James Delingpole has been writing about passive smoking. I’ve known for years that he smokes (or was doing so a year or two back). And so I’ve often wondered why he hasn’t been deploying his considerable talents in the cause of smoking, instead of (or in addition to) the global warming alarmism he usually writes about. Better late than never.
It should have been left up to individual institutions – private members clubs especially, but pubs and restaurants too – whether or not they wished to allow smoking on their premises. Punters would then have been free to choose whether or not they wished, on any given evening, to sacrifice their unalienable right not to be exposed to other people’s deadly tobacco smoke.
That is how free societies work. Free people make free choices.
In 2006 and 2007 in Britain – and at various other dates in other countries around the world – the forces of authoritarian government took away those rights. On the basis of a massive lie.
Quite so. I wonder if this marks a shift in his thinking, and there will be more to follow. And whether others in the chattering classes will speak up too. Plenty of them are smokers too, after all. Perhaps it’s time they joined the mounting global resistance to Tobacco Control.
The Russians are now joining in the chorus. Which should be no surprise, given that in June this year a partial smoking ban was introduced in Russia, to be followed next year by a complete ban. It’s bad enough slipping outside for a gasper in Britain: in the Russian winter, at 40 below zero, it might well be fatal.
I’ve been getting 1000 hits a day this week from Russia on the Black Lung Lie, via some Russian blog that seems to have gone viral in Russia. I’ll quote a few fragments of the (surprisingly readable) Google translation of it. It begins:
Regular article in defense of smokers is a sad sight. Starting with thousands of apologies, the author proceeds to the main part of “Tobacco – it is certainly evil, but you need to deal with it in other ways.” I have a different position.Tobacco – not evil, but only plant. Doctors we pay money so they can fight disease and not with plants. Officials of national and international medicine in its social usefulness greatly inferior guards PRIVOKZALNAYA toilets
And what’s good about statistics? That it is possible to cheat. Website of the World Health Organization on the move shocking terrible numbers – six million people die annually from smoking! Well here not to give a couple of green WHO trillion to fight the “tobacco epidemic”? To obtain such data would be required to examine each of the deceased, to exclude the influence of environment, heredity, and a bunch of other factors, and then think about what role was played by tobacco. But everything is easier: we take all the diseases for which smoking is recognized as one of (!) Risk factors, and the gross write them died from tobacco smokers in sacrifices. Thus, by substituting risk factors and causes, fabricated a shocking statistic. It is not clear why smokers who died in car accidents, yet do not make the list. However, do not be surprised if making.
The main argument in favor of nanny state – the experts know better. Economists know how to regulate the economy, the doctors will for life, and psychologists will determine the list of permitted entertainment (“whether to ban computer games for excessive cruelty?”). In general, wherever you spit – get into the expert, the reincarnation of Plato guards in the XXI century. practice, however, suddenly it turns out that the noble professionals to work in the public interest, are ready to fulfill orders lobbies for a modest fee.
Despite the fact that the scientific method has formed a civilization, at the household level, many people are savages, believing in the invisible forces and blindly bow before authority. For example, not all microorganisms have seen with my own eyes. At the same time believe in their existence, as believed medieval scholastics, discussing the question, “How many angels fit on the head of a pin?”. Faith shapes behavior (wash hands, avoid contact with patients taking antibiotics). What is fundamentally different from the sign of the cross, holy water and exorcism? Than the authority of a doctor is different from the authority of the priest? That scientific facts are verifiable. But to check out all the accumulated knowledge of centuries, is not enough for a lifetime.
These are all arguments that I have made myself at one time or other. In fact I was doing so only yesterday. The only novelty is to find them articulated by Russian writers, with what seems to be a characteristically Russian sardonic humour.
The other novelty is that I should know anything at all about it. But we seem to now be occupying one single, wired world, as my WordPress hitcount today very graphically shows. The news in one place is the news everywhere. And it’s possible to see the global resistance to Tobacco Control gradually emerging.
It won’t be long before the map of China or India or Brazil lights up in red too. And after that, they’ll all join together.