Tobacco Control Tactics Launched

I’m delighted to announce that a new website, TobaccoControl Tactics, has just been launched. Two press releases are here. I’ve only been very peripherally involved, although the idea for the website may have been first suggested here, back at the beginning of June.

It’s another example of people (mostly smokers) getting together purely voluntarily to make something happen – in this case to create a website resource that brings together counterarguments to the Tobacco Control Industry’s talking points, and in particular to respond directly to the CRUK-funded (and therefore taxpayer-funded) TobaccoTactics website that appeared at the beginning of June. It’s a remarkable achievement for it to have been put together in less than four weeks.

In this respect, it’s a close relative of the ISIS International Social Impact Survey, which I’m helping to co-ordinate, and which I first suggested early in May:

What I was wondering was whether we could use the power of the internet to carry out such a study ourselves. I was thinking of drawing up a standard set of questions to ask smokers. Once the questions had been decided (e.g. Do you think the smoking ban is a) wonderful? b) tolerable? c) awful? ), readers of this blog (and maybe other blogs) would print out the questionnaire, and take it with them when they went out, and would ask smokers they encountered if they would care to answer a few questions in a survey about smoking bans, and if they agreed, ask them the standard set of questions, and note their responses (or let them read and fill in the questionnaire themselves).

Within a few days, some twenty or so volunteers had come forward, and a set of questions was agreed, and then translated into 5 different languages to be used in 7 different countries. The survey is now under way, and we have a website in place for it, where it is hoped that results will be published later on this year.

In both cases, the new development has been driven by the spontaneous energy and enthusiasm of a number of people living all over the world, many of whom have never met one another. I think this has been possible because there are a great many smokers who are very angry at what’s being done to them (I’m one of them), and badly want to do something about it, and in the ISIS survey and Tobacco Control Tactics they found a project into which they could simultaneously throw their energies and employ their various skills. The energy was there, and was just waiting to find an outlet, like water behind a dam.

And it seems to me important that both developments have been entirely spontaneous, with both arising in response to some particular event. In the case of ISIS, it was my response to remarks about surveys by Simon Clark the previous day, with me asking whether we could do our own survey. In the case of Tobacco Control Tactics, it was Wiel Maessen’s response to the appearance of the TobaccoTactics website the day before, asking whether we could set up a similar website. At the beginning of May, I had no plans for any survey of any sort at all. And at the beginning of June, I dare say that Wiel didn’t have any plans for a new website either. But once the ideas were aired, and enthusiastically received, plans quickly began to take shape, formed from out of the responses and remarks and suggestions of numerous people.

Both have also essentially been bottom-up developments, created by equals co-operating voluntarily with each other. This would seem to be in complete contrast to the Tobacco Control Industry, in which more or less everyone is paid (mostly with money looted from smokers). Once people are being paid, then someone has to pay them, and a hierarchy emerges (and probably a set of pay scales), and the entire system operates in a top-down fashion, with orders coming down from whoever holds the purse strings to the employees below. In such an industry, there are no equals, no spontaneity, and most likely little energy or enthusiasm either (as Tobacco Control’s leaden prose regularly demonstrates). And within this hierarchical command structure, furthermore, disobedience is met with harsh punishment – so that when Dr Michael Siegel began to dissent slightly from the TC ‘party line’, he was expelled from Tobacco Control, and denied access to its website. None of which should be any surprise: Tobacco Control‘s very name betrays its megalomaniac aspirations.

Another consequence of the hierarchical command structure of Tobacco Control is that it’s likely to be slow to respond to new developments, or to respond to them in any sort of flexible or innovative way. Tobacco Control is probably a bit rigid and musclebound. And when things start going wrong, fingers start getting pointed, and scapegoats found (always somebody else), as Harley discovered a day or so back, now that Tobacco Control seems to have lost California’s Proposition 29, which would have netted their predatory industry another $735 million.

Although disturbing, Big Tobacco’s big spending spree was not surprising. Veteran campaign-watchers predicted it would happen, and noted that the Prop 29 campaign would need to use its limited funds wisely. “Every dollar will be precious in this campaign,” Doug Heller, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, told the Express two years ago.

