The Class War on Smokers

ZeroHedge reporting Deutsche bank:

It’s worth looking at the voting split in the UK’s EU referendum based on polls compiled by Lord Ashcroft to get an idea of the disenfranchisement. In terms of socio-economic groups, 57% of ABs (upper/middle class – professional/managers etc) voted remain, 49% of C1s (lower middle class – supervisory/clerical or junior management/administrative), 36% of C2s (skilled working class) and 36% of DEs (Ds – semi & unskilled manual workers. Es – casual/lowest grade worker or state pensioner). So there’s no escaping the fact that this is a class war.

Smokers are most strongly represented among the working classes, with much of the upper and middle classes having stopped smoking over the past 50 years. So perhaps my rather tongue-in-cheek suggestion last night that 17,410,742 smokers won the Brexit vote may have been nearer the mark than I imagined.

But if it was a class war that won the Brexit vote, it would be equally true to say that the war on smokers that has been waged unrelentingly over the past 10 years has also been a class war: a war by upper-middle class doctors, academics, and “experts” on the lower orders, not just in respect of what they smoke, but what they eat and drink.

And much the same is true across the whole of Europe, where the EU elites have been busy for half a century loading Europeans with countless restrictive rules and regulations.

And maybe they’re about to tighten their hold?

European SUPERSTATE to be unveiled: EU nations ‘to be morphed into one’ post-Brexit

EUROPEAN political chiefs are to take advantage of Brexit by unveiling their long-held plan to morph the continent’s countries into one GIANT SUPERSTATE, it has emerged today.

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.

Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.

Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.

It was in order to avoid precisely this awful fate that I for one voted for Brexit.

How are all the peoples of Europe likely to react when their lords and masters “unveil” this “ultimatum”, in which – as ever – they’ll have no say whatsoever?

I suspect that there will be a huge upsurge in anti-EU feeling, insurrection in every single one of the capitals of Europe, and quite possibly military coup-d’états in a number of countries. It’ll be like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Eastern bloc all rolled into one, and all happening on the same day.

And that will be the end of the EU, at least as it is presently constituted.

At which point, of course, all talk in Westminster, Edinburgh, and Belfast of “remaining in the EU” will become moot: it will have ceased to exist.

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About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to The Class War on Smokers

  1. Marvin says:

    We’re not out yet and I’m getting worried, the government should invoke Article 50 IMMEDIATELY!!!

    Why? , Because there is a real danger of a seperate, Pro-EU, Blairite party emerging from the ashes of the Labour party, just like the SDP did back in the 80s. Already the Blairites have either been sacked or have resigned from the shadow cabinet. If such a party came into existance before Article 50 was signed and before a general election, then Brexit could be in serious trouble. With our FPTP electoral system that party could easily gain 10 to 15 million, disgruntled remain votes and have a majority in parliament. Invoking Article 50 NOW would scupper their plans, because it is irreversable and pull the rug from under the Blairites. Christ, I’m a “thick”, “uneducated”, Brexiter and if I can see it coming, there must be strategists in the Brexit camp can see it too???. I f*cking hope so.

    • waltc says:

      That prospect would scare me too. The thing about Progressives is, THEY NEVER GIVE UP. They always manage to connive a Mulligan; when they lose by the rules, they change the rules retroactively. Apply that, too, of course, to the Aunts. (When the established standard of 95% confidence in epidemiology dudn’t work for the EPA , they changed it to 90% to make it shs carcinogenic, and the bansters never take no for an answer.)

      On Frank’s main topic, if the EU triumverate really issues a diktat like that –now of all times– I’d have to assume it would be blindly and petulantly suicidal, if anything, giving other nations an ever stronger reason to escape. Unless they’re masochists. But again
      I’ll repeat that from the start of this project back in tne 90s, I predicted it would end in either Oceania or WW3. Now I wonder if it won’t be both, in that order.

      • Frank Davis says:

        The thing about Progressives is, THEY NEVER GIVE UP.

        Because they have seen the future. And they know that the future will be smoke-free. And EU-controlled. And powered by windmills. They have a detailed vision of what it’s all going to be like.

        Of course this compelling vision is just an illusion. But they don’t know that.

    • Frank Davis says:

      a real danger of a seperate, Pro-EU, Blairite party

      Oh, sure. But that will mean a split Labour party, just like back in the days of the SDP. And a Conservative government, just like in the 1980s. Unless – equally likely, in some ways – the Conservative party splits as well.

      It would seem that the real divide in British politics right now is pro- and anti-EU. It has been that way for a long time, but the pro-EU camp has been in ascendancy. Perhaps no longer.

