Suppressed Anger

On the Forest webinar yesterday somebody made the point that with the current UK lockdown everybody is now experiencing what smokers have been experiencing for the past 13 years: all pubs and restaurants and cafes have been closed to them.

But is everyone’s experience the same? In my own brief contribution to the webinar I simply said that I used to always meet up with people in pubs and restaurants, and with the smoking ban I was expelled from society: all my acquaintances vanished on day one, and pretty much all my long term friends over the subsequent decade.

But I don’t think it was quite so drastic for most people, whose social lives were not as entirely dependent on pubs and restaurants as mine. They probably had social lives at home and at work as well.

Everyone’s experience is different.

I also said I was angry. It’s anger that makes me bang on about the smoking ban.

But I didn’t get the impression that the participants in the webinar were particularly angry. They seemed more stoically philosophical than anything. The smoking ban was something to be endured like the weather: it was a fact of life and there was nothing that could be done about it.

The only person that I know to still be openly angry about the smoking ban is Chris Snowdon. He’s said so several times. The last occasion was in a podcast conversation with James Delingpole (who seemed completely indifferent to the ban). So that’s something that Chris and I share, even if we disagree about much else (e.g. he thinks smoking causes lung cancer, and I don’t).

Another person who might be angry about smoking bans is Joe Jackson, who has been fleeing from them for years, first from New York City, then from London. But I can’t remember him actually expressing any anger in his thoughtful writings on the matter.

Perhaps it’s just the British Stiff Upper Lip: you endure without complaint as the bombs rain down upon you.The worse things get, the less you say about it.

And perhaps that’s for the best. Anger is an ugly emotion. And smokers are good-natured people. And tobacco is a calming, soothing drug. Better slow to anger than quick.

Yet if smoking bans aren’t a hot political issue, here’s the explanation for it: smokers don’t get angry. People will get angry about more or less anything else, but when it comes to smoking bans they fall silent.

And if the antismokers never let up in their drive to rid the world of tobacco, it’s because nobody gets angry at what they’re doing. And this encourages them to keep pushing further and further. Their latest outrageous demand is that smoking be banned not just inside pubs, but outside them as well, simply to spare children the sight of smokers puffing away. All pretence at concern about “Public Health” has vanished. And it was never about public health in the first place anyway. And everybody knows that the war on smoking was never about public health. It’s a moral war, just like the war on alcohol and fast food which are also pursued by prohibitionists who want to control and restrict everyone else.

The lockdown is another piece of prohibitionism, of course. Covid-19 is not much worse than any influenza epidemic. But nevertheless “Public Health” is invoked to impose absurd and unnecessary restrictions on everybody.

The simple truth, most likely, is that all smokers everywhere are angry about the bans that have been imposed on them. It’s simply that they don’t express that anger. They keep it locked in. But that means that one day they’re likely to boil over. They’re going to explode. And they’re going to erupt all over the world, simultaneously.

The underclass is no longer blacks and women and gays: the new underclass is smokers and drinkers and fat people. They’re all victims of “Public Health.” One day they’re going to have had enough. And it’s all going to blow.

When it will happen, I don’t know. I may never live to see it.

But it’s coming.




About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to Suppressed Anger

  1. Rose says:

    It seems that I’ve been angry for a lot longer than you and I do keep it locked in, occasionally it surfaces and I have mentioned it here before. I don’t expect anyone to care now but I regard the smoking ban as just one in a long line of liberties taken in what was once supposed to be a free country.

    For me it started with the Motorcycle Helmet Law of 1973.
    We were only a minority and not well liked so few people saw the awful precedent.
    Parliament voted that the police could fine me if I didn’t protect my own head when riding a motorcycle. Up until that moment my head had belonged to me at all times.

    It’s not forgotten either.

    The Motorcycle Helmet Law
    15th February 2017

    “Forty three ago, the “Motor Cycles (Wearing of Helmets) Regulations 1973 (S.I., 1973, No. 180), dated 7th February 1973”, was enacted – the statutory instrument came into operation on 1st June of the same year.

