I somehow lost track a little last night. Maybe I was tired and had that one glass too many of the cheap but very pleasant South African Merlot Pinotage red wine. I pilloried Forest rather unfairly. Simon Clarke does a great job in the environment of political blathering, and puts the contrary view. It isn’t Simon’s fault that there is no ‘bite’ in the discussions he has on various radio stations and on TV occasionally. I’ve only once heard a tobacco controller get really, really upset to the extent of becoming hysterical. That was when the controller, in connection with whatever was being discussed said, “OUR children….”, and the guy who was involved in the discussion interjected forcefully, “WHOSE CHILDREN?”, and he kept repeating that question.
The use of the word ‘our’ or ‘we’ is absolutely deliberate beyond doubt. The correct word would be ‘they’, meaning The Government. ‘The Government’ must increase the price of cigs by 25% or whatever. But, inevitably, that is transposed into ‘We’ must increase the price of cigs. It is very easy to be drawn into discussing what ‘WE’ should do. That is a bad error. The first thing which must be decided is, who is ‘WE’?
I read only a few hours ago a comment on some newspaper article where a smoker said, rather jocularly ( hope!), that perhaps tobacco should be banned since he could not see any way that he could stop smoking otherwise. Oddly enough, I understand that sentiment, but only from that individual’s motivation. “I cannot stop smoking, so ban smoking for twenty million people to help me”. What would be that person’s response if you replied in that vein?
My point is that there comes a time when you have to stop being nice. Arnott et al are not at all ‘nice’. They are brutal. “Smokers must be exiled to the outdoors” is not nice – it is brutal, and that is what happened almost ten years ago. It was brutal and not even remotely kind or helpful. It was brutal. And that is why it had to be enforced with such vigour. The huge fines which publicans were threatened with were to force them to police the ban. And yet, at no point in the Act, did it say that publicans must enforce the ban. All the Act said that it was an offence to ‘allow’ smoking. Most people would understand that to mean deliberately flout the law, but that is not how courts (deliberately) interpreted it. It became apparent, after a little while, that ‘allow’ meant ‘not permit’ in the sense of using violence against any transgressor, or, at least, taking their drinks away and banning them. In other words, ‘allow’ seemed to mean actively ignore the law, whereas ‘not permit’ meant actively enforce the law. At a stroke, publicans, and anyone else in the hospitality trade, became Nazi enforcers.
Do I apologise for using the word ‘Nazi’? Absolutely not!! For THE PRINCIPLE is the same. Any citizen can be FORCED to act on behalf of whatever tyrannical group just happens to hold the levers of power.
But then you ask the question: “Are there circumstances where such tyranny is justifiable?”
That is the crux of the matter, and it is central to the whole anti-tobacco hysteria. The Zealots say that tobacco consumption is so harmful that tyrannical measures are justified.
That is why Vapers hold the ‘moral high ground’. Ecigs are so much less ‘dangerous’ than cigs that the need for tyrannical measures has ceased to exist. There is no need for tyranny since people are choosing, of their own accord and at their own expense, to move to ecigs. That is their decision and they have the right to make that decision.
How did the EU get the right to ban snus? That is another example of tyranny being disguised as necessity. So the question arises: “Why do States of the EU take any notice at all whatsoever?” Why do they not encourage snus, regardless of the EU ban, to fulfil the imperative of reducing smoking? Chewing tobacco has no bad statistical history, nor do cigars and pipes.
Is it any wonder that ASH ET AL is in a complete mess? They try to disguise the mess but it is plain to see. COP7 was a disaster in every way possible. It took place in a city shrouded in polluted air; it shrouded itself in secrecy; it was about ecigs which are not tobacco; it failed to condemn ecigs, which was the purpose of the very, very expensive meeting.
But here is the clincher. What did ASH have to say about ‘Heat not Burn’? From:
Today [BBC] went to PMI’s Geneva headquarters to hear about the science behind it and also interviewed ASH’s Deborah Arnott who did her usual moaning about industry but said that if IQOS helps smokers quit that was ‘all well and good’. She made the facile point that if PMI wanted to reduce harm they would stop selling cigarettes.
Arnott’s statement alone betrays confusion; she does not know what to say, and so falls back on tobacco industry evil.
If it is true that smoking tobacco, or any other substance (which the Health Act in the UK also demands to be taxed out of existence) ‘which can be smoked’ is dangerous, then it is bound to be the case that inhaling harmless aerosols will create uncertainty about what is ‘breathable’. ASH ET AL do not want such uncertainty – it does not ‘fit’ into the plan.
But wait! It has nothing to do with ASH. ASH is just a publicity stunt. That is what it is for.
Arnott’s problem is that she has not received her instructions and therefore must waffle. But it is worse. The whole edifice of ‘Tobacco Control’ is top down. The plan to ‘kill’ cigarettes was created decades ago. At that time, (FCTC time) ecigs and HoB did not exist.
Will Arnott receive instructions? It is hard to see who will instruct her.
I shall now move to a new post….