A comment from Some French bloke cast doubt on whether mounting nationalism would help smokers:
…out of the 191+ nations of the world, not one offered any kind of significant resistance to the global onslaught against smoking and smokers…
And the EU didn’t start anything in that respect; indeed, Britain, long before it joined the Common Market, has historically been a prime mover in that unprecedented socially-engineered mass-hysteria campaign…
This reminded me of the debate I’ve been having recently with Brigitte in the Smoky Drinky Bar. She believes that when (or rather, if) Britain leaves the EU, it’s going to get a lot worse for British smokers, for the reasons SFB outlines. I, on the contrary, believe that Britain leaving the EU won’t have any such effect.
It’s quite true that Britain has historically been a prime mover in the smoking scare. After all, we gave the world the 1950 Richard Doll and Bradford Hill studies, and in 1970 George Godber and his Blueprint, and a few other nutters (like my Dr W), and now in 2000 ASH’s Deborah Arnott. But many of these people came from the medical profession. The British political establishment was actually very slow to follow the lead of these campaigning doctors. It was about 20 years before the first minor restrictions on smoking in public transport were introduced, and 40 years before tobacco advertising was stopped, and 55 years before draconian pub smoking bans were imposed. British governments have actually been dragging their feet for a very long time in doing anything about smoking. British governments (and very arguably governments everywhere in general) tend to be rather conservative. The hysteria campaign doesn’t come from national government: it comes from the hysterics in the medical profession.
Much the same is true of the climate change scare, with British scientists in the University of East Anglia among the leaders in promoting that scare. Once again, the British government (and more or less every other government in the world) have been dragging their feet in doing anything about it.
National governments are not the principal drivers in either the smoking scare or the climate change scare. The drivers of the smoking scare are from the medical profession, and in particular the global representatives of that profession in the WHO, and have been personified by people like Gro Harlem Brundtland. And the drivers of the climate change scare are from the universities and the UN IPCC. Both scares are being driven by progressive globalist institutions like the WHO, UN, and the EU in the face of foot-dragging by national governments everywhere. The EU was leading the way in promoting antismoking measures in 1989, and it took EU member states another 20 years to be bullied into introducing a whole raft of draconian antismoking measures.
The war on smoking is a globalist enterprise, and the war on climate change is also a globalist enterprise. Both are being run from out of global organisations, and they’re very organised about it.
But what seems to me to now be happening is that the people of the 191+ nations of the world are getting fed up with these unelected and unaccountable global institutions bossing them around in all kinds of ways, and in effect shifting national sovereignty to some sort of globalised state (New World Order?). And this is why there’s a mounting “nationalist populist” (not a term I much like) revolt against globalism.
And in Britain, the perfect embodiment of this revolt is to be found in Nigel Farage, who is a smoking and drinking climate change sceptic, and someone who has actively campaigned against smoking bans. I don’t think it’s an accident that other European populist leaders, like Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini, are smokers as well.
It seems to me quite possible (maybe now even quite likely) that Nigel Farage could become another British Prime Minister at some point in the future (if Boris can do it, why not Nigel?). And I have no doubt whatsoever that he would use that office to at least relieve the condition of Britain’s smokers a little (by at least introducing smoking rooms in pubs). Nigel Farage, after all, is One Of Us.
So I think that the departure of Britain from the EU, and the return of national sovereignty to Britain, so that we can make our own laws for our own people again, and the election of populists like Nigel Farage to government, would be an absolute disaster for the globalist enterprise of Tobacco Control. And in fact I can’t see any other way in which the antismoking tide can be otherwise stemmed.
But I don’t know whether Britain is actually going to leave the EU, and if we do whether we’ll be able to make our own laws, and in fact whether people like Nigel Farage will attain high political office. None of these things have happened yet.
What I am quite sure about is that the more we all come under the control of unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracies like the UN and EU and WHO, the more of our freedoms are going to vanish, and vanish everywhere in the world.