World Hellth Organization

I’m no fan of Clive Bates. He used to run ASH before Deborah Arnott, so he’s an Enemy of Smokers, just like her. But he’s got a surprisingly long string of other offences to his name, including working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Greenpeace, and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

But occasionally even antis like him get something right. And he’s managed to infuriate the World Health Organisation by publishing a variant of their logo.


Part of WHO’s objection was to a parody of their logo that Bates posted, which (at the time of this writing) he has replaced with a text graphic that reads “Graphic removed at the request of the Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization”. But the characterization of “request” is not exactly correct. In the letter sent to Bates by the WHO (which we have obtained a copy of), they threatened to “refer[] the matter to the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom” (where Bates is based) if he did not comply with removing his content. They asserted that he was “using the name and emblem of the World Health Organization (WHO)…in an unauthorized, misleading and libellous manner”.

That accusation is quite troubling from the perspective of a free exchange of ideas. There are very brief substantive claims about particular statements (see below), but notice that the accusation says that the mere act of using the name of WHO when criticizing WHO is unauthorized, misleading and/or libellous. It boggles the mind that WHO is effectively claiming that no one can criticize them by name.

It doesn’t boggle my mind. These fuckers have a truly monumental sense of their own self-importance. So they’re bound to fly off the handle any time anyone offers even the slightest hint of criticism of them.

And what better way to get up their noses than to reproduce the offending logo? With luck it’ll go viral, and end up plastered all over the internet. (In fact this seems to already have happened.)

And naturally I thought I’d have a go at making a variant logo. This one has a skull impaled upon a large spike, and is the logo of the World Hellth Organisation, so obviously the World Health Organisation can’t ask me to remove it.


Anyway, one good thing about this little saga is that it sees antismokers pitted against antismokers – something that seems to be becoming increasingly common.

Most days this blog gets about 1000 views, and the Black Lung Lie gets less than 100 views. But today the blog got a record 15,000 views, with 13,000 of them of the Black Lung Lie. This happens from time to time.

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Carswell Under the Spotlight

With MP Douglas Carswell’s defection from the Conservatives to UKIP, I was soon wondering what his views might be on the only question that really matters: the smoking ban. From F2C:

Douglas Carswell: Under the Spotlight
Martin Hensman
14th April 2008.

Douglas who? I hear you ask.

In the Mail on Sunday I was astonished to read that a fearless Tory has become the first MP to call for the Speaker to quit .

In a separate article “Speaker Martin must go” printed on page 27 but not available online Douglas Carswell writes:

We need to scrap the ‘gentlemen’s club rules used to run our legislature and make Westminster Politicians more directly accountable to the voters.

Hear. Hear.

He continues:

Increasingly, MP’s are seen as parasitical. It is no longer those we send to Parliament who make the key decisions. The Health Service, Education system and criminal justice system are increasingly run by remote and unaccountable officials.

In order to make our politicians more directly accountable we need not only transparency over MP’s expenses but also how they make laws and hold the Government to account.

Examination of Mr. Carswell’s voting record in Parliament reveals that he voted

100% against the smoking ban
100% against ID cards
100% in favour of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
100% against ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

In today’s media spun society it is extremely rare to identify a Parliamentarian prepared to speak so openly. In Westminster the values of patriotism, loyalty and honesty appear to have been replaced by arrogance, greed and open public betrayal.

It is reassuring to see that Champions of freedom and democracy have not all been exiled from Westminster. But shouldn’t David Cameron, leader of the opposition, have made these demands of the Speaker?

And from an election leaflet in 2007:

No to Smoking Ban

The ban on smoking in public spaces comes into effect
this year. Although Douglas does not smoke, he feels
that free-born Englishmen and women do not need
central government to manage their lives for them in this

Douglas says “I voted against the ban because I dislike
the nanny state more than I dislike cigarette smoke. It is
wrong for politicians down in London to tell people how
to live every aspect of their lives”

Given this UKIP coup, I read several times today that a vote for UKIP will result in Labour winning the General Election next year. But for a smoker like me it’ll make no difference whether Labour or Conservatives win: life will be just as bad either way.

