The Catastrophic Disaster of the Smoking Ban

If nothing else has changed over the past 10 years, at least one thing has. And it is that there are a lot more people speaking up against smoking bans now than there were 10 years ago.

I should know, because I’m one of them. And I’m by no means a lone voice. There are quite a lot of us. We don’t agree about everything. In fact we may hardly agree about anything. But we’re all united in our loathing of smoking bans.

But back in 2004 or 2005, there weren’t any of us. There was only Forest.

And I think that meant that when the UK government began considering introducing a smoking ban back in 2004 (or earlier), they couldn’t see very much opposition to it. Most smokers thought that smoking was bad for them, didn’t they? Many of them wanted to give up smoking, didn’t they? Wouldn’t it be a public service to help the dwindling remnant of smokers quit the filthy habit? What was there to lose with the simple and enlightened measure of just banning smoking almost everywhere? After 10 years or so of a smoking ban, smoking prevalence would probably have fallen from 20% to 5%, or even less. And there’d be lots of grateful smokers, glad to have been saved from themselves by enlightened, progressive government.

And if there was next to no opposition to it, there was plenty of support for it. The WHO was behind it. And so was the medical profession. And campaigning organisations like ASH. And any number of pundits and experts. Smoking had already been banned on the BBC. All the great and the good were of one voice in condemning smoking.

Is it really any wonder that parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a smoking ban, and even passed amendments banning smoking in private clubs and in wet-led pubs that didn’t serve food? Is it any surprise that 90% of enlightened, progressive Labour MPs, and 95% of even more enlightened and progressive Lib Dem MPs, voted to ban smoking? Or that even over 30% of unenlightened, backward Conservative MPs had somehow managed to faintly see the light, and voted for the ban as well? And didn’t they all noisily congratulate themselves afterwards, as if they’d just abolished slavery or something? After all, isn’t smoking a form of slavery – to nicotine?

But 10 years on, smoking prevalence remains only slightly lower than it was before the ban, and it has only really fallen because many smokers have switched to smoking e-cigarettes rather than cigarettes and pipes. And this is probably something that would have happened if there had been no smoking ban at all.

And if there had been no smoking ban at all, most likely 12,000 pubs wouldn’t have closed their doors over the past 10 years.

Ten years on, it seems safe to say that things didn’t go the way they were expected to go. ASH and co may claim it’s all been a great success, but anyone who has one or two eyes in their head can still see all the smokers outside the pubs, and still count the closed and shuttered pubs and clubs.

And, perhaps I’m wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be quite the euphoria in the political classes that there was ten years ago. I haven’t heard Tony Blair trying to defend his record as Prime Minister by saying that, well, Iraq might have been a bit of a disaster, but the smoking ban was a great success. None of them ever seems to mention it. Wouldn’t they be still shouting it from the roof tops if they’d thought it’d been the great success they all thought it was going to be?

Perhaps some of them also noticed that the political phenomenon of UKIP was led by a man who was an ostentatious smoker and drinker.

A couple of days ago Dick Puddlecote reported that hasn’t been a Tobacco Control Plan for England for a year and a half. In the comments underneath, I ventured to suggest that this might be because the government has no wish for one. The very fact that there is now no plan – for what to do next to make life even harder for smokers – is surely evidence of a certain loss of enthusiasm within government for further antismoking measures, is it not? Wouldn’t they have a plan by now if they wanted one? In the same piece it’s reported that

“Over the past three years there have been major cuts to English local authority budgets for stop smoking services and tobacco control work. Budgets for stop smoking services, which offer smokers their best chance to quit, were cut in three fifths (59%) of local authorities in 2016/17, following cuts in two fifths (39%) of local authorities the year before. In some areas, specialist stop smoking services have been decommissioned altogether. These budget cuts are principally due to reductions in the public health grant and to wider central government cuts to local authority budgets.”

The plans are drying up. And the money is drying up too.

Add also something that Simon Clark regularly mentions: the failure of ASH’s Deborah Arnott to collect a well-deserved gong in the New Year’s honours. Wouldn’t she have collected one if they thought she deserved one? And doesn’t that mean that the government doesn’t actually believe she deserves one?

