My Way or the Highway

Caught in passing:

…the celebrity signalled her distaste for the preferences and habits of the vast majority of ordinary Britons when asked: “what law would you change if you could?”.

Responding, the millionaire vegetarian stated: “I would make smoking illegal and I would ban the slaughter of animals for food or anything… make it illegal to smoke or eat meat.”

I find it surprising how readily people – in this case a rap artist – will call for more or less anything they disapprove of to be made illegal.

If nothing else Alesha Dixon has shown that she has no consideration whatsoever for those millions of people who eat meat and/or smoke cigarettes – which is probably almost everybody in Britain.

Only her own preferences count: nobody else’s. For her, it’s my way or the highway.

I don’t know anything about her, but since she’s a rapper I imagine that she’ll be of some sort of progressive-liberal disposition. She probably believes that global warming is a big problem as well.

And then there’s this:

The President of the European Parliament has told right-wing Hungary and Poland that they must accept liberal values or leave the bloc.

Guy Verhofstadt, who is also the parliament’s Brexit spokesman and leads its largest liberal bloc, said there was “no place” in the European Union (EU) for nations who elected right-wing governments to create “illiberal societies”.

“The European Union… was built to guarantee our citizens’ freedom, democracy and the rule of law. If the Hungarian and Polish governments want to build closed and illiberal societies, they must do it outside the EU,” he blasted Wednesday on Twitter.

Adding: “There is no place in our Union for countries who take EU money, who want to participate in the single market but who reject our shared values #ValuesFirst”

All this from someone whose European parliament voted for a European-wide smoking ban in 2009, complete with show trials for prominent offenders. How much more “illiberal” can you get? Who’s he to decry right-wing Hungarian and Polish polish politicians?

And since when has the EU had a set of “shared values” which all members must accept? Doesn’t that make the EU into something like a religion, with its own Credo and 10 Commandments? Isn’t it actually the case that people actually don’t have a common set of shared values, but a wide diversity of them? Isn’t politics all about negotiating some sort of balance between competing interests and values, rather than imposing a single orthodoxy on everybody.

In their separate ways Guy Verhofstadt and Alesha Dixon demonstrate the same intolerance of any dissent from their values. And it’s an intolerance which is driving more and more people away from supposedly progressive-liberal, but actually increasingly coercive, organisations like the EU.

About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to My Way or the Highway

  1. smokingscot says:

    Seems the young lady was given one law to change, not wish to invoke two additional ones!

    Of course there’s one law I would revoke immediately and what I’d wish for, well that’s best left unsaid, just in case my wish came true!

    Our courts wold be tied up for years, thousands would become unemployable and we’d need at least two more supersized high security prisons.

  2. Jack Ketch says:

    If the Hungarian and Polish governments want to build closed and illiberal societies, they must do it outside the EU,” he blasted Wednesday on Twitter
    and yet again, for the umpteenth time, a leading EUer exposes the lies and debunks the myths of the BrexSShiteurs regarding the ‘sovereignty’ of the independent sovereign nations of the EU. In other words he is petulantly twitting his frustration at the EU not being able to impose it’s will on the sovereign independent member states.

    • nisakiman says:

      No, he’s not expressing frustration, he is threatening those countries that don’t fall into line with expulsion. And that attitude alone is an excellent reason for UK to get out. And Hungary and Poland too, for that matter. Who needs some left-wing technocrat with no political mandate, and hailing from another country, telling them what they can or cannot do, and what sort of government they should have?

      Guy Verhofstadt, who is also the parliament’s Brexit spokesman and leads its largest liberal bloc, said there was “no place” in the European Union (EU) for nations who elected right-wing governments to create “illiberal societies”.

      What he actually means is that there is no place in the EU for countries that don’t accept, and kowtow to, the top-down ‘progressive-socialist’ hierarchy of the EU.

      The critical phrase in the paragraph I quoted is “…nations who elected right-wing governments…”. That’s what the EU doesn’t like. They want everyone singing from the same socialist hymn-sheet, and they will bully them until they come up with the ‘right sort of government’. Same as they bullied Ireland and others to come up with the ‘right’ result in their referendums on NICE etc. “Wrong answer? Do it again until you get it right.”

      Sorry, JK, but the EU is a socialist tyranny run by deranged megalomaniacs who believe they can shape the world and everyone in it to their ideology, using the power that € gazillions of other people’s money gives them.

