Beat The War Drum

At year’s end, it’s perhaps time to look back. And also look forward.

It’s now been exactly three and a half years since smoking was banned in English pubs. I still remember that overcast day outside the River, where a stranger came up to me and remarked, "It’s not a free country any more." He was quite right. Ever since that day, Britain has never seemed to me to be a free country. On that day, it became a foreign and alien land, and has remained so ever since. In my passport it says that I am a British citizen, but for all intents and purposes I may as well be Turkish or Chinese.

On that day smokers were expelled both from pubs and from public life. They were expelled from the pubs where they had sat smoking pipes and drinking beer for over 400 years. Overnight they became social outsiders. And quite literally so, as they congregated outside the pubs they had once sat inside.

It was not a ban which had been demanded by public opinion. There had been no marches or demonstrations calling for a smoking ban. Most people didn’t want a complete ban. When, before the ban came into force, I canvassed opinions inside the River, I didn’t encounter anybody who was whole-heartedly in favour of the ban. Instead I encountered resignation and fatalism. It was, people told me, "the way things are going", often adding that "There’s nothing that can be done about it," as if it were all part of some unstoppable tide of history which would make smoking and tobacco a thing of the past.

The response of the River’s landlord to the approaching ban was to announce that he was going to give up smoking. He said that he would be providing a large covered area for smokers. In the event, he erected a small tent outside the front door, which I never saw anyone use, and which only remained there a couple of months before being removed.

Before the ban came into force, a number of the regulars declared that they wouldn’t be coming to the pub any more. And they were true to their word. I never saw them again. But I lingered on, sat outside by the river until the encroaching winter drove me away too.

And reports from those who continued going were that the formerly busy bar thereafter became empty and dead. Not that it probably affected the River’s business too much, because it had long since become a restaurant pub, catering to a rather elderly clientele who would arrive in their cars, eat, and then depart. Very often, venturing inside to buy a drink to take back outside, it almost seemed more like an old people’s home than a pub.

And therein lies an inkling of the profound social impact of the ban. For the ban shattered the little pub community. Some smokers simply stayed home. Others, like me, now only ever sat outside. Other smokers kept on stoically visiting the pub, periodically stepping outside for a quick smoke, and saying nothing of it, as if it had always been thus. For a long time I wondered whether these stoics were in fact completely indifferent to their changed circumstances. But one evening I got talking to a bunch of them, and they all loudly declared that they absolutely hated it.

And then the pubs began to close. Something like 10% of Britain’s pubs have closed since the smoking ban. I’m surprised that more haven’t. But in Ireland, which has had a ban for longer, the figure is more like 25%.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the complete lack of any public debate. The advent of the smoking ban was barely reported at all. I kept waiting for a TV debate about it, but one never came. One afternoon, I saw Richard and Judy interviewing Bob Feal-Martinez, the founder of Freedom2Choose, and gained something of an inkling why. For towards the end of the amicable interview, Richard was told that Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) had phoned the studio to denounce both Feal-Martinez and Freedom2Choose. Immediately the questioning became more aggressive. ASH had to be very powerful if it could intervene while a TV programme was being aired, to bend the ear of one of its presenters. The public debate was being controlled. Dissent was not permitted. But how come? How did a mere antismoking organisation become so powerful?

I still don’t really know the answer to this question. How is it that David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, who was (and maybe still is) a smoker, refuses to even consider relaxing this ban? And how is it that Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and also a smoker, has said that a relaxation of the smoking ban is about as likely as the re-introduction of the death penalty? And what about Barack Obama, also reputedly still a smoker, and the most powerful man in the world? It seems there are forces at work in the world that are more powerful than mere prime ministers or presidents.

But the answer is probably what it usually is: money. The global antismoking movement is awash with it, mostly in the form of taxes. And in the USA there’s millions of dollars from the Master Settlement Agreement paid by tobacco companies. Around the world, smokers’ taxes are being used to fund the war that is being waged against them. And with all that money, is it a surprise that antismoking organisations can afford full time employees, and hold regular conferences with hundreds of delegates?

The same seems to be true for the Global Warming religion, and for the EU project. Neither of these are openly and publicly debated either. Our politicians, it seems, have all been bought. Or, if they haven’t been bought, they’ve been silenced or neutralised.

And it isn’t just here in the UK that this has happened. It’s happening everywhere else too. There is an anti-smoking, global-warming-alarmist, europhile ascendancy with which all main political parties are in lockstep, and whose doctrines are repeated unquestioned in the mainstream media. Which is why I no longer have a TV, and no longer buy a newspaper. And also why I’ll never vote for any of the main political parties again.

In my little corner of Devon, the smoking ban brought about the almost immediate death of my local social life. Within a month or two there was no more meeting up with friends for a few drinks and a few games of pool. Even if I went to the pub, there was nobody there to play. And in the longer term it brought the slow death of most of my more extended social life. I’d used to meet up with distant friends at pubs. This happened less and less often. And, in addition, while most of them continued with their lives exactly as before (because the ban didn’t affect them in the least), I had become an excluded outsider, and gradually found myself sharing less and less in common with them. They thought they were still living in a free country, and I didn’t. They were carefree, and I was angry. They still voted Labour or Lib Dem or whatever, and I didn’t. They still watched TV and read newspapers, when I’d stopped. My world gradually diverged from theirs.

And the same as happened to me, there can be no doubt, has also been happening all over Britain with hundreds of thousands of other people. And not just Britain, but Ireland and France and Germany and the USA and wherever else these vindictive smoking bans are imposed. Next week (2 Jan 2011) it’s the turn of the Spanish people to feel the heel of the jackboot.

For someone like myself, who is fairly self-contained, and content with my own company most of the time, it’s not a shattering experience. But for others it may well be otherwise. Such as Lawrence Walker, who committed suicide 6 months after the smoking ban drove him from his Cornish pub. Or the anonymous woman who left a comment on my blog a few months ago, which ended:

Thank you politicians for making my life not worth living after working from age 14 until 68. I am now 74 and have lost my soul and will to live in this lonely place.

Nor is it that I’ve merely read about such misfortune. I know a 75-year-old who told me, quite matter-of-factly, that he no longer met up with friends at the pub, because "I’m too old to stand outside." Which, of course, he was.

What a shameful, shameful thing to do to defenceless old people, some of whom fought for their country against precisely this kind of fascism.

What an appalling excursion from common decency.

What an indictment of our grubby politicians that they would do such a vicious thing to their own people.

But perhaps it doesn’t really matter if people have their social lives destroyed. "Awwww, Widdums," was the response of one antismoker, who seemed to think it didn’t matter in the least.

But for myself I believe that it is one of the most terrible things that can be done to a human being, to deprive them of friendship and community, to isolate and exclude them from civil society. What can be more destructive to anyone’s well-being?

And for what? Simply to make people stop smoking. To deprive them of one of life’s simple pleasures. To force them to comply with medical orthodoxy. To make them live "healthy" lives, where "health" is mere longevity, devoid of any other considerations of social or psychological well-being.

The antismokers in Tobacco Control, knee deep in money (and mostly smokers’ money) and the influence that money can buy, are able to not only impose one obscene ban after another on smokers, but also prevent any open, public discussion of what is being done to them.

But for how long? For how long can they keep the enormous social damage hidden? For how long will they be able to phone up TV shows and snap their fingers to direct what’s being said?

Nobody will speak up for smokers, but they can speak well enough for themselves. They might speak individually in whispers, but collectively all 2 billion of them would become the most deafening voice in the world.

The past half century has seen black people, and gay people, and women fight back against ancient prejudices and ancient lies. Now it’s the turn of smokers to fight back. It may look like a daunting journey for people presently so publicly reviled. But every journey begins with a first step.

