I wish that I could calculate them! At this time of night, I can only vaguely say that those costs must be astronomical. As a simple example, ASH (the voice of the College of physicians, remember) is fond of claiming that smoking cost a fortune in street cleaning. What was the cost? £100 million per an? Something in that ball park. But it was ASH and TC which forced smokers into the streets. Before the smoking ban, I would never have bothered smoking on my way to the pub. For a start, the wind causes cigs to burn down like the clappers. I doubt that a tailor-made lasts five minutes on a windy evening. The same happens when standing outside a pub. So what do smokers walking to the pub do with their fag ends? They toss them into the street. Thus, all the litter is caused by ASH and TC. It is they who are responsible for the litter. What do they expect smokers to do with their fag ends? Swallow them? If it were not for ASH and TC, all those fag ends would be in ashtrays in the pubs and clubs.
But it goes much, much further, does it not? As far as I know, there is now no major tobacco manufacturer left anywhere in the British Isles. All that economic activity and all the jobs – gone to Bulgaria or somewhere. What makes it worse is the fact that the Tory and Labour Health Ministers were congratulating each other for a job well done. And then there is the mass closure of bingo halls, pubs, clubs, etc. Not only economic costs, but social costs as well. How many hundreds of millions of pounds have been added to health costs due to loneliness?
You see, ASH and TC choose only to research those matters which support their agenda. No one researches the consequences of their own actions. In any case, who would fund such research? You need a lot of money to pay for research into the affects of loneliness and the cost to the NHS.
And who is paying the costs of TC in the Border Force, the Inland Revenue, Local Authorities, Universities, etc? Where does all the money come from?
I read today about Government plans to extend Freedom of Information to any charity which receives public funds. That should be fun, it it ever actually hits the statute book. Apparently, it has been prompted by the abject failure of Kids Company. Remember that a Minster threw about 10 million down the drain by giving a grant to Kids Company when it was already bankrupt for all intents. Kids Company had not been paying staff salaries. It has been said that KC had been giving out cash to ‘worthy’ kids. Erm…. I wonder how much of that cash went to ‘worthy’ acquaintances?
But I’m not accusing anyone. The real point is that the charity grants system is wide open to abuse, and the idea of FoI being applied to them is to allow interested parties to enquire about what they are doing with taxpayers’ funds.
But why should it only apply to taxpayers’ funds? Why should not CRUK, for example, account publicly for precisely what they do with the massive income which they get from legacies? Does Cancer RESEARCH actually do any research at all into cancer, or does it spend the money it receives on Tobacco Control? It’s accounts can be scrutinised via the Charities Commission, but, as I understand it, the detail is obscured in generalisations. Maybe that is how the FoI questions are intended to work – allow ordinary citizens to demand a breakdown of the generalisations. There must be a lot of charity bosses who are shit scared – if not, then they should be. On the other hand, we might reasonably expect a lot of job swapping among CEOs of charities. Resign from one and take up precisely the same job at another, then shred everything shred-able within the law.
But it will all be worthwhile if clandestine funding of lobbying is revealed.
There is a lot of dirty work beginning to be revealed. Questions have been asked about the number of meetings and communications between ASH (aka College of Physicians) and the Health Dept. I turns out that such communications have been at a level of three per week, every week for ages. Why is the Health Dept in communication with that tiny organisation? ASH UK employs only about a dozen staff and has no membership. Why is it so important that it can demand so much Health Dept time and money? Is someone in the Health Dept (perhaps the Aussie git, Andrew Black (?)) actually running ASH? We do not know. It is altogether quite possible that ASH is acting under the direction of the Health Dept. I know for a fact that studies, supposedly organised by ASH, are not so. Others have organised the studies and ASH has been the front organisation claiming ownership. ASH does not have the resources, manpower, skills, to arrange such studies. Who, then, does? Where do the money and skills come from? And who decides what studies will further the agenda? And what is the agenda?
There is a craziness abroad. Witness the Advocate General in the EU who expressed the opinion that the EU Tobacco Control Directive was perfectly OK, despite ecigs not being tobacco products, and turned down Totally Wicked’s complaint. Her opinion depended partly on the argument that kids might become addicted to nicotine via ecigs. But there is no evidence of such a consequence. Thus, it is clear that she based her opinion on superstition.
I would like to make it clear, and I think that we should all be aware, that modern words like ‘gateway’ are no different from old words like ‘magic’, ‘sorcery’, ‘witchcraft’. Words like ‘gateway’ require a suspension of ‘freewill’. They require compulsion. A youth using an ecig to enjoy a pleasant taste and inhale a tiny amount of nicotine will become ‘compelled’ to move on to the ‘heavy stuff’ – tobacco cigarettes.
I think that I am ‘addicted’ to alcohol. But my definition of ‘addicted’ is that I really enjoy wine, beer, whiskey. I would hate to be deprived of them. Therefore, I am addicted. I am also ‘addicted’ to tea, since the first thing I do in the morning is make a cuppa. I accept that addiction, and am quite happy with it. It is lovely. I am also addicted to meat and potato pies, but only twice a week and only at lunchtime. I do not crave a meat and potato pie in the middle of the night; nor do I crave a cigarette in the middle of the night. Having said that, it is a matter of fact the the first thing that I do in a morning is light up. But only if I want to. When on holiday, I get up, dress and go to breakfast without lighting up. Only on return to my room do I light up. Even then, having had my cig, I pop back in bed for an hour or so. What could be more lovely than a good breakfast, a cig, and another hour or so in bed? The relaxation is wonderful. On holiday, my day starts around midday, but extends to about 3 am the next morning. Clearly, a siesta is required, which occurs around 4 pm. A pleasant hour in bed then up, shower, dress and go to dinner in due course. Do not be greedy over dinner. A little of this and a little of that. Make six or seven courses. Half a bottle of red wine is a decent taste between courses. The other half can wait until the next night’s banquet. Only child-free adults can experience such depravity. I am addicted to depravity.
It is easy to see how ASH and TC can twist simple pleasures, such as tobacco and beer, into addictions and deprivations, when the truth is nothing like that. Tobacco and beer free the spirit from deprivation.
But the Tobacco Control Industry is the modern equivalent of Hitler’s Jew hunting. I’m sorry to say that, since I could have use other examples, such a Pol Pot or Stalin, but I know more about Hitler. There is a pretence in the TCI that it operates for the public good, but the fact is that it has become a self-perpetuating industry which requires loads of money. In order to get the money, it needs to create more and more threats. Those threats become sillier and sillier – except in the mind of politicians.
I don’t think that the politicians who had the power to get Plain Packaging passed in the Commons realised what they had done. What they have failed to understand is that all tailor-made cigs taste much the same. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that chop-chop tobacco tastes much the same. Therefore, everyone who smokes will gravitate towards chop-chop over a period of time. That tendency is unstoppable. It is human nature. Humans are intelligent, including smokers. They will do their best to avoid and defeat cruel laws.
For be in no doubt that the anti-smoker laws are cruel. It speaks volumes that the UN, WHO, EU are organised to inflict cruel laws upon smokers. There is no excuse.