      For me personally, Brexit is potentially disastrous, and has hit me hard financially, I’d be in a much more comfortable position if UK had voted to remain. That notwithstanding, if asked, I’d vote leave tomorrow. I have two daughters based in UK, and I’d like them to have the opportunity to make a good life. There’s a better chance of that with UK outside the EU than UK inside it. I’m also of the opinion that at some point in the not too distant future the EU will implode spectacularly, and all those countries still within its embrace will, to a greater or lesser extent, implode with it.

      We are going to have to agree to differ on this one, JK. ;-)

      • Jack Ketch says:

        telling them what they can or cannot do, and what sort of government they should have?

        Which is precisely my point….he’s telling them, not imposing on them. Sure the EU can cajole, bribe, threaten etc compliance BUT it can’t impose. If Orban says ‘screw you and the Cheval you rode in on, we will not allow a single muslim into our country’ there is very bloody little the EU could do about. Theoretically they could rescind Hungary’s voting rights and worst case expel them from the EU but , in realpolitik terms, ain’t never going to happen.

    • Clicky says:

  3. Barry Homan says:

    You will do as I say!

  4. Frank Davis says:

    Italy’s Center-Right Launches Full-Throttle Campaign: No Longer ‘Slaves to Europe’

    The leader of Italy’s premier conservative party “The League” has launched a hard-hitting campaign for upcoming elections based on a platform of national sovereignty in the style of Donald Trump and Brexit.

    In one of his campaign posters, Matteo Salvini takes on the European Union (EU) head-on, proclaiming “Slaves to Europe? No Thanks,” a notion that resonates among Salvini’s base of Italians who believe that their nation has yielded far too much of its sovereignty to Brussels bureaucrats.

  5. C. F. Apollyon says:

    Isn’t politics all about negotiating some sort of balance between competing interests and values, rather than imposing a single orthodoxy on everybody.
    Same thing, at different times. No matter how accommodating politics attempts to be, someone…is going to be omitted. And even if someone isn’t omitted? Someone likely walked away from the negotiating table unhappy with the “balance” that was afforded them. So…they create a new “splinter group” to represent that unhappiness, and these become “the omitted” that is now represented with an entirely new face, backed by an entirely new set of faces. One and ones.

    Not saying that splintering always happens, but tactics in battle are about adjusting to the battle as it unfolds. The first thing that typically folds, is the pre-planned battle plan on paper in your hand. You can get back to the plan when the smoke clears. The original objective(s) will be written down there if you forgot what it was/forgot what they were during the battle. The objective(s) may have even changed. Spoils of war and the like.

    “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”Gen. George S. Patton

    Best I can figure, each of us already have our own “my way or the highway” dictatorship, but it’s only ever applicable to us as individuals. That’s why we either avoid, dump, and/or attempt to destroy everything that displeases us. We like it how we like it, and that’s how we like it. Our personal dictatorships don’t work when someone disagrees with us or displeases us. And of course the problem(s) CAN’T be ours, since we are the one that has been displeased and/or offended.

    Defense mechanisms are offensive. Or at least, they certainly can be.

    ^Alice Francis – Shoot Him down! (Official Video)^

    I know someone who adopted a survival strategy like this. Meaning, defensive offense.
    EVERYTHING that was about to be said, was assured to be offensive.
    EVERYTHING that was said, was offensive.
    EVERYTHING that was unsaid was offensive.
    Past tense. Even tho it had not yet happened…it had. If it hadn’t yet happened, it was going to.

    The sporting cliche of “the best offense, is a good defense”…comes to mind.
    Eventually, it became clear, that all of my attempts to please them, would in fact displease them, and they were, in fact, garnering pleasure from, and by, being displeased. Garnering pleasure from watching me chase my tail trying to please them, when they were actually getting their pleasure from my displeasure.

    I have now forever encapsulated that person in the same way I felt that they were encapsulating me. It doesn’t feel good to have done so. There’s no way on God’s green Earth, that this person was ALWAYS garnering pleasure from my displeasure. I knew it then, I know it now. So where did things go wrong? Welp, when I started reading about “passive-aggressive people” and applying those terms literally. There was no wiggle room. No room to adjust as things developed and changed. It put a marker in my brain, that this person was forever and always, either this and only this, or potentially that and only that. Things go wrong in the here and now, and I am a part of that…so yeah, I am equally to blame. But that’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes, depending on who is in a forgiving mood, and who is not, and when.

    These “revelations” sent me on quite the journey. Somehow, I wound up here, talking to whomever about whatever it is that I am talking about. Primarily, trying to relate.
    /me shrugs

    As long as the gloves are off, there is something to fight about.
    As long as the gloves are on, there is something to talk about.
    “Buffers” are relative, depending on who is doing the punching, and who is actually getting punched. I wonder if there is an audience? Is there a referee? How the hell did I get into this mess.