    On April 5th 1973, the order for this regulation was debated in the House of Commons, with members from either side taking opposite views. Many considered this as a gross infringement of personal liberty.”
    After that came the seat belt laws and people did notice, but it was too late.

    However, today everyone lost the right to their own face if they want to enter a shop and can be fined by the police for not wearing a mask. I wonder if they’ll realise that?

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      I do Rose. I have been incandesent all day. We are now a Police State led by a buffoon !

      • Rose says:

        I should point out that I always wore a crash helmet and I wore seat belts as soon as they were fitted, it was common sense and I am happy to wear a mask if required, they only had to ask, not crush us into submission.

    • Александра Собина says:

      I’m VERY mad about it, but have to admit there is a possibility I could not escape a muzzle at some point. I have bought a large black scarf, and if some day I will have to cover my face, then I will do it in such style and it will mean my mourning for those who died in care homes.

  2. Timothy Goodacre says:

    I sincerely hope so Frank – soon !

  3. sir eel says:

    Yeah, but the smoking ban for outside is part of the never ending crusade of saving the NHS and flattening the curve forever or at least until we get the magical, chemically corrupted and biologically dodgy vaccine that will save us all. If I didn’t laugh I’d certainly get exceptionally angry.
    When your views have no effect whatsoever in this democracy what else can you do?

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Non smokers know that eventually they will re-open bars and restaurants. Smokers do not have that option now. What if they decided to permanently close these venues ? Yes, that is what smokers are facing. Big difference.

  5. Joe Jackson says:

    Hello Frank. I can assure you that I have been, and still am, furious about smoking bans and have said so many times – indeed if I wasn’t so angry, I wouldn’t have spoken out and written about it so much!

  6. Rose says:

    Thursday 16 Dec 2004
    Department of Health and Social Care


    “On the same day as these statistics were published, the UK ratified the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”

    “More than one million British smokers have kicked the habit since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a charity has estimated.

    Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) has calculated that 1,036,000 smokers and recent ex-smokers had quit or continued their abstinence since coronavirus cases started circulating in the UK.”

    History repeats?
    Best look out for another hidden announcement we aren’t privy to.

  7. Clicky says:

  8. Mark Jarratt says:

    Very perceptive observation that CoVid19 lockdowns are another form of prohibitionist top down social control, using unfit for purpose illiberal and probably illegal “countermeasures”.
    It is extremely worrying that so many uncritically accept such grossly negligent government interference in shutting down daily activities, even imposing fines for sitting on park benches (and crossing Australian interstate borders, contrary to S.92 of the Constitution).
    How arrogant that elites ignore the constraints western democracy imposes on them in their haste to impose more constraints on us: the essence of a police state.

  9. Александра Собина says:

    Lung cancer among people who have never smoked is “more common than most people think”, experts have warned.

  10. Rose says:


    Suddenly I’m having a severe attack of cognitive dissonance. I’ve just seen the replacement BLM statue for the Colston plynth and I really like it and it is an accurate representation of a moment in time.
    I even agree with the Mayor!

    Colston statue: Bristol people will decide whether new sculpture of BLM protester stays, says mayor
    15 July 2020

    “Marc Quinn created the life-size black resin and steel piece of Jen Reid, from Bristol, after seeing a photograph of her standing on the empty plinth after the Colston statue was toppled.
    The sculpture, entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid), was installed shortly before 5am on Wednesday by Quinn’s team without the knowledge or consent of Bristol City Council.”

  11. Pat Nurse says:

    Frank – I’ve realised since the ban that some people smoke and some people are smokers. That. I think, explains why bans affect different people in different ways. I once knew someone who smoked 10 cigarettes a year. That is not a smoker but someone who smokes. I have even heard people who say while smoking the occasional cigarette outside that they are not smokers. We are divided in so many ways.

  12. Smoking Lamp says:

    Frank, I too am angry. I miss the days of enjoying a cigarettes indoors in bars, pubs, and restaurants around the world. You could once smoke on planes, trains and on the Staten Island Ferry (in a separate cabin). Now you are denied the ability to smoke in Times Square!

    What really makes me angry i the deliberate orchestration of smoking bans and the manipulated data and lies used to stigmatize smokers. This must end. Smokers will hopefully unite to end the tobacco control tyranny.

