Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Since the chief fabricator (Godber) laid out his dastardly plan to eradicate smoking & tobacco in 1975 the anti smoking movement has marched on relentlessly in pursuit of a smoke free world.
With the pharmaceutical industry investing $millions in 'smoke free' and reaping $multi millions in return, smokers are up against a formidable enemy.
Unbelievably the pubs & clubs sleepwalked their way into smokefree legislation, fully believing the crap that was fed to them by the likes of Flint, Hewitt & ASH. "no business closures reported in other countries".Hogwash! "no detriment to business". Hogwash! "millions of non smoking customers ready to invade the pubs & clubs". Yes - even more Hogwash!
Punch Taverns & Enterprise Inns (Englands 2 largest pubcos) botgh ignored the warnings issued and now sit, very unhappily, at the wrong end of £3.8bn balance sheets. Neither can pay the interest on their borrowings, such is the cvolossal effect of the smoke ban and smokers walking!
For Flint, Hewitt & ASH, your 'success' story is this:- 'you have, in your zealotry hatred for all things tobacco, killed 6,000 businesses, caused poverty & bankruptcy, homelessness and despair. You cannot, howver, prove that you have saved 1 (one) single life!'
Maybe the pubs & clubs 'rolled over' in the face of this law but in many countries determined resistance has been forthcoming. The myth surrounding passive smoking/smoke has been well and truly exposed to all with a semblance of normality as many scientists wrestle with their conscience. Indeed, we now have a situation whereby scientists can sign the "Brussels Declaration of Scientific Integrity" or remain on the highly lucrative payroll of the anti tobacco movement. Anti Tobacco fever has swept across the western world like a plague!
However, the signs are there that 'for germany's highest courts have ruled that smoke bans are detrimental to bar owners livelyhoods (Flint, Hewitt, ASH???) and have therefore lifted such. bBar owners are now returning to making a living!
The Dutch bar owners association all chucked £250 in a pot to fight the smoke ban - and won! it was noticeable that ashtrays seldom disappeared from the tables in Holland as bar owners knew their fate if bereft of smokers.
The Danes have just declared that the next step in the anti tobacco story will NOT be happening in their country as the proposed Tobacco Display Ban has been dismissed; ie, it will not be happening - much to the chagrin of some!
In France the ban is hardly noticeable as the french continue as before.
The Spaniards, ever mindful of tourism, have ignored their smoke ban as best they can.
The Italians are of similar mind, with very little actual enforcement going on.
Croatia has relaxed its policy as they have seen the economic damage cause by smoke bans.
poland recently relaxed their stranglehold on smokers for similar reasons.
Bulgaria did the same after only 3 days, much to the fury of some female director of the WHO, who felt the need to write to the Bulgarian government in the strongest terms about their audacious decision!
The Czech Republic went even further and refused to entertain a smoking ban at all! The'WHO' must have had an apoplectic fit with that news!
Talking of the 'WHO', I find it somewhat hilarious that in their self righteous efforts to rid the world of tobacco they were forced to hold a top level meeting 4 weeks ago to discuss the raising of $billions to further pressurise world smokers. Not only are smoke bans causing havoc with individual nations economies but the 'backroom boys' are suffering economic stress too.
Under Labour we would be expecting the smoke ban review any day now, but happily the new coalition government has put such action on hold as 'non important' in the light of our dire economic status. This is excellent news, and a breath of fresh air for our 16 million smokers for the planned Labour review was not a review at all but a means to impose further restrictions. Some of the planned review paperwork was written 2 years ago by certain universities employed (for astronomical sums)to ensure the ban was a'storming success'. There was very little in the reports to indicate smokers had been hard done to, which, when you realise that the review papers were ordained by one Gillian Merron (deposed Lincoln MP) is of no surprise!
Happily, there has been a storm of protest from small shopkeepers concerning the banning of tobacco displays. More 'fibbers' from ex-government have been exposed as small retailers objected to the redesigning of their shops to accomodate 'under the counter' cigarettes & tobbaco.
'Under the counter' is quite the term at the present time as smuggled goods into this country and S Ireland are rising rapidly. Indeed, S ireland has now been dubbed as the tobacco smuggling centre of the world- a far cry from the initial successes claimed by their government upon implementation of thier smoke ban. Actually, they are bemoaning the fact that they are now £400m down due to loss of tobacco tax!
Over in America, home of the bans and home of the anti smoking lunatic John Banzhaff, things are changing slowly as we're seeing bars boycotting state gambling in response to Michigan's ban.
Ohio: people still making a royal stink about their ban with courts holding bar owners not responsible for enforcing it in some areas while in other areas local health departments have refused to take responsibility to enforce it. Illinois: supposedly the ban being widely ignored in various areas.
Kansas: the ban being put on hold in their major city of Wichita because of a conflict between the city and state and the noninclusion of casinos.
Missouri: Springfield City Council withdrawing a ban from a vote because it would have been filled with exemptions - so now no ban at all; and on the Federal level a split decision by the Supreme Court: the tobacco companies lied and were racketeers, but the government can't grab money from them as punishment (Obama wanted $280 BILLION dollars from them).
So, after 3 years of misery for the good people of this country we can see that smoke bans are starting to crumble - and they will crumble simply because they cost countries farm too much money to implement. They cost far too much money in upkeep. They have no great affect on smoke cessation. After all, the only figures government can produce in defence of spending £253m last year is the number of 'quitters' over a 4 week period - which in reality means diddley squat! many people stop for 4 weeks just to get the financial reward offered for quitting.
Smoking rates have decreased decade after decade since the 1950's but smoking bans have reversed that trend with smoker prevalence on the up, tobacco sales on the up and tobacco shares on the increase - indeed, hypocritically, many local councils are investing their pension funds in BT!