I think also that the Guardian’s very even-handed coverage of the 10th anniversary of the smoking ban last Saturday suggested that the editors of the Guardian wanted to listen to both sides of the debate (something I couldn’t believe was happening), and were well aware that there were two sides. They did what a newspaper should do, and invited responses to a questionnaire. And if they weren’t fully aware who the C F Davis who replied (and whose response they partially but faithfully published) might have been, Deborah Arnott would have known very well who he was, and was probably very shocked to see something written by him appearing in her favourite newspaper.

I will no doubt be told that I’m being over-optimistic by my more sanguine readers, but add it all up, and it all surely points to a slow but steady retreat by the political class from the positions they occupied 10 years ago.

The Iraq war was initially hailed as a great success, but the consensus view now seems to be that it was a catastrophic disaster. How long is it going to be before the same thing happens with the smoking ban, and what was initially hailed as a great success is gradually recognised to have been a catastrophic disaster?

For all those closed pubs, and the smokers outside them clinging onto them like shipwrecked sailors to upturned lifeboats, is only the tip of the iceberg of all the damage that has been done. There has been colossal social damage done, in lost friendships, shattered communities, and divided families. There has been immense institutional damage, as people have ceased to believe experts and pundits in the medical profession and elsewhere. Nobody has even yet begun to assess the scale of the social, economic, and political damage that has been done.

And not just here in Britain, but all over the world.

 

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About Frank Davis

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34 Responses to The Catastrophic Disaster of the Smoking Ban

  1. For the German speakers among us: perhaps slightly off on a tangent but I was linked by the Bestes Sister-in-law In The World to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t0Rt8AtzX8
    Some German hippy ‘guru’ banging on about something mystical and esoterical (“Day Energie?”) BUT what he says about smoking (from 2:36:29), and the reasons for world wide smoking bans are interesting. He is an occasional pipe smoker himself. Not sure I agree with him and I certainly would not want to watch the preceding 2 hours of crystal rubbing dingo kidneys nor would I recommend any sane person should but still interesting . Also ties in with Frank’s ‘fashionista’ post.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Could you provide an outline translation of his reasons for all us non-German speakers?

      • beobrigitte says:

        Will try after finishing some plastering and the necessary bath after.

        I just watched the first 5 minutes, BD, please don’t tell me I have to sit through all of it.

        • Nooooooooo! Start where I said (from 2:36:29). Dear god, the thought of listening to Alexander pontificate on for 2 hours makes me lose the will to live!

        • beobrigitte says:

          BD, I do hope I followed the right link as the guy did not mention smoking… I also would like to point out that translation is an art in which I’m pretty bad.

          A quick summary the way I understood the thing.
          Alexander begun giving how the definition of state has changed as it’s structures have changed and that if you believe that in a democracy the people have a say you already are participating in a threatening action (?avisaer = leicht bedrohlich) [against the state].
          The ones in power (having the say) know only love and hate, so if you don’t agree with them you are against them.
          Alexander proceeds with concern about all our basic human rights that from a libertarian point of view we all have the same rights and that those who give you/take away rights must be in a position of having more rights than we.
          In the medieval times the king was anointed by the pope thus being the leader by the grace of god.
          Today’s states have different structures than all these years back, i.e. commerce, trade etc. and everyone has the right to decide what happens with his/her own creative work (?creation) as no-one has the right to decide about you. As an example Alexander mentions that the right to bear weapons in most states of the USA wasn’t given by the congress, and that a lot of people think that this right cannot be taken away.
          Alexander finished the interview by saying that we have to defend our basic rights as otherwise they might be taken away from us.

          BD, I hope I got it ok-ish sorted. Please check and correct/add what I forgot to mention.
          *Thanks*

        • Beo, I’m somewhat confused (nothing new there, then). Just checked the link and it is right, takes one to the youtube video: “105. Tagesenergie mit Alexander “. His comments about smoking are almost at the end- at the 2hour:36 minute mark. Did you perhaps mistake hours for minutes?

        • Yep just checked, you started watching at the 2 minute 36 second mark not the 2 hour 36 minute and however many seconds mark ! The fumes of curing plaster can do that….

        • beobrigitte says:

          BD, you’re right. *damned*
          Back to the video….

        • My ‘Quick N Dirty’ translation/transcript/interpolations will,I’m sure, pale in comparison to yours as a native speaker. Especially as I genuinely did mine in less than 15 minutes between baby sitting and going to tesco.

