Planners Are Authoritarians

I started reading Chris Snowdon’s free download book, Killjoys, yesterday, and on page 29 came across the notion of “a runaway train of authoritarianism”. And it prompted a question that I often find myself asking: Why are so many people such authoritarians? Why do they want to order people around? Why can’t they just mind their own business?

My thought this morning was that the authoritarians are planners. They make plans all the time. They make plans for themselves, and they make plans for everybody else as well. Planning is something that comes as naturally to them as swimming comes to fish, or flying to birds. They do it all the time.

And for such people the idea of a planned society is something that seems perfectly natural. Doesn’t a well-ordered, smooth-running society have to be a planned society? If there’s no plan, isn’t there just going to be chaos? Doesn’t a symphony in which dozens of different instruments are going to be played in concert have to have a carefully contrived score on which all the individual notes are set out in black and white for the musicians to follow?  A musical score is a plan. And people like Beethoven and Mozart and Handel were musical planners. They were just like town planners, but working with music.

But as soon as there is a plan of any sort, whether it is for a town or a symphony, there must also be people who will follow the plan, play the notes in the correct order. Once the planners make their appearance, there must also be all those who have have been planned for. When Beethoven was writing his symphonies, he had in mind an orchestra of disciplined musicians. In fact he had in mind dozens of such orchestras all over the world. He had in mind an entire army of disciplined musicians doing what his plan told them to do, at precisely the time they were supposed to do it.

And if they didn’t do it, the conductor of the symphony would scold them loudly for hitting the wrong notes, or hitting the notes at the wrong time. And he might even fine them for doing so, maybe $1 for every bum note they played during the performance of a symphony. And in fact, he might even beat them with a stick. We should perhaps think of a conductor’s baton as not so much a instrument to wave around over the heads of the orchestra to keep time, but as a cane with which to beat them. We ought to imagine an irate conductor (perhaps Beethoven himself) stepping down from his podium, and giving the First Violin several well-aimed blows after he’d missed his cue. For the conductor of a symphony must force his musicians to play the notes in the score set out for them. He must force them to obey the orders set out in the score.

And what applies to musical plans applies to every other plan: people must be forced to obey the orders set out in the plan. Because if they aren’t, nothing will get done. They can’t be allowed to be free to do what they might want to do. They should be as obedient as soldiers unhesitatingly and unquestioningly carrying out the orders of their generals and captains and sergeants.

In this manner, planning must always entail the negation of freedom. People cannot be allowed to do what they want. They must obey orders, all the time.

And planning of any kind always entails coercion, as people are made to do what they are told.

Tobacco Control are a bunch of planners making plans for everyone. And their plan is to stop people smoking. They’d also like to stop them drinking as well. And eating meat and fat and sugar or salt. Their aim is to create a society as disciplined and obedient as any orchestra or any army. Smoking and drinking and eating are things that people want to do of their own volition, and doing things of their own volition is precisely what people cannot be allowed to do: they must do as they’re told, and they must do it unhesitatingly and unquestioningly. How else can the plan be carried out if they do not?

So the very first thing that must be done, in any planned society, is for all freedoms to be removed. People must be trained, slowly and painfully, to do as they are told. They must be banned from smoking (doing what they want) in a growing number of places. They must be punished (fined and taxed) for doing what they want. And if lies need to be told to induce them to stop doing as they want – like telling them that smoking causes lung cancer – then these lies should be told with a straight face to them again and again and again. For lying is just as much a form of coercion as using a big stick.

Yesterday I was quoting from the Lancet about the plan to reduce alcohol consumption:

“..the longer the delay in effective control, the more severe future interventions for alcohol will need to be.”

What the nameless author of this editorial is telling us here is that the planned future interventions are going to become more and more severe. And this was always bound to happen as the planners set out to impose their plans upon the planned. The coercion must always increase. The control must always tighten. The freedom of scope of the coerced must always be reduced.

But the only point I wish to make is that any sort of planned society must always be a coerced society. Anyone who ever sets out any plan of any sort is someone who is, at the same time, willing to possess the power to implement that plan, and impose it upon other people. Planners are authoritarians, and they must be authoritarians because without authority they can never impose their plans on anyone else.

But the first casualty in any military campaign is the plan. And so planners are always going to find their plans coming undone, becoming obsolete in a rapidly changing situation. And that also is a reason why planners are always trying to keep to the plan, and push it through ever more forcibly. But it’s also one of the reasons why all plans must always ultimately fail.

In this respect I draw attention to a plan to ban smoking from French movies

The debate was ignited after the Socialist senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais accused France’s film-makers of continuing to advertise for the tobacco industry.

“Seventy per cent of new French films have at least one scene of someone smoking. This more or less helps to make its use banal, even promote it, to children and adolescents,” Grelet-Certenais told the Sénat, the upper house of parliament.

Her remarks, made during a debate on the government’s plan to raise the price of cigarettes and tobacco, sparked the interest of the health minister, Agnès Buzyn, who said she would talk to her cabinet colleague, the culture minister, Françoise Nyssen.

“I don’t understand why the cigarette is so important in French cinema,” Buzyn said promising firm action to fight smoking.

Agnès Buzyn doesn’t understand freedom. She doesn’t understand that smoking is something that people like to do, and that freedom means being able to do what you want to do, not what somebody else wants you to do. For tobacco always has been closely associated with freedom, and always will be.

Agnès Buzyn is probably a Socialist just like Grelet-Certenais. And what do Socialists want? They always want a planned society – which is a society of control and coercion, devoid of freedom.

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Images of Oesophageal Cancer

Chris Snowdon a few days back, quoting from an editorial in the Lancet:

There is no excuse to ignore regulatory interventions for access, advertisements, and unit cost that are shown to reduce alcohol consumption. Like tobacco, the longer the delay in effective control, the more severe future interventions for alcohol will need to be. It is not unimaginable that bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, which once bore the artwork of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, might one day be required to have plain packaging and images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver.

I suppose it must be some doctor who wrote this. I don’t suppose it would have been a lawyer or an architect or a bus driver. The Lancet is a medical journal, after all.

I don’t quite understand the first sentence. But it seems to be saying that there’s “no excuse” to not introduce measures that will “reduce alcohol consumption.” It seems to be the unstated assumption that reducing alcohol consumption is an unquestionably good thing about which absolutely everybody is completely agreed.

But I can easily imagine a situation where one would want to increase alcohol consumption. If you’re having a dinner party, wouldn’t you want to provide a few bottles of wine to help wash the food down, and maybe some brandy or port afterwards with the cigars? Wouldn’t you want everyone to get pretty well oiled?

But, of course, the doctor who wrote this editorial probably has dinner parties that are alcohol-free.

And tobacco-free.

And sugar-free.

And fat-free.

And salt-free.