Smoke bans are ridiculous for they deny smokers the right to smoke in certain places. They deny owners of pubs & clubs the right to earn a decent living. They seriously damage a nations economy. They do not prevent the death of any human being - despite the wild claims od supposedly 'saving 400,000 lives'.err...Hogwash!
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
It was under Jack McConnell that the 2006 smoking ban was introduced in Scotland, meaning that people could not smoke inside public buildings such as restaurants, pubs and clubs. This ban was then introduced in England later.Tell me Jack, why did you go into politics?
I was inspired to get involved in politics because I believe in real and lasting socialBut what about the chiiildren? Oh...
engineeringchange to create fairer opportunities and end discrimination and I believe in the power of people to bring about that change.
We must build societies where young people are protected from harm and given the support and encouragement necessary so that they can realise their full potential.
For me this matters as much in Scotland, in Malawi or China. There can be no artificial boundaries in the 21st century is to see the fulfilment of human potential.Malawi? Dirt poor Malawi? How do they derive their income then? You know, to save the poor chiiildren? Apart from Tea, Sugar or Cotton?
Main exports: Tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton
Thank god people like you are saving people from themselves so that they can live a long and prosperous li...oh...
Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 54 years (women) (UN)Must be the fags wot done it eh. (Got you a knighthood I mean.)
Monday, 28 June 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,No, I haven’t a clue what Mr. William Shakespeare meant ether, but it fits into this tale of woe, in my mind, at least.
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And make us heirs of all eternity.
It would appear that Champaign socialists, (a much used phrase to to fight the socialist Labour MP’s here in the UK) is not far of the mark. It was also a phrase that I, as a committed socialist, baulked at…until the 2006 health act came in that seen me as an antisocial leper. It was then I started to look into my beliefs about socialism and what it meant.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a socialist attitudes, I want compassion when it comes to the less fortunate than myself. But there are limits, even to non taxpayers like myself, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg…or so I’m led to believe!
But my ex
Tony Blair has made millions out of being a socialist so what does he do with his millions?
Does he bail out a failing club, not just any old working men’s club, but a labour club (where he engineered his 1997 election coup), or does he fall back on spin doctorish crap? Sorry, daft question.
The birthplace of Tony Blair’s New Labour is to shut – after being forced out of business by the economic crash and the former Prime Minister’s own smoking ban.
“Last night a spokesman for Mr Blair declined to be drawn on whether he would dip into his estimated £15 million fortune to save his old haunt, although his former agent said the ex-PM had ‘been in touch’ about the club’s problem.”15 mil? Yeah right! This is just the start of his fortune.
Lectures see Tony Blair earnings jump over £12mTony Blair’s earnings since leaving Downing Street are calculated to have topped £12 million, more than six times his previous lifetime income.
The former Prime Minister, who tours the world speaking to audiences including investment banks, private equity firms and chambers of commerce, is now said to be the highest-paid speaker in the world. Since launching himself on the speaking circuit last October, Mr Blair is understood to have earned more from speeches than Bill Clinton, the former US President, did in his first year after leaving the White House.
As the stock market has plummeted and the housing market has slumped, the man who as Prime Minister championed the “light-touch” system of financial regulation blamed by some for the current crisis is enjoying an unprecedented boom of his own.
Trimdon Labour Club, where Mr Blair announced his decision to stand for party leader in 1994 and his resignation as PM in 2007, will close at the end of next month due to a lack of customers.But Trimdon Labour Club goes down fighting?
The move – symbolic of the shift in the political landscape following David Cameron’s move into Downing Street – was described by club secretary Paul Trippett last night as ‘desperately sad’. He blamed a combination of the smoking ban in pubs, which Mr Blair pushed through in one of his last acts as Prime Minister, an increase in the number of people watching live sport at home and booming sales of cut-price supermarket alcohol.Nope, Paul, you refuse to see the elephant, but go all squeamish when you see the mouse. I’ve drunk cut price alcohol for years and still went to my local boozer, without causing any drunken trouble, and had a thoroughly good time, went home happy and…well, that’s my business!
Chancellor George Osborne’s VAT rise in last week’s Budget appears to have dealt the final blow.Oh FFS, the final nail was put into the pub coffin on the 1st of July 2007. But still, if you want to suck Blair’s cock then feel free, but think of your staff and customers eh.
Oh, another Shakespeare line just came to me: Et tu brutus
Saturday, 26 June 2010
O wad some Power the giftie gie usThe above paragraph contains the oft mentioned immortal line that heads this post. It is the last paragraph from a poem by Robert Burns. (Click and drag your mouse over the space to reveal the author, if you have not already guessed.)
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!
If the language is unfathomable to you then here’s the English translation:
O would some Power the gift to give usTo see ourselves as others see us is a gift we rarely use in our everyday lives and dealings with others. What would we find if we did listen to those outside looking in? Would we agree or argue black was white? In the instance below I was astounded at how authoritarian we are seen by outsiders, let alone a German. The first half is mainly about smoking bans in our two countries but the rest is no less intriguing.
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!
The below recording is from Radio4 and a German newspaper journalist gives the British a lesson in libertarianism.
Click to play
Friday, 25 June 2010
A guest post by Kin-free
It’s Time to Face Down the Bull ! The bullfight is in progress, The bullshit is flying: Will you grasp the Muleta and Espada?
Can you see the bull Spain? Look around you, it has left plenty of clues to its presence; those are not portions of paella that you think you see, but piles of its rancid smelling ‘calling cards’! Look in the shadows and you will see it snorting and pawing the ground, patiently waiting for you to consume its contribution to Spanish politics, ready to charge, pounce, trample and gore your country!