  13. Rose says:

    “You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies” and we’ve got some stunners

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I am furious, still, about the smoking ban Frank, and I don’t smoke! I came here twenty two years ago from Africa where there were no actions against smoking. I smoked and loved it. But the difference in quality of cigarettes, hit me the moment I bought my first packet of British Rothmans. They never satisfied and the price was criminal. I smoked more. And then there was the ‘attitude’ of others. They noticed I smoked. They disapproved. I was an anti smoking virgin. But my rape came, when, at our head office, where we all had to attend a meeting, we were nurtured with speeches, food, friendship but the smokers were allocated the unused 1910 men’s urinal at the end of a tunnel of passageways in the old building. I had never seen men’s toilets/urinals before and that one had never been cleaned or decorated since 1910! At that time, employers made smoking areas for their staff. The men’s toilet was good enough for us. And that’s what I expected would happen in 2007 – separate smoking areas. But we were betrayed. It is only accidental that I don’t smoke. It’s four in the morning as I write this and I’m drinking coffee and vaping. Just remembering my rape, gets me incandescent. The anti smoking industry is guilty of causing dreadful acts of violence against ordinary people. And it continues, continues, continues. I will never forget. They came for the smokers and no one spoke up. Smokers are the only group of people that have no rights in a world fixated on our individual ‘rights’. We don’t even get a dilapidated men’s urinal to smoke in! Angry? No Frank. I’m still fucking furious!

  15. Dirk says:

    This guy died when he was 112 years old and he smoked. Look here
    He died on December 27, 2018(112 years old

  16. Clicky says:

  17. Александра Собина says:

    Smoking wise my greatest anger is I can’t travel any more. Simply because I have nowhere to stay. I can’t visit my native land Latvia any more, because there is nowhere to stay for me.
    I went to Inverness a couple of years ago for Hogmanay, and got a warning from Premier Inn what said some of their stuff members smelled a smoke. They did not find any evidence, but we got a warning anyway. Very ASHy.

  18. jaxthefirst says:

    One of the reasons why I love this blog so much is precisely because you, Frank, and your band of regular commenters – of which I am one – are the only people I know who will admit to still being outraged by the ban, and it’s just such a relief to be, even if only for a short while each evening, in the company of people who feel the same way and who don’t look at you as if you’re barking mad whenever you make some snarky comment about this obscene ban. I think that most smokers have given up the fight. After all, it takes a very, very strong character to withstand the constant drip-feed of negative information about yourself coming from just about every direction imaginable and I’ve come to the conclusion that most people these days just aren’t very strong characters. Perhaps they never were – perhaps that’s why so many people over the last few decades have capitulated and given up smoking, and why those few who haven’t seem nevertheless to have succumbed to guilt and shame for their disobedience rather than – like most people on here – been defiantly proud to still be smoking despite all the pressures coming at us from all sides.

    Maybe it’s a generational thing – I don’t think that very many of the commenters on this and similar blogs giving vent to their anger at the unfairnesses heaped upon us are under 40 years old, and many of us are considerably older. The generation which came after ours (who are now around 40) and even more so their children, who are now in their teens and 20s, seem to actively want the Nanny State to instruct them in every sphere of their lives – to tell them exactly what to do and exactly what to think and exactly how to behave – and get actively miffed if said State fails to give them the precise instructions that they want on how to live their lives. I’d put good money on a bet that says that the majority of those folks complaining that the State “hasn’t done enough” in response to Covid-19, or that the guidance was “confusing” or that lockdown should go on ad infinitum, or who are suffering from “stress” about the virus (poor little darlings) are pretty much all from the generation which followed ours, or younger.

    They’re a bit weedy, these youngsters, aren’t they? What ever happened to the rebellious, joyful, carelessness of youth? When did it die? When did our young people morph into soundbite-parroting, judgemental, copy-cat, Victorian-esque puritans? When did they stop using their brains and start allowing – indeed actively desiring – the State and the media to dictate their lives and their opinions for them? When did they stop being able to think outside the box? When did they stop being truly creative? When did they reverse the process of getting wiser through hard experience and start retreating back into child-like dependence? What made them so scared and miserable and “poor little us” about life? When did they stop looking to the future with optimism and hope? When did they become so desperate for the future to be a terrible place that they will now jump on any bad thing that happens – because, well, that’s life, and bad things do happen – and make it into a complete disaster!!!? When did Private Frazer-style “We’re all doomed – doomed, I tell ye” become their mantra?

