Losing Faith, Gaining Faith

I was thinking this morning about all the things I’ve lost faith in. When people are “exiled to the outdoors”, expelled from society, or marginalised for whatever reason, they lose faith in society and its institutions. It’s inevitable. And so my loss of faith will be shared by other exiled smokers, wherever they live. And it’ll be shared by a lot of the drinkers and stout people who are also slowly being marginalised. And anyone else who’s marginalised for any other reason.

I used to vote Lib Dem. They were Liberal and they were Democratic. That’s what it said on the tin. I voted Lib Dem for 25 years, until the Lib Dem MPs in parliament went collectively mad, and 95% of them voted for the UK smoking ban. And with that I suffered a complete loss of faith in them. I ceased to be interested in anything any of them said.

I never had much faith in the Labour party in the first place. I never voted for them. But I thought some of them were okay. But when 90% of Labour MPs voted for the smoking ban  I lost faith in the whole damn lot of them.

I never had too much faith in the Conservative party. But I thought quite a few of them had their heads screwed on. But I rather lost faith in them when 30% of Conservative MPs voted for the smoking ban which expelled me from society. Or I suffered a 30% loss of faith. In fact I suffered a further loss of faith when Cameron’s Conservatives were elected, and continued with the antismoking policies of Blair and Brown, even though Cameron was a smoker (and also May), and probably still is. What sort of man (or woman) is it who smokes cigarettes, but enacts laws to ban smoking cigarettes? Some sort of hypocrite, at very least.

And I’ve lost faith in the EU. I lost faith in the whole thing when the European Parliament voted for a Europe-wide smoking ban complete with show trials for prominent offenders.

And I’ve lost faith in the medical profession. It’s been taken over by mad doctors like Gro Harlem Brundtland in the WHO. It’s where the antismoking madness originated. It started with mad doctors like Richard Doll and Ernst Wynder and Dr W. They all seem to belong to the top echelons of the medical profession in the BMA and the RCP and the WHO. The fish rots from the head down. Lifestyle medicine is now extending the rot from tobacco to alcohol and fast food and sugar and salt.

I’ve lost faith in science. The medical profession used to be fairly scientific. No longer. But the signs of decay are apparent in the entire corpus of science (e.g. climate ‘science’).

I’ve lost faith in mathematics. When the non-mathematician doctor Richard Doll used statistical arguments to ‘prove’ that smoking caused lung cancer, the foremost statistician of the day, Sir Ronald Fisher, disagreed. But now Richard Doll’s non-mathematics rules statistics.

And I’ve lost faith in uncharitable charities like the British Heart Foundation, and CRUK.

And I’ve lost faith in the pharma industry which is trying to replace smoking (and now vaping) with its own ineffective nicotine-replacement therapies, and prescribing suicide drugs like Chantix to smokers.

And I’ve lost faith in all the newspapers and media organisations that uncritically published garbage antismoking propaganda. I don’t read newspapers any more. And I don’t watch TV.

And I’ve lost faith in the universities, that now seem to just be hotbeds of Political Correctness, and teaching students nonsense.

And I’ve lost faith in all the friends I used to have, as they gradually succumbed to the antismoking hysteria, and stopped smoking, and banned smoking in their own homes. And if I didn’t lose faith in them because of that, I lost faith in them when they failed to be outraged by what was being done to their smoking friends. Who needs friends like that?

I suppose I could say that I’ve lost faith in the churches too. They’re supposed to be the guardians of morality. But none of them have ever condemned the robbery and social exclusion of smokers happening all around them. Perhaps that’s not so much because they joined in the antismoking campaigns, but because they’ve lost faith in themselves.

What haven’t I lost faith in? I haven’t lost faith in Nigel Farage, who is pretty much the only politician in Britain in whom I have any faith. And I haven’t lost faith in Donald Trump, who is pretty much the only politician in the USA in whom I have any faith – probably because he’s not really a politician at all. And I haven’t lost faith in Elizabeth II, the reigning Queen of England. And I haven’t lost faith in my brother, even though he doesn’t smoke. And I haven’t lost faith in the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, because he still does.

And I haven’t lost faith in ordinary decent people everywhere in the world. Like the ordinary decent Britons who voted for Brexit. And the ordinary decent Americans who voted for Donald Trump. Their supposed superiors may have gone collectively mad, but they have not. It will fall to them, eventually, to call time on the crazy circus act taking place above them.