Forget any thoughts of plates laden with turkey and ham with roast potatoes and carrots and peas and gravy. Forget any ideas of second helpings as well. And forget any ideas about subsequent plates with huge slices of lemon meringue pie and whipped cream. Above all forget about any cigars and cognac and chocolate.

Face it. If this guy threw a dinner party, the guests would each be given a slice of bread and a glass of water. And the bread would be gluten-free.

In fact, I feel confident in saying that this guy never holds any dinner parties. And never goes to any. He probably hates them.

And he probably hates them because they are orgies of excess. A dinner party is supposed to be a feast that provides more food than anyone can eat, and more alcohol than anyone can drink. For you want everybody to leave saying, “Carry I out, but don’t bend I!”

The antismoking Dr W in whose house I once found myself living never touched alcohol. But even he relented at Christmas, when the plates on his dinner table would become unusually full, and he would pour himself (and nobody else) a little glass of what looked like sherry, and ostentatiously take a single tiny sip from it while giving a toast. I used to imagine that afterwards he would pour the remaining sherry in the glass back into the bottle for use at subsequent Christmases, and had probably managed to make a single bottle last for 30 years or more.

But all that aside, we have been told in this editorial that we must reduce alcohol consumption. And that means no parties, no fiestas, no carnivals, no dances, no excess of any kind. Just bread and water.

And in the second sentence in this passage we are warned that if there is any delay in introducing controls on alcohol, it will only mean that there will need to be “more severe” future interventions.

We need “regulation”, “control”, “intervention”.

And then, in a final sentence of giddy imagination, the writer looks forward to the day when bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild are bearing “images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver.”

For this is what he wants. He wants to take the things that Picasso and Dali beautified, and turn them into something poisonous and ugly, just like he’s already been making tobacco into something poisonous and ugly.

And when he’s finished with tobacco and alcohol, he’ll start on meat and fat and sugar and chocolate. He’ll deface everything he can lay his hands on. He will take everything beautiful and make it ugly. He’ll piss all over it.

For that’s what he’s doing: defacing everything, pissing on everything.

And if he could get at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, he’d probably gouge out one of her eyes.

Some people bring beauty to the world. And some people bring ugliness.

And isn’t the author of this Lancet editorial telling us much more about himself than he’s telling us about alcohol or tobacco? He’s telling us, in a few sentences, what a controlling, regulating interventionist he is. And how moralistic – “no excuse”, “need to” – as well. And how threatening and overbearing. And how he longs to deface bottles of wine just like he has defaced packets of tobacco. Isn’t he telling the world just what a poisonous little shit he is? And isn’t he even telling us that he’s antisemitic as well: Château Mouton Rothschild?

Is this really the sort of man that the medical profession would wish to speak for it in editorials in the Lancet? Is this really the sort of man that doctors would like to see representing them in the BMA or RCP? Isn’t he someone to be rather embarrassed about?

Wouldn’t they prefer to be represented by people who are trying to care for other people, help other people, cure other people, rather than pour out their poison over the world around them? Wouldn’t they want to be rid of these killjoys, and replace them with kinder and happier doctors? I’m sure there are one or two around.

All of which reminds me that Chris Snowdon is advertising a new free downloadable book he’s written: Killjoys. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be a good read.

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Perverse

Last night in the Smoky Drinky Bar, Joe L suggested that I back up my blog, and send it to him and Emily.

I hadn’t done that before, so I straightaway went and did it, using the Export facility that WordPress provides. Ten minutes later Joe had downloaded all 60 MB of the zip file that had been created. And that means that if WordPress decides to delete my blog one day, or somebody hacks into it and deletes it, there’ll be a few copies of it floating around. If anyone wants a link to the file, I’ll be happy to send them one. I believe it has all my posts going right back to 2009, and all the comments as well.

These days 60 MB is peanuts, but I can still remember, in 1978, getting a Motorola 6800 microprocessor development board with just 256 bytes of RAM on it. Programs were stored on cassette tapes which made funny whistling and burbling sounds as they played. The display unit was a couple of red hexadecimal leds. I spent hours squeezing code into the 256 bytes to do all sorts of things. It was a bit of a relief when, 6 months later, we got hold of an additional 256 bytes of RAM. That was like a full sized living room. And when next year I bought my first computer – an Exidy Sorcerer – it had a whopping 32 K bytes of RAM. I had a little ditty I used to hum to myself back then: “Thirty two Kay: I’m going away.”

And I can’t really comprehend the amount of memory inside computers today, and the amount of data stored on hard disk drives with terabytes of memory. Nor do I understand cloud memory, which I vaguely imagine to be a cloud of millions of terabyte hard disk drives floating somewhere over the surface of the Earth, and accessible using WiFi or Bluetooth. But I still have my early ingrained habits of making code and data as compact as possible, so that you could fit it all into, well,.. 256 bytes.

I also wonder how long all this memory is going to last. I was reading something recently about how long storage media lasted, and books could last hundreds of years, stone tablets thousands. But how long does non-volatile memory last? 10 years? Less? I’m wondering if we’ll find that we’ve got more and more data, but none of it lasts very long – particularly if it can all be wiped with a sufficiently large electro-magnetic pulse. We might all wake up one morning to find that all our data has been wiped, and all we’ve got left is a dog-eared paperback copy of The Wind In The Willows.

Not entirely unrelated,

LONDON — Nigel Farage has dismissed medical experts who warn that smoking kills millions of people every year as “clever people” who should be ignored.

The former UKIP leader urged his Twitter followers to ignore a warning from the World Health Organisation that smoking kills more than 7 million people a year.

The organisation was welcoming a decision by the Vatican to ban the sale of cigarettes in Vatican City.

“The World Health Organisation is just another club of ‘clever people’ who want to bully us and tell us what to do,” Farage tweeted.

“Ignore.”

This is not the first time that the leading Brexit campaigner has dismissed the otherwise almost universally accepted link between cigarettes and smoking-related diseases.

“I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking,” Farage told the Daily Telegraph last year.

I thought this was interesting because it suggested that Nigel Farage was becoming as sceptical of antismoking Public Health as he is sceptical about the EU and global warming. And not many people are sceptical, particularly about tobacco.

But after speaking out last year, this latest pronouncement of his suggests that his scepticism is deepening. And it also suggests that he is surrounded by growing numbers of sceptics.

But I’m not sure what he means by “clever people”. Maybe he means people who can juggle with statistics, or produce research papers at the drop of a hat that prove anything you want proven. Are such people “clever”? They most certainly want to bully us and tell us what to do. But is “ignoring them” the right response? I don’t want to ignore Tobacco Control: I want to destroy it.

