Who Works For Who?

I woke up this morning with a question for the British government: Do you work for these zealots, or do they work for you?

The zealots I was thinking of were the antismoking zealots, and the environmentalist global warming zealots, and the Eurozealots. And I wasn’t sure what the answer to the question might be.

Thing is that, back in the early 1990s, both the UK Conservative party and the UK Labour party needed to somehow re-invent themselves. The UK Conservative party needed to get away from the corrosive legacy of Thatcherism, and the older ‘landed gentry’ image of the party embodied by the likes of Harold Macmillan. The Labour party was in even worse shape, and was struggling to get away from its ‘cloth cap’, union-dominated image. Times had moved on, and the parties needed to change.

The first to manage this was Tony Blair’s New Labour party, which contrived to be a ‘people’s party’ in which there was room not just for the old unions, but also for wealthy entrepreneurs as well. It was ‘champagne socialism’.

But it also adopted a number of the political trends that had grown up in Britain over the previous 30 or 40 years. All of which helped New Labour look like it had its ear to the ground, and knew what was happening on the street.

The first of these was a growing enthusiasm for Europe and all things European. More and more people were taking holidays in France and Italy and Spain. They were even learning how to cook in European ways. Insular Britain was becoming less insular. And so New Labour decided that the future for Britain led to Europe, whatever the misgivings of a few Tory backwoodsmen.

The second was the growing environmental/green movement, as exemplified by Greenpeace and others, and the growing Green party. And so New Labour bought shares in environmentalism too. They decided that the future was going to be Green.

And finally, although not overtly, they bought into the antismoking movement, as exemplified by ASH and others. From having smoking rates of 70% or higher in the 1950s, British smoking rates had fallen to 25-30%, as people gradually gave up smoking. So New Labour decided that the future was going to be ‘smoke-free’.

The result was that New Labour won the next three elections, and carried on doing so until the Tories under David Cameron also re-invented themselves – to be more or less the exact same thing: pro-European, environmentalist, and antismoking. Because that was the future. That was the way things were going. That was the direction that the tide of history was flowing.

And of course the Lib Dems followed suit too.

The result has been that government money has flowed into all these various political projects, and they became even more influential and powerful than they had ever been.

But the future maybe no longer seems quite as sure and certain as it once did.

In the first place, the EU eurozone has turned into a disaster area for the relatively uncompetitive southern nations of Spain and Portugal and Italy and Greece. These countries would have once been able to devalue their currencies to escape their debts, but stuck inside the eurozone they can only use austerity measures – cutting public spending and wages -, with the result that 25% unemployment is commonplace. The survival of the EU and the eurozone has become far from certain.

And in the second place, now that environmentally friendly windmills are slaughtering millions of bats and birds, environmentalism is looking rather less environmentally friendly, particularly when the windmills deliver a fraction of the power promised, and last for half their design lifetimes. Add to that the failure of any global warming to materialise over the past 15 years, and the collapse of carbon trading schemes, and the discovery of scientific malfeasance among climate scientists during the Climategate affair. Environmentalism is beginning to look more like the past than the future, as governments consider returning to coal and oil-fired and even nuclear-powered electricity generation.

The antismoking agenda is perhaps the only one that looks like it’s been successful. But it’s gradually becoming clear that one of the effects of the 2007 smoking ban – instantly hailed as a great success at the time – was that many smokers stayed home and stopped spending, and many of them had their social lives profoundly disrupted by the loss of their smoky old pubs in which they once congregated. ‘Smoke-free’ Britain is set to be seen as another failure.

Yet none of this should come as a surprise. For all these political movements were driven by idealism rather than reason. Antismoking zealots are not driven by reason, but by a pathological hatred of smoking. And environmentalism is driven by a nostalgia for a past era in which Britain was the green and pleasant land it once was before factories and railways and motorways transformed it into something else. And the European project is the idealistic pursuit of a sort of new Roman empire in which the tribes of Europe become citizens of Rome once again, and cast off their tribal identities in a new pax Romana.

Such idealistic fantasies have a habit of getting shipwrecked on the rocks of reality. In fact, it might be said that that this always their inevitable fate. For such idealism is really nothing but wishful thinking.

And perhaps the political class is beginning to have second thoughts about the direction it took. David Cameron’s recent speech was probably made in response to growing calls for disengagement from a moribund EU. And, despite the earlier enthusiasm for all things green and environmental and carbon neutral and sustainable, there’s a distinct sense that the British government is no longer quite as enthusiastic as it once was. And since many of UKIP’s voters are smokers (UKIP being about the only smoker-friendly political party), and smokers are becoming more and more vocal not only in Britain but across Europe (e.g. Bulgaria), there may also be some hesitation about proceeding with plain packaging and other new antismoking measures.

