Back home again, after house-sitting for my brother. Nothing has changed. Same as it ever was:
“There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Happer. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.”
That’s exactly how it is with antismokers. They gain in virtue at the expense of everyone else.
So why does the public hear only one side of this debate? Because the media do an awful job of reporting it.
“They’re absolutely lousy,” he said of American journalists. “That’s true also in Europe. I don’t know why they’ve been brainwashed.”
Well, everyone’s been brainwashed about the perils of tobacco. They’ve had 60 years of it, after all.
Except Freeman Dyson and William Happer are physicists, and they’re talking about global warming. It’s just that I can’t help but notice the parallels between global warming zealots and antismoking zealots. And if I can see that, then why can’t a few global warming sceptics not see the converse too? Why aren’t climate sceptics like James Delingpole (who is a smoker) pointing out the parallels of antismoking pseudoscience with climate pseudoscience? Because they’ve been brainwashed, that’s why.
I suppose that one difference is that the global warming zealots use computer simulation models, while that antismoking zealots use statistics. I suppose that we ought to be thankful that there isn’t some public health simulation model which shows that if we don’t stop smoking and drinking and spooning down condensed milk right this minute we’ll all be dead by 2050. But then, isn’t that more or less exactly what they’re saying? That we will all be dead in a few years if we don’t take their advice? And they do it with numbers, just like the climate scientists. And numbers that nobody can understand, just like with climate science.
Elsewhere, an anecdotal report of a collapse in Conservative grassroot support:
These were Tory stalwarts, always willing to leaflet, canvass, buy raffle tickets and support events. When I resigned from the Council and quit the Conservatives they were still there, plugging away, doing their bit to further what they believed to be conservatism. I lost touch with them when I withdrew from party politics, but hadn’t forgotten them.
With the county council elections coming up, I asked them how the campaigning was going. I admit to being shocked to find that they had all left the Conservatives two years ago. There are people in every party that one can look at and think, ‘their heart’s not in it, they’ll pack it in before long’. But these three were not people one could ever have imagined as capable of being so disaffected as to walk away. Enough, it turns out, was enough. Everyone has different motives for their actions, so naturally an enquiry was made about why they had all quit (they are all unrelated but long standing friends of each other). The answer in each case was… David Cameron.
It transpires true blue, ‘instinctive eurosceptic’ Dave has managed to alienate members so much that these hardcore, grassroots supporters who are the engine room of election campaigns, had turned their back on the party. They cited Cameron’s hypocrisy over EU membership, his refusal to cut spending so only the essentials are funded, and his indecent haste to jettison conservative principles in favour of Lib Dem and consensus fudges that suit no one but the establishment. And, they were adamant, they are not going back. They have come around to sharing my view that Cameron isn’t conservative and what is on offer is materially no different from that advanced by the Lib Dems and Labour.
It’s what I’ve been saying for some time: Cameron isn’t a Conservative. All three main UK parties are indistinguishable from each other. No wonder Conservatives are turning to UKIP in increasing numbers. There’s nowhere else to go.