Via a link at Dick Puddlecote’s place, I got to read the transcript of the House of Lords debate prompted by Lord Callanan’s ‘motion of regret’. You can read the transcript here:
To avoid confusion, Lord Callanan proposed a motion of ‘regret’ that the Government was implementing the TPD with the ecig regs included, and called upon the Government to withdraw them. Lord Hunt then proposed an amendment which dropped the words calling for the Gov to remove the words calling for the Gov to remove them and substitute words and phrases which regretted several other things, but did not call for the removal of the ecig regulations.
Now, I’m not quite sure what happened next! According to the transcript, Lord Hunt’s amendment failed. The vote was 91 Noes and 57 Ayes, which suggests that Callanan’s motion was carried (when amendment(s) fail, there is no need to vote on the motion. It is taken as carried. Someone could have tabled an amendment saying, “This house is satisfied with the regulations as they stand”, but no one did).
But then Callanan said something very odd:
“Given….. the indications from many of the members of this House that they will not support the remainder of my Motion, I beg leave to withdraw it”.
What was the remainder of his Motion?
OK. I think that I see what happened. There were other amendments/motions! Baroness Walmsley said, “Given that all these regret Motions are non-fatal, I do not intend to vote on mine, although if the noble Lord, Lord Callanan, votes on his, my colleagues and I will vote against it”.
It was after the first vote, which defeated the amendment, that Callanan could see in what direction things were going. It is all a bit crazy. Callanan voted FOR the amendment! He would have been happy to have his call for the removal of the ecig regs to fail since the only way to do that would be to withdraw THE WHOLE of the regs. He would have been happy had ‘the regrets’ won. It was Conservatives, who voted against the amendment, and Labour peers who voted for. So it looks very much as if the voting was along party lines. Labour tried to embarrass the Government and Tories defended it. So the voting had bugger all to do with the regulations and was entirely tribal. You can see the voting here:
It seems clear that Callanan withdrew because his own party, the majority of peers attending, did not want the boat to be rocked.
Be that as it may. At least attention had been drawn to the idiocy of the TPD as regards ecigs and all other ‘harm reduction’ products. But, as I read the speeches, I became more and more saddened to the pit of my stomach. It seemed clear to me that, if a Bill was proposed which prohibited tobacco products completely, it would pass easily both in the Commons and in the Lords. Again and again, smokING was condemned without a moment’s thought for smokERS. And yet, again and again, the persecution of smokERS, via bans and taxes, was praised to the skies, because persecution works to reduce smokING. Even Callanan declared how happy he was with the rest of the directive.
We smokers can only carry on trying to defend our right to enjoy tobacco. According to the Health Zealots, we are stupid, and they may be right. But we have a right to be stupid if we wish. Punishing stupid people cannot be justified, merely because the are stupid. Further, it has been shown statistically that non-smokers cost the taxpayer, and the NHS in particular, more than smokers do. Is it not obvious? Smoking prevalence has been declining for decades, and yet demand for NHS treatments has been soaring, year after year. The implication of that is that, if no one smoked, illnesses would increase exponentially.
It seems as though Government cannot think outside a specific algorithm. That algorithm reads: “Smoking causes illnesses. If people stopped smoking, there would be less illnesses” The illogical nature of that statement eludes them. The logic depends upon the idea that ONLY smoking causes the illnesses. It does not allow for a combination of factors. There would not be less illnesses. At best, some illnesses would deferred to a later time in life. But there would not be less illnesses. In fact, it might well be that there would be more illnesses, but at a later time.
I just cannot help but think that Government should be neutral. That would solve a lot of problems and cut costs. ASH would not exist, other than as a prohibitionist idea. It would not be able to pretend that it is ‘an expert’. ASH is the voice of a few people at the top the BMA and the RSP. I don’t think that Public Health England champions ASH. PHE has its own propagandists.
But do you not think, dear reader, that the whole situation is incredibly sad? There is an organisation called the ‘United Nations’ which should be working to raise living standards in the poorest parts of the world, but is, instead, trying to diminish living standards in the healthy, wealthy West in order to ‘balance things out’. The means of that ‘equalising’ is the transfer of money from wealthy to the poor. It will not work, and never has done. What needs to be done is to increase productivity in the poor countries, and you would think that the UN would be in forefront of such an objective. Instead, it is doing the opposite. It is promoting poverty via climate control.
Where will it end? Climate Control and Tobacco Control are forms of morality. It is ‘wicked’ to enjoy tobacco and it is ‘wicked’ to burn coal.
It will end when the UN is put back in its place. It has no AUTHORITY whatsoever. There was never any need for UN authorisation of the Iraq war. The USA decided to get rid of Saddam Hussein, and the UK agreed and participated. No UN permission was involved. WAR is uncontrollable and obeys no laws. The whole Chilcot Enquiry was a complete waste of money, since it was focused on ‘permission’. What was missing, in the Iraq situation, was ‘A Declaration of War’. That is the problem. There was never a WAR. Should there have been such a declaration? If not, then the attack on Iraq was not a WAR. It was an opportunist intervention on a grand scale. But that does not mean that it was ‘illegal’ or any such euphemism for ‘naughty’.
So, in the event, what control had the UN over the USA? It had none at all. So why should it have authority to control smaller States? It does not, but it provides cover for the USA to exercise control.
What can those smaller States do? They can ignore the imprecations. They are too small to make a difference.
And that is what has been happening in the EU. But everything has now changed, and the politicians and apparatchiks are worried.
All the negotiations with the EU over Brexit must be in public. No secrets.