UKIP Voters are a Bit Thick

I was a bit puzzled today to learn that

Ukip voters feel disconnected from mainstream politics because they don’t know how to send emails or browse the internet, Labour’s shadow business secretary has suggested…

Mr Umunna said it was time for Labour to “empower” the “mass of people” who’s inability to perform basic functions on the internet had left them alienated from the wider economy.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show: “The BBC has carried out some very interesting research on this – 1 in 5 people in our economy cannot do the full basics online of sending and receiving an email, browsing the internet, filling in an online form.

So basically UKIP supporters are rather backward. They’re a bit thick. But with remedial training, and the right iPhone apps, they’ll be able to re-connect. And then they’ll start voting Labour again.

We are smart, and they are stupid. The conceit is plain to see.

I’m sure it’s true that 1 in 5 people can’t browse the internet, most likely because they don’t own computers. But why should that necessarily make them UKIP supporters? They might just as easily be people who carry on voting the way they’ve always voted – i.e. Labour or Conservative – because, thanks to their lack of access to the internet, they don’t know any better. Which is similar to the point made by Douglas Carswell:

Firstly, the internet has democratised opinion forming. Instead of a small clique of BBC-type pundits telling folk what to think, people can now source comment and opinion from blogs and Twitter. This has left many voters feeling a lot less deferential towards smug opinion formers – and their smug, self-satisfied opinions.

But, above all, Umunna’s remarks seemed to show how little grasp the political class has really got on what makes people vote UKIP. They don’t seem to understand them at all. Why don’t they just go and ask UKIP voters?

But what if they never encounter such people? What if they don’t know any?

For I was thinking today that the smoking ban had created two separate cultures. The progressive, antismoking ‘insiders’ and the conservative, smoking ‘outsiders’ who had been ‘exiled to the outdoors’. And these two cultures hardly ever came into contact with each other any more.

After all, once I had been expelled from society by the smoking ban, I ceased to see very much of my progressive, antismoking, metropolitan friends. So I no longer know what they think. And they no longer know what I think. Because now that there’s nowhere to meet, we’re no longer sitting around tables with beers and cigarettes exchanging ideas, perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, dreams – and in the process learning from each other, and being corrected.

And when people no longer meet, it’s easy for them to form false, stereotyped opinions about each other – simply because those opinions are never corrected. It’s easy for me to have stereotyped ideas about what Russians or Chinese are like, because I don’t actually know any. In fact, it’s not just easy – it’s inevitable.

And to me it seems like Umunna has a false, stereotyped view of UKIP supporters of a sort that most likely comes of never actually having met any of them. And he never actually meets any of them because he moves in a rather narrow circle of like-minded, progressive, metropolitan Labour activists. He doesn’t know any UKIP supporters, and none of his friends do either. And so they come up with the rather mad hypothesis that people vote UKIP because they haven’t got iPhones and Twitter accounts like they do.

I’ve actually seen Nigel Farage speak in person, and watched a lot of videos of speeches and interviews of him. But I’d guess that many UKIP supporters may know nothing about him except for the beer-and-cigarette image he projects, and that’s all they need to know. Because they can infer more or less all his other beliefs from that image. Nigel Farage represents a set of values with which they are fully familiar, and with which they identify, and which none of the other main parties communicates any more, despite all their iPhones and Twitter accounts.

Oddly enough, it’s actually Nigel Farage who is himself more or less completely computer and internet illiterate. He can barely send an email. His wife does it all for him.

Mr Farage needed her assistance because he was virtually computer illiterate.

She said: “He has a steampowered telephone, he can send and receive texts and that’s it. If I sit him down, and there is something for him to read, he can scroll up and down, he has learned that – but that is pretty much it.

He is instead someone who communicates face to face with other people. In outside pubs, over beer and cigarettes.

So maybe Umunna thinks that UKIP supporters are all Nigel Farage clones? If so it would be, of course, yet another stereotype idea.

About Frank Davis

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83 Responses to UKIP Voters are a Bit Thick

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Sick of the Nannystate…………….that’s all anyone needs to know for now to be able to vote as its the only issue that matters!

  2. wobbler2012 says:

    Chuka Umunna despite being a complete moron will go on to be our first black prime minister, not for a while though but he will get that job eventually. It’s all part of the great dog and pony show.

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    Once again, here’s a politician showing with glaring clarity exactly how out of touch he is with the electorate. Indeed, it’s probably access to the internet, with its much wider variety of opinions and views and with people digging deeper into the “official stories” than any mainstream media journalist would ever dare, or be permitted, to do – still less writing about it – which has led to people rumbling just how much of a bunch of lying thieves politicians from the big three parties are. If it weren’t for the Internet, UKIP would still be regarded as a single-issue pressure group with about as much chance of winning an election – even a local one – as the Monster Raving Loony Party.

    This short-sighted twerp is clearly trying to imply – as you say, Frank – that UKIP voters are a bit “backward” and “old fashioned.” It’s so obvious that it’d be laughable if it weren’t so irritating. How does he think that people have even begun to know the first thing about UKIP other than via the internet (or via people who know people who use the Internet), when the mainstream media has operated a virtual press blackout on all UKIP-related items pretty much up until the last lot of by-elections? He clearly isn’t someone who uses the internet himself apart from sending e-mails and, probably, shopping for cheap holidays or insurance. If he did, the last thing he’d be spouting on about would be “empowering” all those “little ignorant people” to access all those naughty, subversive items on the internet which challenge the sacred status quo and which, hitherto, they haven’t been able to access.

    But fine. If Mr Umunna wants to “empower” people to access truthful, honest, uncensored items which don’t toe the party line and which tell it like it is, rather than like he and his colleagues want us all to think it is, then I’m all for him going right ahead. Then he can sit back and see exactly how many votes come charging back Labour’s way once people start to get educated as to what Labour (and the rest of them) are really about. I predict that within a few years of everyone’s becoming “educated” as Mr Umunna wants, he’d be out there at the front of the queue, braying for the internet to be banned, and all the same people to be “de-educated” again!

