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Friday, 30 December 2011

Steven Simon, a man of our [anti smoker] times.

Steven Simon, a fighter for smokers rights. 
Steven is a quiet, placid man who comes out of his shell whenever the smoking ban is mentioned. In fact he is passionate about it because he hates it with venom, as do most of us tolerant smokers.

I first met Simon at the very first meeting of the North of England regional group around the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008, my memory for dates has dulled somewhat, at the Tardis pub in Redcar which is now a cafe. He attended subsequent meetings at the Painters Arms in Drighlington and talked passionately about the ban and how to fight it. After a year and half at those meetings I had to stop going for family reasons and lost touch with Simon. Today I have found out he has resurfaced on my radar and he is still fighting the smokers corner:

Kendal smoker to open shop to beat ban

A CAMPAIGNER is planning to open a pro-smoking shop in Kendal to support his bid to get the law changed.
Steven Simon hopes to obtain a lease for a small unit in the town to sell T-shirts promoting his campaign while offering a place for smokers to meet and chat.
Funds raised would be used in his drive to urge the Government to overturn the smoking ban.
Mr Simon said smoking generated £17 billion for the economy and wants pubs to be able to offer ‘smoking rooms’ so people do not have to go outside to light up.
Slogans on the T-shirts would include ‘l would rather be a smoker than a fascist’.
The smoking ban has to be amended because it is achieving nothing,” said Mr Simon.
“Give us an area inside — why should I accept that I am forced outside in winter to smoke?”
 Well said Simon, the smoking ban experiment has achieved absolutely nothing and nor will the impending Tobacco Display Ban, starting with supermarkets on the 6th of April 2012. And nor would smoking bans in your car, vending machines, playgrounds, hospital grounds or even your home, something I wrote about not so long ago.

Anyone with one ounce of 'sink estate' intellect can see that all these draconian measures are for one purpose, and one purpose only, the dehumanisation and denormalisation of the smoker and their enjoyment of tobacco and to pit the majority against the minority, albeit a very, very large minority, but a minority, without status nonetheless.

Recently other bloggers, particularly Junican from the Bolton Smokers Club and Frank Davis have been asking "where have all the wealthy smokers gone?" A question I have asked myself many a time since before the ban came in and was let down by my findings. Simon Cowell, for instance, a celeb smoker who says absolutely nothing in case it upsets his money grubbing empire.  And there is Dave West (where has he gone now?) who famously said he had Cherie Blair as his council to challenge the smoking ban at the european courts in 2008??? And there was Tony Benn, whom I sent an email to asking him to support F2C against this foul ban. He, who gives lectures to us plebs in our town halls about his 'illustrious' career whilst smoking his famous pipe said, and I paraphrase: There are more urgent world events that need sorting".

So don't look to the rich and famous smokers to get us oik smokers out of this draconian mess, it's the little people like Steven Simon, Junican, Frank Davis and yes, you and me.

The fight continues!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Should I be worried?

If you are a reader of this blog then you must be interested in the smoking debate, you know, the one the anti’s say is over. Of particular interest to me is the SHS anti smoking mantra that has invaded the bodies of normally sensible people. It was the myth of SHS that drove me out of my apathy pre ban to look on the net for like minded people when I found Freedom2Choose, or The Big Debate as it was known as back then.

If you have clicked on my blogroll links lately then I’m sure you have been taken to Pat Nurse and Simon Clarke’s blogs, to name but two, and read that ASH have turned their attention to banning smoking in the home, something their leader, Deborah Arnott said her corrupt organisation would not be seeking. But it seems that she and her motley crew have been bolstered, like a drunk man starting a fight, by that bastion of illiberal anti smoking shit kicking, California.

The whole absurdity of SHS and it’s killer instinct to travel through walls and along communal pipework was first muted by one Jonathan Winickoff, (or was it Stanton Glantz? I find it hard to keep up these days,) whom Chris Snowden rips into here and here so I will not go there.

Apart from the usual incitements towards abuse and hatred of the smoker this caught my eye in this ASH document which goes under the title “What landlords can do":
Landlords already have the power to make their properties smokefree provided that the terms
are made explicit in the tenancy agreements. Enabling tenants to achieve smoke-free homes
by including smoke-free clauses in tenancy agreements is not only good public health policy
but also has economic benefits.

Private landlords, local authorities and housing associations alike can include a clause
prohibiting smoking in new tenancy agreements to a building.
It’s that last quote about local authorities and housing associations that made me beg the question “Should I be worried” in the title of this blog. Let me tell you a story.