Douglas Carswell’s defection speech in full.

All three of the older parties seem the same. They’ve swathes of safe seats. They’re run by those who became MPs by working in the offices of MPs. They use pollsters to tell them what to tell us.

Politics to them is about politicians like them. It’s a game of spin and positioning.

First under Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown, now David Cameron, it’s all about the priorities of whichever tiny clique happens to be sitting on the sofa in Downing Street. Different clique, same sofa.

Few are animated by principle or passion. Those that are soon get shuffled out of the way. Many are just in it for themselves. They seek every great office, yet believe in so little.

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E-cig Hysteria

Still on e-cigs, here’s a very relevant comment from Magnetic today:

The amount of time and effort being expended on e-cigs (to their demonization) is quite extraordinary. A flurry of “studies” and a magnifying glass on the few ingredients in e-cigs.

Consider the case of “fire safe” cigarettes (FSC). They’ve been made mandatory in a number of countries. The fire-safe “technology”, involving added glue rings to the paper, increased the chemical load of manufactured cigarettes. There were complaints of immediate symptoms from smoking these cigarettes, e.g., coughing fits, constant phlegm, wheezing, “lung burn”. Given the magnitude of scrutiny on e-gizmos concerning their safety, it could well be asked how much research went into the health effects of this fire-safe design. How much scrutiny did they attract? How much research did Tobacco Control nut cases demand before advocating this design be made mandatory? And how much research has been called for since they became mandatory?

Unlike the very considerable attention now given to e-cigs, there was NO – none, zero, zip, nada – research on the health effects of fire-safe cigarettes, before or after their introduction. It sounded like a great idea to the Tobacco Control folk. So they went right ahead and pushed for them to be made mandatory. Immediate detrimental health effects from these cigarettes? The Tobacco Control folk couldn’t care less….. as has been demonstrated.

Below I’ll post as much as I know of FSC as a reference point.

Magnetic added further comments on FSC here and here.

Still on e-cigs, I also came across this in the Telegraph:

‘I thought my e-cigarette was safe. Turns out, I was smoking the equivalent of 40-a-day’

When Rachael Lloyd took up vaping, she thought she’d stumbled across a miracle alternative to smoking. Little did she know, her ‘friendly’ e-cigarette was actually damaging her health – as the World Health Organisation is now starting to realise…

When my local chemist told me to stop vaping immediately, or risk seriously damaging my health I thought he must be having a mad half hour.

Kindly Mr Patel has always struck me a cautious man. It seemed ridiculous that he was making such a fuss.

I just couldn’t grasp that something as innocuous as an e-cigarette, widely regarded as the safe alternative to real cigarettes – and commonly used by smokers to quit – could do any lasting damage.

Now, I know that he was right all along. The World Health Organisation (WHO) this week recommended that e-cigarettes should be banned indoors, because they emit chemicals potentially as dangerous as cigarettes and have a potential passive smoking risk. Doctors are also calling for more research into the long-term dangers of vaping, which they say may be more dangerous than previously thought.

The author’s rather implausible story was that she had only been an occasional ‘social smoker’ of cigarettes, but had taken enthusiastically to e-cigarettes, even puffing away on them at work, and started spending more and more money on them – until she’d consulted her local chemist, and had quit vaping by using NRT products.

I found it implausible because my local chemist wouldn’t be the first place I’d go for advice. Why should chemists know anything about e-cigs? They don’t sell them. But they do sell competing NRT products. And as such they have a vested interest in getting customers off e-cigs and onto NRT products. Which is exactly what her chemist did.

Secondly, NRT products notoriously don’t work. So it was rather remarkable that they should somehow manage to work a treat with ‘e-cig addiction’.

