Instant Democracy

One thing about the modern world that puzzles me a lot is this: How come, given the truly astonishing communication technology we’ve got these days, that governments everywhere seem to be more and more out of touch with the people they govern?

Why is the EU out of touch with the peoples of Europe? Why was the UK parliament and all the media political pundits so out of touch with the British people that they never saw Brexit coming? Why were all the US politicians and media political pundits so out of touch with the American people that they never saw Donald Trump coming?

As one of over 10 million British smokers who were “exiled to the outdoors” on 1 July 2007, and who have remained there ever since, why do I never get the sense that the UK parliament and the UK mass media have any idea at all that there are a heck of a lot of angry smokers out there? Sure, some of them know. Nigel Farage knows. And maybe a handful of other MPs know. And one or two political commentators too. But apart from that, nobody knows. And nobody’s much interested.

I write this blog, and I’ve used it to make contact with lots of other smokers all over the world, and lots of other bloggers too. But I haven’t been able to get in contact with any UK political party, or any politicians, or any mainstream media outlets. None of them read my blog, as far as I know. They seem to belong to an entirely separate universe.

I firmly believe that one day all these governments and political parties and mainstream media outlets will one day discover that there are lots of angry smokers everywhere. But they haven’t done so yet. Why are they so blind?

Or is it that the governments and political parties and media actually do know perfectly well that there are lots of angry smokers around, but just ignore them anyway? They’ll pay attention to blacks and gays and Islamic fundamentalists. But they’ll ignore smokers and drinkers and fat people. Because they’re not a recognised minority.

Or is it that they don’t know that there are a lot of angry smokers around, and they don’t know because they only ever talk to other politicians and lobbyists and media pundits inside what amounts to a closed bubble from which all ordinary people – never mind smokers – are excluded?

Perhaps the simplest explanation is that planned, top-down-controlling, administrative states have no interest in listening to anybody. They are instead really only interested in telling people what they should think. And that’s the job of the mainstream media. The new communication technologies – the internet, Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones, etc – are a growing nuisance for top-down thought control. It was only recently that Obama was talking about the good old days when there were only three TV channels which everybody trusted. There’s more and more talk about “fake news”, and getting back control, and closing down outfits like the Drudge Report, Infowars, ZeroHedge, etc, because they’ve become too influential, and people have ceased trusting the MSM. One of Donald Trump’s many crimes has been to extensively use Twitter for instant communication with his millions of followers, without going through the MSM. That’s to say that he’s been using the new media very effectively. Too effectively, some people would say.

Yes, we have the technology for instant democracy (assuming it can be made so secure that it can’t be hacked). There could be continuous online polling of everybody about everything. Public opinion could be monitored from day to day, hour to hour. If some politician in parliament or senate says something at 10 am, what the whole world thinks of it could be known by 11 am. And we are very, very slowly moving towards something like that.

But if you’re a top-down controller who wants to control and manipulate public opinion, you will have no interest whatsoever in such technology. It simply doesn’t fit into any sort of command chain. It’s quite antithetical.

Top-down control, I increasingly think, is largely a matter of getting gigantic lies installed in the public mind as unquestionable truths. I think that everything that is said about tobacco is just one gigantic lie. Same for what is said about most drugs. Alcohol too. Global warming/climate change in another gigantic fabrication. There are probably lots more Big Lies out there. The purpose of all these lies is to change people’s wants, needs, expectations, so that they don’t resist the plans that the planners wish to implement – which as far as I can see entail the impoverishment and enslavement of everybody (except for the controllers at the top) as they close down industrial civilisation and put everyone on a diet of oatmeal.

About Frank Davis

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27 Responses to Instant Democracy

  1. Pingback: Frank Davis – Democracia Instantánea | Contra la ley "antitabaco"

  2. Rhys says:

    You have to remember the first thing they did to us: They turned us all into addicts, possessed by the Demon Tabac. That makes us, essentially infants, who can have no part in a ‘reasonable’ conversation about what to do about ‘The Smoking Problem’.

    We’re ignorable.

    Or so I see it. We simply aren’t worth paying attention to. Sadly, most smokers have bought the lies about second-hand, third-hand, fourth-hand smoke, too. As well as internalised a lot of the revulsion from the smoker-hatred campaigns.

    Not sure there’s an answer to this one.

  3. Darryl says:

    “The purpose of all these lies is to change people’s wants, needs, expectations, so that they don’t resist the plans that the planners wish to implement – which as far as I can see entail the impoverishment and enslavement of everybody (except for the controllers at the top) as they close down industrial civilisation and put everyone on a diet of oatmeal.”

    You could be onto something there Frank. With technology the controllers or oligarchy or whatever you want to call them no longer need large workforces. Most of us are becoming surplus to their requirements. Sustainable future is the word these days. But sustainable future for who exactly?
    The controllers regret allowing the internet to develop the way it has. It was their big mistake. Knowledge is power as they say.

    http://www.green-agenda.com/agenda21.html

  4. Timothy Goodacre says:

    I’m very angry with the fuckwits at ASH, PHE and feeble MP’s who have allowed the bullying of smokers to take place.
    2017 is the year I fight back !