Yet records show that Perata squandered significant amounts of cash from the campaign account he established in 2009 on expenditures that had no direct link to the passage of the cancer-research initiative. Moreover, Perata’s wasteful spending could have played a role in the razor-thin defeat of the measure — in that the money was not available to help the tobacco-tax initiative pass.

So I’d like to suggest that our strengths lie in our spontaneity and enthusiasm, and our essentially voluntary association, and above all in our open and flexible response to unfolding events. What we need is a widening informal network of like-minded people in which new ideas, new suggestions, can generate spontaneous enthusiasm, and unleash creative energies in surprising and unexpected ways.

Which somehow reminds me of a quote from the surrealist André Breton:

“Only the idle can be at the complete disposal of chance.”

And finally, for no particular reason, courtesy of Leg-iron, Captain Beefheart:

Well, it worked last night. I watched the whole frigging thing.

About Frank Davis

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78 Responses to Tobacco Control Tactics Launched

  1. Tom says:

    Ooooh – looks good already – thanks for informing !

  2. reinholdfrombavaria says:

    a new website, TobaccoControl Tactics, has just been launched

    Excellent work!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Its already in my ARSENAL of links!

  4. Pingback: TobaccoControl tactics. | underdogs bite upwards

  5. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank, i am very well pleased to see all of us smokers are not helpless lil whiners,ehhh??they launch a page we launch one but as you said ours does not take a top down approach. we do not need to. they {the narsties}will lose eventuallyand even they know it human behaviour cannnot be controlled euthanized and or destroyed. and i just bet dreadful arnott and james repace and satan gantonitis cant stand it either. i in fact would count on it as they are all control freaks from hell.when they pass on that is where each and every one of them should spend eternety.ad infinitium. they have no shame no moral compass or scruples.to me they are not people but demons in man form.i will shed no tears when they pass on.i am honoured to have known you sir, and as always godspeed and good luck to us smokers all raymond barfoot

  6. smokervoter says:

    Nice job one that new site. Clear and concise. What I love is that antismoking Brundtland Youth and college campus crusaders, looking for a exhilarating rush of fresh hate material through the search engines, might well stumble upon it.

    What they do when suddenly confronted by some truth is another question.

  7. nisakiman says:

    It’s amazing what a disparate bunch of people can do when they’re motivated. I think this quote from Robert Molimard (from the “scientists” page on the site) pretty much encapsulates the reason (or at least, part of the reason) for that motivation:

    “The omnipresence of the cigarette in a smoker’s life results in making smoking part of the smoker’s personal identity. Attacking this identity triggers the smoker’s defensive mechanism…”

  8. churchmouse says:

    Thanks, Frank, for the news.

    An excellent site with much useful information — have added to my blogroll.

  9. Rose says:

    That looks very interesting, well done everyone.

  10. smokervoter says:

    Just one wee suggestion on the new site if I may. How about a second tier of free choice websites? Maybe an Also Rans subsection. Or perhaps a Rodney Dangerfield Sites section. I tell ya’ I don’t get no respect.

    Or even a Retro GeoCities personal homepage-style designation.

    With smokervoter.com (US) included therein. Small s, small v, one word. Like the ordinary noun I hope it will become in the dictionary one fine day.

    Just kidding. Sort of.

  11. beobrigitte says:

    Isn’t it amazing what a bunch of volunteers can do in 26 days?

    Just a couple of quotes:

    “The scientific debate about secondhand smoke has wrongly been declared concluded. I call on the experts, but also the interested public, to revisit the question on the basis of facts.”
    (Professor Romano Grieshaber)

    “This is McCarthyism in action. Quelling debate. Stifling opposition. Expelling and blacklisting anyone who dares express dissent. No wonder the tobacco control movement has gone off the deep end in its fanaticism. Anyone who tries to stop it knows that they will be censored or expelled. You have no choice but to go along with the groupthink.”
    (Dr. Michael Siegel)

    I’m returning to tctactics now for the rest of the story.