  2. I don’t see the analysis as “tongue in cheek” at all Frank. The smoking bans and extortionate/unreasonable taxes have caused a LOT of low-level resentment against government that I’m sure shows up in all sorts of various low-level ways in various harms to society. It’s only in an election like this or in one like we’re currently seeing with Trump and Clinton that it starts becoming apparent enough to see.

    I can see it in my own life and politics. If I hadn’t been made personally aware of how “wrong” government can be when it plays the brainwashing game for supposedly “good” reasons I would still likely be out there campaigning to make driving more and more difficult because of the “greater good” of a bicycle/mass-transit based society. Heh, I’d also probably be a lot wealthier (“wealthier” — yeah, right! LOL!) too if I’d gotten some nice grants to write “Dissecting Drivers’ Brains” and “AutoNacht — The Dawn Of A Car-Free World!” and had them featured in college curricula all over the U.S. and Europe. (Heh, you can see my first steps along that road in my first published work ever, from back in 1976: https://assortedtopics.quora.com/Free-Peoples-Transit )

    The “Unintended Consequences” of their persecution of smokers are finally biting ’em in the arse in a way they can’t ignore — even if they don’t recognize it for what it is.

    – MJM

    • Frank Davis says:

      I can see it in my own life and politics.

      I can see it in my life too, in all sorts of different ways. But how many people feel the same way? 17 million Brits? There aren’t that many as angry as I am.

      I was thinking last night that I’m actually a swing voter. I used to be pro-EU. I only started getting seriously disenchanted when the EU parliament voted for a European smoking ban. Now I’m pretty thoroughly anti-EU. And it’s the swing voters who count when there is one bloc pro-something, and another bloc anti.

      • “But how many people feel the same way? 17 million Brits? There aren’t that many as angry as I am.”

        There don’t need to be: Electoral politics is heavily influenced by lots of small groups whose decisions are partly or heavily influenced by issues that aren’t that meaningful to the great majority. If you have 5% of the voters with green skin, and there are two roughly equal parties out there running, and one of them loves green skins… then that candidate will get elected (providing there’s no anti-green-skin group/sentiment out there.)

        A smoke-vote of just a half million or so pissed off smokers and nonsmokers pissed that their local pubs had closed or that their cig taxes were so high that they’ve been driven to ferry back and forth from Europe to avoid them… that vote along may well have swung the referendum in a direction it would never have gone without the Antismokers.

        – MJM

  3. Hsrleyrider1978 says:

    So the Nazis are pushing forward their original plans so no one else can escape their clutches

    • Margo Jackson says:

      Oh yes. I shall be keeping a close eye on the next amendment of the Lisbon Treaty (due out next year I think) to see whether Article 50 has been dropped.

  4. pubcurmudgeon says:

    I blogged about the smoking ban and the EU Referendum here: The worm has turned. And namechecked you, Frank :D

  5. barnacle bill says:

    I feel that now we have had the referendum and it’s result, this has now become a sovereign matter and not one that should be left in the hands of our corrupt and spineless political elites.
    Her Majesty should immediately dis-solve parliament, invoke Article 50 ASAP whilst at the same time assemblying a committee of the best experts in the land to handle the exit negotiations.
    If she likes she could tell the MPs they can stay but are only to involve themselves with domestic matters.
    Yes I agree that the smoking ban played a part in the final result. Mainly because we were never allowed any “wriggle” room on it by those who imposed it upon us. If they had allowed individuals to decide if they wanted to ban smoking in areas under their direct control I think a lot of us smokers would have felt less shafted once again by our political elites.

  6. Late addition, after visiting Junican’s blog and reading an IB Times article:

    Junican ran an age-chart breakdown of the vote and it was VERY clear that the under 35s, those who are largely unaware of the destruction of the smoking bans because they grew up under them, voted Remain while those OVER 35, those who saw their pub culture and workplace routines and camaraderie destroyed, the “pissed-off-smokers” that Frank also articulated through the analysis of the economic-class split in voting… THEY voted LEAVE. I may be looking at this from rather far away here, but I’d say that putting that all together along with the strong general sense of disenchantment with Big Government brought about the the smoking ban and taxes… I’d say it’s a virtual certainty that the smoking issue swung that crucial 2% and maybe as much as 5% of the vote. Karma has come back and bitten “the rich and powerful” in a big way here, and a way that had never been foreseen at all.

    Oh… and as incredible as it seems, it looks as though the Remainers are QUITE serious about usurping the power of the referendum and saying that they’ll keep on voting until the people cooperate and vote the way the politicians tell them to. See:

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/is-there-a-bloxit-option-how-the-uk-could-avoid-leaving-the-eu-after-brexit-referendum-1567668

    Lammy said in a statement: “Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in parliament. Our sovereign parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU…”

    And the IBTimes itself seems to like this idea too if I’m reading the editorial bleed-through in the story correctly: “But the mandate for Brexit is vague — what type of Brexit? And 48% of the turnout backed remain. … So maybe he will not invoke Article 50 after all, we can forget about this whole mess, and have a nice cup of tea instead.”