Loss of faith means the withdrawal of support. And when enough people lose faith in – and withdraw their support from – social institutions of any kind, those institutions must sooner or later implode. And so that’s what will happen to them.

But when people lose faith in one thing, they very soon find faith in something else. So when faith is dying in one place, it’s growing somewhere else. And so as the big institutions are rotting like big, dead, hollow trees, there will be all sorts of little plants growing in the sunlit spaces between them. And in their time, some of them will grow up to be trees as big as any of the big, dead, hollow trees.

And one day the loggers will come, and chop down all the big, dead, hollow trees. They’ll chop down the Lib Dem party and the Labour party and the Conservative party. And they’ll chop down the EU. And they’ll chop down the WHO and the BMA and the RCP and the BHF. And they’ll chop down the BBC, and the Times and the Telegraph and the Guardian and the Daily Mail. And they’ll chop down the universities. And they’ll chop down science and mathematics. And they’ll chop down Political Correctness. And they’ll chop down the pharma industry. And they’ll chop down the big, dead, rich foundations. It’s a process of natural succession: one day the big trees die, and little new trees take their places. It happens all the time. Sooner or later, everything gets the chop.

And if the loggers don’t come. the fire will.

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About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to Losing Faith, Gaining Faith

  1. Cameron was pictured in the The Bestes Frau’s Daily Xenophobe, Brexiteur & Homeopathic Capnophobe yesterday having a smoke. Standing outside some festival or other with a glass in one hand and a fag in the other…being kissed by a woman (can I still say that ?) with a huge ‘I <3 Corbyn' sign on her back…make of that ….

  2. Rose says:

    I would very much like a return to Common Law and Commonsense.

    I think we forget how many freedoms that we have lost in the last 20 years, you used to be able to guess what the law was because it was based on commonsense, now you can’t be sure if you are breaking the law just doing ordinary things we’ve done all our lives.

    2009

    “Normally when the British get irritated, we respond with a resigned and embarrassed shrug rather than shout and bellow. We are not like the French who take to the streets at the drop of a hat to chuck cobblestones at the police. But our characteristic mildness as a nation is being tested to destruction by our politicians – whether in national or local government – who have forgotten that if they must interfere in our lives, to do so only when it is absolutely necessary. We have the worst of all worlds – not only are we over-governed; we are badly governed as well.

    We are snooped on more than the average North Korean, harried by marauding armies of parking enforcers and wheel-clampers; pestered by health fascists and safety obsessives and shaken by speed humps. If we smoke we are told where to puff; it we drink we are made to feel guilty; if we drive a big car we are pariahs; if we hunt we have been turned into criminals; if we make an “inappropriate” remark we can expect a visit from the police; if we stand up to hooligans we can end up in court.”

    “This Government has brought in more legislation than any of its predecessors. Since 1997, the Home Office alone has introduced 50 Bills, launched more than 100 consultation papers, made at least 350 regulations and created an astonishing 271 new offences.
    Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour – 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment.

    Here are just a few of the things you could do before 1997 but can’t now – many of them, it must be said, forced on us by EU directives, though our government in most cases agreed them.

    Smoke in a pub or on a railway platform in the open air in the middle of the countryside, or at a covered bus stop, or in your own car if it is used for work, or in your own house if it is used as an office where outsiders may come.
    Own a horse, donkey or Shetland pony without possessing a passport carrying a picture of the animal.
    Ride off with a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox or stag.
    Play the piano in a pub without an entertainment licence.
    Stage more than 12 events a year at, for instance, a school or church hall at which alcohol may be served without a full licence.
    Set off a firework after midnight or be in possession of a firework if aged under 18 at any time other than the period around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.
    Own a pistol for any purpose, including sport target practice.
    Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
    Fish in the River Esk without authorisation.
    Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State.
    Import into England potatoes which a person knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes.
    Obstruct the work of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
    Imbibe an alcoholic drink on a London Underground train or bus.
    Keep a car on your own driveway without tax, even if it not being used, without filling in a form.
    Sell a grey squirrel (though you can kill one).

    Labour has created new offences at twice the rate of the previous Tory administration, which was bad enough in this regard, and it has done so at an accelerating pace. Now you may support some or all of these new laws. What cannot be denied is that we have had a frenzy of law-making that has changed the character of the nation in a way that many of us neither expected nor wanted – even those who voted Labour (especially those who voted Labour, perhaps).

