Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Is It Time to Reform Public Health England?

11/01/2018

PHE was formed in April 2013 almost five years ago. Lots of similar organisations were formed in the last couple of decades.

What strikes one about those organisations?

To me, it is that they resemble kingdoms, and not democracies. PHE has a King, Duncan Selbie. I have no doubt that he has a ‘council’ to which he has appointed his ‘favourites’, much as King Henry VIII did. Thus, in PHE, we have ‘The King In Council’.

The wonderful thing for ‘The King In Council’ is that he can choose his targets. Thus, he can decide to ‘dissolve the monasteries’ and pinch all the gold and silver therein. I suppose that Hitler did the same with the Jews. We are so appalled by the slaughter in Extermination Camps that we forget that the holocaust also involved the expropriation of property.

Has anything changed? Well, yes, but only in degree and method. Smokers are vile, disgusting, filthy, stinking, and deserve to be ripped off by the King. They don’t have to be exterminated in gas chambers – they simply need to be rendered poorer via tobacco taxes. The same applies to fatties – disgusting, filthy, stinking. Make them pay.

Do you notice, dear reader, how all the initiatives always end up with the imposition of higher costs on the persecuted?

The trouble is that Government Ministers come and go, as we have seen in the so-called ‘Cabinet reshuffle’. The ‘Kings in Council’ of the numerous ‘Agencies’ have power over the Ministers. Why should an ambitious Minister go against the demands of ‘The King in Council’ of some autonomous Agency? Such a course might spell disaster to the Minister’s career prospects.

There seems to be an imbalance. Only the ‘chosen ones’ have access to the ‘King in Council’. Thus, the King receives only one side of the argument. He chose that imbalance. It is to his advantage to choose people who agree with him, and who provide a consensus in favour of his own thinking.

But there is also another side. Perhaps the King does not know who to appoint to his Council. He seeks advice. But who can advise him? He has to go to ‘respected’ organisations like the ‘British Medical Assn’, or ‘the royal college of physicians’.

But suppose that the people at the top of those organisations are nutters? How would anyone, including the King, know? We have all read about Frank Davis’s crazy Dr W.

Is there an answer?

I think so.

You see, positions like Chief Medical Officer are like tenures in Universities. The occupants of such offices cannot be removed. That makes no sense. So the sensible thing to do is time-limit such jobs to, say, five years, after which the occupants MUST step down. The potential for ideological corruption to arise is too great to allow permanent occupancy.

Sooner or later, the shit will hit the fan. Sooner or later, vape shops will start selling snus and IQOS type HnB products. They will do so in defiance of EU directives. Who will prosecute them? And the defiance will spread all over Europe.

You see, such things as bans on snus by the EU depend entirely upon a mirage. The mirage is that anyone, including the UK Gov, give a toss about snus sales. The EU ban was intended to stop Tobcoms diversifying. That is all. Health does not matter. Only the destruction of Tobcoms matters.

The critical thing about PHE is that it should STOP, or rather BE STOPPED from encouraging the persecution of vast numbers of people. Raising taxes on ‘fast food’ or sugar deliberately increase the costs of the poorest people. That is persecution. By all means issue ration books for purchases of sugar and doughnuts, if it is that important.

But, most of all, politicians must realise that they exist to STOP persecution. That applies to ALL levels, including Local Authorities. We have a local election for our ward’s representatives to the Borough. Both herself and I have voted for the UKIP candidate. We cannot vote Tory or Labour. Both parties regard us as disgusting, filthy, stinking smokers. They can both eff off.

So how can PHE be reformed? I have already mentioned time-limited Kings, but that is not enough. It is hard to know what is best. Perhaps ‘PLEASURE’ should be taken into account. After all, a long, long, miserable and painful life can hardly be expected to justify perpetuation of that situation. Ha! That sentence sounds just like TobCON’s justification of perpetual persecution.

In my opinion, it is merely a question of when a Country breaks ranks. Perhaps Greece might be the one, or Spain. It is bound to happen sooner or later. It might be snus or ecigs or HnB, but, sooner or later, TobCON will become expensive and irrelevant.

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‘Public Health’ Funding Is Not Ring-fenced As Part Of The NHS: The Cabinet Reshuffle

09/01/2018

I found out today that ‘Public Health’ is not part of the NHS. (H/T whoever – I read so much that I cannot remember who) Oh wait – it was Dick P as part of a post called ‘The Power of Ignorance’:

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/the-power-of-ignorance.html

In it, right at the end, he linked to an article in the Guardian (where-else?):

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/06/addiction-alcohol-obesity-public-health-spending-tories

Actually, the Guardian article is just a rant, and quite a comical rant at that. Without reading the article over and over again, it is hard to point to the precise place where the logic breaks down. But how about this gem:

Services to help men, women and children stop smoking and to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including Aids are already a mess

Smoking and Aids etc are equated. I find that extremely odd. I find it hard to understand how Local Authorities could do anything about Aids, no matter how much money they had available.