Spain - Health Minister, Trinidad Jiménez announces that The ban on smoking in all public places comes to Congress with sufficient support and WILL enter into force expected on 1st January 2011. There is no hint of any doubt - it WILL happen, according to Jimenez that is! Funny that, because it was only in February that Jimenez was unable to garner anywhere near enough support for a ban and had to postpone a parliamentary debate on tougher anti-smoking legislation;
“ Bar and restaurant owners vehemently oppose the ban, saying it could force the closure of 70,000 establishments and kill 200,000 jobs.”
“The opposition conservatives said they disapproved of 'coercion' “.
In January 2010 in a straw poll by The Independent on Sunday of Spanish pub and bar landlords,...(contrary to ‘official’ (unrepresentative) claims of 70% public support) Nine out of 10 were ferociously opposed to the ban
So, moderate politicians and members of the hospitality trade are aware of the potential adverse consequences of the implementation of a draconian smoke ban and they will also be aware of the present general state of their economy even if they may not be aware of the damning detail; In many ways, the economic situation in Spain is now even worse than the economic situation in Greece;
Unemployment is already above 20% (4.6 million); 1.6 million unsold properties, six times the level per capita in the US; total debt has reached 270 percent of GDP; “Stripped of its AAA status pushes Spain to the edge of financial oblivion”.
Spain is unquestionably in financial dire straits, YET astonishingly, anti-smokers are STILL intent on imposing a smoking ban that WILL decimate Spain's tourism and hospitality industry. The inevitable damage is potentially far greater than the destruction caused in the UK and truly highlights the fanaticism of a few deluded anti-smokers and how far they are prepared to go in pursuit of their invidious goals. Why though, are Spain’s moderate political class apparently running alongside them, headlong towards the precipice like blinkered lemmings? Why do previously dissenting politicians now apparently think this is a good policy, contrary to previously held principles? What has changed in less than three months to precipitate such an apparently exceptional about-turn in smoking ban support?
One important clue comes directly from Jimenez; “The ban on smoking [HAS] sufficient support.” ... “ and WILL enter into force”. This reminded me immediately of a quote in a Guardian article back in 2006, aptly entitled ‘Smoke and Mirrors’. That quote was from Deborah Arnott (Director of ASH) explaining how she and her cohorts had conned English politicians to do a similar about-turn, abandoning their principles and voting for a draconian smoke ban;
“It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we "knew" we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.”
Is Jimenez today using the same confidence trick, using the twin deceptions of false inevitability and fabricated support, by reference to existing junk and pseudo science, exaggerated claims of smoking harm, questionable popularity polls and what the Guardian describes as ‘sharp’ tactics? That the whole anti-smoker issue is a con trick is beyond question to the informed, that it is rooted in an ideology, long since thought to have been defeated by good men is plainly obvious to a few and will eventually be recognized by the majority, but whether it is presently sustained, by people like Arnott or Jimenez, due to malice, recklessness, incompetence, negligence or naivety is not for me to say. I would suggest that it is a combination, to varying degrees, of all of these factors. The confidence trick used to influence Spanish politicians is almost an exact carbon copy of that used by the UK anti-smoker lobby in 2006. The tactics used are so similar that it is difficult not to suspect that Jimenez is merely a puppet of ASH UK.
Puppet or not, a recent report indicates that Jiminez may have succeeded in converting good politicians using the anti-smoker ‘confidence trick’. This report indicates far greater success than has been seen in any vote anywhere; not just a majority but; “Tough anti-smoking legislation gets unanimous support in parliament” indicating no political dissent whatsoever? The article is ambiguous to say the least but an anonymous poster on the story states that only TWO votes were made against the proposal (to clarify the omissions in the article). It does not ‘ring true’ but If it is true then searching questions need to asked as to how support has magically changed to unanimous from a position of not insubstantial repudiation, in the space of only a few short months. This MUST raise concerns about the Spanish political process. The anti-smoker con trick leading up to the English vote in 2006 while turning weaker MP’s, did not convince the majority of conservative party - and that was at a time when anti-smoker rhetoric was far more believable - before most of it was exposed as fallacious. It would be incredible if Spain’s Partido Populqr opposition party has folded on this issue, bearing in mind it has historically defended smokers and freedom to choose.
The article however has not been confirmed by other sources so is this an example of poor journalism or, just possibly, an extension of the anti-smoker false inevitability and fabricated support tactic intended to ‘demoralise the opposition’? (The cynic in me asks, could it be a week or so before the real and relevant vote?), either way, questions need to be asked.
How was the ‘sting’ perpetrated ?
While the foundations were laid several decades ago by people such as Hitler in Germany (fanatical, ideological tendencies), followed by Richard Doll in the UK (representing polluting industry) and Ernst Wynder in the USA (alleged fanatical religious tendencies), the central plank of the current ‘con trick’ was set in motion by Sir George Godber at the 1975 World Conference on Smoking and Health where antismoking activists were urged to;
“FOSTER an atmosphere in which it was PERCEIVED that active smokers would injure those around them, ESPECIALLY their family and any infants or young children…” and “convey the impression that smoking is a dirty, anti-social practice”
Plenty of debase characters since then have pervertedly enjoyed pushing Godbers ‘filthy smoker’ impression and promoted hatred of smokers. Godber’s activist edict was proclaimed well before any research was done into ‘passive smoking’ (ETS) and heralded the most extensive, expensive, unprecedented raft of misinformation and debasement of medical science, as activists sought to follow his direction to the letter. As Arnott inadvertently points out, this resulted in redefining the debate from one (correctly) related to freedom and rights and turned it (fallaciously) into a debate about ‘health’.
