I am writing this for fun. There is not much in my mind at the moment. Be warned – if anything pops into the mind, then I might well shoot off at a tangent.
What sparked the heading above was something that I read abut the OZ experiment with Plain Packaging. It appears that there was a survey, and one of the questions was ‘do people transfer cigs from a PP packet to, say, a cig case’. Here is the weird thing. If a person said “Yes”, than that answer was counted a measure of the success of PP.
Let’s think about that for a mo.
For years, cig packets have had medical porn printed on them, along with slogans like, “Smoking Kills”. Before PP, no one bothered about the medical porn. Here is a pic:
It is a ‘flip top’ – when you press the face, the top flips open. I have had that cig case for years. I was sent it as a freebie when I bought a cig rolling machine from the USA. I never used it until recently. I started using it a few months ago when I decided to cut my superking cigs down a bit so that I did not need to stand outside the pub for as long in cold winter weather. But I can well imagine people transferring cigs into a cig case because of PP, but not as a result of the medical porn or the colourlessness of the new packets. It is an act of defiance and not shame. Thus, transferring cigs into a cig case is a measure of the failure of PP. Frankly, I never even notice the medical porn or the slogans any more.
It is rather odd. I remember the days when the propaganda was merely that smoking might make you get out of breath more easily. Frankly, at the time, that had some effect upon me. Why? Because it was credible. Now, the medical porn has gone so far over the top that it is no longer credible; nor are the slogans.
But there is another thing. The medical porn is supposed to frighten children. The only way that it can frighten children is if they see it. But they cannot see it in shops because the packets are behind shutters. So the shutters also are a failure, since they stop children from seeing the medical porn and being frightened. Also, when a person transfers his cigs to a case, he discards the packet, so, again, children will not see the medical porn and the slogans. Thus, another failure to achieve the end of frightening children. Have indoor smoking bans frightened children? Since no one smokes in such places, then there is nothing to frighten children. And all the smokers outside buildings cannot frighten children since those people do not look like the people who feature in the medical porn.
So what was the drive to PP based upon again? Oh yes, it was that PP packets do not look as nice as coloured packets. The question being asked is like asking if cold water feels cooler than warm water. There is only one sensible answer.
But we all know that these ‘successes’ are claimed merely for propaganda purposes. PP has nothing whatsoever to do with health. Its purpose is merely to damage the tobacco industry by eliminating competition between rival companies. What is most likely to happen? Probably, people who smoke Benson and Hedges will continue to do so, as will people who smoke Barkeley cigs. Some people will undoubtedly trade down to cheaper cigs. But, most of all, people will talk among themselves. They will compare tastes and try each others cigs. In other words, brand switching will not come from packaging or advertising, but as a result of millions of individuals discussing these things. In fact, such discussions will be an unintended consequence of PP. Naturally, there will be other consequences of these discussions. Sooner or later, a person smoking outside a pub will tell another person, whom he trusts, that he gets his cigs from X at half the price. Thus will the black market spread and grow. The more that the screw is tightened, the more that people will talk among themselves.
I remember once, not an some time ago, talking to a youth who occasionally smokes cannabis. I know him well because he has been friendly with other people that I know, and we have chatted many times. It would have been very easy to ask him if he could get me some cannabis for me to try out of curiosity. But I had no interest in that substance at all. Had I done so, it might well have been the case that I too would talk about it to a trusted friend. Thus, trust moves from ‘the authorities’ to one’s friends.
One of the interesting things about this whole Brexit thing, seeing that opinion is more or less split 50/50, is that, which ever way it goes, about 50% of people who voted will be disillusioned. That is a BIG, BIG figure. But if the vote goes for ‘Remain’, the disillusioned 50% will not therefore shut up. They will continue to complain about everything that the EU does, and will be more observant of what the EU is up to. On the other hand, if the vote goes for ‘Leave’, then ‘Remain’ voters will have no follow-up. The reason is that leaving will only show itself to have been foolish if the economy bombs, which it won’t. Everything else will stay much the same.
I remember going on a cycling trip in 1957 through France and Belgium. There was no problem at all. I showed my passport and was allowed through without let. the chances of me being a suicide bomber was infinitesimally small. Now, people are invading Europe, without passports, and the chances of there being suicide bombers among those people are high. But my main point is that there was no problem with going into Europe before the EU. There never has been, except in times of war. There have never been barriers to trade, unless artificially imposed for a good reason. That ‘good reason’ might, these days, seen to be a bad reason, being, perhaps, protective of a local industry which is inefficient. Other example from the past were to punish, such as tariffs on Portuguese port and American tobacco. But even then, the trade was not forbidden. Smuggling took place because the profits were high.