And many steps have already been taken. All around the world, smokers are beginning to stir and fight back, individually and increasingly collectively. A few years ago, when I first became immersed in this matter, there seemed to be hardly anybody speaking up. Now there seem to be hundreds. Soon it will be thousands. And after that it will be millions. The voice of smokers will get louder and louder. And they will first become impossible to ignore, and then impossible to stop.

It is ever thus with humanity. When a powerful new enemy first appears, we humans are at first confused and demoralised and easily defeated. But that’s just the beginning. After a while, we develop new tactics, and we begin to win a few battles here and there. And then we win every single battle, as we become an unstoppable force. We have done this over and over again. And now it’s time to do it again.

It may seem strange, and faintly improbable, to predict the victory of smokers right now, just when they are suffering their worst defeats. But it is out of such bloody defeats that determination is born. It is in the blood of martyrs, like Lawrence Walker, that resolution is fixed.

If the enemies of smokers had showed a little forebearance, or a little compassion, it would have been otherwise. But they have no forebearance, and no compassion. Instead they use every opportunity to demean and degrade smokers as much as they possibly can. And this is a terrible mistake on their part, because it is precisely this that ensures that smokers will fight, however unwilling they may still be: for they have no option but to fight such an uncompromising enemy.

So beat the war drum. We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be. We will ourselves become the unstoppable tide. And it’ll make no difference whether we’re man or woman, or whether we’re British or Turkish or Chinese.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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84 Responses to Beat The War Drum

  1. Anonymous says:

    Britain no longer feels like my Country as well.
    I used to move house quite regularly for work and always went to the local pub to slowly meet people and get involved with new friends and the community but that has completely gone.
    I still visit pubs but more out of curiosity now rather than enjoying them and certainly not with any regularity and its appalling, often empty and just waiting to shut down.
    I last moved house just over a year ago and its now impossible to meet people, the streets empty and everyone simply sits at home now, many alone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Britain no longer feels like my Country as well.
    I used to move house quite regularly for work and always went to the local pub to slowly meet people and get involved with new friends and the community but that has completely gone.
    I still visit pubs but more out of curiosity now rather than enjoying them and certainly not with any regularity and its appalling, often empty and just waiting to shut down.
    I last moved house just over a year ago and its now impossible to meet people, the streets empty and everyone simply sits at home now, many alone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Britain no longer feels like my Country as well.
    I used to move house quite regularly for work and always went to the local pub to slowly meet people and get involved with new friends and the community but that has completely gone.
    I still visit pubs but more out of curiosity now rather than enjoying them and certainly not with any regularity and its appalling, often empty and just waiting to shut down.
    I last moved house just over a year ago and its now impossible to meet people, the streets empty and everyone simply sits at home now, many alone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “What a shameful, shameful thing to do to defenceless old people, some of whom fought for their country against precisely this kind of fascism.”
    A while ago I did point this out as well – with an anti-smoker replying:
    “What about our children?, they are our future”
    My reply:
    “In which case one can only hope that these children will provide the same future you dictate to the current older generation – loneliness.”
    ———————-
    “We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be.”
    It is a good idea to fight the lies, yet I personally would prefer tolerance on both sides.
    I would like the liberty to choose anything I wish, so I must avoid hurting/harming others. Complete honesty would be the way to go.
    Although I do not believe SHS is harmful or even hurtful I have to take into account the people who do and do my best to ensure their “safety”.
    Bring smoking lounges back to pubs in 2011!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “What a shameful, shameful thing to do to defenceless old people, some of whom fought for their country against precisely this kind of fascism.”
    A while ago I did point this out as well – with an anti-smoker replying:
    “What about our children?, they are our future”
    My reply:
    “In which case one can only hope that these children will provide the same future you dictate to the current older generation – loneliness.”
    ———————-
    “We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be.”
    It is a good idea to fight the lies, yet I personally would prefer tolerance on both sides.
    I would like the liberty to choose anything I wish, so I must avoid hurting/harming others. Complete honesty would be the way to go.
    Although I do not believe SHS is harmful or even hurtful I have to take into account the people who do and do my best to ensure their “safety”.
    Bring smoking lounges back to pubs in 2011!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    “What a shameful, shameful thing to do to defenceless old people, some of whom fought for their country against precisely this kind of fascism.”
    A while ago I did point this out as well – with an anti-smoker replying:
    “What about our children?, they are our future”
    My reply:
    “In which case one can only hope that these children will provide the same future you dictate to the current older generation – loneliness.”
    ———————-
    “We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be.”
    It is a good idea to fight the lies, yet I personally would prefer tolerance on both sides.
    I would like the liberty to choose anything I wish, so I must avoid hurting/harming others. Complete honesty would be the way to go.
    Although I do not believe SHS is harmful or even hurtful I have to take into account the people who do and do my best to ensure their “safety”.
    Bring smoking lounges back to pubs in 2011!!!

    • Frank Davis says:

      I agree. But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
      It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
      These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.
      Frank

  7. Anonymous says:

    Frank,
    my Blog in German about the smoking ban in the State of Bavaria: http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/
    May I use an (already finished*) German translation of this post in my blog? The people I write for experience their first winter with the smoking ban. Nobody is happy about it except the antismoking crusaders.
    * Although I wasn’t able to translate “Awwww, Widdums”. Can you please explain what it means? Thank you! ;-)
    All the best for 2011!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Frank,
    my Blog in German about the smoking ban in the State of Bavaria: http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/
    May I use an (already finished*) German translation of this post in my blog? The people I write for experience their first winter with the smoking ban. Nobody is happy about it except the antismoking crusaders.
    * Although I wasn’t able to translate “Awwww, Widdums”. Can you please explain what it means? Thank you! ;-)
    All the best for 2011!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Frank,
    my Blog in German about the smoking ban in the State of Bavaria: http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/
    May I use an (already finished*) German translation of this post in my blog? The people I write for experience their first winter with the smoking ban. Nobody is happy about it except the antismoking crusaders.
    * Although I wasn’t able to translate “Awwww, Widdums”. Can you please explain what it means? Thank you! ;-)
    All the best for 2011!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Yes, of course you may use a translation. And I’d be delighted to see a German translation of it.
      “Awwwww, widdums” means something like “Awwww, poor little you!” in a sarcastic sense.
      It reminds me that some months ago, I tried to join one of the German forums (which had an English section), but got a bit defeated by the language.
      Frank

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for the permission and the explanation! I read and understand English, but writing it myself is more complicated, and conversation is still worse (until I have my second or third beer and stop thinking about what I am saying). Is it the same thing with your German? ;-)
        My translation:
        http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/zum-jahreswechsel-rauchzeichen-und-kriegstrommeln-aus-england/

        • Frank Davis says:

          Thank you for your translation. It’s fascinating for me to (try to) read.
          I can almost read French, because I studied it at school. And I studied Latin at school, and was delighted to find that Spanish preserves a great deal of Latin, so I can follow Spanish fairly well. But I’ve never studied German, beyond picking up a few phrases here and there. Yet German and English are, I believe, quite closely related languages, so it ought not to be too difficult.
          Perhaps I should have another try!;-)
          Frank

        • Anonymous says:

          I tried to forget all my French immediately after finishing school and was quite successful. I never could get used to all those ´and ` and so on. Years later it was helpful anyway when I needed to understand at least a little Italian.
          I am not sure, if the German language is easy or difficult to learn, but I remember Mark Twain about it: “The inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of.”
          http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html
          I don’t believe, I would have been able to learn English without school. But I didn’t believe either that I ever would be able to translate from English to German properly, and it WAS surprisingly easy when I started trying.