  12. Thanks for pointing us to the site. I shall publicise it on mine later.

  13. Pingback: Tobacco Tactics « Rat In The Corner

  14. Walt says:

    I got as far as Connolly in the activists section and think at least some of the following should be added if you’d like to pass it along for consideration: I’ve (awkwardly) put the links next to the subject they link TO–

    Addenda Re Greg Connolly
    A member of the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, established in 2010 after congress put tobacco under FDA control with an eye to making it “safer” or at least “less harmful.” Connolly wasn’t interested in making it less harmful but in making it disappear–a fact that was widely known. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, called him “the most extreme anti harm reduction person I’ve ever heard of” ( http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.1288/news_detail.asp ). Connolly opposed electronic cigarettes ( http://www.lifeclinic.com/fullpage.aspx?prid=617524&type=1 ) but promoted the chemically-laced “fire safe” kind while dismissing their higher carcinogenic content ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-brooks/fire-safe-cigarette-laws_b_519867.html) but urged the FDA to ban menthol flavoring, calling it “candy to make the toxins go down.” When the FDA ignored him, he quit “in disgust.” (http://gawker.com/5726562/menthols-future-is-looking-bright )

    For more on the Scientific Advisory Board and its other five members, see http://www.nycclash.com/PressRelease-March_10_2010.html

    • bing11 says:

      Also:

      To Professor Gregory Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health, estimates that smoking may be banned in the United States by 2050 aren’t good enough.

      “I want to see the last cigarette sold to a child by 2020,” Connolly said. “I want to accelerate that because I want to go to the party.”

      Connolly, whose initial training is in dentistry, has a long history fighting for smoke-free air.

      There have been several major positive developments in the fight against smoking-related illnesses in recent years. In 2003, 171 nations adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which aims to manage tobacco supply and consumption globally. In the United States, the government gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco for the first time in 2009. With that weapon, Connolly said, the FDA could deal with the tobacco problem once and for all by regulating the addictive ingredient nicotine, reducing it from 7 milligrams to the harmless level found in say, a tomato — 0.3 milligrams.

      “If I was head of the FDA, the meeting [to solve the tobacco problem] would take about an hour,” Connolly said.
      http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/05/the-battle-of-the-butts/

      • ““I want to see the last cigarette sold to a child by 2020,” Connolly said. “I want to accelerate that because I want to go to the party.” Note that Connolly is using the word “child” to refer to 19 year olds in this statement. Since we already have laws on the books prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to those under 18, his “grand design” seems to be a bit less than grand…

        … until, that is, we get beyond 2020, at which point Connolly doesn’t want “children” of age 25, or 35, or eventually 75 to be able to purchase cigarettes because “they’re children and not old enough.”

        Could Connolly perhaps be in his “second childhood”?

        – MJM

      • bing11 says:

        6th World Conference on Smoking & Health, 1987, Tokyo, Japan
        Gregory N . Connolly DND MPH
        Director, Office for Non-Smoking and Health, Massachusetts Department of
        Public Health, United States of America
        (p.51)

        http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zwt51f00

        Connolly has been there from the early days of the current crusade (Godber Blueprint). He is an “eradicationist”, a prohibitionist, an exhibitionist. So, by the mid-1980s, he was already director of the Office for Non-Smoking and Health.

  15. Walt says:

    Ugh, one link in the wrong place. The one on e-cigs should be http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-study-shows-that-in-contrast-to.html — or put it thru tinyurl. The lifeclinic link is for menthol.

  16. Rose says:

    Erm this would seem to need correction

    From tctactics.org/index.php/Sound_Bites
    Ear infections

    “There appears to be strong evidence of a substantial correlation between parental smoking and ear infections in infants and toddlers”

    TC captured that one in 1988,and it was mentioned in the Froggatt Report, 14 years later the real cause appears to have been discovered.

    “But Andrea Tasker and a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle have discovered that stomach acid could be more to blame than any other factor.
    The team measured pepsin levels in middle ear ‘glue’ from 54 children in Newcastle and Nottingham. They found that 45 (83 per cent) of the samples contained 1000 times more pepsin than those found in ordinary blood samples.”

    “Children who experience gastric reflux are at particular risk of fluids entering their Eustachian tube because, until it matures, it tilts at an angle and is more receptive.”

