The Toxic World of Tobacco Control

In sketching out yesterday the Manichaean Universe of Tobacco Control, I ended up with their bizarre economic model of the world, in which everything that was on sale was both addictive and poisonous. It was a world in which consumers flocked to department stores to buy lethal kettles, poisonous soaps, and toxic carpets. It was a world in which everyone was killing themselves in one way or other. It wasn’t just cigarettes. It was alcohol, sugar, milk, bread, salt, bacon, fat. And it was oil, coal, and uranium. And it was cars and trains and planes. Roads and bridges and tunnels. Name anything, and I will show you the horrible and lingering death that attends it. And all of them sold by grinning, cackling merchants of death.

Into this world the Controllers had now arrived, like missionaries stepping onto some savage shore, and preaching a message of universal self-denial. Stop smoking. Stop drinking. Stop eating. Stop driving cars. Stop flying jets. Stop going on holiday. Stop buying things. Stop buying everything. It’s killing you. It’s all killing you. That carpet will kill you. So will this armchair. And that lawnmower. And that hosepipe. This necktie. These shoes.  Once you’ve started buying shoes, you’ll never stop. You will go through your life addicted to shoes (and socks), the slave of cobblers and shoemakers. And they are just millstones around your feet. You might as well have bought yourself a ball and ankle chain.

Implicit in this is the dream that, if you could just summon up the strength of character to stop buying all these lethal products, you would extend your lifetime by decades, perhaps even centuries. Indeed, you might never die.

This isn’t a vision that is restricted to Tobacco Control. It’s widely shared throughout the Green movement and beyond. And while most conventional economists want to boost economic activity, and manufacture and sell more and more goods, the Controllers want to strangle economic activity, and stop people buying and selling goods (which might better be called ‘bads’) as far as possible. George Monbiot, Green activist, was praying not long ago for an economic depression.

Where has this strange economic vision come from? It’s a vision of a world that is a playground, in which everyone amuses themselves making and selling each other an immense variety of lethal toys and games and pastimes.

It’s a vision of economic life which would seem to be particular to people who have spent their entire lives in such a vast emporium, and who may have been attracted by it once, but who now see its wares as being at best unnecessary, and at worst toxic. It’s a world that is a vast funfair, or fun palace, from whose whirling rides people, once strapped, are never able to escape. If the old Soviet Union’s dystopian department stores were almost completely empty, the Western world’s were completely full, and thus offered a counter-dystopia of super-abundance. It’s a consumerist dystopia.

And who in the First World hasn’t had the experience of being carried around a department store by a tide of shoppers, along aisles and up stairs, before being flushed down into a metro system and hurled out of the whirling maelstrom, gasping for breath?

The Greens and the Controllers aren’t people who’ve had too little in life, but who’ve had too much. They have been crushed by surfeit rather than shortage. They’re like bloated diners who can’t eat past the fifteenth course of a banquet, can’t touch another drop of champagne, can’t nibble even one more Chocolate Mint Thin, can’t face a Chocolate Fudge Sundae. And they never want any more champagne or chocolate or fudge or smoked salmon or cigars ever again in their lives. They have become utterly revolted by all of it. And they want everybody else to be revolted too.

Elsewhere, Velvet Glove Iron Fist:

…the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking has been sending e-mails to the Department of Health at a rate of one e-mail every three days for the last five years. This is appalling on a number of levels. ASH—an ostensibly private pressure group—is the secretariat of this APPG, ie. it is run by ASH.

Which reminds that I’ve been toying with ideas for cartoons featuring antismoking zealots with enormous, prehensile noses. Why? Firstly they’re all interfering prod-noses, so must have long sharp noses. And secondly these people all seem to be super-sensitive to tobacco smoke at the most minute concentrations, so they must be given huge nostrils. And thirdly they’re all serial liars. Here’s a sketch prototype for Deborah Arnott.


About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to The Toxic World of Tobacco Control

  1. roobeedoo2 says:

    Her nose is bollocks, Frank… Don’t change a thing :D

    She’s such a weener, I mean whiner… Really that’s an excellent drawing. Bravo!

