Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Choosing the Battleground

14/11/2018

For far, far too long, TobCON has been in control of the where and how battles are fought. Those of us who object have been forced to skirmish about whether SHS is harmful to non-smokers in pubs and such, when that is not the main matter.

We have seen again and again how TobCON comes charging over the hill with cavalry and an army, waving flags and sounding trumpets. But the reality is that there is no cavalry, no army and no flags. All there is is a huge trumpet. There are just a few trumpet blowers, but they make a hell of a lot of noises, most of which are discords to make you whinge. That is why the trumpets shout ‘epidemic’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘murder’, ‘demons’, etc. The only real difference between now and prohibition 100 years ago is that ‘morality’ has been replaced by ‘health’. Ugly, grim-faced, church-going matriarchs of the American puritanical elite have been replaced by ugly, grim-faced, hypochondriacs and a few doctor-types who profit from them.

The smoking ban was a huge triumph of propaganda over truth. But, essentially, it was a one-off. The reason that it was a one-off was that it was so easy to enforce. ‘Plain packaging’ was also easy to enforce, but has been a dismal failure. Everywhere that TobCON seeks to go these days, such as banning smoking on beaches, becomes harder and harder to enforce. Such ‘laws’ rely entirely upon bullies who have no manners. Remember the big guy who was shouting at a small woman who was smoking in some precinct? Would that a huge boyfriend/husband had turned up!

My opinion is that the blatant theft of smokers’ money is the central injustice of the attack on us. The idea that ‘children’ will be priced out will not wash – children have never be able to afford cigs, unless they were prepared to spend ALL their pocket money on a packet of 10 cigs, or even just 5 cigs.

The problem has been the continuous heaping of taxes on tobacco. That is the critical thing. That is where the battle should be fought. The chancellor, in his recent budget speech, stated baldly that tobacco taxes would rise, as usual, by inflation plus 2%. 2% of what? 2% of inflation? Hardly likely. I forget the detail, but I think that the Treasury has a ‘notional’ price of a packet of cigs. If that ‘notional’ price is, say, £8, then the 2% would be 16p. If inflation was also 2%, then a packet of cigs would cost an extra 32p.

The imposition of such huge tax increases is blatantly intolerable, but politicians clearly have no morals. They refuse to see how iniquitous their actions are. If they have no morals, why should citizens have morals? And that does not only apply to tobacco. It impinges upon everything. Why not shoplift if you can get away with it? Who cares?

The amorality of politicians becomes more and more blatant every day. So, instead of asking yourself whether or not some action, like buying cigs from an un-taxed source, is morally wrong, ask yourself if anyone really gives a shit. Legality is neither here not there. Stick to the ‘rule’ that you can live as you wish, provided that you do not harm others. Not paying exorbitant taxes does not count as ‘harming others’.

Also, you have the right to insult TobCON zealots. Do so mercilessly, and that includes the rest of the puritans. If a high sugar and calorific sweet appears on a restaurant desert menu, then that is a ‘treat’. A one-off. A saw a short debate between a so-called  dietitian and Chris Snowdon today. Her excuse for demanding that such ‘treats’ should be banned was that people are dining out more these days. But she appeared to be absolutely convinced of the morality of her argument. Snowdon was having none of it. A treat is a treat, not often repeated.

So the argument can be changed. It can be changed to the ‘morality’ of ‘one size fits all’, which translates into ‘population-wide’ experiments. The whole of TobCON has been a massive experiment. “IF smoking tobacco causes LC, THEN stopping people from smoking will stop LC”. It is becoming more and more obvious that the initial hypothesis is wrong. During the period of reduced smoking by both sexes, over several decades, male LC has fallen, but female LC has risen. Where are the explanations?

My recent experiences of hospitals, due to my wife’s problems with MS, have suggested that they are ram-jam with very old people. There is nothing wrong with very old people being looked after, but where do you draw the line between ‘curing’ an ailment and keeping a person alive when that ailment cannot be cured? You will not hear politicians venturing an opinion. They avoid such paradoxes like the plague. That is part of the reason that ToCON can get away with ‘whole population’ experiments.

So we should always bring TobCON back to what really matters. That is the deliberate persecution of smokers via taxes. The same will apply to vapers in due course. They too will be subjected to persecution via taxes.

