Election Night and Sundries

It is 1 am. Herself is not in the least interested in the GE. She prefers crime. So, for the time being, I am going to see what is going on via my computer. I shall now turn to the BBC:


It is quite amusing that I can write this and listen to the BBC live election broadcast at the same time. Of course, I shall flit between the two.

A statement has just been made that Nick Clegg might have lost his seat.

So let’s talk about something else for the time being.


Readers will know that I grow backy plants as a hobby. I could grow hundreds if I turned most of my garden over to it, but I satisfy myself with only using a small portion. I can grow about 60 plants, which is nothing. It is like expecting one apple tree to provide all your fruit requirements for a whole year. Perhaps it might, but it might also be woefully short.

Cutting a long story short, I decided to measure the ‘rate of growth’ of the leaves. The weird thing is that the plants seem to grow in spurts. So, yesterday, I measured the width of one of the biggest leaves. It was not easy because the wind was blowing the leaves about. I marked the edges of the leaves where I was measuring so that I could measure the same width the next day.

My first measurement was six and a quarter inches, batted about by wind. I had expected a growth over 24 hours of some 4/16ths of an inch. My second measurement showed, on a calmer day, was six and a quarter of an inch plus 1/16th of an inch.


UKIP is dropping support to Labour. How weird is that? Aren’t Kippers supposed to be ex-Tories? But WAIT! UKIP dropped their support for smokers in their manifesto. 10,000,000 smokers therefore dropped their support for UKIP. Bye, bye, UKIP. The implication is that many UKIP supporters were NOT Tories, but smokers.

Back to my measurements.

So, my second measurement ‘suggested’ that the width of the leaf had increased by 1/16th”.

Right. Let us translate that into TobCon statistics.

6.25″ yesterday = 40,000,000 adults.

That is, 6 x 16ths = 96. Plus 4 = 100. Thus, yesterday, the leaf width stats indicated a ratio of 400,000 to 1 in terms of 1/16th of an inch. When my measurement of the leaf showed an increase of 1/16th”, that was equivalent of an increase in population of of 400,000.

So, what I am stressing is that a small, uncertain variation of the width of a leaf, ignoring all the other leaves, and ignoring the weather, can be interpreted as a MASSIVE increase in incidents of anything that you like.

The number of incidents of X is meaningless in itself without context. For example, there are some 400,000 births in the UK. The number of cot deaths is some 150. Does it matter, statistically, if the number of cot deaths either increased or decreased by, say, 10?


The election is turning out to be much more volatile than was thought. BUT the early results have always been very volatile. In the EU referendum, swings were going up and down like yo-yos. It took many hours for the slower counts to reveal the massive antagonism to the EU.

There is a lot to play for.

Nick Clegg has been defeated. In a couple of years, he will become an Earl, or something.

So it is easy to see how tiny variations, 1/16th” out of 6.25″, can be exploded into disaster. Given an adult population of 40,000,000, a figure that cannot be imagined, an increase of 400,000, a figure which can be imagined, sounds enormous.

And that is what TC has been doing for years and years – exaggerating tiny differences. Even apparently decent people like Michael Siegel have been guilt of such exaggerating via numbers. He says that 400,000 people in the USA are killed by smoking annually. The population of the USA is 300,000,000, and every person who dies is replaced by a child. The 400,000 is equivalent of my 1/16th” as a portion of 6.25″. It is well within the margin of statistical uncertainty.

So all the statements from The Zealots are VISIBLY wildly exaggerating the adverse effects of the enjoyment of tobacco.

And that worries me enormously because there is no end to such exaggeration. 1/16th” as  a proportion if 6.25″ is 0.6% or thereabouts. Statistically, it is neither here nor there. It does not matter one way or the other if that 0.6% gets a bit bigger or a bit less.

Our objective as individuals is to put an end to the treatment of us as a mass of dumb beasts. That is how the smoking ban treated us. We are individuals and we have our rights, the most important of which is independence. The horror of the Smoking Ban was the precedent of the use of FORCE against 25% of the population, and the even greater use of FORCE against publicans. They were FORCED to hate their best customers.

Final interruption:

Unless things change, as they did in the Brexit vote, it is likely that the Tories have not got the majority that they expected.

You really have to laugh.

I suspect that the dummies, including May, did not see that threatening the people who have loved and brought up their children to be honourable, with loss of their inheritance, is about the worst possible thing that you could do. Absolutely the worst. It is hard to imagine anything more likely to persuade voters not to turn out.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid policy, and, as seems likely from the results of the election so far, elderly voters MUST have voted against such a policy by staying away and not voting.

But perhaps a very close result is a good thing. Perhaps Brexit will proceed with some caution on all sides.

Anyway, I have had enough. I must to bed.




10 Responses to “Election Night and Sundries”

  1. elenamitchell Says:

    My life has been all about saving for my children’s inheritance for many a long year. I had no idea that so many people felt the same as I do
    Not that it matters all that much in France as children inherit absolutely. No child can be cut out of a Will by a vengeful parent.

    However, children in France are expected to care for elderly parents, due to getting all of their money when they die. This could be seen as a Dementia Tax. But they don’t actually have to pay until the parents are dead. So at least children can rent out their parents property and earn some money from it, while Capital Investment goes on earning interest in the meantime.
    This all sounds very fair to me.

