Real Change

H/T Roobeedoo for Peter Oborne asking why a Conservative government is backing illiberal plain packs for cigarettes.

The short answer is that David Cameron’s Conservatives aren’t in the least bit conservative or liberal or libertarian.

But I watched the YouTube video of Professor Gerard Hastings embedded in the text. It was one long emotional rant (he seemed like he was about to burst into tears) against not just smoking and drinking and fatty food, but against marketing, big business, inequality, profit, everything. Here was someone who had looked at the world around him and did not like it one bit, and desperately wanted to make it into a better world. He wanted to completely reconstruct it. For him, public health was not just about smoking and drinking and fatty food: it was about absolutely everything, and he wanted Public Health to be running absolutely everything.

A century ago he would have been a bomb-throwing anarchist, like Gavrilo Princip. But now people like him are professors of public health, paid handsomely to interfere in everyone’s lives.

And it was a bit of an eye-opener to watch the video, and see what smokers like me are up against:


I suppose that I simply don’t look at the world the way someone like him does. I don’t have such an intensely moral vision. I don’t have a clear idea of what the world ought to be, to be set against what it actually is. I’m not angry with the way the world is. And I’m not angry because I don’t have a vision – an ideal – of what is could and should be made to shape up to be. I’m not an idealist. I don’t carry around dreams of some ideal world in which nobody smokes, or drinks, or gets fat. If nothing else, I’m not sure that what I might regard as being an ideal world (assuming I had one) would be what other people would regard as ideal.

Instead I’ve just been interested – fascinated or enchanted even – with the world in which I’ve found myself. And I’ve wanted to understand it rather than judge it. So I’ve been interested in industry and business and money and profit and inequality. I’ve even constructed theories about how it all works, what its underlying logic might be.

When I look at the tobacco plants growing on my window sill, I don’t see something that ought not to be growing there, and which should be eradicated. I instead wonder why the plants are green, and have leaves, and develop flowers and seeds, and wilt when they’re not watered, and so on. I’m full of questions, not judgments, about the infinitely mysterious world in which I live.

But there was one thing that I did agree with him about, when he said (at 11 minutes in) that:

“Real change is going to come from people getting angry with what is happening at the moment.”

Because I hope that people start getting very, very angry about self-righteous, interfering little bastards like him and Linda Bauld and all the rest of them, with their plans for everyone – and get rid of the whole damn lot of them. For that would indeed be a real and welcome change.


About Frank Davis

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51 Responses to Real Change

  1. Mac says:

    A précis of an old post:
    Some folk will choose to smoke and drink. Some will die youngish, some will die very old. Some folk will choose to eat a lot of what they like, some will die youngish, some will die very old. This could relate to everything, right?
    Then there are those who will live what the state decrees to be a safe, protected and healthy lifestyle. Surprisingly, some will die youngish and some will die very old.
    However, it’s a 100% certainty we’re all eventually going to die and as the last few miles on the road of life get underway, some will be wishing they’d done just that little bit more and others will be wondering what they missed and why.
    So all you, ‘it’s bad for you – I don’t like it so you can’t do it – we have to stop it now!’ fellows, let me assure you that while you’ve possibly just passed ‘start’ on life’s highway and it looks like a long, almost never-ending road ahead with time aplenty to foist your pettiness upon others, trust me, when you get to my end of the road something will become sadly obvious to you.
    When you look over your shoulder, back down the road you’ve travelled, you’ll see just how short a highway it actually is. Then you’ll realise, too late, what a complete and total waste of your brief journey it was being so miserable, hating the enjoyment of others and trying to foist your pettiness on those who had a little zest for life and were attempting, against all the odds, to enjoy their brief moment in the sun.
    This isn’t a practise life. This is it; it’s the only one you’re going to get.