    We can always be surprised.

    Thanks for the read. :-)

    ^Caravan Palace – Dramophone^

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    It seems tyranny is alive and well. ‘Shared values’ has become the euphemism for totalitarian control. Next they will start reeducation camps. It’s as if Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Stalin’s Gulag are being replayed with overtones of Hitler’s antismoking.

  7. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    We don’t have EU meddling in Australia but that totalitarian role is well covered by petty government hyper regulation at federal, state, territory and local level, each trying to outdo the others with anti smoking (anti smoker but that’s one of the many blind spots of monomaniac zealots). I was interviewed for an article on the relentless persecution of smokers for this article, if any blog readers are interested. I will send the reporter a link to my online cigarette vendor
    I also spoke of other hard coercive paternalism (e.g. sugar is the new tobacco, rise of neo Temperance movements) but the focus was mostly officially sanctioned smoker harassment.

    • Rose says:

      That made dreadful reading, I thought that the UK was shocking but Australia is even worse, I can’t stand that people have been so shamed for enjoying what appears to be a small amount of sublingual niacin when they feel like it. The Australian government must be laughing all the way to the bank.

      Trust the science of Pellagra and go suck a Twiglet.

      If you can get past decades of conditioning you might be amazed.

      • RdM says:

        Vegemite, from the jar here, has 2.5mg B3 per ‘serving’, “25% daily intake* “, 50mg per 100g (it’s a 150g jar).
        *Percentage daily intake based on an average adult diet of 8700kJ.

        The Red Seal Executive B Stress multi-B (& others) vitamins I sometimes also get, and use a little less frequently than their Multivitamins, has 100mg B3 per tablet.
        The (‘Mens’) Multivitamins has 50mg B3 per tablet (among even more others).

        Neither have made me want to smoke any less, although I think they help moderate my drinking, perhaps offset some deleterious effects – and raise my energy levels.

        I forget now how much (little) B3 a cigarette contributes;- how much in a Twiglet?

        (You think that slowly sucking on a bit of Vegemite (or Marmite) is something?)
        (different from merely ingesting it in the normal way, or taking a vitamin pill?)
        Just curious about your logic behind this Twiglet recommendation.
        Thanks! ;=})

        • Rose says:

          I wondered how it could possibly have worked myself, so after I’d done my 8 hours a day for two weeks not smoking, I did a bit more research to find out why.

          The difference between taking a tablet and sucking a twiglet is that the tablet completely bypasses the tongue and it’s sensory systems.


          “The niacin content of unfortified tobacco was found to be 0.13mg. niacin over three fourths of the cigarette.”

          It took me three slowly sucked Twiglets to match that and the effect lasted longer than a cigarette would, unfortunately I lost the urge to drink coffee for the same duration too (Trigonelline, another pyridine alkaloid, in coffee turns to niacin when roasted)

          “Sublingual and buccal medication administration are two different ways of giving medication by mouth. Sublingual administration involves placing a drug under your tongue to dissolve and absorb into your blood through the tissue there. Buccal administration involves placing a drug between your gums and cheek,”

          “Further, these drugs do not go through the digestive system, so they aren’t metabolized through your liver. This means you may be able to take a lower dose and still get the same results.”
          https: //

          How the Taste Bud Translates Between Tongue and Brain

          “However, taste researchers now know that the end result is a series of micro-electric currents, induced by nerve-cell messenger chemicals or direct interaction of taste stimuli with taste-cell membranes, that tell the brain what the tongue has experienced less than a moment ago”
          NY Times

          “When taste cells are stimulated by binding of chemicals to their receptors, they depolarize and this depolarization is transmitted to the taste nerve fibers resulting in an action potential that is ultimately transmitted to the brain.”
          http: //

          I have been studying the chemistry for ten years now, but though I knew it off by heart, it was still very scary to have to rely on it, but as I was in a place where smoking was not allowed and I couldn’t leave for 7hrs a day I had no other choice. The extra hour was the bus ride home, the twiglets worked so well that I didn’t bother to smoke when I got out in the street either.

          If you want to read my research , Frank has a copy of the whole thing so I don’t have to break the links.