    What is that drives the legislative mania of modern governments? Will any of them really, truly commit themselves to stop frustrating the activities and livelihoods of Her Majesty’s law-abiding subjects with unwarranted interference, intrusiveness and incompetence? Have they no sense of history, no philosophical framework within which they can understand the point at which government activity must end and the private citizen begins? They have lost all concept of the impact of excessive law-making on the freedom of the individual.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5369324/Life-under-Labour-the-worst-of-worlds.html

    And look at the utter trivia the Conservatives have brought in on top of it instead of repealing most of it, have they all forgotten what politicians are supposed to do?
    Can we please have thoughtful people who use their own judgement on matters that will affect real people, rather than listening to lobby groups and following political fashion without properly considering the consequences of their actions.

    No wonder so many people are on antidepressants.

    “Last year 64.7 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants, up 6 per cent in a year and more than 90 per cent higher than the 33.7 million ten years earlier.”
    Can we be surprised?

  3. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Your writing today Frank is one of your best and pretty much sums up what i think. Couple all you’ve said with Diversity and Political Correctness and you can see that the country is being brainwashed. Well i hate Diversity and Political Correctness and i guess many of your readers do too. We are the Resistance !

  4. Clicky says:

  5. Dmitri says:

    Hello, Frank and everyone.
    That’s right, a lot of old trees have to go down, we all feel it. But how about the new trees? Do we just go back to the 1970-s? It never happens. It’s like with Renaissance, when folks wanted so much to go back to Roman glory that they created a totally new world.
    I mean, why don’t we get us some ideas about how a proper future world should function? Just banning the bans may not be enough. Maybe we should voice some simple ideas about the world of kindness and tolerance, while the intolerant ones should be deported back to the Middle East.
    People really start thinking about the ideal future, you know. Day before yesterday Russia and Indonesia have jointly proposed that the topic of the next East Asian Summit in November (attended by 20 or so heads of states like the US and China) will be “how to fight the terrorist ideology” (meaning, of course, the Islamic State, etc.). The idea had been accepted.
    So, see – in November people will propose ideas not about terrorism as in murderous activities, but about ideology that makes people kill and harass other people. It’s like fighting ghosts, maybe. The jihadis love so much their ideas about total ban on everything (that’s their ideal world of the future), that they kill or die for it. Progressives to the extreme. What can we offer as an alternative? Any idea?
    And I do not conceal the fact that I may use some valuable thoughts, with reference, in some of my columns. Sometimes they work. Frank maybe remembers my mentioning that I do believe in the printed word and it’s power.

    • beobrigitte says:

      So, see – in November people will propose ideas not about terrorism as in murderous activities, […]
      People proposing ideas usually means that their term in office provides them with an income to live comfortably after their term in office. These ideas therefore are not well thought over and usually lead to one or more forms of disaster.

      […]but about ideology that makes people kill and harass other people
      This gives the anti-smokers free reign; we already stand accused to kill people with “passive smoke” (no death certificate was ever found stating this as cause of death) and our “stinking habit” justifies the ?paranoid to LEGALLY lump smokers in with crazed ISIS guys. Even though ISIS and tobacco control share the smoker hating ideology.

      Absurdistan in the make.

  6. beobrigitte says:

    A very much thought provoking post, Frank. I read it this afternoon and started to list what:
    1. I used to have faith in
    2. I lost faith in
    3. I still have faith in
    I’d bore people to death with the long lists of 1. and 2.
    The answer to 3. is very short: the things and people I can trust. There is remarkably little of that around.

    Actually, one comment to the article Frank posted yesterday
    http://www.sheppnews.com.au/2017/08/05/103094/its-good-its-hard-for-smokers
    points out:
    If you want to see friendliness and generosity go to a cluster of smokers and ask to bum a ciggarette. 3 people will reach for thier packs, and another 3 will offer you a lighter.
    I may not be able to trust every smoker but I do appreciate generosity and friendliness. The (?bought) mass media gives us not even the latter.