The author was complaining about cuts in funding from Central Government. Why should that be a problem? After all, LAs could always increase Council Taxes to persecute smokers and spread Aids. You see, the phrase ‘control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including Aids’ could just as easily mean ‘encourage’ the spread, for the word ‘control’ means very little in terms of who is having sex with whom. In fact, the very juxtaposition of the two shows that the author is very confused.

The good news, however, is that the author highlighted the fact that ‘Public Health’ is not part of the NHS. But why should it be? What have sewers, industrial effluents, diesel fumes, etc, got to do with the NHS?

Is there a clue there as to how the NHS could be reformed? Take all the lifestyle bullying out of the NHS and load it all onto ‘Public Health’ – and then defund ‘Public Health’! Does it matter if hospitals are forbidden to sell/use sugary drinks? Our local hospital stopped selling anything but ‘diet’ drinks ages ago. Erm… but they still sold coffee, and provided sugar, and sold sweet deserts. There again we see the split personality; either you make some money from the cafe by selling stuff that people enjoy, or you risk losing money.

Why should shysters and snake oil salesmen be confined to the Wild West? They exist here and now! They exist in the form of ASH ET AL.

The Cabinet Reshuffle is not entirely disconnected from the above. Smoke and mirrors. I see that Jeremy Hunt begged May to let him remain as Health Sec, with enhanced duties – his new title is ‘Sec of State for health and social care’. I don’t think that he needed to beg. There again, the idea that the discredited and silly MP, Milton, could have coped with the intellectual requirements of Sec of State for Health was always jocular.

In general terms, the reshuffle has been a non-event. Why should it have been otherwise? Is it likely that May ever considered changing any of the main players in the Brexit arena? So what has she done? She has replaced a few ministers who were leaving anyway, and added some new jobs, to be filled by a few new people. Perhaps that is the best way to run government. Disgraced ministers are quickly forgotten.

What I vaguely see is National Government hardening its attitude. Terrible errors were made by Cameron and his idea of ‘The Big Society’, which involved the Gov in splurging masses of money on ‘charities’. A friend of my daughter’s is involved with caring for the homeless. She accepts any donations of foodstuffs, provided that they are ‘safe’, clothing, etc. She is ‘on the front line’. And she does so voluntarily. But it is in the nature of government to want to make headlines by highlighting big initiatives.

I think that big charities, like CRUK (cancer research UK) cannot help but become corrupt. Why? Because they can do nothing about the incidence of cancer. It just happens quite rarely. Most old people die before cancer destroys the cells of their bodies. The problem is that many people think that CRUK is not a snake oil salesman. The same goes for all the other ‘charities’ which depend upon ‘death by X’, such as ‘heart disease’ (properly known as ‘heart failure’).

The proper answer from government is to accept the inevitable – people get old and die, for whatever reason. Stop blaming the inevitable upon some specific ‘disease’ – the inevitable will happen anyway.

The Philip Morris Initiative

07/01/2018

I don’t think that I have commented upon this subject directly, other than to say that Siegel has claimed that it is all a scam:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/first-major-action-of-foundation-for.html

He said that he refused to be a consultant, but it is not clear that he was personally invited. Perhaps he was, but it seems that lots of emails were sent out to persons who might be interested in contributing to the initiative, so he could have just ignored it.

Since then, it seems that PM has designed cig packets which tell smokers that they should stop smoking and change over to ‘heat-not-burn’. Canadian cig packets carry such a message, it seems. Dick Puddlecote has covered the story:

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/tobacco-control-pigeons-meet-philip.html

I like Dick’s ‘cat among the pigeons’ analogy.

Of course, Siegel might well be right, although ‘scam’ might be too harsh a word. I should imagine that PM is clever enough to to have noticed that their attempts to defend themselves in court have not been very successful. People like Siegel, despite being very clever, cannot see beyond their academic prejudices. Do they really think that executives of a tobacco company can just wreck the company? There are millions of shareholders, including pension funds, to whom the executives are accountable. They are not accountable to Siegel et al.

Is there something wrong with a Tobcom suggesting to its consumers that they might like to try HbN products rather than combustibles?

But there is another idea in my mind. In the US, Tobcoms have been instructed by a court to issue ‘corrective statements’. Here are some of the ‘corrective statements’ which seem to be actually going out on American TV etc:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1013581/download

This Department of Justice site might also be worth reading, if you are interested:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tobacco-companies-begin-issuing-court-ordered-statements-tobacco-racketeering-suit

It would not be beyond the pail to suggest that Tobcoms have been trying to figure out how they can take reasonable steps to avoid similar legislation elsewhere in the world, and to protect their businesses (of providing tobacco product to consumers who want them). By admitting that smoking is dangerous, they are, in effect, issuing ‘corrective statements’. The admission that smoking is dangerous overturns all the accusations of misleading the public. It is a very clever way to get TobCON off their backs.