I live in a council flat run by the local authority in Middlesbrough, have done since 1978 when the Mrs and I moved in with the aging mother in law. In 1981 Beryl’s mother died and we took over the tenancy. About a year and a half later we were told that the utility area between the bathroom and the kitchen, where the communal pipes, stopcocks, wiring etc. run throughout the block was encased, on four sides, by Asbestos boards. I am not kidding when I say that it was like a scene out of a biological disaster movie when they came to “fix” the problem. The workers were dressed up in biological suits and walked through a tunnel they had made from the front door to the bathroom, a very short distance. So, did they take the offending Asbestos out? No, they did not, they painted it! Remember this for later as, after near on thirty years I have just recently found out that they 'neglected' to inform me and my flat dwellers of something that could be detremental to our health. So flash forward to 2011.

I’ve known for a couple of months now that Erimus housing, my landlord, which is a subsidiary of Middlesbrough Council, that major works were afoot to finally remove the offending known killer Asbostos.

A lady calls.

A woman from Erimus Housing called to explain the timeline of events for the removal of the offending killer Asbestos. I was gobsmacked when she said that, nearly thirty years ago, when they painted the killer Asbestos, they could not paint all sides as one side was in a position that made that impossible and they now have decided to remove all the killer Asbestos??? Why didn’t they do that nearly thirty years ago? It is no less a killer now than it was then!

So the work is being done and I and my ailing wife, who has Alzheimer’s, have to move to a ‘courtesy flat’ in the ninth floor for six days and I am not looking forward to that, with my wife’s dementia my main concern. So we have to move out on the 17 of January 2012.

Instructions over the lady from Erimus just had to go through a box ticking exercise with questions they mostly have on file anyway. Before she started I said something I should have kept tight lipped about.

Before she started box ticking I said: “Ah, I’ll bet I know one of the questions!” and when she asked me
what question I said “I’ll keep that till you are finished.”

Well she box ticked to her hearts content but never once mentioned the smoking. When finished she asked my what was that question I’d thought she was going to ask her.

When I told her she said, stern faced, “you have to go out onto your balcony to smoke, you have to think of others, it’s policy that there is no smoking in the flats.” then said, “when you go to the courtesy flat then you cannot smoke there either.” I laughed and am sure that she was winding me up but she never cracked a smile. I can only think that the likes of Deborah Arnott and her corrupt fake charity are getting to those who are landlords and their hirelings, a sobering thought to me as I will refuse to give up smoking IN MY OWN HOME!

PS: I am now asking for a copy of my tenant agreement to try and clear this up and have been on the Erimus site to find clarification but can find none. Either this lady was taking the piss or has been duped by the likes of ASH et all.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Tales from the anti smokers darkside

Obesity “epidemic” blamed on smokers giving up their enjoyment of tobacco only to fuel obesity in the US. The stigmatisation of smokers works apparently and it’s use is advocated towards other ‘lifestyle choices’ that don’t fit in with political dogma:
The latest report card on Americans’ health says that for every person who quit smoking in 2011, another person became obese. The country showed no improvement in overall health in 2011, despite modest decreases in smoking and preventable hospitalizations. These improvements were overwhelmed by major increases in obesity and diabetes. Clearly, America has an issue with food. But if this country’s anti-smoking efforts have taught us anything, it’s that awareness, policy and social stigmas can come together to influence health habits in powerful ways—and ones which America’s food and fitness advocates can emulate.
That often used phrase by bloggers “first they came for the smokers…” does not seem so trite now, does it, but will those that are next in the firing line of healthist jihadism listen when they are vilified by politicians and the MSM alike?

Often noted by esteemed bloggers like Dick Puddlecote and Chris Snowdon, who know what they are talking about, smoking prevalence has been declining for the past 50 years:
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are still thought to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. But our nation’s smoking rates have been declining gradually for roughly the past half a century (though the rate of decline has begun to slow recently). As of 2010, about 19% of the American adult population smoked, and only 8.3% were considered heavy smokers. In 1964, when the government released its first report on adult smoking in America, the rate at 42%.
So smoking prevalence in the US has slowed recently? I wonder why. Maybe the denormalisation of smokers is the answer, in fact I am sure it is, forbidden fruit and all that.