Anyway, I’m wondering if more people are soon going to start coming out of the woodwork and saying they’re sceptical as well, and don’t believe the doctors got it right either. What happens when Paul McCartney says he doesn’t believe it? And Prince Charles? And Clint Eastwood? What will be the response of Tobacco Control to growing numbers of sceptics? Most likely it’ll be the same as AGW, and sceptics will be called Science Deniers, or more recently by the Pope, “perverse.”

I’m certainly getting more and more perverse. I’m believing less and less of anything I’m told. And it seems that everybody else is too. We’re entering a world in which nobody believes exactly what anyone else believes, and everyone has a different opinion about everything.

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Shipman

Harold Shipman Wikipedia entry:

Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was a British general practitioner and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history. On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of fifteen murders for killing patients under his care. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation that he never be released.

The Shipman Inquiry, a two-year-long investigation of all deaths certified by Shipman chaired by Dame Janet Smith, investigated Shipman’s crimes. The inquiry identified 218 victims and estimated his total victim count at 250, about 80% of whom were elderly women. His youngest confirmed victim was a 41-year-old man, although “significant suspicion” arose concerning patients as young as 4.

Much of Britain’s legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a result of Shipman’s crimes. He is the only British physician to have been found guilty of murdering his patients, although other doctors have been acquitted of similar crimes or convicted on lesser charges.

It seems to me that the measure of the value of a doctor lies in whether his patients survive or not. If a doctor’s patients live longer than those of other doctors, then in comparison he’s a good doctor. And if they die earlier, then he’s a bad doctor. And by this measure, Harold Shipman was one of the worst.

In fact, it seems to me that if anyone causes people to suffer and die, they’re doing something wrong. And if they cause people to prosper and survive, they’re doing something right.

Harold Shipman never explained why he had murdered so many of his patients. But what if he had a good scientific reason for doing so? What if Shipman had been a scientist, and maybe a Fellow of the Royal Society, and perhaps even a Nobel prize winner? Would having a good name have absolved him? No. And could there ever have been any good scientific reasons for behaving as he did? Or, if his scientific beliefs led him to kill hundreds of his patients, shouldn’t that science have been condemned, purely and simply for what it resulted in? Yes, it should have been.

And yet there probably was a scientific reason for his behaviour. Shipman probably saw elderly people as diseased people whose lives should be terminated for the good of society as a whole. For by killing off old people, Shipman probably saw himself as rejuvenating the local population, by reducing its mean age. He may even have regarded himself as doing unrecognised heroic work. And if he had ever had an opportunity to explain himself, he might have used some elaborate mathematical or statistical arguments to justify his actions.

But would anyone listening to such arguments have ever been convinced by them? Would anyone have ever said, “Ah, I see what you mean! Of course you had to kill off your patients! I can see now. Well done! Go and kill off some more.”

I don’t think anyone would have been convinced. I think that whatever the justifications he may have put forward, the plain fact of the matter was that a great many of his patients ended up prematurely dead, and for that he should have been – and actually was –  condemned.

Now, are the doctors working in Tobacco Control any better (or any worse) than Harold Shipman? In the name of science they are excluding and demonising millions of smokers, and thereby doing them a lot of harm. They see tobacco smoking not as a pastime, but as an epidemic. From the foreword of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control:

The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment.

And given that there is a tobacco epidemic, and a disease vector is is “any agent that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism”, then clearly smokers themselves are disease vectors for the tobacco epidemic, and should be subjected to vector control, which is ” any method to limit or eradicate the mammals, birds, insects or other arthropods (collectively called “vectors”) which transmit disease pathogens.” So in eradicating the tobacco epidemic, Tobacco Control must eradicate smokers (who are also mammals).

And that is what it has set out to do: eradicate smokers. And smokers all over the world are being “exiled to the outdoors”, fired from jobs, evicted from homes, and refused medical treatment. They are also being reviled and demonised as being no better than lepers. Sometimes they are even being murdered. There is a graveyard of people who have ended up dead as a result of this treatment.

And if Harold Shipman was to be condemned for what he did to his patients, should not the doctors in Tobacco Control be equally condemned for what they are doing to hundreds of millions of smokers? Does it matter what scientific justifications they might put forward for what they are doing? If people are suffering and dying as a result of what they are doing, shouldn’t they be condemned out of hand?

In fact, aren’t the doctors in Tobacco Control very arguably far worse than Harold Shipman? For Shipman killed off a mere couple of hundred people, and none of them suffered at all from the lethal injections he administered to them. Almost certainly the doctors working in Tobacco Control have already killed off many more people than Shipman ever did, and they have also caused countless millions of people to suffer from being denied tobacco, or over-charged to buy it. The doctors in Tobacco Control are causing a huge amount of suffering in the world.

Of course, we know that they claim that they are saving millions of lives. They might even be claiming to rejuvenate the population. But all these supposed savings are purely the product of their own mathematical calculations. They are numbers conjured up in their computers. They cannot actually point to anybody  and say “Here’s someone whose life we saved.” They are imaginary lives saved. But all the people they are hurting as they exclude and demonise them are real people. And they are real people who could come forward and provide evidence for what was done to them.

Many of these real people may suffer in small ways. They may only suffer by having to pay high prices for the tobacco they buy. Or they may only have to suffer by sitting outside for a few hours. But when such small injuries are done to hundreds of millions of people, do they not add up to make a singular very great crime? For is the thief who steals $1,000,000 from one man worse than the one who steals 10 cents each from 100 million people? Isn’t it the other way round, because $0.1 times 100 million is a greater number than $1,000,000 times one?

Or, to come at it from another direction, if they can claim to have saved millions of lives, why can’t I claim to have done so as well? For I am perfectly capable of writing a computer program which, after numerous abstruse calculations, declares that “Frank Davis saved 77,436,981 lives last year.” And it would be just as good evidence as any they have ever produced.

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EPA Purge

Via Audrey Silk:

Eleven new members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board have a history of downplaying the health risks of secondhand smoke, air pollution and other hazards, including two who have spun science for tobacco companies, according to an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Earlier this month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt fired all board members who currently receive EPA grants for their research, saying they cannot remain objective if they accept agency money. In replacing them, Pruitt transformed the board from a panel of the nation’s top environmental experts to one dominated by industry-funded scientists and state government officials who have fought federal regulations.

Pruitt removed 21 members of the advisory board, mostly academics, and replaced them with 16 experts with ties to industries regulated by the agency and two with no industry ties. Fourteen of the new members consult or work for the fossil fuel or chemical industries, which gave Pruitt nearly $320,000 for his campaigns in Oklahoma as a state senator and attorney general.

My only question is: Why did it take him so long?

As best I understand it, the Trump administration has been hampered at every step by holdovers from the Obama administration in every level of the US government. There may be Trump appointees at the top of various agencies, but pretty much everybody underneath them is somebody Obama appointed, and so almost certainly a political appointee. These people are now working against their Trump-appointed bosses.