        • beobrigitte says:

          I don’t have anything to add BD, you have summarised it well!
          I did like the bit where he says “…. and the experts are alarmed and demand higher tobacco taxes. Well, that is always helpful, isn’t it? Wenn the word “Experts” appears we all know what’s coming…”

          The interviewer, though, does point out towards the end, after the tobacco plant being hailed as a medicinal plant that ” he is against smoking because there are addictive substances in tobacco”….

      • Sorry it’s a rushed job, perhaps Beo will explain it better down the Vid-rubba-dub-dub later:
        Alexander Wagand is discussing a German newspaper article https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article166175598/In-diesen-Bevoelkerungsteilen-bleibt-Rauchen-ein-Problem.html
        Which claims, basically, that only poor , stupid, people still smoke and evil Big Tobacco is targetting these groups so we must PROTECT them by making the poor and stupid even poorer and stupid.
        AW starts off by mentioning that everyone he has asked has laughed when he has suggested that this new campaign by the anti-smokers is because they are genuinely concerned about protecting people’s health.
        There is, he reads out, a new study by the Robert Koch Institute which, the newspaper claims, shows that smoking is far common among those of ‘low education’ than among those with ‘high levels of education’.
        The newspaper article explains that all the shock images and smoking bans have had an effect ; to redistrubute smoking prevelance.
        AW then says that he can remember a time, at his parental soirees of the 70s, that smoking was considered a sign of ‘intelligence’ , of ‘free critical thinking’. That is was precisely those of high educational levels that smoked. He mentions Helmut Schmidt and Kohl (who apparently smoked a pipe on occaisions).
        He then says the nowdays that the concept has been competely reversed ie smoking is something only stupid people do . He ponders why this reversal (something which apparently links in to his whole ‘day energy’ philosphy(?) )
        He asks why all the countries of the world , even those which grow tobacco, are united in their belief that tobacco must be vilified.
        He then recounts a recent experience (in England? it’s unclear) where he bought a pipe and some tobacco. The tobacco was in a clear jar plastic jar inside a plastic bag so that one might not even be able to smell the aroma and that tobacco may no longer be advertised as having an aroma, especially not of anything like cherries. He mentions the plgiht of the small tobacconists who have to repackage.
        Then he asks “this all happens in a spirit of total unity, why ?”
        The interviewer says he supposes it has to do with the ‘nicotine plant’ ..at which point AW corrects him and says he prefers to speak about ‘tobacco plants’. He says that tobacco used to be a common medicinal herb, used for a huge variety of aliments –some AW lists and says that some of it’s healing powers were exagerated . AW also says that there were even death penalties for smoking and that we must remember it was common to smoke all manner of plants- not just tobacco or hemp- and that ‘smoking’ and ‘smoked’ (as in food) are tightly connected (and bound in with his personal beliefs I assume). He goes on a bit of a ‘day energy’ tangent but then says tobacco has a very strong ‘spritual’ element:
        “A very strong connection to the god head/the divine”.
        Which is why he thinks there such a movement to demonise tobacco, so much so he refuses to explain further as it is “dangerous” *pass the tinfoil hat*. He says ‘whenever we encounter such unity of purpose. We should be mistrustful’. The interviewer then tries to row back a bit from a ringing endorsement of smoking per se but lets slip a partial explanation for that which AW refused to expand upon a second before; that the demonization of tobacco is to prevent access to powerful healing herbs.
        All a bit conspricacy theory, crystal rubbing, yin and yaning but interesting I found.

        • waltc says:

          In the early 90s a US study was done (don’t ask me why) to determine which demographic swears the most. It was said that in earlier decades it was the lower classes because they saw no value in conforming to the strictures of the “polite society” to which they understood they could never belong anyway, but the middle class, hoping to rise, conformed. The surprise was that in the 90s, it was the educated classes and professionals who swore (especially fuck) the most. Perhaps because they’d “arrived” and no longer had to restrain themselves. I wonder if there’s a potential parallel there about smoking.