I would vote for a political party which promised to get rid of duties of all kinds, including alcohol and petrol, as well as tobacco. People who do not smoke, do not drink and do not drive should pay their fair share of the costs of civilisation.

‘One size fits all’ works both ways. Everyone has both good habits and bad habits. Let us call out those who chose what are good habits and bad habits, and demand that they justify their opinions. Let us also glorify our own habits.

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WW1 Timeline

13/11/2018

I publish here the political events which led directly to WW1.

http://ww1.canada.com/battlefront/a-chronology-of-the-events-that-led-to-the-start-of-the-first-world-war

It does not tell us WHY disagreements precipitated wholesale slaughter which the world had never seen before. JB from Ireland gave us this summary:

A very small group of influential people provoked WW1. The text says, in effect, that the reason for provoking all out war with Germany was to promote the British Empire as the World Order. Germany was a threat.

The text does not say why Germany should not have been an ally in the promotion of civilised values throughout the world. In fact, it proposes that Germany was antipathetic to the promotion of such values. Why should that be true?

The timescale above shows this:

July 28 [1914]: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

Why did Austria-Hungary do so? What was the reason? It surely could not have been the mere fact that Serbia did not want to hand over the assassin of arch-dook Ferdinand and his wife. But, there again, why did Serbia not just hand him over? What was the point of arguing about it? He was a murderer.

That declaration of war precipitated the obligations of treaties, some of which were secret.

But we are no nearer finding out why the slaughter continued for four years. It was obvious from the beginning that there was a stalemate. The trenches were invincible given the limitations of the weapons of the time.

It was about attrition. If you have 2 million men and your enemy has 1 million, then, one for one, you will finish up with 1 million and your enemy with none. Attrition. You win.

 

The 1918 Armistice

12/11/2018

Perhaps it would be remiss of me to fail to mention the centenary of the end of WW1.

It is an interesting fact, which I found out today, that, at the end of WW1, the war had NOT penetrated Germany territory. I have no idea what prompted Germany to sue for peace, apart from the probability that its resources in men and materials were becoming exhausted. The Americans had joined in but had not really started to deploy their strength. For Germany, it was a hopeless situation.

I have tried again and again to find out what were the specific reasons for that war, and I have failed. In a semi-jocular way, I have said that the reason was ‘that the Royal Families of Europe fell out’. There are worse reasons.

I have also seen it said that the German Generals had their armies ready, whereas the French (and Soviets) were not ready, and so they attacked because war was inevitable anyway.

But WHY did the German Generals think that war was inevitable? It makes no sense that the mere assassination of arch-dook Ferdinand caused death and destruction on such a massive scale.

That is why I  vaguely hold the view ‘that the royal families of Europe fell out’. We must remember that Europe was still ruled, for the most part at that time, by an aristocracy. Armies were aristocratic tools. Generals were aristocrats.

But what did German aristocrats hope to gain by attacking France? Perhaps it was the expectation of gaining territory in the East. Perhaps the German Generals expected an easy victory such as Wellington’s victory at Waterloo (not that that victory was easy).

The point is that four years of slaughter achieved nothing, nor was it intended to achieve anything on ‘the Western Front’. The whole objective was to achieve victory in the East. But everything was complicated by multiple agreements between countries that they would support each other. Thus, Great Britain and France has treaties with countries east of Germany to protect them to a certain extent.

How did those treaties come about? Who knows? I think that you have to go back a couple of decades before WW1 broke out to get to the truth. Not for one moment do I think that WW1 was some sort of ‘accident’. It was not an accumulation of petty insults. It was deliberately engineered.

And that is why historians have a problem when trying to discover the causes of WW1. 99.99% of the people had no idea what was going on. Only 00.01% knew what WW1 was about.

 

The Discomfort of MPs Re the Smoking Ban

11/11/2018

I have seen it many times. People have written to their MPs complaining about the smoking ban and they rarely, if ever, get a ‘genuine’ response. Almost always, they receive a communication couched in ASH ET AL terms. In a comment to my last post, Tom Macauley wrote:

“I wrote to my MP when the smoking ban was implemented and his justification for voting for it was the Helena study.