This article is clearly written by an antismoking environmentalist tut-tutting about “downplaying the health risks of secondhand smoke” and conjuring up satanic “tobacco companies”. It sets everything “industry-funded” against everything “academic” and “scientific”. It’s a mindset that sees government as benign, and industry as malign.

But I see it completely the other way round. Because these days I see the principal threat in ideologically-motivated, hyper-regulatory government, not profit-oriented industry. After all, it’s not industry that has been imposing smoking bans all over the world: it’s been governments.

I don’t know why Trump didn’t fire every single Obama appointee in the US government on Day One of his administration. I suppose that would have been impossible because some government departments would have been emptied by any such move, and would have ceased to function. So they had to keep most of the staff they’d got, while slowly replacing them. But from reports I’ve read, the US government civil service is still 95% Obama-appointed. And by the time Trump leaves office, or seeks re-election, in 3 years time, it may only be down to just 90%. But over the next 3 years, the Obama appointees will very likely be able to negate anything he may have wanted to do. So who’s going to want to re-elect him?

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A Reply To Seppi

Yesterday I noticed several interesting new links. The first, in a comment by Philip Neal, was to The Burch Curve. Philip Burch was, I believe, a statistician who disagreed with the cigarette hypothesis of lung cancer causation promoted by Doll and Hill.

And my attention was also drawn to A Critique of Nicotine Addiction (2000) by Frenk and Dar, which looked interesting.

Finally, Kin_Free left a long comment in my blog yesterday which received an accolade from many readers, and so today I’ve promoted it to become a blog post in itself. Maybe that way it’ll get read a bit more. The comment didn’t have a title, so I’ve called it A Reply To Seppi. If it’s already available somewhere else, I’ll be more than happy to provide a link there.

Seppi has called me out on my brief summary of the current state of the anti-smoker deception, so will have to reply. This is a longish and more comprehensive post, yet I was still unable to cover everything. It may be considered verbose to some in this twitter world of economic one-liners and succinct slogans.(too long can’t be bothered to read it – move on). I hope the reader can get through it and ask themselves some pertinent questions about what they have been led to believe by the anti-smoker industry, maybe inspire them to look deeper or even make some noise themselves rather than turning a blind eye.

The name, Seppi Seppowitsch, is new but the the rhetoric is easily identified as that of bertl from the ‘Discus’ commenting platform (or someone who has copied his style in detail -unlikely) Oh, the irony!! Berti has been (assigned as?) my personal stalker for some years now, mainly when commenting with my pseudonym ‘Bright Eyes Open Wide’ (it’s no secret). Previous encounters are all recorded in my BEOW discus profile where many of the issues he raises here, have been covered there, and can be viewed by anyone. He keeps on repeating the same dogma over and over again, unable to move on from anti-smoker ‘group-think’ (so I have ignored him for a while too). As a (formal/informal) disciple of the anti-smoker $billion industry, the intention of course is merely to raise sufficient doubt to reinforce learned smoker CONTROL propaganda. Amongst those already well under its insidious influence, that can be easy. Anti-smoker propaganda is so well ingrained in the publics consciousness that it has almost become common sense, so it doesn’t take much to maintain belief in what ‘everyone knows’.

The anti-smoker campaign in general, works on ‘appeal to authority’, unquestioningly quoting acts and sections of the anti-smoker Bible scriptures / Quran and repeating published opinion from their equivalent of Muftis, Bishops, Cardinals, etc. that amounts to a ‘consensus’ predicting doom and gloom, illness and infirmity to non believers.Those who do NOT comply can expect punishment for their sins.(Do I really need to give current examples?)

Inherent in this paradigm is the presumption that the issue is too complex for ordinary men who are too ignorant understand, and they must all fall at the feet of those select few individuals (experts and priests) who do understand – have spoken directly to God as it were. (I do not wish to criticise traditional religion, merely draw attention to the parallels and how those similarities are being exploited by the smoker CONTROL industry).

We know that anti-smoker appeals to authority and emotion are very effective means of psychological control (Hitler exploited this: “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few”). However, emotional propaganda is ultimately inferior to the truth, appeal to reason, to common sense, common logic and the natural ability of the average man to identify and understand the many contradictions inherent in anti-smoker ‘science’ (this includes many professionals!). These skills are universal – you do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand, only the ability to think and capable of resisting being overawed by so-called experts and their emotive, apparently complex ‘science’! Of course if you are a quitter then your ability to think may have been downgraded somewhat; http://dengulenegl.dk/English/Nicotine.html

The skilled statistician can make statistics ‘prove’ almost anything he/she wishes and the smoker CONTROL industry has utilised this to the Nth degree. Given that their only ‘evidence’ of harm is based on statistics, one can understand why.

In fact we can distil this ‘evidence’ down to just one or two early mid C20th epidemiological studies (Doll et al), and repetitions of the same, that have been repeated over and over, expounded upon, extrapolated from and ‘deemed’ to be proof! (But only ever showing correlation – not evidence of causation). All the frightening figures always quoted of those thousands or millions who have died of so-called ‘smoke related’ diseases in specific cities, states, countries etc. or predicted for the future, are nothing more than equations based on the early study, but there are no real bodies, just intangible, manufactured statistics. (Computer says; “IF… : THEN…”)

Despite claims of overwhelming scientific evidence, this is their only ‘evidence’ of active smoking ‘harm’ ! No other research, using different methodology, has corroborated that early study, and that research (eg. Hard experimental science and Random controlled intervention trials) often directly contradicts the early statistical research.

Random controlled intervention trials; eg. The WHO ‘Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial’ (MR FIT 1982). Explained here by Prof Carl Selzer;
http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wjm58e00 Other examples; Wilhelmsen et al 1986 : Jorgensen et al 2014 – ‘gold standards’ in medical research that do not support the statistical studies.

Hard clinical science; Succinctly explained by Dr Arthur Furst 1982; ”For many years, I tried to induce lung cancer in animals with cigarette smoke, with NO success, despite the most sophisticated smoking machines available. Not only were my colleagues and I unsuccessful, but so was EVERY OTHER investigator”

We can take this further by examining some legal cases that contradict the anti-smoker industry.

Furst’s emphatic comments about real ‘hard’ science, and other examples, were reported in the Scottish legal case; McTear -v- Imperial Tobacco 2005; http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=c77c86a6-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

This was an anti-smoker showcase trial that was intended to prove, in the legal domain, that smoking caused lung cancer. The anti-smoker industry showcased the best evidence they could collate, along with all the top anti-smoker ‘experts’ they could muster to give evidence, including Richard Doll, the highest of high priests in the anti-smoker community.

They FAILED – the case was kicked out.