    • Lysistrata Eleftheria says:

      Well said, Mac. As someone with a terminal illness I wholeheartedly agree. I’m now 65, don’t know how much longer I have left, maybe a couple of years or so, and would change nothing about the life I’ve lived. Well, maybe I’d put up with fools even less gladly.
      The 3 things I’ve discovered that are now most important in life to me are: 1) people – friends, some family, 2) nature and 3) my own creativity – currently furniture restoration as I love wood.
      Wouldn’t be the top three choices for others of course.

      • Mac says:

        Thank you and don’t ever give up – as I’m sure you won’t.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Its not always about quality of life its also what you’ve done with your life.

          I think all of us here find out we were kept around for this fight.

          To maintain freedom and liberty the world over for our children and theirs. They deserve the same freedoms we have grown up with and the same rights as freemen.

          In the end anybody who fights for these things has not only lived a good life but a valued life that will persist for decades to come. But we must never rest as liberty is always being assaulted somewhere by some despot.

        • nisakiman says:

          In the end anybody who fights for these things has not only lived a good life but a valued life that will persist for decades to come.

          +1 Harley. Never a truer word was spoken. In that, TC is right. It’s all about the cheeeldren. But in our case we’re fighting for their freedom to choose. TC want to bind them to a dogma.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Its not always about quality of life its also what you’ve done with your life.

          I think all of us here find out we were kept around for this fight.

          To maintain freedom and liberty the world over for our children and theirs. They deserve the same freedoms we have grown up with and the same rights as freemen.

          Well said, Harley!

    • lleweton says:

      I agree Mac. How amazing is the arrogance and presumption of these zealots.

  2. Lysistrata Eleftheria says:

    Bloody hellfire. That quote on his screen: “The divine designer would have probably arranged that they never saw apples.” And as a result never eat from the Tree of Knowledge and gain self-awareness and consciousness and free will and all that makes us human. (Yes yes I know it’s just a story.)
    Also kind of buggers up the 5-a-day thingie.

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      It’s not just a story, it IS the story, told through symbolism because it’s the only way it could be condensed … like the milk. People that only believe in the literal translation (that would include atheists) either have no imagination or scared of their imagination, for whatever reason. So that would include anybody who willingly participates in the Healthist/Eco Banning Brigades.

      If TC had to quote the bible, I bet they would use KJV, a man who caved in to the Big Pharmers of the time, the Physicians. It says so in Wikipedia. Wiki is great for finding snippets like that. TC patrol ‘smoking’ pages but, they don’t look anywhere else – no imagination.

      I am sorry to hear of your condition. You come over as a full of love and I’m very glad to meet you, albeit digitally.

  3. Rose says:

    Entirely off topic.

    I just knew they wouldn’t like it.

    “Kentucky BioProcessing LLC, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), manufactures the treatment for Mapp from tobacco plants.”

    Today on the BBC to my amazement they showed pictures of the gm tobacco plants growing the anti-Ebola anti-bodies in a greenhouse, but straight after there was a comment from the CDC very similar to this one.

    CDC Chief Warns Against ‘False Hopes’ on Ebola Drugs

    “A top U.S. health official told Congress on Thursday that the federal government is looking “very carefully” at experimental Ebola treatments, but he said that it is too early to tell whether they are helpful or even safe.

    “I don’t want any false hopes out there,” said the official, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Right now we don’t know if they work, and we can’t, as far as we know, have them in any significant numbers.”

    “Two American aid workers who contracted Ebola in Africa improved after they took a drug never tried on humans, but Frieden said: “We will not know from their experiences whether these drugs work.” Other experimental Ebola treatments are in development.”

    “Frieden told Congress that the best way to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is old-fashioned public health — watching for symptoms, isolating suspected cases and tracking down anyone those people have been in contact with.”

    “US President Barack Obama has said it is “premature” to send experimental drugs for the treatment of Ebola to West Africa, which has been hardest hit by the deadly outbreak.

    Mr Obama said affected countries should focus on building a “strong public infrastructure,” adding: “I think we have to let the science guide us… I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful.”

