Another Aspect of the Ban on the Use of Grant Monies for Lobbying

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 It was funded originally by a Cancer Society, or similar, but the funding was withdrawn before the study could be finished.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:

https://health.spectator.co.uk/air-pollution-from-the-1970s-is-still-leading-to-deaths-today/?utm_content=buffer9853d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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.

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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?

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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8 Responses to “Another Aspect of the Ban on the Use of Grant Monies for Lobbying”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    Thanks you for another excellent essay. You raise an interesting question in regard to CRUK and lung cancer, i.e. could it be CRUK hasn’t devoted itself to a cure for lung cancer because it isn’t caused by smoking? I hope you are right that tobacco control is dying, they have poisoned the minds of many to blame smoking for all disease and as a consequence work on defining the actual causes of these ailments languishes.

    • junican Says:

      Thanks for the kind words.
      It will take some time for TC to fade away. We can see at this time why it will fade away in due course. In addition to the demise of SFSW, there was the closure of ASH in Australia. But most important is that TC is now scraping the barrel for something to do. EG, if it has to attack ecigs, which are as near totally harmless as one can imagine, it can only be that TC sees ecjgs as a competitor. TC along with Big Pharma want total control over the chemical smoking cessation market, and they will do their damnedest to retain that control.But suppose that TC fails to stop ecigs? Then Big Pharma will walk away, and take their money with them. Big Pharma is a business and not a charity.

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    How on earth does ASH get money from the National Lottery ?
    Surely ASH does not qualify as a ‘good cause’ ? The public at large would be horrified if they knew this was happening !

    • smokingscot Says:

      It was given to ASH Scotland as well as Wales. I have details of the Scottish one. Just over £500k was awarded by the Lottery to fund a project called “refresh” and that was set up to stop people smoking in their homes if they have small children.

      It was a 5 year project and most of the money was handed over to Dr Sean Semple. Here’s his bio and the stuff about research grants is under:

      http://www.abdn.ac.uk/iahs/research/respiratory/profiles/sean.semple

      You’ll see that he’s well in with the anti-smoking lot, conducting numerous studies designed to prove cigarette smoke does the things ASH want “proven”.

      Now’s the interesting bit, the money that was handed over to ASH (Scotland) came after after Maureen McGinn pushed for it. Maureen just so happens to be on the Committee that hands out these awards:

      https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/about-big/our-people/scotland-committee-members

      However at that time our Dear Maureen also happened to Chairperson of the Board of ASH Scotland!!!!!

      So you’ve sort of got a wee bit of a vested interest thing going on. Dear Sweet Maureen (who happens to be nothing of the sort, but that’s another story).

      ASH Wales is well covered by Mr. Puddlecote, but Junican’s got a block on more than 3 links, so just cut & paste.

      dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/how-uncanny.html

      Few people know about this, but it is nice to know that Maureen has quit with ASH (Scotland), though she still keeps in touch, if you gather my meaning.

      FYI I have only spoken to two people who I know play the lottery and they were – as you suspected – pretty pee’d off at the way their money is being used.

      • junican Says:

        SS has put a name to the trickery. I’m not quite sure if that is the same name which was on the board of the Lottery in England. Whatever, there was such person who was big in ASH and also on the Lottery board. Do these elites somehow have access to the top positions? I don’t know how they do it, but they do.

      • Some French Bloke Says:

        Well, it’d seem that “biglottery” and “bigotry” have a lot more in common than just seven letters, after all…

    • smokingscot Says:

      @ Y’all

      To clarify, I ‘d ask you to expand on Maureen McGinn’s profile “more about…” link and you’ll see there her connection with ASH

      https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/about-big/our-people/scotland-committee-members

      If you expand on each and every member of the committee you’ll find the majority are:

      1) “Public Service”

      2) Involved with charities themselves

      and if you trace the projects the Lottery fund you’ll see that any charity the committee members are involved in gets a grant. There are far too many pages to wade through and it’s some time since I did it, however the money amounts can sometimes be very huge indeed; well over £1 million as I recall.

      No McGinn’s not on the English Board, but she has something to do with the Welsh one. So far I have been unable to find no record of Lottery donations to ASH England.

      Took a look at the English Committee and it closely mirrors the Scottish one, almost all charity groupies.

      https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/about-big/our-people/england-committee-members

      It’s actually far worse when you click on the Welsh Committee list.

      IMO the whole selection process for these committees was flawed from the outset. It is absolutely not transparent and it’s clearly incestuous. They do us no favours and it’s because most of them have the business acumen of a dead Flounder, that we have so many white elephants littered around the country. And why genuine cases get ignored.

      Make no mistake, what they did with ASH donations was unethical, immoral and very possibly illegal. £1,300,000 slashed up against the wall. For what?

      • junican Says:

        You are so right, SS.
        The Big Lottery was set up by Government. It is not a private enterprise. It was never intended to provide funds for special interest groups dealing in political activism. ASH would claim that they are ‘doing good’ by getting smoking bans and plain packaging laws passed. By that definition, the Labour Party is such a charity and should receive millions in grants.
        How on earth did the BL board get jam packed with ‘special interest group’ nominees? That question always arises in my mind. Who the hell decided that Dame Silly-Sally Davis should be Chief Medical Officer? Not Cameron or the Cabinet. There must have been a ‘shadowy group in Committee’ who decided. Who were the members of that committee?
        It is that ‘secret world’ which no amount of FOI requests will reveal that interests me. They are The Elite, who invite people onto the committees which make the recommendations.

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