A good response to my online poll, with about 100 responses so far, the majority (53%) saying that the Secondhand Smoke lies were the ones that really needed to be nailed.
It was pretty much how I expected the vote to go.
But we’re up against a whole edifice of lies here. A blizzard of lies. Tobacco Control invents a new lie almost every week.
There are also a whole raft of lies surrounding SHS apart from the two lies I highlighted. In the hands of Tobacco Control, SHS has acquired magical properties. It’s no longer a gas like any other gas. It can go through walls. It can go along telephone wires. It can completely defy all the laws of physics. It’s become something out of a Harry Potter movie.
Perhaps it’s true that we have entered a ‘post-normal’ world, in which science and reason have been replaced by fabrications and lies. Everything is made up. We’ve gone from non-fictional ‘reality’ to fictional fantasy.
My response has been to get rid of the TV set, unplug the radio, and stop buying newspapers. And I no longer want to know anyone who believes a single word of any of the scaremongering nonsense spewed out by the mainstream media. I used to tolerate their magical thinking. Now I think it’s a disease. If anyone thinks that secondhand smoke is harmful, I don’t want to know them. I don’t even want to be in the same room as them.
I’ve pulled up the drawbridge, and filled the moat. Next week I’m going to buy some sharks to put in the moat, and a pair of tigers to guard the drawbridge, and a boa constrictor to sleep beside my bed.
It’s one reason why I see a deepening social division emerging in our society (and I don’t just mean little old England). It’s a division between the sort of people who believe anything they’re told – particularly if it’s by an ‘expert’ or a ‘scientist’ or someone with Sir or Lord or Professor in front of their name, and a string of letters after it -, and the sort of people who don’t believe anything at all that they’re told by such people. Or not until they’ve rinsed it, boiled it, and chopped it into thin slivers, and inspected each one minutely with a large magnifying glass.
It’s a division between believers and unbelievers. It’s one of the oldest divisions known to humanity. It’s them and us.
And I’m a complete unbeliever. I don’t believe anything Tobacco Control says. And that includes the the doctrine that Smoking Causes Lung Cancer. For which I was chided today by Steve Kelly, who wrote:
I get Frank’s point about “smoking causes lung cancer” and I think it’s important to point out that “cause” is misused in such statements but I also think it hurts our cause if we seem to suggest that habitual smoking is a health regimen.
I haven’t suggested that habitual smoking is a health regimen. I’ve simply said that I don’t believe smoking causes lung cancer. I haven’t got round yet to saying that smoking improves health. But give me another year or two, and don’t be too surprised if I do.
And I don’t see how it ‘hurts our cause’. I realise that there are many people – for example Chris Snowdon - who believe that smoking does cause lung cancer. And they’re entitled to believe whatever they like. But I don’t happen to believe it. So why should I pretend that I do? For the good of ‘the cause’?
Are we smokers going to acquire an approved orthodox system of faith, according to which it is permissible to disbelieve the secondhand smoke myth, but impermissible to disbelieve the firsthand smoke myth? Or believe that smoking aggravates asthma, but not toenail fungus? What’s wrong with disbelieving the whole damn lot? It’s much simpler.
Tobacco Control are a bunch of charlatans. If they’d told just one lie, that should be reason enough to disbelieve everything they say. But they tell dozens and dozens of lies. So why believe anything they say about anything, including anything they have ever said in the past?
If you come across a snake oil salesman selling a wide variety of snake oils, are you going to say, “Well, his rattlesnake oil is useless. And so is his cobra oil. And his black mamba oil too. You can’t fool me with any of that snake oil baloney! No, sir. Not me. But I do like a drop of his badger essence, and his hedgehog poultices. To keep away the mange, and cure warts, you see…”? No, you’re not. You won’t buy any of it. Not even the nectar of sparrow’s milk in the curly green bottle on the end. Yes, that one.
Or if you went into Tesco, and bought a bought a packet of its own brand corn flakes, and found a large, well-fed rat contentedly asleep in it when you opened it, would you buy any other Tesco own-brand products ever again, or anything at all from them. Or would you just say, “Well, Tesco cornflakes are notorious for having contented rats sleeping inside the boxes. But it’s not like that with their corn puffs. Or their chocolate nut crispies”?
“Smoking Causes Lung Cancer” is just another bottle of snake oil. It just happens to be about the oldest and most popular snake oil of all. More or less everyone buys it. But as far as I’m concerned, once Tobacco Control started lying about SHS, it called into question everything they’ve ever said about anything.
And to me that seems the right thing – and the obvious thing- to do. Reject everything. Don’t start picking and choosing and saying that they’re wrong about this, but right about that. It’s all tainted.
And complete rejection of everything they say seems to me to be the way most people are eventually going to go. Tobacco Control is going to become a by-word for mendacity. And people will say things like, “You don’t believe that nonsense, do you?! It’s almost as bad as one of Tobacco Control’s lies!”
For now, the believers – the people who buy the Tobacco Control snake oil – will carry on believing everything they’re told. But eventually, even they will start to question their beliefs. Because people like that usually go along with whatever everyone else believes, and when they find that fewer and fewer people believe it, they’ll start changing their minds too. Because they don’t want to be left out.
We are, I believe, heading for a complete collapse of belief in almost everything. In Tobacco Control. In experts. In scientists. In doctors. In politicians (actually we’ve probably already got there with them). In the mass media.
Pretty soon everybody’s going to be disposing of their TV sets and their radios, and cancelling their newspapers, and their New Scientist, and Scientific American magazine orders. Maybe even Good Housekeeping and Country Life.
I just happen to have got there early, that’s all.