Yet

From Chris Snowdon.

71 per cent of the British adults surveyed – and 81 per cent of those who gave an opinion – believed that it should be the individual’s responsibility to make their own lifestyle choices and that the government should not interfere. This echoes the results of a 2013 Ipsos MORI poll which found that only 30 per cent of British adults agreed that ‘It is the government’s responsibility to influence people’s behaviour to encourage healthy lifestyles’. This view was largely reflected by respondents’ opposition to economic measures, including taxes and incentives, being used to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Of those who expressed an opinion, 69 per cent felt that indirect taxes were too high and 59 per cent felt that pubs should be able to accommodate smokers in a private room. Of the new ‘public health’ policies mentioned in the survey, only health warnings enjoyed majority support, perhaps because they are not perceived to impinge on freedom or impose a cost on consumers and taxpayers.

All in all, our survey found the British public to be generally liberal (in the uncorrupted sense of the word) when it came to individual lifestyle choices. They tend to prefer free choice rather than government intervention, and there is little demand for new or higher taxes on alcohol, tobacco, food and soft drinks.

I can believe this. It’s what most British people are like.

So how come the UK mainstream media and the three main political parties and a great many institutions are so illiberal (in the uncorrupted sense of the word)?

And why do most people go on watching and listening to the media? And why are most people going to vote Conservative or Labour or Lib Dem at the General Election in May?

Do they not mind having their media and political spokesmen advancing thoroughly illiberal and politically correct doctrines?

Do they watch TV and vote purely out of ingrained habit?

Because, after I was expelled from society, I stopped watching. And I’ll never vote for either the Conservatives or Labour or the Lib Dems again, for the same reason.

I suppose that most people simply haven’t been expelled from society.

Yet.

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About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to Yet

  1. OT

    David Stockman Interview: The Clock Is Ticking, The Carnage Is Coming Soon

    David Stockman Interview At King World News David Stockman: The clock is ticking. The carnage is coming soon and it’s not merely Greece and whether it stays in the euro or not….“But it’s symptomatic of what I believe is the gathering crisis in the world, which is that our two-decade long grand experiment in financial bailouts, massive money printing by central banks everywhere, and non-stop Keynesian debt stimulus is heading towards the wall. Look at what’s coming down the pike. After Wednesday in Europe, it’s inconceivable to me that there will be any lasting deal on Greece. It is almost certain now that we are at the threshold or crossing the Rubicon which will result in a crackup of the EU and the euro. There are just too many centrifugal forces blowing apart this experiment, which was misbegotten from the very beginning. That will then catalyze a thundering global crisis of confidence in central banks, generally, and then we will be off to the races. Everywhere we look in the world the central banks are on the edge of desperation. Sweden (has now) joined the cavalcade of negative interest rates. Denmark was already there and is desperately fighting off a massive inflow of capital out of the EU and into their market. We saw the calamity a few weeks ago when the Swiss finally had to give up their rather lunatic peg and the exchange rate soared overnight, creating enormous losses and carnage. Draghi is about ready to unload $1.3 trillion of make-believe, printed out of thin air money into the European financial and bond markets. Japan’s madness knows no limit. The red capitalists in Beijing are flying by the seat of their pants right now as they see an implosion everywhere in their massively overextended and debt-ridden markets, particularly real estate. Brazil and Turkey are in huge trouble…… ….The central banks as late as 2006 had combined balance sheets of $5 trillion. Today it’s $16 trillion. Total outstanding credit in the world is now past $200 trillion. There are going to be enormous losses and cascading effects. There is a huge amount of dislocation on the way and it’s going to be devastating in its scope and intensity. There is going to be a massive conflagration (extensive fire that destroys assets) in the financial markets. It’s going to be the Great Repricing of all kinds of financial instruments — stocks and bonds. It’s already happened to commodities and derivatives are waiting in line. That’s where the carnage is going to occur.”

    David Stockman

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/david-stockman-interview-the-clock-is-ticking-the-carnage-is-coming-soon/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mailing+List+Mid+Day+Thursday

    • Draghi is about ready to unload $1.3 trillion of make-believe, printed out of thin air money into the European financial and bond markets. Japan’s madness knows no limit. The red capitalists in Beijing are flying by the seat of their pants right now as they see an implosion everywhere in their massively overextended and debt-ridden markets, particularly real estate. Brazil and Turkey are in huge trouble

  2. Will says:

    They should set the tax according to the NHS cost per pack, which is somehow verified by independent sources that take account for every variable – although I doubt this would happen as if it did there wouldn’t be any smoking bans in the first place. In a free country it doesn’t make any sense that you’re paying the state to justify smoking?