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Is it not basically the politics of envy, Frank? It isn’t that these people actually dislike all those tempting consumer goods (I’ll bet my bottom dollar, for example that, for all their preaching, none of them – not a single one – eschews carpeted homes with comfortable sofas, a flat-screen TV, a dishwasher and an automatic washing machine), but it’s because they themselves can’t get as many or as much of them as they would like. They may drive a perfectly comfortable car, but they can’t afford a top-of-the-range Mercedes, or a Ferrari – so they don’t want anyone else to have one, either. They might have a nice, warm, comfortable three-bedroom house in suburbia, but they can’t afford an 18-bedroom mansion on a private estate with a swimming pool – so they don’t want anyone else to have one, either. So, what they really, really dislike aren’t the products that they are busily claiming are killing us all – it’s the fact that by selling those items to millions of people, some people have become very wealthy doing it. And they can afford all those things that the prodnoses would like, but can’t afford.

    Never mind the fact that those people also just happen to provide items that people want, often at very low prices, and jobs for people who otherwise wouldn’t have anywhere to work – the prodnoses’ jealousy is much more important than that, and must be satisfied at all costs. And if, as seems likely, they aren’t going to have much success knocking the top-knobs in those businesses off their perch (tobacco company executives, to my knowledge still – even after all the onslaughts that their businesses have endured – earn pretty high salaries and live very well indeed on them), then the next best thing is at least to bully the rest of the people into “voluntarily” not having them – thus at least partly soothing the stampy-footed “it’s not fair” mentality of the greedy prodnoses, and giving them a temporary, artificial sense of at least being “better than” someone – anyone – else.

    • Frank Davis says:

      It could be. But the likes of Arnott earn high salaries, so I can’t imagine she’d be envious of many people.

      I dunno. I sort of expect people like her to be on weird diets, and have cut out alcohol. And have lots of weird and wonderful beliefs.

      • waltc says:

        And doesn’t Al Gore (Mr Gorebull Warming himself) in fact have an 18-room mansion? And don’t all these do-goody groups fly first class to lavish conferences with free-flowing champagne and non-stop steaks? True, the ashists really hate tobacco and get automatic-ego points for themselves by simply not using it, but as for everything else,it’s oir use of it that’s wrong, not their’s. Like the communist uber-class that had the daschas and shopped at Gumm while self-righteously creating a system where everyone else lived ten in a room and stood on line for half a day to buy a chichen. Iow, they’re elitists.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Walt I lived just 12 miles from the Gore Farm in Carthage ten for 15 years. Trust me to this day they still raise 100,000pounds of tobacco each year using illegal aliens to crop it.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          I walked into the carthage AG/agriculture office and asked to see the poundage sold off the gore farm back a few years ago as the state keeps records and I was told they didn’t have such information when I knew damn good and well they did as my own tobacco was always reported to the tenn ag dept after all wharehouse sales were done. That’s how the state reports what city sold the most tobacco each year……….

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          But back in 2007 before the quota system went out Gores annual poundage was over 100,000 pounds of tobacco a year and that included when they rented poundage from other growers at 10 cents to 15 cents a pound. Their own poundage was still right at 100,000 pounds and the whole farm is a rotational tobacco farm across both sides of the highway at the gore farm. Maybe next year in june I can take a run by and get pics to post of Gores fields of tobacco.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Today all tobacco bought or grown is done via tobacco company contracts at a set price even though you can still grow all you want and you can take it to market to sell. Problem is your not going to have a price guarantee like before. But you can still expect to turn about 2 bucks a pound or roughly 4000 bucks an acre on tobacco as 1 acre yields about 2000 pounds of cured tobacco.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Yes, they’re elitists. and there seem to be one heck of a lot of elitists around these days. The EU is an elitist organisation. They all think they know what’s good for everybody else.

  3. Tony says:

    They must be writhing in agony over on-line advertising.

    Following your post about Raspberry PI, I looked them up on Amazon. Since then, I’ve had Amazon Raspberry PI themed adverts popping up all over the place. Quite esthetically pleasing really.