Meanwhile Maryland has it’s lowest smoking rates for a long long while but are they satisfied? Ask the money chasing American Lung Association:
Maryland is among the worst states in the country to get public help to quit smoking, according a report released yesterday.
The American Lung Association ranked Maryland as tied for the third-worst state for smoking cessation efforts. The report took into account whether states require private and public insurers to cover quit-smoking aids, as well as how much the states spend on initiatives to curb smoking.
"There is absolutely no excuse for these states' tragic failure to help (their) … smokers quit," Dennis Alexander, regional executive director of the American Lung Association in Maryland, said in a statement. "It's urgent Maryland policymakers step up and provide access to quit-smoking treatments and services that will save lives and money."
Where anti smoking hysteria is concerned you can do no better than follow the money gravy train which is drying up of late. And as we all should know by now lower smoking rates is not good enough for the righteous who hide their real goal behind the flimsy facade of altruism:
"It's not enough," said David Snyder, chairman of the leadership council for ALA in Maryland. "What would be enough is if we see that 15 percent we've got in Maryland go to 10, and then 5, and then to zero. … Every person that's addicted to nicotine and smokes runs the risk of getting heart disease, lung disease and other complications."
If David Snyder put as much effort into Maryland’s crime culture as he does smoking maybe I could applaud him, Maryland is not a save place to live in.
Texas smoking students are revolting, no, really, they are revolting:
The UC Davis pepper spray incident aside, today’s college students appear too distracted to mount memorable protests against the status quo. How can you work up a nice head of righteous indignation while your attention is being pulled every which way by iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Adderall pills from your little brother’s prescription stash? Recent reports of UNT students handing out free cigarettes to protest a campus-wide ban on smoking aren’t likely to revive a ‘60s-style spirit of liberation, either.
Although the pro-smoking UNT protesters won’t win this one, their little demonstration – especially the “eff you” it offers to America’s health puritans – warms my heart. I’m not a tobacco user, so I have nothing to lose in the crusade against smoking. But I do know two things: 1) Life is full of complicated personal decisions about risk vs. benefit, and 2) Death is coming for you too, Mr. and Ms. Snotty Anti-Smoking Advocate. I also suspect that scientific studies about second hand smoke have been fudged to promote the anti-smoking cause. So fire up a coffin nail for me, UNT tobacco rebels.
And here are the ‘revolting’ students. Just listen to the brainwashed anti smokers who study at the University of North Texas, oh, and please feel free to ignore the advert in this video for burgers full of Mayonnaise and dripping with fatty juices…loverly.

View more videos at:

Listen up you lovers of food, you lovers of fine could will be you next!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Under Pressure!

And the Dutch certainly are:
Leading cancer, asthma and heart health experts accused the Dutch government on Friday of "all but closing down" its tobacco controls and said such lax policies could lead to 145,000 preventable deaths by 2040.
Now with my calculations on the back of a beer bottle label, that means in the intervening 29 years 5 people will die from smoking each year (that's if they can find a death certificate that states they died of smoking tobacco) from a population of 16,645,313 as of 2008.

Also note the date of 2040 and you can plainly see that these Mystic Meg's of this millennium  are wannabe Nostradamus's from over 400 years ago but the only difference is these latter day saints are taken seriously, so seriously that they need to band together to browbeat a liberalising government and it's people (Oxymoronic or what?).
In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, specialists from Europe, the United States and Canada said new Dutch policy moves -- including weakening smoking bans in bars and ending the reimbursement of quit-smoking aids -- would inevitably cost lives.
Is this what they call the Global Village? Is this part of the big society? A society in the global village where big villages send out their warriors to cull dissent from their perceived weaker global village's and their elected representatives?

You see, anyone or any nation that pisses against the wind of tobacco control will feel the steely hand of their fawning political elites who have set themselves up as your supperiors and you must bend to their meally mouthed words, whether their is truth in them or not, that is not for you to question.

The fact that this letter was sent to the Lancet makes me puke as it seems that this British journal is held in high esteem by other countries in the world of tobacco control without contridiction from anywhere. Staggering.

Do not faulter you Dutch.

One of the freedom from tobacco control fighters in Holland is Wiel Massen and it was he, and his associations that have changed the governments mind on smoking bans. Wiel is a true freedom fighter.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tongue in Cheek: Smoking may make your nipples fall off!

Found this funny but please don't let the MSM know, you know how they are suckers for an anti smoking story.

According to plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, "smokers who undergo breast lifts are at great risk of losing their nipples." This is not just a theory. Their nipples may "turn black and fall off." I can't imagine a more horrifying scene.
Read the rest here.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


A lady with a difference, Anne Hegerty (extreme left).

Spot the difference between the two women in the photos. One is an intelligent frump looking woman who knows what she is talking about and willing to go head to head with Joe Public who think they are hard enough to take her on and challenge the answers she gives to any given question. The other woman is Jill Pell. Guess which lady is known as miss frosty knickers?
 A lady of indifference, Jill Pell, smoking Jihadist.

Jill Pell is a lady woman that is not approachable by Joe Public.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pells Hell

Miss bossy knickers herself, Jill Pell

 Well, well, well, the truth is slowly coming out about what smoking bans do to countries-they cost them lots of money! We have a warrior who, being no one's fool, has assessed the costs of the smoking ban to be somewhere within £100K of £19bn - yeah, thats a hell of a lot of noughts folks.

