I suppose that it is a well-known fact that ASH in Australia was de-funded a couple of years ago. It had to close down. I wonder why.
Australia has a population of 23 million, but it is a huge country – a continent in its own right. Such a population is tiny for such a huge place, but an awful lot of that place is uninhabitable desert. There is little difference in size between Australia and the USA or China, but the USA has a population of 300 million and China has a billion. Nor is it really a wealthy country. And think of the distances which have to be travelled to get from one major city to another. It stands to reason therefore that national budgets are somewhat squeezed. So why duplicate costs by funding professors and doctors and multiple agencies and ASH as well? I think that the Oz Gov realised that the heaviest smokers were aborigines, and that it would be better to spend money on torturing abos than funding the likes of useless ASH.
For the reality is that there is no need for ASH anywhere. It is in a similar position to the British Legion – all the old soldiers from WW1 are dead, and most of the old soldiers from WW2 are in a similar state. I think that ASH is being kept alive merely because it was created by the Royal College of Physicians around 1970. Arnott, the CEO (why does an organisation consisting of about a dozen staff need a Chief Executive Officer? How many of its staff are Executive Officers?), has no particular skills outside marketing (in a vague sort of way). As far as I can see, she has never been involved in anything which produces value.
But what is critically important is that Public Health England has superseded ASH. Smoking is now not public health enemy number one. Obesity has replaced smoking. And, with the advent of ecigs, heat not burn, etc, ASH has found itself between a rock and a hard place. No matter how it blusters, PHE has pronounced that ecigs are ‘a good thing’. Thus, ASH’S views on ecigs are irrelevant. Big Pharma’s patches and gums are also irrelevant. The idea that ecigs should be banned because they ‘mimic’ smoking is entirely the wrong way round – their advantage is precisely that they mimic smoking. That is why they work for a lot of people.
What has been happening in the recent past is that ASH is no more than a convenient source of quotes for the MSM. PHE has no need for ASH – it has its own publicity department.
A curious idea came into my mind. It is that Plain Packaging might be a good thing for smokers. Once upon a time, I used to drink mild beer, and then I moved to bitter beer, and then I moved to lager. Why? Because my taste changed. Mild was nice tasting but had no bite. Bitter was better. Then bitter became weak to my taste, and so I moved to lager. I suppose that I was addicted and moved from a weaker drug to a stronger one. But No, that was not the reason. It was taste, and taste alone which propelled the changes. So, it is not unlikely that PP will change the perception of tobacco smoking to one of deliberate movements from one product to another in search of a taste. Brands will be irrelevant, just as I moved from the generalisation of ‘mild’ to the generalisation of ‘bitter’, and then to the generalisation of ‘lager’. I drank Carling for a while, and then moved to Fosters. When I go on holiday, I drink whatever local lager is on offer. I am rarely disappointed.
So we can expect, over the course of time, that people will move from one type of smoking to another, without bothering about brands. Hookah, for example, is one alternative. Also, simply by experimentation, people might move to ‘heat not burn’, or they might source supplies of oriental tobacco.
My point is that Tobacco Control, and the lackey politicians, just create bigger and bigger, and more expensive, problems. A few people imported whole tobacco leaf as an agricultural product and sold it on to others who were prepared to render it into snuff, etc. But those processes are not as simple as they seem. TC has a vision of tobacco leaves magically turning into ‘taxable tobacco products’. I suppose that they might see grapes magically turning into wine. But policing the thing becomes more and more expensive and onerous, to no avail. For CRIMINALS will easily circumvent the ill-thought out rules. CRIMINALS will monopolise supply.
And is that not the problem with single issue groups? They cannot see beyond their pet hate. Government is supposed to be able to do that, and to avoid criminalising ordinary people who just want to be self-sufficient as best they can.
One of the most horrific thing, which Government should be implacably opposed to, is the abuse of children by TC. Only a few days ago, TC was bragging about a primary school’s children drawing medical porn pictures for cig packets. I do not believe that it has happened or will happen. It is a typical post-truth ploy.
You would think that Brexit and Trump would get individual politicians to think about their purpose. Sadly, I doubt that that will happen, although there are signs that there is a possibility. For example, Peter Lilley, an MP and a graduate, and a former minister, voiced an opinion that Global Warming forecasts of increasing temperatures over this century are exaggerated. The BBC reported his opinion but added a warning that that his opinion was not in accordance with the ‘scientific consensus’.
Erm… Not an awful long time ago, the ‘scientific consensus’ was that the Sun revolved around the Earth.
‘Consensus’ is not scientific. It is belief. Let’s put it this way. Only a few groups of people are financed to spend their time pondering data from dozens of satellites orbiting the Earth and measuring temps and ice thickness at the poles, and such. It is a comical scenario that the original data upon which global warming was based, was somehow ‘lost’. And then there is ‘hide the decline’. But, somehow, these people continue to enjoy the confidence of Presidents and Prime Ministers.
I can only suggest that there is a very basic premise which runs like this:
Coal and Oil took billions of years to accumulate from vegetation rotting and being compressed as it sank, over time, beneath the immediate surface of the Earth. When we dig it up and burn it, we are stuffing into the atmosphere vast quantities of the carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, which took billions of years to accumulate beneath the surface. We are emitting vast quantities of stuff NOW, in a short period of time, which took billions of years to accumulate.
It is easy to see how Presidents and Prime Ministers can be hooked by such an argument. But it is a false argument. It assumes that the the energy in the coal and oil has ‘a volume’. It does not. Energy does not have a volume. It is rapidity of movement. Thus, the only problem with using coal and oil is the effluent. The release of energy converts into movement and not heat for the most part. That is very important. The energy produced by the fuel of an aircraft is almost all converted into movement of the aircraft, and not heat.
I watched a video of a climate sceptic. He asked the audience to answer a simple question. Given a sealed room measuring 1o’ x 10′ x 10′, how many matches would need to be burnt in that room to approximate the effect of all the emissions of vehicles on the atmosphere in that room for all time? The answer was one. All the emissions from vehicles affects the world’s atmosphere to the same extent as one burned match in a huge room.
Theresa May is one of the political elite. Nothing good can come from her. But Trump is a different and unknown quantity.
Maybe he WILL drain the swamp.