    I need to think of some equally pleasing products that I can look up. Unfortunately, Amazon don’t sell tobacco so I can’t get a day of say, Habanos adverts. They do sell alcohol though.

    It seems that you can get popup ad blockers so I suggest someone creates software that replaces selected ads with something more tasteful instead of just blocking them. At least some of the time.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    On the T.V. show ‘River Monsters,’ the host Jeremy Wade could not catch a Canadian Muskie after 10,000 casts. The local native American tribesman recommended sprinkling tobacco on the nearby rocks for spiritual help. Voila ! I think Mr. Wade is now enamored with the power of tobacco.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    somebody hacked my jack listerio profile on FB. My log in page was asking me for government ID and all sorts of personal info on accounts at banks or anything with my name on it. This happened ater a bunch of political pundits agains TRUMP started attacking me last nite,no shit and I never said anything wrong. They went into my account stole private setting pics and reposted them. No doubt they are political hired hacks on FB to down trump and push cruz or one of the others. They fish stories to down trump then about 20 of themat one time swoop in and start with name calling and anything else they can think of. I tore them up so good they obviously had me account hacked or FB is in close association with them.

  6. kin_free says:

    I just think that these people are easily led, easily indoctrinated or brainwashed into ‘groupthink’ mentality without them realising it. It is much like a ‘hive’ mentality where hive survival takes much greater precedence over individual survival; a hardwired survival instinct. A bee or ant will unthinkingly sacrifice itself to protect the ‘greater good’ of the hive. The skilled propagandist has learned how to use these basic instincts to their advantage.
    This instinct is still strong within us, hence why we see suicide bombers prepared to sacrifice their lives for the greater good of their ‘group’. This is the ultimate in indoctrination but there are many levels up to that point where the self-survival instinct or our better judgement can be overridden for the ‘greater good’.

    People like debby arnott, in principle, have exactly the same, deep seated, ‘groupthink’ indoctrination as the suicide bomber. Their conditioning has been so effective that they willingly join the next generation of propagandists, just as the abused child often grows up to be the abusing parent. While most criminals are motivated by greed and self advancement, I’m sure that arnott, and others like her, strongly believe they are ‘doing the right thing’. Their ‘higher cause’ is so strongly held that any means is acceptable to promote it. They may have been trained in the art of exploiting others using group psychology but It would never cross their minds that any of their actions were ultimately evil or that THEY themselves were being exploited in any way (as they are)!

    We, as humans, may think we have evolved into a superior race, but we are still too easily sub consciously controlled by age-old instinct and manipulation by others. Educating people to be self-aware of this however, is a major problem.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Kin I don’t even think theres anyone who even believes the trash. I think they’ve invented or paid for so called public opinion via paid protest speakers all over the place/on the payroll. We know they invent polling results and they pay big time for junk studies with no proof of anything. Its a perpetual psuedo-public relations act where no real public is ever involved unless staged.

    • Frank Davis says:

      It would never cross their minds that any of their actions were ultimately evil

      This is very important. They set up Big Tobacco as evil, and in fighting them they define themselves as good guys. But they never look at the harm that they themselves do.

      I think that it’s a crime to expel countless millions of people from society, exiling them to the outdoors, demonising and slandering them. I think that’s a terrible crime. Big Tobacco never did anything like that. But Tobacco Control does it all the time.

      And the way they do it is to define good and evil purely in terms of “health”. They don’t take anything else into account. They don’t take friends and family and social ties into account. They don’t take the economy into account.

      • kin_free says:

        Harley & Frank, I totally agree with both of you;
        “I don’t even think theres anyone who even believes the trash”

        As I said; ‘Their ‘higher cause’ is so strongly held that any means is acceptable to promote it’. They probably do not believe the trash either, but if it serves their purpose and gets results, they will do it. What they are doing IS evil, but many of them do not think it is. History is full of evil people whose intention is not to deal in evil, but do so nevertheless. Hitler, for instance, was motivated to make Europe and eventually the World ‘free’, within a 1000 year empire (with Germany at its head). He was humanity’s saviour not an evil genocidal dictator – in his mind.