I dare say that ‘Prohibition’ in the USA was described as ‘a great success’ in the early days. I suppose that teetotal Zealots would have ‘spread the good news far and wide, that State X has now imposed ‘Prohibition’ and State Y has laws passing through the Legislature, and that newspapers would have printed stories about how ex-drinkers were now free from disease and very, very happy. But it still collapsed in a heap.
Why did it collapse in a heap?
I think that the main reason was that ‘outlaws’ took over the supply. I use the word ‘outlaws’ for a reason. How many of us oldsters, when watching the old films about the war between the good guys and the bad guys had a sneaking admiration for the bad guys? Does any reader remember the Elliot Ness TV programmes? The programmes were only films, but they portrayed the ‘hero’, Elliot, as a almost holy in his determination to defeat the badies who were brewing ale and distilling liquor. Elliot was a one dimension character, whereas the badies were multi-dimension characters. They had fear and hope and excitement and risk in their lives, whereas Elliot was utterly dour.
‘The victors write the history’ is a well-known phase. I think that we are seeing the reversal. ‘The defeated are writing the history before it has happened’. That is called ‘Propaganda’. It reminds me of ‘Comical Ali’, who claimed that the Americans were being routed when there were American tanks in the street outside his office window in Iraq
. You cannot help but admire how well he had organised his escape route, since he quietly made his way to Saudi Arabia or somewhere. I wonder if his talents are being used in Saudi Arabia? Perhaps he has reinvented himself as a ‘marketing expert’.
The Zealots are trying to outlaw pleasure. They will never succeed. Even if they succeeded in outlawing tobacco, something else would take its place. That is the utter stupidity of the FCTC. A fairly innocuous pleasure, like smoking tobacco, especially the modern varieties which contain hardly any tar, will be replaced by other pleasures. Who knows what those pleasures might be? There’s the rub. No one will investigate because all the available money is being spent upon tobacco, and no one who holds the purse strings really gives a shit about anything else.
“Tobacco Control delendum est” – “Tobacco Control must be destroyed”. It is a totalitarian, ‘one size fits all’ thing. It is consuming masses of resources. It is self-defeating and contradictory. Humans are not animals, which act on instinct. Humans can think. The Thinking is not always correct, but it is better than just acting on instinct. Despite all the words in the FCTC, the fact is that it is an emotional, animalistic, instinctive diatribe. The wording might appear to be rational, but underlying theme is irrational since it seeks to determine emotional pleasure. For be in no doubt that pleasure is emotional. A physicist may gain pleasure from making a discovery, but that pleasure does not come from the discovery itself. It comes from inside that person. It is emotion.
There are people who should be ‘Saints’, and perhaps they are. One such is Michael Faraday. He did not seek fame and, indeed, refused all honours. He was the one who discovered that a changing magnetic field induced an electric current. That discovery is the basis of our electricity supply. Power stations have huge machines which rotate magnets around wires to induce an electric current along those wires.
We have to hold our politicians to account. For example, why is it that a tiny few Lords, who have no power, are the ones to dispute Article 20 of the TPD? Why are not ALL MPs up in arms about it? Have ALL our MPs been bought, or are they utterly obedient? What is the matter with them?
It is quite simple. Refuse to implement the TPD as regards ecigs. There is no reason to mess about. Just refuse. And flagellate Soubry MP to some extent, but, more importantly, flagellate her advisor, Andrew Black. He should be imprisoned for deceiving an Minister. Weird, is it not, that a person can mislead a Minister and be promoted. It could only happen in politics. Weird, in it not also, that the Minister herself, who did not investigate the matter herself, was promoted.
None of it makes any sense at all. We use to have an Admiral in charge of a fleet. Now we have ten admirals without a fleet.
The waste of resources is directly due to excessive government (with a small ‘g’). A decimation of government jobs is long overdue, especially those jobs which are negative.
I wish that I had the knowledge and skill to identify those ‘negative’ jobs. Perhaps someone like Chris Snowdon could do so. As far as I am concerned, the whole of Tobacco Control is negative. TC has never offered an alternative. It is, and always has been ‘Prohibitive’.
It is worth remembering that all pleasure in emotional. When astronomers gaze into the sky at night and find a new galaxy, their joy comes from their emotions. Otherwise,the new galaxy would be just number X in the count of galaxies.
Curiosity is emotional. Even animals display curiosity. Our cat often wants to go into the dark garage to see what is in there. That is curiosity. It could be described in the simplest of terms as ‘What?’ “What is in the garage?” The important word there is “What?”
I said that I would roam around, and I have done so. It is important to do so since Tobacco Control wants to reduce humanity to obedience to the FCTC. I wonder what would happen if Cameron said, “FUCK THE FCTC. WE SHALL DO AS WE WISH IN ENGLAND”.
We need a new entity, which is England. The Scottish people, the Welsh people, the Northern Irish people can come along for the ride if they wish to or not.
Gosh! The absolutely worst people in the world to control the world are academics. Why? Because they claim authority without personal responsibility.