Local Authority Activism

I know little about how ‘Health’ has been transferred to Local Authorities. I remember a big fuss a few years ago when our Authority was being peppered with anti-smoking reports. God only know how much it was costing. The reports were the usual conglomeration of second hand evidence, charts, guesses and propaganda. Nothing of value in them.

Then they suddenly dried up completely. Perhaps a few councillors asked why ratepayers were paying people to regurgitate the same information over and over again, being that the heaviest smokers tend to be the least well off, and stuff like that.

But the Terrorists are back in a big way in the Mayor’s Office in Manchester, Andrew Burnham. He used to be an MP. Here is a little about him:

He was MP for Leigh. Let’s start with the most obvious one. Andy Burnham was elected to the Labour safe seat of Leigh back in 2001. He is a former Cabinet minister, having served as Health Secretary, Culture Secretary, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury.”

Clearly, he still has the urge to terrorise smokers, which he learnt as Health Sec, since he is misusing his power as Gtr Manchester Mayor to spend loads-a-money on TV adverts calling for ‘The People’ to ‘make smoking history’ in the Manchester area. Clearly, the ads are intended to inflame the passions of the mob. But its the same old, same old, isn’t it? Another regurgitation of yesterday’s news. More and more ‘surveys’ are coming up with the the answer: “For God’s sake! Sod off and leave people alone!”

And it can only get more so. The Terrorists in TobCON can congratulate each other and bask in the admiration of each other at their jamborees, but the wider the Zealots cast their nets, the more people they antagonise, and the less impressive that their statistics become. It seems to me that people are more impressed by statistics the less that the stats apply to them. For example, I read somewhere that a GP would have to be ‘lucky’ to see one case of lung cancer per year. I picked this up via a quick google:

According to the latest available cancer registration statistics, during 2011 there were 43,463 new cases of lung cancer in the UK, an incidence rate of 48.5 per 100,000 persons. This is similar to the rate of new diagnoses estimated from GP statistics for recent years. However, GP statistics may underestimate the true …”


That number accords, roughly, with the number of GPs in the UK, so ‘one per an’ sounds about right (30-odd thousand GPs – let’s not split hairs). So imagine all those patients in the waiting room, coughing and sputtering and claiming to be nearly dead, and singling out the LC case. No wonder the first question they ask is, “Do you smoke?” If the answer is, “No”, then, according to the irresponsible Zealots, the GP can laughingly send the patient on his way with a pricey prescription for a placebo.

But what if the patient smokes? Well, not a lot. The chance of that person suffering from LC is still minute. But by asking the question, the GP covers himself. Just asking the question removes any liability from the GP, should it turn out at a later date, that the patient was indeed suffering from LC. A couple more questions – coughing blood? No, difficulty breathing? No, and a quick chest examination, will almost certainly indicate that the patient just has a cold.

As I understand it, the symptoms of LC are quite dissimilar to having a cold. For lack of a better way to describe it, they are mostly ‘dry’.

Hardly anyone dies from LC, and yet SHS has been elevated to a higher plane of danger than smoking itself. The USA Surgeon General, at one point, claimed that SHS could cause a person to have a heart attack in the street and drop down dead. But, one might assume, smoking would not.

As the contradictions pile up, and the stats are seen to be indicate correlation and not causation, and statisticians dig deeper, and such people cease to need TobCON or the UN/WHO to make a living, the more likely it is that breathing polluted air with every breath that you take is far, far more dangerous than puffs on a cig every few seconds for a few minutes in the hour. If the air is polluted, you inhale the toxins every second of 24 hours per day.

The big problem that Local Authorities have is that they are individual entities. I wonder if Cameron realised how clever he was when he dispersed decisions about ‘Public Health’ throughout the Local Authorities? I doubt it, but it was a wonderful idea.

‘Special interest groups’ change their nature. It is far easier for smokers, drinkers and fatties to become ‘special interest groups’ locally, and replace ‘anti-smoker’ special interest groups, than is the case nationally.

There is only ONE major difficulty, which is ‘getting interested’. That is an ENORMOUS problem. ENORMOUS. If only one in ten smokers in the UK became ‘active’ in defence of their freedom, then some 1,000,000 smokers would be activists.

Being an ‘activist’ would not mean shouting and screaming and banner waving. Those actions are for millennials and snowflakes. They show weakness.

I am not sure how to start to become politically active. I do not wish to be Tory, Labour, UKIP, Lib Dem, etc.

Where to start? How about attending a few public meetings of the Council? It would not be a problem but would be a serious break from my normal routine. I mean a serious break. I think that it is a serious problem that the vast majority of people are working and cannot possibly attend meetings of the Council. The local press is supposed to represent them and report on what happened.

I really, really must try to attend at least ONE such meeting. But I vaguely recall attending a similar meeting decades ago, but I cannot remember what. The whole thing was over in ten minutes or so. Agenda 1, All in favour? 20. All against? 10. Motion passed. Agenda 2…..

Either people give every moment of their time to The Agenda, or they do not know what is going on.


2 Responses to “Local Authority Activism”

  1. Samuel Handley Says:

    “They” had to make up “second hand smoking” (and “third hand smoking”). For one, the number of smokers was declining almost as quickly as the number of men who wore fedoras…. So the number of “victims” would, necessarily, shrink so much they wouldn’t have relevancy or jobs. For another, the number of people being treated for or dying from “smoking related diseases” was going up while the number of smokers was going down. Even way back in the sixties there were more people dying from lung cancer who didn’t smoke than among smokers. Other than money… and the sheer pleasure of pushing people around… the anti-tobacco vigilantes needed a means (SHS, THS) by which tobacco could still be to blame for all these injuries – even without a shred of proof.

    • junican Says:

      Yes, the planning was impeccable. The screw was tightened little by little in the full knowledge that the only serious opposition, Tobcoms, had been distracted by the direct attacks upon them. I doubt that Tobcoms ever saw that their billions of customers were their biggest asset. They ignored them and went for political influence.

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