  2. Just googled him , AW, up and he’s a former Business trainer, NLP trainer who had a spiritual awakening at an American Shamanic piss up. He gave up the day job and now wanders the Earth-well Germany anyways- Christ like, imparting wisdom and spiritual healing to all…and offers to help open people up for higher cosmic energies.
    Surprises me that such a fruitcake is pro smoking.
    https://sat-chit-ananda.org/wer-wir-sind/alexander/
    (“who-we-are/alexander” ? Shouldn’t that read ‘I am Alexander’, if he can’t even get a simple meme right why should i buy into his spiritual snake oil?).

    • beobrigitte says:

      Talking about weird things on youtube; A while ago I stumbled across a lady who had a near death experience and the titel of the video suggested she found out the cause of her cancer ‘over there’.
      I was convinced that the word “smoking” would come up and her message would be that the (black) hole(y) ASH etc. was right, so I watched the thing.
      Smoking, drinking, sugar, salt etc. was never mentioned, it seems these things are all irrelevant to ‘over there’ or, how you get to ‘over there’. According to the lady she learned that she had some personal issues to resolve in her mind and after waking up her terminal cancer disappeared about 4 months later.

      The first thing that sprung to my mind was: “Don’t tell the anti-smokers/healthists that….”

  3. nisakiman says:

    Your optimism may not be misplaced, Frank.

    New figures suggest smoking is becoming more popular in the Netherlands again, ending a five-year downward trend. A total of 10 billion cigarettes were lit up in 2016, 200m more than in the year before, the AD reports. The finding comes from the annual SUN report drawn up by accountancy firm KPMG for the tobacco industry, which looks into illicit cigarette trade in the European Union. It appears to confirm figures from the CBS indicating that smoking, especially among the young, is on the increase.

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/07/cigarette-sales-increase-as-health-campaigns-fail-to-stub-out-smoking/

    Naturally, TC think that KPMG are biased (probably in the pockets of ‘Big Tobacco’), and dispute that there is a big market in illicit tobacco products. They’ll deny anything that doesn’t fit their narrative until they’re blue in the face.

    • Rose says:

      Nisakiman, I posted this on Junican’s blog this morning on this very subject.

      Lorry driver caught trying to smuggle nearly ten million cigarettes into Hull
      5 JUL 2017

      “It had been “expertly” packed by smugglers, with the cabins’ insides stripped and their doors facing the walls of the trailer, but officers drilled through the cabins to find them filled with boxes of cigarettes.

      Simon Clegg, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court each box contained about 10,000 President cigarettes, and there were 9,600,000 in total. The total duty that should have been paid on them was £2,281,344.

      There was no suggestion the cigarettes were counterfeit.”
      http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/lorry-driver-caught-trying-smuggle-163908

      Whatever ASH may say, the local papers tell a different story.

  4. waltc says:

    I’m pretty sure that the Guardian poll, like all letters to editors (at least customarily and when smoking’s not involved) were published in proportion to the answers they got, where the pro-ban and it-helped-me-quit shit, equalled or outnumbered the anti-ban answers. The moral being:speak up.

    As for the rest, the problem is that too many legislators have gone too far out on a limb to just say Oops and reverse themselves; too much of the public has been convinced of too many improbable things before breakfast, and the Public (and private) Healthists will never let up on Smoking is Dangerous. It took a devastating war to end Nazism and make all the little unter-fuhrers relent, recant, or deny any knowledge of the whole mess and I fear the whole system will have to be metaphorically blown up before there’s a change.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m pretty sure that the Guardian poll, like all letters to editors (at least customarily and when smoking’s not involved) were published in proportion to the answers they got,

      Why are you pretty sure about that? These weren’t letters to the editor: they were answers to a questionnaire. The Guardian was seeking experiences of a particular matter.

      My own view, given that it was the Guardian, and most of its commenters appear to have been pretty thoroughly antismoking, that by far the greater proportion of responses from them would have been in favour of the smoking ban, perhaps even excessively so. I’d imagine that 95% of the responses they got from their own readers were in favour of the ban. And I think they selected only a few of the ban-favourable submissions, using only the more measured and thoughtful ones, screening out the rabid antis. And then they selected from the anti-ban submissions those that were equally measured and thoughtful. And they then gave them equal time. Of the 9 submissions published, 5 were pro-ban, 4 anti-ban. You can’t get more balanced than that. And it’s very, very unlikely that they got equal numbers of pro-ban and anti-ban submissions.