So, in a way, Siegel et al are right, but it is not a ‘scam’.

The reason that it is not a ‘scam’ is that legislatures have recognised that Tobcoms have a right to exist. Some academic nutters have said that Tobcoms should voluntarily stop producing cigs because cigs are so very, very, very dangerous. In other words, that they should voluntarily shut themselves down. The Zealots never say how shareholders could be persuaded to render their holdings worthless.  I doubt that a person with £100,000 or a pension fund with £10,000,000 investing in Tobcom shares would vote to shut the company down. No – only Government prohibition could do that – which has been tried and failed. So, it is reasonable for Tobcoms to come up with a solution to the danger threat.

TobCON has been hoist by its own petard. And, as a result of its own collective rigidity (quit or die), it is hardly possible for it to change directions. People enjoy smoking in itself, and also enjoy the effects of nicotine. The first thing that I do in a morning, after lighting a cig, is to make a mug of tea – nicotine plus caffeine. What is wrong with that?

But, to make things worse for TobCON, the new Director General of the WHO has openly declared that the WHO is at war with Tobcoms:

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/at-war-with-tobacco-industry.html

Can you see how hide-bound that attitude is? It does not allow for any compromise at all. And yet Tobcoms have a right to exist. The WHO’s Director General wants to pursue an illegal war. He wants to destroy an entity which has a right to exist.

It is all very weird.

So what is the missing piece in the jigsaw which might make sense of the situation? It is the voice of consumers.

The absence of that voice is what permits the contradiction.

What do I, as a smoker want? I want to enjoy tobacco as I see fit because I am an adult can make my own decisions about what is best for me. If I am ‘addicted’ to tobacco, it is because I want to be. That is my decision. It follows therefore that I regard tobacco taxes as fraud, and I shall do my best to avoid them.

I see that as a matter of principle, although I would not offer myself up as a sacrifice to political correctness.

But I also see ‘criminal importers’ as heroes, which is a wholly different idea. It is a sad reflection on our system of Government that it can be the equivalent of a pickpocket, nicking the monies of smokers with abandon, whilst pretending that smokers cannot help themselves because they are addicted.

So where are the academics calling into question the activities of the WHO etc? And that is another problem. ASH, a lobby group, is funded by taxpayers to support the theft of smokers’ monies, whereas any organisation which opposes ASH is not so funded.

Can smokers fight back?

It is a pity that Tobcoms failed to understand that millions of consumers were more influential than legal processes. Legal processes produce ‘corrective statements’; consumers sack politicians.

How Easy Could It Have Been For EU Lovers To Have Made Their Case?

06/01/2018

I was watching a TV debate a few minutes ago chaired by Blair:

The video has obviously been abridged because only Eliot and Blair said anything. The other three panellists were excluded for the purpose of that video. It was excerpts. That is fine, provided that we are aware of it.

What has struck me again and again during the campaign, was that the Remainers had every opportunity in their campaign to describe how beneficial membership of the EU had been. For example, if a lobby group wanted municipal swimming baths to be closed to save money, the authority would describe the benefits of the swimming baths. They would describe all sorts and various benefits, even if those benefits were not monetary. They would talk about masses of children learning to swim – a totally modern phenomenon; they would talk about exercise; they would talk about healthy competition, and they would talk about ‘the general good’ of having such facilities available.

So why did not the Remain campaign extol the advantages of the EU?

The reason is that there are none.

What the EU is, is an agreement between France and Germany. WW1 and WW2 were, essentially, wars between France and Germany. Britain was dragged in. The EU came about because France and Germany decided to get together. No wonder De Gaulle was forcefully against British membership. He probably regarded Britain, and the British Empire (as it existed at the time), as a nasty bastard. Perhaps he envisaged France and Germany as being an invincible force, if they united.

If so, why did he not call for a New Country called France (which incorporated Germany) or a New Country called Germany (which incorporated France)?

The reason that Brexit won is that Europhiles could not describe what advantages accrued to the people of the UK. They should have been able to do so.

In other words, instead of describing the problems of leaving, they should have described the wonders of remaining.

Why did they not? Because they could not. There were no ‘wonders’. What we have seen, in recent years, in the UK, is confusion. No one has any idea of what is TRUTH.

It seems to me that the duty of Government is to simplify and not to complicate. Simplification means having sensible, factual rules. The game of chess is a very messy  and complex thing, and yet the ‘rules’ are simple and precise.

So why could not EU lovers, like Blair, describe the reasons that ‘Provinces’ like Greece are not wealthy? Perhaps he could have complained that the reason is that Greece has not really persecuted smokers.

 

Tendonitis (or something)

05/01/2018

About two weeks ago, I woke up with a painful left shoulder. The pain eased off somewhat during the course of the day. It only hurt if I made certain specific movements, such as raising the shoulder or reaching for something. Next morning, stiff and sore again.

