The Boston Tavern

Yesterday I was tiptoeing towards the idea that Tobacco Control, instead of being something benign and good and life-enhancing, was something malign and evil and life-destroying.

In fact I’ve already more or less completely adopted this view. For a long time I’ve seen Tobacco Control as an enemy that must be defeated, an enemy that must be destroyed. I’ve said as much many times. I may not know how to defeat it, but I’m quite sure that it must be defeated somehow.

It’s one reason why I’m not interested in talking to people in Tobacco Control. I’m really only interested in encouraging and enabling opposition to Tobacco Control, and building the army that will destroy it. After all, Tobacco Control is an army, and a highly effective and disciplined army. It’s going to take another army to defeat an army like that.

And I think the army is out there, scattered all over the world, among the world’s 1.5 billion smokers, almost all of whom are experiencing to one degree or other the depredations of Tobacco Control. And there are also plenty of non-smokers out there who are equally appalled by Tobacco Control.

How do armies form? How was it – to consider just one of countless examples – that the colonists on the east coast of America managed to raise an army, and defeat the highly professional British army, and gain their independence? Did that army simply spring out of the ground overnight, upon the the very first call to arms? I bet it didn’t. I bet it didn’t because a great many of those colonists regarded themselves as English, and had close ties to England: people like Tom Paine, for example. It must have torn people apart to take up arms against their home country. It must have torn families and towns apart. A great many people probably refused to fight King and Country, and regarded anyone who did as traitorous. Such people may even have returned to England once independence was won. I’d suggest that the colonists were very much divided among themselves, and it took many years of debate and argument and thought (and even prayer) before enough of them were resolved to fight.

It’s probably always like that, everywhere. People don’t want to fight. They much prefer peace. It takes a lot to rouse them to war. It takes an insolent and arrogant enemy that tramples upon them, unchecked, to rouse their anger, and rouse them to the realisation that they’re going to have to fight.

In the case of the American colonists, that enemy was one that they thought should be – and had been – their friend and kinsman: the distant and unaccountable British government which was now insolently and arrogantly loading taxes upon them.

Is it any different now with distant and unaccountable Tobacco Control, which is insolently and arrogantly loading taxes on smokers all over the world, and denigrating and defaming them in the process, and ignoring their protests. Isn’t Tobacco Control a new and distant King George? And isn’t it only natural that, while some of us rail against Tobacco Control, a great many smokers retain a metaphorical allegiance to “King and Country” – by still believing more or less everything that is said against tobacco by all the doctors and scientists and experts in Tobacco Control.

The situation of smokers all over the world is the same as that of the American colonists in the years before the American Revolution. They’re growing increasingly outraged at what is being done to them, but they are powerless to do anything about it. And my blog is one of those Boston taverns where angry colonists met up regularly to complain to each other about the latest outrage committed by the British government, and to ask what could be done about it. Nobody was quite agreed. Some insisted that when the British government was presented with their justified grievances, it would see reason. And others insisted that King George would never see reason, and would instead send an army of redcoats to crush all protests. The debates lasted all evening, and were renewed again the following day. And periodically one of the Governor’s redcoats – a Dickie Doubleday – would manage to get into the tavern, and to jeer at all those there assembled.

One day, some of the world’s smokers are going to find themselves standing on their own version of the bridge at Concord, facing a redcoat army from Tobacco Control. It may not be that the battle will be fought with guns and bullets. Maybe it’ll be fought with cyber weapons. And it will mark the outbreak of a global war between smokers and antismokers. Because if the war of American Independence was fought wholly on American soil, this one will be fought everywhere, and will see just as many defeats as victories.

And it would help to encourage them, as they load their cyber-muskets on the bridge, if they had learned to think that their enemy – Tobacco Control – was not something good, as they had once thought, but was something profoundly evil, which had to be fought, had to be resisted at every step. They will have to feel that they are fully justified in fighting Tobacco Control. They are going to have to be firmly of the view that they have right on their side.

Such things are only discovered by debate and discussion, just as they once were in the taverns of Boston.

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About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to The Boston Tavern

  1. Rose says:

    Tobacco Control – was not something good, as they had once thought, but was something profoundly evil, which had to be fought, had to be resisted at every step

    For everyone’s sake.

