The Growing Schism in the Church of ‘Public Health’

A guy called Matt Hancock, who seems to be the health and social care secretary, has called for people to accept personal responsibility for their own bodily health. There is a report in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/05/people-must-take-responsibility-for-own-health-says-matt-hancock

Needless to say, there is a batch of leaches who criticise him for saying that. Perhaps also needless to say, there is far more to it.

I read also today an article in the Adam Smith Inst:

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/illness-prevention-and-cure

There is one small para in that article which quotes a statement from a BMJ article which was published in 2017 and authored by at least one of the people complaining, one Simon Capewell. The statement is:

The current model of managing multiple, long-term conditions is not best for patients, nor is it sustainable. The barriers to receiving excellent care are well documented and have been covered in various reports” [my emphasis]

What could ‘not sustainable’ mean? Surely, it can only mean ‘will get more and more expensive’.

It would be interesting to know if Hancock’s call for people to take better care of themselves is based upon the ‘unsustainability’ of mounting costs. But the ‘mounting costs’ not only includes the social and NHS costs. It also includes ‘PHE England’ costs, and the mountain of academic costs. Think about it. If unis have courses on ‘Public Health’ costing £X per an per student, then someone has to pay those costs. How much of those costs are paid by government student loans which eventually have to be written off?

Hancock’s statement makes sense, but it can only be acted upon by force and/or persuasion. Huge tobacco taxes are force and most of the propaganda is lies. The fact is that extremists, bullies, witch-hunters (!), leaches, etc, MUST be taken out of the equation. All they do is INCREASE costs.

I can’t remember the name of the NHS hospital which was involved. It discovered that a comparatively small number of individuals were constantly turned up at A & E. It identified them and worked with them to solve their problems. Attendances at A & E fell significantly.

‘Whole population’ approaches do not work, unless they involve punishment. Monstrous tobacco and alcohol taxes and bans are punishment. The taxes might just as well be fines and the bans might just as well be imprisonment, or ‘exile’ to the outdoors. In former times, exile was a form of imprisonment since the exiled person was exiled to a specific island or whatever, which he was not permitted to leave. Galileo was ‘exiled’ to his home and not permitted to meet other people. Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba and then later to the island of St Helena, where he died.

If people are to be held accountable for the own health, then they must accept the consequences of lifestyles, and so must government.  If they sky-dive, they must accept the possibility that their parachute might not open. If they get obese, then they must accept the possibility of early death by heart attacks and diabetes. If smoking does indeed shorten life, then so be it. Gov must accept that and stop punishing people. The best an ONLY way to address obesity is one to one.

It is very hard for national government to accept that, since its whole raison d’etre is to govern the WHOLE population. Our armed forces exist to protect ALL of us. We drive on the left in order to protect ALL of us from chaos on the roads.

A prime example of how NOT to govern is the Dundee Council. It is clearly ‘not fit for purpose’ and government inspectors should be called in to take over for, say, six months until fresh elections could be organised. But there is a Catch 22. The ‘government’ of Scotland is the SNP.

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10 Responses to “The Growing Schism in the Church of ‘Public Health’”

  1. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Dundee council demonstrate what is coming to us in England if we do not resist. Total control of our lives. I hope that the jocks fight this hard.

    • junican Says:

      “If we do not resist” – there lies the problem. The possibility of thousands of smokers holding a rally in front of the House of Commons is extremely remote. I suppose that there is insufficient ‘passion’ involved in supporting the enjoyment of tobacco, just like there is insufficient passion in the enjoyment of beer. When was there ever a march about the cost of a pint of beer?
      Another way must be found, but, for the life of me, I cannot imagine what that way might be.

  2. Some French bloke Says:

    If people are to be held accountable for the own health, then they must accept the consequences of lifestyles, and so must government.

    Not to mention the *huge* uncertainties surrounding those consequences: there’s next to nothing in the way of established, damning, evidence against most lifestyle choices that are regularly pinpointed as absolute no-nos by the MSM. Outside of hard drugs and extreme sport, what the consequences of strictly individual choices boil down to is, at most, a minor contribution to all of these ‘adverse health outcomes’ the controllers wholly rely upon to scare and subdue the population at large.

