Mainstream Myopia

There’s an interesting article in the Telegraph about Nigel Farage:

“I can’t stand Cameron,” says Farage, witheringly, through a miasma of cigarette smoke. “He’s shallow, nobody trusts a word he says. I respect people with different opinions that are sincerely held. The Lib Dems make no secret they are pro-Europe; I might disagree but at least they are upfront. I reserve my hatred for the class of political weasels who say one thing in Britain and then vote an entirely different way in the European Parliament.”

Miasma?… Anyway that pretty much sums up my view of Cameron too: he’s shallow. I don’t even think he’s a Conservative. I don’t know why he’s leading the Conservative party.

“Look, the problems of the Conservative Party are not all down to me,” insists Farage. “They are suffering from major disconnect; Tory voters are historically used to a party of free enterprise and wealth creation, but all it wants to talk about is gay marriage, wind turbines and metropolitan Notting Hill claptrap.”

The author of the piece, Judith Woods, writes:

Political adversaries might snipe that Ukip’s crowd-pleasing policies on Europe (get us out!) and immigration (get Johnny Foreigner out!), education (more grammars!) and law and order (more slammers!) read like they were scribbled on a beer mat. But its pint and a ploughman’s simplicity plays very well with disillusioned voters across the spectrum.

And in the process, she completely misses the only real reason why I like Nigel Farage, and why I vote UKIP: he’s a smoker, and he sticks up for smokers.

This was brought home to me last year at Stony Stratford, when – almost alone among Britain’s politicians – he battled his way through floods to get there, and deliver a speech to the 200 or so smokers (or supporters of smokers) who’d come to protest against the local council’s proposed outdoor smoking ban.

It wasn’t his only visit to Stony Stratford. He was there a week before to be snapped sitting smoking on one of Stony Stratford’s street benches.

nigel-farage-at-stony-stratford

And I believe he came back later that year to see the proposal struck down.

He’s a smoker, and (unlike Cameron and Clegg) he stands up for smokers, and doesn’t betray them (like Clegg and Cameron). And that’s why I’ll vote UKIP as long as he leads that party, or as long as it policies include a relaxation of the smoking ban.

Because nothing else matters to me. And if I’m anti-European these days, it’s largely because the EU is quite clearly completely dominated by antismokers.

But Judith Woods can’t see any of this. For her, tobacco smoke is ‘miasma’.  Her views become clearer when she writes:

His second wife, Kirsten, is German and their daughters, aged seven and 12, are being brought up bilingual, which nicely spikes the guns of those who would charge him with blanket xenophobia. Having cheated death on three occasions – a car accident, testicular cancer and an aeroplane crash during the 2010 election, his carpe diem ebullience is as irrepressible as his wilful insistence on chain-smoking is incomprehensible.

What’s ‘incomprehensible’ about him chain-smoking? Lots of people do it.

If she finds it incomprehensible, it’s because she’s one of those people who’ve drunk the antismoking kool-aid down to the last drop, and simply doesn’t understand why anyone smokes.

And if she doesn’t understand that, then she won’t have the first inkling of why I – and many people like me – now vote UKIP, and for Nigel Farage.

And here’s the myopia of the mainstream media. They all think that the UK’s 2007 smoking ban is a non-issue, something that doesn’t matter. And, as a member of the mainstream media hack class, who has clearly signed up to the antismoking orthodoxy, Judith Woods probably thinks that the smoking ban is a non-issue because ASH and Deborah Arnott and co told her that the smoking ban had been a great success, which everyone loved – particularly smokers -, and she believed them.

Truth is that the smoking ban is a festering sore. It wasn’t a great success at all. And it’s an extremely divisive issue – as I was pointing out only yesterday -. And it’s not something that’s going to go away. Smokers aren’t going to ‘get used to it’. Nor are they going to quit smoking. And it’s sheer myopia – or wishful thinking – on the part of the mainstream media  and the political class to imagine that it isn’t a problem, or that it’s a problem that will gradually go away.

The smoking ban is going to be the kind of dead body that washes up on a riverbank outside the house of the murderer, its extended arm and index finger pointing accusingly at the door, its teeth bared in a hideous grin.

The kind of dead body that floats up in the middle of a sunny garden party, where everyone’s drinking lemon tea and eating cucumber sandwiches, celebrating the murderer’s daughter’s engagement. i.e. just when everything seems to be going well.