On top of that, at about the same time, I somehow injured my right wrist. Thankfully, I am left-handed. No idea what I did. That too does not hurt all the time. Raising the thumb more than a little and bending the wrist sideways is pretty painful.

I blame tobacco control.

When I was about 17, I used to go youth hosteling on my bike. North Wales was my favourite destination. On one occasion, I was tempted into a local pub by a couple of girl hostelers. They forced my to have two pints. I became drunk and fell off my top bunk (alone). I broke my collar bone, but it went better after a couple of weeks, such is the power of one’s ‘repair mechanism’ when one is young. I did not find out that I had broken the collar bone until decades later. I went to the doctors because the shoulder was aching, and he asked me when I broke it. It has a knobbly bit.

I still blame tobacco control.

You see, when I am sitting on the couch with my laptop typing these words, I tend to gravitate into the corner of the couch, which sort of forces me to raise that shoulder so that I can position my hands on the keyboard correctly. I have to force myself to move a little further along the couch to free up my left arm. I guess that winter also has a bearing so that my discomfort could be called ‘repetitive strain injury’.

I blame tobacco control for my wrist injury as well. That too is ‘repetitive strain injury’. After all, a lot of the motions, when typing, involve moving your wrists sideways, and extending your thumb when hitting the ‘space’ key. I guess that I am fortunate in that I can touch-type, mostly, but it does necessitate the sort of movement which I have described.

If it were not for the persecution of us smokers, I would not be spending hours with my left shoulder pushed up and my right wrist and thumb making all those unnatural movements.

I also have a chronic itch to my left shoulder blade which sometimes moves into the space between my shoulder blades. Perhaps the problem is a sort of drifting skin cancer. Maybe my shoulder ache and wrist ache are also cancers,  and not ‘repetitive strain injury’.

After all, I smoke. According to the anti-smoker ads on TV at the moment, tobacco smoke gets to every cell in your body and does untold damage. So it obvious that ‘repetitive strain injury’ is caused by tobacco smoke. But wait… My injuries only appeared about two weeks ago. Perhaps it is ‘the delayed effect’.

Surely these injuries could not be because I have so far defied the grim reaper and am therefore suffering from minor ailments brought on by my ageing body?

Oops! There I go drifting into the corner of the couch again.

We invent all sorts of reasons for happenings, do we not? Perhaps that is because we are intelligent enough to wonder. Animals are not interested in reasons. They accept the NOW. We wonder why things happen and what mechanisms cause what happens. Sometimes, the only logical reason is God (or gods). Reasoning about the deity arrived at the idea that multiple gods, residing at top of mountains or wherever, was silly, and yet intelligent people thousands of years ago went along with the idea of multiple gods residing on mountain tops and in the sea and elsewhere.

Is not TobCON much the same as one of the old religions? It demands sacrifices to various gods – the FCTC, EU directives, the NHS, and, most of all, its own high priests – ASH ET AL and Big Pharma. After all, do not ASH preach the word and Big Pharma produces miracle cures?

It is amusing how Big Tobacco is now turning the tables. It too has turned to miracle cures. Except that I personally think that BT has learned from the ‘corrective statements’ which it has been required to make in the USA. BT is now getting ahead – it is issuing ‘corrective statements’ in advance. The statements, in the form of huge adverts in newspapers, take the form of ‘a firm purpose of amendment’. “We shall do our best to persuade our customers to move away from dangerous products to far, far safer products, which we shall provide, but we shall not try to force them”.

TobCON is going into hysterics. It is suddenly suffering from ‘tendonitis’ or something similar. It has been upstaged.

How clever of Tobcoms!

Oops! I have drifted into the corner again.

Tobcoms have given up on legal fights, especially since the ‘corrective statements’ were demanded. They are going all-out for their ‘heat-not-burn’ products. You can see why – those products can be mass-produced.

Would I move from cigs to HNB? Perhaps, but I doubt it unless they were not subjected to sin taxes. And is that not also a death-knell for TobCON? How can they call for sin taxes which automatically deter people from sinful practices?

No wonder that Siegel has gone mute. He cannot cope with the horror that Tobcoms might survive and provide people with cheap, harmless pleasures.

I say ‘harmless’. I do not accept the idea that ecigs have some danger. My reason is concerned with time-scales. This may be boring.

  1. Smoke heavily for a short period of time and the damage will be repaired and no long-term consequences will occur.
  2. Smoke heavily for a long time and catastrophic consequences will occur – maybe.
  3. Smoke lightly for a short period of time, and you will be in the same state as one who smokes heavily for a short period of time.
  4. Do not smoke and you will be in the same state as 1. and 3. above.

Thus, time-scales are very important. Thus, vaping would require a very long time for ill effects to appear – probably hundreds of years.

So maybe Tobcoms, via their new initiative, ‘The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’, might be able to establish some reasonable estimate of how many hundreds of years a person who uses HNB or Vaping might expect to live before suffering from tendonitis or a state of final illness-free.