It's also a hell of a lot of winter fuel bill allowances gone up in smoke...

It's also a hell of a lot of pension payments gone up in smoke...

It's also a hell of a lot of NHS funding gone up in smoke...

It's also a hell of a lot unnecessary wages paid to junk scientists who produce untold amounts of junk for purposes of profit !

Yes, as the title indicates, I'm talking about that creature from north of the border that gave us bogus heart attack figures to mull over as they whizzed around the world in a media frenzy as Prof: Jill Pell was in a 'publish and be damned' frame of mind-only to hide under the nearest rock as proper statisticians found flaw after flaw within the study. But the damage was done! As far as the media were concerned Scotlands heart attack rate had dropped, dramatically, by between 17%-20% depending on which rag you chose to read.
Time erases embarrassment, so they say, but we don't allow such, so it is with great delight that we can now announce that the 'illustrious' professor is now in the most unsavoury position of having to admit that Scotlands smoking ban is a complete failure as smoker prevalence has actually risen since Holyrood stamped its feet, clapped its grubby mitts and said goodbye to smokers-or so they thought.
And funnily enough the 'Pellmachine' churned out yet another rubbish study on asthmatics in 2010-which, again, was torn apart by proper people!
If any of you want to e-mail this dunce of duplicity to ask why she is still in receipt of exhorbitant wages then feel free to do so: E-mail I'm sure she'll be delighted to crawl out from under some stone or other and demand more be spent on smoking cessation programmes (ie more wages for her and her cronies at the expense of everyone else not involved in tobacco control).
It is totally beyond me how we give the World Health Organisation US $33m per annum for them to tell us that we must cut smoking rates, which cost us an absolute fortune (£19bn so far) whilst they (the World Health Organisation) ignore the exceedingly poor health of African nations who are losing people to malnutrition, bad water & ill health at the rate of 4,000 per day-according to our TV screens! Yet the adverts keep on rolling..."for just £2 per day, you could...". Hang on, we are already paying a damned sight more than £2 per day, we're paying approximately £69K per day for the WHO to save the worlds starving people!
But all these true facts & figures are hidden because the media likes to brown-nose governments, hence any news on smoking bans is worthy of major mention, including totally false statistical claims from the likes of Jill Pell-but I doubt, somehow, that this piece of news will be broadcast 'from the rafters', do you? Smoking rates increased, oh my goodness me, we need to throw more money at the problem. We haven't got much left as we've just chucked another £40m-bn-trn (one of them, take your pick!) into the european toilet, but what ever happens we must not be seen to be relaxing our wrath on the humble smoker who only donates £11bn per annum to the coffers, unlike the 'Pellmachine' who continually bleeds us dry but provides us with utter statistical bilge for her worthless existence. Normally one would feel sympathy for someone who's lifes work has just gone up in smoke but I can't find one iota of sympathy for this murderess 0f people's human rights, slayer of enjoyments and falsifier of truths! Smoking rates are on the increase so she and her ilk have failed. Sack them. They are nothing but a drain on resources, let them wallow in the mire of Job Seekers Allowance and the poverty that beckons all unemployed. Can't see the jobcentre having many vacancies for liars & fraudsters can you? For Pell it would be Hell!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mistletoe and Wine...and plenty of fags and beer I suspect!

 It's that time again folks, it's time to stuff the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the government and legally deprive them of their ill gotten gains, they that despise smoker's money?

If they despise smokers then it stands to reason that they despise smoker's money, true? Well f*** them, take their comfort blanket away from them and bring them into the real world:

Well, it's fast approaching festivity time and what better way to start than a baccy mini-cruise to stock up on Xmas smokes and alcohol? :)  Not forgetting Xmas gifts of same for our friends and family.

Oh bloody hell, is it nearly Christmas already? Beryl, where's my coat?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Anti smoking hysteria, from here to eternity.

Getting the snip...ouch.
They want a level playing field and are willing to get into bed with the devil when it comes to smoking and smoking bans:
A group called Save Indianapolis Bars plans to lobby council members to minimize exemptions so private clubs and other competitors don't gain a leg up. It counts about 1,300 bar owners, employees and patrons as members.

Two years ago, the group took out radio ads opposing an expansion of Marion County's 2005 smoke-free law. But many bar owners now see the writing on the wall.
Err, no you dont!
And the BMA went viral with their assertion that a total smoking ban in cars was the way to go but did not hide their aim of denormalising and marginalising smokers:
Would banning smoking in cars infringe on individual rights? "That is for the ethicists and lawyers to discuss," Dr. Whiteson said. "But whatever we can do to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and limit space where people can smoke, the better."
No hidden agenda there then.
It's a miracle, smoking bans do reduce heart where have I heard that before?
Some groundbreaking research out of the Mayo Clinic shows that when cities and counties ban smoking in public buildings, the rate of heart attacks in the area drops dramatically.
 Yep, never let an old lie die of a hea...