    So it seems that the dead and dying just have to be patient and wait for the clinical trials .

    “Other experimental Ebola treatments are in development.”

    On a further search , looking at the headlines, it seems that the more alternative news sources are very taken with why the CDC should hold a patent on Ebola, and lo and behold up it pops.

    Human ebola virus species and compositions and methods thereof

    • Rose says:

      Ebola patient Dr Kent Brantly ‘growing stronger every day’

      I am very glad to hear it.

      You see having read quite a bit about pharming I think that growing medicines in tobacco plants is a brilliant idea, quick, cheap and lots of it.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        In other headlines they say the tobacco plant saved and cured these 2 men…………

        CDC’s Friedeman is abut as anti-smoking and anti-tobacco as Banzhaft is himself!

        They will never admit anything god coming from tobacco!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Ebola outbreaks in Africa have happened for thousands of years….they come they go.

        It all started out of Owensboro Kys tobacco research facility………..part of Western Kentucky University.

        • harleyrider1978 says:


          Ebola Drug Made From Tobacco Plant Saves U.S. Aid Workers

          A tiny San Diego-based company provided an experimental Ebola treatment for…

          Smoke cigars, don’t get Ebola. Boom. Okay, not really, but the tobacco plant, in recent years, has been used by scientists to try and find cures to diseases that have otherwise been thought as incurable. Another article outlined how the flower on tobacco plants could actually be used to help prevent and eliminate cancer cells, and is now in the beginning stages of testing.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          History repeats — during ‘black death’ in Europe, daily smoking was made compulsory (as a protection) for students in elite boy schools in the British Empire. Imagine the irony, if in today’s antismoking hysteria we end up seeing smokers as the only exposed population protected from Ebola!

        • Rose says:

          Wouldn’t work Harley, it’s not the tobacco it’s the antibodies inserted in it.

          Anyway credit where credit is due the CDC appears to have set them onto it indirectly.

          Ebola Therapy From an Obscure Biotech Firm Is Hurried Along

          “According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the reason was that Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that employed one of the aid workers, contacted the Centers for Disease Control, which in turn referred them to National Institutes of Health, which in turn referred them to Mapp.”

        • beobrigitte says:

          Wouldn’t work Harley, it’s not the tobacco it’s the antibodies inserted in it.

          It sure isn’t the tobacco. It is the plant – it is quite hardy, grows well and quick, but most of all, it does not kick out the inserted DNA coding for this antibody very quickly as other plants do.

          Ebola outbreaks may well have happened for “thousands of years” in Africa; Ebola nowadays differs greatly in that it has “adapted”. A vaccine against the e.g. Sudan strain of Ebola will do NOTHING for the current one running it’s course.

          The WHO is asking for money in order to speed up the development of a vaccine – perhaps Tobacco Control would like to pass their funds on to them?

    • beobrigitte says:

      Am I wrong or has the BBC not recently reported that American citizen in the affected regions are being given this experimental drug?

      So it seems that the dead and dying just have to be patient and wait for the clinical trials
      Only the Africans by the looks of it. And the rest of the world. But first of all, they need MONEY to test it. Tobacco Control coming forward?

  4. Gerard Hastings wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in a public setting with that bull, lot to be said for ‘captive audience’ -the guy has academic credentials, yes, but the charisma of a hobo on acid, cock socket.

  5. Watched the video and you get a better picture of why the government was so keen to get half of school-leavers to go to university: to be subjected to commie ideology such as this. And I know from my Creationist materials that some lecturers take pleasure in attacking Christianity at every opportunity. It’s a place where, for four years, young adults can be moulded – refined even – they’ve already been moulded through 17 years of TV and 13 years of school – to live in the kind of world dreamed of by Professor Gerard Hastings here.