“We changed the terms of the debate to health and safety at work. We argued that secondhand smoke is a killer”
Of course it is now well known that second hand smoke is NOT a killer, except in the eyes of the anti-smoker lobby or those too apathetic to look beyond the official propaganda. Anti-tobacco alarmists continue to make this fallacious claim but many other, well qualified people, have evaluated the so called ‘evidence’ and found it seriously wanting in terms of proof of harm. In fact the evidence often proves the opposite, particularly relating to children.(eg. Boffetta et al - that ETS has a protective effect on children is the study’s only significant finding) The passive smoking scam is well documented and widely available in the public domain (but will not be found in swamping anti-tobacco sources) and I could have provided many examples but a clear critique can be found in this short video, or in this short article. Both explain in simple terms how ethical, impartial science relating to passive smoking has been compromised.
One of the most recent scientists to blow the whistle on the passive smoking fraud is the recently retired Prof Phillipe Even, previously dean of the prestigious French research institute Necker;
”Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low. ... By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. ... I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie.”
Despite scientists like Prof Even, many so called ‘respected’ members of the anti-smoker medical/scientific community would swear on the grave of their mothers that passive smoking represents a serious threat to public health, disregarding the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This merely begs the question - how much of what they or their predecessors claim, can be trusted AND how many years/decades have they been lying to promote a pre-determined agenda? Does the anti-smoker deception pre-date and extend way beyond the simple and isolated parameters of passive smoking - to its very conception a generation ago? Has this deception prevented relevant research and caused untold deaths as a result? Claims are made that for instance, in the developed world, asthma is caused by smoking exposure, but as smoking prevalence has reduced over the years, asthma prevalence has exploded, as have most cancers, including lung cancer! The claim that quitting smoking will have health benefits using widely acclaimed but dubious ‘estimates’ based on statistical study has been shown to be wrong as ultimately, end results contradict those studies. Now apparently, nearly one in two men and more than one in three women will contract some form of cancer in their lifetime! This information should spark introspection in any open mind.
The anti-smoker campaign draws on some of mans oldest and most powerful natural instincts including (but not exclusively) varying degrees of Greed, Self interest, Pride, a touch of Envy and sometimes, simply survival.
If the ‘targets’ of the con-trick begin to believe that a smoking ban is inevitable then they abandon thoughts of equity or fairness and regress to base instincts; “What’s In it for ME”, “How can I turn this to MY advantage” or “How can I protect myself or my group from unemployment, bankruptcy or the worst of the financial and social fallout”. Splitting the opposition is one of the oldest tricks in the book - but people still fall for it! The simplest part of the con is to get the greed factor fired up and claim that non smokers will swarm and multiply to replace smokers - “Get rid of those filthy smokers and you will be ‘quids in’!”. It is now clearer than ever that this HAS NOT and WILL NOT happen! (If it sounds too good to be true, then chances are it is too good to be true!).
I wonder how many Spanish promises have been made to businesses/groups for ‘special’ concessions or ‘inferred’ protection to those gullible enough to listen? “support us and we will look after you - nudge nudge: wink wink.” Conversely, how many politicians or union officials have been pressured and coerced into believing that it is their ‘duty’ to protect the health of ‘their’ people and ‘must’ act in their interests? How many have been conned into believing they will be isolated and out on a limb if they actually stand by their principles and represent the true interests of their people rather than a few anti-smoker fanatics? Don’t you believe them !! Do NOT believe it !!
One of the best examples of greed in action is the large UK pub companies. They fell for the nudge nudge: wink wink chestnut and supported the smoke ban in the UK, no doubt thinking they were large enough to weather the storm and increase their market share as small independent pubs, one by one, were driven to the wall. Well, many small independents did fail by the hundreds - BUT so did the large pub companies. Many have been liquidated, others have seen the value of their companies plummet, and have been seen desperately trying to offload their pub stock by any means and finding they are now clinging to existence by their fingernails.
The unions, deceived into thinking they were protecting the health of their members, have seen those members lose their jobs by the thousand. The UK public sector HAS seen a massive increase in non-jobs, created to enforce smoke bans and ‘encourage’ smokers to quit, or ‘encourage’ drinkers to curb their alcohol intake or ‘encourage’ the obese to eat according to state guidelines, use the right bin for their rubbish, the right energy saving light bulb Etc. Etc. Etc. but these jobs are not self financing like the jobs they replaced. They are an expensive drain on the taxpayer putting at risk essential front line services. These too are now being drastically cut while the unions squirm and impotently plead for mercy.
In Spain I see that trades unions are claimed to be supporters, what incentives have they been ‘promised’ or what coercion have they been pressured with I wonder? Also what of those associated with bullfighting, smokers clubs etc where they have been led to believe that they will be exempted but now find Jimenez stating; “..the climate was ‘very favourable’ to go ‘even further and be more ambitious’” (ie. YOU’RE the next on the list to be stuffed!)
It may surprise some that those UK politicians, pub company execs, union officials and others, who have been right royally shafted, are not screaming “FOUL” but are re-affirming their decisions as “the right thing to do”. Think about it logically and it is not surprising at all. It takes a great deal of courage for any person (let alone public figures) to admit to being foolish or gullible, that their underlying character of greed or self interest has been exploited! Rather than risk humiliation, they become reluctant, or even more vocal supporters of the scam to try and ‘save face’. To retain their dignity, abnegation often takes over, or pride and self-interest is compounded even further. They do not want to be associated with those who Arnott describes as;
“opponents [who were] often foolish” and “exposed as Incompetent or insubstantial”.
Fortunately, some do have the courage of their convictions and are prepared to ‘bite the bullet’ and tell it as it is. One thing the Spanish politicians have that British politicians didn’t is the benefit of the British experience of the anti-smoker confidence trick. It will be far harder for Spanish victims to admit to being gullibly taken-in, after having been alerted to the earlier British confidence trick, repackaged in the same livery and used again on them.