It’s beginning to look as if the Labour party and the Conservative party are going to have to re-invent themselves all over again, as the idealistic future that once beckoned so promisingly turns out to be not just an illusion, but a terrible mistake.

What political fashion will they follow then? But in the meantime, they have become so inextricably wedded to these various idealistic projects over the past 20 or more years that it is hard to discern who is working for who. Which brings me back to the question I began with:

Do you work for these zealots, or do they work for you?

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30 Responses to Who Works For Who?

  1. magnetic01 says:

    Frank, have a comment awaiting moderation on the previous thread.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank its an ERA much like the last Progressive ERA and then the Victorian ERA…………These things go in spurts or time periods. Anti-smoking generally has the shortist period from what I can see. But its associated to an ERA just like green environmentalism or the EU going european………One thing that has surely always returned is to nationalism,the fall back zone to traditional values and well things that actually work like coal,nuclear derived electricity,natural gas etc. The zealots over played their hands in every respect. Rising tides that will flood cities aka Farenhype 911 via al gore. The no safe level that nobody but an idiot would believe. They pundits and zealots as Dr Siegel pointed out when they were pushing for outdoor bans went to an environment that nobody would believe. In a contained space it was kinda easy to create the fear! lol But Outdoors people laughed and it made people think FINALLY! Then the absurd became the normal and the laughs became even more profound from the public. The comments sections via around the world are starting to say hey enuf already……..The downfall begins in fact they wont even hardly fight back anymore,especially now that we are attacking even the direct smoking claims. But,its not a far piece for most minds to decipher that well if they lied about shs/ets then what about all the direct smoking claims even!

    Good work to all who provide material and valid argumetns against these zealots and I and many have used those arguments to defeat our colletive enemies in tobacco control. My hats off to all of you!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      In a dog fight you use anything you have or can get to win and my arsenal is made up of all things and all things from all of us. A good arsenal should include material to counter every concievable argument the nazis can lay out…………In that respect we whoop the basterds everytime.

      • garyk30 says:

        A little math excercise.
        Suppose you have 100 smokers that die of lung cancer and there is a 90% probability their cancer was caused by smoking.

        What is the chance that all 100 cancers were caused by smoking.

        Actually, the odds are vanishingly small.

        Flipping a coin gives you a 50% chance of getting a ‘Heads”.
        Flipping two coins gives you a 25% probability of both coming up ‘Heads”.
        There are 4 possible combinations; of which, 2 ‘Heads’ is 1.
        Math = 0.5 X 0.5 = 0.25

        90% probability = 0.9

        2 deaths = 0.9 X 0.9 = 0.81 = only a 81% probability that both were caused by smoking.

        After 7 deaths we are down to a 48% probability that all 7 were caused by smoking.

        After 20 deaths.we are down to an 11% probability that all were caused by smoking.

        After 30 deaths, there is only a 3.8% probability that all were caused by smoking.

        The possibilty that all 100 deaths were caused by smoking is almost non-existent!!!!

        Now consider, antis claim that thousands of lung cancer deaths are totally ’caused’ by smoking.

        The same claims are made about deaths ’caused’ by obesity or drinking.

        • garyk30 says:

          Contrary to what the antis say; if asmoker dies from lung cancer, there is a 55% probability that cancer was caused by something other than smoking.

          Ex-smokers, in America, account for 61% of the lung cancers.

          http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5644a2.htm

          Table 2
          Current smokers = 21% of lung cancers
          Ex-smokers = 61% of lung cancers
          Never-smokers = 18% of lung cancers

        • garyk30 says:

          http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_94.pdf

          “Benefits of Stopping Smoking”

          Within 10-15 years of quitting smoking, an ex-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer is only slightly greater than that of a never-smoker.

        • garyk30 says:

          http://www.stqp.org/quitsmokingtimeline.asp

          10 YEARS: Lung cancer death rate is similar to that of a non-smoker.

        • garyk30 says:

          http://blisstree.com/feel/what-happens-to-your-body-if-you-stop-smoking-right-now/

          In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Somewhere I think we will find a genetic key to LC in those figures. To make one single act the source is unrealistic.The genetic code once unravelled will find paralells across the board connecting much of the diseased population. It may just turn out environmental components dont even have a link in the chain of events………..That would explain why 100% who indulge in whatever don get a so called linked disease. It is a linked study that they use to create so much junk science and propaganda with on everything. If youhave a political agenda simply buy yourself an epidemiologist or team and they can link camel shit to causing tidal waves!