    They have uploaded many videos, mostly with very few views. One from three months ago has five views. (I didn’t click on it to give it six!) But they seem more concerned with ‘equality’ and control (political and of the individual) than health itself and I see they have a ‘leadership’ video. That’s one of our biggest problems – the leaders of the thousands of fake charities and quangos who ‘advise’ the government on policy come from institutions teaching the same old socialist claptrap.

    If not from a university then from the likes of Common Purpose’s “Leadership Development Courses” or Forum for the Future’s course on “Leadership for Sustainable Development”.

    Because the government/EU/UN use ‘equality’, ‘health’ and ‘sustainability’ to drive a steamroller over our freedom.

    It’s no surprise he’s an atheist – according to him, we come into the world alone and we leave alone (cf. Isaiah 49:5, “And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant…”

    Then he has the gall to talk about a “what if” from the Garden of Eden.

    @Lysistrata Eleftheria – the Fall of Man is more than ‘just a story’. An allegory, perhaps, but it explains why humans alone have morals.

    It’s interesting that the Professor imagines that the Creator (who he doesn’t seem to believe in) would have preferred Adam and Eve not to have eaten the fruit, thus remaining in ignorance. That’s exactly how they want us – probably walking around naked as well, but certainly not in a blissful, perfect garden.

    This is why state ‘education’ and modern “entertainment’ are trying to undo God’s gift of agency by dumbing everyone down to have no free will because they automatically believe what this bloke is saying.

    An interesting quote has popped into my head from “The Overhauling of Straight America” (1987) which was a ‘blueprint’ by militant homosexuals to use the media to force the masses to accept their ‘lifestyle’.

    In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be cast as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of protector.

    Notice how free will doesn’t come into it. It’s all about mind control, like all these young people coming out of the universities and ‘leadership’ courses and going into jobs that involve trying to rob us of our agency to make our own decisions, whether for good or bad.

    We simply must not be allowed to make ‘bad’ decisions that contradict their ideas of ‘sustainability’.

    I realise I’m going on at length as usual, but let’s keep going…

    At 14:22 he talks about a “Wider Vision” of public health and our old ‘friends’ equality and sustainability feature as usual, because at the end of the day, it’s all about priming the people to accept population reduction to ‘save the planet’ and their version of equality is to remove freedoms to achieve global government to implement Agenda 21 and depopulation.

    He also wants to “Challenge profit as a measure of success.”

    Without the profit motive, civilisation would cease to function. Ah! Now I see why he said it!

    Some of the early British immigrants in the New World tried a form of communism (long before the name had been invented). They decided that everyone would be equal and there would be no need for money because everyone would do according as he was able and receive according to his needs. What actually happened was that those who could (when they were getting paid) couldn’t be much bothered without the financial incentive and they all nearly starved until the policy was revoked.

    If this is standard fayre at universities, it’s no surprise that the wider society has been infiltrated by people with the same views and implemented all these changes because they have been made to believe we are too stupid to make our own decisions, so we must be brainwashed, like they have been, to react “by reflex” to certain cues.

    The professor uses the famous polar bear on the tiny iceberg propaganda photo – part of the ‘two minutes hate’ for our modern way of life. People see it and “by reflex” become angry or upset, even though the polar bear issue was one of the nine errors in Gore’s film detailed in court.

    I read the other day that there is now a mental condition which causes depression/anxiety in people who worry continuously about the environment.

    Anyway, back to polar bears. The issue was one of the Nine Inconvenient Untruths.

    The professor was right about one thing. It doesn’t take many people to change things – in this case one – Stewart Dimmock, who took the Government to court over the showing of Gore’s film in every high school, saying ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ included serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush.

    The judge ruled that it was a “political film” but it could still be shown in schools but ruled that it can only be shown with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.

    And Gore’s ‘carbon footprint’ must be about the same size as Bolivia’s.

    • smokervoter says:

      Stewart. I find the sad truth behind that Ant Farm® ad graphic absolutely beguiling and relevant as visual satire to the Brave New World we’re slowly inching towards. I PrintScreened it and intend to have some Microsoft Paint fun with it. I’ll incorporate an Agenda 21 reference into it to be sure.

