“Constant, Gentle Pressure”

Until about seven years ago, I used to play lots of golf. I played in the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday competitions. I was retired and could do so at my will. That was until the wife’s Multiple Sclerosis struck hard. Not that it became really awful – just that there came a point, suddenly, where she could not get out of bed on her own. She simply could not do it. Her legs would not work to support her. But, at the same time, I was getting a bit old, around 70. Not that I could not do 18 holes with ease. I could. It was the motivation which was failing. The crux came in October seven years or so ago. It was October. It was cold and wet, and I had just hit two balls into the rough over a hill on the second hole. To make things worse, I had not noted which was my first ball and which was my second. Thus, even if I found one of the balls, I did not know which it was. And I said to myself, “You are 70 years old. What the fuck are you doing here in the cold and rain? Are you mad?” And so I told the group that I played with that I would take a rest over the winter.

Apart from a couple of traipses around the course the following year, I never went back. Further, I did not give a shit whether I holed a putt or not. For two years thereafter, I continued to pay my subscriptions of around £500 per an, even though I had no intention of using the club or the course.

In a way, it is very sad. Perhaps I should have continued to attend the dinners etc, but there was a disincentive, being the drink-and-drive laws.

It really is weird. For some reason that I cannot recognise, I decided to cut out lots and lots and lots of good friends. Perhaps it was because, the last time that I went to the club, there being only perhaps six people in there, if that, I had forgotten my cig lighter. I asked the barman if he had a lighter, which he had. But he would not allow me to light my cig inside the club and then take it outside to smoke. I had to take the lighter outside, light my cig, put the cig on the ground, go back inside and give him his lighter back, and then go back outside, pick up my cig from the ground and carry on enjoying myself.

It is hard to describe the mental horrors of such a process. It is like having to strip naked when you go into the doctors reception room, awaiting your appointment time. “All patients are required to strip naked in anticipation of their appointments. Clothes can be brought through into the doctor’s room, provided that they are in approved sanitary bags. Do not worry! No one will notice that you are naked. There is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how fat you are (apart from ‘the obese’) or how small your dick is”. What is horrific is that the bar person did not say, “Of course you can light your cig here. Just go outside to smoke it”.

The question therefore is now we smokers can exert “Constant, gentle pressure” on politicians.

I received a circular from my MP today asking me to re-elect her. Her name is Yasmin Qureshi. She is Labour. My constituency used to be part of Westhoughton constituency until our area was transferred into Farnworth. It is not important to know the geography. Suffice to say that an area which was naturally inclined to be Tory was moved into a Labour stronghold.

Do not misunderstand. I do not regard my vote as ‘wasted’ whichever candidate I choose to vote for. Numbers of votes for each candidate matter, even if the candidate that you vote for does not win.

What I like about Trump is his optimism. “We can make America great again” means optimism about employment and industry. Those are the most important things. Cheap goods from China are fine, but there has to be some ‘quid pro quo’. There have to be benefits for Middle America as well as San Francisco. It seems that Trump has agreed some sort of trade agreement with China that USA cattle will be allowed into China in exchange for something. That is good for the Middle West of the USA – the ‘fly over’ part of the USA. The vast areas of the USA which are ‘cattle country’ – empty and fertile.

The claim that eating red meat cause cancer must be justified because the People of the USA have been eating cattle for hundreds of years. I never cease to be amazed that such claims are not ground down to dust by the obvious fact that Americans generally are not starving and deprived. Yes, some, and maybe plenty of Americans are too fat. But better to be fat than starving.

The really big important thing is that our elected representatives must not be blinded by dogma. If people want to enjoy tobacco, there is no reason that they should not do so. There is no reason to persecute them. Deliberately hiking taxes to force the poorest people to stop smoking is persecution.

It is the persecution of smokers which is most detestable. Even Tory Governments have persecuted smokers. ALL GOVERNMENTS PERSECUTE SMOKERS. And yet smokers are the most affable of people – friendly, relaxed, easy-going, chatty, undemanding.

Everyone who is involved in the defence of smokers, and I include of course FOREST, must understand that smokers have been being persecuted for decades. The massive duty taxes are persecution. That fact is reinforced by ASH’s admission that it has as an objective, to FORCE the poorest people to stop smoking by taxes. They said so in so many words.



6 Responses to ““Constant, Gentle Pressure””

  1. Rose Says:


    I am leaving this here and in other places because you can write a better story than I.

    Today’s news

    Rise in lung adenocarcinoma linked to ‘light’ cigarette use

    “COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new study shows that so-called “light” cigarettes have no health benefits to smokers and have likely contributed to the rise of a certain form of lung cancer that occurs deep in the lungs.