    Imagine the outrage if they actually go through with this whole “We didn’t like the result, so screw the people, we’re ignoring it.” game! Here in the States our “direct democracy” produces unexpected results sometimes when the politicians have been caught so blindsided that the ballot boxes couldn’t be “adjusted”: We ended up with the Terminator movie star as Governor of California and a professional wrestler as Governor of Minnesota. And the world did not end: the “crazy” choices of the people worked out just fine.

    If Brexit is overturned through Parliamentary shenanigans, the UK will be setting the table for a 1930s’ style dinner where you’ll end up with some TRULY crazy people in power. Same thing will happen here in the States if Clinton is elected: I shudder to think what kind of candidate might get elected in 2020.

    – MJM

    • Margo Jackson says:

      ‘screw the people, we’re ignoring it’ – well, they’ve done it before, haven’t they, to Ireland when they had a referendum and voted No to the Lisbon Treaty, the Danes when they voted against the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. I doubt we’ll be allowed to get out.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’d say it’s a virtual certainty that the smoking issue swung that crucial 2% and maybe as much as 5% of the vote.

      Yes!

      After all, as I just commented earlier, I’m one of those swing voters, and I know why my vote swung the way it did. I was pro-EU a few years ago, and now I’m anti-EU.

      I always thought that it was crazy of the EU parliament to vote for a European smoking ban that would make second class citizens of 150 million Europeans. I bet that a great deal of anti-EU sentiment across the continent comes from this.

      But the weird thing is that the europhiles can’t see it. And won’t see it. They’ve convinced themselves that smoking bans were great successes. And they’ll remain convinced.

  7. Rose says:

    Something that I have been pondering is, just how many remainers were really leavers, but were so scared by the constant threats like financial meltdown and WW3, delivered by emminent persons from around the world, that their courage failed at the last minute?

  8. harleyrider1978 says:
  9. Frank Davis says:

    Lubos Motl on the EU superstate proposal:

    For Czechia, the proposal isn’t original at all. Our lands have lived exactly under these political and legal conditions between 1939 and 1945 when they were referred to as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Czech lands no longer had their army, criminal law, taxation system, or central bank. For example, no Czechs could fight in any conflict. All officials in the police had to be ethnic Germans. One Reichsmark was declared another allowed currency codified to be equal to 10 protectorate crowns (at this rate, the mark was severely overvalued) and the Czech National Bank couldn’t affect the money in any way…

    The planned superstate is a straightforward recipe to kickstart several other Brexit-like referendums across the EU. If someone in Germany and France doesn’t see this obvious fact, they have lost their contact with a majority of the continent. What the EU (and Germany and France as the bold champions of the EU brand) needs now is a lot of modesty and probably the reversal of some of the latest pathological changes in its functioning such as the Lisbon Treaty, not to mention the dismissal of some symbols of the recent failures such as Mr Juncker.

    With plans like the superstate, it’s hard not to understand why the Britons said “good bye” in time. Maybe this proposal is a deliberate provocation designed to expel post-communist countries from the EU. Except that I would guess that it may repel Denmark and perhaps the Netherlands and others, too. If it’s a game, it’s a game one can’t be reliably in control of.

    Jo Nova

  10. junican says:

    We must not forget that the referendum was the result of a Bill placed before Parliament last year. MPs voted and enacted that Bill. Thus, MPs themselves handed the decision about the EU to The People. I doubt that the Supreme Court would countenance the same MPs enacting another Bill which retrospectively took that decision back. At a minimum, there would have to be a general election beforehand, and I think candidates for election would have to state their position on the constitutional effects of overturning a decision which The People have taken. It all gets very messy. Under our constitution, it is THE PEOPLE who are supreme and not Parliament. Never forget that.
    As regards the Super-state plan, perhaps Germany and France should lead the way by amalgamating into a new super-country called Francmany. I’m sure that the French in particular would be overjoyed at that prospect.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:
  12. harleyrider1978 says:

  13. smokingscot says:

    I see Jeremy Hunt (the Health Secretary) is going to put his name forward to be elected as the next Conservative PM.

    And he wants a second referendum. To let us decide on the terms agreed upon our enacting article 50 – that he sees coming to pass a couple of weeks before the next General Election in 2020.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36647948

    This is the same wallah who was praised to the high heavens by anti-smoking groups when he stated in 2014 that he wanted to see as “smoke-free Britain”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/jeremy-hunt-wants-a-smoke-free-britain-9814391.html

    There are several who’ll be putting their names forward in an attempt to stop Boris.