        • garyk30 says:

          http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2007/12/v30n4-2.pdf

          Over the age of 35. There are few smoking deaths below the age of 35.

          Ex-smokers by years since quitting:
          Table 1- 2002

          15+ = 23.1 million

          10-14 = 4.95 million

          Total = 28.05 million

          Total ex-smokers = 39.9 million

          10+ years since quitting are 70% of the total.

        • garyk30 says:

          Lung cancer deaths(lcd) = 160,000

          Current smokers(21%) = 33,600/46 million smokers

          Ex-smokers(61%) = 97,600/48 million ex-smokers

          Never-smokers(18%) = 28,800/136 million never-smokers

          70% of the ex-smokers have a risk of lung cancer that is about the same as never-smokers. That gives these numbers:

          smokers = 62,880 lcd/60.4 million
          LCD Rate = 10.4/10,000

          non-smokers = 97,120 lcd/169.6 million
          LCD Rate = 5.7/10,000

          5.7 is 55% of 10.4
          There is a 55% probability a smoker’s lung cancer was caused by factors other than smoking.

        • garyk30 says:

          55/45 is pretty close to the 50/50 of a coin flip.

          As mentioned before, there is only a 1/4(25%) that two coins flipped at the same time will come up Heads.

          So if Harley and Frank die from lung cancer, there is only a 25% probability that both cancers were caused by smoking.

          If Rose does also, there is only a 12.5% probability that all 3 cancerse caused by smoking.

          The math looks like this:
          0.5 X 0.5 X 0.5 = 0.125 = 12.5%

          If 10 smokers die from lung cancer, we get 0.000976(0.001)
          That is a 1/10th of a 1% probability that all were caused by smoking.

          If 15 smokers die from lung cancer, we get 0.00003,.
          That is a 3/1,000th of a 1% chance all were caused by smoking.

          Antis/health nannies claim there are about, in America, 131,000 smokers’ deaths caused by smoking.
          They leave no possibility of other causes.
          The claims are impossible!!!!

  3. Walt says:

    @ jax yesterday
    I got so carried away by Gary The 40 Year Smoker, that I left w/o commenting on the dilemma of whether to support the drinkers or not. I drink in moderation (but would likely drink more if the Forces came down on me) but, as a smoker, I’m already inured to a certain amount of silliness (labels, propaganda) and even to a certain amount of nastiness. So my own admittedly (nasty) dog in the manger bent is to let each group in turn, and there are many turns left in this major screw, suffer society’s wrath until the number of the screwed so completely overwhelms the number of the screwers that by sheer force of outraged numbers, they/ we overturn the tables. IOW I speak of recruits to the army.

  4. margo says:

    Frank, I think there’s a collusive connection between outfits like the EU, the UN and WHO, and a few powerful industries (Pharma and Nuke in particular) and all governments have to sing to their tune. The Deborah Arnotts are the little puppets/foot soldiers in the game. It’s been going on a long, long time. As an early example, check out Windscale 1957.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    On Fox news even they push the junk science. This mornings moment was a study linking obesity to MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS……………I kid you not.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Junk Science – a term used to describe false or misleading research that is offered as real science, but which was not obtained using the accepted scientific method . The term “junk science” is often applied to deceptive environmental and health studies.

  6. magnetic01 says:

    Bulgarian parliament to discuss full smoking ban by end of term, says committee chair

    http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n298386

    Bulgarian government firm on smoking ban in face of new protest

    http://sofiaglobe.com/2013/02/01/bulgarian-government-firm-on-smoking-ban-in-face-of-new-protest/

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Sweet headline ehh!

    Statewide smoking ban likely to die again
    Passage has failed for some 10 years

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20130202/NEWS010504/302020043/Statewide-smoking-ban-likely-die-again?nclick_check=1

    • nisakiman says:

      What a bloody shame. Another real pub bites the dust thanks to the pursed lip puritans.

      Paul Waterson, Chief Executive of the SLTA, said: “We have lost some really good historical places over the last few years. Sadly the majority of them won’t reopen.

      “The traditional pubs in particular have never really recovered after the smoking ban. Almost 80 per cent of their three to five days a week drinkers would smoke.

      “When they told us the pub would be full of non-smokers it was nonsense then and it still is.”

      Telling it like it is.