I also recall that the labour health secretary at the time of the ban also quoted this study as being her reasons for supporting it.”

The Helena Study was as near fraud as you can get. Here are some comments by Kabat on that study:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC420336/

Kabat points out that the number of hospital admissions during the chosen period before the ban, was seven (yes, SEVEN) admissions, and in the same period after the ban, there were FOUR admissions. It appears that, upon that evidence, the smoking ban sailed through. In Kabat’s criticism, there is a chart:

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As you can see most clearly, Helena was atypical. It was an ‘outlier’. Whether the researchers actually cherry-picked that place is unknown. As far as I know, the general trend (the white boxes) were from stats from other places and States before and after bans were introduced.

Was it true that MPs based their decision to ban smoking indoors on the Helena Study? Perhaps not directly, but it might have been part of the propaganda assault by ASH ET AL. That would be even more so if a health minister quoted that study, as Tom said.

The impression that I get is that today’s MPs simply do not want to talk about the smoking ban. They MUST KNOW about the enormous damage that it has done, in every possible way.

One of the problems with our political system, here in the UK, is the lack of continuity in our elected representatives, and especially in ministers. PM May has had to replace several cabinet members and other ministers in the last few months. How can MPs who know very little about ‘Health’ or the EU suddenly become experts overnight? It is not possible. They have to do what they are told to do by the ‘Expert Civil Servants’ and the committees which those ‘Experts’ create. I read a lot some time ago about the ‘Expert’ committees created to consider the smoking ban, and they were all packed with anti-smokers. The only ‘duty’ of ministers is to appear to be enthusiastic.

Why did The People vote for Brexit? I have not seen any genuine attempt to analyse the opinions of voters. Answers are vague.

But one thing stands out. It is to regain control of our borders. I’m not sure how deep the thinking went, but my personal opinion was that it was not acceptable for the EU to give any applicant an EU passport. I have no great objection to native Poles an Ukrainians entering the UK, but I object to the import of masses of indoctrinated young men with no knowledge or understanding of European culture.

I think that ‘the Irish Question’ has been deliberately exploited to extend our liabilities to the EU. I think that trade should go on as it is now, apart from our ability to trade world-wide without EU interference. There should be no ‘common fisheries policy’ since very few EU States have direct access to our waters. Let them fish in their own waters, if they have any. Our fishing grounds are just the same as our agricultural land. EU quotas? Pull the other one! Who enforces the quotas? Is there anything more open to bribery and corruption?

And that is the second objection that I had to the EU. It is wide open to bribery and corruption. I believe that the UN and all its works are the same. Anyone who does not at least suspect that to be the case is stupid.

Why are our MPs not investigating? They have committees on Smoking and Health, but not on UN and EU corruption. Why not? Why is not such corruption a major part of Brexit?

I also hate the connections between the EU ‘Health Group’ and the FCTC. Why was the EU given a place, as though it was a Nation, as an entity, in such things as the FCTC and Global Warming? How was that engineered? And, as much as anything, how much are those ‘bodies’ costing UK taxpayers?

If THE TRUTH came out, there would be a major public scandal around ‘failure to account’. The pity is that it is not happening NOW.

What Is In It For Politicians?

10/11/2018

I was reading something today which referred to the events in Germany called Kristallnacht. That was when an organised mob went around smashing the windows of Jewish shops, homes and synagogues. The importance of it was that it raised the vague persecution of Jews onto a totally new level. It introduced violence, even if that violence was not actually deadly. It began the process of deadly violence.

I think that it is reasonable to ask why politicians in the UK allowed themselves to drawn into a sort of Kristallnacht in July 2007. Various anti-smoker regulations had existed for some time, such as smoking only allowed on the upper deck of double-decker busses. That was prevalent in the 1960s. There were also ‘non’-smoking’ carriages in trains. Everyone complied without complaint since, presumably, there were enough travellers who found tobacco smoke irritating.

The important thing was that everyone had a choice. For the most part, as I remember, the top deck of a bus was always crowded and the bottom deck was quiet. If there was no room upstairs, then you sat downstairs and did not smoke. It was no big deal.

Flying was not dissimilar except that the time-scale was different. I can’t remember when airlines started to ask, “Smoking or non-smoking?” If you said ‘smoking’, you were allocated seats towards the back of the plane. Nobody complained.