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    “And one day the loggers will come, and chop down all the big, dead, hollow trees”

    On this point, Frank, have you ever read Pete North’s blog? His big “thing” is that our whole political system is utterly defunct and devoid of any useful people within it and that the whole Brexit scenario will highlight this in all its glory and that that may be the catalyst for a complete re-think by the British people of how we want to be governed in the future. I think he’s right, but I think the existing Big Two/Three party system may well struggle on for a number of years before we see any significant change to our Constitution, but then changes on that scale aren’t going to happen overnight – are they? He’s a firm Brexiteer, but he is intensely critical of both sides of the Brexit campaign – so much so that many Remainers have commented on how much he sounds like a true Remainer himself on occasions. He isn’t – he remains totally convinced that leaving the EU is the right thing to do, but he’s viciously critical of the pig’s ear that our inept politicians are currently making out of the Brexit process simply because they have absolutely no idea about the truly complex nature of our withdrawal – casually thinking that 40 years of integration can be sorted out in a couple of years or so. The trouble is, it’s been so long since our Government has actually had to initiate anything without reference to what the EU “requires” in respect of pretty much anything that they no longer have anyone in Parliament who’s capable of the job from scratch. Lawmaking is so much easier when Teacher provides the basic framework, isn’t it? All you’ve got to do is to add a few words around the EU’s basic “directions,” stick it through the usual legislative process (so that it looks like one of your own bright ideas) and – hey presto – you’ve got a brand-new piece of legislation to play with! The few things which our Government have done off their own backs (e.g. wars in the Middle East) have been unmitigated disasters, thus underlining his point about how hopeless they all are.

    There are lots of good articles on there (he’s an even more prolific writer than you, Frank!); some of his opinions you may disagree with, others you may agree with wholeheartedly, but he certainly knows his stuff and he doesn’t pull any punches – being equally critical of both sides of the debate and of politicians on both sides of the House. I recommend this one for starters: http://peterjnorth.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/brexit-is-long-overdue-system-reboot.html , which pretty much sums up the ineptitude of those who have been tasked with the whole Brexit negotiation and who are fast showing themselves to be completely out of their depth. He too, even (at the end) uses the term “dead wood,” so he’s clearly thinking along similar lines to yourself, even if his focus is less about smoking bans (I don’t know what his view is on them) and more about politicians/political commentators generally.

    Comments are generally of a pretty good standard, too, which is a bonus.

    • waltc says:

      It’s about the same over here. The Republicans, now in charge, can’t get their act together. Partly, I suppose they got comfortable with just being noisily impotent–growling from the sidelines–and forgot how to lead and, yes, how complicated and risky and necessary it is. Obamacare , like Brexit, is a Rube Goldberg contraption whose dismantling required more thought than just an easy catchphrase and a simple declarative boast but they forgot to give it thought, or somewhere along the line lost the talent for thinking.

      I’ve lost faith in government, the media, “science” and human nature.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I read it a bit around the time of the Brexit vote. He’s the son of the EUreferendum blog author, isn’t he?

      • jaxthefirst says:

        Yes, he’s the son of Richard North, who has written some pretty feather-ruffling books on all number of topics, including the EU, (“Scared to Death” – about health scares is, in my opinion, one of his best), so he is widely despised by the political elite, because he’s outspoken and direct and doesn’t cowtow to them. Hence, his proposal for what is known as “Flexit” – a structured and gradual withdrawal from the EU, staged and planned to avoid the worst bumps of what would otherwise be something of a “crash landing” was pretty much rejected outright when submitted alongside other “plans” for our withdrawal, I suspect simply because it carried his name on the front cover. Which, again, shows how small-minded and short-sighted, but nonetheless still arrogant, our politicians are. Flexit itself is well worth a read, although at 400-odd pages it’s quite a long haul, and with hindsight it’s a bit heartbreaking, because it’s now a tale of “what might have been” if our politicians had had a decent “roadmap” ahead of them beforehand instead of – through the sheer arrogance of believing that the public would never vote to leave – ending up, as now, with no meaningful plan to hand to guide them through one of the most major changes for this country in just shy of half a century. If nothing else, Flexit might at least have given them an insight into the complex issues which they would be required to face and deal with, but my suspicions are that they didn’t even bother to look at it.

  8. Lepercolonist says:

    I am in nearly lockstep with your loss of faith. On a similar vein is loss of admiration. I picked a new book from the genius mathematician, Edward O. Thorp. I have admired him ever since he devised a method of card counting to beat the casinos. He later earned over 800 million dollars on Wall Street using probability theory.

    Thorp’s new book: A Man for All Markets describes how he is extra sensitive to second hand smoke and refuses to hire anyone in his business that smokes. There goes my admiration.

    He joins the ranks of other famous antismokers that I previously admired : Henry Ford, Thomas Edison,Ted Turner.

    • Frank Davis says:

      He joins the ranks of other famous antismokers that I previously admired

      Karl Popper. Brian May.