If Spanish politicians allow anti-smoker fanatics to suck the life blood out of Spain they can expect to be treated the same as those in other countries where the political class has failed their people - at the ballot box. Make no mistake, when politicians betray their people, whether intentionally, by incompetence, gullibility, negligence, or naivety, they WILL ‘reap the whirlwind’. The UK Labour party saw their terminal problems begin around the time they broke their manifesto pledge on reasonable smoking restrictions and forced a total smoking ban upon the British people. The public did not want an extensive ban but they were ignored and the Labour party instead supported a fanatical lobby group and fell for a confidence trick laced with fixed polls and pseudo science. They were foolish, never recovered from that time onward, and were dismissed by the voting public earlier this year. Many reasons were mooted to explain their rejection and they have much to answer for, but the principle reason was their betrayal of the people, demonstrated in no better way than the smoking ban.
A similar vote of confidence was demonstrated by the public in the recent Dutch Elections. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), that are the strongest critic of their smoking ban, won the most support while the party seen as the chief supporters/engineers of their smoking ban, the Christian Democrats, were DESTROYED! The most important principle for the VVD has always been individual freedom. This principle is becoming increasingly desirable in most progressive political circles in the face of a more informed electorate, as an alternative to out-of-control state control. Smoke bans are one of the most overt manifestations of the out-of-control state and the extreme opposite to individual freedom. Take note Spain!
Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, very few European countries have copied the malignant ban adopted by Britain. Many, the most recent being Bulgaria, have already faced down the righteous beast, the back-scratching society of the fanatical new temperance movement, undemocratic EU bureaucrats and the ‘comfortable’ WHO/ Big Pharma coalition. More can be expected to follow this example as democratic tolerance and common sense is reclaimed. Don’t fall for that false inevitability and fabricated support; there are many positive signs that the web of deceit underpinning these is collapsing.
When you are called upon to validate the new Spanish smoking restrictions, will you face down the bull in the room? Do you have the courage to run with your muleta, strike with your espada and later to dine on fresh beefsteak, or will you foolishly turn your back on the slobbering beast and bend over to eat that strange tasting paella ... Indeed, have you already put away the sword and partaken of that noxious paella that will ensure you spend the rest of your political life having to justify and defend your gullibility? I sincerely hope not and that all is not lost. There ARE indications that this is not all ‘done and dusted’ and there could still yet be time to stop the, righteous, puritanical beast that will destroy your country, your society and your self respect.
“This is an own goal for the Chancellor. Smoking costs society and at a time of austerity, an increase in duty would help pay for the much needed services to tackle tobacco which continues to kill half of all its long term users."Well yes it might, but I thought the idea was that people cut down, rather than kept smoking at the same rate? The more likely result is that further rises in duty would push Scotland in the direction of Ireland, where high duties and the display ban have combined to produce the 'smuggling capital of Europe'
Sheila prefers to dream that a rise in duty would simultaneously raise money for the Treasury (in Scotland?) and stop people from smoking.
“There is no doubt that we are about to face major public service cuts in Scotland over the next few years, but I would hope the decisions that are to be made are taken carefully."
Yes, we all do!
"Prevention measures that reduce youth smoking uptake and stop-smoking services that help smokers to quit, deliver long-term health dividends and these must be maintained."
Since most officially delivered quit smoking services concern themselves with four-week targets rather than bothering about the long term, I think we can take this with a pinch of salt. Further the major legislation designed to deter youth from smoking, the tobacco display ban, has passed into law despite the lack of an evidence base.
quotes: "The Committee notes that strong views were advanced on both sides of the debate. The Committee also recognises that the evidence base for this proposal is at an early stage and that the international evidence to date is inconclusive." from the stage 1 report of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services Bill.
There is simply no evidence that tobacco control on the scale on which it is now practised, has any beneficial effect on quit rates or long-term health.
Perhaps Ms Duffy would like to explain which departments at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary she would like to dispense with? Her grant last year was just under £1 million, a fraction of the cuts to be imposed on the health budget - but really, it could be far better spent.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
…to car drivers who like a drink with their meal.
NEARLY 40 vehicles have been crushed as part of a crackdown on persistent drink-drivers.
Quite right too, these persistent drunken drivers should be kept of the road…permanently!
Officers believe the "outstanding success" of the six-month-old scheme could see it extended to first-time drink-drive offenders caught several times over the limit or who refuse to provide a breath test or drive while banned.
Several times eh, will these people never learn? Oh…
Under the pioneering Scottish crackdown, prosecutors can seek the destruction of the vehicle of anyone caught twice for drink-driving.
Christ I must be dumb, had to look up the difference between “several” and “twice.” Anyway, it’ll only be the drinking, smoking lardasses from the sink estates that will get their bangers crushed and off the road for good eh…
The 39 vehicles seized so far include a £20,000 Audi TT by Grampian Police and a Land Rover Freelander in Edinburgh.
But but but…surely it’s all about safety and saving lives, isn’t it?
The more valuable ones are sold while the rest are crushed.
Well I never saw that coming, did I? But it’ll all stop there as their ‘targets’ are achieved, won’t it?
More seizures are expected to follow among the 210 drivers who have been caught drink-driving since December, when the scheme started.
Backdating offences to hammer you eh, now where did I hear some whinging MP’s moaning on about this when it related to their expenses?
I don’t drive these days so why should I worry about people who drive and imbibe the occasional pint or two? After all, they wouldn’t do this to driving smokers, now would they?
It was yesterday extended to drug-driving offenders ahead of the annual two-week summer drink/drug driving campaign, which starts on 5 July.