And then, in 2007, the smoking Kristallnacht occurred. Overnight, the equivalent of ‘window smashing’ became ‘smoking in public places’. The fact that pubs, restaurants, etc, were PRIVATE PROPERTY was irrelevant. If they were ‘indoors’, then private property considerations ceased to apply. The phrase ‘public places’ turned indoor places into outdoor places, like parks and roads. The public did not even need to have a right to enter such places. The mere fact that they could enter, rendered such places open to any abuse which the Elite could contrive.

But it is reasonable to ask what possessed our elected representatives, other than intellectually corrupt and nazi-like Ministers, not to protest vigorously about the Kristallnacht similarity of the Smoking Ban. It was massively harsh and cruel. Many smokers, such as I, realised within hours that our former ‘friend’, the publican, was in fact just taking advantage of our simple desires to be welcome. Gradually, since 2007, I have become more and more distrustful of the pub staff. I check my change. But I am still superficially friendly. I no longer tip. THEY caved in and show no signs of rebelling.

So one might reasonably ask why the Blair proposal for the smoking ban was supported by 95% of Lib Dems. I do not know how much support came from the Tories. But what is even more surprising is that Labour MPs did not give a shit about their core supporters – smoking and drinking working men. Perhaps they calculated that their support was going to come from Marxist-orientated uni graduates, plus the die-hard, ‘Labour’ old folk who have never in their lives voted other than Labour. Never underestimate ‘loyalty’.

But we have not even begun to answer the question, ‘What is in it for politicians’? I doubt that any politician has ever said why he/she voted in favour of the Kristallnacht Smoking Ban. But it is also true that most of those people are no longer MPs, and certain that none of them are Ministers.

But it is also true that the ‘deep-state’ employees in the Civil Service and Academics who originated the idea of ‘public places’ are still creating mayhem, unless they have retired or died.

Perhaps MPs just like excitement.

‘Knee-jerk’ Laws

09/11/2018

Rose, in a comment in my last post, mentioned the fact that Blair PM, some years ago, banned ‘magic mushrooms’. I vaguely recall the circumstances. There was much propaganda in the MSM about how some form of hallucinogenic stuff could be extracted from that particular species of mushroom, which grew wild in the UK. Blair’s law criminalised the cultivation of ‘magic mushrooms’ with the possibility of seven years jail for doing so, but merely picking them in woodlands or finding them growing wild in your garden was not an offence.

Until Rose mentioned it, I had totally forgotten the furore in the press about those mushrooms. It was pretty intense. There were lurid descriptions of the nasty effects of using the extracts from those mushrooms.

I have not heard any mention, whatsoever, of ‘magic mushrooms’ for years and years.

I can’t help but feel that we are suffering from a greater and greater proliferation of ‘knee-jerk’ laws. ‘Hate Speech’ laws, for example, were rushed in with such haste that no one, especially the police, knows what they mean. There is the recent case, which went to our Supreme Court, I believe, which declared that calling ‘the prophet’ a paedophile was hate speech, if it offended anyone. But I am not sure of the detail. It might be that the tenor of the speech in which the claim was made was ‘hateful’. Does anyone have a link to the actual judgement? I was far too busy in other ways at the time to check.

Big problems arise when definitions are fluid. EG, “Offensive speech is any speech seen by the hearer/reader to be offensive”. [Not accurate, but you get the idea] I don’t have a problem with that definition since it merely states a fact. The real question is whether that speech is illegal (which does not depend upon what the hearer/reader thinks). It depends upon the letter of the law. But there are repercussions from that loose definition, such as the waste of police time investigating such claims. Did those who formulated the ‘hate speech’ law realise that there would be such repercussions?

Cameron’s capitulation to TobCON’s demands for ‘plain packaging’ was another knee-jerk law. No one except the crackpots in TobCON was the slightest bit interested. So why did Cameron and his Health Minister bother to schedule it? My own opinion is that they were railroaded into it because some people had already drawn up the form of the law and pushed for it very hard. In this case, however, the target of the law was apparent, being Tobcoms, and so easily forced to comply. Even so, the ‘knee-jerk’ nature of the law is easily seen in the fact that PP has had no effect whatsoever.