    • They steal your libety and freedom to sale it back to you in a liscence or fee

    • waltc says:

      Will — first of all, they’d rig the NHS’s “cost per pack” as they rig everything. And then what? They’ll rig the “cost per ounce of soda/ pat of butter/ pint of ale/ grain of salt.” Concede nothing to the bastards.

    • prog says:

      As it is, tobacco duty is more than twice the claimed cost of smoking to the NHS. Most smokers probably have no idea what the total amount raised is, yet are constantly being lectured how they are a drain on NHS resources. Nor do they know that the cost is mostly fictional. Even ASH warned gov not to raise duty to the point that overall receipts fell. instead advocating a direct increased tax on tobacco co profits. To put it into some perspective, global tobacco co profits are c.£35billion pa – The UK gov alone makes a third of that in tax pa. The truth is that those who gain the most from tobacco sales are those who persecute and exploit smokers.

      • That’s the same as cutting off income to pension funds divested into tobacco stocks,even some of the Nazi groups own tobacco stocks in their pension portfolios………..

      • Some French bloke says:

        Nor do they know that the cost is mostly fictional

        … and that any benefits (avoided cases of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ulcerative colitis…) have been discounted out-of-hand.

        • prog says:

          I don’t know how they arrive at the BS costs, but it must be standard procedure to establish patients’ smoking (or not/ever) status whenever they seek treatment and pass that info on. My personal experience is simply being asked whether or not I smoked. I know I’m currently listed as an ex-smoker but I refused to give consent for my medical records to be shared with those who seek to use them against me. What’s probably already happening is that some of the public are getting wise and starting to lie, at least re routine enquiries and minor ailments. It’s one thing admitting to having once smoked, quite another to admitting one still does. Akin to waving a red flag at a mad bull.

        • Slim truth in smoking and obesity costs

          A leading actuary has lampooned health lobby figures on the costs of smoking and obesity as being extravagantly inflated and based on suspect methodology.

          “The numbers are all over the place,” writes Geoff Dunsford in the September edition of Actuary Australia. And they are “big numbers” – the implication being that they are too big.

          “Obesity costs $58.2 billion,” he exclaims, “that’s around twice the cost of age pensions!”

          The sheer size of the numbers, argues the Sydney actuary, perverts government policy. It can lead to poor spending decisions. The credibility of the numbers from the health lobby is therefore critical to government policy.

          The press and the public have been led to believe that the costs to the system are higher than they really are so the government can “justify use of taxpayers’ money on measures to reduce its prevalence and prevention”.

          Dunsford looks at three public health issues: obesity, smoking and depression.

          1. “….obesity …. drains the national budget each year by $58.2 billion”, (Sun Herald report, March 13, 2011).

          2. “…smoking … costs our society $31.5 billion each year”, (Nicola Roxon, media release, April 7, 2011).

          3. “Depression-associated disability costs the Australian economy $14.9 billion annually”, (beyondblue website)

          In the first case, the newspaper story was based on an Access Economics report for Diabetes Australia titled, “The growing cost of obesity in 2008: three years on”.

          Access Economics estimated the cost of obesity to Australia at $58.2 billion. And sure enough, this enormous headline number promptly bobbed in the press.

          On Dunsford’s analysis, however, the figures are flawed, skewed by the “non-financial” estimates to make obesity seem a lot more costly to the taxpayer than it really is.

          The costs break down as $3.9 billion for the health care system, $4.4 billion in “other” costs relating to lost work days, taxes forgone and other productivity losses.

          Then there is the big one: $49.9 billion in “non-financial costs”. This relates to “burden of disease” or the personal cost of obesity. Dunsford asks, “how come this is included in a total in an announcement which appears – at least superficially – to represent real money costs?”

          The “burden of disease” numbers are calculated by working out “years of life lost through disability and premature death” and Access came up with $6.35 million for the value of a statistical life (VSL) and $266,843 for the value of a statistical life year (VSLY).

          Dunsford argues that it is taxpayers and consumers who will end up paying for all this statistical life.

          The elaborate details on labels of packaged food products in supermarkets are testimony to the current massive regulations supporting such details, but more are planned by Food Standards Australia NZ and the National Preventative Health Taskforce,’’ he says.

          From there it would only be “a short step” to include take away food and restaurant meals and, already, in certain states of the US, it is a requirement for restaurants to display the calorific value of their meals in the same size print – “including on billboards!”

          ‘‘The cost of administering the regulations (to the government and the food industry, all of which will ultimately be paid by consumers) will be mind-boggling, but with a focus on the desire to reduce the $58.2 billion cost of obesity, such actions can readily be justified.”