    • Frank Davis says:

      “empower”

      Like “unacceptable” and “sustainable”, “empower” is one of those red rag words that sets my hackles rising whenever I hear it. And I think this is because it’s a word which tells its hearers that whoever said it is a member of the progressive, metropolitan left. It’s a sort of membership badge. It doesn’t actually mean they’re going to empower anyone. In fact, it means the exact opposite of that. A bit like “liberal” now means “illiberal”.

      The same goes for words like “bourgeoisie”, “dialectic”, and “contradiction”, which indicate that the speaker is a communist.

      One day, when I have a big enough collection of these words, I’m going to write something that uses them all.

  4. legiron says:

    Almost 1 in 5 people are functionally illiterate. They can’t cope with a book, never mind a computer. I doubt any of them vote at all.

    Years ago there were TV ads fo aduly literacy programs. Then The Tony Blair Party took over and they didn’t want adult literacy. The ads vanished.

    UKIP voters are not stupid. They are the ones who reject the world view of Chuckus Yermoney.

    He’ll never understand that.

  5. waltc says:

    Seems this idiot destroys his own argument. People who don’t go online, (therefore) get all their information from television (the left-bent BBC) and newspapers and I’m given to believe that most of your papers are the BBC in print. Could it be that Over There, as Over Here, people can see the disparity between what’s being pushed at them and actual reality?

    On the last thread with a funny idea about packaging, Carol couldn’t resist sniping: “How about recruiting people who will actually fight the anti-smokers instead of just striking poses?” once again making an unfounded judgement implying that everyone over here is just striking poses (whatever the hell that means). In fact, Carol, most of the people here are activists, just as or more active than you are, and more likely to recruit people– as Frank does– with logic and humor than with your brand of alienating snideness. Get over yourself.

    • carol2000 says:

      “Striking poses” means, for example, believing that images on cigarette packs are more important than discrediting anti-smoker scientific fraud. Also, the quality of people who are recruited by appeals to imagery is not very good. Look at various celebrities who pretended to be heroic rebels, until they got some minor health scare. Then they flopped on their bellies and surrendered to the anti-smokers, while not having the slightest clue that the anti-smokers are lying and there is plenty of evidence of this. Needless to say, they never contribute a penny of their considerable wealth for any worthy purpose such as a lawsuit against the anti-smokers which attacks that scientific fraud. Those kind of recruits have gone absolutely NOWHERE for the last six decades. They still repeat the same limp and pathetic lines about “nannyism” and “slippery slopes” that were the first thing their ilk clutched at sixty years ago, oblivious to the evidence which has built up on our side since then. Meanwhile, the number of smokers goes continuously down. down, down, in large part because they believe the anti-smokers’ lies, because they never see them refuted. So the posers fantasize that the anti-smokers are losing, and all they need to achieve total victory is drive away the real actvists who can actually come up with a plan, not just a tantrum, whom they falsely accuse of “alienating” everyone, notwithstanding the fact that their own lame garbage gets plenty of publicity precisely because it’s so lame it’s harmless. It looks like the only kind of recruits YOU want are the ones who will submit without putting up any more of a fight than a whiny six-year-old.

      • Jay says:

        Carol2000 – would you please share your plan or are you operating undercover, as it were – ‘keeping your powder dry’?

        • carol2000 says:

          You must be hard of hearing (or thinking). We should be attacking their scientific fraud at every opportunity, and ultimately create or own opportunity with a lawsuit that calls on them to cease and desist, and which installs appropriate supervision over them. At the very minimum.

        • Jay says:

          In reply to Carol suggesting I’m hard of. It’s obviously escaped your notice that people HAVE challenged the fraud of SHS – and got nowhere.

        • carol2000 says:

          “It’s obviously escaped your notice that people HAVE challenged the fraud of SHS – and got nowhere.”

          No, they have NOT. They have never challenged a single damn bit of the fraud, not once.

        • Jay says:

          Carol – Are you posting from the USA? Here in the UK it’s been tried – and failed. A group tried to bring a judicial review and failed and another group has published a report demolishing the SHS fraud. I would like an apology for being accused of hard of hearing or thinking. I get enough of that from anti-smokers, I don’t want it from someone who’s supposedly on the same side.

        • carol2000 says:

          For your information, cherry-picking studies from the same pile of junk the anti-smokers use does NOT constitute “demolishing the SHS fraud.” So I have nothing to apologize for.

      • smokervoter says:

        Needless to say, they never contribute a penny of their considerable wealth for any worthy purpose such as a lawsuit against the anti-smokers which attacks that scientific fraud.

        When I was reading last week about the world’s #1 or #2 richest man, smoker Carlos Slim, I got to thinking the same thing. If you’ve got 50+ billion dollars to your name, you’d think that you could set aside, say, 1/50th of your fortune aside to assemble a legal challenge to the junk science and lies of the antismokers and defeat them in court once and for all.

        The way I see it he’s more of a businessman than a societal savior. He owns a big tobacco company and he amassed his fortune in part from buying into it early in his career. He prefers to wheel and deal in the background with influential Mexican presidents and legislators to protect his business interests. He’s ceded the fraudulent health and safety ground to them in the process.

        For example, he devised a peso-per-pack scheme to accumulate a hefty pool of money to pay for indigent Mexican smokers’ healthcare costs – that’s a concession to the enemy.

        As far as tantrums go, I punched the first guy who told me to “put it out’ repeatedly in the face until he was a mass of bloody skin tissue. And I wrongly assumed that all other smokers would do the same when rudely confronted by a loudmouth killjoy.