What has had an effect has been the force exerted by taxation. It cannot be denied, and TobCON brags about it. But their bragging is akin to bragging about beating people up. But it isn’t just our own crackpots who brag. The WHO brags incessantly about the wonderful effects of beating people with tobacco taxes. The EU also. Take taxes to be the same thing as a whip.

The chancellor, in his recent budget, raised tobacco taxes by inflation plus 2%. That is the equivalent of 50 lashes of the whip per day being increased to 55 lashes per day. And he does not give a shit. As far as I know, not one single MP objected to the additional punishment of smokers out of 560. Not one.

Another, and even more blatant example, is the Dundee council’s smoking and ecig ban. It does not matter if enough pressure is brought to bear to amend that employee rule (which would likely be only about the ecig bit). What matters is the regulatory punishment of smokers on the flimsiest of grounds.

Someone somewhere said that it is useless to protest about the latest idiocy. You must always protest about the original idiocy.

Let’s face it. The original smoking ban introduced by the Blair Gov in 2007 was a massive ratcheting up of the war on smokERS, and not on smokING. Massive taxes are hurting smokERS and not smokING.

Further, I have a feeling that the Brexit negotiations will finish up with a ‘knee-jerk’ law, unless The People protest. The whole thing is such a mess that it is hard to see how The People can make sense of it. For example, the question of the North/South Irish border is a question for our two countries to decide. It has bugger all to do with Germany, France or Italy.

What can smokers do? There are not many options for most. I remember talking to a guy who holidayed in Teneriffe. Teneriffe is not in the EU and therefore is not a place where the EU rule that one can bring back as much tobacco as one wishes for one’s own use. I think that the limit was 2 x 200, but I am not sure. He brought back a case-full every time he went and was never stopped. FEAR is enemy and not Customs.

Knee-jerk laws rely only upon FEAR. Once the FEAR is dispelled, those laws have no relevance.

Magic mushrooms anyone?

The Growing Schism in the Church of ‘Public Health’

06/11/2018

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.

The Fantasy World

04/11/2018

It is getting harder and harder to figure out what is real and what is unreal, what is fake news and what is true news, what is important and what is unimportant. For example, there has been a huge furore about a fake (?) ‘journalist’, who entered a Turkish embassy, or somewhere, and may have been hacked to death by a Saudi death squad perhaps and his body may have been cut up and dissolved in acid. Why should the possible fate of some fake (?) ‘journalist’ of foreign extraction concern the People of the UK? Who gives a shit?!

Meanwhile, all we here about Brexit is rumours and alarms. What is actually going on behind closed doors? Is the North/South Ireland border really THAT important, or is it a distraction? I really cannot see why it is any different from the ‘border’ between the whole of Europe and the UK. Either trade flows freely or it does not; either people can move from country to country without passports or hindrance or they cannot. The agreement between the UK and Ireland that there would be ‘free movement’ of citizens between Ireland and England, Wales and Scotland had nothing to do with the EU. It was because of the affinity, despite ‘the troubles’, between the people of these islands. The solution is easy and excludes the EU altogether. The Governments of the Irish Republic and the UK create a form of ‘passport’ which can be obtained free by citizens who do not have a full passport. It would be for the South and the North to agree that showing a passport would not be necessary, but entry into the UK would need at least that ‘identity’ document. Would that affect people who just sail about in their yachts? I suppose that it would, but it would be no different from people sailing about in their yachts in the English Channel. I have never understood why boats carrying hundreds of illegals across the Med have not been seized and destroyed by the Italian and French police, and the illegals returned to their departure points in Africa. That ‘trade’ would stop immediately. Are there not satellites tracking every boat on the surface of the Med? There are, and anyone with any sense knows that. Boats and ships use that system to pinpoint their own positions and warn them of other boats and ships in their vicinity. Even we individuals can track the position of aircraft like Jet 2 aeroplanes, as they come and go, from and to various holiday resorts.

If the flow of trade stops at Dover, it also stops at the border in Ireland. It really is that simple.

