Morale Is Everything

A comment by Walt prompted a few thoughts:

beyond that and fwiw, Smokers Liberation Army actually says what you’re talking about and what you want the antagonists to know you’re about, so why get cute or symbolic or go for mystery. Not, I add with my pragmatist’s hat on, that I think this’ll go very far, but let them know (that like other oppressed minorities–or other minorities they’ve purposely oppressed) that “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more” or at least not take it lying down.

One difference I keep finding between myself and a lot of other people is that they all want to to take the fight to the enemy, and I want to unite smokers in a political unit.

In more or less everything I do, I’m thinking about smokers. Back when we all did the ISIS survey of smokers, we were trying to find out how smoking bans had affected them. In writing my blog, I’m writing for smokers. In the Smoky Drinky Bar, I’m trying to get them to meet up and talk to each other online. And not necessarily talk about smoking and smoking bans. And share ideas and experiences and interests.

The way I see it, if you’re going to build an army, you need to have an esprit de corps

Esprit de corps is a feeling of loyalty and pride that is shared by the members of a group who consider themselves to be different from other people in some special way.

I’ve never been in any military organisation (perhaps others have), but it’s always been my understanding that there needs to be a certain spirit and pride and sense of their own worth in any military organisation. I think military commanders actually regard this as imperative. For example a general like Montgomery devoted a lot of his attention to the morale of the troops under his command. In fact, I think every successful military leader has always devoted a lot of attention to this. – because confident soldiers are much more likely to win any battles they fight than demoralised soldiers who think they’re beaten.

And smokers are a demoralised bunch of people. In fact, you might even say that a state of demoralisation is the norm for most of them. They’re ashamed and apologetic. And they think they’ve lost.

If they could all stand up – all 1.5 billion of them scattered all over the world –  they would defeat the antismokers in very short order. They’d all be gone in a day.

Morale is everything. If you have no morale,  you have nothing. You can be armed with all the latest weapons, but if you think you’re beaten, then you’ll lose to a man who simply points a finger at you and says “Bang. You’re dead.”

Same if you have all the answers to the antismokers’ claims. If you think you’re beaten, and things can only get worse, then it doesn’t matter whether you have any answers: you’ll lose. And you’ll lose because you decided that you were going to lose.

And that’s why I think it’s imperative to get smokers together, and get them talking, and get to build up a new spirit, a new sense of pride. “Yes, I’m a smoker. And I’m proud of it.”

Only then can you march off to meet the enemy in the field. Because only then have you got a chance of beating him. And, when the enemy sees your confidence, he’ll quite likely lose a bit of his.

So I say: First you must build the army. And then you must imbue it with pride, and confidence, and conviction. It’s only when you’ve done this that you can consider meeting the enemy in the field. Because if you rush there in ones and twos, you’ll just be a rabble, and you’ll be mown down like grass.

And what I see, all the time, is a determination to meet the enemy as soon as possible, without first uniting into an effective army with your own people.

So I don’t give a damn right now about Deborah Arnott and Stanton Glantz and all the rest of them. I want to see smokers coming together, and binding together, and building up the kind of esprit de corps that is indispensable to win any conflict.

The antismokers know the importance of building and maintaining that spirit. That’s why they keep having all these conferences. They probably have nothing new to say to each other, but the conferences give them an opportunity to get together and renew their conviction in their inevitable victory. In fact they have so many of the bloody things that I find myself wondering whether they’re beginning to lose their morale, as they sense that opposition to them is mounting.

And needless to say, if we are trying to build up smokers’ confidence and morale, we should also be working to undermine the morale of the antismokers in every possible way.

So yes, the Smokers Liberation Army (or whatever it gets called) is indeed about sending a message to our antagonists, but far more than that it’s about sending a message to each other.

About Frank Davis

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25 Responses to Morale Is Everything

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Does this woman look like she’s meant to be holding a cigarette?

    ‘Bones discovered on a Pacific island in 1940 are “likely” to be those of famed pilot Amelia Earhart, according to a US peer reviewed science journal.

    ‘Earhart, her plane, and her navigator vanished without a trace in 1937 over the Pacific Ocean. Many theories have sought to explain her disappearance.