Shock, horror, whatever next?
THE number of Scots smoking has risen since it was ­banned in public places – and the vast ­majority live in our poorest ­ housing estates.
I don't believe it! 
Let smokers shivver in the dark says pious anti smokers, not on my watch says Joe Belanger.
They are the righteous and they are the pious and only unto them will come the truth.

Yes, of course I’m referring to the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the board of health and, yes, I’m being facetious because when it comes to the anti-smoking lobby, truth always takes a back seat to rhetoric to win the battle.

And that’s what is happening in the push to ban smoking from patios at bars and restaurants and, I’d argue, even some parks and festivals where only adults can attend. And it is so unnecessary.
Oh very true Joe but you just had to go and let yourself down, didn't you!
That’s not to say second-hand smoke isn’t a very real health threat. I think every smoker, me included, intuitively knows it is. If someone is breathing in cigarette smoke, it only stands to reason they are going to suffer the same ill effects as a smoker.
So you've bought that bull to Joe tsk tsk.

Money, money money, it's rich pickings for anti smoking councils.
On the day discussions about a possible future ban on drivers smoking in their own cars has made the news, a hackney carriage driver and a private hire vehicle driver who were caught smoking in their vehicles have been convicted of an offence of smoking in a smoke-free place.

One of Chesterfield Borough Council's Enforcement Officers saw John Melvin Green (aged 43) of Foljambe Road, Chesterfield Town Centre, smoking inside a hackney carriage whilst he was driving it along Saltergate and Durrant Road, Chesterfield on 25th May 2011.

In the other case, an Enforcement Officer saw Steven Potter (aged 43) of Handley Road, New Whittington, smoking inside a private hire vehicle on Corporation Street, Chesterfield on 15th June 2011.

The Council had previously offered both Mr Green and Mr Potter a fixed penalty notice as an alternative to prosecution but they did not pay the £50 penalty (reduced to £30 if paid within 15 days).

Both cases were heard at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates' Court on November 3rd and both submitted written pleas of guilty to the Court.

The Court fined Mr Green and Mr Potter £50 each and ordered them to pay costs of £50 each to the Council. They were also ordered to pay a victims' surcharge of £15 each.
 Whoever said "the law is an ass" gets a big thumbs up from me.
 Still, next weeks news may bring a crumb of comfort to us smokers eh?

PS: I hate blogger editor with a passion, it never formats the way you want...bastard.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

That was the week that was...

...and I'm still reeling from it.

I don't own a car, never have done for many, many years now and, to be honest, I just couldn't afford to run one. What with the ever increasing hike in petrol and road tax with maintenance charges on top then it is a no go area for a lot of people. Apart from those that have a very well paying job most people that drive these days do so out of necessity, they need transport to and from their workplace and when they get time to themselves they use their most expensive purchase, which is devaluing every time they clock up a mile, to get away from their humdrum working lives, usually taking their families to places they would not be able to go, places to relax and get away from that 'humdrum' life that may be with them for the rest of your natural.

A car is more than a means of transport to the masses. Many people see their purchase of a car more than just a means of transport to and from work, it is their pride and joy, their mechanical child that they will nurture, fawn over and polish with glee until it's dying chug, chug, chuging demise. Indeed the car is an extension of the owners home, just as if it were a conservatory or Winnebago, Caravan or motor home here in the UK.

If anyone came into your home and told you, in no uncertain terms, how to run it what would you do? That's what the nanny statists like the BMA wants our government to do, tell you what you can and cannot do in your own car and the next 'logical' step would be to ban you from smoking in your own home using junk science as a precursor. I'm talking about the absurd notion that smoking should be banned in all cars, regardless who is in the car with the smoker.

Since the BMA used it's fetid connections to the MSM on black Wednesday it, only one day later, retracted it's 23 times high concentration of deadly toxins in a smokers car lie and reduced it to 11 times hopping that nobody would notice and their 'claims' would go unquestioned but they had no chance of that!

Freedom2Choose has always been at the forefront in the smoking debate and have constantly deconstructed the lies told by Tobacco Control in the UK and their masters in Brussells (pdf).

From it's very inception Freedom2Choose realised that banning smoking in public places was just the start and the control freaks would move on to other lifestyle choices, like what you eat and what you drink, this has been proven to be so.

On Black Wednesday F2C's office was inundated with requests for our say on the BMA's ludicrous suggestion that smoking should be banned in all cars. I passed these requests onto our new chairman Dave Atherton and, oh boy, did he hit the ground running!