          Tobacco figures are smokin’Geoff Dunsford is similarly wary of the costs estimates for smoking.

          Assessing the anti-smoking lobby’s $31.5 billion cost figure – found in “The costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs abuse to Australian society 2004-05” by David J Collins and Helen M Lapsley – Dunsford once again shines the torch on the “non-financial” costs and “intangible costs”.

          Of the $31.5 billion, some $19.5 billion are “intangible costs” – that is psychological costs of premature death borne by the smoker and others. Then there are $9.4 billion in “other financial costs” for productivity losses (smoko breaks perhaps?) and $2.2 billion in “non financial costs” such as unpaid labour costs.

          In the Collins and Lapsley report there is a discount for savings to the health system from premature deaths. But this is only $700 million on the $1 billion in actual costs to the health system.

          On the more nebulous costs, estimated by a “demographic approach”, the focus is on the additional number of persons who would have been alive today had there been no smoking deaths over the past 40 years.

          “An estimate of 369,161 was provided to the authors by John Pollard (he had no other involvement with the report).”

          To get to this $19.5 billion, the authors multiply the reduction in the population (369,161) by the value of the loss of one year’s life ($53,267), after adjustments.

        • As Dunford points out, this report puts a different value on life than does Access Economics. Whether Access prices obese people more highly than skinny smokers – or Collins and Lapsley believe smokers are worth less than one-third of the value of fat people – we can’t be sure from “the literature”.

          Indeed each report mentions “the literature” and the large variation in assumptions included in “the literature”, although they also fail to explain, he says, why the numbers they adopted were relevant to their particular health problem.

          In addition, the “value(s) of a statistical life” and the “value(s) of a statistical life year” adopted were significantly different ($6.35 million and $266,843 for obese people, and $2 million and $53,267 for smokers).

          Presumably – and these are our words not Dunsford’s – the pricing of a statistical life would also become more complicated when calculating the demographic of people who are both obese and smokers. Do we just average out the $6.35 million and the $2 million?

          Dunsford however does point out the gross hypocrisy in the government’s position on smoking and revenue. Governments reap very fat profits from smokers.

          Subtracting the financial costs of smoking to the health system at $300 million, plus taxes forgone (from statistical smokers) at $2.9 billion, from the $6.7 billion in taxes levied by state and federal governments on tobacco products, leaves $3.5 billion in profit.

          Dunford says the higher welfare payments to smokers could be offset by the pension savings from higher smoker mortality. Still, a $3.5 billion profit from smokers is a tidy amount for the budget.

          When it came to the publicity for the “plain packaging” initiative, it would have been helpful, says Dunstan, to cite the $31.5 billion in “costs to society” rather than a more realistic figure.

          “Indeed, assuming the media release’s (Roxon’s office) expected reduction in adult smoking from the current 16 per cent of the population to 10 per cent is achieved, the reader could be forgiven for estimating the ‘cost’ to fall by … $11.8 billion,” says Dunstan.

          But such an assumption would be wrong as the methodology is flawed.

          “The problem with the … definition of costs is the way in which past drug abuse is incorporated into the costs for a given year,” says Dunsford. ‘‘Indeed, if all smoking stopped, (this) methodology would still generate a large cost of smoking in the next year by virtue of the effect of the past deaths.

          “This is rather counter intuitive! Arguably it renders the methodology meaningless for the purpose of addressing cost reduction initiatives”.

          ‘Burden of disease’ missing

          Finally, Dunsford points out that in the case of the beyondblue calculations, the $14.9 billion of annual costs to society from depression did not include a ‘’burden of disease’’ number. “Does this reflect the often suggested lack of interest by the government in mental health problems? Not so. Burden of disease numbers are available which show DALYs (disability adjusted life years) due to depression are significant – particularly when associated causes of death, like suicide, are included.” he says.

          He estimates that about $33 billion of non-financial costs could be added to the annual cost numbers for the personal impact on the loss of wellbeing from the burden of depression.

          Dunsford’s work is further proof we can’t place much store in lobby group costs claims. It’s more a case of plucking out a big number and working out some methodology to justify it.

        • Dunsford’s work is further proof we can’t place much store in lobby group costs claims. It’s more a case of plucking out a big number and working out some methodology to justify it.