Ah, those campaigners, always
prodnosing thinking of us mere mortals. After all, we smokers are not drug addicts like say heroin addicts, are we? Oh F…
The Smokerlyzer, coming to a car near you.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Sunday, 20 June 2010
Superhero Eddie Dowthwaite, Chair of Freedom2Choose (Scotland.) And who is that lady in red who’s thinking “oh ****, I don’t wanna be saved”? It’s none other than ASH Scotland supremo Sheila Duffy.
Eddie getting in touch with his Ned Kelly side.
The last picture I have to show you gives an indication as to what you may expect at a town centre near you.
Here’s their splurge:
Smokerlyzer? I kid you not, and for a mere £224.99 every household should have one. Soon they will be as omnipresent as the humble thermometer?
Helping People To Stop Smoking with a Smokerlyzer® CO MonitorA simple breath test with a Smokerlyzer® CO monitor will measure the levels of toxic carbon monoxide (CO) inhaled from tobacco smoke. CO in itself is harmful, as it reduces the amount of oxygen taken up by the body, but it can also act as an indicator as to the possible level of some 4,000 toxic substances in cigarette smoke, 60 of which cause cancer.
The Smokerlyzer® range of carbon monoxide (CO) monitors and testers is used during smoking cessation programmes to give the smoker visible proof of the damaging CO levels and to help motivate by charting the progress during the programme. All the instruments are surgically non-invasive, lightweight, battery powered, simple to operate and use hygienic inexpensive disposable mouthpieces.
The Smokerlyzer® CO monitor range is clinically proven and has become the benchmark used throughout the world by health professionals working in smoking cessation programmes and research.
I can tell you readers are not convinced so the makers of the Smokerlyzer have kindly made a video to convince you:
Not convinced? Oh I give up. (I wish they would.)
Friday, 18 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Dr Wendy Richardson
Click To Play
A new addition to the Freedom-2-Choose blogroll, Lib Dem councillor on Hull City Council and (since 2006) the leader of the council.
Civil libertarians are most welcome, no matter their politicial allegiance.
It's always nice to see a politician with a sense of humour too.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Yet another mealy mouthed survey that “concludes” that stopping smoking lowers your stress levels, or, as they put it:
Smokers often say they need a cigarette to calm their nerves, but a new study suggests that after a person kicks the habit, chronic stress levels may go down.Here’s the rest in full:
The findings, say researchers, should give smokers reassurance that quitting will not deprive them of a valuable stress reliever.
In a study of 469 smokers who tried to quit after being hospitalized for heart disease, the researchers found that those who remained abstinent for a year showed a reduction in their perceived stress levels. In contrast, stress levels were essentially unchanged among heart patients who went back to smoking.
The study, reported in the journal Addiction, supports the theory that, at least for some people, smoking actually contributes to chronic stress.
"Smokers often see cigarettes as a tool to manage stress, and ex-smokers sometimes return to smoking in the belief that this will help them cope with a stressful life event," lead researcher Peter Hajek, a professor at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the UK, told Reuters Health in an email.
Yet, he said, studies have shown that non-smokers tend to report lower stress levels than smokers do.
The reason for that difference has been unclear, but it could mean that people vulnerable to stress are more likely to take up smoking -- and that taking away that habit could worsen their stress.
On the other hand, smoking itself may generate long-term stress, even if people feel it offers them temporary relief from trying situations.
Hajek's team looked at that question by recruiting 469 smokers who had been hospitalized for a heart attack or heart bypass surgery. While the patients were still in the hospital, they completed surveys on their perceived stress levels and smoking habits. All said they were motivated to quit and had agreed to take part in a clinical trial of in-hospital smoking-cessation counseling.
At the outset, most of the study participants -- about 85 percent -- said they believed that smoking helped them deal with stress to some extent. Half said that the habit "very much" helped them cope.
One year later, the study participants were surveyed again, at which point 41 percent had managed to remain abstinent.
On average, Hajek and his colleagues found, the abstainers showed a 20 percent reduction in their reported stress levels, while patients who had gone back to smoking showed little change in their perceived stress.
The relationship between abstinence and reduced stress held up when the researchers accounted for factors such as patients' age and education, how heavily they had smoked before quitting, and how high their stress scores had been at the start of the study.
The findings, according to the researchers, support the idea that dependency on cigarettes is itself a chronic source of stress.
"When dependent smokers cannot smoke, as the period without cigarettes lengthens they tend to feel more and more edgy, irritable and uncomfortable," Hajek explained. "A cigarette relieves this stressful state, and this is probably the main reason smokers think that smoking relieves stress."
So someone who smokes 20 cigarettes per day, for example, essentially goes through 20 bouts of stress each day, as the levels of nicotine in the body decline. Once that person quits -- and gets over the initial period of withdrawal -- he will have 20 fewer periods of stress each day, Hajek said.
"Many smokers worry that if they stop smoking, they will lose a valuable tool for coping with difficult situations and stresses in their lives," Hajek noted.On the links at the side of the above ‘study’ I came across this:
These findings, he said, instead suggest that quitting may not only benefit smokers' physical health, but possibly their mental well-being as well.
Smokers who have higher levels of vitamin B6 and certain essential proteins in their blood have a lower risk of getting lung cancer than those deficient in these nutrients, according to study by cancer specialists.
Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said that although they had not found a causal link, the results may be a clue to why some smokers never get lung cancer and some non-smokers or former smokers do.I never knew reading all these studies could be so stressful.
Hot on the heels of a positive character smoking on TV comes more bad news for the Righteous. Best they sit down for this, because it seems that the news for pregnant women is not only that alcohol might not boil their unborn babies alive in their own wombs but it might even be beneficial.