    Results confirm what tobacco-control researchers have suspected for years: There is no health benefit to high-ventilation (light) cigarettes – long marketed by the tobacco industry as a “healthier” option – and these cigarettes have actually have caused more harm. Holes in cigarette filters were introduced 50 years ago and were critical to claims for low-tar cigarettes”

    Apparently they looked at the Industry documents, but they clearly didn’t look in the right place.

    Release Statement 1976

    “Dr. Frank Rauscher, Director of the National Cancer Program,
    Dr. Jonathan E, Roads, Chairman of the National Cancer Advisory Board, the members of the Board and Dr Robert Levy,Director of the National Heart and Lung Institute are calling upon the tobacco industry to adopt newly developed techniques to make cigarettes less hazardous so each year thousands of Americans might escape illness and premature death.”

    “The research conducted by the Smoking and Health Program of the National Cancer Institute and other national and international organizations has identified promising techniques for reducing toxic elements of smoke. These techniques fall into three general categories.

    Changes in Cigarette Construction
    The burning rate and the amount of air mixed with the smoke while the cigarette is being puffed can be altered by the use of cigarette paper of greater porosity, and by providing aerating mouthpieces.

    These methods reduce the amount of tobacco burned during inhalation, and by diluting the smoke recieved by the smoker make it less hazardous.”

    “‘Light’ cigarettes with tiny holes in their filters may have made smokers more vulnerable to the most common form of lung cancer, scientists claim.
    Researchers investigated why rates of adenocarcinoma, a cancer that occurs deep in the lungs, had increased over the last 50 years.

    Ventilation holes, which were introduced 50 years ago, allow smokers to inhale more carcinogens and other harmful toxins, experts believe.
    They also say this form of cigarette, which was marketed as a healthier ‘low tar’ option, changes how tobacco is burned, producing more cancer-causing chemicals.
    This then also allows the smoke to reach the deeper parts of the lung where adenocarcinomas more frequently occur, Ohio State University researchers concluded.

    ‘What is especially concerning is that these holes are still added to virtually all cigarettes that are smoked today.’
    It is now illegal to label cigarette packets with the words ‘light’ or ‘low tar’ both in the US and the UK.
    But the study authors say regulators such as the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) should now take action to ban the use of cigarette filter ventilation holes.”
    http: //www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4529286/Light-cigarettes-make-smokers-prone-lung-cancer.html

    National Cancer Advisory Board Committee Meeting,November 4th 1974

    “Wynder called for voluntary action within three years to reach the current sales weighted average of 18.4 mg. tar and 1.27 mg. nicotine.
    As “further inducement”, he proposed that all cigarettes below 12 mg. tar and 0.8 mg. nicotine could be labeled as “light”.
    Wynder said “the greatest progress both qualitatively and quantitatively, will come through, the managerial process.”
    https: //www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/docs/#id=yjkv0136

    Of course, tobacco companys are always blamed for this, but it’s far from the whole story, possibly because no one would believe that anti-tobacco scientists could get it so wrong.

  2. garyk30 Says:

    I like Trump because he can not be shamed into being politically correct.
    A great deal of TC is about shaming smokers into not being seen or because their smoking is harming the poor defenseless children. How shameful say the nannies.
    I quit golf when I realized that I was practicing, not to get better; but, trying to outdo age and not get worse.
    So, I devote my time to fishing.
    At least,with fishing, I can eat the product of my labors.

    • Michael J. McFadden Says:

      Gary, you’re going to EAT those poor little fishies? What about their FAMILIES??? And all the little fishie kiddies? ::sigh:: You really SHOULD stick to only eating fallen leaves y’know… it’s the kindest thing to do!


    • junican Says:

      In my forays into fishing in the canal, all I ever caught was 6″ long tiddlers of no obvious breed. I suppose that you could call them mongrels.It really is weird. Lots of people used to sit on the canal bank, shrouded in warm clothing, hoping for a catch. Maybe they were bored with their normal lives.

  3. Michael J. McFadden Says:

    Whew! Rose, amazing! They really have NOOOO idea what they’re doing, do they? Sheeesh!

    Thanks for noticing this and putting it all together m’lady!

    – MJM

    • Rose Says:

      What did you make of the NCAB’s view that a “less hazardous cigarette” could only be one with much less real tobacco in it?

      On page 5 they helpfully suggest further dilution of the genuine article by the addition of “cellulose synthetic tobacco extenders, inorganic salts, clays and kaolin” in reconstituted tobacco sheets and suggest that tobacco can be “expanded, puffed or freeze dried so that less of it is required to fill each cigarette”

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