Manby, Hillary, and Plimsoll

Purely out of slight interest while eating this evening, I was watching the BBC’s Shipwrecks: Britain’s Sunken History on BBC iplayer. It recounted the story of how, during the 19th century, all sorts of ways for saving the lives of shipwrecked ships’ passengers and crews were gradually introduced in Britain, ranging from mortars firing ropes to sinking ships, shore-based lifeboats, lifebelts, weather forecasts, and more.

And many lives were indeed saved. In one year alone there were two thousand ships lost in the North Sea alone, with 20,000 sailors and passengers perishing.

As the programme was ending, and I was feeling glad that so many lives had been saved, it occurred to me that antismoking activists almost certainly see themselves in the same light as the Victorian innovators and philanthropists and campaigners I’d just been hearing about: they were saving lives too!

But, at the same time the thought occurred, it also struck me that it was very different now than it was in the 19th century. But in what ways?

I suppose the most obvious way that it was different was that the shipwreck deaths were real deaths of actual people with names and addresses and grieving wives and children, while the modern “death tolls” ascribed to smoking are the product of statistical analyses that generate projected “numbers of deaths”. The shipwreck death tolls were real, but the smoking death tolls are imaginary. If the statistical analyses employ different methods, they produce different projected “numbers of deaths”. And there are no actual dead bodies with grieving wives and children beside their graves.

It would be different if Smoking Kills, like it says on more or less every cigarette packet today, because then any time you came across someone lying dead with a cigarette or pipe between their lips, you might deduce that this was what had killed them, as surely as arsenic. But smoking doesn’t kill anybody. What kills them is cancer or heart or lung disease which antismoking zealots claim has been caused by smoking. It’s the disease that kills them, not the smoking.

But there are other differences. In the 19th century, a retired sea captain, George Manby, witnessed the shipwreck and drowning of an entire ship’s passengers and crew just 60 yards from the shore where he stood watching helplessly, listening to their screams and shouts. So he went away and invented the Manby Mortar which fired a cannon ball with a grappling hook and line attached. These came into use in many places, and were used to save the lives of many people who would otherwise have perished.

Or take Sir William Hillary, who himself helped save many sailors by rowing out in boats to wrecks, and who went on to found what is now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Or Samuel Plimsoll, who campaigned in parliament for overladen ships to be prevented from sailing from British ports. This was because at that time, when old wooden ships were sold to be broken up, they were quite often renamed and given a new coat of paint, and sent back to sea as what sailors called “coffin ships”, which would sink in the slightest breeze. Eventually, despite considerable government and shipowner resistance,  popular pressure forced the end of these practices. Plimsoll even sold his country house to pay for his campaign’s debts.

These were all men who voluntarily set out to help shipwrecked sailors, using their own funding and resources, and attracting considerable public support in the process. Some of them, like Sir William Hillary, even placed their own lives at risk.

But today’s antismoking campaigners are almost all highly-paid professionals with government or pharma or foundation funding (as mentioned yesterday). It’s a job, and much of their time is spent trying to win more funding for themselves. None of them would ever dream of actually helping any smoker, never mind placing their lives at risk to save one. And they have precious little public support (not enough to fund them).

And whereas in the 19th century, there was government resistance to popular support for the Manbys and Hillarys and Plimsolls of the time, the modern antismoking and healthist professionals always start out with government support in the face of popular indifference. There was no popular call for smoking bans in Britain in 2006. The call came from astroturfed antismoking professionals. Manby, Hillary, and Plimsoll fought against government using genuine popular grassroot movements. But the new antismoking and healthist professionals were united with government from the outset in imposing widely unpopular laws on the people.

No, the modern professional ‘public health’ campaigners are not the descendants of Manby, Hillary, Plimsoll, and many others. They bear no relation to them at all.

If anything, the true descendants of those admirable men are the people who now voluntarily campaign, using their own small resources and skills and wits, against the highly socially and economically and politically damaging smoking bans imposed by governments at the behest of a few professional lobbyists.

About Frank Davis

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11 Responses to Manby, Hillary, and Plimsoll

  1. If all Charities were simply voluntary organisations, and not businesses, all the crap we now suffer would evaporate.

  2. John Watson says:

    In addition to Manby, Hillary AND Samuel Plimsoll the efforts of Igor Sikorski (and probably Leonardo DaVinci for his original Helicopter design) should also be recognised in the field of sea rescues.

    The Anti-Smoking industry, who would like us to believe that to beat cancer all that needs to be done is to stop us smoking, have failed to learn the basic lessons learned by Manby, Hillary and Plimsol as well of the crews and maintenance crews of 202 Sdqn RAF, 772 Royal Naval Air Sqdn alongside the Coast Guards Air Group and RNLI who cover our coastline on SAR duties .