These are serious matters which Government sin taxes distort. When alcohol, petrol and tobacco were taxed at a higher level than other goods, there was some sense in describing them as ‘luxuries’. Those days are long gone.

The whole method of taxation needs to be addressed. But it is hard to see who is has the brains to work out a new and fair way. Certainly, there is no evidence that any politician has the foggiest idea.

So why are their not umpteen academics, professors and doctors of this and that, not producing a PLAN? Such a plan will be massively important after Brexit.

Promoting the Incompetent

04/01/2018

I read somewhere today Jeremy Hunt is fed up with being Sec of State for Health, after six years in the job. I do not know why, since he could have requested a change when May reshuffled after the Gen Elec. Anyway, it is rumoured that Anne Milton MP might replace him.

Ha! Ha ha! Ha Ha Ha! When she was last a junior minister, she was sacked for sheer incompetence – actually removed from Government. She was given a position in the whips office, but it is rumoured she wept bucket-loads of tears when she was dismissed. So how the hell does she wheedle her way into favour again? It beats me. Perhaps the sacked Health Minister, Soubry (the one who thought that ecigs had been removed from the TPD) will also be resurrected. Perhaps this has something to do with it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/01/theresa-may-considers-reshuffle-promotions-seven-female-ministers/

Incompetence is not important – gender is. Experience and skill are not important – gender is.

Of course, the Telegraph article might be ‘fake news’. It mentions seven possible promotions. It may be that May intends only four promotions. So that would be OK then. Only four females who know bugger all about the ministries involved.

There again, Maybe Theresa May is something of a King (or Queen?). Her objective might be to remove potential opponents and replace them with compliant substitutes. Why not? She has her own ‘cabinet’ of advisors. “Who will rid me of this (these) troublesome priest (priests)?” comes to mind. Perhaps she does not care that her days are numbered. Are not the days of all PMs numbered? How many have lasted for more than a few years in the past couple of decades?

What I find very annoying is that really important UK issues are not important in that scenario. Only personal advancement matters. Thus, platitudes abound, such as the effect of SHS in pubs. Former MPs do not give a shit that their platitudes and votes for the smoking ban destroyed many pubs and created isolation and morbidity (in every sense). In our language, the word ‘morbid’ is not essentially associated with physical illness. It is associated with a sort of depression:

From the Cambridge dictionary:

The fact of being too interested in unpleasant subjects, especially death:

“She remembered her dead brother without morbidity.”

Only recently has the Medical Profession purloined the word to mean ‘illness’. Perhaps the etymology of the word has something to do with the French word for death: mort.

We have a local election in our ward to elect a Councillor to the Bolton Local Authority. Very few people can be bothered to vote – maybe 20 or 30%. I received a pamphlet from the Tory candidate today. He advised not to vote for any party other than Tory or Labour, because Labour could only be ousted by the Tories. I shall be voting for the UKIP candidate if there is one. Why? Because there is a real possibility of the UKIP candidate being elected, as happened last time. In this case, it is not about the EU – it is about ‘balance of power’. A Tory majority would be just as bad as a Labour majority. Oh, and one of his promises is to prioritise dog poo on the streets. That is quite comical since there are hardly any poops on our streets any more. It is pathetic to isolate dog poo as a serious problem. It may be unsightly, but it is not A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

ASH ET AL are fond of the phrase: “Backward step” They say it as though there is something intrinsically wrong with ‘a backward step’. There is nothing whatever wrong with ‘a backward step’, if you are about to be run down by a motor car.

It is a moot point as to whether Wars are caused by special interest groups manipulating temporary politicians. I mean long-term, established special interest groups, whether they be industrial, political in a wide sense, the very wealthy, or whatever.

So PM May might be about to reshuffle and introduce lots of girls into the cabinet? If she does, she is out of her mind.

‘Social Solidarity’: Fairness

03/01/2018

I read an interesting essay only a little while ago:

http://writerbeat.com/articles/19940-Asabiyyah

It is a short but interesting read if you ignore the jibes at Trump.

‘Asabiyyah’ is much the same as ‘social solidarity’. It means a high level of trust and ‘togetherness’ within a given group. It is said that there was a time when you did not need to lock your house doors because the idea of robbing your neighbour was anathema. It just did not happen. To have such trust and togetherness, there must be fairness, or, better, the perception of fairness. Perhaps even better, if there is a perception of UNfairness, and it is felt by enough people, then you can forget ‘social solidarity’. DIStrust will be the order of the day.

There are massive ramifications to that idea. Once the ‘feeling’ of unfairness creeps in, then distrust automatically follows.

Why did Brexit occur? Why was the referendum not a walk-over for ‘remain’? I think that we can reasonably say that there must have been millions of ordinary Britons who distrusted the EU. Had they trusted the EU, then must surely have put up with the many manifestations of incompetence and some corruption. But we know that distrust comes from a perception of unfairness. We Brits are especially sensitive to the horror of unfairness. “That’s not fair!” is one of our favourite cries. We even have some sympathy for baddies, if they are treated unfairly.