    If they sky-dive, they must accept the possibility that…
    Yes, the hazards of ‘extreme sport’ are far better documented than those of supposed excessive eating, smoking, or even drinking (accidents are hard facts, no ambiguity there), and, generally, they kill or maim youngish people, unlike bad diet, alcool abuse, or tobacco use (I’m making the use/abuse distinction because I think there’s practically no way you can ‘abuse’ tobacco, outside of negative propaganda, which, BTW, only abuses the public image of the product!).

    And could not those supposed (at most, minor) contributions to ill-health just turn out to be an essential condition for ‘good health’? Think of the ‘cholesterol peril’ (the erstwhile n° one heart health villain), which we are not supposed to take seriously any more: the debunking even made prime time TV a year ago! As a result, fat intake has been reinstated as a stepping stones of sound nutrition… So, according to the same MSM, who nevertheless still keep on peddling various other health scares (not least the anti-smoking one), the ‘fat intake’ bugbear is now officially a dead parrot (promptly replaced by the ‘carbs’, or some other bugbear)!

    Whether we describe ourselves as anti-anti-smoker or pro-smoker (and I’d describe myself as both), we’re not relying on confidential or otherwise dubious sources to make our point, but on official morbidity/mortality data about the past 70 years, and this official data clearly shows that tobacco smoking had nothing to do with LC trends in that period. And since that LC-to-smoking claim is the stock-in-trade of the antismoker witch hunters, with its oh-so-impressive relative risk, all of their other claims and rash assumptions about smoking causing all manners of other diseases and conditions automatically become highly moot.

    Let’s do our utmost to turn our objections into a mainstream issue. This should not be at all impossible, considering the recent fall from grace of the n° one official heart risk! In the meantime, let us drink and smoke as usual, though, considering taxes and bans, ‘as usual’ cannot possibly mean ‘as if nothing had happened’.

    • junican Says:

      I fully agree, SFB. It is a pity that tobacco plants do not grow wild prolifically in our climate. I wonder if tobacco taxes are related to the difficulty/ease of growing and curing the leaves? Imagine what would happen if tobacco plants grew like blackberry bushes in hedgerows (without the thorns, of course)! Imagine that curing simply needed the leaves to be kept warm for a few days, once they matured. No wonder that the import and distribution of ‘tobacco products’ is so tightly controlled – it is the only way to sustain the massive taxes. It has bugger all to do with health.

      • Rose Says:

        It is a pity that tobacco plants do not grow wild prolifically in our climate

        Don’t you believe it. Imagine the panic amongst gardeners when Tony Blair banned an indigenous mushroom.

        Magic mushrooms ban becomes law
        2005

        Exceptions will be made for people who unknowingly pick the mushrooms in the wild or find them growing in their garden, and critics have argued the act will be difficult to police.”

        “Now that they’re class A if people are found in possession the ultimate, if unlikely, sanction is seven years in prison and a fine.”
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4691899.stm

        I have no idea what a magic mushroom looks like and had to ask someone who did to check the mushrooms that come up in my lawn. Mercifully, mine were just ordinary.

      • junican Says:

        That is one of those laws which were a knee-jerk reaction at the time. It was never intended to be obeyed. It is now long forgotten.Are the police or any other checking ‘smoking in cars with children present’? Of course not.

  3. Rose Says:

    Epilogue: A Half-Century of
    Medicine in Corporate
    Capitalist Society

    BLAMING THE VICTIM: NEW PROMINENCE
    FOR AN OLD IDEOLOGY

    “The cost of sloth, gluttony, alcoholic intemperance, reckless driving, sexual frenzy, and smoking have now become a national, not an individual, responsibility, all justified as individual freedom,” asserts Dr. John Knowles, the influential president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

    But one man’s or woman’s freedom in health is now another man’s shackle in taxes and insurance premiums.” Knowles sternly warns that “the cost of individual irresponsibility in health has become prohibitive”
    https://www.soilandhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/0303critic/030312brown/brown5.htm

    John H. Knowles, Leading Medical Figure, Dies at 52
    MARCH 7, 1979

    “Dr. John H. Knowles, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation for the last seven years and an international medical leader, died yesterday at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His death, at the age of 52, was due to cancer of the pancreas.”

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