          That’s pretty much it………….everywhere they pull the economics cost BS

  3. waltc says:

    On the tppic: I even wonder if the 30% who voted yes understood “influence” to mean only the vaunted”education” as opposed to the actual bans, taxes, evictions, firings and refusal of medical treatment. Or if, as non affected nonsmokers, they’re even aware that that stuff’s going on. . A really fair poll would have laid it all out. As for the voters, even most smokers don’t vote their own interests as smokers but stick to what they continue to think of as Their party. How many “low information smokers” will be turned off by the BBC’s apocalyptic vision of a UKIP win and vote the old rote?

    • waltc says:

      Just now read the details of the study over at Chris’s. What surprised me most was the attitudes of the age group of over 65 who: ” were more likely to oppose a relaxation of the smoking ban than any other age group (44 per cent) – although, as with the other age groups, a relative majority would still support it (48 per cent).” I guess I’d have imagined that this group, which had a longer experience of freedom from bans and regs and nannyism of all sorts, would be most in favor of a return to the status quote ante of their free-wheeling youth. Unless, of course, they’ve been nagged or scared into quitting and they’re playing dog-in-the-manger, or perhaps with age come the illnesses of age which they’ve been led to believe they could have prevented? Or…? I dunno. I just find this curious.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Minor point. It wasn’t the BBC’s apocalyptic vision of a UKIP win, but the independent Channel 4’s. It goes to show how the mainstream media (much like the political class) are all the same.

  4. Rose says:

    And why do most people go on watching and listening to the media?

    To try and work out what’s coming, how attitudes are being changed,which way the wind is blowing, and that’s on all subjects, I never want to be caught out again.
    This is not the Britain I knew.

  5. jltrader says:

    Regarding media, maybe you’ve seen this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UsHHOCH4q8. Among other things, that comedian ( I didn’t find this piece funny at all) derides the Marlboro Man ad campaigns, saying that 4 out of 5 Marlboro men died of smoking related diseases. But if we look at the 5 men who appeared in those commercials, their mean age of death is 70years old, with the youngest being 51 and the oldest 85. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_Man#Controversy. If we also check the life expectancy for men born in the 1930s and 40s, the period when those guys were born, we see it was ~ 60 years old. http://demog.berkeley.edu/~andrew/1918/figure2.html. Like always, facts are very different to antismoking propaganda.

    • Some French bloke says:

      “4 out of 5 Marlboro men died of smoking related diseases”

      IOW, the “85% probability that you will die from a disease that is ’caused’ by smoking’ Garyk told us about only yesterday:
      https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/so-long-peter-oborne/#comment-112696

      RE: the life expectancy for men born in the 1930s and 40s being 60 years old.

      Except that the figure given e.g. for men in 1940 (60.8) gives you an idea of the average life expectancy for men born in 1879, and the most recent one (73.8 for men in 1998) gives an idea of the average expectancy for men born circa 1924, while the 1924 level (58.1) applies to men born in 1866.

      • garyk30 says:

        Doll’s ‘Doctors Mortality Study’ showed that about 85% of all deaths to smokers,ex-smokers, and never-smokers were from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking.

        Since Doll is an Icon to the antis, that is a lovely fact to point out. :)

      • garyk30 says:

        There is also the life expectancy at a given age.
        Thus.for me:
        My ‘life expectancy at birth’ was about 63 years.
        These days, most of my contemporaries are dying at the age of 78.

        I am 72 and folks my age can exoect to live to an average age of 84.

        When antis babble on about ‘pre-mature death’, the years of life lost are taken from the last last sort of data.
        Neglected in their blather is the fact that never-smokers suffer the same fate.

  6. Kentucky Senate leaders deliver blow to proposed statewide smoking ban

    By Jack Brammer

    20, 2015 Updated 26 minutes ago

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/20/3705055_kentucky-senate-leaders-deliver.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

    Might as well call it D.O.A HOOORAY

  7. Omaha World-Herald

    Bill to allow smoking at cigar bars passes, awaits Ricketts’ OK

    Omaha World-Herald

    LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers gave overwhelming approval Friday to a bill allowing indoor smoking to continue at cigar bars and tobacco shops.

