I read somewhere that there is another aspect to the provision of grants, but I’m not sure how true it is, nor am I sure that it is linked to the new law. The idea is that grants should be in the form of contracts.
The implication is quite interesting. What form would such a contract have?
If we think about commercial contracts, they involve some sort of ‘quid pro quo’.
“The contracting parties commit as follows:
Party A will build a house, as described in the attached plans, on the specified land. The house will be completed by Y date. The price will be X.
Party B will pay a deposit of 10% of X, on commencement of the work, to Party A’s solicitor to hold in trust during the duration of the building work. The deposit will be refunded in full if Party A fails to complete the building within 5 months of the proposed completion date. For each month of delay, 2% of the deposit will be refunded to Party B as a discount on the agreed price.
If the work is not completed with 5 months of the agreed completion date, Party B is released from his obligation to buy the property and to pay the balance of the purchase”
Now, let’s think about a similar contract which parties to a grant must sign.
The grant/contract would have strings attached. There would need to be some outcome which can be measured. Further, there would need to be stages, at which performance to date can be measured.
For example, how would a grant to perform research into tobacco harm become the subject of a contract? Suppose that the grant was for £500,000 (which just happens to be the grant that the National Lottery gave to ASH a couple of years ago, and which just happens to be about the same figure which is handed over to ASH annually). What sort of actual ‘quid pro quo’ could be expected to be in the contract? if the research was into an ‘unknown’, then it would not be right for a ‘result’ to be forecast. Thus, the result would also be an ‘unknown’. So the contract could not specify a particular result.
That reminds me of the Enstrom and Kabat Study. That was a big study about the affects of spousal exposure to second hand tobacco smoke. It was funded originally by a Cancer Society, or similar, but the funding was withdrawn before the study could be finished. Funding from a Big Tobacco organisation allowed the study to be finished. The interesting bit is who the Cancer Society withdrew its funding.I don’t know whether it is true or not, but it seems obvious that the funding was withdrawn because it was becoming clear that the study was not revealing the ‘correct’ results. The study was revealing that neither heart disease of lung cancer were especially associated with SHS.
The interesting thing there is that the Cancer Society was able to withdraw funding at its pleasure. Had there been a contract, it would not have been so simple. It is hard to believe that stages of the contract could specify what result was to be expected, and that future funding of that contract would depend upon the ‘correct’ result appearing at some point in the future during the course of the study. It is possible, of course, that some similar clause could be included, but such a clause would almost certainly be considered to be unethical. And yet that is precisely what the Cancer Society did. Therefore, there cannot have been a contract.
One of the important things about the Enstrom and Kabat affair is that it reasonably points to political objectives in the funding of tobacco studies. Why should we think that such political objectives are not just as common today? And why should we not expect that such political objectives have not coloured tobacco research right from the beginning? For example, one of the curious things about the Doll ‘Doctors Study’ was the lack of incidence of lung cancer in non-smokers. The numbers were tiny. How could that be since SHS was almost everywhere and in abundance? But worse was the prevalence of atmospheric pollution.
Here is a link to a study dated Feb 2016 as reported in the Spectator:
That study examined records of deaths from a variety of diseases. Here is a quote:
The most common health conditions exacerbated by air pollution are bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. Air pollution also affected mortality risk from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease.
Dr Anna Hansell, the study’s lead author, said: ‘Air pollution has well established impacts on health, especially on heart and lung disease. The novel aspects of our study are the very long follow-up time and the very detailed assessment of air pollution exposure, using air quality measurements going back to the 1970s.
‘Our study found more recent exposures were more important for mortality risk than historic exposures, but we need to do more work on how air pollution affects health over a person’s entire lifetime.’
‘We were surprised to find pollution has effects on mortality that persist over three decades after exposure.’
Strange, is it not, that the quote does not include lung cancer. I wonder why that is? It mentions bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular and heart diseases, but not lung cancer. How can that possibly be? There is only one answer, which is that it was not on the political agenda for LC to be mentioned in the press release. I would bet a pound to a penny that it is mentioned in the study itself… On second thoughts, I would NOT bet on it.
There have been studies about the incidence of LC in country areas as compared with city areas. There is no doubt that LC is seen more frequently in conurbations than in country areas, and the more air pollution there is, the greater the occurrence of LC. I have a study conducted by Dr Kitty Little on my computer. She not only differentiated between city and country, she also differentiated between windy, coastal cities and smog-bound, inland cities. There was a marked difference in the incidence of LC.