Here is the clincher; Despite being asked for and given plenty of time to do so, Doll refused to produce the primary data from his ‘seminal’ research studies that marked the beginning of current anti-smoker mania (following only in Hitler’s footsteps). This crucial ‘evidence’ clearly was NOT robust enough to withstand scrutiny by the court and clearly he had no confidence that it would, or he would have produced it. Yet to this day, this remains the main (only?) evidence for the claim that active smoking is harmful!

Judge Nimmo Smith comments;
“On one view of the scientific approach, these studies [produced by the anti-smoker industry] could be regarded as yielding no more than untested hypotheses.”… “Mr McEachran’s (counsel for McTear) main argument, as I understood it, was that the conclusion that cigarette smoking could cause lung cancer had met with general acceptance in the scientific community by the late 1950s, was accepted by the media in the 1970s, was taught at medical schools and reflected in textbooks…”.

“This is all very well, but I have to say that I am reminded of the Bellman in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, who said: “What I tell you three times is true”.
He ruled; “…applying the law relating to expert evidence, I am unable to find it proved that cigarette smoking can cause lung cancer.”

The smoker CONTROL industry ignored this ruling, along with all the other contradictions to their faith, and carried on with their prohibition agenda regardless.

The tobacco industry did not bathe themselves in glory with the mid 1990’s US Master Settlement Agreement when they sold-out their smoker customers in exchange for a virtual monopoly of the tobacco trade, apparently quite happy to be the anti-smoker’s boogie man while their profits kept rolling in – and they have. This and an earlier US legal judgement on passive smoke ‘science’, possibly provided the confidence and opportunism for the anti-smoker industry to go ahead with the Scottish McTear case, without any real evidence to prosecute it. The logic being that; ‘If the Americans can get away with it then so can we in Britain’ Wrong!

In this 1998 lawsuit, Judge William L. Osteen Sr. of Federal District Court in Greensboro, N.C., vacated the bulk of a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that claimed secondhand cigarette smoke caused as many as 3,000 cancer deaths a year among nonsmokers.
Judge Osteen(p.89); … [the] EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; excluded industry by violating the Act’s procedural requirements; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency’s public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act’s authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme intended to restrict Plaintiffs products and to influence public opinion. In conducting the ETS Risk Assessment, disregarded information and made findings on selective information; did not disseminate significant epidemiological information; deviated from its Risk Assessment Guidelines; failed to disclose important findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers. EPA’s conduct left substantial holes in the administrative record. While so doing, produced limited evidence, then claimed the weight of the agency’s research evidence demonstrated ETS causes cancer.
http://archive.tobacco.org/Documents/980717osteen.html (full judgement)
Also https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/20/us/judge-voids-study-linking-cancer-to-secondhand-smoke.html

However, The Court of Appeals later reversed Osteen on grounds that the agency’s report was ‘not reviewable agency action’. The district court’s assessment of the validity issues were NOT addressed by the appellate court. (i.e. Osteen’s damning judgment of the facts, evidential content and EPA conduct were not challenged). The implication is that no one is allowed to raise methodological challenges to the EPA’s purported use of a scientific method. Effectively, it appears that they could say anything they wished without fear of challenge and I’m sure this led to the anti-smoker industry believing they had become untouchable – and largely, that has been true.
A critique ; http://schachtmanlaw.com/epa-cherry-picking-woe-epa-1992-meta-analysis-of-eta-lung-cancer-part-1/

A recent court case in Washington DC (2014) is one of the few exceptions to this. The case revealed massive conflicts of interest with three prominent anti-tobacco experts who were on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry. The judgment ordered the FDA to remove three leading anti-tobacco experts, Jonathan Samet,“ (senior scientific editor” of the official “Surgeon General” reports on passive smoking and tobacco 2006), Neal Benowitz and Jack Henningfield from TPSAC because of their extensive conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies, and because they all acted as the government’s expert witnesses against the tobacco industry. Their untrustworthy tobacco report was to be removed from FDA registry.
https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/anti-smoking-experts-paid-by-big-pharma/

Additionally, an interesting new appeals court case, just reported on 30th August 2017, provides some hope for the future in the legal domain (Pollari v. Philip Morris USA Inc. et al). The court REVERSED a $13 million jury verdict in favour of a widow whose husband died of so-called ‘smoking-related’ lung cancer. Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that Pollari’s attorneys used the surgeon general’s reports from 2010, 2012 and 2014 in opening and closing arguments and throughout the earlier trial, were inadmissible hearsay and remanded the case for a new trial of the claims brought by Rose Pollari on behalf of her husband, Paul Pollari.
https://www.law360.com/articles/959232/fla-appeals-court-reverses-13m-smoking-death-verdict

Also tenuously linked; Wednesday, May 15, 2013;
another legal case in USA; http://www.wvgazettemail.com/News/201305150041
“Big victory for Big Tobacco in Kanawha County – Charleston”
The jury of five women and three men did not find evidence that punitive damages should be awarded. They also decided cigarette companies weren’t negligent designing testing or manufacturing their cigarettes, didn’t fail to warn smokers and, among other things, didn’t intentionally conceal evidence regarding the dangers of smoking.
(see also blog on this one by Audrey Silk; http://stopquestionfrisk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/disagreement-with-tobacco-control-now.html

ThePharmaceutical industry has had a long history aligned with the tobacco CONTROL industry. They are not philanthropic organisations, as some seem to think. They are about making money, and there are wagon loads to be made in smoking cessation aids and the medication requirements of a growing proportion of the population who are suffering from stress and depression. The potential for even greater profit lies in the manifold health and cognitive improvements linked with the wonder drug, nicotine. If only they could neutralise their current competition – the organic alternative – the humble cigarette! Big Pharma have a very unhealthy relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) – a leading player in the anti-smoker prohibition agenda.

Since their partnership was officially admitted in 1999 we have seen the enactment of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2004), drawn up by tobacco CONTROL advocates that requires countries to implement their anti-smoker agenda.

Article 5.3 of the FCTC is of particular note in that it effectively legitimises the exclusion of anyone or any evidence that does not conform with tobacco CONTROL objectives. It contains stringent recommendations to ensure no funding is provided by parties (governments) to those who ‘have any conflicts of interest with established tobacco CONTROL policies’, and tobacco companies are basically not allowed to fund anything that may further their interests. i.e. A tobacco CONTROL plan to enrich themselves and impoverish their opponents, or put another way, they fixed the game to build up their weapons of war against smokers (e.g. funding, junk science, expensive media campaigns, legislation etc) while seriously restricting the ability of smokers and tobacco companies to defend themselves! Vacant politicians agreed to this, without reference to the people whom it would seriously affect. In fact it was kept very quiet then presented as a fait accompli to the public – signed, sealed, delivered!