I cannot help but think that May and fellow Globalists, aided and abetted by ‘The Deep State’, have deliberately, malevolently and unnecessarily complicated a simple situation. We leave the EU and pay nothing in the form of a ‘divorce bill’ since The People’s Vote dissolved the marriage without strings. End of. Where we cooperate with other European countries, such as aircraft overflights, we continue with those arrangements. If there is a European ‘traffic control’, then we continue to pay our fair share of the costs. But it is really for airlines to pay those costs. Those costs eventually hit travellers, which is fair, since they benefit from the traffic control. People who never fly get no benefit and should not pay.

In the last few years, there has been a huge furore about ‘the polluter pays’. Is that another ‘false flag’? I think so, but I can understand why many people cannot see beyond the immediate next step. They cannot see that ‘the polluter pays’ actually means that THEY pay, as costs are passed on to consumers.

There is also a vague ‘movement’ in TobCON to try to attack Tobcom shareholders directly. But they are struggling to do so. They would have to invent a totally new mechanism to do so. Such a mechanism would have to levy a charge on the individuals and organisations which own Tobcom shares. That would be almost impossible to keep track of and massively expensive.

The Fantasy World really, really exists in the minds of politicians such as those on the Dundee Council. Somehow or other, those fantasists need to be overruled so that they get fed up and resign. It is for realists on the Dundee Council to stop feeling guilty. They must speak up and complain vociferously.

The Zealots are soft spoken and sweet, but they are poison.

Do ASH ET AL Realise What Damage Local Authorities Like Dundee Are Doing?

02/11/2018

If I was Arnott, CEO of ASH, I would be grinding my teeth and tearing my hair out. It seems that the top people in the Dundee health dept have decided that no employee can smoke or use an ecig during working hours, even outdoors and even when not in uniform. The councillors seem to have meekly accepted those rules. How dare those health bosses override the instructions from PHE, ASH, CRUK, etc, to go easy on ecigs? One can only assume that they, and the councillors, are suffering from some form or rabies. They must have been bitten by some sort of bug which has injected some form of poison into their bloodstreams which has driven them mad. It is the only reasonable explanation. Perhaps one or two of them attended the latest TobCON jamboree and acquired the infection there and then passed it on to their colleagues.

But we should not merely complain about ecigs. Their staff rules about smoking are just as iniquitous. It is tempting to think that the employer can make any rules that he wants, but that just is not so. For example, he cannot force employees to work for eight hours non-stop and eat and drink nothing during that time and have no breaks. He cannot dictate what they should eat or drink, with the exception of alcohol, if a ban on alcohol is justifiable.

So the question is: Is it justifiable to force smokers not to smoke outdoors just because they are employees of a local authority? Could the same authority insist that all employees have a catheter inserted into their bladders so that they do not need toilet breaks during working hours?

Have those new rules been agreed by the Union? It might well be so because the unions were infiltrated years ago. As I recall, the unions were in favour of the ban on smoking in work premises so that non-smokers were not ‘forced’ to breath poisonous tobacco fumes.

‘Human Rights’ must figure in this equation somehow. By ‘human rights’, I mean freedom to have a drink of water, freedom to rest if you are tired, freedom to eat what you like, freedom to smoke outdoors if the opportunity presents itself and no harm is done.

Could that ruling be challenged in a court of law? Frankly, it seems to be too silly to go that far. That ban is not dissimilar to the idea of employees, walking along the street between venues, not being allowed to pop into the public loo for a pee, or enter a shop to buy a bar of chocolate. “You must go from A to B by the shortest route, walking at a pace of 4 mph (neither more not less), looking neither right or left, unless crossing a road, and speaking to no one, other than a superior”. But could it be challenged?

If a group of employees were to take up that challenge, I would be the first to help fund them. But ecig companies, including Tobcoms, should bear the brunt. If the rule about ecigs fell, then the rule against tobacco should also fall. The reasoning would revolve around the question of whether not smoking or smoking, or not using an ecig or using an ecig, is part of your job. Clearly, NOT smoking would be part of the job of a petrol station attendant; on the other hand, the willingness to smoke would be part of the job of a tobacco salesman (sort of). It is hard to see how smoking or not smoking, or using an ecig or not using an ecig, can be part of the job of a council employee. Such employees are NOT walking billboards, designed to be zombies which DO NOT ‘give offence’ to bosses in the local health dept of local authorities.