It’s going to come back to haunt the political class, and the mainstream media, and the medical profession, and quite a few other people too. They thought they’d got away with it.

But they haven’t.

About Frank Davis

smoker
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Mainstream Myopia

  1. Well said Frank! They haven’t … and they most assuredly WON’T.

    We’ll all of us see to that, eh?

    Regarding UKIP: Back in 2008ish when TICAP (The International Coalition Against Prohibition) had its first international conference, we were delivered a deadly stab to the back right at the last minute that was intended to completely wipe us out.

    Just about a week before an international conference which had been in the preparation stages for well over a year, the Brit Antismokers went to whatever Powers-That-Were in Parliament and demanded that they yank our permission, which had been freely granted months and months earlier with no problem, to use a Parliamentary venue for our meetings.

    International conference with over a hundred participants planned, one week to go, and NOWHERE TO HOLD IT!

    Ordinarily, this COULD have been a death blow: the activists who had put in a veritable mountain of work and money out of their own pockets preparing this event, the other activists who had already booked and paid for air fares and hotel rooms, all would have been emotionally wrecked if the grand event had been so easily, off-handedly, destroyed. It would have seemed to many that we’d already moved into the stage where we’d allowed ourselves to be stripped naked and herded into a barbed wire enclosure surrounded by machine guns. In other words… that we’d waited too long to get organized and resist.

    **BUT** … UKIP came to the rescue with its own stretched resources and pulled strings and plunked down cash and got us a conference center just across the street from the official government HQ where we’d been originally scheduled.

    There was no reason for UKIP to do that for us at that point: we were not organized enough as a group for them to really look at us and say, “Hmm, let’s buy this group of constituents over here by feeding them a nice piece of cake.” No, they jumped in to help out because they were as outraged as we were with what had been done to us.

    So, despite the fact that I’m probably considerably more “liberal” than UKIP in many areas, if I was British, they would most CERTAINLY have my vote. And I think we should STRONGLY encourage all smokers, and drinkers, and pub-owners, and freedom-lovers in general over there to push UKIP for all its worth in future elections. They may not be perfect, but they’re closer to representing the real core of what’s important in the area of individual freedom than any other political party I’m aware of there as an outsider looking in.

    – MJM

  2. Junican says:

    Before I go to bed, can I just say that what Judith Woods and co say is irrelevant, as is what ASH says. These people and organisations are negatively orientated. That is, they are entirely destructive.

    ‘Negative Orientation’ is common in the UN, WHO and the EU.

    All must be destroyed.

    By that, I mean replaced with people who are ‘positively orientated’. Thus, the WHO would spend money on clean water supplies in Africa, and not smoking bans in the healthy, wealthy West.

  3. smokervoter says:

    That picture of Farage sitting on the bench has been burned into my head ever since I first saw it during the Stony Stratford miracle. It’s great to see it again. This time around I hit ‘save image as’ and it’s on my hard drive now. Even the packet is there in plain view and he doesn’t look the slightest bit ashamed. You’d have to see this from the perspective of a browbeaten and demoralized American smoker’s eyes to understand how powerful an image that is.

    The closest thing we have is House Speaker John Boehner (of whom, incidentally, I don’t join in the chorus of RINO catcalling about), but he’s never photographed indulging. Boehner grew up working at a smoky bar and privately makes no bones about trying to play Mr. Puritan. Publicly he’s very presentable and urbane. He did back down to Nancy Pelosi on a smoking room at the Capitol. But he’s all we’ve got and that is better than nothing.

    And he’s a Republican, which is what I am. The word liberty took center stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference which just took place, which pleases me to no end. Democrats don’t like that word one bit, it seems to set them off on a tirade.

    Farage is connecting with that rebellious shaft of light that exists in all of us if we’d stop trying to act so perfect and role-model conscious for just a second.

    I can’t think of one single solitary major public figure in America with the nerve to just tell the F-ing press, ‘I’m glad I smoke, so you can take a long walk on a short pier for all I care’.

    By the way, a story on the UK Independence party was right up at the top of the Drudge Report today. I think he could win elections over here as well, we’re in need of someone like him.

  4. nisakiman says:

    I have a lot of time for Farage, not only for his unrepentant stance on smoking but also for his bravura performances in the European Parliament. One of my favourites is this one:

    where he tells Van Rumpuy to his face that he has the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk! Classic! I would dearly love to see him get into a position of real power and give the established parties a good shaking. Lab/Lib/Con have completely lost the plot and don’t deserve the responsibility they enjoy.