New evidence has emerged that pregnant women who indulge in one glass of wine a day in their first trimester may have better behaved children than those who abstain from alcohol or drink heavily.But fear not, Righteous types, because...
In a study of more than 2300 mothers, Perth researchers found pregnant women who drank light to moderate amounts of alcohol had babies with fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties.
I don't know about anybody else but are you getting sick of all these 'quack' studies? Positive or no. [TheBigYin]
Justice for Licensees, in conjunction with their Save the Great British Pub campaign, are pleased to announce that they have been working closely with both the music industry and a master brewer to produce two very different fund raising projects. Monies raised will be donated to the Save the Great British Pub campaign.
We are pleased to announce the release of our charity single "What can we do now (Save the Great British Pub)" written and produced by Bob James and Tim Bushong. We are most thankful to both Bob and Tim for all their hard work on this project and are quietly confident that this will raise a considerable amount of interest. The cost of the single is 79p and available here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bobjames1
Bob James said "I have been a songwriter since the early 90's, I write in most styles but perform mainly Country, 50's Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly.
I was asked to write a song to bring to peoples attention the demise of the "Great British Pub" which after all is British Heritage, pubs have been a social gathering place for centuries, and is extremely important in our culture, especially for social networking and relaxation.
Many musicians and artists got their start in pubs and clubs and bars, as I did, and so I found it very close to my heart when asked if I could write and record a song to represent this cause, by Inez.
I came up with the title for the song, as I was wondering, "What can I or we do", "What Can We Do Now".
I then decided, to name as many Pubs as would allow in a song, and keep within a formulated song structure, within a perfect 3 minute to 3.15 minute time frame, incorporating a celtic folky fun feel, with an intro and chorus that could be easily remembered and recognized.
With the help of my co-writer, producer and studio engineer, Tim Bushong, (the Channelsurfers / Lovewar), we put together this song, which I feel will become a true testimony to the Great British Pub, we hope and pray you will like it enough to give your support. Thank you so much, I hope I have the privilege of meeting you all on the road. Thanks Bob James."
We are also pleased to announce that we are working closely with Alex and Diane of ALL BEER to promote the ALL BEER EXPERIENCE pack. Available for the first time as a not-for-profit initiative, it will bring the reader a new understanding of beers and to the campaign much needed funds. The ABE1 pack includes the award-winning ‘World's best beer book', a special tasting glass plus malt and hop flavour samples.
We are thankful to Alex and Diane for their support and help. ABE1 packs are available from http://www.allbeer.co.uk using special offer codes:
‘savethepub’ for single packs at £16.00 including P&P or ‘savethepub10’ for packs of 10, which are discounted to £15.00 each including P&P. The offer is restricted to mainland UK addresses only. Ordering packs of 10 saves on postage and increases the donation to Save the Great British Pub.
Alex said “It’s great to have the opportunity to demonstrate active support for British pubs. I started my working life in a pub, and I hope to end my time in one too!”
“We need pubs to survive and thrive at the heart of our communities. The British pub is synonymous with great beer and ALL BEER was created to help all those who enjoy and work with beer to discover the fantastic, diverse styles and flavours available and to give people more choice.”
“We’re delighted to be able to work with Inez and the wider team to support the Save the Great British Pub campaign.”
Inez Ward, founder of Justice for Licensees and the Save the Great British Pub campaign and Chairman of British Pub Week quoted " I believe wholeheartedly that pubs are worth fighting for and they are worth saving. Let's just take a step back and look at the benefits, they are not just somewhere to consume alcohol. Pubs play a vital role in many a community and are important for social cohesion, let's be frank here they are the best social networking commodity. In the main they retail alcohol responsibly, they are part of the solution to binge drinking and not the cause as has been portrayed on occassions. They carry out charity work, for the greater good of many causes. Pubs play a role in tourism, how many overseas visitors make one of their stops the Great British Pub, how many countries try to emulate the very thing that we are letting go of? They add to the general well being of the economy with taxes, duty, VAT and employment and they can become a burden on the economy as and when they close. How many celebrity chefs, darts players, musicians started their careers in pubs? I remember James Morrisson singing karaoke as a young teenager in a pub that I worked in! Bob James, who has written the charity single for pubs, started his career in pubs. Would these celebrities be where they are today if they had not had the platform to start their careers? Pubs are part of our history, heritage and culture and we should be proud of them and what they do and we should all want to promote these benefits!
I have a dream of a strong, united trade, one that we can all be proud of, a trade where many long to be part of it. A trade that is built on honesty, transparency and an undeniable passion for pubs, a trade that has the utmost respect for the pubs, the licensees and the consumers. A trade that is justifiably proud of it's history, heritage and culture"
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Those nasty Tobacco Companies are at it again, trying to sell their [legal] product to their consumer base. But the terminally righteous are always there to stop the big, bad [tobacco] product getting to the consumer. Now it’s the colour of the packaging that has got them fainting with apoplexy:
With the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act due to take effect June 22, tobacco companies are lightening up their packaging colors on “light” or “mild” cigarette brands, USA Today reports. The act prohibits the use of the words “light” or “mild” on cigarette advertising or packaging.Damn those tobacco companies. Thank god there are good people out there that want to
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and the American Lung Association have accused the tobacco companies of being disingenuous for using lighter colors to convey the “light” or “mild” brands. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance that found many smokers think cigarettes called “light” or “mild” have fewer health risks.Who would have thought that simple colour changes could cause such indignity?
The color changes are “a transparent attempt by the tobacco industry to evade the law and mislead consumers,” said Waxman.Well I would hope so Paul, a lot of tobacco company workers and shareholders stake their pensions on it.
“The tobacco industry is masterful in its knowledge of consumer behavior and marketing,” added Paul Billings, vice president for national policy for lung association.