    • junican Says:

      Well, no. The house you live in does not produce income. If you have bought it, and paid off the mortgage over many years, i becomes something like a lump of gold. If my house was a lump of gold, I could simply hand it to daughters and tell them to sell it and split the proceeds equally between them. The PTB (Powers That Be) have already had their slice of the income which enabled one to pay for the house. They can have every penny of my income, but not my possessions.
      I understand the French system. The same applies in the UK. The children of people look after their parents. They always have. Only in exceptional circumstance, such as severe disabilities, have children had to call upon the Social Services to assist.
      Again, we see vast exaggeration of of the problem, just as with TC.

  2. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Junican, thank you for the “As It Happens!” election update and thoughts! Haven’t checked it anywhere else at the moment (I’m in a strange sleep cycle where I’ve awakened at 6:30 in the MORNING!
    Weird, eh?) but wanted to comment on this:

    “UKIP is dropping support to Labour. How weird is that? Aren’t Kippers supposed to be ex-Tories? But WAIT! UKIP dropped their support for smokers in their manifesto. 10,000,000 smokers therefore dropped their support for UKIP. Bye, bye, UKIP. The implication is that many UKIP supporters were NOT Tories, but smokers.”

    Hopefully that trend continued through the night and hopefully UKIP and the other parties will see “The Power Of The Smoke Vote.” (Or “The Power Of The Stay Outta Our Friggin’ Lives!” vote.) Unfortunately my guess is that it’s likely that half or more of the smoking UKIP supporters either:

    A) missed the news or significance of the change in UKIP’s position, or

    B) figured “Hey, UKIP is probly still our best bet.”

    In the case of (A), I wonder what would have happened if UKIP had done the reverse. I.E. instead of backing down on the edge by supporting the possibility of special rooms with likely annoying restrictions and costs etc, what if they had come out full force and said “We don’t support extensive and intrusive government interference meant to manipulate people’s lifestyles to conform with what we, The Government, believe is the desirable way to live your lives!” — with a return to individual choice for dealing with smoking restrictions in pubs etc.? THAT would have been a headline situation that 90%+ of smokers would likely have heard.

    In the case of (B), it’s just sad. Probably a lot of smokers and their supporters who were attracted to UKIP due to the images of Nigel enjoying a beer and a smoke simply figured, “Well, they STILL support us even if they had to back down on a minor point, and they’re probly STILL better than the other guys for us.”

    We’ll have to see how the analyses go after the election, particularly if UKIP did indeed get hurt.


    As for your baccy plant statistics: yep, the number games played by the Antis have always been one of their mainstays. I remember them screaming about how colleges needed to ban outdoor smoking because “Smoking is banned on OVER FIVE HUNDRED CAMPUSES around the US!” — without ever a mention that there were about five THOUSAND campuses where it was NOT banned. Some of the Antis’ messages back at that time even began hinting that colleges shouldn’t be “left behind in the dust” in implementing bans, and, of course, threatened them with subtle hints that “When parents find out you’re encouraging their children to take up a deadly habit by making it convenient for them to share drugs they’ll look elsewhere for their children’s futures.”

    And of course, in their new “sheep’s clothing” they’re continuing the game with Vapers as the target nowadays.


  3. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    So it seems UKIP lost more than half its voting support after it dumped its support for smokers people’s freedom to run their own lives and businesses and families.

    We should all work to repeat that message in every venue and every message board discussing elections out there. And you Brit folks ought to do your best to get nice, short, to-the-point letters to the editors published in your newspapers with that point being made clear as well.

    – UM, who realizes he’s poking his nose a bit across the Atlantic

    • junican Says:

      Nothing wrong with your comments at all – you are not ‘poking your nose in’.
      What has been happening with Brexit etc has put TobCon on the backburner. ASH ET AL are screaming to have their lates ‘tobacco control plan’ enacted by Gov. They have nothing extra to do until their plan is revealed and acted upon. I think that any political party, approached by ASH ET AL, to implement whatever, will tell them to sod off. Which, in itself, suggests that all the hysteria about smoking has been merely the consequence of affluence.

  4. garyk30 Says:

    He says that 400,000 people in the USA are killed by smoking annually.

    That is to say, 400,000 smokers die annually.
    But, they never say whether this is good, bad, or no big deal.
    They would have us presume that it is an outlandish number, I guess.

    But, there are 2,400,000 deaths per year in the USA and that is 17% of the total.

    Smokers,current and ex, are 91 million of the 320 million people in the country and that is 28%.

    One would expect smokers to account for 28% of the total deaths and that would be 672,000, not the 400,000 they claim.

    After all,if an ever smoker dies, it must have been caused by smoking.

    • junican Says:

      When I wrote that about exaggerating consequences, I was mindful of your oft repeated assertion that… “93%, or whatever, of smokers DO NOT die from X disease, as compared with 95% of non-smokers who DO NOT die from X disease”.
      The numbers are not real numbers. They are propaganda numbers.

  5. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “After all,if an ever smoker dies, it must have been caused by smoking.”

    Heh, add a word to the first half for proper meter, and I think we have a song in the making Gary!

    If an ever smoker
    ever dies
    It must have been caused
    by smoking!

    That could be the chorus, now we just need stanzas!
    (and a sexy gal, with either a very sad or very chirpy voice to do the vocals!)


  6. Smoking Lamp Says:

    So it looks like abandoning smokers was a really poor strategy for UKIP. Maybe they (or another alternative) will now recognize the untapped support smokers bring to the political process?

    • junican Says:

      True. What on earth, or, better, who on earth, caused UKIP to become terrified of supporting smokers? For ‘terror’ is the correct word. The only reason to abandon smokers was fear.

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