    • margo says:

      That’s brilliant.

    • Frank Davis says:

      He was fined for that little speech.

      UKIP leader loses appeal against £2,400 fine for saying EU chief had ‘charisma of a damp rag and appearance of a bank clerk’
      Nigel Farage docked money after comments in 2010
      He laid into new EU president Herman Van Rompuy
      Said the Belgian came from ‘pretty much a non-country’

      • nisakiman says:

        I didn’t know that, but I’m not surprised. I’m sure he felt it was well worth the money just to watch them squirm. And the fact is that he was absolutely right in what he said, particularly about Van Rompuy having no democratic legitimacy; although calling Belgium ‘pretty much a non-country’ was maybe a bit beyond the pale! :)

        • The fine may have been largely based on the comment about Belgium. While it was funny, it certainly wasn’t something that belonged in that kind of venue. I think he could have gotten away with the personal remarks.

          – MJM

  5. Rose says:

    Everyone needs a friend in High places.

    Mystery of India’s ‘cigarette smoking’ saint

    “A CAVALRY officer who died in the days of the British Raj has been declared a saint in India with worshippers claiming he smokes cigarettes left as offerings at his tomb.”

    Captain Frederick Wale, or Kaptan Shah Baba as he was known to his 1st Sikh Lancers, was killed aged 36 at a battle with nationalists in Lucknow in 1858.

    He has been made a deity and believers tend his grave in Musa Bagh cemetery.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384855/Mystery-of-India-s-cigarette-smoking-saint

    Seems that it’s true.

    Holy Smokes: The British Raj Officer Declared an Indian God

    A cavalry officer who died in the days of the British Raj has been declared a saint in India – after worshippers claimed he smokes cigarettes left at his tomb.

    Captain F. Wale – or Kaptan Shah Baba as he was known to his 1st Sikh lancers – was cut down during a fierce battle with nationalists in Lucknow in 1858.

    But now locals have made Captain Wale a local deity after saying he uses offerings they leave at his tomb in Musa Bagh cemetery.

    “We leave him food and cigarettes as tributes,” explained one devotee.

    “But the strange thing is that when you light the cigarettes they brighten and glow like somebody is inhaling and drawing on them.”

    “We know from records of the battle that Shah Baba smoked so there can be only one answer – he is smoking the cigarettes,” they added.”
    http: //www.austriantimes.at/image/35599/news/Around_the_World/2013-03-16/47478/Holy_Smokes%3A_The_British_Raj_Officer_Declared_an_Indian_God

    The British ‘baba’ of Awadh
    May 14 2012

    “They are here to also pray at the “mazaar” of a “saint”, who goes by three names — “Kaptan Shah Baba”, “Gora Baba”, and “Cigarette Wala Baba”.

    With cigarettes in hand, which they tuck into a white tomb enclosed within low walls, the couple prays to the “saint” that their courtship culminates in marriage. “We’ve heard from many people that he helps lovers,” says Rajesh.

    Another couple — Ram Kailash and his wife — also offer cigarettes, after circunambulating the tomb, and thank the “baba” for blessing them with a child”.

    “How did a British soldier, who was shot in the neck by an Indian rebel in front of his troops at Musa Bagh, at the height of the Mutiny, as per historical records, come to be revered as a saint?

    Like other legends, nobody knows the origin of this one either. “All we know is that he was a foreigner who loved smoking. He fulfills anyone’s wish if offered a cigarette,” says Ram Awadh, who has been following the ritual every Thursday — when most devotees pour in — as his family “has been doing for generations”.

    Many devotees are aware that Wale was a soldier, with no saintly attributes, but don’t bother. “As long as he listens to us, we see no harm in respecting him,” says devotee Vikram Singh.”
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-british–baba–of-awadh/948811

  6. smokingscot says:

    Neat piece Frank. Done with passion – I like. Cold bogged off I assume.

    My suspicion is we will not see an exact re-run of what the media did with Ron Paul. However there will be aspects, with as much filth as they can throw at him and UKIP and those who might chose to vote for them.

    What the establishment (and the media is very much a part of the establishment) really cannot accept is support for UKIP is a grass roots, word of mouth phenomenon. Petty slights, such as we see from Woods, reinforce my belief that UKIP are a genuine threat and electable.