This is the WHO, let’s not forget, that dined on champagne and caviar in 5* luxury on their Moscow jamboree in 2014, even as it complained about being low on funds to tackle the deadly Ebola crisis in West Africa. Thousands died – 1st world money trumps 3rd world lives eh? Contemptible in the extreme. The WHO also showed their true pedigree here when they excluded journalists and the public while they drew up their plans, in secret, that would require governments to impose mafia style tax extortion on the citizens they were supposed to represent.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/14/johnson-whos-secret-tobacco-tax/

Anyone not concerned with whom they are populating their senior positions in the WHO and/or praising them for their contribution to global tobacco prohibition?
eg. Dictators and human rights abusers; Rodrigo Duterte, Phillipines
(http://www.newsweek.com/dutertes-drug-war-7000-success-630392);
Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe;
http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/mugabe-who-role-model-of-month.html?
And countries –
https://order-order.com/2016/10/10/anti-e-cigs-lobby-organises-taxpayer-funded-maldives-jolly-for-north-korea/

The antecedent history of the tobacco CONTROL industry (or maybe now more aptly named the TOBACCO PROHIBITION industry) should give the average man some cause for concern.

Today, in all sorts of areas, we are inundated with fake news, junk science, and intolerant legislation. Authoritarian government, led by ‘experts’ and single issue fanatics using coercion over reason, is slowly replacing individual freedoms that were enjoyed by everyone only a few short years ago. Leading the way with most of it has been the anti-smoker industry, demonstrating just how easy it is to get public figures to do their bidding.

“Trust me, I’m an expert” has taken on a whole new meaning.

As a result of seppi’s challenge to my first brief precis, it is clear that I need to provide more detail with some references on specific points;

Seppi claims that lung cancer has been declining since the 1990’s and that this is evidence the anti-smoker campaign has ‘saved’ millions of lives. Indeed this is also what the anti-smoker industry claims, but it is NOT true and distinctly Orwellian. However, this needs further explanation;

At baseline; while smoking has been reducing over a generation or so, cancers have increased substantially as have Alzheimer’s dementia, clinical depression, child asthma and more.

In the UK, over one half of people (that’s ONE in TWO of ALL people, NOT just smokers!), currently under 65 yrs old will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. The lifetime risk for cancer is now greater than 50%! (David Kerr, professor of cancer medicine at the University of Oxford, April 2015). (It was only about 1in 5 in 1950 apparently – when almost everyone smoked.)

Lung cancer (the alleged signature cancer of all so-called ‘smoke related’ illness), has grown to be the number *1* cancer killer. Globally, lung cancer now claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, ovarian, lymph and breast cancers combined. In US, raw lung & bronchus cancer incidence increased by nearly a THIRD (31%) between 2000 and 2008. (American Cancer Society 2010). That, in case you didn’t realise, is a massive increase – NOT a reduction since the 1990’s! (This information, like much that contradicts the anti-smoker agenda, has been removed from the web, but is copied/pasted on my Kin free blogsite; asbestos-v-smoking- appendix 1 &2).

The reason the smoker CONTROL industry ( and Seppi) can claim a reduction in lung cancer since the 1990’s, is only after statistical adjustments have been made for age and population, reinforcing the fact that cancer is, overwhelmingly, AGE related. There is nothing wrong with this method of reporting statistics unless it is being used to deceive (by making the erroneous suggestion that the reduction is a result of the decline in smoking – when in fact, as we look deeper, it suggests the opposite). Its main value is in making comparisons between different countries with different populations.

So for instance, China has double the male smoking rate of USA, but China suffers only half the male cancers (per 100K of population) and only two thirds the lung cancers of USA. (The Burden of cancer in Asia, 2008- http://www.pfizer.com/files/products/cancer_in_asia.pdf)

The gap is even wider for heavy smoking Indonesia where there is currently a reluctance to adopt onerous smoke bans that could impoverish millions of workers, despite financial ‘incentives’ to comply.(e.g. a Bloomberg grant of $393,234 in 2009 to the Muhammadiyah, a Muslim religious group for “the issuance and dissemination of religious advice on the dangers of tobacco use).”http://jakartaglobe.id/archive/indonesian-clerics-join-smoking-fatwa-row/

Further, In USA, smoking prevalence has been reducing for several decades but in Russia and Ukraine smoking has been increasing, yet, the same statistical methodology produces a similar, age adjusted, reduction in lung cancers over roughly the same time period. (Frank Davis 2014.)https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/ukraine-smoking-up-lung-cancer-down/
(Note; Indeed Frederick Eich makes some of these comparisons very well on this thread)

To reach this 90% figure of smoker/lung cancer that originated with 1950’s Doll (along with the 50% of smokers die of smoking with apparently 10 years of life loss too), as Seppi quotes with this common sleight-of-hand tactic, they add together never smokers AND former smokers, while also claiming that quitting will improve health almost immediately and quitters would have similar health to never smokers after only a few short years.

The ratio of lung cancer sufferers in the developed world has been known for many years and is roughly; Active smokers 20% and Never smokers 20% with Quitters accounting for 60% of all lung cancers, so you can see how they spin these facts to produce 80% ‘smokers’.
More recently, A study in California, reported at the 11th International Lung Cancer conference in 2010, disclosed that the ratio was even more stark; ie. Active smokers 11.3%: Never smokers 23%; and Ex-smokers 65.7%, with a mean length of time between quitting and developing lung cancer of 18 years. (Cindy Mong et al 2010) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/725138
(Can’t access this link without password but can be found here on the ‘way-back machine’; https://web.archive.org/web/20130118020726/http://www.medscape.com:80/viewarticle/725138)

While never smokers suffered double the lung cancers of active smokers in the Californian study, it is even more relevant to those who have quit in the last few years.

This next report was presented at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sept 2015, but good to see it has had more media coverage in August 2017;
“The annual frequency of never-smokers developing lung cancer in Britain has more than doubled over the last seven years, from 13 percent to 28 percent”… London-based Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, the largest-volume provider of lung-cancer surgery in the U.K. (2014.)”http://www.healthimaging.com/topics/oncology-imaging/nonsmoker-lung-cancer-curiously-rise-uk

ALZHEIMER’S ; I actually covered the Glanz opinion of it (cited in seppi’s comment) in my blog (Kin-free blogspot.co.uk, under the tab; Other Blogs/Comments : Alzheimer’s and Smoking). Read that for a more in-depth critique but here’s another recent study re Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3429645/ .

Incidentally, tobacco usage with schizophrenics has been rated as high as 90 percent and they smoke heavily (they self medicate), but ‘Cancer Standardized Incidence Ratios’ (SIRs) for all sites were SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER in schizophrenics than the general population (Grinshpool et al 2004)

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION was invented by the anti-smoker industry, just as their predecessors invented the ‘masturbation makes you go blind, causes cancer…’ – to put the fear of God into young people. To further the tobacco prohibition movement, this is just another, anti-smoker manufactured, moral panic!