    “The ban may be two years old, but its origins stretch back 21 years.
    In 1988 the Froggatt Report showed conclusively that smoking-related diseases could be caused by passive smoking – the inhaling of other people’s smoke.”
    http://www.nwemail.co.uk/now_that_the_fog_has_lifted___has_the_smoking_ban_worked_1_576146?referrerPath=features_2_1705

    Frogatt Report.
    Glue ear

    “Repeated ear infections, lead to a condition known as glue ear – the commonest reason for young children to be admitted to to hospital for an operation.
    If glue ear is left untreated, total or partial deafness may result, causing severe damage to a child’s educational development.

    A recent study of 7-year old children in Edinburgh found a direct link between middle-ear effusion ( glue ear ) and passive smoking as measured by salivary cotinine concentrations. This association could not be explained by factors such as poor housing or social class.”
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page;jsessionid=76D46F2E1C983600AD5DD4836792868C?tid=aka14d00&page=12

    • Rose says:

      Reflux of gastric juice and glue ear in children.
      http: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11853797

      Indigestion remedies may unstick glue ear

      “Glue ear, the most common cause of hearing loss in children may be caused by gastric reflux, according to a new British study. This causes a build up of gastric fluids in the Eustachian tube.

      With glue ear, or chronic otitis media, a sticky effusion accumulates in the middle ear. This prevents the eardrum and small bones from vibrating and affects hearing.

      The researchers looked at the effusion in 54 children and found that 83 per cent contained a high concentration of pepsin, a gastric protease not secreted in the ear. The levels were 1000 times greater than that in blood, the control fluid.

      “Young children tend to reflux quite a lot anyway and fluid can get trapped in their Eustachian tubes because of the angle and short length of their tubes and the fact that they often lie on their backs,” said Andrea Tasker from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

      Glue ear affects 75 per cent of children by the age of three. In most of them, glue ear spontaneously clears. However, up to five per cent of children get recurrent glue ear, which if left untreated, can lead to permanent hearing loss.

      Tasker hopes the new research may help children with recurrent conditions. “There are several over-the-counter anti-reflux medicines available, which form a raft on top of the stomach and could prevent gastric juices entering the Eustachian tubes,” she said.”
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1900-indigestion-remedies-may-unstick-glue-ear.html

      Heartburn pill that can cure the pain of glue ear

      “A common heartburn remedy is being tested as a treatment for glue ear.
      “In a new trial, children are being given drugs known as proton pump inhibitors to prevent the build-up of fluid behind the ear drum”

      To test the theory, in a clinical trial at McMaster University in Canada, children aged one to 17 will be prescribe d proton pump inhibitors – drugs that target and block the enzyme that causes cells in the stomach lining to produce acid in the first place.”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1262152/Heartburn-pill-cure-pain-glue-ear.html

      • Rose says:

        This is the unfortunate anti-tobacco study that caused the confusion and may have led to delays in treatments for suffering children.

        Passive smoking, salivary cotinine concentrations, and middle ear effusion in 7 year old children
        10 June 1989

        D. P. Strachan,M. J. Jarvis,C. Feyerabend

        OBJECTIVE–To assess the contribution of passive exposure to tobacco smoke to the development of middle ear underpressure and effusion.

        DESIGN–Cross sectional observational study. SETTING–One third of the primary schools in Edinburgh.

        SUBJECTS–892 Children aged 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 were examined, and satisfactory tympanograms were obtained in 872. Results of assay of salivary cotinine concentrations were available for 770 children, and satisfactory tympanograms were available for 736 of these.

        END POINT–Correlation of the prevalence of middle ear underpressure and effusion with concentrations of the marker of nicotine, cotinine, in the saliva of the children.

        CONCLUSIONS–The results of this study are consistent with those of case-control studies of children attending for an operation to relieve middle ear effusion. They indicate that the disease should be added to the list of recognised hazards associated with passive smoking.

        About one third of the cases of middle ear effusion in this study were statistically attributable to exposure to tobacco smoke.”
        http://www.bmj.com/content/298/6687/1549.abstract

        Very Godber

        Pepsin assay: a marker for reflux in pediatric glue ear – 2007

        OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if analysis of pepsin/pepsinogen in middle ear effusions can be considered a diagnostic marker for laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) in children with otitis media with effusion (OME).
        There was a significant positive correlation between the level of pepsin/pepsinogen assayed in the effusions of the 17 children and the number of pharyngeal reflux episodes measured by pH monitoring.