    They’re doing it with the English Democrats as well as Respect. (BNP is in the process of self-inflicted implosion).

    I see the same thing with plain packs as well as minimum pricing. We talk the only way we can, but they refuse to listen. Each event adds a further group to the list of those whose eyes have been opened.

    But UKIP et al are doing something we haven’t heard or seen for ages, getting people who haven’t voted for decades to get out and cast their ballots. It’s the silent majority they’ve messed with – and that’s more than enough to rid us of C/C/M.

    I did a supportive piece last month, however that leads to the petition to get UKIP included in the next party leaders’ debate:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43153

    8,384 at the last count

  7. margo says:

    I love your analogy, Frank, of the dead body washing up on the river bank. I like Nigel Farage’s smoking-jacket, too!

  8. garyk30 says:

    “that washes up on a riverbank outside the house of the murderer, its extended arm and index finger pointing accusingly at the door, its teeth bared in a hideous grin.

    The kind of dead body that floats up in the middle of a sunny garden party, where everyone’s drinking lemon tea and eating cucumber sandwiches, celebrating the murderer’s daughter’s engagement. i.e. just when everything seems to be going well”.

    Leg Iron will be proud of you when he reads that!!

  9. garyk30 says:

    From a past post by Rose.
    ““Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director for the BHF, said: “Every year more than 100,000 smokers die because of their addiction. ”
    ……………………………..

    Wow, that is an impressively large number; but, is that the ONLY valid number that could be stated?

    No, it is not.
    There are 100,000 other, equally valid , numbers that could be stated.

    Not one disease is ‘only caused’ by smoking; so, there are always some deaths that would not be caused by smoking.

    Possibilities are:

    #1. 100,000 deaths caused by smoking and none caused by something else.

    #2. 99,999 deaths caused by smoking and 1 death caused by something else.

    #25,000. 75,000 deaths caused by smoking and 25,000 deaths caused by something else.

    #50,000. 50,000 deaths caused by smoking and 50,000 caused by something else.

    #99,999. 1 death caused by smoking and 99,999 deaths caused by something else.

    #100,000. Zero deaths caused by smoking and 100,000 deaths caused by something else.

    Tho all of these numbers are possible and, thus, all are valid, this is not to say that all of thuse numbers are of equal ‘probability’.

    The two extremes are both very,highly unlikely to occur.

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

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

    Actually, the odds are vanishingly small.

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

    90% probability = 0.9

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

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

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

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

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

    Now consider, antis claim that thousands of smoker’s deaths are ’caused’ by smoking.

  10. roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘THE boss of WETHERSPOON yesterday demanded the slashing of tax on pub GRUB as well as the price of a pint — and said: “It makes me want to cry in my beer.”’

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/money/4844393/Slash-VAT-on-bar-meals-says-Wetherspoon-boss.html#ixzz2Np5BeVr8

    No, nothing to do with the smoking ban and alienating your customer-base.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Turns out Ive had the flu! Friday nite it went into my lungs and couldnt even breathe and ended up at the hospital with a chest xray that was ”NORMAL” ! just congestion. Anyway They gave me a lot of drugs and sent me home by 3 pm my lungs were clearing up and by 6 pm was back to smoking again! Dirty bastard flu keeping me from my most cherished activity…………….Still down but at least after 4 str8 days of nearly no sleep I slept………..Thanks to Momma showing up with some good sleeping pills. Never under estimate the value of your Momma!God bless her soul,she came thru for me.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    They say this is the worse flu outbreak weve had in this area in 20 years.

  13. beobrigitte says:

    “I can’t stand Cameron,” says Farage, witheringly, through a miasma of cigarette smoke. “He’s shallow, nobody trusts a word he says. I respect people with different opinions that are sincerely held. The Lib Dems make no secret they are pro-Europe; I might disagree but at least they are upfront. I reserve my hatred for the class of political weasels who say one thing in Britain and then vote an entirely different way in the European Parliament.”
    A completely upfront politician? Transparency? Bring it on!!!!
    Farage sums up the discontent of an increasing number of people of this country.