      If I then use it on my website, do you suppose I’ll end up in trouble with Uncle Milton Industries as a result?

      It’s really precious just as it is.

      • Sorry, but I know nothing of this Ant Farm or Uncle Milton, so I had to Google it. Seems it’s not too popular on the review site I visited, e.g.

        “I purchased an ant farm for my niece. After waiting 3 weeks (an eternity for a 6 year old) the ants arrived dead. Not quite the life lesson I was wanting to teach. A few years ago I also purchased an under the sea plastic aquarium for another child. The fish got stuck under the grate and died. Quite a mess as I remember!”

        • smokervoter says:

          My sorry there Stewart. Your comments and Rose’s (and the general theme of social marketing today) somehow sparked me to thinking about the old Ant Farm toys some kids used to have when I was in grade school and the condescending way some of those among us view their roles as shapers of society, nudging everyone towards appropriate behaviors. Like Agenda 21 for instance.

          So I went to the website and had a look to see if they still sold them.

          The advertising graphic and the accompanying text made me grin from ear to ear.

          Here’s a repeat link. The original was shrouded down thread by my own link description “Professor Gerald Hasting’s Favorite Toy as a Lonesome Child”. It was an obviously failed attempt at some dry humour.

          Uncle Milton Industries Ant Farm

        • We have ant farms and all sorts of scientific experiments for children, but just never heard of Uncle Milton. As someone said, we are “two nations divided by a common language” and pretend uncles. I’ve heard of Uncle Sam.

          We have weird presents for adults too, like ‘become a lord or lady’ and for a few pounds you can have Lord Smoker Voter on your credit cards and get the best tables in restaurants, etc. (apparently). The package usually includes one square foot of land and directions so you can visit and locate it (you’ll have to be very thin or you’ll be trespassing on someone else’s land). Here’s one:

  6. Rose says:

    Well he’s right, his whole presentation proves it, Marketing Is The Problem – Social Marketing, treating the rest of the public as if they haven’t a brain in their heads.

    Social Marketing is devious in that, unlike manufacturers, we don’t know what they are selling and if we choose to buy it can’t demand compensation if their product breaks.

    A look round his home might prove interesting, he obviously isn’t wearing homespun clothes so how did he buy find his jacket, word of mouth, a shop display, marketing?
    How can he feel competent to make his own decisions when he is so obviously convinced that we are not.

    “We” – individuals – not a herd.

    I taught my children how to deconstruct an advert when they were small, deconstructing social marketing is harder though as it’s sly and relies on public trust.

    “Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, theory, audience and partnership insight, to inform the delivery of competition sensitive and segmented social change programs that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable”

    Social Marketing is a business and markets itself like any other.

    Behaviour change through social marketing

    We are The NSMC, the social marketing experts.
    We’re dedicated to making change happen that improves people’s lives.
    By applying social marketing best practices we help our clients create cost-effective behaviour change programmes with impact, from getting people eating more healthily to cutting graffiti vandalism.

    Sustainable change

    But we don’t just bring you our expertise. We’re committed to sharing it. As well as programme support, research and strategic advice, we provide social marketing professionals with training, mentoring and resources to enable them to design and deliver their own behaviour change programmes, and be part of a learning community sharing best practice through our Membership scheme.

    Our current clients include Global Action Plan, USAID, Lambeth Local Authority, Disability Action, British Lung Foundation, NHS Haringey, General Medical Council, RAY, Belgian Marketing Association, British Virgin Islands. Find out more in our portfolio.”

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Thinks we dig up Ed Bernays he would see right through it and construct a whole new world for smokers again…………..Destroying the latest socialist attempt at world domination. But then smoking is so ingrained culturally everywhere its not going away ever. 600 years of constant use proves that.