        CONCLUSIONS: Control of LPR may be an essential component in the successful management of OME in pediatric patients. Pepsin/pepsinogen analysis in effusions of children, using ELISA, can be considered a reliable marker for assessment of reflux in children with OME”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17321879

        Sounds logical to me.

        • Rose, it could well be that LPR or reflux correlates highly with and is the true cause of most of those ear infections, BUT… what causes the seeming correlation between the LPR levels/reflux and smoke exposure? While I’m quite open to the possibility of

          1) an innocent correlation being confused with causality, or

          2) the concept that a correlation between two things (e.g. smoke and LPR or reflux levels, or smoke and ear infections) could be caused by a totally unknown correlating third factor (e.g. more LPR *AND* more ear infections both caused by smokers enjoying pets more often since they’re not so worried about pet smells and thereby exposing their children to pet dander more often, and pet dander causing higher LPR levels or ear infections) or

          3) parental smoking having having a causational effect NOT due to smoke but instead due something like elevated parental bronchial infections exacerbated by smoking and then being passed on to children to be manifested as ear infections;

          I don’t know if I’m ready to quite ready to toss in the parental smoking / ear infection correlation without more convincing. If you feel there’s a strong argument there with more or clearer evidence, can you pass it on to me at Cantiloper on gmail? Thanks!

          One thing I *would* like to note about the ear infection claims however, is that even IF the causal relation is solidly established in everlasting granite that it says nothing about a problem with smoking in a home with children who DO NOT GET ear infections. It’s a malady that some children are prone to and others are not, despite exposures/non-exposures etc. If I was a parent and I found that my child often got ear infections when people smoked in the home or when I was housesitting the neighbor’s cat, then yes, I’d feel there was parental moral responsibility not to smoke in the home or have cats. But otherwise… nope.

          :)
          MJM

        • Rose says:

          “what causes the seeming correlation between the LPR levels/reflux and smoke exposure?”

          MJM

          If “Glue ear affects 75 per cent of children by the age of three” I’m not sure that there is any correlation.

          I would have thought that an ear full of gastric acid and residual food would be quite sufficient to cause ear infections all by itself.

          I suppose if you are trying to find a correlation between passive smoking and glue ear you will find one, I can’t see any reason why the children of smokers should be exempt from a common childhood malady.

          Here’s one from 1994 from the same people

          Passive exposure to tobacco smoke in children aged 5-7 years: individual, family, and community factors.
          D. G. Cook, P. H. Whincup, M. J. Jarvis, D. P. Strachan, O. Papacosta, and A. Bryant

          CONCLUSIONS–Mothers’ smoking is more important that fathers’ despite the lower levels of smoking by mothers. Children not exposed at home had low cotinine concentration, the level depending on the prevalence of smoking in the community.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2539482/

  17. bing11 says:

    The section on “asthma” could do with a review. Before the current antismoking crusade, any typically encountered smoke – e.g., cooking, heating, tobacco – was NOT considered even a “trigger” for asthma. It is the current antismoking crusade that has manufactured tobacco smoke specifically into a “trigger”.

    Consider the following link and comments:
    http://daveatherton.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/smoking-asthma-and-atopy/

  18. Bing, the research indicating that smoke and/or smoking can be “protective” against asthma development DOES have support, BUT, that’s a different question than “asthma triggers” in people who already display asthma. I would not write off the possibility that sufficient levels of smoke in the air, from ANY source, can trigger an asthma attack in some people who have smoke as a “trigger” for their asthma attacks: however not ALL asthmatics have that trigger (and I don’t know of any reliable percentage figures on how many actually do), AND, given the known psychosomatic emotional aspects that can be involved in asthma attacks there is certainly a significant possibility that many asthma attacks ascribed to smoke, particularly among children, are actually caused by Antismoking-inspired emotional distress in the parents being passed on to the children and causing such attacks.

    – MJM

  19. Woodsy42 says:

    “people (mostly smokers) getting together purely voluntarily ”
    This is exactly what Cameron intended for the “big society”? Good stuff!