        • Anonymous says:

          The easy thing about German is that it doesn’t have as many unnecessary nouns as other languages – lots of objects and concepts are described by compound words (a dentist is a tooth doctor, gloves are hand shoes etc.) – so there aren’t so many words to learn.
          The difficult thing about it is that each of those nouns is either masculine, feminine or neuter (without any logic that I can see) and any adjectives you use have to have the right endings to go with them. That really causes me to struggle when I try to speak it, although similarly, a beer or two can help no end!
          But I love trying to get by in German. Contrary to a certain amount of uninformed popular perception in this country, I think that it’s a beautiful language.
          Rick S

  10. Anonymous says:

    “To force them to comply with medical orthodoxy.”
    “So beat the war drum”
    Can’t you hear it?
    I have been waiting for this to happen for a long time, it seems that this is the other half of the puzzle and an explanation of what has gone before.
    Herbal drug crackdown: Europe to ban hundreds of natural remedies in UK next year
    “Patients are set to lose access to hundreds of herbal medicines next year, as European regulations come into force.
    Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for ‘mild’ illness such as echinacea for colds, will be banned to the public from May 1.
    Under the new law traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.”
    Almost 2,500 UK qualified herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners will lose the right to supply a wide range of herbal medicines, because they are not signed up to the statutory regulation scheme.
    And practitioners have complained that the cost of obtaining licenses are beyond their means. Many traditional medicines are made up of a number of herbs and the Alliance for Natural Health estimates a license for each herb costs in the region of £100,000.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1342747/Herbal-drug-crackdown-Europe-ban-hundreds-natural-remedies-year.html
    And the “anti-smokers” were waiting for them, to silence dissent, on every announcement.
    EU bans herbal remedies: another victory for corporate interests
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100070000/eu-bans-herbal-remedies-another-victory-for-corporate-interests-over-the-consumer/
    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies
    “From 1 May 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html
    So many voices that sound just like ours did, but no one seems to have spotted the connection yet.
    May 1st – now there’s a carefully calculated slap in the face for the May Queen.
    2002
    “The final attack seems on the surface to be an innocuous tidying-up of the EU Medicines Directive. But, in fact, it will mean that anything with a physiological action can be reclassified as a medicine – and under EU definitions, that means that any product sold in a health store, even herbal tea, could be deemed to be medicines, while items such as coffee and grapefruit juice (which also have proven physiological effects, but which are sold in food shops), will not be affected.”
    “Drug companies have a proven track record in trying to legislate the natural health business out of existence.
    In 1996, for example, the Ecologist magazine revealed that, when the Codex Alimentarius (the World Trade Organisation body that sets international standards for drugs, food, supplements, etc) met, the German delegation put forward a proposal, sponsored by three German pharmaceutical firms, that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs. The proposal was agreed, but protests halted its implementation.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2002/sep/14/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth
    2004
    “It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. While the EU has been busy drafting legislation, we seem to have been sleepwalking into a situation where chemists and health stores will be purged of hundreds of nutritional supplements.
    I’m sorry, maybe you are alert to this already. Maybe you have written to your MEP, marched with the Health Freedom Movement, joined the Alliance for Natural Health or Consumers for Health Choice. Tens of thousands of people have been railing against this infringement of their rights, this insult to their intelligence and, not least, this threat to their health.”
    “The THMPD is a part of the existing Pharmaceuticals Directive, currently being amended to widen the scope of drug classification.
    According to the amendment, anything that ‘restores, corrects or modifies physiological function’ in the body will be deemed a drug.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/feb/29/health.shopping
    Rose

  11. Anonymous says:

    “To force them to comply with medical orthodoxy.”
    “So beat the war drum”
    Can’t you hear it?
    I have been waiting for this to happen for a long time, it seems that this is the other half of the puzzle and an explanation of what has gone before.
    Herbal drug crackdown: Europe to ban hundreds of natural remedies in UK next year
    “Patients are set to lose access to hundreds of herbal medicines next year, as European regulations come into force.
    Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for ‘mild’ illness such as echinacea for colds, will be banned to the public from May 1.
    Under the new law traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.”
    Almost 2,500 UK qualified herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners will lose the right to supply a wide range of herbal medicines, because they are not signed up to the statutory regulation scheme.
    And practitioners have complained that the cost of obtaining licenses are beyond their means. Many traditional medicines are made up of a number of herbs and the Alliance for Natural Health estimates a license for each herb costs in the region of £100,000.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1342747/Herbal-drug-crackdown-Europe-ban-hundreds-natural-remedies-year.html
    And the “anti-smokers” were waiting for them, to silence dissent, on every announcement.
    EU bans herbal remedies: another victory for corporate interests
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100070000/eu-bans-herbal-remedies-another-victory-for-corporate-interests-over-the-consumer/
    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies
    “From 1 May 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html
    So many voices that sound just like ours did, but no one seems to have spotted the connection yet.
    May 1st – now there’s a carefully calculated slap in the face for the May Queen.
    2002
    “The final attack seems on the surface to be an innocuous tidying-up of the EU Medicines Directive. But, in fact, it will mean that anything with a physiological action can be reclassified as a medicine – and under EU definitions, that means that any product sold in a health store, even herbal tea, could be deemed to be medicines, while items such as coffee and grapefruit juice (which also have proven physiological effects, but which are sold in food shops), will not be affected.”
    “Drug companies have a proven track record in trying to legislate the natural health business out of existence.
    In 1996, for example, the Ecologist magazine revealed that, when the Codex Alimentarius (the World Trade Organisation body that sets international standards for drugs, food, supplements, etc) met, the German delegation put forward a proposal, sponsored by three German pharmaceutical firms, that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs. The proposal was agreed, but protests halted its implementation.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2002/sep/14/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth
    2004
    “It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. While the EU has been busy drafting legislation, we seem to have been sleepwalking into a situation where chemists and health stores will be purged of hundreds of nutritional supplements.
    I’m sorry, maybe you are alert to this already. Maybe you have written to your MEP, marched with the Health Freedom Movement, joined the Alliance for Natural Health or Consumers for Health Choice. Tens of thousands of people have been railing against this infringement of their rights, this insult to their intelligence and, not least, this threat to their health.”
    “The THMPD is a part of the existing Pharmaceuticals Directive, currently being amended to widen the scope of drug classification.
    According to the amendment, anything that ‘restores, corrects or modifies physiological function’ in the body will be deemed a drug.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/feb/29/health.shopping
    Rose