Below is only two examples where Dave went on prime time TV and radio and I could only record the sound when he was interviewed on the BBC News Channel.

Thanks Dave, you certainly have made an impression and long may you improve the lot of those that come under the boot of the health fascists.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

She speaks for us, who else will?

I steal this from Pat Nurse's blog, and I feel no shame for doing it and posting Pat's link in it's entirety.

Them. By Peggy Noonan.

There's a lot to think about this week--the rise of Nancy Pelosi, the meaning of the Republican triumph--but my thoughts keep tugging toward a group of people who are abused, ostracized and facing a cold winter. It's not right what we do to them, and we should pay attention.
I saw them again the other day, shivering in the cold, in the rain, without jackets or coats. The looked out, expressionless, as the great world, busy and purposeful, hurried by on the street. They were lined up along the wall of a business office. At their feet were a small mountain of cigarette butts and litter.
They are the punished, the shamed. They are the Smokers. As they stood there--I imagined a wreath of smoke curling round their shoulders like the wooden collar of the stocks of the 17th century--I thought: Why don't we stop this?
For a decade now we have been throwing them out of our offices and homes and public spaces. We have told them they are unclean. We treat them the way India used to treat the untouchables.
We have removed them from our midst because they take small tubes of soft white paper with flecks of tobacco stuffed inside, light them on fire and suck on them. This creates smoke, which pollutes the air.
"Second hand smoke kills." But--how to put it?--we all know that's just politically correct propaganda invented by the prohibitionists, don't we? If you spend 24 hours a day in a 4-by-4-foot room with a chain smoker you'll feel it, and you'll be harmed by it. But are you damaged by the guy down the hall who smokes in the office at work? No, you're not, and you know it. You just don't like it. Your nostrils are dainty little organs, and your nostrils trump his rights.
But you definitely wouldn't be harmed if the handful of smokers in your office were allowed to smoke only in a common room with good ventilation. Why wouldn't that be a civilized and acceptable compromise?
And why is it smoking that is the object of such fierce disdain?
Within blocks of where the smokers stood in front of the office building on Madison Avenue the other day, there were people who last night bought five rocks of crack cocaine. There were people who watch child porn. There were people who drive by with the sound up so you can hear the lyrics of the song they're listening to, which is about how women are ho's who should be shot. Talk about air pollution. There were people who gorge on food, people who drink too much, people who perform abortions in the eighth month of pregnancy--the eighth month, so late that the child could almost come out and shake his little fist and say "I wish you had not killed me!"
Within blocks of where the smokers stood there were thousands of purveyors of and sharers in all the mutations and permutations of human woe, sin, malfeasance, messiness and degradation.
And they all get to stay inside. They all get to sit at their desks.
It's the smokers we ostracize.  It's odd, isn't it? Actually it's crazy.
I think it is an insufficiently commented-upon irony that cigarette prohibition and the public shaming it entails is the work of modern liberals. They're supposed to be the ones who are nonjudgmental, who live and let live, but they approach smoking like Carry Nation with her ax. Conservatives on the other hand let you smoke. They acknowledge sin and accept imperfection. Also most of them are culturally inclined toward courtesy of the old-fashioned sort.
If you tried to light up near a left-wing big-city attorney, she would cut off your hand the way Christopher chopped off Ralphie's the other night on "The Sopranos." But if you are a smoker and you go visit a nice little unsophisticated Baptist lady in a suburb of Tuscaloosa, she will not only allow you to smoke, she will scurry into the dining room to find the china ashtray she put away 10 years ago under the folded table cloths. She would do this so you could have a nice place to put your ashes. She wouldn't dream of making you uncomfortable. That would be impolite and inhospitable.
Modern liberals are not culturally inclined toward courtesy. They are inclined toward knowing what's good for you and passing ordinances to make sure you get the picture. The first Thank You For Not Smoking sign I ever saw was in 1976, on the desk of Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis. I thought:
I have seen the future, and it is puritanical.
Why do liberals punish smokers? Could we discuss this? Is it that it makes them feel clean? Some parts of our culture in which liberals largely call the shots--Hollywood, for instance--are fairly low and degraded. Maybe liberals can't face this, and make themselves feel clean if they ban unclean air? Or maybe banning smokers makes them feel safe, like they'll never die.
Maybe it makes them feel in control. Maybe it makes them feel superior.
Or maybe they just want to bully someone.
Which gets me to Michael Bloomberg. New York is still suffering from 9/11, threatened by huge budget deficits, struggling with Wall Street's downturn, facing draconian tax increases including a brand new commuter tax--that'll certainly encourage new businesses to come here!--and trying to come to contract agreement with big unions. Our realistic and no-nonsense mayor has surveyed the scene, pondered the landscape, and come up with his answer: Ban all smoking in bars.
In bars, where the people we force out of our business offices seek refuge! In bars, where half of us plan to spend our last hours after Osama tries to take out Times Square. In bars, the last public place you can go to be a dropout, a nonconformist, refusenik, a time waster, a bohemian, a hider from reality, a bum, a rebel, a bore, a heathen. The last public place in which you can really wallow in your own and others' human messiness. The last place where you can still take part in that great American tradition, leaving the teeming marching soldiers of capitalism outside to go inside, quit the race, retreat and have a drink and fire up a Marlboro and . . . think, fantasize, daydream, listen to Steely Dan or Sinatra, revel in your loser-tude, play the Drunken Misery Scene in the movie of your life, meet a girl, meet a guy, meet a girl who's a guy. The last public place you could go to turn on, tune in, drop out and light up.
No more, says our mayor. Unclean! In this Bloomberg exhibits for the first time a bad case of mayoral mental illness. Something about being mayor of New York makes you, ultimately, nuts. In David Dinkins it manifested itself this way: Facing deep recession, rising crime and union strife he would contemplate our problems and then call an emergency press conference to announce his answer. The city of New York, he would say, will no longer do business with the racist government of South Africa. In Rudy Giuliani's case it was government by non sequitur--government by someone who needed an event as dramatic as 9/11 to provide a foe as big as his aggression.
For Mr. Bloomberg now, it is Bloomberg Has Decreed. Mr. Bloomberg doesn't allow smoking in his east side townhouse, Mr. Bloomberg will not allow it anywhere in New York. Those nasty working-class folk who still suck on cancer sticks while swilling Buds will be put down. Bloomberg Decrees.
What an idiot. What a billionaire snob bullyboy.
A short word on smokers. They are people who've made a deal. They are old-fashioned, and it's an old-fashioned deal. Their sense of life is essentially conservative: They know it is short, they know part of how you say thank you for it is to really feel it and enjoy it, and they know this life isn't the most transcendent and important one you'll be living. Smokers are disproportionately Catholic, did you know that? They know that eventually something will kill them. They accept death and illness as part of the equation. They love smoking so much, it so enhances their enjoyment of each day, that they'll gamble. Some of them, they know, will die in a car accident next year, so it won't matter if they smoked; some will die of old age at 97; some will get emphysema or lung cancer at 50 and pay the price. Fine. You buys your smokes and takes your chances.
This is a hardy and, as I said, old=fashioned approach to life. It is not modern. Modern people think that if they're tidy, floss and eat fennel they'll never die, and if they get sick they'll clone themselves and go get reborn. Smokers are more stoic and sacramental. They don't want to be cloned, they want to go to heaven and see grandma. I made up the part about how they're disproportionately Catholic but I bet it's true and in any case why shouldn't I assert phony facts? The other side does.
No, I don't smoke. I used to. I still have some feeling for my old messier, more anarchic self, but now I don't like the smell of smoke and don't think I'll ever go back to it. But that doesn't mean no one else can. And it doesn't mean I won't let you light up.
We should let the smokers back inside and treat them as if they're human, because they are. Until then I hope the smokers huddled together in the cold realize they're outside because of the modern liberals' war against being human. I hope they organize building to building and raise money to fight the prissy prohibitionists of politics, the Bloombergs and their ilk, who can't keep you safe from muggings or suitcase nukes but make believe they're being effective by keeping you safe from a Merit Ultralight.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Hoisted by their own petard! They reap what they sow.