      • Rose says:

        Social marketing, smoking cessation and inequalities
        GERARD HASTINGS – 2006

        ‘Social marketing’ is gaining currency. It was identified as a key tool in the UK’s recent public health White Paper (Choosing Health 2004) and the Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and US governments are all exploring its potential. We examine what social marketing might contribute to the field of addiction using the example of smoking cessation services, focusing on inequalities.

        Modern marketing practice is based on the idea of putting the consumer—rather than production—at the heart of the business process. Whereas Henry Ford purportedly sold what he could produce, offering his customers ‘any color you want as long as it’s black’; modern marketers invert this rubric and produce what they can sell. This deceptively simple change has revolutionized commerce over the last 50 years. It has succeeded because putting the consumer first makes it easier to influence his or her behaviour. Social marketers simply apply this approach to social and health behaviour, rather than consumer behaviour.

        Smoking cessation treatment is now offered widely across the globe and can be considered reasonably as a product worthy of marketing”

        So just another con then.

        • beobrigitte says:

          What a gem!
          We examine what social marketing might contribute to the field of addiction using the example of smoking cessation services, focusing on inequalities.

          Inequalities….. The anti-smokers just provided the next headline:
          Being a smoker prevents Vitamin D deficiency
          That’s what you get when you exile smoking to outdoors.
          The smoking ban backfires. And, it’s too late to claim back the outdoors without providing comfortable smoking rooms INDOORS.

          On second thought; smoking rooms indoors. A Filipino colleague just returned from viting home. He did complain about getting colds – and stale air on the plane. I did ask one question: ” was smoking allowed on the plane?” “Of course not!” “Ah, I see. No need then to have the best of the best air cleaning system then.”
          I left the conversation with that.

    • carol2000 says:

      “Our history
      Formerly the National Social Marketing Centre, The NSMC was originally set up by the UK Government.

      Established by government
      The UK National Consumer Council’s 2006 report It’s our health! confirmed the potential of social marketing to improve behavioural interventions. One of the report’s main recommendations was to establish a ‘National Social Marketing Centre’ to build national and local capacity and skills in social marketing.

      Minister for Public Health, Caroline Flint, formally launched The NSMC in December 2006, alongside its founders Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the NCC, John Bromley of the Department of Health, and Professor Jeff French.
      The first cohort of students in our Social Marketing training programme in Jordan graduate
      John Bromley, Wednesday, February 13, 2013 – 17:01
      Following six months hard work, the participants on our first Intensive Social Marketing Training Programme graduated in front of the Head of USAID Mission in Amman, Beth Paige. The students on the course who have all developed plans on their own social marketing projects will now apply to USAID for funds to implement these projects over the next 12 months.

      • carol2000 says:

        Anyway, “social marketing” is just a fancy term for propaganda which is favored by government people-manipulators. It’s nothing new. And the bottom line for those concerned with smokers’ rights is that health lies have the greatest influence on people quitting smoking, based on Gallup polls. 76% gave health-related reasons; 18% pressure from others; 14% cost-related. That shows where our efforts should be directed.
        Whining about “social marketing” per se is guaranteed to be ineffectual, because everyone knows it’s just like advertising or political bombast.

        • carol2000 says:

          Also note that less than 5% used nicotine patch, less than 2% used prescription gum, and less than 1% used nicotine gum. So whining about “Big Pharma” is a really big waste of effort.

          And look at how successful they’ve been with their health lies:
          In general, how harmful do you feel secondhand smoke is to adults — very harmful, somewhat harmful, not too harmful, or not at all harmful?
          [dates from Mar 1994] all but 1996 >50% “very harmful”

          In general, how harmful do you feel smoking is to adults who smoke — very harmful, somewhat harmful, not so harmful, or not at all harmful?
          [dates from 2002] all but 2007 >80%

          And the consequences:

          Should smoking in this country be made totally illegal, or not?
          Opposition falls from 80s to upper 70s

          How important is it to have federal government programs that address health risks associated with each of the following? Is it extremely, very important, somewhat important, or not important? How about for smoking?
          only 19% say it’s “not important”

        • Rose says:

          Whining about “social marketing” per se is guaranteed to be ineffectual, because everyone knows it’s just like advertising or political bombast

          Quite, Carol, it was a play on words.