        But that’s just me. Smokers come in all sizes, shapes and attitudes.

        • carol2000 says:

          Marco Antonio Slim Domit, who is President of The Carlos Slim Health Institute and presumably one of Carlos Slim’s relatives, is a director of BlackRock, which owns controlling interests in Philip Morris as well as CVS. He represents the anti-smokers – and the directors of Philip Morris have always been representatives of the anti-smokers! In fact, the stepson of the head of the American Cancer Society, Mary Woodard Lasker, who started the persecution of smokers, was a director of Philip Morris for nearly 20 years. Everything they’ve ever told us about this things is a LIE.

          http://www.smokershistory.com/power.htm

      • waltc says:

        Man, you are building a ladder of suppositions. No one, least of all Frank who’s published a lot of science here and whose commenters have too, thinks images are more important than substance. Unfortunately, none of us here are celebrities so their behavior is as beyond our control as it is beyond yours, which raises the question: who have you recruited? As for money, I’ve contributed to lawsuits and counter advertising and started a fund to raise money for that plumber who was being unmercifully screwed by the Brit med system. We got 5k but he declined it on principle.

        As for the rest of your notions of a winning strategy, it’s been proven that courts, which use Rational Basis as their criterion, will not consider contradictory scientific evidence, at all, and your germ theory would similarly be dismissed out of hand. Again you hastily presume that I and others here want to recruit impotent whiners when in fact Clash, of which I am an integral part has “recruited” the likes of Enstrom, Jenkins, Levy etc (met with, got access to their evidence) and some influential journalists. So again, get over yourself and stop throwing stones.

        • carol2000 says:

          “it’s been proven that courts, which use Rational Basis as their criterion, will not consider contradictory scientific evidence, at all, and your germ theory would similarly be dismissed out of hand.”

          Hogwash. CLASH is a bunch of incompetents who failed to PRESENT any rational basis for considering their claim more important than the government’s. They simply cherry-picked from the same junk-pile that the anti-smokers use, namely studies based on lifestyle questionnaires that ignore the role of infection. Not only did they fail to attack the anti-smokers’ scientific fraud, they implicitly endorsed it.

          “Again you hastily presume that I and others here want to recruit impotent whiners when in fact Clash, of which I am an integral part has “recruited” the likes of Enstrom, Jenkins, Levy etc (met with, got access to their evidence) and some influential journalists.”

          “the likes of Enstrom, Jenkins, Levy etc” are just more charlatans who use the same uunk methods as the anti-smokers, but claim different results. Which you embrace for no other reason than personal preference. They’re worthless – because the anti-smokers’ studies are rigged, the number of stuides in THEIR favor is guaranteed to be larger than the number of studies in OUR favor. And you obediently play their game and refuse to expose how they’ve rigged it!

  6. woodsy42 says:

    This issue betrays a much deeper arrogance that goes well beyond Umunna. The entire mob of them (with few exceptions) regard the entire population as being incapable, unskilled and uninformed and thus we have to be led, nudged and shepherded by their superior intellects.
    In reality it’s the other way round. Many of us understand the world and our society considerably better than they do. We are ahead of their thinking, ahead of their actions, cleverer than them, and well recognise the narrowness and superficiality of their actions.
    I desperately hope that one day, not too distant, they will have this reality thrust upon them.

    • Frank Davis says:

      If it really is the other way round, and we’re cleverer than them, then there’s no need to “desperately hope”, because that reality will inevitably be thrust upon them, or gradually rain down upon them.

      But there’s always the possibility that they’re cleverer than we are, in which case that reality will inevitably be thrust upon us. And they have been pretty fiendishly clever so far, in managing to get public smoking bans nearly everywhere in the world.

      But they’re using a plan, and plans invariably go wrong, because even the best planners can’t foresee everything. And one thing they clearly didn’t foresee was the appearance and explosive multiplication of e-cigarettes. It wasn’t in the plan. And they don’t know what to do about them. And they’re all at sixes and sevens with each other about how to respond. So divisions are appearing in their ranks.

      And that’s not the only thing that’s gone wrong. The smokers were supposed to be “petulant for a while”, before getting with the program, and quitting smoking like everybody else. Instead they’re just mulishly carrying on smoking, and a resistance movement has emerged. Nigel Farage with his beer and cigarettes is part of that resistance. And they don’t know what to do about him. And they don’t know what to do about the resistance. And all those people who’ve been reading The Black Lung Lie.

      And if I thought about it some more, I could probably find several other things that have gone wrong for them.

      My guess is that the whole attempt by Tobacco Control to eradicate smoking will (already is) go wrong in multiple unforeseen ways, and will prove to have been a complete disaster about which textbooks will be written for centuries to come.

      • carol2000 says:

        “If it really is the other way round, and we’re cleverer than them, then there’s no need to “desperately hope”, because that reality will inevitably be thrust upon them, or gradually rain down upon them.”

        This is a perfect description of how the world does NOT work. It is simply faith in magic.

        “But they’re using a plan, and plans invariably go wrong, because even the best planners can’t foresee everything.”

        So trusting in magic and having no plan is supposed to be better?

        “The smokers were supposed to be “petulant for a while”, before getting with the program, and quitting smoking like everybody else.”

        And that’s exactly what happened. They didn’t ‘just mulishly carry on smoking’, and no effective resistance movement has emerged.

        “And one thing they clearly didn’t foresee was the appearance and explosive multiplication of e-cigarettes. It wasn’t in the plan. And they don’t know what to do about them. And they’re all at sixes and sevens with each other about how to respond. So divisions are appearing in their ranks.”

        E-cigarettes are no threat whatsoever to those who want to outlaw tobacco in all forms. Their scientific fraud machine has been cranked up to deceive the public that even nicotine is carcinogenic.

        http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/06/15/researchers-nicotine-can-initiate-a-cancer-state/

        And their financial machine, which took over the cigarette companies, will simply buy up the e-cig companies. It is safe to presume that when money is waved in their faces, they’ll have no guts, no brains, and no principles.

