Who Are They?

I was thinking this morning about the NYC HUD smoking ban I mentioned yesterday.

Smoking will be prohibited in public housing residences nationwide under a federal rule announced on Wednesday.

I don’t think anyone who lives in public housing has been consulted about this. I don’t think that the ban is something that they voted for. I think that someone in the federal government just signed it into law with a stroke of a pen one day, who knows when.

It’s smoking that’s being prohibited. But it could have been cats. Or 100 watt light bulbs. Or chess. Or using the words “he” and “she”.

The people who sign these regulations into law always seem to be completely nameless and faceless. I still have no idea who signed up to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on behalf of the UK. Who was he? Or she? Was he a government minister, or a civil servant? Or maybe just a parking warden?

Who are they? Who are these people who propose and frame and enact these prohibitions? Do they have families? Do they have children? Do they have pets? Do they go on holidays? Do they play golf? Do they read books? Are they like normal people? Or do they belong to some secret society or sect in which they’ve gone through initiation rites involving candles and chanting and blood?

I like to think of them as fanatical zealots pursuing some singular mad cause. But I doubt they are.

They are all people who work in government. They are people who’ve spent their lives slowly climbing the hierarchy inside the federal government or the local town hall, slowly being promoted from sub-under-secretary to sub-secretary to secretary of this or secretary of that. It’s a little subculture all of its own.

The nearest I got to it was when I worked as an architectural assistant in Westminster City for about a year back in 1971 or thereabouts, and spent my time subverting its informal dress codes. They all wore suits and ties, but I soon dispensed with firstly the tie, and then the accompanying shirt (T shirt instead), and then the shiny brown shoes (sneakers), finally replacing the grey trousers with something I might have bought on Carnaby Street, but which I’d actually run up on a sewing machine using loud blue and white striped denim, and which looked a lot like pyjama bottoms. It was a process that I undertook gradually, week by week, month by month. Nobody commented. Nobody seemed to notice. But after a while one of the girls working in my department, who always wore sober grey twin sets, arrived at work one day in a rather daring purple trouser suit. And within a few weeks of that happening, all the girls in the entire office block were wearing trouser suits or miniskirts or whatever the heck they wanted.

No, those people weren’t zealots. They didn’t conduct blood rites with candles and chanting. But they were part of a culture, and a culture that could be subverted. Cultures are always changing. Dress codes are a part of a culture. But there’s also a deep culture, of what everyone (or almost everyone) believes they are doing, or trying to do. And we were building the UK council house equivalent of of HUD dwellings. My boss was an award-winning architect. In time, I think the lifts stopped working in the housing blocks we were designing, and their ill-lit corridors were to become haunted by drug dealers and muggers. And then the architectural culture shifted towards trying to recreate the small  terraces that had been demolished to make way for our award-winning blocks.

The deep culture back then was (supposed to be) one of service to the community. And I suspect that that deep culture has gone now, and the people in government no longer see themselves as servants, but as masters. It was a change in culture first suggested by Tony Blair, when he began arguing for government to become “pro-active”, to take a lead. And all you need is a few people in government with a different set of values for those values to gradually permeate the entire culture – just like purple trouser suits oust grey twin sets. If you’re in government now, you probably believe that your job isn’t merely one of “serving the people”, but instead shaping and defining and leading the people. And what better way to do that than with smoking bans and numerous other environmental rules and regulations.

Governments make rules. And anyone who works in government must be someone who wants to make rules, or change rules. And if you’re going to be “pro-active” in government, that’s going to mean making or changing lots of rules. If you’re going to take a “hands-on” attitude to government rather than a “hands-off” attitude, you’re going to make lots and lots of new rules and regulations. It’s your job, just like it’s the job of clothes designers in Carnaby Street to make lots and lots of new clothes, rather than stick to tried and tested grey suits. And Tony Blair did exactly that. There’s been a tidal wave of new laws and regulations in recent years.

But because there is always a culture of government, and it’s always changing, as new ideas and new beliefs come sweeping in, there’s always the likelihood that the culture of government becomes detached from the wider culture, and people in government come to have beliefs and values that nobody else does.