          Marketing Is The Problem was a slogan that appeared in the video.

    • smokervoter says:

      Ughhh. This all just makes my skin crawl. I’m sooo glad I managed to spend most of my life self-employed. My friends that went the corporate/ government employee/ hell, any large organizational route all ended up steeped in this corporatespeak hoopla.

      I think that people like professor Hastings grew up maniacally fascinated by their Uncle Milton Industries Ant Farm’s. They had no real friends nor influence amongst their peers but after school their pet ants did just what they wanted them to do when they strategically blocked certain tunnels and got the colony “all on the same page”. And that’s another fave mantra the social marketing Uncle Miltons of this world love to use.

      Professor Gerald Hasting’s Favorite Toy as a Lonesome Child

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Rose back in ethics class in college in 1991 I remember all this shit being foisted upon us like we are suppose to believe this horse shit……….The Professor was a die hard Communist trying to teach not ethics but communism. You can well bet I was his biggest challenge……….We had many a heated argument over world views and cultural change.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I know one thing the first sign of the enemy losing the argument is when they pass criminal laws to enforce their cultural change…………That’s what fails everytime.

      Only by force of arms/ the police state are their aims and laws enforced not by public support.

    • Rose says:

      Harley, many years ago at work we used to have a pamphlet entitled Fashion Forecast delivered informing us of the predicted trends for six months hence.

      One day I opened it up and read the headline proclaiming with great authority

      Heads Will Be Small This Year

      Now I knew what they meant but something clicked in my brain and I’ve never looked at things in quite the same way since.

      • nisakiman says:

        Heh! I remember as a boy reading “The Romans marched on onions”

        Somehow, I’ve never quite got out of my mind the image of the Romans literally ‘marching on onions’. It’s an entertaining concept!

  8. carol2000 says:

    This was an “eye-opener” for you?? For god’s sake, where have you been all these decades?? And if you don’t have “a clear idea of what the world ought to be,” this is weakness, not strength. This is why their ilk prevail! Also they have a whole page with their drivelous videos from that symposium.
    Videos are nothing but big fat time wasters. There’s nothing in the vast majority of them that couldn’t be conveyed much faster with text and graphics.

    • Rose says:

      Carol, surprisingly enough, not everyone who visits this blog has studied the subject in depth as you have.
      The video may well come as a surprise to people who until 2007 had better things to do .
      Believe it or not I hadn’t even heard of astroturfing until I was wondering what the hell was wrong with this country.

      I had to discover the word I was looking for first.

      “In America, they call it ‘astroturfing’: the faking of grassroots support for a politician or a product whose popularity is on the slide.

      Now it emerges that a tactic invented by US pharmaceutical firms to promote drugs – and promptly adopted by the Republicans to shore up George Bush after 9/11 – was imported to Britain to help get Tony Blair re-elected.”

      Previously I thought it meant that awful fake grass.

      You learn a lot of things chatting in Frank’ virtual pub.

    • Frank Davis says:

      This was an “eye-opener” for you??

      I’d heard everything that was said before, at one time or other. What I thought was new about it was that this time it was all said in 15 minutes in what amounted almost to Hastings’ personal credo. Which may explain the emotion with which it was delivered.

      I think it is very useful to know what my enemies believe. Particularly if it’s all garbage.

      And if you don’t have “a clear idea of what the world ought to be,” this is weakness, not strength.

