This is just a thought. It may not go anywhere.
A couple of posts ago, I talked about the phrase, “We can make a difference!” which tobacco controllers use frequently. I said that those people really mean, “We can win!”
Suppose that the England manager, just before a match against Germany, or whoever, assembled his team and gave them a pep talk. The team has been together for a few days and practised various scenarios, discussed weaknesses in the opposition and assigned jobs. The final word is with the Manager. He does not say, “We can and will BEAT THE BASTARDS!” He says, “We can make a difference”.
So, rather than say, “We can destroy the tobacco industry, and will use whatever means we can to do so, regardless of jobs and unhappiness”, they say, “We can make a difference”.
The trouble with such euphemisms is that they disguise reality.
Towards the end of WW2, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. Those bombs killed thousands and thousands of people, fathers, mothers, children, without distinction. Those people were not soldiers. Not for a minute am I judging the USA – believe me. I am not. Japan had to be forced to surrender, come what may.
And yet……….. Suppose that the USA had dropped those bombs on uninhabited islands around Japan? There are lots of little islands around Japan. Would not the point have been made? The invincibility of the USA? It is interesting that not one atomic bomb has been used since 1945. Perhaps the horror of such conflagration sunk in only after the the conflagration. No one involved in the dropping of those bombs has been brought before any sort of Nuremberg court and hanged. The victors write the history.
A couple of posts ago, I commented upon ‘may, might, related, suggest, imply, etc’. None of those words have any certainty. Taking a simple example, suppose that the weather forecast says that there is a 50% chance that it might rain tomorrow, or not. Therefore there is a 50/50 chance that it might rain somewhere in the UK. Thus, if a drop of rain falls anywhere in the UK, the forecast is justified. Either a drop of rain will fall somewhere, or it will not. That is 50/50, is it not?
And that is how the met office get away with bad forecasts. Also, the forecasters never apologise for their mistakes.
Forecasters make mistakes, as we have seen big-time with the last General Election, Brexit and the USA Presidential Election. But they never apologise. To me, that seems to indicate that they are just playing games. Anyone in politics who does not apologise for mistakes, or at least explain how he came to make a mistake, is a charlatan.
The whole administration of the UN, WHO, FCTC, IPCC, ETC, is corrupt beyond imagining. And the corruption depends upon getting away with euphemisms. Increasing taxes upon cigs is portrayed as ‘persuasion’ when the correct word is ‘persecution’. Smoking bans are described as ‘health promoting’ when the reality is that they destroy businesses and make not one iota of difference to health. Where are the studies about how much ‘healthier’ the population is due to smoking bans?
That is part of the problem – there is no language which can describe such things, even if there was an improvement in ‘general health’. TC is a subsidiary of the WHO – it does not have the language to describe ‘good health’. According to the WHO, everyone is ill.
I hope that Trump and May get together in the short term. Between them, ‘they could make a difference’. Just a few Countries provide the majority of the funds for the WHO etc. The USA is one, as is the UK, and several other first world countries. Most of the third world countries fail to pay their dues. Who can blame them? Why should they pay for their indigenous economies to be taken over by ‘Big Business’?
Over decades, a new language has emerged. ‘War’ is now described as ‘Correction’; ‘bombs’ are described as ‘ordinance’. I have no doubt at all that the ‘Conference of The Parties’ to the FCTC consists of nothing more, in real terms, than “we can make a difference”.
The reality is that the people whom we elect are the people who make laws. We do not elect the EU. No one should vote to elect the EU Parliament’s useless tax-gobblers so that it fades away.
Language has to become more robust and accurate. I hope that Trump, May, Putin, etc, can get together and, collectively, describe reality.
But, most of all, I hope that Trump will stop subsidising the UN. It has become a leach attached to the ‘body politic’.
So we wait and see if Trump et al will start to talk in the language that we understand. I hope that he and his advisers do that.