I was thinking this morning that the imposition and revocation of smoking bans (and any number of other things) is the outcome of the interaction of an almost infinite number of political forces. Someone somewhere in the world finds himself in temporary ascent, and someone else in temporary descent. And it’s changing all the time, as small causes have small effects everywhere, all the time.
Tobacco Control’s current global ascendancy seems to be closely related to the ascendancy of the WHO and the UN and lots of other global organisations. And this is a function of globalisation and globalism over the past half century or so. All these outfits have been gradually getting more and more rich and powerful, decade by decade. And as these global organisations have grown in wealth and power and influence, national governments have been gradually losing wealth and power and influence. And all these NGOs have gradually formed, quite naturally, a New World Order, and a globalist culture to go with it, made up of the World Bank, the IMF, UN, WHO, etc, etc, etc. They’ve become the movers and shakers in the world.
I think it works a bit like this: Small Country A wants to build a dam somewhere, and so it goes to the World Bank or IMF or whatever, and asks for a loan, and they’re granted the loan, but there are strings attached. And it would seem that one of the strings attached is that Small Country A should introduce a smoking ban to help the WHO in its global struggle against the “tobacco epidemic”. It’s presented as something no different than trying to stamp out malaria or tuberculosis. It’s about Health, after all. And who is going to argue against health measures.
Add to this the fact that most politicians in Small Country A don’t smoke, and quite a few of them are fully paid up members of the ascendant New World Order, from which they have been receiving lavish expenses, free holidays, cut price insurance, etc, etc, and they are very quick to agree to the smoking ban in order to get the loan to build the dam.
The only losers are the voiceless minority of all the poor bloody smokers living in Small Country A, who become very resentful at what’s been done to them, and start voting against whichever political party did it to them. The poor bloody smokers look for populist politicians who will speak for them. In this manner popular political parties and movements take shape. And they manage to throw out the old political parties, and replace them with anti-globalist politicians who start to tear up all the secret deals that have been done with the World Bank and the IMF and all the other NGOs in the New World Order.
Now it could well be that when Small Country A evicts its globalist political elite from power, the World Bank and IMF and so on, backed by other countries in the UN, steps in to freeze or revoke the loans for building the dam. Work stops on the half-built dam. And all the perks and expenses associated with it dry up. And perhaps the old globalist elite stage a counter-coup, and re-install the old order.
But I think that Small Country A could be almost any country in the world. In fact, I’d say that Small Country A is every country in the world. Because they’ve nearly all got smoking bans, and they’ve probably all got them for much the same reasons. And so every country in the world has a voiceless minority of poor bloody smokers. And poor bloody drinkers. And poor bloody fat people. They’re all chock full of voiceless minorities who aren’t actually gays or lesbians or blacks or Jews or women, because those were the old voiceless minorities from 50 or 100 years ago who’ve long since gained a voice.
And it’s from out of this global pushback against globalist elites, in every country in the world, that the current upsurge in populism is coming. And it’s a consequence of the neglect of their own people by the global political elite – for example by throwing their smokers under a bus, and making about 1.5 billion enemies for themselves.
So the ground is beginning to give way under the New World Order that has emerged over the past 50 years. The people are fed up with them, and they are fed up with them everywhere.
In addition, all the various smoking bans and rules and regulations (many of them environmental in nature) that have been raining down on every country in the world have resulted in a global recession or slump. And since Small Country A only wanted to build its dam to provide hydroelectric power for industries it had planned to build up, and these industries are all now in recession, it can tell the World Bank that it no longer needs the loan anyway, and tear up the agreements it made with it. And the same will be happening with lots of other Small Countries.
Perhaps it started with Brexit and Trump. But it’s going to carry on happening, and happening everywhere. Populist leaders and parties are popping up everywhere, and growing everywhere. And a global recession is helping it all along. Political power, that had been slowly accumulating in global political institutions for the past 50 years, is beginning to flow back towards the people. And canny politicians who can see which way the wind is blowing will start to buff up their popular credentials, and follow the lead of Nigel Farage in ostentatiously smoking and drinking and growing fat (although Nigel has done the last one yet).
The writing is on the wall for Tobacco Control. They’ve made far too many enemies for themselves. Their hubris was on display in Moscow two years ago. It’s going to be downhill all the way from now on.