  12. Anonymous says:

    “To force them to comply with medical orthodoxy.”
    “So beat the war drum”
    Can’t you hear it?
    I have been waiting for this to happen for a long time, it seems that this is the other half of the puzzle and an explanation of what has gone before.
    Herbal drug crackdown: Europe to ban hundreds of natural remedies in UK next year
    “Patients are set to lose access to hundreds of herbal medicines next year, as European regulations come into force.
    Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for ‘mild’ illness such as echinacea for colds, will be banned to the public from May 1.
    Under the new law traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.”
    Almost 2,500 UK qualified herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners will lose the right to supply a wide range of herbal medicines, because they are not signed up to the statutory regulation scheme.
    And practitioners have complained that the cost of obtaining licenses are beyond their means. Many traditional medicines are made up of a number of herbs and the Alliance for Natural Health estimates a license for each herb costs in the region of £100,000.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1342747/Herbal-drug-crackdown-Europe-ban-hundreds-natural-remedies-year.html
    And the “anti-smokers” were waiting for them, to silence dissent, on every announcement.
    EU bans herbal remedies: another victory for corporate interests
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100070000/eu-bans-herbal-remedies-another-victory-for-corporate-interests-over-the-consumer/
    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies
    “From 1 May 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html
    So many voices that sound just like ours did, but no one seems to have spotted the connection yet.
    May 1st – now there’s a carefully calculated slap in the face for the May Queen.
    2002
    “The final attack seems on the surface to be an innocuous tidying-up of the EU Medicines Directive. But, in fact, it will mean that anything with a physiological action can be reclassified as a medicine – and under EU definitions, that means that any product sold in a health store, even herbal tea, could be deemed to be medicines, while items such as coffee and grapefruit juice (which also have proven physiological effects, but which are sold in food shops), will not be affected.”
    “Drug companies have a proven track record in trying to legislate the natural health business out of existence.
    In 1996, for example, the Ecologist magazine revealed that, when the Codex Alimentarius (the World Trade Organisation body that sets international standards for drugs, food, supplements, etc) met, the German delegation put forward a proposal, sponsored by three German pharmaceutical firms, that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs. The proposal was agreed, but protests halted its implementation.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2002/sep/14/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth
    2004
    “It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. While the EU has been busy drafting legislation, we seem to have been sleepwalking into a situation where chemists and health stores will be purged of hundreds of nutritional supplements.
    I’m sorry, maybe you are alert to this already. Maybe you have written to your MEP, marched with the Health Freedom Movement, joined the Alliance for Natural Health or Consumers for Health Choice. Tens of thousands of people have been railing against this infringement of their rights, this insult to their intelligence and, not least, this threat to their health.”
    “The THMPD is a part of the existing Pharmaceuticals Directive, currently being amended to widen the scope of drug classification.
    According to the amendment, anything that ‘restores, corrects or modifies physiological function’ in the body will be deemed a drug.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/feb/29/health.shopping
    Rose

    • Frank Davis says:

      I noticed the EU herbal ban. It’s a way of forcing people to use pharma products. If they can do this with herbs, then what’s to stop them doing it with potatoes or carrots? Nothing.
      Frank

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing at all now, though they have tried before.
        Food fears ‘frustrate’ Blair 1999
        “A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted genetically modified food is safe despite the growing public outcry.”
        “The renewed backing for GM food from the top of the UK Government comes as the opposition call again for a moratorium on the commercial planting of GM crops.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/279870.stm
        But in the past few years odd things have been happening in India.
        See what you make of it.
        The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops
        “Indeed, in a bid to promote the uptake of GM seeds, traditional varieties were banned from many government seed banks.
        The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology.
        Desperate to escape the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations.
        When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year.
        But with GM seeds they cannot do this. That’s because GM seeds contain so- called ‘terminator technology’, meaning that they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html
        Indian farmer suicides not GM related, says study
        “Suicides among Indian farmers have not increased as a result of the introduction of GM crops, according to a large scientific study.
        The finding runs counter to arguments often cited by NGOs in the country such as Gene Campaign that oppose GM crops. They say that the supposed hike in suicides is a tragic social consequence of farmers being forced into debt as a result of growing the crops.
        But the new analysis suggests that if anything, suicides among farmers have been decreasing since the introduction of GM cotton by Monsanto in 2002.”
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/05/gmcrops-india
        India embroiled in bitterly contested GM debate
        “In this dry zone, life without irrigation is a struggle. Critics say GM cotton needs more water to succeed, a claim the seed producers dispute.”
        But the depressing cycle of failing crops and mounting debts is a lethal one. In the past few years thousands of farmers in this region have killed themselves in an epidemic of suicides.
        And that awful statistic has given rise to a bitterly contested debate, at a time when the Indian government is considering authorising the commercial cultivation of the first GM food crop, aubergine.”
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10136310
        Aubergine wars reignite GM food debate
        “What’s causing trouble in India?
        The humble aubergine. There will be no genetically modified brinjals (as they are known), or other food crops in India – for now, at least.
        The aubergine is a major crop that has been grown in India for 4,000 years.”
        http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/commodities-agriculture-aubergine-wars-reignite-gm-food-debate-47602.aspx
        However in 1999
        Terminator gene halt a ‘major U-turn’
        “The decision by the biotechnology giant Monsanto never to commercialise so-called “terminator gene” technology for crops has been called “a major U-turn that will send shock waves across the industry”, by the charity Christian Aid.
        Environmental group Friends of the Earth also hailed the announcement saying Monsanto had been forced to “respond to enormous worldwide opposition to its plans”.
        But a spokesman for the European Association for BioIndustries dismissed much of the criticism of genetically-modified crops as “scandalous propaganda” and said many non-genetically-modified (GM) crops did not produce viable seeds either.”
        “Future work on the technology has not been ruled out”
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/465222.stm
        It’s all very Chantix,
        “it was nicotine withdrawal”, “underlying mental conditions were revealed”, “it was leaves on the line”, “it was the wrong kind of snow”
        But most of all it was NOT the DRUG
        Rose

  13. Frank Davis says:

    Yes, of course you may use a translation. And I’d be delighted to see a German translation of it.
    “Awwwww, widdums” means something like “Awwww, poor little you!” in a sarcastic sense.
    It reminds me that some months ago, I tried to join one of the German forums (which had an English section), but got a bit defeated by the language.
    Frank

  14. Frank Davis says:

    Yes, of course you may use a translation. And I’d be delighted to see a German translation of it.
    “Awwwww, widdums” means something like “Awwww, poor little you!” in a sarcastic sense.
    It reminds me that some months ago, I tried to join one of the German forums (which had an English section), but got a bit defeated by the language.
    Frank

  15. Frank Davis says:

    I agree. But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
    It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
    These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.
    Frank

  16. Frank Davis says:

    I agree. But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
    It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
    These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.
    Frank

  17. Frank Davis says:

    I noticed the EU herbal ban. It’s a way of forcing people to use pharma products. If they can do this with herbs, then what’s to stop them doing it with potatoes or carrots? Nothing.
    Frank

  18. Frank Davis says:

    I noticed the EU herbal ban. It’s a way of forcing people to use pharma products. If they can do this with herbs, then what’s to stop them doing it with potatoes or carrots? Nothing.
    Frank

  19. Frank Davis says:

    And they’re proud of what they’ve done!

  20. Frank Davis says:

    And they’re proud of what they’ve done!

  21. Anonymous says:

    The WAR DRUMS have started to beat in Scotland and will grow louder as the Elections for the Scottish Parliament in May 2011 draw nearer.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The WAR DRUMS have started to beat in Scotland and will grow louder as the Elections for the Scottish Parliament in May 2011 draw nearer.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The WAR DRUMS have started to beat in Scotland and will grow louder as the Elections for the Scottish Parliament in May 2011 draw nearer.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “So beat the war drum. We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be. We will ourselves become the unstoppable tide. And it’ll make no difference whether we’re man or woman, or whether we’re British or Turkish or Chinese.”
    Recently here in Auckland I was chatting with my friendly Chinese local dairy owner (many immigrant Chinese settled over years here in NZ history) – who also smokes – while buying my Virgina Gold (could it be the dearest in the world here? – NZD$26.50 for 30g until midnight tonight just passed, with an extra 10% excise plus (I think the only OECD country to do this as well) the regular CPI adjustment to take effect 1st January) – about protest, the constant media rubber-stamping of ASH &etc. press releases & the totally gamed politicians ditto etc., and he asked me:
    “How many smokers in New Zealand?”
    “Oh, 750,000 or so” (pop. 4 million odd)
    “If only 10% of those were to take to the streets in protest, would that be noticed?”
    (I paraphrase a bit there – Tiananmen Square Nobel prize winner in news a few months ago – I think it was more like:)
    “Why can’t even 10%, 75,000, protest?”
    Because he followed it up with his judgement:
    “Kiwis are too easy-going” (nice, easy, etc.)
    And I think he’s right; we’ve certainly been sucked in, & suckered badly, with this one.
    But, on the other hand… it’s a small enough population that it could easily swing the other way, given the right information…
    I believe the global anti-tobacco cabal have focussed especially here (and to a lesser or equal extent Australia) because of the country’s isolation, efficient border control, distinct lack of smuggling opportunities therefore, and (psychological) insularity…
    We certainly need a counter to, and reclamation of “World No Tobacco Day”!
    May 31 each year. May 31st, 2011. For a start!
    Is this enough time to organise mass street smoking protests marches & what-have-you??
    _
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_No_Tobacco_Day
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/annual/wntd/en/index.html
    http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-no-tobacco-day
    (and the really ghastly!)
    http://whyquit.com/world_no_tobacco_day.html
    _
    Well, it’s sure to be televised… ;=})
    Contrary to the song lyric.
    _
    Ross Matheson