    ‘But a new study published in Forensic Anthropology claims these bones prove she died as an island castaway.

    ‘The report claims they are a 99% match, contradicting an earlier conclusion.’

    Has the cigarette been ‘disappeared’ by Getty? Because Amelia Earhart famously smoked Lucky Strikes…

    ‘Lucky Strikes were the cigarettes carried on the ‘Friendship’ when she crossed the Atlantic. They were smoked continuously from Trepassey to Wales. I think nothing else helped so much to less the strain for all of us.’

    To Amelia Earhart’s bones…

  2. Vlad says:

    ##And smokers are a demoralised bunch of people. In fact, you might even say that a state of demoralisation is the norm for most of them. They’re ashamed and apologetic. And they think they’ve lost.##
    They’re ashamed and apologetic because they’ve been more or less brainwashed by the TC mob. To get the people in the army, first we must help them get out of the matrix…

  3. waltc says:

    Off lastfurlong’s link and the second (Bates) link embedded w/i that I posted this comment:

    “What seems to be lost in any discussion of Tobacco Control is that the notion that they’re fighting The Tobacco Industry (a group of faceless,bloodless corporations) is just the politically acceptable cover for their actual targets which are first, smokers, and maybe second, a mere plant.

    Everything they propose and applaud–bans, taxes, “denormalization,” denial of employment and medical care, incitement of hatred and fear, and now the denial of allegedly “safer” alternatives– is aimed at punishing people (the actual human beings)
    who smoke cigarettes, the very people they ironically (and hypocritically) claim they want to “help.” So, taken, in that context, it’s perfectly logical that they would campaign to deny the real objects of their loathing any avenue at all except total capitulation.

    Yes, they’re a hate group–a coven of irrational inhumane zealots. Who else would blithely eject octogenarians from their apartments and nursing homes? would force hospital patients to the curb with their IVs? deprive mental patients of a relieving cigarette? deny necessary surgery to people in pain?

    No discussion of TC can proceed without acknowledging that basic fact.”

  4. beobrigitte says:

    So I say: First you must build the army. And then you must imbue it with pride, and confidence, and conviction. It’s only when you’ve done this that you can consider meeting the enemy in the field. Because if you rush there in ones and twos, you’ll just be a rabble, and you’ll be mown down like grass.
    If we all stick together, we have an “army” of a lot of lose canons destroying about every tentacle of the tobacco control industry.
    “Transparency” is the key word. Tobacco control lies must be exposed.

    thelastfurlong, I hope you don’t mind I lifted the below from your blog
    Here is their future battle plan against The Tobacco Industry. But actually everything they do is against individual smokers – smoker genocide – ridding the world of smokers.

    This is ‘The Plan’

    Let’s make this reality!!!

    (plagiarized from “lifeonanalienplanet, link refer to thelastfurlong comment above)

  5. smokingscot says:

    Been pondering this for most of today. Off and on you understand. So maybe a few minutes, maybe more.

    Not finalised at all, just blue sky, but bear with me.

    I see smokers every day, yet I wouldn’t go up to any of them and assume they harbour the same feelings as myself about the smoking ban, the fake charities and end of life philanthropists intent on buying their way into a cushy afterlife.

    Nope, when I see a couple of ladies chatting on a bench with a fag in hand they’re just part of the landscape. Same as I assume I appear when I sit on a bench having me some quality time with my rollup, usually waiting for some bus that’s running late.

    However it might be different if I recognised something on, or about their person that said they share my thoughts on the ban, charities and Bloomberg / Gates / Ted Turner. And by so doing are open to engagement.

    It could be a scarf, it could be a lapel pin, it could be the cover on their fag pack or on their tobacco pouch. Or it could be a cap, even a key chain, or a tee shirt.

    That way I could venture up to them, because I know what that colour scheme or logo means. Pretty much the same as football nuts recognise each other.

    See I know all about these blogs and I’ve popped into Frank’s virtual pub and yes it’s nice to put faces to the commentators, but if Frank and us lot really want to draw in other people, there has to be more than just web based stuff. It’s got to be more dynamic, more fun and perhaps a little bit contrarian.