        • Frank Davis says:

          “The smokers were supposed to be “petulant for a while”, before getting with the program, and quitting smoking like everybody else.”

          And that’s exactly what happened. They didn’t ‘just mulishly carry on smoking’, and no effective resistance movement has emerged.

          But smokers aren’t quitting smoking. Smoking prevalence remains static. So they are mulishly carry on smoking.

          You seem to think that the only effective resistance is active resistance, by some sort of formal organisation with a clear plan of action (to expose the fraudulent science). But I think that individual passive resistance, where people simply spontaneously (i.e. unplanned) refuse to do what’s asked of them, or do the opposite, is equally effective in the long term. Because small acts of resistance all add up. I don’t see that there has to be any organisation or planning for such resistance to be effective.

          I spent a while this afternoon sitting smoking in a pub garden, along with several other smokers. And that is a form of passive resistance – a quiet demonstration -, because it means going out and smoking in public, rather than staying home or hiding down an alley, which is what ‘denormalisation’ would mean. And it’s a form of passive resistance which means that smoking in public stays normal in the UK, because it pretty soon wouldn’t if people stopped doing it.

          And are active resistance campaigns what make things happen? Or are they what appear only when change is already in the air? 1920 US Prohibition became increasingly unpopular as time went on, but the repeal movement seems to have only emerged shortly before 1933, in response to its unpopularity. And was it the Civil Rights Movement in the USA in the 1960s what drove change, or was that also a response to changes in attitude that had been in process for decades? I think active resistance campaigns only catch on when sufficient background support has built up.

          Anyway, if nevertheless you want to see an active and effective resistance movement, marching on the streets to draw attention to the fraudulent science, why not go start one yourself?

        • beobrigitte says:

          Sorry for butting in here.

          Carol, I am pretty sure most of us who have followed your link and read the headline:

          Researchers: Nicotine ‘Can Initiate A Cancer State’

          simply laughed. LOUDLY.

          WHAT exactly is meant by “cancer state”? It is either cancer, or it is not. End of.

          The bullshit is blatantly obvious – potatoes and peppers KILL people.

          With respect to:
          “The smokers were supposed to be “petulant for a while”, before getting with the program, and quitting smoking like everybody else.”

          And that’s exactly what happened. They didn’t ‘just mulishly carry on smoking’, and no effective resistance movement has emerged.

          Carol, I have no idea what you envisage to be “effective resistance”. I agree with Frank; From what I can see in REAL life, everyone is still smoking – and some of us very openly. This number is ever INCREASING. No “huddling” in dark corners anymore. The anti-smokers with their “vaping-reminds-of-smoking-and-therefore-vapers-are-kicked-out-aswell” took a hammer to their own knees. Smokers (and more lately, vapers) just need to continue with what we do. After all, the baby-boomer generation is every government’s biggest headache, “resolved” by this “we-all-live-longer-therefore-we-increase-retirement-age”. (I thought passive smoke and smoking KILLS????)

          Carol, questioning anti-smoker science is something they have prepared for. However, you have already pointed out their biggest problem: mutating micro-organisms. (A plasmid replicates in 20 minutes!!!! Start thinking about antibiotic resistence) Time is running out for the anti-smokers to blame smoking or even nicotine. They know it.

          But I think that individual passive resistance, where people simply spontaneously (i.e. unplanned) refuse to do what’s asked of them, or do the opposite, is equally effective in the long term. Because small acts of resistance all add up.

        • carol2000 says:

          The bullshit about thirdhand smoke is blatantly obvious, too. But look how much milage they get out of it. So there’s nothing to laugh about. And kindly show me a link to where it says that the number of smokers is “ever INCREASING.” Maybe in anti-smoker hysteria about the third world.

        • beobrigitte says:

          The bullshit about thirdhand smoke is blatantly obvious, too. But look how much milage they get out of it. So there’s nothing to laugh about.

          Yes, indeed, the third hand smoke “damage” is as good as “a cancer state”. The more they print this nonsense, the more I have as a subject to talk to people around me. I do live in an area that has it’s own, very distinct, humour; sooner or later someone cracks a joke. I usually do manage to put in (even with complete strangers!) something along these lines: “don’t you dream of dying!!!!! Lazing around in a coffin all day? You’d love THAT!!! Get your a*** into gear, you are paying for MY pension.”
          Not laughing means you are taking them (the anti-smokers) for serious.

          And kindly show me a link to where it says that the number of smokers is “ever INCREASING.”
          Anti-smokers are usually asking me the same. I kindly ask them to start their perusal of the literature. I rarely put up links to ‘research’; as I don’t think this is the way to go. The anti-smokers have overrun this market, anyway.

          I do begin to wonder, though, why they are rushing their nonsense through. Then, when perusing literature, as one does, I found that we are running out of effective antibiotics – Time is running out for the anti-smokers to blame smoking or even nicotine. They know it.

          In any case, what action would you suggest we all take?

        • carol2000 says:

          There should be plenty on these recent so I don’t want to repeat everything again.

      • smokingscot says:

        Talking about e-fags. Well how’s about an e-joint!!

        (One of the perks of using the bus.. free Metro)

        http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/23/forget-e-cigarettes-the-worlds-first-e-joint-is-here-4772037/

        • beobrigitte says:

          LOOOOOOL!!! Why not? If people like an e-joint….
          (Awaiting the anti-smokers screeching about bubble-gum flavour e-spliff to “hook” the CHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLDDDDREEEEEEEEEN!!!!! )

    • carol2000 says:

      First of all, you need to admit that the public has given them plenty of reasons to believe that they are “incapable, unskilled and uninformed,” and that they’ll meekly submit to being “led, nudged and shepherded by their superior intellects.” And that the passivity of their would-be opponents is clear evidence of their total lack of cleverness.

