, then there can be ‘no safe level’ whatsoever of diesel fumes. ALL MUST WEAR MASKS AT ALL TIMES BOTH INDOORS AND OUTDOORS. — I have said from time to time that the intrinsic contradictions of tobacco control will, eventually, kill it. That was the case as regards Prohibition in the USA last century in that the ban on official making of liquor encouraged the illicit making of liquor. The Zealots have turned the trick around and attempted to ban the use of tobacco rather than the production thereof. But it is the same thing in effect. What has been happening over the last several years is that the use of has moved from pubs etc to other places. The use of has not really diminished. Again, we have the ‘not quite certain’ product on numbers. For example, it might well be that large numbers of older people are stopping smoking. That would not surprise me, although it has little to do with health. It might well be to do with the lack of need of solace. Thus, many youths might have found the delights of tobacco while many older people might have found that they no longer enjoy those delights. ==== When you think about it, you might reasonably ask how the United Nations Organisation ever became involved with the enjoyment of tobacco. Who were the people who had the power to force the UN to bother about it? You would think that the UN would be more interested in the ability of States to produce and use bombs, bullets, firearms, gasses, atomic bombs, etc, rather than the ability to grow tobacco plants. ==== I don’t think that Cameron ET AL are capable of reducing the EU from a MASTER to a servant. It might need a WAR to do so.


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