  20. bing11 says:

    Stan Glantz has never pulled punches in his fight with big tobacco. And he isn’t about to start now.
    “I think I’d like to just destroy the tobacco industry,” he says bluntly. “It is an industry that kills 5 million people a year. It has no business existing. Make them go do something useful.”

    http://magazine.uc.edu/issues/0509/crusader.html

    Stantonitis is also an eradicationist.

    MJM, it would be useful to get some of Glands’ qualifications (or lack thereof) in there. For example, Stantonitis has a PhD in mechanical engineering. He was given a professorship in cardiology at UCSF based on “post-grad” work. But he has no formal medical qualification. He is typically referred to as a professor of cardiology or a professor of medicine. He has also been lead author in economic studies although he has no advanced qualifications in economics. His latest “economics” work concerned Prop 29.

    Some background information here:

    Click to access ft438nb0sz.pdf

    More recently, Stantonitis has been involved in the WHO-backed attempt to have films that contain smoking scenes rated “R” because smoking scenes apparently “cause” children to take up the “horrid” habit. If you need links let me know.

    • smokervoter says:

      Speaking of Stanny Boy and Prop 29 out west.

      First off, I wouldn’t blame anyone here if they’re burned out on the continuing drama in California but here’s the latest and it’s kind of strange.

      For the first time, the vote count went down today. This may be finally indicating the end of this soap opera. It only went down by 99 votes. At first glance I was happy because my voter turnout prediction error of -0.36% had grown to -1.36%. Then I noticed that the disallowed vote ran 67%-33% in Glantz’z favor. It only netted him 35 votes, but who knows.

      Could this be his new last ditch strategy? Challenging the tobacco-industry-tainted No votes and having them thrown out?

    • churchmouse says:

      Thanks for that — I’ve gone right off Ed West now.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Me too.

        Instant switch-off.

        I’ve been an occasional reader of his Telegraph blog. But I’ll never read it again. Or if I do find myself reading it, I’ll be reminding myself of what he wrote today.

      • bing11 says:

        From the link above, a State-brainwashed drone going by the name of rogerhicks proffers “his” opinion:

        There are only 3 reasons why some people smoke:
        1) Ignorance (of the harm it does)
        2) Stupidity (those who know about the harm it does. but smoke anyway.
        3) Addiction.
        I agree with you Ed. On this issue Big Brother was right. It’s just a pity and a crime – on the part of the tobacco industry and those who aided it, on account of all those premature deaths – that it took so long.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Ed West seems to be getting quite a lot of negative reaction: This from AureliusMarcus

        Jesus. Whatever you have been smoking, Ed, it isn’t tobacco….

        “But what no one ever bothers to ask about laws concerning vices is
        whether the addicts in question actually want to be freed from their
        habits, by making them less attractive, available or affordable.”

        That is the argument that every aspirant, totalitarian, despot makes:

        • Frank Davis says:

          And the best of them all:

        • Frank Davis says:

          This one from daggersedge is pretty good too.

          So, basically, Mr West, you have opted for a Alzheimer’s Disease and a long, lingering death at, probably, the expense of British taxpayers. Or are you going to make a trip to Switzerland when you think the time is right?

          Well, that’s fine for you, but what about everyone else? Why should the state make that decision for them? What if they want to enjoy an cigarette in the full knowledge that it will lead to death before dementia?

          And what next? What happens with Big Brother, or rather, Big Sister, bans fatty products? It’s for your health, don’t you know? Or alcohol? It’s for your health. Or – just name it – it’s for your health. ‘It’s for your health’ is the new ‘won’t someone think of the children’.

          You’ve embraced Big Brother, Mr West, but I’m afraid that you are going to find that you can’t just pick the bits you like. I hope you don’t mind not being able to have a glass of wine with your meal. I hope you don’t mind not being able to have a hamburger. I hope you don’t mind having to give up your car. And if you do mind, well that’s just tough.

          Enjoy the coming totalitarian state, Mr West. After all, you’ve asked for it and it’s exactly what you deserve.

  21. Frank Davis says:

    bing11 seems to the new name of magnetic01.