It is difficult to know where to start. Perhaps the prison smoking ban is a good point. How can an ordinary Brit have any sympathy for a criminal in prison? As I far as I personally am concerned, it is about not punishing people more than the law demands – in this case, loss of freedom. “It’s not fair!” to deprive the prisoners of a little pleasure which is not part of the sentence. What is worse is they are even deprived of that little solace outdoors in the open air. But, of course, I have a personal interest, being a persecuted smoker. What surprises me is that organisations which claim to look after the interests of prisoners have not said a dicky-bird about the smoking ban. Why is that? One can only assume that they are so far up the ‘do goodie arsehole’ that they agree with the ban – for health reasons, of course.

But what was the unfairness about the EU? What did the majority of Brits see? I suppose that there may well have been many and various unfairnessnesses, of which immigration might have been one. For example, why would Polish people cross the whole of the rest of Europe to get the the UK? Why should Britain accept a ‘quota’ of grown-up young men masquerading as children? I would have thought that every smoker and vaper in the UK would have voted ‘Leave’, if only on the principle (It’s not fair!) that smoking has bugger all to do with the EU.

And is that not a very, very important point? There has been a massive distortion of what the EU was intended to be. Parts of it are simply off-shoots of the WHO. Who gave the EU power to decide what is or is not healthy? It was enough for the EU to organise standards of the quality of horse meat and similar products. It was not to ban snus everywhere except Sweden. Who let the EU do it?

But there must be more ‘unfairness’ perceived by Brits than individual components. I suspect that is loss of self-determination. Stories abound in the papers about matters referred to the EU Court of Justice. ‘That is not fair!’ Why should our own courts be insufficient? And it is even worse when the EU Justice overturns our own Court judgements!

Further, I think that a large number of Brits have wondered what our Parliament exists for. Does it exist to discuss gold-plating EU directives? Or does it exist to decide matters such as PP? Is its existence like this?:

Perhaps many thinking Brits are aware of the costs of the EU and have reckoned that those costs are far too great to be justifiable. I agree totally with that. The EU ‘Government’ has produced almost nothing of value. It has created ‘level playing fields’ which ought not to be level. It is a parasite.

So a majority of Brits decided, on balance, and for their own individual reasons, that the EU is not for us. It is unfair. And that is what bothers me about ‘the negotiations’. Will May give away our fisheries in exchange for ownership of Greek debt? That is the sort of ephemeral ‘gain’ which none of us, except the fat cats in the City, understand.

The settlement will have to go before Parliament. There is no doubt. It will have to be in the form of a Treaty which replaces all previous Treaties. That is the bugger. It is massively complicated. What to keep and what to throw away?

Is there a simple answer? I think that there is. Keep what is ‘fair’.

Not much else matters.

Happy New Year!

02/01/2018

I must admit that I rather over-indulged last night, so much so that I forgot my manners. So I hope that readers enjoy a contended 2018.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with anti-smoker zealotry. It only makes me annoyed and discontented. Sometimes I think about the worst scenario. In the immediate future, what is the worst scenario? As far as herself and I are concerned, it is having to pay full price for our cigs. We can afford to do so, so what is the problem? Why do I let TC try to make me miserable? For is that not precisely what they are trying to do? What are those ‘hard-hitting’ TV adverts, showing tumours growing on cigs, for, other than to make us afraid and miserable?

Maybe its the injustice of it all which keeps me involved. Parliament votes organisations like ASH taxpayers’ monies to produce the hate-filled propaganda and a lot of those monies are monies extorted from the pockets of smokers. And what is behind Parliament’s actions? Idealism, that’s what. Religious persecution is forbidden by Constitutions and even by the EU, but it does not stop Government and the EU from engaging in blatant persecution which is ‘religious’ in it form. According to TC, the devil is Big Tobacco and everyone must accede to that ‘belief’. No deviation is permitted. I guess that that is the definition of a cult. Anyone who opposes the ‘creed’ is drummed out, ostracised and, if possible, ruined. And the Zealots get away with it as though their actions were perfectly ethical. Is that surprising since the Zealots control most of the eminences of ‘the medical establishment’, including the WHO, EU Health Dept and National Health Depts? And very remunerative the whole industry is.

Yes, I think that it is the injustice which drive me on.

I think that the key, when reading stuff from ASH ET AL, is to treat them in the same way that they treat us. Don’t take it personally. Their lies and propaganda have nothing to do with each one of us personally. Be patient. Watch them splitting into sub-groups, fighting like rats in a sack. When ASH indicate their support for ecigs, they are lying. They want control and ownership of ecigs as ‘cessation devices’. In that way, they can exclude tobacco companies. That is their objective. The fact that thousands of vape shops will be forced to close is irrelevant to their cult. So, whilst they theoretically support ecigs, the reality is that they detest them and wish that ecigs had never gatecrashed the party.