    • Jay says:

      I’ve mentioned this several times and am in danger of becoming a bore, but I was shocked a few years ago to hear Frank Field, during an interview in a documentary, refer to the population as “the children”. He was describing the unanimous decision of politicians (across parties) not to disclose a piece of information to the electorate. I hadn’t, until then, realized in how much contempt theyhold us.

  7. roobeedoo2 says:

    Apparently it’s not Ukip supporters that are a bit thick but Chuckus Yermoney’s inbox:

    http://order-order.com/2014/06/24/ukip-supporters-fill-chukas-inbox/

  8. A room with a view. says:

    Lets be honest about Chucko’s and Labour’s voters,mostly dim and easily conned ,most voting for labour because their Grandads did in the “bad old days”
    How can Democracy survive when a large proportion of voters get their input from Coronation St,
    Eastenders and Holly Oaks………not forgetting the bent BBC, the curse of the British People.

  9. beobrigitte says:

    Ukip voters feel disconnected from mainstream politics because they don’t know how to send emails or browse the internet, Labour’s shadow business secretary has suggested…
    I believe Mr. Umunna’s inbox is already full…..

    He added: “So the next Labour Government, we are going to be absolutely focused on connecting people into the global economy so they can realise their dreams and aspirations.”

    Erm…… that excludes the older people who may or may not already have realized their dreams and aspirations. Older people and smokers are voters, too!

    Labour is becoming more ridiculuous by the day.

    Oddly enough, it’s actually Nigel Farage who is himself more or less completely computer and internet illiterate. He can barely send an email. His wife does it all for him.
    This made me laugh, too. But then, Farage’s less than basic computer knowledge appears not to be a problem when he goes to the pub and TALKS to people in person.

    Perhaps people are fed up with the nanny state Labour proposals?

  10. nisakiman says:

    Totally off topic here (sorry), but I was reading once again in a comments section the statement by an anti about the mega-billions that Big Tobacco spend on advertising etc to tempt those poor, unsuspecting cheeldren into a lifetime of addiction, as opposed to those poor, cash-strapped altruists in Tobacco Control who struggle to help the aforesaid addicts with the pitiful income they have to work with.

    Has anyone any idea about how much the tobacco companies spend on promotion, PR etc worldwide? And on the other hand how much money is poured into Tobacco Control worldwide? My gut feeling is that TC spend a lot more on their propaganda than BT spend promoting their products, but I really have no idea. They would be useful figures to have at ones fingertips, methinks.

    • garyk30 says:

      TC advertises to no end and in America,at least, there is zero tobacco advertising.

      Point of purchase promotions are not ads.

      ‘Chantix’ is all over tv with minimal warning provided.

      Every pack of cigs carries a health warning.

      No packages of nic gums,patches, or inhalers has a warning about possible addiction or ill health problems.

      Most of the biggest antis hold govt or medical positions that provide a very nice income.

      Tobacco folks are held to vigorous questioning about their ‘facts’; but, the antis refuse to answer questions about their ‘facts’.

    • carol2000 says:

      In the US, anti-smoking propaganda is run as PSAs (Public Service Announcements, sic), for free on radio and TV, although these are usually at off-hours when they have empty ad space. Their press releases run in the newspapers in much the way that Pravda used to run pronouncements of the Communist Party. And they get scare propaganda at public expense, funded by the National Institutes of Health, et. al. And it’s all at no charge to the anti-smokers.

      • carol2000 says:

        I forgot to mention brainwashing in the schools, and now in workplaces as well.

      • nisakiman says:

        Yes, I’m aware of all that. I just wondered if anyone out there had actually compiled some figures for what the tobacco companies spend on all their PR; sponsorships, point of sale promotions, everything. And how much Tobacco Control get from Pharma donations, master settlement, government grants, WHO et al, plus an estimated value of the PSAs etc. I would have thought that some number cruncher out there would have researched it, and uploaded it to the web. It would be an interesting exercise.

        • smokervoter says:

          Nisakiman, Jreheadgirl used to have a link up at the top of her page which stated that smokers paid in $38 billion dollars in taxes (to Tobacco Control) I think in FY2013.

          Now it’s down at the bottom and there’s a rolling ticker that says “Total dollars adult smokers have paid to government this year as of: (Now)” and right now it’s at $16,434,550,350 and counting.

          She just wrote a powerful piece about some Hitler Youth calibre antismoking goings-on in her old Chicago, Illinois stomping grounds.

          I tried to compliment her on it through her comment box, but it won’t accept the NAME/WEBSITE option and I don’t do inane Google accounts, Facebook/Twitter or anonymous.

          If you’re stilling dropping by, nice piece there Juliette.

          Not sure if this will work but…

          The tobacco tax ticker

        • smokervoter says:

          Speaking of tobacco tax revenues: I know that California smokers had paid out $905 million dollars to the state in FY2011 when I wrote that piece on Proposition 29.

          Well, some douchebag Democrat (natch) from Santa Cruz California (natch again) is all up in arms wanting to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes because he claims they spend $46 million/year cleaning up cigarette butts (talk about your weapons-grade OCD there.)

          That amounts to $12/year (or $1/month) per smoker and of course cig butts are simply incidental to all the rest of the trash that’s picked up.

          Hey douchebag, just take it out of the $905 million we sent ya’ already !!!! I’m fuming mad.

          And speaking of the number 46 million…46,000 illegal immigrants from Central America (all future antismoking Democrat Voters) just crossed the border and are heading to California to join their relatives in the Golden State. If you figure that taxpayers will spend an easy $10,000 a piece educating them, that’s $460,000,000.