As for the Dundee councillors, I fail to see any reason for their existence. And does this not go to the root of our democratic dystopia? If councillors merely rubber stamp whatever the ‘professionals’ decide, then they are the opposite of ‘democrats’ in a general sense. They are ‘serfs’.

There is no doubt in my mind that a revolution is required. I do not mean a violent uprising. I mean MPs who are elected for their personal attributes rather than pretended political party affiliations. Some personal involvement in business or industry would be a prerequisite, but not necessarily in every case. Personal involvement in Physics, Statistics, Mathematics, could be exceptions.

I must to bed.

One Of Us……

31/10/2018

I was vaguely watching a TV programme tonight, while at the same time reading stuff on the computer, and one of the characters lit a cig. I immediately identified with him/her. I don’t know if the character was a goodie or a badie – it did not matter. He/she was ‘one of us’.

In fact, now that I think about it, I have been identifying with other people who ‘light up’ for a long time. I am ‘one of them’. I feel comfortable with them, even if I don’t know them. I suppose that football fans who support the same team feel the same way.

Somehow, the greater the persecution, the more affinity I feel with other smokers. The opposite is also true – I feel no affinity whatsoever with local councillors or MPs who voted for the persecution. I am, of course, friendly with lots of non-smokers, but they are not hand-wavers or coughers. Any such person who reveals himself to me immediately becomes a non-person. They become cyborgs which cannot think for themselves. They have been assimilated.

There are lots of groups like us smokers who are gradually being screwed in the sense of being gradually exiled and displaced. The trouble is that I have to admit that I find it extremely difficult to feel any affinity for alcoholics or grossly fat people. I don’t mean someone in the pub who has got a bit pissed. If you know them and like them, their condition is more amusing than anything else. Plump people are not in the same category as grossly fat people.

There is a scene etched in my mind. There was a top chess competition being held in the polydeportivo (multi-sports complex) in Magalluf some years ago. I decided to go and watch the play for an hour or so. On the way up the drive to the complex, two Spanish girls passed me. As we got closer, an enormously fat man emerged from the complex, rolls of fat hanging off his body, – from what appeared to be the gym! It was ever so funny. Once safely past him, the two girls let out loud cries if ‘Ugh!’ and spewing noises. I actually felt for the chap.

Perhaps one of the difficulties which separate groups of persecuted people and deter them from adopting common cause is decades and decades of promotion of ‘the body beautiful’. I remember as a young teenager reading American comics and seeing Charles Atlas adverts promising to turn seven stone weaklings into strapping rugby players in just seven days! But the shaming of fatties and drinkers is a relatively new phenomenon. The propaganda is moving pleasantly plump, healthy people into the grossly fat category, and people who enjoy a few pints or glasses of wine of an evening into alcoholics.

What a pity that UKIP did not seize the opportunity, once the battle for Brexit was won, to widen its appeal to support all those separate groups and individuals who need a ‘political friend’! Fatties, drinkers and smokers, and many other minorities, could have coalesced to form a huge group of voters. The ‘New UKIP’ could have been a huge thorn in the side of both Labour and Tory by cutting out the Gordian Knot. The moving of the goalposts over time, so that even a few beers or a few fags or a bar of chocolate are immensely dangerous could have been stopped in its tracks. The riposte is simple and obvious – the vast majority of people in this country, whatever their age, other things being equal, are hale and healthy. Slight variations which appear to be big as a result of ‘relative risk’ are misleading and dangerous. The ‘New UKIP’ could have campaigned, very legitimately, for the reduction of unfair taxes which punish the poor and elderly. But it is not just taxes. It is the whole ethos of bans and proscriptions, such as ‘hate speech’.

Is it any wonder that so many of us support Tommy Robinson? He is the epitome of resistance to bullying. It does not really matter whether he was ‘out of order’ or not since who decides what is ‘out of order’? That is the Gordian Knot. Who decides? Cutting the Gordian knot is simple – nobody decides because there is nothing to decide – freedom of speech and action, provided that others are not put in imminent physical danger thereby.

Tommy Robinson is ‘one of us’.

The enormous problem is that there does not seem to be even ONE politician who is ‘one of us’. And I do not mean just smokers – I mean everyone who is being persecuted either physically (taxes) or mentally (propaganda).

Who will step into the breach?