Should We Defenders of Freedom Give Up?

I read Frank Davis’s blog every day:

Frank persists and persists and persists. Quite a lot of my favourite ‘smoker sites’ have either gone quiet or post very intermittently. Funnily enough, I had Dr Siegal’s site as a ‘smoker site’; not because he defended smokers (he was a fervent anti-smoking zealot), but because he had at least some empathy with smokers. He stoutly defended THR, especially ecigs. I don’t know what happened to him because he has posted nothing for a couple of months. Perhaps he has ceased to be immortal by virtue of some non-communicable, smoking-related disease. I do not know.

I too have asked myself if there is any point in going on. But I still have in my memory the recollection of a small booklet. I cannot remember what it was about (it may have been about ‘preaching the gospel), but the important thing was ‘keep on keeping on’ in adversity. ‘Keep on keeping on’ regardless of the forces arraigned against you. Another way to put it is ‘fight, fight against the dying of the light’.

For, once principled good people start to dictate, unprincipled people quickly jump on the bandwagon to make money. I am not quite sure what category ex PM Tony Blair falls into. Logically, it must be the first, since, on the face of it, he had nothing to gain personally from starting the smoking bans. It was he who permitted the smoking bans to be introduced. He set the precedent in 2007.

If it was in my power, whenever Blair pronounces in public about Brexit or whatever, I would stand up and ask, “But what decided you to start the persecution of smokers in 2007?”

That question is very, very important because there was no real public demand for such bans at the time. ASH surveys were clearly fraudulent. Why? Because they were surveying the general public, most of whom do not go to pubs. Would the bans produce votes for Labour? Very, very doubtful.

What was missing at the time was the idea that the smoking ban was persecution, not only of smokers but of publicans etc. The ban produced pain and suffering, especially for the owners and staff of pubs which closed down. The owners not only lost their means of earning a living, but also the capital which they had invested.

So we must ‘keep on keeping on’. I sympathise with Pat Nurse, who stopped posting on her blog because she feared ‘repercussions’ on her journalist career. Pat did more physically than most of us by actually parading with placards.

It is important to ‘keep on keeping on’. For example, Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ is the holy bible of TobCON. On the face of it, that study showed that smokers were 15 times more likely to die from LC, as compared with non-smokers. Is that not damning?

Perhaps it is, but to pour cold water on that idea, suppose that only 1 non-smoker dies from LC and 15 smokers die from LC, but those numbers apply to 1 in 10,000 deaths and 15 in 10,000 deaths? Of what importance, in that scenario is smoking? The ratio may be damning, but the incidence is trivial.

I want to go back again to Doll’s Study, but I have not had time. The famous statistician, Fisher, debunked the study, but it is still the holy bible.

I shall ‘keep on keeping on’ because it is the only way, even if no one takes a blind bit of notice.

Freedom is freedom.

13 Responses to “Should We Defenders of Freedom Give Up?”

  1. Samuel Says:

    Frank’s blog is nice…. But I see nowhere to subscribe.

  2. Rose Says:

    Of course you should keep carrying on,Junican, this subject clearly interests you as much as it interests me and as everyone approaches the subject from different angles, we collectively learn more every day.

  3. Frank Davis Says:

    Thanks. And yes: keep on keeping on.

  4. Some French bloke Says:

    I’ve just noticed the graph you published 2 weeks ago (male vs female LC trends 1950-2013 in England and Wales) has disappeared. The .png graphs generated on the WHO cancer mortality database, if put up using their original URL, are set to vanish after a fortnight, and it seems the blogmaster has to import this kind of graphs to wordpress for them to stay embedded on his site (Frank Davis does it all the time).
    Belated readers might be puzzled by its absence, so if you see fit to replace the lapsed one, here is a new, but quite similar, graph generated today:

  5. Smoking Lamp Says:

    Junican, You are right we must keep on keeping on. The persecution of smokers is based on manipulated and exaggerated data. Tobacco control must be destroyed. The only way to expose their corruption and assault on liberty is the expose the persecution and the lies behind it!

  6. elenamitchell Says:

    I keep on because I like doing it. Smoking. Blogging. Take your pick.

  7. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Junican, fully agree about the occasional frustration. The idea that the bar owners couldn’t get it together to save their own skins by acting as a union in refusing to act as vigilante enforcers blew me away. Were the Antis really THAT skilled at brainwashing that the owners actually BELIEVED their bizzes wouldn’t suffer?

    Unfortunately that’s a difficult sort of thing to roll back since losses hit most heavily in the first three years or so and now for the last 8 to 10 years, the surviving pubs, with whatever extra investments they made to change their biz models over to food ‘n kids, have now had those years to look at and tell themselves, “Hey, things got better and we’re doing OK now… so let’s not rock the boat!”

    Of course they’re ignoring what was likely an average of at least a 25% drop in net over the first five years compared to what it WOULD have been… who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars/pounds were lost to that industry overall?

    But, as they say, that’s water under the bridge. They lost the money and we lost (at least for now) the battle.

    So it IS frustrating, and can be tempting to give in to despair when we don’t have a clear battle plan and path to victory in front of us.

    BUT… yes, we need to (and I believe we ARE) “keeping on keeping on” in all sorts of important though disconnected and unplanned/unguided ways. Our bloggers have kept going quite strongly for the most part (with Seigel going largely quiet… my guess is that he’s simply playing catchup with his career at this point after pouring so much of this efforts into fighting the Glantzian cult for so long.)

    FORCES and some of our other sites/activists have been working on forging better relations between vapers and smokers, an effort I’ve been working on as well over on Wiel’s been pushing our point of view in Dutch politics, our Canadian folks are pushing from within their wider groups, and we’ve seen some new voices popping up in Russia, Spain, Eastern Europe, Australia, (and hey, voices out there in ALL the continents at this point I’d say!)

    My own main focus has been Quora, not just with Vaper relations, but mainly in terms of keeping the Antis from turning it into another Wikipedia — i.e. dominated totally by their point of view in phrasing and displaying information. I think several of us working over there have kept that from happening. There are Antis active, but Quora’s stated devotion to polite/rational answers backed up references and data makes it a rough world for them. Their sound bites get challenged and their vague handwaving in the general direction of massive “Reports” and “Cognizant Authorities” doesn’t work well.

    I’d suggest readers here join in at least a bit over there now and then, as I strongly believe it’s a worthwhile communication tool reaching out to a very large and interested audience, and, more than that, it’s a tool that is definitely biased against bullshit and fallacies. I’m there under my full name (Oh, that’s one of Quora’s strong points: they insist on a “real names” policy, and will at least sometimes enforce it to the extent of asking for supportive documentation. It makes life a bit more difficult for the average troll.) and if you sign on, just put my name in the search box, follow me, and drop me a “Message” so I’ll see you’re there and can give you some hints on how the place works.

    OK… to wrap up by curving back to the start: Yes, we’re in a frustrating time where it’s tempting to say “Shit. Screw ’em.” and move on to other things in our lives. We do NOT have any shiningly clear path ahead of us all lit up with flashing “THIS WAY TO VICTORY!” signs. That’s frustrating. But for the moment… “Keep on keeping on!” is indeed a workable approach. Keeping our swords sharp and continuing to keep the Antis from moving as fast and as solidly as they’d like to — those are important things.

    The Antis have plans and think they’re going places, but remember the old joke about how to make God laugh: Tell Him your plans. Unforeseen things pop up in our lives and the world all the time: we need to be ready when some of them pop up and open new paths in our favor!

    – MJM, a realistic optimist…

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