And for once R.J. Reynolds are not being cowed:
R.J. Reynolds countered that the “smoking experience” is what smokers enjoy about “light” cigarettes. Coloring the packaging on those brands will alert smokers that the taste they enjoy is still available, said David Howard of R.J. Reynolds, which makes the Salem brand.Hmm, just when I was warming to you Howard.
Salem cigarette packages had been the same green shade but now “lights” are housed in a lighter green and white, while “ultra lights” come in a pale gray and white. “The bottom line is there is no safe cigarette…and that is certainly well-known among adult cigarette consumers,” said Howard.
The FDA just had to have the last word:
FDA spokeswoman Kathleen Quinn said the ban encompasses “mild,” “light” and “low” but that the agency would look into any probably violations on a case-by-case basis.What violations? They have, because of the impending law, taken the words “light” and “low tar” from their packaging but are not going against the law by still producing the light and low tar brands, they must have some way of conveying to the consumer what they are buying, surely?
My apologies to the inimitable JuliaM for my crude attempt at aping her style or writing. After all, there is only one Ambush Predator.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Who's he, I hear you ask?Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), has today been recognised by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his service to medicine in her birthday honours list, with the award of a knighthood.
Sir Ian Thomas Gilmore (born 1947) is a professor of hepatology (diseases of the liver) and the currentRoyal College of Physicians of London (PRCP).[update] president of theThe above from
He trained at Cambridge University and St Thomas' Hospital, qualifying in 1971 and subsequently specialising in gastroenterology (diseases of the digestive tract), specifically liver disease. Having spent time in the United States at the University of California, San Diego (1979-1980) as an MRC Travelling Fellow he assumed a consultant post at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He was made honorary professor at the University of Liverpool in 1999.
In 2001 he chaired a Royal College of Physicians working party that produced the report "Alcohol – can the NHS afford it?" Since his election as president of the College in 2006 he has made several public statements on alcohol misuse in the United Kingdom, and under his leadership the Royal College initiated the Alcohol Health Alliance UK in 2007. He was knighted in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Now I'm not going to do a hatchet job on this man as, up until a few days ago, I'd never heard of the man but, as they say, I know a man that does. Frank Davis:
Ian Gilmore: Well, I think we all want more control of our lives and less interference from government in what we do, nonetheless I don't think we can necessarily talk about entire free will when, for example, nicotine is second only to heroin as the most addictive drug in our society. It isn't a level playing field. It isn't all about forcing people to do things..But it's perhaps creating an environment that makes it easier for them to make healthier choices, and I think the ban on smoking in public places is a very good example of this.
Frank had more than a few concerns regarding the newly appointed Sir Ian Gilmore's attitude to governmental control over our lives, and in particular, our 'lifestyle' choices.
You can listen to
Sunday, 13 June 2010
After adjustment for secular and seasonal trends and variation in population size, there was a small but significant reduction in the number of emergency admissions for myocardial infarction after the implementation of smoke-free legislation (–2.4%, 95% confidence interval –4.06% to –0.66%, P=0.007). This equates to 1200 fewer emergency admissions for myocardial infarction (1600 including readmissions) in the first year after legislation. The reduction in admissions was significant in men (3.1%, P=0.001) and women (3.8%, P=0.007) aged 60 and over, and men (3.5%, P<0.01) but not women (2.5% P=0.38) aged under 60.…and can decipher it for us ordinary plebeians and pull their ‘junk’ science to shreds.
Ok, the above is smoking related and we at Freedom2Choose know that those ‘scientists’ are funded by Tobacco Control (yes we know who you are and you are being monitored) and Big Pharma, who have a vested interest in the nanny state because the nanny state brings in the big buck$ but you dress it up as though you are doing us a favour…
The "nanny state" mostly gets a pasting from critics who dismiss government efforts to make us fitter or slimmer or healthier as unwarranted intrusion into individual's lives.…yeah right!
Today, the critics get their comeuppance with research showing that nannying works. In the first year after the smoking ban was introduced in July 2007, the air in bars, restaurants and offices suddenly became sweeter - and more than 1,000 heart attacks were prevented. . . .
All of our lives are touched by the Pharmaceutical Industry who have thrived since the early 1900’s and their tentacles are far reaching:
In the early half of the 20th century, petrochemical giants organized a coup on the medical research facilities, hospitals and universities. The Rockefeller family sponsored research and donated sums to universities and medical schools which had drug based research. They further extended this policy to foreign universities and medical schools where research was drug based through their "International Education Board". Establishments and research which were were not drug based were refused funding and soon dissolved in favor of the lucrative pharmaceutical industry. In 1939 a "Drug Trust" alliance was formed by the Rockefeller empire and the German chemical company I.G. Farben (Bayer). After World War II, I.G. Farben was dismantled but later emerged as separate corporations within the alliance. Well known companies included General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Procter and Gamble, Roche and Hoechst (Sanofi-Aventis). The Rockefeller empire, in tandem with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), owns over half of the pharmaceutical interests in the United States. It is the largest drug manufacturing combine in the world. Since WWII, the pharmaceutical industry has steadily netted increasing profits to become the world's second largest manufacturing industry; ,  after the arms industry.So I will never view Big Pharma as philanthropic, and why should I?
When you are ill the very first person you come across is your GP, your doctor. Do we ask them questions when they prescribe you drugs? Say Champix (which I will cover in another story) if you want to give up smoking for example?
Well we should ask questions:
And there are a lot of questions to ask. Thankfully, again, there are those that ask questions. Below Dr. Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD did just that.
Greed? It’s a killer.
Hat Tip to Bill Gibson (CEO TICAP) and TICAP'S Brussells Declaration on Scientific Integrity.