For a lovely party it is – or was. Lots of jollies all over the world, paid for by a combination of taxpayers and Big Pharma. Lots of academic papers, paid for by students and grants. Lots of newspaper adulation and publicity. FAME AT LAST!

But bun-fights are breaking out all over the place. Party-goers are chucking glasses of champagne in each other’s faces. As an example, ever since Glantz was accused of lechery and plagiarism, ‘Dr’ Siegel has not posted anything on his website:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/

The last entry was 6th Dec. I don’t blame him for shutting up shop. Anything that he says will be plagued by his claims that Glantz was his hero and mentor. What is even more amusing is that it is not long ago that Glantz was tearing Siegel’s support for ecigs apart.

Academics weary me. You would think that they would indulge in intellectual arguments without rancour, but they are just as tetchy as the most vituperative of Twitterers. They call each other rotten. How does Government chose its academic advisors? Think about that.

A cabinet reshuffle occurs. An MP who who knows bugger all about health becomes Health Minister. For some reason, said minister need to form a committee to examine ecigs. Who appoints the members of the committee? Not the minister, because he/she knows bugger all. No, a Zealot, placed in the ministry, recommends X, Y, Z, all of whom are zealots, or at least the majority are. There was a good example some years ago, but I cannot remember the detail. A committee was formed for the Health Dept. Someone called Peter Lee, I think, gave evidence on behalf of Tobcoms which made a lot of sense. His evidence was not only ignored but expunged. The recommendations of the committee totally ignored the points raised by Lee. The committee was packed.

That is how modern Government works – not evidence-based policy, but policy-based evidence. Talk about a swamp?!!

So what should happen?

The swamp needs to be drained, just as is the case in the US. Charities which actually do work should be supported in their work, but charities which just talk should not. How much ‘research’ into the causes and cures of cancer has CROOK ever done? Where does all the money from legacies go? What cures have been discovered by CROOK?

(For strangers, CROOK is a parody of CRUK – ‘Cancer Research UK’ – CRUK).

We should notice that TC acts independently of Government. It has a life of its own. As we have seen, TC congratulated Syria for enacting some sort of smoking ban – in the middle of a civil war. As we have seen, the UN appointed that long-standing dictator, Mugabe, as a ‘special envoy’, which was only retracted after world-wide derision.

What thought processes appointed him in the first place, and how disconnected from the real world were those thinkers? WHO WERE THEY? Why are such bonkers people in charge of anything? I think that ‘bonkers’ is the right word. Those people are detached from the real world.

‘Draining the swamp’ is an imperative for all modern governments. In the case of the UK and the EU, it should be made clear that we shall not pay a penny unless we get some sort of ‘quid pro quo’. And we shall not pay a penny unless the EU ‘drains the swamp’.

What I am trying to say is that ‘draining the swamp’ is of the highest priority. Propaganda must cease, and only facts must dictate policy – not ‘evidence’ in the form of ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘it is suggested that’, ‘more research is needed’, etc. That is not evidence because it is not fact. A couple of sites which I read today took ‘climate change’ as a FACT. What I read was about power stations burning wood to power electricity generators on the grounds that CO2 emissions by the burning were equal to the CO2 extractions from the atmosphere by the trees. Or, to put it another way, that CO2 extracted from the atmosphere by the trees was replaced by the burning – a balance. But the academics were not happy. Their thinking was that more and more trees would be required until there were no trees left.

I agree! The idea of using wood to power power-stations is stupid. What is wrong with coal, which is compressed trees from millions of years ago? I do not know the ratio, but I would imagine that coal is at least twice as productive of heat as is wooden chips.

What will happen in the future is that, when gas and coal begin to run out, a way will be found to produce atomic energy easily and safely at a domestic level. I suppose that their are very few people who do not know that you need to switch off the power before you mess with electrical appliances.

I don’t know quite how to put this. An atomic reactor is much like a central heating boiler. When a certain level of heat is achieved, the reactor must switch off. Only one safety factor cannot be regulated, which is the possibility of runaway reactions. A way will be found to exclude that possibility.

But let us not forget that the human race has only scratched at the surface of what is possible. There is a long, long way to go.

Trivialities

01/01/2018

It is hard for us amateurs to know what is important. For example, I think that many Brexiteurs expected that the vote in June 2016 would result in our Gov notifying the EU bosses that we were leaving the EU pronto. Article 50? Sod off! The People’s decision meant that Article 50 was irrelevant. Article 50 was a technocratic invention. A letter from the Queen to the EU might have said, “Our subjects have decided to abrogate all treaties which formally bound our Nation. Those treaties are therefore defunct with immediate effect”. But that does not mean that our Nation stepped out of the common market necessarily. We decided to leave the ‘European Union’.

The real question, therefore, is: “What is the European Union?”

I came across a site tonight which revealed why Trump and Brexit came to pass. I cannot find it at the moment. It asked the question, ‘why did Trump and Brexit happen?’ It answered the question thus (not accurate):

“Because you paid more attention to LGBT than providing jobs; because you banned smoking in parks rather than curing diseases; because you promoted immigrant rights over housing.” Something like that.