A few studies were indeed carried out to ‘prove’ the erectile dysfunction claims. One Tobacco Control study was even titled; “Erectile dysfunction and smoking: SUBVERTING tobacco industry images of masculine potency”. You have no need for a degree in psychological manipulation, to understand their motivation here and clearly, there is no place for subtlety when indoctrination of people like seppi, and general propaganda is the name of the game. Some do claim an association BUT when we look at the studies more closely we find statements, deep in in the data/text, such as “…these cross-sectional data do not prove cause and effect”.
OTOH, Studies that have found that; 
”Serum Testosterone did not decrease with age, and was significantly higher in SMOKERS than for non-smokers. Serum DHEA decreased with age more sharply in non-smokers than for smokers.” (Mizushima et al 2006)
Here’s another; Svartberg et al, found that after adjustment for age and body mass index, smokers had significantly higher levels of total testosterone, free testosterone, and SHBC (sex hormone-binding globulin).
http://www.eje-online.org/content/149/2/145.abstract?ijkey=0ce8b33e5128d0bcf5d5afaa1310a25395386bd7&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

To put this into perspective, most people know that Testosterone is a male sex hormone that determines ‘manliness’ or masculinity, but it also acts to increase libido in both men and women.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is considered by some to be an anti-ageing or youth hormone. DHEA helped men with erectile dysfunction to get and sustain an erection. Some studies suggest it may also help improve sex drive, improve learning and memory and help reduce bone loss in older women. In a few clinical studies of people with major depression, DHEA improved symptoms compared to placebo. Note that there are other benefits linked to DHEA that are also known to be beneficial effects of smoking;- http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/dehydroepiandrosterone

The scientific evidence is far more convincing that smoking is actually the antidote to erectile dysfunction, it increases sex drive and improves the sex lives of both genders. Nicotine also triggers the release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres), and serotonin (regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood), while the lack of these are implicated in depression, Alzheimer’shttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174765/ and Parkinson’s diseases. (It is important to note that the downside is that quitters tend to be even more deficient in these)

Is this why some smoking women and men still seem to ooze sex despite the best anti-smoker efforts to mar, denormalise, and degrade that image? Add this to the lowering of inhibitions with alcohol use, music and dance and one can see why all these activities have long been the target of religious and puritan nutters – to prevent adult (immoral?) pleasures. Use some common sense too – the biggest ever baby boom in human history occurred just after WW2, when very few males were not smokers!

‘Nicotine ‘blocking the blood flow’ is another suggestion that can be challenged. Smoking tobacco/nicotine actually INCREASES vascularisation / angiogenesis – (makes blood vessels work better, prompts the growth of new blood vessels) eg. http://archive.wired.com/…/discoveries/news/2007/06/nicotine

Smokers more likely to survive Heart attack etc;
.
Smokers have higher rates of survival and lower rates of poor neurological status after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) than do nonsmokers. Of the 838,464 patients with CPR for IHCA, 116,569 patients (13.9%) were smokers.This ‘smoker’s paradox’ of improved outcomes has been recognized in patients with acute myocardial infarction for 25 years (Gupta et al 2014) http://www.nature.com/nrcardio/journal/v11/n7/full/nrcardio.2014.73.html?foxtrotcallback=true

A similar result (smokers less likely to die after MI), was found in Chung et al 2014, but, reminiscent of Boffetta et al 1998 where the main finding that SHS had a beneficial health effect on children was downplayed, this information was clear in the data but no mention of it made in the text or conclusion.http://www.drdavidgrimes.com/2014/10/cigarette-smoking-and-death-from-heart.html

STROKE; Among AIS (Acute Ischemic Stroke) hospitalizations in a large nationally representative database, current or previous smokers had a lower adjusted in-hospital mortality compared with non-smokers.(Patel et al 2015) http://www.neurology.org/content/84/14_Supplement/S5.006

GENERAL TRAUMA; That Nicotine Accelerates Angiogenesis and Wound Healing in Genetically Diabetic Mice (Jacobi et al 2002) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1850685/ – could be one reason why smokers are more likely to survive hospital stay for severe injuries.
Viz; Smokers were significantly less likely to die during the hospital stay for general trauma, compared to nonsmokers, and smokers were also less likely to develop a major complication than nonsmokers.(Bell et al 2015) https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article-abstract/17/12/1499/2583918/Smoker-s-Paradox-in-Patients-Treated-for-Severe

LUNG TRANSPLANTS – subjects are more likely to survive if the lungs used have been donated by a smoker; Seppi in fact cites evidence of just that, but misses the point – e.g. “A total of 77.7 per cent with non-smoking donors’ lungs were alive after the first year, compared with 90.8 per cent with smokers’ lungs.”http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/smokers-lungs-used-in-half-of-transplants-9101647.html

The point of course, is that while the anti-smoker industry claims that smokers lungs are stuffed with tar and shot through with cancer, eg.https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-black-lung-lie/, the reality is that they are more often in better condition than non smoker lungs. Also given that only around 25 – 30% of the population smoke, or even less if we are daft enough to believe anti-smokers when they claim so much success in coercing smokers to quit, (and plead for more public money to continue to fight the good fight), YET after screening, nearly half the lungs used have been donated by smokers. Sadly, many needing new lungs have died as a result of being brainwashed into believing smokers lungs are sub-standard, causing them to decline the smokers lungs that could have saved their lives.

I’m pretty sure that the main tobacco controllers are aware that the ‘science’ etc relating to their cause has been inadequate for quite some time (as explained above). Hence why the need to create the perception that smokers are poor, dirty and smelly is rapidly becoming the only tactic remaining, together with the slide to more and more domination, coercion and fright tactics, attacking and bullying the most vulnerable first (ie. the easiest targets and the route always taken by all cowardly bullies!), one example of many is noted in this blog entry; http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/cruel-but-sadly-not-unusual.html#disqus_thread

Anyone, such as doctors, nurses, other carers, teachers, politicians etc who think this treatment of the most vulnerable (or even the not-so vulnerable) is not wrong, ‘cos it’s science init’, or believes it is for the target’s own good, should be forced to watch the Milgram experiments until they understand the implications that relate to them! https://vimeo.com/89396290

Sitting back, turning a blind eye or watching this callous treatment and allowing it to continue because it has nothing to do with you, does not abrogate you from responsibility. Abnegation will no doubt kick in. If you think you are too intelligent to be manipulated in this manner, I suggest you remove your head from your backside as soon as possible.

A comment by ‘pointydigit’ caught my attention; “This is precisely what happens when you foment disgust and dehumanisation as a means of advancing your ideological worldview. It’s also what happens when you systematically remove the responsibility of the individual to weigh up the holy trinity of compassion, tolerance and freedom of choice, and replace it with diktats and groupspeak. People stop asking questions. They stop asking questions of the policies, and they stop asking questions of themselves.”