  22. churchmouse says:

    Back to the Ed West article. The debate is hotting up:

    Jayaydee ( http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100168040/the-smoking-ban-was-right-i-love-big-brother/#comment-570385746 ) says:

    ‘… But, surely it is right that doing anything that damages another nearby person’s health should not be allowed? … The alternative is to provide separate areas for smokers where smoke drift or smell therefrom is impossible. Or, perhaps, smokers could don large plastic bags, sealed at the neck?’

    pjwholland (anti) says the FOREST crowd have ‘infested’ the comments (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100168040/the-smoking-ban-was-right-i-love-big-brother/#comment-570385616) .

  23. churchmouse says:

    Frank — No, I never paid a special visit to read Ed, either, just if there was a link to him elsewhere or if I was already on there reading someone else’s and wanted to kill time for another couple of minutes.

    Like you, I can’t remember what I read specifically that I liked, either, just it WAS ;) one of the better DT blogs. Not great, but better.

  24. roobeedoo2 says:

    Ed ‘Kapo’ West? He don’t know what he is yet. He will but it’ll be too late.

  25. harleyrider1978 says:

    Ive shot quite a few rounds at the nazi! FUCK HIM………..literally

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      411 comments as of right now

      • churchmouse says:

        It’s a busy thread; long pauses when ‘recommending’ a comment.

        • beobrigitte says:

          indeed it is! (441 comments just now)

          What made me laugh is this:

          fussballchef
          Today 04:58 PM
          There’s this ceaseless prattling on about “freedom”, yet none of these yammerers think about those people who until this ban came into force just wanted to visit a public place and emerge without smelling like a tramp’s underpants.

          It is actually nice to return home from the pub and not have to throw every single item of clothing into the laundry basket because they stink of some smoker’s foul breath.

          Freedom, schmeedom.

          Fussballchef…. No, it does not mean that Herr xxxxx is a cook for a football team, he wants to be a “football boss/chief”.

          Nevertheless, I just spend ages reading through comments and must say that I thought they are following what is listed here:
          http://tctactics.org/index.php/Lies

          How many of these have they so far used?

          and here

          http://tctactics.org/index.php/Opposition

        • beobrigitte says:

          Now you can’t “recommend” commends at all, which is a pity. I do hope the Telegraph will sort this soon……

  26. Marvin says:

    Well done to all involved – an excellent resource.

  27. churchmouse says:

    Thanks, Beobrigitte, for the info about not being able to not ‘recommend’. I’ve had the same problem from 6 p.m. onwards.

  28. churchmouse says:

    Re DT ‘recommends’ — I don’t think it’s thread-specific. I tried on a couple of other unrelated random threads as a test and it didn’t work, either. Blame it on Disqus.

    • churchmouse says:

      In the plain packets thread which Sheila mentioned, here is outofEUnow’s comment
      (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9361730/MP-opponents-of-plain-packaging-for-cigarettes-accepted-hospitality-from-tobacco-giant.html#comment-570716303) :

      ‘… ASH and the anti-smoking cartel are ruling the roost, and the MSM indulge them by printing every press anti-smoking release as though they came from came straight from God.

      ‘Must be another anti-smoking campaign on the horizon as this is not the only anti-smoking article today, Ed West in his pro-ASH piece has had a full turn around, from being against the smoking ban experiment he now gushes that the smoking ban experiment was fully justified.

      ‘Just wondering if West & Flyn are obeying an edict of ASH, as it appears no one, certainly not the MSM, has the courage to investigate them or even disagree.’

      • Frank Davis says:

        ‘Just wondering if West & Flyn are obeying an edict of ASH, as it appears no one, certainly not the MSM, has the courage to investigate them or even disagree.’

        Flyn? Is that Paul Flynn MP? An antismoker like him doesn’t need edicts from ASH.

        But it could be that somebody suggested that Ed West write something in favour of the smoking ban. The 5th anniversary is in a few days time.

        It doesn’t seem to have done his credibility much good.

  29. churchmouse says:

    Something occurs to me about DT commenters. I’ve recommended comments from several in the past on other subjects. Now that they are appearing on Ed West’s post as antis, I am trying to keep a mental note of those whose comments shall go unnoticed in future.

  30. harleyrider1978 says:

    Hell in Amerikkka the USSC gives obummercare a pass and calls the individual mandate a tax!