      So I think the Guardian’s editors made a deliberate choice to actually play up the anti-ban submissions. Why? Perhaps for the reason I was suggesting in my post today: the political class has begun to have second thoughts about its antismoking orientation over the past 10 – 15 years, and are losing enthusiasm for it (a bit like they lost enthusiasm for AGW).

      • waltc says:

        I hope you’re right and I won’t beat the horse. Fwiw, I thought questionnaires like or as with Letters might be done proportionally to what they received. I know that’s how letters for print are chosen. I reckoned that only you and Myrtle represented smokers. One guy represented an ex-smoker who came around. And two (one for, one against) represented pubs. But again, I hope you’re right and in any case glad that enough smokers answered to get representation. I also think knowing that Numbers Count, even if one’s own letters or q answers don’t get printed should motivate smokers to respond.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I reckoned that only you and Myrtle represented smokers.

          John Buck is a smoker. He comments here as Bucko. I’ve even met him lots of times in the Smoky Drinky Bar.

          I didn’t respond to the Guardian survey in order “to get representation.” I responded because I thought someone in the Guardian wanted to find out something, and I wanted to help them find out. I doubt if the Guardian will ever represent me.

  5. Joe L. says:

    OT: The Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity (one of the largest cancer charities today) apparently spends a large portion of their donated funds suing other, smaller charities for infringing on its trademarked “For the cure” slogan than it does on actual breast cancer research.

    Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word ‘Cure’

  6. Tony says:

    I suspect that none of the MPs that voted for the ban will ever speak out against it. They’d never admit they were wrong. So in a sense they are permanently tainted.

    However, according to this article, ‘over two-thirds of Conservative MPs first joined the Commons in 2010 or later.’
    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/07/mercer-and-tugendhat-show-parliaments-new-generation-is-on-the-march.html

    On the other hand, the lack of a tobacco control plan may not be very significant. If I remember right, there was a similar hiatus in 2010 before Cameron and Clegg proved they were just as prejudiced as Labour.

  7. Clicky says:

  8. Rose says:

    Being anti-smoking damages your mental health
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/being-anti-smoking-damages-your-mental-health/

    Yet another article the Spectator won’t let me read.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Being anti-smoking damages your mental health
      Ten years on from the ban, the fanatics still want more
      Rod Liddle 8 July 2017

      I lit a cigarette in an open-air car park a couple of years ago as I was walking to the exit. I noticed a Nissan Micra heading towards me from the far corner and thought at first it was going to run me over. But it pulled up alongside and a woman put her head out of the window. ‘Do you realise that other people have to breathe in your smoke,’ she snarled, ‘including people like me, who have cancer.’ There was nobody within 50 yards of me, apart from this deranged woman who had driven double that distance simply to register her hatred.

      I wondered for a while about the root of her rage and its curious displacement on to me. I could imagine her feeling piqued that it was she who’d copped the tumour, despite having lived a blameless life, and here was this apparently healthy uncancered individual who was doing the worst of all possible things, i.e. smoking. I suppose I could have tried to make her feel better by telling her that I was impotent, my teeth were falling out and I had gangrenous feet — all stuff which the cigarette packets warn you about these days. That might have cheered her up.

      There is something weird about anti-smokers. I got into a lift at the BBC once with a cigarette in my mouth and a woman started coughing, apparently uncontrollably. And wafting her hand in my direction. Fair enough if the cigarette had been lit, but it wasn’t. It’s a kind of neurosis, isn’t it? A little like what George Orwell said about anti-racists — people who define themselves purely by their implacable opposition to something.

      About 12 years ago I was drinking with friends in a London bar when an American man wandered over and said: ‘I don’t care to breathe in your smoke. Put your cigarette out.’ He looked like that chap in Casino who Joe Pesci stabs to death with a fountain pen. I didn’t have a fountain pen on me. But as he turned away, in one last act of smoking bravado I gathered together all the fags I could get from my friends, lit each one and put them in my ears, nostrils, eyes (screwed tightly shut) and about six in my mouth. He didn’t like that. But it was a last hurrah.

      Two years or so later — July 1 2007 — the smoking ban came into force. The neurotic and fascistic anti-smokers of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said at the time what they always say: this is as far as we want to go. And, as ever, they were lying. They are now supporting bans on smoking in beer gardens and the outside seating areas of restaurants. They were in favour of banning smoking in cars and ‘public places’. I give it a maximum of ten years before smoking is banned in the home at this organisation’s behest. ‘We do not attack smokers or condemn smoking,’ ASH says on its website — one of the finest pieces of doublethink imaginable.