The Big Yin's kitchen

It has been shown time and time again all over the world that if you restrict a legal product the 'wide boys' and gangsters will step in to fill the void in a supposedly free market economy. They (Tobacco Control) can use price, denormalisation and smoking bans to push their hatred of tobacco but the end result is always the same, smoking prevalence and illegal tobacco sales are on the increase, and they (Tobacco Control) know it.

In one tiny part of the world, the North West of England in fact, they (Tobacco Control) think they have a novel way of cracking the illegal tobacco sales war:

Licensees in the north-west are being asked to take part in a campaign to crack down on illegal tobacco sales.

As part of the Keep It Out campaign, 7,500 pubs in “problem areas” will be sent a pack containing information about illegal tobacco, a window sticker to encourage conversations with the community, and beer mats.

A study by Tobacco Free Futures, a collaborative programme funded by Directors of Public Health in the North West, found that illegal tobacco dealers are making it easy for children and young people to smoke. The research questioned 4,111 people.
Half of the tobacco bought by 14-year-olds is illegal, compared to 36% by adults, and one in four young smokers regularly gets offered illegal tobacco, the research found.
 I have only highlighted the words 'study' and 'research' here as 'children' and 'young people' seems to be ubiquitous wherever Tobacco Control freakery rears it's ugly head but you will notice from this newspaper article that details of such a study are non existent, giving credence to the possibility that it is bogus and a cynical attempt to garner more public funding.