Do we see a pattern? I see it. I see trivia over substance.

What might a ‘proper’ EU have achieved? It must surely not have been the shape of bananas or incandescent light bulbs or the power of hoovers or tobacco products. What I would have thought would be of primary importance would have been a common language which would have been taught in all schools. The language might be English, French. German or even Latin. The main thing would be that everyone would be able to communicate easily.

I blame our pathetic political system. How was it possible for a Minister to think that ecigs had been dropped from the TPD when the facts were clear for all to see? But why were ecigs considered to be in need of regulation at all?

That is what I mean by trivia. If ecigs are to be regulated to death, how can atomic power plants survive the same interrogation? What safeguards are in place to stop marine life from being damaged by ships’ propellers?

The enjoyment of tobacco has always been trivial as compared with communicable diseases.

Which of our Prime Ministers agreed to allow the UN/WHO to spend our taxes on trivia?

Damned if anyone, including the PMs in question know.

‘Hypotheses’

31/12/2017

I have, as usual, been reading all sorts of stuff today. What tends to happen, in my tiny mind, is that I see connections between all sorts of different subjects. I really ought to have a jotting pad next to me so that I can make notes when I see connections because it is so easy to forget.

I have often said that Epidemiology is not science – it is just counting. When Dr Snow noticed that cases of cholera in London, during a specific period of time, were located in a specific area of London, he realised that it did not make much sense to believe that the disease was caused by ‘something in the air’. If the cases of cholera were localised, the cause must also be localised. The rest is history. The cause was water-borne and the pathogen was located at a specific water pump which was used by the sufferers.

But what was ‘scientific’ about Dr Snow’s activity? Not a lot. The tool that he used was mathematical – locations and numbers. Counting. The real science was the actual discovery of the pathogen itself.

I think that the importance of Dr Snow’s work was that it pointed the way to the discovery of the real cause of cholera (a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae). What was not quite certain became certain, and it could be tested.

Testing, is the important thing about science. The possibility of ‘falsification’ must be present, otherwise, it is not science.

But we must be wary of the idea that repetition equals ‘potential falsification’. It is not. Repetition might contain the same biases that the original ‘study’ contained.

And is that not the problem with ‘tobacco studies’? They repeat. But they almost exclusively rely upon ‘relative risk’. Let us be clear. The important word there is RISK. I was reading something today about the climbing of Everest. There are about 200 dead bodies lying about on Mount Everest. I don’t know if it is still so, but it appears that some of those dead bodies were in plain sight to climbers, even though they were frozen in place. Climbing Mount Everest is a huge risk, but is it the same sort of risk which smoking entails? No, it is not. The risk of death is 100% – at any instant. It does not matter what the statistics of deaths on climbing Everest show. There make be hundreds of thousands of ‘tourists’ who have climbed Everest and only a few deaths, but each one of those deaths was known as a specific person.

‘Death by smoking’ cannot identify individuals, other than those which resulted from Tobacco Control interference, such as people falling off balconies, or being murdered by a Zealot. Not one individual who died can be truly said to have died because he/she smoked.

It is a hypothesis.

Whenever you see ‘more research is required’ of the words ‘may’, ‘might’ ‘could’, ‘it is possible that’, etc, you are seeing hypotheses.

What is horrific is that actual smoking bans, all over the country, with brutal punishments for rebellion, were enacted on the basis of hypotheses. And it is the same even today, ten years later. Government has learned nothing from the effects of its smoking bans – the closure of pubs, the alienation of millions of smokers, the rise in vituperative and hatred. And what is most important, the hatred that we smokers feel for our persecutors.  I hate every MP who voted for the smoking ban, even if I do not know whom they were.  It is a visceral hatred of oppressors. The treatment of smokers in the UK is just as bad as racism, or even worse.

And the whole thing is based upon a hypothesis – Doll’s Doctors Study. Most of the doctors were smokers and very few of them died from LC. But, according to the study, 15 times more deaths from LC were smokers as compared with non-smokers. Is that conclusive proof? Well, no it is not. Why not? Because no one knows what other factors, for each individual death, were involved.

There seems to have been a rise in the use of hypotheses to create laws and regulations. The process is called ‘evidence based’. Forgive me for laughing. Hypotheses are not ‘evidence’.

For some reason or other, there is a cruelty hidden in plain sight – tax the blighters into submission. And MPs vote for that cruelty. Is it any wonder that ‘entrepreneurs’ are taking advantage of the wicked laws voted in by MPs? It is MPs who are wicked and not the ‘entrepreneurs’.

It is hard to understand how politicians fell for the tricks of the FCTC and the IPCC. Perhaps, en masse, it was just the easiest way.

There are immense repercussions from political acceptance of hypotheses as fact. Not least of which vast waste of taxpayers’ monies.