      ASH was also behind the idiotic plain packaging of cigarettes and the even more ludicrous decision to force shops to conceal their tobacco displays so that the poor shop assistant has no idea where a particular brand might be. There is not the slightest proof that either the plain packaging or the concealed displays have reduced smoking in this country, still less the hilarious photographs of very ill and unhappy people which now, by law, must adorn every packet. The man who can’t get it up has replaced the coughing woman as my favourite. He looks cowed and forlorn. I assume he’d been trying to schtup one of the harridans who work at ASH and that was the reason for his erectile dysfunction, nothing to do with smoking.

      One of the aforementioned harridans, incidentally, is also on the board of Impress, Max Mosley’s press regulator so beloved by the luvvies of Hacked Off and the liberal papers. I assume smoking is not allowed at Max’s S&M orgies. You probably have to sneak out the back door for a quick gasper once you’ve been given a good seeing to by someone dressed as Reinhard Heydrich. Or not dressed in such a manner, m’lud, whatever.

      The government and ASH were delighted to celebrate ten years of the ban and have said, without any evidence at all, that it has been ‘popular’ with the general public. How do they know? The last two opinion polls show that more people in the UK would like the introduction of smoking areas in pubs and clubs than are opposed to them. This was what the smoking lobby urged on the government before the smoking ban was introduced. We have also been told that certain kinds of heart disease have been falling year on year since the ban was introduced. That is true. But they were also falling year on year before the ban was introduced: banning smoking seems to have had no effect whatsoever. Indisputable, though, are the pub closures — more than 11,000, one fifth of the total, since July 2007. Not all have closed as a consequence of the ban, but it’s a fair bet to suggest that a good number shut up shop for that reason.

      I suppose I will have to give in eventually. Kick the habit and find a new means to enjoyably kill myself. Perhaps I could move to a city, where the pollution from traffic fumes easily outweighs the damage done to my lungs by a few packets of Superkings. Or become an obsessive anti-something, possessed of clenched buttocks and a perpetually simmering rage at the actions of those most awful of human beings, other people. Get myself truly wound up, like the lady in the car park, furious beyond reason and no less doomed than the rest of us in the end. None of us gets out of here alive.

      • Rose says:

        Thank you.

      • Rose says:

        Oddly enough, the only long term, genuine antismoker I know, who was delighted when the smoking ban in pubs was introduced, has been remarkably silent on the entire subject since the pubs started visibly closing down.

      • Emily says:

        I had a similar experience very early on, maybe in 2007, in Vermont. I was smoking in the outdoors, at a public bus stop that happened to be located on the grounds of an elementary school. However school was not in session, and I was entirely alone, with no other human beings in sight. A woman driving past stopped her car to tell me that smoking was not allowed because it was school property. She was clearly pissed off and almost incoherent. I replied that it was a public bus stop and she got back in her car and drove away in a huff.

  9. Rose says:

    Very occasionally, I almost feel sorry for the astroturfers and their long campaign to silence the public, today we learn from the comments thread on the Daily Mail that they are also avid viewers of Love Island.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4669226/Love-Island-complaints-SMOKING-sex.html#comments

  10. Dmitri says:

    Hello everyone. Getting back to Frank’s post, let me share some of my experience of watching all these global brainwashing campaigns: they die out without regular infusions of something. New ideas. new subjects to discuss, new fakes to stir hatred. All these infusions also need a lot of money to prop things up. And if there is a lull, that usually means that some people are hesitant about more effort and more money. So what Frank has noted is interesting.
    (Haven’t been in touch for a while, travelled like crazy, mostly doing anti-antismoking things).

    • Some other Tom says:

      I agree with you; I think the only way this drivel works is with endless feeding of cash. And that is the beauty of their particular song, the longer it plays, the more pieces they need to keep adding to the orchestra… eventually it collapses. There’s just not enough funding to keep growing it in the ways it must, and there isn’t enough belief in the twists and turns they keep trying to sell as the truth…

  11. Christopher Whittaker says:

    You forgot to mention “Freedom to Choose ” Frank and they even started off a Judicial review of the Ban, but ran out of money, I was a member.

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