  2. I seem to have spent a large chunk of my life in the Euston Tavern (e-cookie to anyone who gets the reference), before they banned smoking that is.

  3. ” great many of those colonists regarded themselves as English”
    All (who weren’t either natives, slaves or other other nationalities such a Dutch) at the start anyways. One of the more idiotic of American myths is that Paul Revere rode shouting the “British are coming”. If he had have ridden ,as commonly portrayed at least, he’d have shouted ‘the Red Coats are coming’ or ‘the Hessians’.
    Personally I tend to the view that the Colonists were, to quote the phrase used of the Falkland Islanders during the war, “more British than the British” to the extent one might talk not of a ‘war of independence’ but a ‘Civil War’.
    That said, my knowledge of colonial history these days only revolves around the history of tobacco .

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      I’m a rebel not a yank I hate Yankees at least the ones who push nannystate crap

    • Rhys says:

      If memory serves, it was ‘the regulars are coming’. Spoken discreetly.

      • ‘the regulars are coming’.

        Yes i saw that listed on Wiki after I had posted and went to check because, as said, colonial history isn’t my thing. Didn’t look the evidence/claim in any detail though because -as with so many historical things- what was said or done is almost impossible to ever prove BUT we can say with much certainty what didn’t happen, which was my point. Yelling “THE BRITISH ARE COMING ” would have meant precisely nothing to the colonists.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree Frank, there is a war on and smoking is just the beginning. The totalitarian prohibitionists will seek temperance as well (actually that may even be their actual target). Whatever, the rationale of the antismokers they must stopped. You are correct tobacco control is unmitigated evil. Tobacco control must be destroyed.

    • junican says:

      You would think that the Zealots of all types would be running out of steam by now because everyone must be getting fed up to the back teeth with hysteria and dire warnings. I was really surprised that Osborne fell for the sugar tax. Perhaps Brexit will wake the sodding politicians up from their stupor.

      • Perhaps Brexit will wake the sodding politicians up from their stupor.
        as far as I can see they are not only aroused (whichever way you want to take that) , they are champing at the bit to grab more power than even Cromwell had….and this time no one will lose their head….well only figuratively anyways.

        Spreading my tarot cards of political skulduggery, i forsee the Knaves Of Troughs finally achieving that which their political forebears always dreamt of. The moment the ink dries on the Brexit agreement the HoL (and the Supreme Court too) will cease to be any block, any curb, to the Con-Mens. No one will be able ever again to block the ‘will of the people’ . An unelected HoL will not survive five years past Brexit.
        Fortunately for us smokers, the will of the people is always the right thing to do. That nice Mr. Blair said so. He was actually anti the smoking ban, y’know? But he listened to the people.

        • Frank Davis says:

          He was actually anti the smoking ban, y’know? But he listened to the people.

          He had his doubts about it. But he actually voted for it himself (while Cameron, for example, didn’t vote at all).

          The only “people” he listened to were his (barking mad) Chief Medical Officer, who threatened to resign if there wasn’t a complete and comprehensive smoking ban. The people (or those of them who voted Labour) had voted for a partial ban which would have exempted wet-led pubs. Opinion polls at the time showed 70% of Britons in favour of such exemptions.

          The CMO and the medical profession won. The people lost.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        “I was really surprised that Osborne fell for the sugar tax.”

        Oh, I don’t know, Junican. I think in many ways Osborne simply personifies how isolated and out of touch all MPs are these days. It isn’t only him, of course; he just happens to be the hopeless one in charge of the Exchequer. I personally think that with fewer people smoking, and more and more of those remaining smokers getting their tobacco abroad or from – err – “friends” AND with fewer pubs around selling less and less alcohol (combined, of course, with increasingly-draconian drink-driving laws), I think that privately, behind the scenes, the Exchequer is beginning to feel the pinch quite badly. It’s one of the reasons, I believe, why smoking-related stories are played down so much on the MSM these days. Every now and again some anti-smoking group pops up and tries to fan the fires of anti-smoking hysteria back to something of their former glory – as the recent “urging” of hospitals to enforce their already-imposed smoking bans more rigorously illustrates – but it’s news for a day and then it’s gone, unlike before the ban, when the story would run for days and days, with radio phone-ins, endless newspaper columns, headline coverage on News at Ten and, probably, questions in Parliament about the latest “bright idea.”