          Yet you’ll hold a press conference praising these lawbreakers to the heavens while pissing and moaning about native California smokers costing you an arm and a leg.

          Do fuck off !!!!

  11. Rose says:

    Here’s how it works.

    Up until yesterday I had rarely heard of, much less wondered about, khat.
    17 years ago I would have assumed that the government probably had good reason if they decided to ban it.
    Now, I am interested.

    Stimulant khat banned as illegal class C drug in UK

    “Khat, which users say makes them feel more alert, happy and talkative when chewed, is now banned as a class C drug despite advice from the UK government’s official advisers that it should not be classified.”

    “In a written statement last year, Home Secretary Theresa May said despite the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) not to ban khat, the body acknowledged that there was an absence of robust evidence in a number of areas.

    She said the whole of northern Europe, most recently the Netherlands, and the majority of other EU member states have banned khat, as well as most of the G8 countries including Canada and the USA.

    Mrs May said failure to take action in the UK would place the country at serious risk of becoming a single hub for the illegal onward trafficking of khat to countries where it is banned.

    The ban comes into force from 24 June and means people found with khat for personal use could be fined £60 and those said to be “supplying” khat could receive up to a 14-year jail sentence.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-27991393

    “The ban, whch was brought in by Theresa May in order to bring the UK in line with other European countries, has been criticised by a wide variety of drug experts for having no evidential backing.

    The Home Office’s own report from 2011 found there was “a general lack of robust evidence on the link between khat use and social harms”. Reports of harm to the Somali community were based on “often contradictory anecdotal statements”.

    Legislation against the drug in Europe and north Africa “had little success in curbing demand and has taken place with little consideration of evidence”, it found.

    The World Health Organisation also accepted khat is not a “seriously addictive drug”.

    And the home secretary’s own drug advisers – the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) – recommended against prohibition.

    “In summary, the evidence shows that khat has no direct causal link to adverse medical effects,” its report found.

    “On the basis of the available evidence, the overwhelming majority of council members consider that khat should not be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

    “The ACMD considers that the evidence of harms associated with the use of khat is insufficient to justify control and it would be inappropriate and disproportionate to classify khat.”
    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/06/24/khat-ban-comes-into-force-despite-fears-somali-community-wil

    But as usual “everybody” is thrilled with the ban.

    “Critics also complained that no proper consultation had been undertaken on the drug, despite the Home Office relying extensively on comments from those within the Somali community demanding a ban.”

    So doubtless it will be hailed a “Huge Success”

    But my money is on – “the whole of northern Europe, most recently the Netherlands, and the majority of other EU member states have banned khat, as well as most of the G8 countries including Canada and the USA” – and as we clearly haven’t an original thought in our collective heads we must copy what everyone else has done.

    As mother always said – If your friend told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

    • smokingscot says:

      Just a thought.

      The main areas of production are Somalia, Yemen, Kenya and parts of Ethiopia.

      A significant proportion of the international trade is controlled by some rather unpleasant people (who have a penchant for aiding “terrorist” groups).

      Be awfully convenient to deny them their income.

      The best Khat has to be very fresh – just hours from picking. I very much doubt most of what’s used in Europe comes in through legal channels, so it’s more of token gesture on the part of the authorities.

      And the ethnic minorities that use Khat most likely couldn’t give a tinker’s.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Plain packaging shaming smokers into quitting

    Moreover, plain packaging is a long-term public health measure designed to work as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy

    Prohibition was a long term solution too. But first you have to prove theres a health issue and since no study anywhere proves end point connection to any disease from direct smoking you have failed on all counts and leaves only the Bigotted position as a smoke hater against those who smoke or vape. But the hate doesn’t stop there oh no! It goes onto the fatties,the drinkers,the soda and sugar junkie crowd…………in fact you medicos HATE EVERYBODY and likely yourselves to for leading such mundane shallow lives with truly nothing left to do except control peoples lives and that’s always been epic fail thru out history! So when it all comes crashing down on your prohibitionist heads don’t cry to loud we are already sick of your rants and BS CLAIMS OF HARM!

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/plain-packaging-shaming-smokers-into-quitting-20140624-zsjt9.html?rand=5053901#comments

  13. Jeff says:

    Next big warning soon to appear on ballot boxes: “Voting UKIP causes computer illiteracy!”
    ;)

  14. carol2000 says:

    I recently took a closer look at BlackRock, which owns a controlling interest (currently 5.9%) in CVS, which stopped selling cigarettes recently. BlackRock is the entity with the most to lose from any decline in sales. But as noted in their Form 10-Q, they invest in hedge funds, which in case you didn’t know, means betting against themselves, so even if they lose, they win. So, all that wailing and rending of garments over whether CVS would lose money ignores the fact that those who own its stock don’t care. Naturally, how things really work is heresy to those naive simpletons who believe in the kindergarten version of how capitalism is supposed to work.

    BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with at least $4 billion in cash on hand. There were more than 7000 filings of form SC 13G/A in the first six months of this year, of which I looked at 4000 listed. I estimate around 2000 were non-duplicates. THUS: BlackRock also owns controlling interests in both Altria Group and Philip Morris, and in Lorillard, too. A current director of Philip Morris and a close relative of a past director of Philip Morris are on their board of directors. Likewise they own Cardinal Health, Cigna, Covance, Eli Lilly, Gentiva Health Services, GlaxoSmithKline (Nicorette), Johnson & Johnson (Nicorette), McDonalds, Pfizer (Nicotrol, Chantix), and United Health Group. They even control good old ICF International (the illegal EPA pass-throughs) now. And don’t hold your breath waiting for The New York Times to tell us about this, because THEY OWN THAT AS WELL.

    And they still have plenty of money left over to likewise hold controlling interests in Berkshire Hathaway, Citigroup, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Kraft Foods, McClatchey Co. (media), McDonalds Corp., Rio Tinto PLC (of Rothschilds fame), and Safeway (health fascist food chain). Closer to home, they own Journal Communications) (the biggest media in Milwaukee), three of the gas/electric companies, and the ISP that this is posted on.