      I don’t have my own one-size-fits-all solution to the world’s problems. I’m not a totalitarian. I’m open to debate. I don’t have fixed ideas. And I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

  9. Marvin says:

    Professor Gerard Hastings and his ilk should never be called “Marxist” or “Left” or “Progressive”.
    His ideal world, with no marketing, no big business, lower consumption for everyone is identical to the fascist BNP world view, (but without the overt racism), they all want to go back to a pre-industrial age with a subsistence level existence and no mod cons.

    Marx on the other hand was NOT anti-capitalism, that will come as a shock to most on here, but he welcomed it as a progressive system compared to the feudalism which had preceded it. Capitalist production abolished slavery and introduced paid labour instead, gave more individual freedom to a greater number of people and massively developed the sciences, albeit to increase production and therefore profits.

    Hastings is right about “marketing” though, but what he does not understand is that marketing is absolutely essential for the big, highly productive capitalist companies, without it the economic surplus produced by them could not be sold in the market and no profits made. This would force the capitalists to a) shed capacity, b) sack the workforce (or both) and c) force the government to print money and/or make credit easily available, to stimulate “demand” (ie.increase consumption) and avoid serious political unrest.

    Marx clearly saw this central contradiction of capitalism (the market being unable to absorb the economic output, while industry is working at full capacity) and Marx’s ideal world was to use the incredibly productive forces capitalism has created, in order to give EVERYONE a decent home, education, enough food and the leisure time to pursue interests and personal development. Not to destroy those assets like Hastings and his gang want to do.

  10. smokervoter says:

    To anyone who clicked on the Ant Farm link: Notice how the graphic they used looks a lot like what you’re likely to find as the background for a typical local government website that includes the text “We’re Going Green !!!” or “Working Together for a Healthier, Happier & Sustainable Future”.

    And down the page they’ll have a link to the latest Outdoor Smoking Ban they’ve just enacted.

    As Stewart said, it’s Agenda 21 all the way.

  11. beobrigitte says:

    Here was someone who had looked at the world around him and did not like it one bit, and desperately wanted to make it into a better world. He wanted to completely reconstruct it.
    As long as Professor Gerard Hastings means his own, private, world he can change as many things as he likes. However, if he invades MY space, he must deal with the repercussion. Professor Gerard Hastings, I am an ADULT, capable, as can be expected of an adult, of making my own choices. Deal with it.

    Instead I’ve just been interested – fascinated or enchanted even – with the world in which I’ve found myself. And I’ve wanted to understand it rather than judge it.
    For each of us individually one or more aspects of our world fascinate(s) us whilst others just pass us by.

    So I’ve been interested in industry and business and money and profit and inequality.
    Industry and business and money pass me by – I just know enough to secure whatever little I have. And I am content with it. In my view industry and business is in a sort of spiral that has an end point which is rather unpleasant. Nevertheless, I can use my resources accordingly – and for all I know, I might be wrong. It doesn’t matter, though. I have not dictated MY view to others; if I am wrong, I am the only one losing out.

    With respect to INEQUALITY: I never thought I would get TIRED of this word; after all, inequality is found in almost every aspect of our lives.
    Now I am not only tired, I am SICK of hearing whingeing and whining about inequality – and people being told to wait for “someone-who-does-something-about-it”. And when such a “someone” appears, he/she makes a mess of things.

  12. carol2000 says:

    Off topic: The yard is full of charred pieces of styrofoam today. It’s from an apartment fire five miles away. It was a four story, 105 unit building under construction, and they had those blue sheets on it that went up like a torch. It melted the siding on houses across the street, and a thermometer on a car driving by on the Interstate measured 200 degrees F. It melted plastic on a fire truck, and the firefighters had to spray water on each other to work. Doppler radar tracked it over the city. It’s so big that BATF is involved.
    At first I thought it was just the neighbors’ usual party debris.

  13. carol2000 says:

    Social marketing by whatever name is old hat in the US. This outfit has been propagandizing ever since World War II. It’s the mouthpiece of the corporate oligarchs.

  14. Pingback: Bossy Health Chiefs, Drunk on Power | Frank Davis

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