The Independent reported last night that:
Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation.
The Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change are both set to see spending reduction.
I’m all for merging quangos and slashing government regulation. And the Department of Energy and Climate Change should go back to being the Department of Energy ASAP.
I suppose all these proposals were being blocked by Clegg and his Lib Dem chums in the Coalition government. Now that they’re gone, they should merge all the quangos into one, and tow it out to sea, and sink it there with a concrete block round its ankle.
The one quango/fake charity that I’ve been really dismayed not to see its funding slashed already is ASH: Action on Smoking and Health. I’m sure this was also dear to the illiberal, antismoking Lib Dems’ hearts (did I ever tell you I used to vote for them once?). It’s a complete waste of money, of course. It’s a state-funded organisation for antismoking zealots to lobby government to bully and blackmail smokers. State funding of ASH is much like state funding for the Islamic State or the Taliban.
This must stop. Its de-funding is long overdue. If Deborah Arnott isn’t out of a job within 6 months (6 days would be much better, and 6 hours best of all), we’ll know that Cameron’s Conservative government is just as weak and spineless as the Coalition and the Labour governments that preceded them, and that all talk of “cutting spending” is hollow.
It would save millions and millions if Tobacco Control in the UK was completely de-funded, along with all anti-smoking university departments, local government organisations, and media campaigns. There’s no need for all the No Smoking signs either.
There’d be two immediate benefits from this. First of all, it would save one heck of a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere. And secondly it would result in almost complete silence in the media as all the paid antismoking activists and lobbyists lose their jobs.
Extended to the entire Public Health arena, it would mean the end of browbeating and bullying of not only smokers, but also drinkers and fat people. There would be no more reports saying “Research has shown that one spoonful of sugar causes premature death”. There wouldn’t be any such reports because there wouldn’t be any state-funded “researchers” exploring stupid questions like this, nor state-funded lobbyists peddling the drivel to the media.
A merciful silence would descend, as all these screeching harpies lost their funding, and their jobs.
There’d be an instant surge in national happiness and well-being (not to be confused with “health”). Some of us might even learn how to smile again.
And in that silence, it would be the voices of smokers and drinkers and fat people, hitherto drowned out by highly paid zealots and lobbyists, that would begin to be heard at last. I’m sure that some real horror stories will be told about the Time of Darkness. The truth about the truly dreadful effects of smoking bans and smoker persecution will begin to emerge into the public light of day.
And this is something that can be done more or less instantly, at the stroke of a pen.
After that, the government might think of withdrawing from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and purging the medical profession of health zealots of every kind, and firing all the hospital administrators who ban smoking in hospital grounds.