The entire story simply didn’t ring true. She seemed to believe everything she was told by absolutely anybody. And it had all happened too fast, the transition from occasional cigarette smoker, to e-cig addict, to finally being rescued by her trusty local chemist in what seems to have been about 3 months. So I concluded that it was really just another anti-vaping story planted in the mainstream media in support of the ‘big push’ against e-cigs by the WHO. Because it was an anti-vaping story rather than an anti-smoking story. In fact, one was left with the sense that she’d been better off as a ‘social smoker’ until she’d been sucked into a private hell of e-cig addiction, spiralling downwards in an uncontrollable spending spree (£30 a week!), until the saintly figure of her local chemist rescued her with NRT.

There’s probably good money to be made writing fiction along these lines. But I think there ought to be some romantic interest. And a good car chase. You know the sort of thing.

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Utter Bastards

I think that if people started inhaling air through little white tubes, these bastards would want to ban it.

They’d say that it ‘hadn’t been rigorously tested’, and that there were ‘4,000 chemicals’ in ordinary air, of which 60 or 70 were carcinogenic. And anyway, it looked like smoking. And chiiiiiiildren might see.

So naturally the WHO wants to ban e-cigarettes:

E-cigarettes should be banned indoors over fears that they can be as toxic to bystanders as normal cigarettes, the World Health Organisation has said.

Despite releasing vapour instead of smoke, the devices still pollute the air with harmful chemicals, health experts warned.

Many smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit, as they deliver the nicotine hit but without the carcinogens associated with breathing in smoke. There are no laws currently banning their use inside.

But yesterday a report by the WHO questioned the safety of e-cigarettes, officially known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

“The fact that ENDS exhaled aerosol contains on average lower levels of toxicants than the emissions from combusted tobacco does not mean that these levels are acceptable to involuntarily exposed bystanders,” said the report.

It’s the same with my exhaled air. That’s full of carbon dioxide and about 3,999 other ‘chemicals’. And you do know that all ‘chemicals’ are bad for you, don’t you? Carbon’s lethal. And dioxide’s even worse.

And there’s also bacteria and viruses and more little creepie-crawlies than you can get on the end of a dead heroin addict’s used syringe.

And bits of cheese from the cheese sandwich I ate an hour ago.

And there’s probably about 4,000 chemicals in regular cheese. And even more in gorgonzola, most likely. The only thing that’s almost certainly pure cheese is Kraft Dairylea triangles. And they totally suck. And get all over your fingers when you open them.

But hey lookee:

Ministers will not ban e-cigarettes indoors in England, despite the World Health Organisation urging governments to do so to combat the threat posed by the growing popularity of vaping.

The Department of Health (DH) made clear that it does not plan to outlaw the use of the increasingly popular gadgets in enclosed public spaces in England, although Wales’s Labour government is considering doing so.

The DH ruled out making e-cigarettes subject to the same “smoke-free” controls that have applied to normal cigarettes since 2007. Smoking is currently banned in pubs, restaurants and workplaces across the UK.

The department did so despite the United Nations’ health agency recommending such prohibition as part of tougher regulation of products it said were dangerous to children.

I wonder how long this bravado will last? I give it 6 months before they knuckle under and ban e-cigs like the WHO says they should. They know who gives the orders, after all. So they’ll make a show of resistance for a while, and then they’ll quietly cave in. They always do.


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Small-mindedness Writ Large

From Tom in the comments:

Off subject, but in the latest San Francisco Earthquake this weekend, up in Napa but felt area wide, they were showing non-stop wall to wall coverage from helicopter and ground level, news crews from all over Bay Area and on channels out of SF as well as Sacramento covering the emergency situation as it unfolded.

Well this just pissed me off to high heaven and back, but there was a hospital, in Napa. And they set up tents outside on the open lawn and were doing that for their triage assembly area and to treat patients who needed immediate attention, some of it most serious too.

There were at least 180 major injuries if I remember news correctly and most of that was serious cuts demanding stitches but also there were at least 3 or 4 people rushed to hospital in need of major surgery due to crushed pelvis and other bones from objects falling on them.