Not just government. Here’s Nigel Farage lecturing the mainstream media:

“What I’m going to say is this is an industry in very deep crisis,” Farage said. “It’s so detached from the way ordinary people are increasingly thinking that it has left a huge gaping hole in the market which the Internet is filling—Breitbart being a phenomenal example of that…”

He’s quite right, of course. The MSM has its own internal culture and its own hierarchies. And in recent years, in tandem with government, the MSM has taken it upon itself to be be as “pro-active” as government in changing the way its readers and viewers think. The MSM see themselves as cultural leaders and opinion-shapers, not mere reporters and critics. And so of course they’ve become detached from the way ordinary people think.

And when they have become sufficiently detached – be they government or media or medics or Popes – from the way ordinary people think, then ordinary people start asking: Who are they? Who are these people? Where did they come from? How did they start to believe the crazy crap they’re spouting?

Which is right where we are now.


About Frank Davis

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25 Responses to Who Are They?

  1. kin_free says:

    “I don’t think anyone who lives in public housing has been consulted about this.”

    In fact they did Frank, but only to give the impression that there was a consultation that could influence any decision. I actually submitted a response and I know several others did too. For what good it did – Clearly all this was for, was to give the PERCEPTION of some form of democratic process – that would be totally ignored by the ‘elite’.
    My response back in January;

    • kin democrats never ever have a so called democratic looking process until the deals already been done………its nothing but trim for a donkeys ass show. They do it everytime its a signature poster child of theirs making it appear.

    • Frank Davis says:

      So the cultural shift in government and medical profession has been towards eugenics? I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    • Please see my note to Frank’s previous entry about those comments.

    • waltc says:

      Yes, I commented too. So did Audrey, and some of my friends. Most of the comments, however, were from doctors (swearing that shs kills), public health officials and public housing administrators who were all for it. It was also clear that local admins had solicited and amassed comments from a culled few public housing tenants and so there were semi-literate handwritten (and pdf’d by the admins) letters complaining that they, their child, their parokeet or their philodendun had succumbed to the toxins of neighboring smoke or the “disgusting stench” filled their apartments.

  2. Its one of Obamas last minute anti smoking edicts,he was warned last week by trump not to bother with any lst minute new regulations as hed get em gone in the limo to the whitehouse!

  3. Colleges being forced to go smokefree by Obama Administration

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

    Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.


    Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … z29zJ2V2TV

    President Barack Obama has already promised not to smoke cigarettes in the White House. If his administration has its way, American college students will soon be required to follow suit while they’re on campus.

  4. Obama administration bans smoking in ALL public housing in bid to save $153ma year

    Malaysia Sun (press release)

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the smoke-free policy will save housing agencies $153million every year in repairs, preventable …

    • waltc says:

      They already save more than that by not repairing the elevators and plumbing and not providing heat, eradicating mold or exterminating vermin

  5. TAX SECOND HAND SMOKERS why should we give them a free ride

  6. Director encourages more health bosses to follow suit in banning smoking


    OberFuhrer Mary Flemming encourages more health bosses to follow suit in banning smoking

    Look who first invented the Passive smoking Fraud

    Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

    One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

    That’s fine company are so called public health depts. keep with ehh!

    History can shed so much lite on todays own movement it just amazes the mind………..

    Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.”

  7. There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won 57.


  8. Ana says:

    E-cigs: The incendiary truth… Just 10 puffs increases your risk of heart disease and they may even make smokers LESS likely to quit

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3997474/E-cigs-incendiary-truth-Just-10-puffs-increases-risk-heart-disease-make-smokers-likely-quit.html

    No comment.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      They don’t make me want to give up smoking. Vaping neither tastes or feels anything like smoking. The only thing they have in common is the orifice.

      Vaperers remind me of the Michael Crawford character in the film ‘The Games’…

  9. slugbop007 says:

    I think that we should send them all congratulatory messages and give them the Nazi Salute. They are following so closely on the heels of the Fuhrer’s footsteps they are at risk of tripping over him. I call them Uber Nazis.


  10. slugbop007 says:

    In 2003 more than 100 million people worked in tobacco production worldwide, according to the ILO. Who is going to compensate for their loss of employment and income when all the tobacco fields are eradicated from the face of the earth? The World Bank? The WHO? Deborah Arnott?


  11. James Higham says:

    The people who sign these regulations into law always seem to be completely nameless and faceless.

    Therein lies the tyranny.

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