        “But they never look at the harm that they themselves do.”
        Absolutely – they are not concerned about that harm either, in fact it is essential as far as they are concerned to promote their ‘higher cause’ . They have learned well from Nazi ideology and clearly follow Saul Alinskys ‘rules for radicals’, first published in 1971, when anti-smoker ideology began to get nasty;

        You can see how the anti-smoker agenda has developed using these rules. Read them carefully – then read them again. WE can learn lessons from them and how WE can fight and beat anti-smokers at their own game;

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Personally I think they’ve already been beaten. The political pendulum is swinging to the opposite side now. If not for Obama and all the progressives put in places of power thered be no FCTC or TC to begin with. Its pretty much always been a left leaning agenda but its agenda has always been much larger than mere tobacco,its been the world.

  7. Smudger says:

    Projection seems to be a commonality with the ‘Controller’ types, and a significant part of their psychological makeup and motivation. They seem unable to control their own urges, their own lives, and they imagine – wrongly – that everyone else is like them.

    Which wouldn’t matter two bits were it not for the big flaw in our society… that such people are able to wield power.

    • Barry Homan says:

      That goes along with the saying “the little man whose business isn’t worth minding takes great comfort in minding the business of others” – in other words, projecting.

  8. Tony says:

    In the light of yesterday’s revelation (in the comments) about Karl Popper’s anti-smoking intolerance (in the late 1970’s) I have to wonder what happened to him or whether he was always a total hypocrite. His book, “The Open Society and its Enemies” was published in 1945. In the notes to chapter 7 he wrote:

    “..the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law… ”

    The later part of that quote fits the anti-smoking cartel like a glove. The first part shows where we as a society went wrong. It is just rather strange to find that it was Popper himself who provided such a clear illustration.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      First you have to make something seem wrong then you have to instill it. TC thinks by drafting a law that it will become set in stone over time as the norm. You see its the same old trick and everytime they’ve tried it,it FAILED! It simply doesn’t work ever. The bans could all be repealed tomorrow and within 6 months nobody would even care that there ever was a ban. People just really don’t care whether you smoke or not its the Nazi types that make the scene nobody else does.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Has anyone ever seen non smokers that humbly just got together and protested smoking.
        Me either,unless it was TC and its rent a mobs doing it.

        Have I seen smokers in the streets protesting the bans,hell ya we all have all over the world. Remember Paris 10s of thousands in the street protesting that ban,yet MSM totally ignored it and wouldn’t even report it………

  9. Some French bloke says:

    “tobacco company executives… still earn pretty high salaries and live very well indeed on them” (Jax)
    “the likes of Arnott earn high salaries” (Frank)

    It seems like two apparently different types of people, insistently presented and widely perceived as two antagonistic tribes, find themselves on easy street (or more exactly aboard the same MSA anti-smoking gravy train) at the same time and for precicely the same reasons; and this excerpt from a comment by Samuel on Junican’s latest post sheds some light on those reasons: “The tobacco companies accepted persecution and paid fines (without formally admitting guilt) and gained protection from competition and free reign to raise prices and hide them within the added taxes their enemies loaded onto the cost to customers.”
    Only those that actually produce, distribute and consume the stuff, namely tobacco growers and retailers, and – last and least – those pathetic legions of inveterate addicts known as smokers, are left in the lurch, pay the piper and never call any tune. ‘Producers’ has to include those illegal aliens mentioned above by Harley, or those Amish farmers a 2004 Baltimore Sun article titled “The Plain People Of Tobacco Road – Maryland’s Amish are filling the void left by farmers bought out by the state” reported on, as did this article about a strain of nicotine-free (genetically modified) tobacco, designed to promote smoking cessation, which stated: “the company’s promise of $1.50 a pound looked like manna to Amish farmers who were enduring a fourth straight year of prices too low to cover their costs – prices that last winter dipped as low as 70 cents a pound.” In short, while US cigarette prices skyrocket, growers are being controlled out of existence. That’s how cartels operate in a global yet neo-feudal economy.

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