*Tobacco Free Futures said that dealers target children and young people by selling them single cigarettes, which makes it more affordable for them and gets them hooked so that they come back for more.
Tobacco Control advocates always use the analogy between smoking and hard drugs like heroin and cocain, something I, as a smoker of tobacco, have never partaken because I, in the real world, can see all to well the social and private anguish they bring. People, young and old, are robbed and mugged for goods or money to fuel a drug addict and their addiction, often leading to death of injury. Not so with tobacco, it's users are not addicted but are prone to a habit. If it were an addiction then why do smokers not progress to loftier 'drugs'? It is a myth and a lie to further demonise the smoking of tobacco (which does not stop at 'smoking' tobacco.)

Below is a picture of a 21 year old girls dead body, which lays where she was found. I'd rather the young woman was a smoker than an heroin addict.

What a waste of a young life, RIP Rachel

I have an ambivalence towards illegal drugs, hard or soft but do know that prohibition leads to criminals filling the gap, the control freaks reap the benifits too, I'll bet.

Illegal tobacco is also linked to low-level and large-scale organised crime, so it helps fund drugs and weapon smuggling, child exploitation and money laundering.
Same old rhetoric when it comes to tobacco (control) and criminality. If you banned tobacco today would "low-level and large-scale organised crime" dissapear overnight? As with weapon smuggling, child exploitation and money laundering? These red herrings do not wash.

Tobacco Free Futures director Andrea Crossfield said: “Illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to get hold of cigarettes and helps to get them hooked into a deadly addiction to tobacco. The Keep It Out campaign is a way of letting concerned parents and community members know that they can take action and do something about this.”
It seems we have a tale of two halves here:

HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) assistant director criminal investigation Mike O’Grady added: “Tobacco fraud is estimated to cost the taxpayer over £2 billion per year in lost revenues, money that could otherwise be used to fund key public services. HMRC supports this campaign and will continue to work closely with other agencies to tackle tobacco smuggling at street level and to protect legitimate businesses from the impact of the illicit trade.”
 It all comes down to money, always has and always will. The anti tobacco freaks, with their fake charity status, down to governments who fund them, have surpassed their original goal of being against tobacco smoking per se to becoming a tenet of their core beliefs and funding at the heart of it. Money is always at the root. Governments go into Jekyll and Hyde mode by imposing restrictions on smokers to curb (nudge) their smoking habit to crying over lost revenue when their bans, restrictions and smoking bans deprive them of much needed revenue.

To push the above 'story' home to us the article finishes with:

A licensee in Stoke-on-Trent has been stripped of his license after being found in possession of illegal tobacco, alcohol and counterfeit clothing.
Geoffrey Davis of the Grays Corner had more than 7,600 cigarettes, 55 kilos of hand rolling tobacco, 110 litres of wine and 69 litres of spirits. All were non-duty paid, and breached food labelling and tobacco safety regulations.
It is the largest seizure made in Stoke-on-Trent during joint inspections by Trading Standards and Her Majesties Revenues and Customs.
Hmm, so it was not just tobacco then? Hey, if you can make a bob or two without getting caught?


* Tobacco Free Futures is a new one on me and I had to google them. They are...well, I'll let them say:

The mission of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) is to bring innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low- and middle-income populations. With nearly 10,000 members and subscribers from 145 countries, The Union has its headquarters in Paris and regional and country offices serving the Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and South-East Asia regions. Its scientific departments focus on tuberculosis, HIV, lung health and non-communication diseases, tobacco control and research.

The Union is most widely known for the research that led to the global strategy for treating and controlling tuberculosis. Adopted by the
World Health Organization in 1995, The Union model is part of the internationally recommended Stop TB Strategy that has been used to treat 32 million people in 202 countries.

Drawing on this first success in addressing TB from medical, political, social and organisational perspectives, The Union has since developed programmes addressing TB-HIV, asthma, pneumonia in children under five years of age, and tobacco control. The emphasis is on providing health solutions for the poor.
The Union brings innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low- and middle-income populations.
Health solutions for the poor
TB was deemed to have been eradicated around thirty or forty years ago but a new strain seems to have arrived. Thirty or forty years ago smoking prevelance had declined steeply but the prevelance of some diseases and aflictions rose sharply. This does not stop anti smoking teat suckers attributing anything that effects the lungs to smoking. The Tobacco Free Futures has nothing to do with TB but everything to do with Tobacco Control, as their main page demonstrates. Their a bogus org, a sham, a tobacco hateing organisation, simple as.


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