  25. Anonymous says:

    “So beat the war drum. We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be. We will ourselves become the unstoppable tide. And it’ll make no difference whether we’re man or woman, or whether we’re British or Turkish or Chinese.”
    Recently here in Auckland I was chatting with my friendly Chinese local dairy owner (many immigrant Chinese settled over years here in NZ history) – who also smokes – while buying my Virgina Gold (could it be the dearest in the world here? – NZD$26.50 for 30g until midnight tonight just passed, with an extra 10% excise plus (I think the only OECD country to do this as well) the regular CPI adjustment to take effect 1st January) – about protest, the constant media rubber-stamping of ASH &etc. press releases & the totally gamed politicians ditto etc., and he asked me:
    “How many smokers in New Zealand?”
    “Oh, 750,000 or so” (pop. 4 million odd)
    “If only 10% of those were to take to the streets in protest, would that be noticed?”
    (I paraphrase a bit there – Tiananmen Square Nobel prize winner in news a few months ago – I think it was more like:)
    “Why can’t even 10%, 75,000, protest?”
    Because he followed it up with his judgement:
    “Kiwis are too easy-going” (nice, easy, etc.)
    And I think he’s right; we’ve certainly been sucked in, & suckered badly, with this one.
    But, on the other hand… it’s a small enough population that it could easily swing the other way, given the right information…
    I believe the global anti-tobacco cabal have focussed especially here (and to a lesser or equal extent Australia) because of the country’s isolation, efficient border control, distinct lack of smuggling opportunities therefore, and (psychological) insularity…
    We certainly need a counter to, and reclamation of “World No Tobacco Day”!
    May 31 each year. May 31st, 2011. For a start!
    Is this enough time to organise mass street smoking protests marches & what-have-you??
    _
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_No_Tobacco_Day
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/annual/wntd/en/index.html
    http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-no-tobacco-day
    (and the really ghastly!)
    http://whyquit.com/world_no_tobacco_day.html
    _
    Well, it’s sure to be televised… ;=})
    Contrary to the song lyric.
    _
    Ross Matheson

  26. Anonymous says:

    “So beat the war drum. We smokers have hundreds of millions of allies all around the world. Smokers like us who’ve had enough. Uniting together with them, we will defeat these enemies of ours, regardless of how rich or powerful they may now seem to be. We will ourselves become the unstoppable tide. And it’ll make no difference whether we’re man or woman, or whether we’re British or Turkish or Chinese.”
    Recently here in Auckland I was chatting with my friendly Chinese local dairy owner (many immigrant Chinese settled over years here in NZ history) – who also smokes – while buying my Virgina Gold (could it be the dearest in the world here? – NZD$26.50 for 30g until midnight tonight just passed, with an extra 10% excise plus (I think the only OECD country to do this as well) the regular CPI adjustment to take effect 1st January) – about protest, the constant media rubber-stamping of ASH &etc. press releases & the totally gamed politicians ditto etc., and he asked me:
    “How many smokers in New Zealand?”
    “Oh, 750,000 or so” (pop. 4 million odd)
    “If only 10% of those were to take to the streets in protest, would that be noticed?”
    (I paraphrase a bit there – Tiananmen Square Nobel prize winner in news a few months ago – I think it was more like:)
    “Why can’t even 10%, 75,000, protest?”
    Because he followed it up with his judgement:
    “Kiwis are too easy-going” (nice, easy, etc.)
    And I think he’s right; we’ve certainly been sucked in, & suckered badly, with this one.
    But, on the other hand… it’s a small enough population that it could easily swing the other way, given the right information…
    I believe the global anti-tobacco cabal have focussed especially here (and to a lesser or equal extent Australia) because of the country’s isolation, efficient border control, distinct lack of smuggling opportunities therefore, and (psychological) insularity…
    We certainly need a counter to, and reclamation of “World No Tobacco Day”!
    May 31 each year. May 31st, 2011. For a start!
    Is this enough time to organise mass street smoking protests marches & what-have-you??
    _
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_No_Tobacco_Day
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/annual/wntd/en/index.html
    http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-no-tobacco-day
    (and the really ghastly!)
    http://whyquit.com/world_no_tobacco_day.html
    _
    Well, it’s sure to be televised… ;=})
    Contrary to the song lyric.
    _
    Ross Matheson

    • Anonymous says:

      typo shame!
      Uh, “Golden Virginia” … the one “Established In 1877″…
      (There is a more local “Virginia Gold” brand here as well.)
      But, you have-it-easy European shoppers, take note of the price per gram!
      (it’ll be up 12% or more from later today…)
      http://www.xe.com/ucc/ gives 26.50 NZD = 15.3799 EUR
      For a 30g pack! – the only one available here for that brand.
      (most others are in 30 & 50g packs.)
      (Same price for Drum 30g)
      _
      There is a global push to ban… here “by 2020” declared.
      The intant they succeed in one country, it will be pushed to others.
      _
      That’s a ban proposal in terms of no longer commercially available. At all.
      _
      Nota Bene!
      _
      Ross

  27. Anonymous says:

    typo shame!
    Uh, “Golden Virginia” … the one “Established In 1877″…
    (There is a more local “Virginia Gold” brand here as well.)
    But, you have-it-easy European shoppers, take note of the price per gram!
    (it’ll be up 12% or more from later today…)
    http://www.xe.com/ucc/ gives 26.50 NZD = 15.3799 EUR
    For a 30g pack! – the only one available here for that brand.
    (most others are in 30 & 50g packs.)
    (Same price for Drum 30g)
    _
    There is a global push to ban… here “by 2020” declared.
    The intant they succeed in one country, it will be pushed to others.
    _
    That’s a ban proposal in terms of no longer commercially available. At all.
    _
    Nota Bene!
    _
    Ross

  28. Anonymous says:

    typo shame!
    Uh, “Golden Virginia” … the one “Established In 1877″…
    (There is a more local “Virginia Gold” brand here as well.)
    But, you have-it-easy European shoppers, take note of the price per gram!
    (it’ll be up 12% or more from later today…)
    http://www.xe.com/ucc/ gives 26.50 NZD = 15.3799 EUR
    For a 30g pack! – the only one available here for that brand.
    (most others are in 30 & 50g packs.)
    (Same price for Drum 30g)
    _
    There is a global push to ban… here “by 2020” declared.
    The intant they succeed in one country, it will be pushed to others.
    _
    That’s a ban proposal in terms of no longer commercially available. At all.
    _
    Nota Bene!
    _
    Ross