Now, one would think, in that kind of situation, the primary concern would be care for victims having serious injuries during an unexpected major emergency situation.

But on TV, it kept showing this outdoor tented triage area the hospital had set up – and right where you walk up the sloping walkway from the parking out front and where ambulances and cars were driving up, dropping off emergency victims – someone from the hospital already had prepared and planted in the ground right there, these huge poster size bulletins in fire engine red with white lettering saying it was a “smoke free campus” and “smoking banned” along with the international symbol of hatred, the slash over the cigarette graphic.

These looked like printed on poster size cardboard or plastic, brilliant red with white lettering, each had two skinny temporary metal spikes of some sort that were haphazardly stuck into the ground to hold it in full view – and then nearby these warnings stood people like armed police and some burly hospital staff.

So isn’t that just ridiculous. It is an earthquake emergency, people are being brought to a make-shift outdoor hospital area for life saving treatment – and here all along, this hospital must have had poster size red and white warnings of “smoke free campus” and “smoking banned” just sitting in their warehouse, waiting for the day when an emergency arose – and so they could trot it out and pluck it right there, down into the ground, portable, so where-ever they had to set up emergency shop, they’d be fully prepared, anti-smoking-propaganda and hate signs already purchased and kept in storage, just waiting for the big emergency, so they could trot them out and show off to the whole world their misplaced priorities.

Yes, of course they would have to bring along their fraudulent ‘emergency’ to a real emergency, wouldn’t they?

It’s small-mindedness writ large.

But then, antismoking has never been anything but small-mindedness.

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An Unmitigated Disaster

From my Tobacco bookmarks comes this piece from the West Briton in June 2012:

And so the smoking ban came to pass from the New World Order after a prolonged suitable period of brainwashing, whereupon the critical mass bought it hook, line and sinker, based on quite pathetic research.

So much for being concerned about your health when you consider those awful diesel fumes, et al, that we breathe in when walking down the street or when stuck behind smoke-blowing vehicles, yet to be addressed. Ah ha ha ha, ah ha.

Much more disturbing though, is the new culture of home alcoholics which is now way out of control. Still, out of sight, out of mind eh? When you went to the pub, you knew when you’d had enough.

At the outset, I predicted an unmitigated disaster. I’d already seen it in Ireland, so much like our own rural duchy. However, I didn’t foresee the unbelievable damage it would cause until it arrived here. Cornwall’s village community spirit is now being well and truly torn apart. In my area alone, two village pubs have just closed, and another is in receivership. I’m aware of many others that have gone under, including working men’s clubs throughout Cornwall. They are all the social hub for so many and a necessity to keep the community spirit that brings people together for numerous occasions.

Town establishments are also suffering big time. One place I work, also doubles as a coffee house by day for the shoppers. It’s 700 cups down per week. And what of the ladies who liked a ciggy with their morning coffee? Another little luxury lost. Wading through crowds smoking outside on the pavement with cigarette ends everywhere, while avoiding traffic at the same time has become an art form. It’s increasingly difficult for the entertainment industry with venues still closing at the ridiculous rate of 16 per week even after four years. I support non-smokers’ rights to the hilt, but there is absolutely no need for this, with so many people suffering, including the enormous loss of jobs. The negatives are endless. It’s all so absurd.

It’s the same story everywhere. The smoking ban has been an unmitigated disaster. But our political class pretends not to notice. Conservative, Labour, or Lib Dem, they all back the smoking ban. Many of them are even proud of it. And it was them who decided on this ban, not us.

Sometimes I think it’s all a New World Order thing, and the smoking ban is part of a carefully-worked-out plan – Agenda 27 (or is it Agenda 21?) – to improve people’s physical health, or something. Only I never have much belief in carefully-worked-out plans or agendas. They always go wrong. Every time. And this one is going truly spectacularly wrong. But they’re pressing on with it anyway, perhaps because it’s the only plan they’ve got. It’s what everyone else is doing, after all. Even poor old Putin.