I’m surprised that grants to ‘Charities’ have not been ‘contract-based’ before. Taxpayers’ money should not be handed out on some sort of ‘favourite’ basis, nor should Big Lottery funds be handed out in that way. ASH should be forced to refund the grant from the Big Lottery since the Lottery was never intended to fund lobby groups. ASH could pay back the funds received from the Lottery from its grant from the Government. It would not be able to pay Arnott or the other staff, but these people are so devoted to the cause that they would be happy to work for nothing, would they not? Well, at least for only one year. I suppose that each individual employee could apply for a separate grant to support them during their period of voluntary service, or even claim jobseeker’s allowance, provided that they were looking for a ‘proper, productive’ job whilst volunteering to work for Arnott (unpaid).
What putative contract did ASH have with the Government which justified their grant? Did ASH promise to reduce smoking prevalence by X in return for the hundreds of thousands of pounds handed over to them? What was the contract? If there was no contract, how could the Government justify handing over taxpayers’ money?
My daughter’s friend, C, is involved with a homeless persons’ charity. She is entirely an unpaid volunteer. She does it out of compassion. From time to time, we have surplus goods of one sort or another. They might be simple things like unopened packets of biscuits, or unwanted clothing. We give them to her. We have no doubt that the goods find their way directly to the persons in need, since she deals directly with the needy people. There are no in-betweeners. We give her unwanted goods and she gives them to people who need them. That is TRUE charity. UNTRUE charity is organisations like CRUK. They long ago were taken over by charlatans, in the main. You can understand why that is, if you consider the main source of income for CRUK and similar organisations. That main source is Wills. I have seen adverts on TV, with sobby music and soft, caring voices, asking people to ‘remember’ CRUK etc in their wills. ‘Cancer Research’ is a wonderful attractor of funds – provided that a cure for cancer in never found. “Look for the fox, but if you find it, do not kill it. If you kill it, you destroy your own job”.
There is a fair truism that “Government exists to perpetuate itself”. Nothing could be more illustrative of the correctness of that truism that the Tobacco Control Industry and the EU. As a result of the immigration crisis, the EU has shown itself to nothing more that am immense, pointless bureaucracy. It is useless and worthless. Further, the probability is that 80% of UK Government is a waste of resources.
I can give only one example within my own experience.
The District Nurses come twice a week to attend to my wife’s pressure sores. It is irrelevant to this post that the sores should have been ‘cured’ a year or so ago, had the correct methods been used. What I am talking about is the time spent on making copious notes on every visit. Such notes are unnecessary, since the process is the same on every visit. Those notes are clearly not intended to guide future interventions but are designed to protect the bosses. That is what they are for. What is weird is that they never actually protect the bosses. That is because errors are, in the main, very minor. What then happens is that major errors are hidden from view as a result of the proliferation of reports of minor errors. “Cannot see the wood for the trees” comes to mind.
It seems that ‘Political’ Government (MPs and Ministers) is gradually beginning to realise that ‘Special Interest Groups’ have no popular backing, despite their incessant surveys and studies. The sort of comical survey would be one which asks the question:
“Would you like your children to be protected from the harms of second hand tobacco smoke?” The answer ought to be 100% in favour, provided that the harms were real. But the question itself implies that there are harms from SHS which are real and have been proven to exist.
Tobacco Control is falling apart, just as the EU is falling apart. That is because both organisations were founded upon elitism. Elitism translates, in the real world, into totalitarianism, which means ‘one size fits all’. The Elite impose their ‘standardised human being’ upon fallible, variegated, struggling, uncertain, sometimes happy and sometimes sad, but mostly hopeful, REAL individual human beings.
In that visualisation, it is easy to see why the universal smoking ban in enclosed places was wrong, wrong, wrong. It was wrong because there is no such thing as a ‘standard human being’. The clue is in the word ‘being’. The word ‘being’ implies ‘independence’. Thus, the phrase ‘standard human being’ is a contradiction since every individual human being is, by definition, independent and not standard. One cannot be a ‘human being’, no matter how stupid one might be, and be a clone.
It is right that Government should support deserving Charities? The number of such deserving Charities is not important. What is important is that they do good works.
It might be a good measure of the value of a Charity if it can demonstrate that it has actually produced some good. The problem with CRUK and co is that they seem to do nothing at all.