  5. Rhys says:

    It’s still all whirr-clicking in my head and I can’t *quite* put all the pieces together yet, but I’m sure the rest of this social justice madness all ties in. Lengthy, but worth a watch. My adopted country of Canada has gone too far this time. Notice the illogic and attacks and outright lies taking place in this debate about the government’s introduction of compelled speech:

    Somebody tell me I’m imagining it, but these tactics seem horribly familiar given what we’ve seen in tobacco control (which is pretty much a religion where I live).

    • Frank Davis says:

      I watched quite a lot of that. I guess I sympathised most with the psychologist Peterson, who spoke first, and said pretty common sense stuff (men usually think of themselves as men, women as women). Unfortunately he was rather emotional throughout the whole strange debate, which I couldn’t quite figure out was all about: something to do with sexual identity. I was interested that the peer-reviewed authoritative science cited by the other side (who claimed Peterson was guilty of hate speech) included David Suzuki (climate zealot) and Robert Proctor (antismoking zealot). Every single person who spoke seemed to be a professor of some sort, and it only served to intensify my belief that quite a few universities should be closed down. Who needs this stuff?

  6. Tedious Tantrums says:

    Localism with no political parties or whips for local representatives only. Secure voting online and serious penalties for those who try to cheat. Maybe take local democracy back to pre 1975.

  7. Rose says:

    OT

    Frank, I hope you bought those extra pairs of woollen socks.

    UK BLIZZARD WARNING: Britain to be hit by ARCTIC MEGAFREEZE in just SEVEN DAYS

    “A SAVAGE winter MEGAFREEZE will arrive in just SEVEN DAYS with freezing gales, blizzards and near record-low temperatures threatening to grind Britain to a standstill.”

    “Bitter winds from the North Pole threaten to tear across the UK from next Friday dragging temperatures to a bone numbing -15C (5F).
    A powerful “Polar low” pressure system is about to form over Scandinavia opening the floodgates to “damaging winds” and blinding snowstorms, forecasters say.
    Scotland and the north are first in the firing line before extreme cold sweeps southwards through the country into the middle of January.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/751317/UK-Weather-forecast-snow-cold-winter

    I do love the Express’ weather reporting, it makes dull, damp and cold sound positively thrilling.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Looks like Joe Bastardi was right! I’ve got 7 days to get those socks, and a new hot water bottle.

    • Clicky says:

    • nisakiman says:

      We’re already ‘enjoying’ that polar low, Rose. It was snowing this morning, and the temp didn’t manage to rise above 4°C all day. And this is the Mediterranean, where we’re supposed to have mild winters and hot summers.

      Global warming? I’m sure they’ll manage to find a way to spin it.

      • Vlad says:

        They’ve already managed – global warming has been re-branded into climate change :))
        But they really have chutzpah to blame rising rates of oral cancer over past 20 years on smoking which has been declining for 40yrs: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3970054/Fatty-foods-drinking-smoking-cause-mouth-cancer-rates-soar-two-thirds-past-20-years.html

        • Tony says:

          They have no shame at all:
          “Smoking rates – which cause 65 per cent of oral cancer cases – have dropped dramatically in recent years.
          But scientists think oral cancer is still rising because of a ‘lag effect’ – with the thousands of people who started smoking 50 or 60 years ago only now seeing an effect…
          For men under 50, the rate has jumped by 67 per cent.

        • Joe L. says:

          Fatty foods, drinking and smoking are the culprits of oral cancer mentioned in that article. Surprise, surprise: the “Unholy Trinity of Unhealthy.” How predictable.

          As Frank wrote in today’s post, this is how they “get gigantic lies installed in the public mind as unquestionable truths.” They just keep repeating the same lies over and over again, drilling them into the collective subconsious. It doesn’t matter that smoking rates have been declining for 40 years — facts are conveniently avoided because they know the majority of the public doesn’t question what they read.

          I’m hoping that Brexit, the Trump Victory and the seemingly panic-induced “fake news” propaganda campaign of late are signs that people are waking up to the constant barrage of lies. My fingers are crossed.

      • Rose says:

        Nisakiman, I saw the BBC temperature chart for Europe this morning and thought of you.

    • DP says:

      Dear Miss Rose and Mr Davis

      Assuming the BBC are right (aren’t they always?) it will be positively balmy in the Shetlands for the next 10 days.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/8299621/extended

      DP

  8. Pingback: Snowy or Snot, Life Goes On… – Library of Libraries

  9. A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak with junior Minister for Health. After I had shkaen his hand and thanked him heartily for the genuine help he had given us in our battle with the NHS , I added “I’m afraid I still won’t be voting for you or your party” , he asked why and I told him. He seemed genuinely shocked and surprised that the Smoking Verbot was an issue for anyone, let alone a reason not to vote for his particular brand of salvation.