    Hunt ain’t one. He’s just your standard issue narcissist, aided and abetted by the Health Lobby.

    • beobrigitte says:

      I see Jeremy Hunt (the Health Secretary) is going to put his name forward to be elected as the next Conservative PM.
      This is the same wallah who was praised to the high heavens by anti-smoking groups when he stated in 2014 that he wanted to see as “smoke-free Britain”

      The Conservatives will become like Labour – unvotable for.

      And he wants a second referendum.
      So it looks like he does not like the result of the first one? How many more times does he want a referendum? Until he gets the result he wants?

      What will happen? I really have no idea. All I know is that something has to give; this no-brainer of European superstate does not work.

      I have heard that in France and Italy there are demands for the same referendum.

  14. smokingscot says:

    O/T

    The Guardian tells us:

    “Trust in charities is at an all-time low.”

    (And sinking fast!)

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/28/trust-charities-low-charitable-work-public

    Some brilliant comments too. Sort of like the referendum really; they haven’t a clue just how deep the loathing. Or how widespread the sentiment.

    • beobrigitte says:

      “Trust in charities is at an all-time low.”
      I am not surprised.
      CRUK is out canvassing again for peoples’ bank accounts. The poor girl picked my door. And she wanted to know WHY I wasn’t interested. I just asked who finances the 6 figured salary of one or two of the CEOs of the “Charity”. When the girl said that she didn’t know but…. I interrupted with: “I am not”.

      • It’s particularly sad that they abuse children (a good many charitable/activist door-to-door canvassers are in the 16 to 21 age bracket — “children” by Antis’ definitions) to do this money-grubbing for them. Canvassing for a cause you believe in is both extraordinarily low-paying work and extraordinarily destructive psychological/emotional work. I did it for the anti-nuclear SANE/FREEZE for close to eight years and I think I may have rung the bell for the longest stint ever in that job: you have to be willing to deal with CONSTANT rejection and almost TOTAL lack of support from people who express their “sympathy” for the cause. Heh… sorta like what we smoking activists run into when we’re trying to get pub owners to join us in saving their pubs: they simply want someone ELSE to do all the work for them.

        Doing it for causes that truly have no real source of funds is one thing. Doing it for multi-million-dollar funded charities is something else entirely.

        – MJM, who’s amazed he survived those years: I got a decent taste of the concept of “passive suicide” as I’d walk away from a particularly dispiriting encounter and just walk straight out to cross the street to the next house on my list without even looking for traffic: at some level in my depressed mind I was almost HOPING to get hit by a car so the recent rejector might feel bad. ::sigh:: Crazy, eh? But hey, it was great prep work for undertaking an unpopular cause! :>

        • smokingscot says:

          You’re perfectly correct Michael, some of the small charities do fantastic work on a shoestring, however we in the UK not only have some of the largest and most intrusive charities, but also the most predatory.

          I abhor Cancer Research, the British Lung and British Heart Foundations, primarily because they’ve exceeded their founding mandate – by miles. Also because less than 60% of any funds they get actually goes to the front line.

          And in my part of Edinburgh, we’re quite literally wall to wall with charity shops, all run by unpaid staff selling items they’ve been given.

          Take a look for yourself:

          https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.9590791,-3.2121654,3a,75y,90h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1scMVFLpI1qY4XommnB3vLHg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

          Oh and do so try to pick out a “deserving” charity out of this monster list.

          https://www.justgiving.com/charities-list

        • Sheesh Scot! You weren’t kidding! They’ve got a whole batch of ’em on that block. It’s practically a parody!

          Check this shot: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yp9tcm434urkusv/Screenshot%202016-06-29%2019.47.29.png?dl=0

          Amazing.

          – MJM
          P.S. I took a look to see if they had any of OUR favorite charities… no go. The closest I found were these five:

          Forest Dog Rescue
          Forest Holme Hospice Charity
          Forest Peoples Programme
          Forest School
          Forest YMCA

          None of them obviously, being the one we might feel inclined to pour out some of our wallets to…

        • beobrigitte says:

          I have solved the charity problem differently. I take food (also high quality food for the animals in bad shape) to my local rescue center. Although I cannot take in more of the home needy animals, I know i contribute to them being fed.

          I would like to help young people but the charities want monthly cash. I ain’t going to give out my bank details. Full stop.

          That way I know that there is no-one who can laugh at the idiots who fund a 6 figured salary.

  15. scot says:

    I recall getting jumped by a “chugger” many years ago when I was on the dole, I explained I didn’t have any much money, and the bloke said “yes – but just give us your bank details and sign this DD here and ‘just give’ 50p a week…” I walked off, shaking my head in disbelief!

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