    Political adversaries might snipe that Ukip’s crowd-pleasing policies on Europe (get us out!) and immigration (get Johnny Foreigner out!), education (more grammars!) and law and order (more slammers!) read like they were scribbled on a beer mat. But its pint and a ploughman’s simplicity plays very well with disillusioned voters across the spectrum.
    At least Judith Woods does recognize one thing – people ARE disillusioned with the 3 spineless major parties.
    Is Farage a very, very intelligent man who just simply recognizes that these parties have lost oversight in this failing muddle of Europe?
    Sometimes the answers to the greatest problems are provided by simplicity and common sense.

    Nisakiman, I do remember this speech of Farage in the europaen parliament; refreshingly honest! I didn’t know, though, that he was fined after!
    I begin to believe that UKIP will be the first government that does not let the smokers down. We are tax payers, we are voters and we DO HAVE A PLACE IN SOCIETY.

    Thank you, UKIP, for recognizing this.

    • Suicide verdict on bullied factory worker, Hazards news, 11 February 2006
      A father of four killed himself after being bullied by his managers for two years, an inquest has heard. Anthony McDermott, 50, left a letter explaining his factory floor ordeal before hanging himself. He worked for the same firm for 14 years but the hearing was told that at the end he found a bullying campaign “soul destroying and demeaning”.
      The final straw came when a colleague took a photo of him having a cigarette outside the factory, which operates a no-smoking policy. The father of four was said to have been ridiculed after the picture was circulated on the firm’s computer network. He complained to his manager but was issued with the firm’s first warning for breaching the no-smoking policy.
      Coroner John Pollard read a short extract from the handwritten note found in Mr McDermott’s shirt pocket following his death. It said: “The reason for this is for the last two years I’ve been bullied at work by management and this includes a photo of myself being taken.” Mr Pollard recorded a verdict that Mr McDermott took his own life, but said he did not wish to comment on what had been worrying him.
      No-one from the company – metal detector maker Mettler-Toledo Safeline Ltd of Salford – gave evidence at the Stockport inquest. Mr McDermott’s daughter Victoria, 25, said: “I would like to see the people who bullied my father brought to justice.”

      • Sir Edward called on the government to penalise pubs that provided external heating, and called for roofs to be removed from smoking shelters.

        “People are going to have to realise that if they don’t live healthy lives we’re going to make sure they die slow and agonising deaths by exposure to sub-zero temperatures.”

        Under WHO guidelines, Britain is supposed to cut smoking prevalence from 23% to 21% of the population by 2013.

        Given some 12 million smokers in Britain, meeting this goal will require the number of smokers to be reduced by some 700,000 per year, or 13,500 a week.

        “We’re launching a multi-pronged attack,” Sir Edward said. “If we can raise the number of smoker deaths to a couple of thousand a week outside pubs and clubs over winter, we’ll be well on our way to meeting the WHO target.”

        He added that UK hospitals were “doing their bit” to kill off smokers by forcing smoking patients to trudge for hundreds of yards outside hospital grounds, often on crutches and carrying drips.

        He also said that NHS doctors had been asked to prescribe more of the smoker-suicide-inducing drug Chantix to smokers.

        “Also, with tobacco now at prohibitive prices, many smokers – particularly the older ones – are turning off heating and going without food. So, in addition to the deaths outside pubs, there will also a considerable and very welcome death toll among smokers in their own homes.”

        “All the same, we’re unlikely to hit the 13,500-a-week target.”

        As a result, Sir Edward, who was a Professor of Applied Eugenics before he took up the £250,000-a-year CMO post, said that he would certainly be calling for further punitive measures against smokers.

        Asked how many lives the UK smoking ban had saved since its introduction 5 years ago, Sir Edward said, “None at all, probably. It was never intended to save lives. Secondhand smoke is perfectly harmless really. The aim of the smoking ban wasn’t to save lives, but to make smokers quit smoking. And if that means them dropping dead outside pubs and hospitals, then so be it. And it’s actually the most effective way of making them quit, because there’s no possibility at all of them relapsing and taking up the habit again.”

  14. Sheeesh Maurice! Don’t *DO* that! LOL! Given what’s actually out there in today’s world I actually thought that your first quote was SERIOUS! I’ve been in the middle of some intensive writing about Tobacco Control’s “Endgame” lately and your posting played RIGHT into it! LOL!

    So tell me, that first paragraph, that probably IS serious, right? ::sigh::

    :/
    MJM

  15. Pingback: Where’s Eddie? | Frank Davis

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.