    Also on the board of directors is a Kuwaiti, a World Bank official, one from Halliburton. and two from Verizon. As for who owns BalckRock: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and affiliates 21.0% (whose former chaiman is a director); Norges Bank (The Central Bank of Norway) 7.1%; and Wellington Management Company 5.6%.

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1364742/000119312514144324/d702383ddef14a.htm#toc702383_2

    • nisakiman says:

      That is positively sinister, and explains many of the anomalies and paradoxes we see in many areas of life around us.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The former CEO of J and J was elected to the board of CVS 2 years ago and they then moved to purchase with corporate funds all the controlling voting stock they could get. It was after they got that control they moved to ban the sale of tobacco products.

    • “But as noted in their Form 10-Q, they invest in hedge funds, which in case you didn’t know, means betting against themselves, so even if they lose, they win. So, all that wailing and rending of garments over whether CVS would lose money ignores the fact that those who own its stock don’t care. Naturally, how things really work is heresy to those naive simpletons who believe in the kindergarten version of how capitalism is supposed to work.”

      Ah, come on, carol2000. BlackRock is the world’s largest capital fund & money manager, yes – and BlackRock also manages many hedge funds, yes – but that does not mean “betting against themselves, so even if they lose, they win” any more than it means “betting against themselves, so even if they win, they loose.” Hedging is a normal, widespread method of diversifying risk in the money world, which many money managers use, and some have specialized in. There is nothing strange or special about BlackRock’s hedge funds.

      There is also nothing strange about the BlackRock holdings in both pharma and tobacco – many money managers hold big positions in pharma & tobacco, as these stocks are considered the best defensive stocks in a recession. In fact pharma & tobacco have been the two best performing sectors in the market since year 2007 – the so called financial crisis – although it seems as if tobacco has been lagging since 2013:

      http://www.trustnet.com/News/485516/barnett-why-im-sticking-with-these-defensive-sectors-for-income/1/1/

      Furthermore there is no reason to believe that stockowners or board members of big corporations interfere with management decisions. The larger a corporation may be, the more likely mangement runs the business by itself. It is much more likely that the new CEO of CVS is the force behind the decision of stopping the cigarette & E-cigarette sales. Since he’s the former CEO of Johnson & Johnson, license-owners of the competing Nicorette products, the decision may even be part of a broader deal, that we can only guess about.

      • carol2000 says:

        Ah, YOU come on. Don’t peddle me that Pollyanna-textbook theory stuff. “Hedging is a normal, widespread method of diversifying risk in the money world, which many money managers use, and some have specialized in,” which CAN be used for nefarious purposes, as Citibank (I think it was) demonstrated by pawning off their toxic products onto someone else, and then profited greatly when those products went down in value. You have to be dense not to realize that these can be used more “creatively” than the simpleminded explantion implies. “There is nothing strange or special about BlackRock’s hedge funds. ” There is about some of its directors, such as directors of Philip Morris, who are at least as suspectable of being active anti-smokers as directors of Johnson & Johnson are. And CVS is a retail chain, not a pharmaceutical company. “Furthermore there is no reason to believe that stockowners or board members of big corporations interfere with management decisions.” Like hell there isn’t. What the hell do you think, that the CEO appoints the directors or something? That the CEO can tell them to go take a flying leap? Or that he would even WANT to? The executives of the company are appointed by those directors, and they do what the directors want, including screw things up. When former CVS CEO Thomas M. Ryan retired, they installed a CEO (in March 2011) who would execute their plan to stop selling cigarettes, Larry J. Merlo, who was an Executive Vice President of CVS since March 1998. CONTRARY TO YOUR CLAIM, MERLO IS NOT “the former CEO of Johnson & Johnson.” William C Weldon, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson, only became a director in 2013, and he was nominated by the nominating committee of the board of directors and then approved by vote of the stockholders. The only stockholder with more than 5% is BlackRock (which also holds more than 5% of J&J). “All directors and executive officers as a group (22 persons)” hold 0.50%. How can you expect anybody to take what you say seriously when you don’t even bother to get your basic facts straight, especially when those facts are freely available.

        http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/64803/000119312513133747/d468885ddef14a.htm#toc468885_47

        • It’s not a matter of “freely available facts” – it is a matter of knowing what you are talking about when you use these facts and write about business matters, which you clearly don’t.
          Please note, I find your research and links valuable, but IMHO you should waste less energy drawing conclusions in business matters, because any businessman can see that your conclusions are plainly wrong. This is a piece of advice – it is not an argument in the debate.
          None of us know why CVS stopped selling nicotine. We can only guess about that. But since business is about money (and nothing else), we can speculate that Big Pharma may have a hand in the decision somehow – after all pharma giants like Johnson & Johnson have made huge lobbying efforts and used billions of euro in order to obtain nicotine monopoly in the EU. And they have succeeded: Johnson & Johnson’s competing products, the nicotine E-cigs and the smokeless tobacco, is now banned in the EU countries. Is there any reason to believe that they will not try to obtain the same situation in the US? I don’t think so – and as a matter of fact, they are:

          http://washingtonexaminer.com/big-pharma-not-tobacco-companies-wages-war-on-electronic-cigarettes/article/2539441

        • carol2000 says:

          Klaus, it doesn’t matter what businessmen think. Our enemies use businesses to achieve policy goals. It is not just about money to them. I think you just can’t face the truth.

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    May 6, 2014 10:25 AM
    The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease
    Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade

    http://m.us.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486-lMyQjAxMTA0MDAwODEwNDgyWj?mobile=y

  16. Rose says:

    Well there’s a surprise.