    If some thing emerges from all our chats about forming some sort of larger group. Not an army, just a community that’s singing from the same song sheet, then IMO we have to chose a title that some middle aged mother won’t be ashamed to have about her person in public, nor leave lying around in the house where friends and family might see it.

    And it shouldn’t be too long winded, so “Smokers Seeking To Amend The Smoking Ban And Nail The Healthists” ain’t going to cut it. And no way you can get that lot onto a tee shirt, let alone a key chain. “Nemesis” is top of the list so far IMO, with a full title like Nemesis Community (or variants).

    And we’ll need to develop some sort of colour scheme, maybe even a crest, because if this sort of thing does begin to gain traction, it’ll be by word of mouth. So bear in mind a ticked off smoker in Iran or India will probably want something that’s not in English.

    And no I don’t think we should stick to JUST the smoking ban. There are people who sympathise with smokers, but very few who’ll want to wear our gear. It needs to include people who have a thing about charities and oh so many other things that rile us about the waste in government and their deference to healthists.

    At some point there will need to be a common meeting point and a blog won’t do it. I’m thinking about some sort of newsletter, vaguely – very vaguely along the lines of Guido, with regular updates about things that might interest a fairly broad church of the pissed off or disillusioned.

    And that’ll need to be handled professionally, meaning someone will have to be paid to run the thing and they may have to pay for contributions. Not a lot and it won’t ever be a full time job. In fact it’s perfect for someone with 90 minutes a day with sod all to do. Even at minimum wage, it’s useful money – and should suit many click workers. And they could be from anywhere in the world, though I’d say they’d need to be a smoker.

    And that’ll have to be funded, meaning either a subscription, or donations, or some rich guy leaving money in their will (fat chance). Or merchandising. So scarves, key chains, tee shirts, baseball caps and the like.

    Offloaded that lot, maybe cart before horse, but got there. Feel better already.

    • waltc says:

      But why not go up to any of them and ASK them how they feel? (The cigarette itself is a kind of logo.) and person to person is the best recruiting tool. I learned a lot when I did the ISIS survey and yes, some smokers were ashamed and some indifferent, but most, if allowed to express it, were as pissed as we are. So, ask

      • smokingscot says:


        If that was all it took we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        What I’m trying to get across is the item you carry or wear says you’re open to conversation or that you support. You want your privacy then you don’t wear it.

        • Joe L. says:

          To Walt’s point, the cigarette they are smoking is itself the badge/crest/logo that can spark the conversation.

          Even if developed a symbol of our own, many smokers would need to be made aware of it. In which case, there is no better reason to engage someone in the conversation than the fact that they are a smoker.

          However, I agree that not all smokers would appreciate a stranger (albeit a fellow smoker) approaching them. But at this point, we have nothing to lose, and we need to take action. We need unity; we need an organization that empowers smokers, and we need to make as many smokers aware of it as possible.

          Also, I agree with you (and said as much the other day) that our organization shouldn’t be focused solely on smoking, and should also welcome other lifestyle miscreants.

        • petesquiz says:

          If you were to design/create, say, a lapel badge; that would identify a fellow smoker supporter even when they don’t have a cigarette in hand…so you could approach them at other times/places than when just outside smoking.
          At first, you’d want to attract the smokers who are really pissed off with the situation and then build up ‘membership’ through them by word of mouth. People who wore the badge would only be able to tell smokers what it stood for and so you could create the atmosphere of a special club of people dedicated to reversing the smoking bans.
          This would be the first step in improving morale amongst smokers. As more badges start to appear they will realise that there are other people willing to take on the challenge and join in themselves, in a small way at first, by wearing the speciall/secret symbol.
          My design of lapel badge would be a white outer circle (fairly narrow), a thin grey middle circle and a solid orange centre…a stylised, end-on view of a lit cigarette. This design could then be applied to the whole range of items listed by smokingscot as the movement grows

        • smokingscot says:

          Many thanks Walt, Joe, Pete.

          Got me two more to bung in the mix.

          First was runes, or rather A RUNE. Okay it’ll be tricky to get a symbol printed, so perhaps Pete’s design is better. Point is it’s something that’s not language, just meaning.

          If anyone out there has an interest in runes, maybe you can point me to one for vengeance or payback. There is one for justice. It’s marked as T, so an up pointing arrow. It also happens to be the same rune for warrior.