    Although I am sure there are a multitude of factors at play which have rendered our young people so spineless and conformist, there is a part of me that feels that the anti-smoking movement, and the bans which have accompanied it have played a much larger part in this process than many of the people from the generation affected would ever dare to think, mainly because their thought processes are so single-issue and compartmentalised these days – as I say, “outside the box” just doesn’t seem to be a place that exists for most people under around 40 these days, and making connections between an issue like smoking and the wider sphere of human development isn’t something that comes easily, if at all, to many of them. But there is, after all, ample evidence (mostly provided by Rose – thank you, Rose) that smoking encourages mental faculties and, perhaps most importantly, enhances the ability to apply critical analysis to information received, i.e. in short, one becomes less suggestible. Perhaps that’s why today’s young people are so suggestible and why they simply take on board pretty much everything and anything they are told without stopping to question whether it makes sense or not. Hence the overwhelming panic over what is, in essence, a not-very-dangerous variety of the flu. Perhaps that’s why they all hold the same opinions as each other and none of them would dream of voicing an alternative one, because the ability to actually form an alternative one simply isn’t available to most of them any more. So, it’s a bit of a downward spiral – the less people smoke, the fewer of them are able to challenge or question what they are told. And the more they believe what they are told by “their betters,” the more willing they will be to obediently comply with the instructions given by those “betters.”

    Sometimes I feel very glad that I am now of the “older generation.” I for one don’t particularly want to be around to see the kind of miserable, freedomless, State-controlled world that today’s generation seem to be desperate for. How funny that we oldies, instead of looking on in horror at the excesses and wildness of youth, as our parents did, now look on in horror instead at how conformist and obedient and cowed our young people – who, let’s not forget, will be running the world themselves within a few short years – are!

    PS: Apologies to anyone on here who is under 40! If so, then it’s good to know that at least there are still some young people who have a spark of the courage and rebelliousness of youth left! Keep up the good work!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Well said!

    • Rose says:

      ” When did they stop being able to think outside the box? When did they stop being truly creative?”

      I firmly believe it was when the teaching profession gave up the old fashioned, logical methods of teaching children to read and left generations of children dependent on having things explained to them.
      They have finally brought the original method back as “synthetic phonics”, so there is hope for another generation of creative minds, who go out and find their own answers.

      Synthetic Phonics

      “Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children learn to make connections between the letters of written texts (graphemes, or letter symbols) and the sounds of spoken language. Synthetic phonics also teaches children how to identify all the phonemes in a word and match them to a letter in order to be able to spell correctly.

      Children are taught how to break up words, or decode them, into individual sounds, and then blend all the way through the word.

      Example: In the word bat, children learn to identify three individual phonemes using the synthetic phonics method: /b/ /a/ /t/ that can be blended back together to produce a word. The ‘synthetic’ part of this particular phonics instruction derives from the process of synthesising or blending sounds to create words.”

      I’m sure you recognise it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I have far too little experience of today’s young people to have an opinion of them.

      But I suppose that I’m inclined to think that people, of whatever age, are always reacting to events. A child of the 60s, I grew up in a drab grey world in which nothing happened, and the loud and bright 60s was a reaction to that. And the drab grey 50s was in its turn a reaction to the terrifying war years of the 40s: how wonderful it must have been to live in a world where nothing happened, after years of bombs and rockets landing daily! When there’s peace, people want excitement: when there’s excitement, they want peace.

      The world today is a different world to the one I grew up in. It’s a smaller world with instant communication everywhere. It’s also a world in which events happen faster. It’s a world full of new terrors (climate change, Covid-19). In a rapidly changing world, perhaps people react by wanting one that doesn’t change. Perhaps they start wanting a dull, drab world in which nothing happens. And in which they’re told what to do.

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