    The British Medical Association (BMA) has voted by a large majority for the illegalisation of tobacco for people born after the year 2000.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/06/24/British-Medical-Association-Votes-for-Full-Ban-on-Tobacco-for-People-Born-After-2000

    To paraphrase, these people would vote for a monkey if it was wearing an anti-tobacco rosette.

    2000 Smoke Free Generation initiative

    “The initiative, brought to Australia by a University of Singapore academic, means that, from the year 2018, young people who would have then come of legal age, no longer could smoke”
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/bid-to-ban-cigarettes-for-anyone-born-after-2000-20120822-24liy.html

    “Singapore-based professor, Jon Berrick, devised the proposal which is attempting to create a smoke-free generation by enforcing a complete ban on tobacco cigarettes for anyone born after the year 2000, with age restrictions increasing year by year from this point onward.”

    “Professor Berrick is reportedly in talks with health bosses in several countries including Scotland.

    It has been alleged that the professor gained part of his inspiration for the proposal from Scotland’s poor health statistics and believes the country could present itself as an ideal testing ground.”
    http: //uk.prweb.com/releases/2012/9/prweb9929718.htm

    Tasmania considers cigarette ban for anyone born after 2000
    22 Aug 2012

    “The measure was proposed by Ivan Dean, a Tasmanian independent MP, who said the ban would be easy to enforce because the state already has restrictions on sales of cigarettes to minors.”

    “Mr Dean, a former police officer and mayor, said the ban would prevent young people “from buying a product that they can’t already buy” but would not affect adult smokers.”
    http: //www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9492504/Tasmania-considers-cigarette-ban-for-anyone-born-after-2000.html

    • beobrigitte says:

      Ah, they (the BMA) did vote – as expected.

      This measure has a side effect the anti-smokers have only just cottoned on to:
      The anti-smoking groups said: “There’s no evidence banning tobacco would prevent and reduce tobacco use because no such approach has been implemented… The ban also could take away certain funding for these groups for tobacco control programs.”

      It took them long enough to cotton on that this ban is their noose. And the BMA (regarded in high esteem by the population) just contributed the gallow.

      As mentioned before: I reserve a seat in the front row. Wouldn’t want to miss that spectacle close up for any whiskey in the world!!!!

      • beobrigitte says:

        Darn, didn’t close the bracket…

      • jaxthefirst says:

        I have never in my life been as incensed (and genuinely concerned, because of its legal implications) by a suggestion by any one body or organisation as I have been by this one from, the BMA. And this one wouldn’t even affect me – I was born half-way through the last century, not at the start of this one!

        Who the hell do they think they are – believing that because they have a “pet peeve” that the whole principle of the law – that it should apply equally to everyone in the land, regardless of their age, race or sex – should be violated, just because they have a happy-clappy little dream of a sooper-dooper, rosy-cheeked, eternally healthy “tobacco free generation,” skipping through flower-filled meadows, hand in hand with their spouse and their equally rosy-cheeked 2.4 children, with a constant, fixed grin on their faces, secure in the knowledge that they will never, ever die. What utter claptrap from a bunch of arrogant, swivel-eyed zealots who are about as much use to society as Syphilis.

        I long ago lost any respect I might have had for the medical profession, but their sheer arrogance in this respect is breathtaking. Not content with bringing their own profession down to the lowest common denominator (the NHS, the Liverpool Pathway, the Staffordshire Hospitals Scandal, doctors’ arrogance, nurses incompetence, the seeming inability of anyone in the medical profession to actually give a damn, their inability/lack of interest in discovering cures for the most serious illnesses in society, their cosiness with Big Pharma) they now seem to believe that they can tinker with the legal system, too!

        The BMA is a joke. I’d really, really like to see a few of them smoking. Preferably on the top of a large bonfire.

        • beobrigitte says:

          I’d really, really like to see a few of them smoking.

          Just go to any A&E at 2 am……. You will find ANY staff (and the staff the public does not know they exist!) saying: “Oh, for fuck’s sake!!!!!!!! Giz 5 minutes….”
          It is not the junior doctors’ arrogance or nurses incompetence, it is the Labour party introduced “targets”, thus staff cutting. (The people who spent 2 hours outside A&E inside an ambulance KNOW this!!)
          I, personally, prefer a medic who has had a coffee and ciggie break – he/she is much sharper and spots the little details that ones who do the Yuppie-politically-correct-thing miss!!!

        • smokervoter says:

          a happy-clappy little dream of a sooper-dooper, rosy-cheeked, eternally healthy “tobacco free generation,” skipping through flower-filled meadows, hand in hand with their spouse and their equally rosy-cheeked 2.4 children, with a constant, fixed grin on their faces, secure in the knowledge that they will never, ever die.

          Oh, you’re good Jax, very very good with your word paintings.

          Sounds like you’ve spent the last 24 hours watching the telly and listening to the radio in California or visiting every city’s official Agenda 21 / We’re Going Green !!! website. Pure dripping, unadulterated, infantile sap. And 100% Organic, no less.

          As Duke Wayne would say, “It’s getting ri-goddamn-diculous out there !!!”

        • Frank Davis says:

          The BMA and the RCP need to be torn apart and re-constituted anew.

  17. Pingback: Small Acts of Resistance | Frank Davis

  18. jaxthefirst says:

    SV,

    No, I’ve just had too many copies of The Watchtower shoved through my letterbox – always peppered with pictures of all those almost-manically laughing Jehovah “converts” enjoying their oh-so-righteous Christian Life on every page. The words “tobacco free generation” always bring that image to my mind for some reason!

    Maybe the BMA have had too many copies through their letterboxes, too. The difference between them and me though, is that they think it’s how Real Life could actually be!!

  19. Pingback: Fakers gonna fake. | underdogs bite upwards

  20. Pingback: Three Obscenities | Frank Davis

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