        But for the last few decades, the tobacco (and, to a lesser extent, the alcohol) tax-take has tailed off. These reductions have always been enthusiastically interpreted by the powers-that-be as a Universally Good Thing. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they – it was their idea! And as we know, no Government will ever admit to having had a lousy idea. But I think that in the last few years, no doubt exacerbated by (real) pub numbers dropping off the edge of a cliff, reality has bitten and the Exchequer has suddenly had one of those “Oh, dear …” moments. Given that it is absolutely unconscionable that they should be permitted to – Heaven forbid! – point out a downside to all the anti-smoking rhetoric that’s been faithfully spouted for the last 40-odd years, the only alternative must be to find something else, something that people aren’t yet giving up in large numbers, that they could tax instead to make up for the shortfall. Of course, there are lots and lots of things that Osborne could have done to make up for it in other ways, but this is the easiest, and my guess is that he probably thinks he’s being ever so clever by brazenly making allusions to the “success” of tobacco taxation, and steadfastly believes that everyone is so blinded by the magic “tobacco” word that they won’t bat an eyelid when he clobbers them using the same principle.

        What he doesn’t (or perhaps won’t) realise is that by simply casting the same predictable old net, just a bit wider than before, those people who are smart enough to put two and two together, once they themselves are affected, will start to rumble that, as so many people on here have pointed out over the years, there’s actually a very different reason for these latest sin taxes than “the nation’s health,” and that there’s a lot more than just a financial price to pay for those “successes” than has been insinuated.

        • Frank Davis says:

          All perfectly true, Jax. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer these days is Philip Hammond, as of 13 July 2016. Osborne is past history.

        • jaxthefirst says:

          Oh yes, sorry for the confusion! Responding to Junican’s post there – but wasn’t it Osborne who first gave support to the idea of more “sin taxes,” albeit that he didn’t stay in the job long enough to impose any? I imagined that that was what Junican was alluding to, rather than Hammond, who has simply continued in the same vein and is in a position now to actually impose those taxes.

  5. Joe L. says:

    OT: A nice article about how science has become less credible due to corruption. It’s starting to get more recognition. Hopefully we’ll see “settled science” antismoking studies like Doll/Hill questioned soon.

    “Peer Reviewed:” Science Losing Credibility As Large Amounts Of Research Shown To Be False

    • Rose says:

      Oh I do hope so.

      EPA – Scientists Report Political Interference
      2008

      “More than half the Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an independent survey made public yesterday said that they had witnessed political interference in scientific decisions at the agency during the past five years.

      The claim comes from a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group that sent questionnaires to 5,500 EPA scientists and obtained 1,586 responses. Among the scientists’ complaints were that data sometimes were used selectively to justify a specific regulatory outcome and that political appointees had directed them to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information in EPA scientific documents.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042303074.html

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Fascinating article, and echoing much of what has been said on here many times by many people. But how irritating that the thorny issue of faux research in the field of tobacco and smoking was omitted. I’d wager that if one were to look for a starting point of the corruption of science that’d be the place to look. It was where Big Pharma cut their teeth – their first, and most successful, foray into the machinations of “buying” science – and they’ve simply built on that success and expanded into many of the other areas cited in the article. It’s such a pity that an otherwise very valid article should overlook this towering example of corruption and deceit, because until such a time that they, and others like them, take on this huge primary cancer in the world of research, their efforts to tackle all these later, smaller secondaries will do little or nothing to “cure” their professional field. Shame.

      • Joe L. says:

        I agree 100%, Jax. I’m hoping this gains more traction, because the layers of the pseudoscience onion have grown around the “settled” studies on smoking. The sooner the layers get peeled back, the more likely we are to see these studies revisited, as well.

        In my opinion, this is our best shot at regaining our freedoms. This needs to be shouted far and wide. More people need to start questioning contemporary ‘science.’

  6. Clicky says:

  7. Rose says:

    This morning we learn that there are now so many different laws to enforce that they have broken the Police.

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