          Nicotinic Acid
          Niacin, Pellagra-Preventive (P.P.) factor

          “Pellagra has been recognized as a disease since the eighteenth century in Italy. In 1912 Funk postulated a pellagra preventive vitamin. In 1926 pellagra was induced in volunteers by a deficient diet and both these volunteers and patients were cured with yeast The isolation of nicotinic acid was accomplished in 1912 from yeast and its identity with the P.P. factor established in 1937.”
          https: //

          “The conquest of pellagra is commonly associated with one name: Joseph Goldberger of the US Public Health Service, who in 1914 went south, concluded within 4 months that the cause was inadequate diet, spent the rest of his life researching the disease, and found that brewer’s yeast could prevent and treat it at nominal cost.”
          https: //

          I hope that helps to explain my choice of an easy and convenient smoking substitute.
          I thoroughly enjoy my chewable vitamin C tablets, but swallowing the same amount in tablet form gives no pleasure at all.

          Since I started researching what happens when nicotine burns, a lot of people online seem to have come to a similar conclusion and are now recommending niacin for smoking cessation, but they suggest tablets while smoking is all about pleasure and taking small amounts when you feel the need.

        • RdM says:

          Thanks, Rose!

          Apologies for the late acknowledgement, I’ve been distracted by gardening!

          I only ever had the opportunity to try genuine Swedish snus once, courtesy of a Swede regular at our Fri night artisan (he was an architectural art metal worker) artist craftspeople get-together, well before smokydrinkybars even became an alternative, illegal here still but his brother had sent him some – it was the last one in the tin which he then gave to me – (ok a plastic ‘tin’!) which I still have;- anyway, satisfying!

          It reminds me of my vague recollections (of the chemistry) that pipe & cigar? smoke is alkaline, most easily absorbed in the mouth, hence not inhaled, by custom.
          (whereas cigarette smoke is (slightly more?) acidic, easier absorbed in the lungs?)

          I’ve enjoyed a pipe, and good pipe tobacco, occasionally, rarely these days.
          (It’s so insanely expensive here! ;-)

          But a little look shows not only pipe smoker novices but even vapers are considering this aspect, of mouth (and nose!) absorption.
          (a very brief look, just as examples)

          Personally, for me, in the few experiments I’ve made with ‘vaping’, I found I couldn’t bear to inhale it, it sent me into a fit of coughing… I decided it was best to just roll it around inside my mouth and exhale.

          I see from the last link that nose exhalation is discussed too.

          And I disliked the sweet sickly aroma clingyness of whatever scent – and I thought, if PG or VG is a humectant, why would I want that in my lungs anyway?

          I tried it only as a cost-saving potential experiment, tried the artificial tobacco flavour first (as bad as reported) and next tried ‘Mint’ as possibly least offensive – months ago.
          Mint wasn’t so bad (I’ve run out) and I thought I might try Menthol (even though I’ve never been keen on mentholated tobacco) if I ever tried it again.

          As I mentioned in the smokydrinktbar recently, I think there might be a market for organic (well, there are already offerings for organic flavourings in a trade magazine) steeping of real tobacco, pipe tobacco in particular, in VG/PG to get some of the actual wholesomeness of the tobacco into it, the natural MAOI and whatever other goodness ingredients tobacco has to offer, not to forget the uniquely individual flavourings of blends and brands, just like single malt whiskys, for instance.

          More on the gardening later…

          Thank you so very much for your faithful reply!

          ~ Ross.

        • Rose says:


          I look forward to further news about the gardening, where are you? I am in England and the snowdrops are just starting to show flower buds.

          As for vaping and the missing ingredient, I was reading a vapers forum from 2014 a while ago and it seems that something called Whole Tobacco Alkaloids had helped them a lot.

          Whole Tobacco Alkaloids – A Bit of History
          “Back in the fall of 2009, discussion was lively about what’s missing for some individuals from nicotine eliquids. Those of us having those discussions were speculating madly. Maybe it’s the beta-carbolines? (I was never a fan of this idea). Maybe it’s MAOI’s? There was no shortage of suggestions.
          While pondering over why snus satisfies so much better than nicotine e-liquid, I asked myself for perhaps the hundredth time, “Why does snus work so much better than eliquid?”

  8. Pingback: As Above, So Below | Frank Davis

  9. beobrigitte says:

    The President of the European Parliament has told right-wing Hungary and Poland that they must accept liberal values or leave the bloc.
    From what I have been told about the Hungarian Government is that Hungary takes it’s role as an European border country very seriously and it did offer refuge to immigrants. However, the immigrants did not wish to stay there. It’s a poor country.
    In 2016 I visited Poland. I saw that 1 liter of petrol there costs almost the same as 1 liter of petrol costs in England. However, a polish graduate wage is in the region of 1700 – 2000zl (ca. £350) which most immigrants don’t get if they seek refuge there. Needless to say, the immigrants Poland took have to 99.5% all disappeared from there. How can the Polish government force them to stay there?

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