  8. smokervoter says:

    I got the distinct impression that David Cameron was rooting for Obama the Ex-Smoker from Hell in the election. Birds of a feather I guess. Turncoat ex-smokers from hell really tend to bond together.

    Obama has just announced that if he had a son, he would not let him play football. If my father had said no to my playing football, I would have disowned him.

    Then today on the Superbowl Sunday political talk show circuit I heard mention of how football was being forced into compliance with the brave new ‘Health and Safety Culture’ of the times.

    Then impish sportscaster Bob Costas chimed in with ‘American football, as currently practiced, is unsustainable’. There goes an offshoot of that nauseating, Green buzzword ‘sustainable’.

    Yet more fallout from what started out as the Non-Smokers Rights movement, the helmet laws and John Banzhaf’s wet dream of an entirely riskless, testosterone-free world.

  9. smokervoter says:

    And there’s the picture of Obama skeet-shooting with the earphones and a limp-wristed trigger grip contrasted with your Queen fearlessly blasting away at the National Shooting Centre.

    Anyone remember the picture of him riding his bicycle in full Elfin Safety regalia?

    I’m quite sure that when he’s safely out of office in 2016, it will be divulged that Michelle Obama was indeed his beard all along. Of course, by that time the way will have been cleared for dykish Hillary Clinton’s ascendance to the White House by our unfolding testosterone-free, health and safety culture.

    My personal tip-off came the first time I watched Obama walk down the steps of an airliner.

  10. cherie79 says:

    I know whatever kills me it will be classed as smoking related. I saw a young GP once, not my usual tolerant one, and said if I broke my neck it would be ‘smoking related’ this is what he said:
    you could have be reaching for a cigarette and trip, you couldn’t make this stuff up as the estimable Richard Littlejohn says.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      jackdavidson

      1:55 AM on 04/02/2013

      From your link 75% of LC is in over 65 age group from the chart the 80 year old group accounts for the most LC cases at approx. 4000 a year!

      From the average life expectancy chart for the UK;

      It appears LC doesn’t have an effect on life spans in the UK at all for what one would expect to live to save a year or two MAYBE!

      The most common age at death in England and Wales in 2010 was 85 for men and 89 for women.
      Over the last 50 years (1960-2010) the average life span has increased by around 10 years for a man and 8 years for a woman.

      Mortality in England and Wales, Average Life Span
      Released: 17 December 2012

      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mortality-ageing/mortality-in-england-and-wales/average-life-span/index.html

      By age

      Lung cancer is strongly related to age. In the UK between 2007 and 2009, an average of three-quarters of cases were diagnosed in persons aged 65 and over (Figure 1.1).1-4 Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from age 40, peaking in the 80-84 year olds. Incidence rates are similar for men and women in their 40s, but, thereafter, male rates are higher than female rates, and this gap widens with increasing age. At age 50-54, the male : female ratio of the age-specific incidence rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 12:10. By age 85+, it is around 23:10 (Figure 1.1).1-4

  11. Jim Jones-Fenleigh says:

    I agree with every thing you write. Complete common sense I am 68 and have smoked allmost continuously since I was 15 OMG imagine how much the various Governments have made I smoke because I enjoy I do not feel addicted Surely if governments around the world rally belived smoking was THE cause of death on the planet they simply ban the manufacture and sale of tobacco products.
    My social life has virtually disapeared I am tired of visiting non smoking friends having to go outside for ‘another cigarette” Thank for letting me know UKIP are NOT anti smoking – Guess who gets my vote in 2015!!!!

    • smokervoter says:

      Speaking of which…

      And since many of UKIP’s voters are smokers (UKIP being about the only smoker-friendly political party), and smokers are becoming more and more vocal not only in Britain but across Europe…

      Yes. Let’s assume for arguments sake that there are 11 million smokers in the UK. And let’s assume a 64% turnout. And let’s assume that a hefty majority of 57% come to their senses and vote UKIP. That is roughly 4 million votes. Now mind you, to avoid the pie-in-the-sky syndrome, that still means that 7 out of 11 guilty, self-lashing smoker-drones will either apathetically stay home or vote like their ancestors did for Lib/Lab/Con.

      That’s a formidable base to build on. You’ve got, what, 2.25 years to make this dream come true.

      Pardon me for sticking my uninvited yankee nose into your affairs but I would respectfully advise all British smokervoters to stop over-analyzing their political options. When it comes to destroying the godawful Nanny State and the EU, UKIP’s the way to go. No one party will ever suit your beliefs perfectly 100% of the time.

      As the Rolling Stones always say, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, but if you try sometimes…

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