          Oh and the 2nd one. Lighters. Cheap, large enough for a logo and script. Also the sort of thing, at pennies wholesale, even I – Mr Tightwad – might give away, cos how many times are we asked “can I borrow a light?”.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I find that smokers will readily talk to each other. “Got a light?” is how it often starts. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve struck up conversations with smokers.

          But I generally find that they don’t want to talk about smoking bans. For example, I have a passing acquaintance with a number of smokers in local pubs round where I live. They’ll all usually be sitting outside in summer, talking to each other. But they never talk about smoking, or smoking bans. And on one occasion that I mentioned the smoking ban which was the cause of them sitting outside in the first place, there was dead silence, as if I said something unspeakable. And indeed, I probably had..

        • RdM says:

          I was in agreement with Walt days ago when I read this (I’ve been busy).

          I’ve often, over the last many at least 10 years, spontaneously chatted with often young people smoking outside on the street (at least temporarily still at tables) and if furtive have even called out a jolly “Long Live The Smokers!” which has started a conversation.
          Even if plausibly old enough to be a grandparent, a conversation could ensue.
          Pleasantly, I might add, all spontaneous, even if fueled by a drink.

          It was an English backpacker outside a hostel that introduced me to Amber Leaf, never available here, for instance, out of one of those conversations.

          As for Runes, it’s easy enough to look them up…

          I think a much more effective modern thing might be QR codes.

          I’d thought, some years ago when new, but now even easier – print out on self-adhesive stickers… you could then put them anywhere!

          First, determine your message …

          That’s another comment, conversation.

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    The best way of instilling esprit de corps is through shared action. The time for standing up for smokers and against tobacco control hate is now!

  7. Smoking Lamp says:

    The Royal Society for Public Health is now calling for comprehensive outdoors smoking bans.
    See “Public health charity calls for smoking to be banned outside pubs, in parks and on beaches” There is a poll.

    This is not unique. Calls for outdoor bans are the current antismoker campaign. Tobacco control pressure groups in the UK, EU, Australia, Canada, and Australia are especially active in calling for outdoor bans (some total bans citywide, others at beach, parks, or outside pubs.

  8. Lepercolonist says:

    Dr. Nancy A Collop of the National Institues of Health(NIH) commenting on the death of the esteemed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia :

    “Interestingly, he was also sleeping on three pillows—adding further evidence to potential breathing difficulties at night. As noted, Justice Scalia had COPD, diabetes, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and abused tobacco—all conditions that confer risk for significant hypoxemia and increase risk for a cardiac arrhythmia.”

    He did not use tobacco he ABUSED it ! Unbelievable. He was 79 yrs old.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      These charlatans are abusing medicine (or replacing it with quackery).

    • Joe L. says:

      He did not use tobacco he ABUSED it !

      I feel sorry for his tobacco. ;)

      Joking aside, it goes to show that Ms. Collop likes to throw buzz words around without putting much thought into them. The term “drug abuse” implies that one is “abusing” or misusing drugs (i.e., not using them as intended). Implying the “abuse” of tobacco implies that there is a recommended “use” — Collop’s peers in Tobacco Control would beg to differ. However, I would love to ask Ms. Collup what her idea of proper tobacco use is. I guarantee she would backpedal and claim she misspoke. Maybe she should choose her words more carefully in the future, especially when functioning as the spokesperson for the NIH.

      Also, the circumstances surrounding Justice Scalia’s death were suspicious. Here are a couple articles from a quick search (even the Washington Post reported on it). There are plenty more:

      The Facts about the Death of Justice Scalia are Quite Suspicious

      The death of Antonin Scalia: Chaos, confusion and conflicting reports

    • Frank Davis says:

      “Tobacco abuse” sounds a bit like “child abuse” or “self-abuse.” Take anything, and add “abuse” after it, and bob’s your uncle.

      Recently Alex Jones (or Jerome Corsi) have started saying that Scalia was murdered. But that notion has actually been floating around a long time.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Dr. Nancy A Collop…

      Somehow or other I found myself reading that as Dr. Nancy A Codswallop.

      Perhaps I need glasses…

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