And then sometimes I wonder whether they know perfectly well that it’s all gone horribly pear-shaped, but they’re too frightened to even talk about it, too frightened to admit it’s been a disaster, and hoping that the problem will just go away somehow if they ignore it for long enough.

They’re like Varus’ Roman legions, tricked by Arminius into marching through the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD, and strung out in a thin line along dozens of miles, their flanks defenceless against the attack that is waiting them, but continuing on anyway with sinking hearts towards their annihilation. Here the role of Arminius has been taken by Tobacco Control, with its promises that the smoke-free new pubs would not only not lose any customers, but actually gain them. And that smokers would soon get used to the new regime. And how they would also grab the golden opportunity to quit smoking, like 70% of them really wanted to do. And how everyone would be so much healthier and more productive. And how everything would all be fine and dandy, no down side at all.

All lies, of course. But that’s what Arminius does: tell lies.

The problem won’t go away like they hope. It’ll just get worse and worse. Because the damage is cumulative. I used to go to my local pub in Devon for an hour every day. That’s 365 hours a year of sitting and drinking and smoking and quietly gazing into space. Now I only go about 30 times a year, when it’s sunny enough to sit outside. So I lose 335 hours of quiet meditation per year. It’s not the same doing it at home, somehow. So over the past 7 years I’ve lost 2,345 hours. And I miss them. Next year it’ll be 2,680 lost hours. And the year after that it’ll be 3,015 hours. And so on. It all adds up. It’s cumulative.

And what’s cumulative for me is cumulative for everyone else, even non-smokers. They’ve been losing too.

It’ll come to a head one day. The accumulated grievances will become insupportable. It’ll probably be something other than smoking bans that will tip people over the edge. It’ll be some completely unrelated new insult. But they’ll have had enough all the same.

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How Global Warming Is Invented

From Jo Nova:

How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones (or visa versa)? Do the headlines of “hottest ever record” (reported to a tenth of a degree) mean much if thermometer data sometimes needs to be dramatically changed 60 years after being recorded?

One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.5C per century. This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation. It is a well-maintained site near a perimeter fence, yet the homogenisation process produces a remarkable transformation of the original records, and rather begs the question of how accurately we know Australian trends at all when the thermometers are seemingly so bad at recording the real temperature of an area…


This really stinks. Thermometers get calibrated when they’re made. And thereafter the raw data is whatever is read off them. And that data should be sacred. Because there’s no other record.

Why are they screwing around with the data? And why is a 70 year cooling trend being converted into a 70 year warming trend? The answer is probably that they want to see a warming trend (because that’s their ideological commitment), and so they’ve screwed around with the raw data to create a warming trend. And then they can show the warming trend to the Australian government and say, “Here’s the temperature trend in Amberley. It’s been steadily warming. And that’s very worrying.”

They may as well throw away all the thermometers and just make up the ‘data’ off the top of their heads.

I think the reason for the ‘homogenization’ is that air temperature is recorded in relatively few locations, and there are large areas where there are no records at all. So what they do then is to say that if it was 20°C 100 miles north of some place, and 26°C  100 miles south of it, then the temperature half way in between was most likely 23°C. Or else there are two or three thermometers a few miles apart, and they all have different readings, and so the average of them is taken, and some are ‘corrected’ upwards, some downwards. Something like that.

But however it’s done, and for whatever reason, the end result is a fabrication. It’s the result of having insufficient or contradictory data, and trying to extract good data from it. Really they should just say, “We don’t have enough data.”

When the whole planet is covered with accurate thermometers at 10 mile intervals, it may be possible – without making any extrapolations or interpolations or adjustments or corrections at all – to at last measure whether the planet is warming or cooling.

In the mean time, we all remain in the dark, and our ‘climate scientists’ are just guessing, and they should be ignored until they’ve got some good data.

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