    Bill to restore smoking in cigar bars heads to governor – KETV Omaha

    http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/bill-to-allow-smoking-at-cigar-bars-passes-awaits-ricketts/article_157b99fe-f877-528a-b957-f1a209c31b32.html

  8. Here’s one less thing to worry about!

    http://retractionwatch.com/2015/02/20/harvard-smithsonian-space-center-retracts-ruling-on-asteroid/

    Harvard-Smithsonian space center retracts ruling on asteroid – Retraction Watch

    Between Mars and Jupiter floats a little rock with big dreams. For three whole weeks in January and…

    retractionwatch.com

  9. WA anti-smoking agency cashed in on $220,000 worth of perks

    THE West Australian government’s controversial anti-smoking agency Healthway is embroiled in a corporate perks scandal after an investigation found that its…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/wa-anti-smoking-agency-cashed-in-on-220000-worth-of-perks/story-e6frg6nf-1227225886146

    Nice to watch the Nazis hang for a change

  10. GOP bills would exempt West .Virginia. casinos, slot parlors from smoking bans – See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150220/GZ01/150229876#sthash.3Ne3SOCd.dpuf

    Over objections from doctors, public health officials, business leaders and cancer survivors, the Republican-controlled West Virginia Legislature is advancing bills that could undo smoking bans across the state.On “Tobacco-Free Day” at the state Capitol, a House committee took up legislation (HB 2208) Friday that would allow county commissions to authorize smoking at racetrack casinos and at bars and gambling parlors that have video poker machines.A similar Senate bill (SB 109) would add fraternal lodges and buildings owned by veterans groups, to the list of places where it’s OK to smoke in West Virginia. “It’s as if these were written by the good old boys behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room,” said Barbara Wessels, who was among dozens who came to the Capitol on Friday to speak against the bill. “Why are we insisting that smokers have more rights than the majority of us, that the right to clean air is not important?”On Friday, the House Government Organization Committee voted down an amended bill that paved the way for casinos and gambling parlors to allow smokers. The committee adjourned. But casino lobbyists complained that audience members shouted “no” during the committee’s vote, creating the perception that the bill had been rejected.After the meeting, Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, who heads the committee, announced that the panel would reconvene in two hours to take another vote on the bill. House leaders later overruled Howell and directed the committee to shelve the bill. They didn’t say if they planned to revive their bill next week.The House and Senate bills strip smoking regulations from local health departments. Thirty counties in West Virginia have comprehensive smoking bans House Republicans call their bill the “Elected Official Accountability Act.” Critics referred to the legislation Friday as “The Careless Disregard of Public Health Act.”“You’re taking us back to the dark ages of public health,” said Greg Puckett, a Mercer County commissioner.Kanawha-Charleston Health Department President Brenda Isaac told lawmakers Friday that her agency will stop issuing food-service permits to Mardis Gras Casino & Resort and gambling parlors if the bill passes and the facilities allow smoking. “I’m not going to expose our sanitarians [inspectors] to the dangers of secondhand smoke,” Isaac said.Mardis Gras Casino, in Nitro, and The Greenbrier resort, in White Sulphur Springs, are the only two casinos in West Virginia where smoking is prohibited. Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, in Chester, also will be forced to bar smoking after Hancock County’s smoking ban takes effect July 1. The casino, which has more than 1,200 workers, is the county’s largest employer.“I will always lean on the side of protecting jobs,” said Delegate Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock, who serves on the House Government Organization Committee and supports exempting the racetrack from the smoking ban.West Virginia has more than 1,200 bars and gambling parlors with limited video licenses that could seek smoking ban exemptions from county commissions, if the legislation passes. At bars, smoking would be allowed only in a separate room that houses the video poker machines. The bars also would have to install expensive ventilation systems. Under the House bill, county commissions would have 30 days to approve or reject requests by casinos and gambling parlors to be exempt from smoking bans. The bills’ critics said carving out exceptions to local smoking bans would spark a flurry of lawsuits. County commissions would be allowed to pick “winners and losers,” critics said, and “losers” — those whose requests to allow smoking were rejected — will surely sue. Also, customers who frequent smoke-filled establishments could file lawsuits against counties for not enforcing regulations that require facilities to have ventilation systems that remove smoke three times an hour.“I urge you to consider the freedom of the majority of West Virginians to be free of the toxic effects of secondhand smoke,” said Bob Pepper, vice president of manufacturing at NGK Spark Plug, which has about 500 workers. “I urge you to reject this regressive bill.”Republican House and Senate leaders didn’t allow their respective health committees to review the smoking ban legislation. Many of those committee members, who include doctors and other health professionals, likely would have resisted the bills.Delegate Matthew Rohrbach, R-Cabell, who serves on the House Health and Human Resources, broke ranks Friday and spoke out at the House Government Organization Committee meeting.“This bill is wrong,” said Rohrbach, a Huntington doctor.West Virginia has the second-highest smoking rate in the country, behind only Kentucky. The Mountain State also has the highest rate of pregnant smokers in the nation. “We should be safe from smoke in public places,” said Karen Larson, a breast cancer survivor from Pocahontas County. “Please protect us.”The Senate bill to allow smoking ban exemptions will be up for a vote before the full Senate next week. The House bill remains in limbo.

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