If you, the reader, value your health over an ideologically driven tobacco prohibition and social CONTROL agenda then do not sit on this information – USE IT and raise awareness. Find out more, ask questions and demand answers, Feel free to disseminate the information in this post at your discretion.

Finally, the first draft of a smokers manifesto by Russian author Dmitri Kossyrev is worth a read, particularly for those tobacco CONTROL advocates who think the tracks of their gravy train, and their untouchable status, will go on into infinity; https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/a-smokers-manifesto/
Kin Free; August 2017

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Disintegration

I was thinking last night, not for the first time, that Tobacco Control’s global scale attempt at social engineering is bound to fail because “society” doesn’t exist as a monolithic entity that can be steered in one direction or other like a car or a truck.

What’s going to happen instead is that society is going to disintegrate. Some of it will go in the direction that TC wants, but much of it won’t. Some of it will head off in completely new directions.

In fact I think that society already has disintegrated. For that has been my personal experience. Ten years or so ago, I had a wide circle of friends some of whom I’d known for almost 40 years. That’s all gone now. The principal blow came with the 2007 smoking ban which “exiled me to the outdoors” and removed the pubs that I’d used to meet up with people (I was never a home entertainer).

But the division was exacerbated when increasing numbers of former friends introduced their own home smoking bans. And when they did that, it signalled the end. They may as well have become Muslims or transgender Hare Krishna chanters.

Case in point: A family I’d known since my student days back in the 60s. The paterfamilias had been one of my lecturers, and after he left the university I got to know him and his wife and daughters. I was a regular visitor at their house. He died sometime around 2000, but I carried on visiting the family, even after they’d moved. But then one day, sometime in 2010 or so, when I arrived to visit them, having driven 50 miles or more, I was greeted with the news that now, for the first time in the entire 40+ year history of knowing them, they had banned smoking in their house. I experienced this just like a punch in the stomach, jerking forward in the seat in which I’d just sat down. Apart from that I was greeted as kindly and affectionately as I had ever been, and I was plied with tea. Fortunately, it was a warm sunny day in summer, and we could sit outside, so I sat outside with them, intermittently smoking, and talking about this and that, like we always did. But I knew that this was going to be the last time I ever saw them. I knew that I would never be coming back. For I was really no longer welcome there. Later that evening, when I finally said goodbye to them, it was not au revoir, but adieu. Our ways had finally parted.

I used to have similar experiences back in the 1970s and 80s when people I knew would announce that they’d joined some modern cult like the Orange Order or Subud. Overnight, they would become strangers, and I’d drift away from them. I have next to no time for cults of any sort. And when I met up with a very old friend who I’d not seen for 10 years, and learned that he had joined some outfit called the Emissaries of the Divine Light, I experienced a familiar sinking feeling.

And in many ways the antismokers strike me as belonging to another cult exactly like any of these. But the antismoking cult seems to have absorbed far greater numbers of people than any of these lesser cults ever managed to do. The other cults usually entailed chanting or incense or something, but the antismoking cult doesn’t seem to have any rituals or induction ceremonies. People seem to just wake up one day, and they’ve become antismokers, and obsessed with health.

Much the same seems to happen with the Anthropogenic Global Warming cult, which also seems to entail a sudden conversion experience. One day they don’t believe it; next day they do. And there’s really no rhyme or reason to it. Last week I found out that my former Ph.D. tutor, as sound as solid a man who ever lived, and who had even once become a university professor, had drunk the AGW Kool-Aid.

It’s just like Invasion of the Body-Snatchers. Or the Masque of the Red Death.

I wonder if one day I’ll wake up and find that I’ve got the bug too, and the symptomatic spots and buboes have begun to appear all over me. It doesn’t seem to have happened yet.

These new cults all seem to have some sort of Science associated with them. It all looks quite plausible. There are tables and charts and graphs. Sometimes there are even equations. But all concerned are zealots in one way or other. They all start with a conclusion (e.g. smoking kills, or CO2 warms), and then hunt around for evidence supporting the conclusion. Anyone who demurs is a denier or a denialist.

And another feature of the new cults is that they often (usually?) have government backing and government funding, like the windmill cult or the solar panel cult. And this shouldn’t be a surprise, given that politicians are as gullible as anybody else.

Anyway, my experience is not that the Tobacco Control cult is succeeding in changing society, but only in dividing it. And what we are seeing is an increasingly fractured society in which the divisions are only deepening. For the more cultish the cults become, the more entrenched I become in rejecting them. I no longer watch TV or read newspapers. I no longer want to know. Nor do I ever want to talk to cult members.

Nor am I interested in trying to convert anyone. For it seems that once people have caught the bug of antismoking or global warming or whatever, they never seem to recover their senses. And they’re never going to win over me, however many antismoking messages they put on tobacco packs.

I’m afraid that it’s simply going to have to run its course, like any other plague. Just yesterday, Chris Snowdon was reporting that the Supreme Court has declared minimum pricing legal on the grounds that

free trade doesn’t matter if a policy is designed to protect ‘health and life’…

which really just means that the Supreme Court has fallen under the spell of the Health cult (of which the antismoking cult is a sub-cult).

This should be no surprise given that when the Ministry of Justice responded to my letter to my MP protesting against prison smoking bans, it made no mention whatsoever of any considerations of justice, but only considerations of health.

What happens when a society collectively loses its marbles? Well, we’re going to soon find out. It’s unlikely to be anything pleasant.

And I think there are going to be increasingly strong attempts to regain control as the collective madness acquires further momentum. There may even be a military coup. How else do you regain control of the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice and the BBC? Politics is going to become the Sane versus the Mad. It has more or less become that anyway. It’ll also likely become a struggle between radical town and conservative country. If Britain does (somehow) manage to achieve Brexit, I can well imagine some radical London mayor declaring London to be an independent state allied with the EU, with roadblocks set up around the M25 orbital motorway. Social and cultural disintegration will lead to geographical disintegration

And not just here in the UK, but everywhere else as well. It may be that in Catalonia we have just witnessed the first of many attempts by radical local governments to split off from a conservative central government.

The EU, I feel sure, is going to disintegrate. The centrifugal forces that are building up inside it, between radicals and conservatives, are only going to get stronger, and the rivalries more intense. There are going to be more Catalonias, and more Brexits. And if the UK doesn’t actually manage Brexit, there will anyway soon cease to be an EU that anyone remains a member of.

My only hope is that the mounting disorder won’t include forced collective gymnastic exercises and death camps filled with smokers. Or that I won’t live to see them.

And I also hope that I can begin to re-unite a few smokers with kindred spirits. For in a time of deepening division and disintegration it will become more and more important to hold together with those with whom one still can. This seems to matter more to me than anything else at all.

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