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank. All the best to you and your subscribers for the news year.
    Sorry to be downbeat, but I thought I’d post this form Paul Flynn’s blog
    http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/12/e-petition-spin-1.html?cid=6a00d8346d963f69e20147e115590c970b
    ‘When I started smoking aged 14 (yes I was at work then in the 50’s) it was not considered anti social or a filthy habit. Smoking was a sign that you had ‘grown up’ and was a ‘rite of passage’ for most teenagers.
    I have only ever smoked where an ashtray had been placed, as that has always signified that smoking was acceptable.
    As the years have gone by I have smoked in less places, either because there were no ashtrays (signifying a non smoking establishment) or because smoking was banned in a certain place.
    I have accepted all of that and never smoked where I was not welcomed to do so.
    I am now in my mid 70’s and can now only smoke either at home or in the open air.
    I am now disabled (accident damaging my hip) and so can not get out as much as I would like to. So now I only smoke in my own home. This is a very lonely existence and I would love to be able to go to a pub for a drink occasionally. However, as a smoker I know that I can’t do this and enjoy a drink and cigarette in safety and comfort in a pub.
    I accept all this and am sorry that my pleasure upsets so many people. I wish that my life was different, but after smoking for over 60 years it is difficult to stop.
    It really hurts me to hear that smokers are now classed as disgusting filthy death carriers as I really hadn’t considered myself to be thus.
    Now that I am all these horrible things I am glad that I am nearing the end of my life.
    How cruel and malicious are these people that have ostracised me and cast me out from society.
    I am so sorry if my ‘habit’ has offended people and wish that I had never taken that first cigarette all those years ago.
    Posted by: Jane Daniel | December 31, 2010 at 01:24 PM’
    Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this country.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank. All the best to you and your subscribers for the news year.
    Sorry to be downbeat, but I thought I’d post this form Paul Flynn’s blog
    http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/12/e-petition-spin-1.html?cid=6a00d8346d963f69e20147e115590c970b
    ‘When I started smoking aged 14 (yes I was at work then in the 50’s) it was not considered anti social or a filthy habit. Smoking was a sign that you had ‘grown up’ and was a ‘rite of passage’ for most teenagers.
    I have only ever smoked where an ashtray had been placed, as that has always signified that smoking was acceptable.
    As the years have gone by I have smoked in less places, either because there were no ashtrays (signifying a non smoking establishment) or because smoking was banned in a certain place.
    I have accepted all of that and never smoked where I was not welcomed to do so.
    I am now in my mid 70’s and can now only smoke either at home or in the open air.
    I am now disabled (accident damaging my hip) and so can not get out as much as I would like to. So now I only smoke in my own home. This is a very lonely existence and I would love to be able to go to a pub for a drink occasionally. However, as a smoker I know that I can’t do this and enjoy a drink and cigarette in safety and comfort in a pub.
    I accept all this and am sorry that my pleasure upsets so many people. I wish that my life was different, but after smoking for over 60 years it is difficult to stop.
    It really hurts me to hear that smokers are now classed as disgusting filthy death carriers as I really hadn’t considered myself to be thus.
    Now that I am all these horrible things I am glad that I am nearing the end of my life.
    How cruel and malicious are these people that have ostracised me and cast me out from society.
    I am so sorry if my ‘habit’ has offended people and wish that I had never taken that first cigarette all those years ago.
    Posted by: Jane Daniel | December 31, 2010 at 01:24 PM’
    Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this country.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank. All the best to you and your subscribers for the news year.
    Sorry to be downbeat, but I thought I’d post this form Paul Flynn’s blog
    http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/12/e-petition-spin-1.html?cid=6a00d8346d963f69e20147e115590c970b
    ‘When I started smoking aged 14 (yes I was at work then in the 50’s) it was not considered anti social or a filthy habit. Smoking was a sign that you had ‘grown up’ and was a ‘rite of passage’ for most teenagers.
    I have only ever smoked where an ashtray had been placed, as that has always signified that smoking was acceptable.
    As the years have gone by I have smoked in less places, either because there were no ashtrays (signifying a non smoking establishment) or because smoking was banned in a certain place.
    I have accepted all of that and never smoked where I was not welcomed to do so.
    I am now in my mid 70’s and can now only smoke either at home or in the open air.
    I am now disabled (accident damaging my hip) and so can not get out as much as I would like to. So now I only smoke in my own home. This is a very lonely existence and I would love to be able to go to a pub for a drink occasionally. However, as a smoker I know that I can’t do this and enjoy a drink and cigarette in safety and comfort in a pub.
    I accept all this and am sorry that my pleasure upsets so many people. I wish that my life was different, but after smoking for over 60 years it is difficult to stop.
    It really hurts me to hear that smokers are now classed as disgusting filthy death carriers as I really hadn’t considered myself to be thus.
    Now that I am all these horrible things I am glad that I am nearing the end of my life.
    How cruel and malicious are these people that have ostracised me and cast me out from society.
    I am so sorry if my ‘habit’ has offended people and wish that I had never taken that first cigarette all those years ago.
    Posted by: Jane Daniel | December 31, 2010 at 01:24 PM’
    Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this country.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, forgot to sign it
    David

  33. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, forgot to sign it
    David

  34. Anonymous says:

    Yeah- I just call them NAZI BIGOTS and blow smoke in their faces. I laugh out loud at them for their stupidity and smugness. Happy New Year Frank.
    -Vivid

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yeah- I just call them NAZI BIGOTS and blow smoke in their faces. I laugh out loud at them for their stupidity and smugness. Happy New Year Frank.
    -Vivid

  36. Anonymous says:

    Yeah- I just call them NAZI BIGOTS and blow smoke in their faces. I laugh out loud at them for their stupidity and smugness. Happy New Year Frank.
    -Vivid

  37. Anonymous says:

    Nothing at all now, though they have tried before.
    Food fears ‘frustrate’ Blair 1999
    “A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted genetically modified food is safe despite the growing public outcry.”
    “The renewed backing for GM food from the top of the UK Government comes as the opposition call again for a moratorium on the commercial planting of GM crops.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/279870.stm
    But in the past few years odd things have been happening in India.
    See what you make of it.
    The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops
    “Indeed, in a bid to promote the uptake of GM seeds, traditional varieties were banned from many government seed banks.
    The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology.
    Desperate to escape the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations.
    When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year.
    But with GM seeds they cannot do this. That’s because GM seeds contain so- called ‘terminator technology’, meaning that they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html
    Indian farmer suicides not GM related, says study
    “Suicides among Indian farmers have not increased as a result of the introduction of GM crops, according to a large scientific study.
    The finding runs counter to arguments often cited by NGOs in the country such as Gene Campaign that oppose GM crops. They say that the supposed hike in suicides is a tragic social consequence of farmers being forced into debt as a result of growing the crops.
    But the new analysis suggests that if anything, suicides among farmers have been decreasing since the introduction of GM cotton by Monsanto in 2002.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/05/gmcrops-india
    India embroiled in bitterly contested GM debate
    “In this dry zone, life without irrigation is a struggle. Critics say GM cotton needs more water to succeed, a claim the seed producers dispute.”
    But the depressing cycle of failing crops and mounting debts is a lethal one. In the past few years thousands of farmers in this region have killed themselves in an epidemic of suicides.
    And that awful statistic has given rise to a bitterly contested debate, at a time when the Indian government is considering authorising the commercial cultivation of the first GM food crop, aubergine.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10136310
    Aubergine wars reignite GM food debate
    “What’s causing trouble in India?
    The humble aubergine. There will be no genetically modified brinjals (as they are known), or other food crops in India – for now, at least.
    The aubergine is a major crop that has been grown in India for 4,000 years.”
    http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/commodities-agriculture-aubergine-wars-reignite-gm-food-debate-47602.aspx
    However in 1999
    Terminator gene halt a ‘major U-turn’
    “The decision by the biotechnology giant Monsanto never to commercialise so-called “terminator gene” technology for crops has been called “a major U-turn that will send shock waves across the industry”, by the charity Christian Aid.
    Environmental group Friends of the Earth also hailed the announcement saying Monsanto had been forced to “respond to enormous worldwide opposition to its plans”.
    But a spokesman for the European Association for BioIndustries dismissed much of the criticism of genetically-modified crops as “scandalous propaganda” and said many non-genetically-modified (GM) crops did not produce viable seeds either.”
    “Future work on the technology has not been ruled out”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/465222.stm
    It’s all very Chantix,
    “it was nicotine withdrawal”, “underlying mental conditions were revealed”, “it was leaves on the line”, “it was the wrong kind of snow”
    But most of all it was NOT the DRUG
    Rose