    While their inventions have saved many thousands of lives over the century or so that they have been in use they were cognisant of the fact that no matter how good the safety/rescue equipment is, and despite Plimsoll’s loading marks ships will still founder and lives at sea will still be lost. It will ever be so for as long as people interact with the sea, just as cancer will go on even if the Anti-Smoking industry get their way.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They seem to think preventative medicine will prevent disease. Problem is preventative simply meant a regular physical and bloodwork thru the years. Today it means LIFESTYLE WARFARE on anything the people do. Even he epidemiologists admit its junk science to even try and blame a singular issue as a cause for anything,there are simply to many variables that cannot ever be disregarded yet they voted to do just that for the grant whores they are.

      The tricks they play in their junk singular issue studies like age adjustments is simply ways to increase the desired claims they want to make.

      Even with Yellow Fever It took several years to finally figure out it was a mosquito born disease from the swamps. Then somebody actually proved it came from the mosquito.

      Swamps were drained and so did epidemics of yellow fever and were further reduced with the use of DDT.

      But then the leftists at the WHO decided a DDT ban was absolutely needed the deaths to mosquito diseases have killed tens of millions since the ban came down on its use.

      But we can say for sure WHO,CDC etc etc all the vector born disease institutions have abandoned their core mission and were reshuffled from top down with prohibitionists and the new agenda. CDC itself got reshuffled in the 1990s under Clinton much in fighting went on and was available on the net until a few years ago. In 1993 congress under the democrats invented and chartered a cash cow charity for the new Nazis called the CDC FOUNDATION. Its charter must be abolished and its moneys confiscated.

      Then CDC itself should be banned from accepting pharma money to perform lobbying type studies that support their agendas on lobbying like the 9 states economic study on states with smoking bans. Yes they put out the outcome the day they announced it was fixing to do the study just like the 1992-3 epa shs hoax study.

      Then we have all the billionaire funded fake charities with massive endowments.

      Best hope there is a greater depression wipes out their endowments and ends their scourge on the next generations to come as we became the victims of the last leftovers from prohibition the ACS ALA AHA ETC ETC……..

      Remember its for the childrens future freedom……

  3. Tony says:

    Another great Victorian innovation for saving lives, particularly from drowning, is described here:
    I couldn’t resist but maybe some people haven’t seen it before.

  4. Tony says:

    Oops. I mean this one:

  5. Some French Bloke says:

    These two graphs should be submitted to the self-styled heroes of “public” health for consideration:

    Since the 46% decline in LC mortality in English and Welsh men has unhesitatingly been attributed to smoking cessation, the question to be put to the various subsidised astroturfers would have to be: what exactly did Scottish women do wrong? Didn’t they cut back on their smoking as instructed, or did they increase their smoking instead?

    • prog says:

      TC justification for the rise in LC in women is that it’s the result of an increase of female smokers post WW2 and esp during the 60s – 90s. Associated with the rise of Women’s Lib and aggressive marketing by Big Tobacco.

      What’s also interesting is the low (lower than 2010) 1950 figure for men. I think the later increase is partially blamed on the uptake of cigarettes in the late 19thC. Though one might have expected a much greater rate of LC by 1960. Other things have to factored in, such as pollution, wartime gas and perhaps the post war rise of diesel engines (which might also have contributed to the rise in women).

      PS The scales/Y axes of the two graphs don’t match, thus making direct comparison difficult. They’ve actually exaggerated the rates of rise and fall in males. Perhaps deliberately.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Prog it isn’t the percentages of smokers from say 1950 to today. Its the exact numbers we need. Because if theres just as many smoking today as say 1950……….it makes a great deal of difference.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          In 1965 America we had 50-60 million smokers today we have nearly that many again and its always stayed constant. Remember we cant trust their so called polls showing how many smoke and we cant count blackmarket smokers either,then because of the witch hunt everyones lying to the Nazis.

          TC loves dealing in percentiles since that gives them a good propaganda issue.
          When you take compared actual numbers the numbers pretty well stay constant.

    • kin_free says:

      You should be very wary of anything ‘new’ from the IARC (WHO) that seeks to re-write older, original stats. as these appear to do. (most of the older ones have already been consigned to the ‘memory hole’ – so don’t lose your old graphs, stats. etc. that show smoking declining and cancers increasing etc). There WILL be an anti-smoker propaganda motive – for anti-smoker benefit.

      Remember this stuff is from the IARC that tried to hide Boffetta et al 1998 and sent a press release out denying they did BUT omitted the details of the statistically significant finding that SHS had beneficial health effect on children!

      Don’t ignore this but treat it with the same pinch of salt as news of an increase in the chocrat ration or that we are now friends with Eurasia and at war with Oceania.

      Keep smoking the ‘Victory’ cigarettes though!

  6. igrowmyown says:

    Perhaps the modest Canary should also be mentioned, how many lives were saved in coal mines by this yellow feathered hero dropping off it’s perch? Come to think of it a fool proof way of testing the deadly toxicity of shs, stick a Canary in your room when you smoke and see how long it takes to expire.

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