    • Vlad says:

      Didn’t know about Thorp being an antismoker…that’s a disappointment. I guess if he has an innate dislike for tobacco smoke, then he just swallowed propaganda without applying the logical filters he’s been using to make all that money.
      James Simons, another mathematician who made it on Wall Street is a heavy smoker.

  9. Smoking Lamp says:

    Well, one more local council–East Baton Rouge Parish–has surrendered to the tobacco controllers. “EBR Metro Council votes in favor of parish-wide smoking ban” http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-metro-council-votes-in-favor-of-proposed-smoking-ban The ban comes in to effect in June 2018.

    I have lost faith in the ability of the public to discern propaganda from facts or to vote in their own self interest rather than the interests of the global elite and their select group of experts, politicians, and profiteers.

  10. waltc says:

    And the NYC council predictably voted for the whole package. The apartment building law will undoubtedly cause more rental bldgs and co-ops to “voluntarily” ban smokers

    https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/cigarettes-will-cost-least-13-pack-after-nyc-law-change

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Yeah, and at $13 a pack a lot of people are going to being cartons that “fell off the back of a truck.” There are no winners (other than the gangsters who will profit from the reinforcement of illicit markets) even though the healthists and lifestyle controllers will say the quest for a “healthy city” dominated the day once again. Tobacco control must be destroyed.

  11. Rose says:

    On a happier note and further to our previous conversation.

    Today’s Marmite News! .. and it’s good.

    Why marmite could prevent miscarriages and birth defects
    10 August 2017

    “Like it or loathe it, but marmite could help prevent millions of miscarriages and birth defects around the world.
    A landmark study in Australia has found Vitamin B3, a lot of which is found in the divisive yeast extract spread, can treat critical molecular deficiencies in pregnant women.
    The ground-breaking results were announced after 12 years of research by scientists at Sydney’s Victor Chang Cardia Research Institute.

    “The ramifications are likely to be huge. This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world and I do not say those words lightly,” lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie said on Thursday.
    Every year 7.9 million babies are born with a birth defect worldwide and in the UK, it’s estimated that one in six pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
    Greg Hunt, Australia’s Health Minister, hailed the study as a “historic medical breakthrough”.

    “The scientists used genetic sequencing on families suffering from miscarriages and birth defects and found gene mutations that affected production of the molecule, NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).
    The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found a deficiency in that important molecule can harm the development of the baby and its organs in the womb.
    “Now after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can be cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking a common vitamin,” Prof Dunwoodie said.

    This supplement is vitamin B3, also known as niacin, which is found in various meats and green vegetables – as well as marmite and its Australian equivalent, Vegemite. A single serving of the black stuff contains 36pc of your recommended daily allowance of of B3.”

    “This will change the way pregnant women are cared for around the world,” he said.
    Scientists are now trying to come up with a test that will measure levels of NAD in order to identify women who may be at greater risk.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/10/marmite-could-prevent-miscarriages-birth-defects/

    How much more useful than testing pregnant women for carbon monoxide to see if they smoke and stop them, not to see if they are producing enough.

    Preeclampsia

    The gas in cigarette smoke ‘that could save a pregnancy’
    2006

    “It affects one in ten pregnancies in the UK and claims the lives of up to six mothers and 600 babies a year. Controlled doses of carbon monoxide could one day be used prevent the condition, which is thought to stem from damage to the placenta.

    The Canadian research followed the observation that women who smoke are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia. However, scientists were anxious to stress that their research was not an excuse for women to smoke during pregnancy.
    The researchers, from Queen’s University Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, exposed human placental tissue to the type of conditions thought to cause preeclampsia and monitored the effect on the cells.

    They then treated a sample with carbon monoxide and found 60 per cent fewer cells died, the American Journal of Pathology reports. Further research will focus on a safe method of delivering the gas – and a safe dose.
    Researcher Dr Graeme Smith, an expert in high-risk pregnancies, said: “We believe the carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke, and carried in a smoking mother’s blood, may be the cause of their lower risk of developing preeclampsia.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-405425/The-gas-cigarette-smoke-save-pregnancy.html

    Many rather more scholarly articles on the subject since and not just in Canada..

  12. Rose says:

    This is no mere curiosity, for the first time since the Ban I have to go somewhere where I can’t smoke or drink endless cups of coffee for several hours a day, I am relying on my research and I’m wondering, as I can take food, if the chemical and behavioural aspects of a bag of Twiglets will see me through.

    Twiglets
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twiglets

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