  38. Anonymous says:

    Nothing at all now, though they have tried before.
    Food fears ‘frustrate’ Blair 1999
    “A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted genetically modified food is safe despite the growing public outcry.”
    “The renewed backing for GM food from the top of the UK Government comes as the opposition call again for a moratorium on the commercial planting of GM crops.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/279870.stm
    But in the past few years odd things have been happening in India.
    See what you make of it.
    The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops
    “Indeed, in a bid to promote the uptake of GM seeds, traditional varieties were banned from many government seed banks.
    The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology.
    Desperate to escape the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations.
    When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year.
    But with GM seeds they cannot do this. That’s because GM seeds contain so- called ‘terminator technology’, meaning that they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html
    Indian farmer suicides not GM related, says study
    “Suicides among Indian farmers have not increased as a result of the introduction of GM crops, according to a large scientific study.
    The finding runs counter to arguments often cited by NGOs in the country such as Gene Campaign that oppose GM crops. They say that the supposed hike in suicides is a tragic social consequence of farmers being forced into debt as a result of growing the crops.
    But the new analysis suggests that if anything, suicides among farmers have been decreasing since the introduction of GM cotton by Monsanto in 2002.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/05/gmcrops-india
    India embroiled in bitterly contested GM debate
    “In this dry zone, life without irrigation is a struggle. Critics say GM cotton needs more water to succeed, a claim the seed producers dispute.”
    But the depressing cycle of failing crops and mounting debts is a lethal one. In the past few years thousands of farmers in this region have killed themselves in an epidemic of suicides.
    And that awful statistic has given rise to a bitterly contested debate, at a time when the Indian government is considering authorising the commercial cultivation of the first GM food crop, aubergine.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10136310
    Aubergine wars reignite GM food debate
    “What’s causing trouble in India?
    The humble aubergine. There will be no genetically modified brinjals (as they are known), or other food crops in India – for now, at least.
    The aubergine is a major crop that has been grown in India for 4,000 years.”
    http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/commodities-agriculture-aubergine-wars-reignite-gm-food-debate-47602.aspx
    However in 1999
    Terminator gene halt a ‘major U-turn’
    “The decision by the biotechnology giant Monsanto never to commercialise so-called “terminator gene” technology for crops has been called “a major U-turn that will send shock waves across the industry”, by the charity Christian Aid.
    Environmental group Friends of the Earth also hailed the announcement saying Monsanto had been forced to “respond to enormous worldwide opposition to its plans”.
    But a spokesman for the European Association for BioIndustries dismissed much of the criticism of genetically-modified crops as “scandalous propaganda” and said many non-genetically-modified (GM) crops did not produce viable seeds either.”
    “Future work on the technology has not been ruled out”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/465222.stm
    It’s all very Chantix,
    “it was nicotine withdrawal”, “underlying mental conditions were revealed”, “it was leaves on the line”, “it was the wrong kind of snow”
    But most of all it was NOT the DRUG
    Rose

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the permission and the explanation! I read and understand English, but writing it myself is more complicated, and conversation is still worse (until I have my second or third beer and stop thinking about what I am saying). Is it the same thing with your German? ;-)
    My translation:
    http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/zum-jahreswechsel-rauchzeichen-und-kriegstrommeln-aus-england/

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the permission and the explanation! I read and understand English, but writing it myself is more complicated, and conversation is still worse (until I have my second or third beer and stop thinking about what I am saying). Is it the same thing with your German? ;-)
    My translation:
    http://rauchverbotbayern.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/zum-jahreswechsel-rauchzeichen-und-kriegstrommeln-aus-england/

  41. Frank Davis says:

    Thank you for your translation. It’s fascinating for me to (try to) read.
    I can almost read French, because I studied it at school. And I studied Latin at school, and was delighted to find that Spanish preserves a great deal of Latin, so I can follow Spanish fairly well. But I’ve never studied German, beyond picking up a few phrases here and there. Yet German and English are, I believe, quite closely related languages, so it ought not to be too difficult.
    Perhaps I should have another try!;-)
    Frank

  42. Frank Davis says:

    Thank you for your translation. It’s fascinating for me to (try to) read.
    I can almost read French, because I studied it at school. And I studied Latin at school, and was delighted to find that Spanish preserves a great deal of Latin, so I can follow Spanish fairly well. But I’ve never studied German, beyond picking up a few phrases here and there. Yet German and English are, I believe, quite closely related languages, so it ought not to be too difficult.
    Perhaps I should have another try!;-)
    Frank

  43. Frank Davis says:

    Thanks for that.
    I haven’t visited Paul Flynn’s blog for years.
    He’s an obnoxious anti.
    Frank

  44. Frank Davis says:

    Thanks for that.
    I haven’t visited Paul Flynn’s blog for years.
    He’s an obnoxious anti.
    Frank

  45. Anonymous says:

    I tried to forget all my French immediately after finishing school and was quite successful. I never could get used to all those ´and ` and so on. Years later it was helpful anyway when I needed to understand at least a little Italian.
    I am not sure, if the German language is easy or difficult to learn, but I remember Mark Twain about it: “The inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of.”
    http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html
    I don’t believe, I would have been able to learn English without school. But I didn’t believe either that I ever would be able to translate from English to German properly, and it WAS surprisingly easy when I started trying.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I tried to forget all my French immediately after finishing school and was quite successful. I never could get used to all those ´and ` and so on. Years later it was helpful anyway when I needed to understand at least a little Italian.
    I am not sure, if the German language is easy or difficult to learn, but I remember Mark Twain about it: “The inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of.”
    http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html
    I don’t believe, I would have been able to learn English without school. But I didn’t believe either that I ever would be able to translate from English to German properly, and it WAS surprisingly easy when I started trying.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @Mia: Nice to see you are here, too! Perhaps we should ask for permission to put a link for this debate to the BFT facebook group as well as Netzwerk Rauchen – I believe that a lot of people would be interested!
    ———–
    @Frank:
    “But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
    It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
    These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.”
    I could not agree more, yet if we close the option of mutual tolerance and blow smoke into their faces we prove them right (in their opinion).
    I just belittle them and laugh rather loud about their fearfulness, mocking their proud “saving lives” paroles whilst asking them to provide the exact number of lives they have saved as to my knowledge we all die….
    And, since they do not have a shred of sympathy for the older generation (“if they can make it to the pub, they can make it outside the door for a cigarette”), living ?a few years longer in isolation or in one of these “god’s waiting rooms” just does not seem an inviting option.

  48. Anonymous says:

    @Mia: Nice to see you are here, too! Perhaps we should ask for permission to put a link for this debate to the BFT facebook group as well as Netzwerk Rauchen – I believe that a lot of people would be interested!
    ———–
    @Frank:
    “But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
    It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
    These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.”
    I could not agree more, yet if we close the option of mutual tolerance and blow smoke into their faces we prove them right (in their opinion).
    I just belittle them and laugh rather loud about their fearfulness, mocking their proud “saving lives” paroles whilst asking them to provide the exact number of lives they have saved as to my knowledge we all die….
    And, since they do not have a shred of sympathy for the older generation (“if they can make it to the pub, they can make it outside the door for a cigarette”), living ?a few years longer in isolation or in one of these “god’s waiting rooms” just does not seem an inviting option.