  10. Scot says:

    Your comment re instant referenda reminded me of this – Michael Rimmer, who once PM instigates “direct government” I think it was called in the film, with endless referenda interupting and annoying everyone so much that the populace vote to scrap his initiative and just have him as a supreme dictator, its a sharp satire. but not many laughs, maybe its a bit too close to the knuckle eh?
    And this is 1970!
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066302/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_33

  11. Smoking Lamp says:

    For the elites (and tobacco control is certainly an elite project these days) it isn;t about health security, democracy or public opinion. It is about narrative and control.

  12. mikef317 says:

    Legal post on smoking bans in New York City public housing.

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2016/12/10/the-final-freedom-for-your-own-good/

  13. petesquiz says:

    As I see it the problem is that our system of government was devised in Victorian times and it is not fit for purpose in this tecnological age of the information super highway. Essentially, here in the UK we have a series of five year dictatorships. In Victorian times when the populace wasn’t educated there was a definite need for ‘patrician’ oversight by a government of people who actually did know better.

    Since the 1940’s, everyone now receives an education and the number of illiterate/inumerate adults is minuscule compared to 150 years ago, but the relationship between government and the populace hasn’t changed. To make matters worse, the technology now exists to snoop on virtually every aspect of our lives so that the dictatorship becomes ever closer to being absolute. Add this to the increasing number of laws that have come in over recent years, so things that were perfectly legal 20 years ago (say) are now outlawed, and you have the perfect conditions for top down globalisation to occur.

    I don’t have an answer as to what would be better. Many years ago I thought about the idea that the technology existed so that individually we could vote on every issue on a daily basis (if needed!). One of my friends pointed out the flaw in this; imagine what the result would be when a vote came up about restoring the Death Penalty. I’m fairly sure that the British people would vote overwhelmingly to restoring it, initially limited to certain well defined heinous crimes, but ultimately it would become more wide ranging over the years. My friend knew that I am completely opposed to the Death Penalty and this new system of voting would see it restored pretty quickly! (My reason for opposition of the Death Penalty is quite simply that I believe there are no circumstances where it is justifiable to take another human life.)

    It seems to me that Voltaire’s fine assertion, “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it” has been modified to read – “I disagree with what you say/do and I will defend to the death your right to say/do it as long as it doesn’t do harm to anyone else…and I will be the sole arbiter of whether any harm is caused”. Isn’t it strange that, nowadays, almost every pleasurable activity seems to cause someone some ‘harm’ somewhere, sometime, to some degree such that sanctions are taken against it with the ultimate aim of banning it!

  14. smokingscot says:

    FCTC forces all politicians to disassociate themselves from the tobacco industry, any person employed by said industry as well as any arms length organisation or person deemed to acting on the behalf of any tobacco company.

    That’s why they have Tobacco Tactics. You of course, quite naturally, are listed in their hallowed pages, however they don’t stop at bloggers and their commentators; their main target is politicians – and here is their page of politicians who have offended them:

    http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php?title=Japan_Tobacco_International:_Hospitality_for_UK_MPs

    I am pleased to see that a certain Mr. Philip Hammond was an awfully naughty boy in 2011 to 2013. He is now the Chancellor! And Angela Watkinson, well she doesn’t appear to give a toss, she likes her flowers. Nuff said!

    So step one is to get FCTC passed into law, then enforce that part of the treaty. Freedom of speech and freedom of association no longer applies with all things tobacco

    Only recently you constructed a post round that video of Ms. Duffy lecturing MSP’s in Holyrood on that self same clause, to ensure that they kept their distance form big tobacco and their shrills. For all their bluster, that’s what they do.

    So your average MP doesn’t experience any formal lobbying, only indirect lobbying, and that’s deemed to include everything from pub groups, retail groups, even packaging and graphic design.

    Here’s their list of organisations that had the temerity to object to plain packs:

    http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php?title=Plain_Packaging_in_the_UK:_Tobacco_Industry_Funded_Third_Party_Campaigns

    Sometimes it’s understandable that in the heat of the moment we forget what liberties we’re denied. I’ve mentioned freedom of speech and freedom of association. The smoking ban walloped property owners’ rights and extended this business of freedom of association to a new level. Plain packs nailed intellectual, copyright and a host of others that are far too technical for me to understand.

    All that’s left for your average MP are a few business that state facts as they relate to them, and us lot, if we can be bothered to contact our MP in writing, phone or email. Unless we can place the whole thing in context (virtually impossible given your average MP has the attention span of a Goldfish – and his/her own agenda) , then all we appear to be doing is whinge.

    Little wonder the climate, fat, salt, booze people all want the same privileges as Tobacco Control. Get it though the World Health Organisation the shut up all forms of opposition, then enjoy.

    I think the boss man of Turkmenistan may live to regret his decision to ban tobacco in his country

    iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/central-asian-country-bans-all-tobacco-products/

    but for now he can wallow in the approval of the WHO

    turkmenistan.ru/en/articles/17737.html

    Same with Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, though he can (theoretically) be voted out – or impeached.

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