    Big Pharma is happy happy happy today!

    • churchmouse says:

      I hoped it wouldn’t go through. Commiserations, harleyrider. I am sorry for you — and America.

      (Note to others — Obamacare will not operate as European health services do. This involves coverage alone, not services. And an IRS (HMRC) agent (!) will check to see if you have the right coverage for your circumstances. It beggars belief, but that’s the truth.)

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The personal mandate itself is unconstitutional so they called it a tax to keep it all legal like!
        A simple vote in congress and the whole damn thing is gone.

  31. churchmouse says:

    On the DT / Disqus snafus: blindsticks said 10 minutes ago —

    ‘Definitely something odd going on since the recent ‘maintenance’ set back.

    ‘This also has to be a first for the D/T not having one blog on its reader’s favourite rage for debate.

    ‘Brendan O Neil’s blog (religious circumcision) also shut for comment.’

    On the subject of circumcision, oddly enough, that same topic showed up in France today on Radio Monte Carlo (RMC).

    Strange how the talking points correlate among countries on the same day or days apart, including the US.

    I’ve been tracking this informally for the past year. If gay marriage is discussed in the UK, it shows up in France soon after.

    If France discusses legalising cannabis, the subject hits the UK within a week. Ditto smoking bans, Big Soda, Big Fat and all the rest. The US also seems to get these topics around the same time, sometimes before the others, sometimes afterward. There is no one country that starts this — it’s just a ‘natural’ progression. However, someone or some body of people is generating these talking points, possibly to gauge public opinion. I’ve never seen this before until around a year ago.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Yep churchmouse I think weve all noticed it over the years especially with the advent of the internet. Its like someone somewhere is giving the marching orders to the governments and press of the whole world at on time.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I get the impression that comments were disabled on Ed West’s blog at 10:30pm. When I looked in at 11:14 pm, there were 537 comments, but there hadn’t been a single comment for 44 minutes. Perhaps they shut down for the night or something, not wanting trolls to fill the threads with porn.

  32. nisakiman says:

    That’s rather an interesting observation, churchmouse. I sometimes get this uncomfortable feeling that someone somewhere is playing a fiddle and that we’re all dancing to the tune…

  33. churchmouse says:

    Consider the following in light of the three countries I mentioned:

    – UK: Tony Blair as PM (needs no introduction). David Cameron: ‘I am the heir to Blair’. It turns out he is. Non-UK citizens from the EU and Commonwealth countries can vote in any election but the General Elections. Smoking ban (pubs, restaurants, hotel common areas, airports – same for the other two countries below): 2007, includes hotel rooms, most flats and some public areas have been mooted (wait for the localism bills to kick in — if you live in the UK, check your local newspapers and council websites today, because suggestions are now being submitted for discussion in the autumn). Employment denial in discussion, probably some is already unofficially occurring; clocking out for cig breaks mandatory in a few places.

    – US: Obama and Obamacare. Mitt Romney (probable GOP challenger) and Romneycare for the State [formally, ‘Commonwealth’] of Massachusetts. Same type of plan which, in MA, is useless except as a cash drain on struggling families, i.e. treatment is extra. Smoking ban: depends on the state and/or city, includes majority of hotel rooms and surrounding property; many flats, parks, pavement areas and public plazas [squares]. Employment denied in some instances.

    – France: Sarkozy wanted public financing of mosques and his administration let in a few hundred thousand immigrants between 2007-2012. Hollande says no to public financing of mosques and promises to grant some form of amnesty ‘on a case by case’ basis to who knows how many newcomers with no papers from their home countries and give non-French citizens the right to vote in municipal elections (likely to extend further in time). Smoking ban: 2008 (IIRC), includes majority of hotel rooms, even the most modest. A few beaches will be non-smoking this summer; La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhone, SE France) started last year. One beach each in Cannes, Nice and Biarritz will be nosmo this summer. Some flats also affected. Denying employment to smokers on health and moral grounds also comes up for discussion as do bans in parks and areas where children are present. Five lawsuits have been brought by Droits des Non-Fumeurs (DNF – anti-smoking organisation) against cafes with plastic sheeting shelters on terraces. So far, none of these has been successful.

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