  49. Anonymous says:

    @Mia: Nice to see you are here, too! Perhaps we should ask for permission to put a link for this debate to the BFT facebook group as well as Netzwerk Rauchen – I believe that a lot of people would be interested!
    ———–
    @Frank:
    “But unfortunately, they have no tolerance whatsoever for us. They make no allowance at all for smokers. So the path of mutual toleration is closed.
    It’s like sealing a container of water, and then lighting a fire under it. With nowhere for steam to escape, it’s bound to explode. Nothing else can happen.
    These people are not only bigots, but they are also fools. They will end up losing everything.”
    I could not agree more, yet if we close the option of mutual tolerance and blow smoke into their faces we prove them right (in their opinion).
    I just belittle them and laugh rather loud about their fearfulness, mocking their proud “saving lives” paroles whilst asking them to provide the exact number of lives they have saved as to my knowledge we all die….
    And, since they do not have a shred of sympathy for the older generation (“if they can make it to the pub, they can make it outside the door for a cigarette”), living ?a few years longer in isolation or in one of these “god’s waiting rooms” just does not seem an inviting option.

  50. Anonymous says:

    There’s a worse one posting there (Kay Tie)
    David

  51. Anonymous says:

    There’s a worse one posting there (Kay Tie)
    David

  52. junican says:

    “It is not a free country any more”. (As per your text).
    We might reasonably ask, what precisely does that phrase mean. I would say that it means that our actions (and even, perhaps, our thoughts) are so circumscribed by regulations that we have no freedom of manoeuvre. When the Gov says that we must ‘not allow…..’, then there is no limit to what we must ‘not allow….’. The precedent is set. Henceforth, we must ‘not allow’ anything risky to happen – or be criminally responsible.
    It is correct that we no longer live in a free country, because the Gov have decided that it should be so. Our freedom has been diminished as a result of bing made responsible for the effects of the free decisions of others.

  53. junican says:

    “It is not a free country any more”. (As per your text).
    We might reasonably ask, what precisely does that phrase mean. I would say that it means that our actions (and even, perhaps, our thoughts) are so circumscribed by regulations that we have no freedom of manoeuvre. When the Gov says that we must ‘not allow…..’, then there is no limit to what we must ‘not allow….’. The precedent is set. Henceforth, we must ‘not allow’ anything risky to happen – or be criminally responsible.
    It is correct that we no longer live in a free country, because the Gov have decided that it should be so. Our freedom has been diminished as a result of bing made responsible for the effects of the free decisions of others.

  54. junican says:

    “It is not a free country any more”. (As per your text).
    We might reasonably ask, what precisely does that phrase mean. I would say that it means that our actions (and even, perhaps, our thoughts) are so circumscribed by regulations that we have no freedom of manoeuvre. When the Gov says that we must ‘not allow…..’, then there is no limit to what we must ‘not allow….’. The precedent is set. Henceforth, we must ‘not allow’ anything risky to happen – or be criminally responsible.
    It is correct that we no longer live in a free country, because the Gov have decided that it should be so. Our freedom has been diminished as a result of bing made responsible for the effects of the free decisions of others.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I have felt for a while that I was living in occupied territory.
    It’s a very strange feeling after all these years.
    Had they invaded openly, we would know where we are.
    This time, they seem to have oozed up out of the ground.
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
    But it cannot survive treason from within.
    An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
    But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
    For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
    He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
    A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
    It’s a very eerie feeling, everything still looks the same, but feels so wrong.
    Rose

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have felt for a while that I was living in occupied territory.
    It’s a very strange feeling after all these years.
    Had they invaded openly, we would know where we are.
    This time, they seem to have oozed up out of the ground.
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
    But it cannot survive treason from within.
    An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
    But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
    For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
    He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
    A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
    It’s a very eerie feeling, everything still looks the same, but feels so wrong.
    Rose

  57. Anonymous says:

    I have felt for a while that I was living in occupied territory.
    It’s a very strange feeling after all these years.
    Had they invaded openly, we would know where we are.
    This time, they seem to have oozed up out of the ground.
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
    But it cannot survive treason from within.
    An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
    But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
    For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
    He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
    A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
    It’s a very eerie feeling, everything still looks the same, but feels so wrong.
    Rose

  58. Anonymous says:

    The easy thing about German is that it doesn’t have as many unnecessary nouns as other languages – lots of objects and concepts are described by compound words (a dentist is a tooth doctor, gloves are hand shoes etc.) – so there aren’t so many words to learn.
    The difficult thing about it is that each of those nouns is either masculine, feminine or neuter (without any logic that I can see) and any adjectives you use have to have the right endings to go with them. That really causes me to struggle when I try to speak it, although similarly, a beer or two can help no end!
    But I love trying to get by in German. Contrary to a certain amount of uninformed popular perception in this country, I think that it’s a beautiful language.
    Rick S

  59. Anonymous says:

    The easy thing about German is that it doesn’t have as many unnecessary nouns as other languages – lots of objects and concepts are described by compound words (a dentist is a tooth doctor, gloves are hand shoes etc.) – so there aren’t so many words to learn.
    The difficult thing about it is that each of those nouns is either masculine, feminine or neuter (without any logic that I can see) and any adjectives you use have to have the right endings to go with them. That really causes me to struggle when I try to speak it, although similarly, a beer or two can help no end!
    But I love trying to get by in German. Contrary to a certain amount of uninformed popular perception in this country, I think that it’s a beautiful language.
    Rick S

  60. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Something has changed.
    As for traitors, the vast majority are too thick/brainwashed/selfish to even realise that they are committing treason. They’ve been ‘dumbed down’, like most of the population. Whatever the issue, the useful idiots seem to occupy the higher ground. What’s really bad is actually knowing that your life is being controlled and ruined by the Inept.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Something has changed.
    As for traitors, the vast majority are too thick/brainwashed/selfish to even realise that they are committing treason. They’ve been ‘dumbed down’, like most of the population. Whatever the issue, the useful idiots seem to occupy the higher ground. What’s really bad is actually knowing that your life is being controlled and ruined by the Inept.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should fire up Beacon Chain again, Britain is definitely under attack.
    “Everyone knows the story of how, when the Spanish Armada sailed up the English channel, a network of beacons were lit across the country to warn of the threat of invasion.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/herefordandworcester/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8316000/8316878.stm
    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html
    Reading the comments they realise it too.
    The intent of the legislation seems to be more about destroying a knowledge base of thousands of years of practice.
    Rose

  63. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should fire up Beacon Chain again, Britain is definitely under attack.
    “Everyone knows the story of how, when the Spanish Armada sailed up the English channel, a network of beacons were lit across the country to warn of the threat of invasion.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/herefordandworcester/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8316000/8316878.stm
    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html
    Reading the comments they realise it too.
    The intent of the legislation seems to be more about destroying a knowledge base of thousands of years of practice.
    Rose

  64. Anonymous says:

    ‘Perhaps we should fire up Beacon Chain again’
    Probably be prohibited for H&S reasons…
    No Joke…

  65. Anonymous says:

    ‘Perhaps we should fire up Beacon Chain again’
    Probably be prohibited for H&S reasons…
    No Joke…

  66. Anonymous says:

    And for what?? So pharma companies can sell their “more reliable WHO apporved drugs”?
    BTW Happy New Year to all!!
    Charles

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