ASH campaign grant slashed from £350,000 to £70,000
This looks like a large (and long-overdue) cut in funding for ASH.
But perhaps it just reflects the fact that there’s a new kid in town: the coronavirus pandemic. And this newcomer is now demanding funds that in the past would have gone to well-established antismoking, anti-alcohol, anti-fast-food, and global warming lobbyists. The coronavirus pandemic is killing thousands of people right now, rather than after 50 years of smoking, or after 100 years of global warming. It’s a clear and present danger, and this is what has jumped it to the top of the list of threats.
And the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to fade away any time soon. In fact it looks set to remain in play for years to come as a second, third, and fourth wave of it are expected to come rolling in. Most pandemics last a few months, but this one is set to become a permanent fixture.
And it has direct effects in ways that the old threats mostly never had. People are required to wear masks, isolate themselves, quarantine themselves, get vaccinated (when a vaccine eventually shows up), have their contacts traced, and more. Lots of businesses are going broke, unable to survive in the new coronavirus-dominated social environment.
So the old threats are struggling to stay relevant. And one way they are trying to do this is to hook themselves onto the new threat. So we have Quit For Covid (even though there is abundant evidence that smoking is protective against it).
It’s the same with global warming:
Exclusive poll: Amid COVID-19, Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change Anymore
In the name of Covid, the State has already thrust itself into every corner of our existence.
It has come between husbands and wives at the ends of their lives. It has forbidden the old to embrace their grandchildren.
It has denied us funerals and weddings, locked the churches, silenced the ancient monastic music of cathedral choirs and prevented the free worship of God for the first time in 800 years, and banned us (unless we are Left-wing) from holding or attending public meetings.
It has ordered us to stay at home, scolded or fined us for sunbathing, going on country rambles or even entering our front gardens.
It has forced millions of us to stop working, sabotaged the educations – at school and university – of untold numbers of young people and has become our boss and paymaster in the biggest state takeover of life and work ever attempted by non-Communists.
Soon we will discover that it has also wrecked an already wobbly economy and separated untold numbers of us from jobs and businesses we thought were safe. Soon, too, it will also separate us from our savings, through punishing tax and savage inflation, to pay for the disaster it has caused.
Now it presumes to tell us what to wear. And what it wants us to wear is a soggy cloth muzzle, a face-nappy that turns its wearer from a normal human into a mumbling, mouthless submissive.
And this is the whole idea: it’s a new excuse to take control of everybody and everything.
But the new Covid-19 threat is just as much an exaggerated threat as all the other well-established threats. It’s treated like it was the Plague or the Black Death that will kill a quarter of the population, but it’s actually not much worse than a standard ‘flu epidemic.
But if there’s a silver lining to it, it may be that we are witnessing the demise of all the old threats: We could be at last saying goodbye to ASH, goodbye to the obesity epidemic, goodbye to climate change/global warming, and goodbye to all the rest of the threats with which we’ve been terrorised for the past 30 years and more.
Perhaps it’s simply that all these threats have sell-by dates, and need to be regularly replaced by new threats. If you’re going to cry wolf the whole time, you periodically have to replace the old wolf with a new wolf. And Covid-19 is the new wolf.
Life will be no better for smokers than it was before. It won’t just be that smokers will be exiled to the outside of pubs and restaurants: it’s that there won’t be any pubs or restaurants for them to sit outside, once people are forbidden from gathering together anywhere for any reason at all. We’re entering a new and completely atomised society, everyone confined to their own homes, and held together by nothing but a state-controlled internet.