Scares and Counter-Scares

James Delingpole:

Unless you live somewhere enlightened like Sweden, you’ll have had personal experience of this authoritarian lunacy – compulsory masks, extended quarantines, and so on. To anyone familiar with the nature of the pandemic it seems as if the entire global political and administrative class has lost its head.

But the question is: why?

Why are politicians and civil servants overreacting in this way? And why are so many people actually applauding as more and more of their freedoms are curtailed and their economies are destroyed in the name of health and safety?

My view is that the climate change scare has a lot to do with it. For nearly three decades — it started with the 1992 Rio Earth Summit — the West, especially, has been relentlessly propagandised into believing that the end of the world is imminent and that urgent, expensive and disruptive action must be taken to prevent it.

The Coronavirus scare has only been under way for about 8 months, while the climate change scare has been up and running for about 30 years. But the War on Tobacco has been going for at least 70 years, if not a good deal longer, and has an even greater claim to being the foundational scare underlying all the others.

All of them entail relentless propaganda directed against a largely invisible threat – the common cold virus, carbon dioxide, or tobacco smoke . All of them entail ever-mounting authoritarian lunacy of one kind or other. In the UK, it arguably began with…

the Children’s Act of 1908. The act prohibited the sale of tobacco products to youths less than sixteen years of age…

And there’s a lot of money to be made from these scare campaigns. In the case of tobacco, via the Master Settlement Agreement:

The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related health-care costs.[1]:25 In exchange, the companies agreed to curtail or cease certain tobacco marketing practices, as well as to pay, in perpetuity, various annual payments to the states to compensate them for some of the medical costs of caring for persons with smoking-related illnesses. The money also funds a new anti-smoking advocacy group, called the Truth Initiative, that is responsible for such campaigns as Truth and maintains a public archive of documents resulting from the cases. (my added emphasis)

The playbook is the same. First establish and promote the existence of an invisible health threat of one kind or other. Then monetise the threat by imposing taxes on those deemed responsible (fossil fuel industry, tobacco industry). Finally, ensure that the threat never goes away:

Advisor To British Government Warns Coronavirus “Might Be With Us Forever”

Each new scare adds a new burden of taxation on the population. Each new scare also adds new restrictions on people’s behaviour. And each new scare acts to push the economy into recession, and even depression. In the case of the Coronavirus,

Congressional leaders ,,, are in the early stages of drafting a fifth mammoth aid bill to stave off a total collapse of the U.S. economy while infusing cash in health efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Coronavirus scare, the economic impact has been intensified because it has been added on top of pre-existing scares (the global warming scare and the tobacco scare, and most likely several other scares as well), all of which push the economy towards recession.

Where does it end? With scare-mongering unchecked, it can only end in economic collapse, now visible in the empty streets of New York City:

Once the economy crashes, the flow of money into the parasitic scare rackets dries up, and the scare-mongers go broke as well. This includes the mainstream media, who have been among the principal scare-mongers. It must also include the scare-mongering Public Health industry, and the scare-mongering WHO. It will probably include the supine tobacco companies that signed up to the Master Settlement Agreement.

But in any economy there is always a demand for the products on sale in it: food, fuel, shelter. But there isn’t any corresponding demand for scares, which always need to be manufactured by scare-mongers. So the post-crash world will likely be free of scares. It will anyway be scary enough in itself, with mass unemployment and poverty. With nobody actively pushing them, the Coronavirus scare and the Global Warming scare and the Tobacco scare will all fade away. A new optimism will grow up in their place. After the worst of it, things will only get better.

Of course, in time the cycle will repeat. It always does. What will be the next big scare? My own guess is that the Global Warming scare will be replaced by the Ice Age counter-scare, particularly since an economic crash will see a large reduction in the human CO2 emissions that are driving the current Global Warming scare. But with luck it’ll be a few decades before the climate alarmists to flip from warming to cooling alarmism. Although it’s already started:

To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here

We may also expect that the current Obesity scare will be replaced by an emaciation or anorexia counter-scare. And, who knows, the current Tobacco scare will be replaced by a counter-scare as all the benefits of tobacco begin to be recognised in a tobacco-free world (not least of which is the protective effect of tobacco against Coronavirus).

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13 Responses to Scares and Counter-Scares

  1. Mark Jarratt says:

    Authoritarian lunacy is right. I am alarmed and astounded that so many fellow Australians blithely accept, especially in the state of Victoriastan, such arbitrary diktats, including travel bans, curfews, fines, police surveillance by drones, and prohibitions on being outdoors for more than one hour daily, and then no more than 5km from your residence. This is beyond belief, and a predictable result of the unfit for purpose “precautionary principle” in action, pushed by the neurotic, scared of the world with baseless faith in government, and greedy sanctimonious rent seekers seeing an opportunity to inflict their nirvana thinking on society, whether we like it or not. 😷

  2. Joe L. says:

    Coincidentally, today I discovered that “Scared to Death”, the excellent book by Richard North and the late Christopher Booker, is being re-issued with new material in light of COVID-19. The subtitle has been updated from, “From BSE to Global Warming” to “From BSE to Coronavirus.” Release date is October 6th. I think there’s a whole new audience which may not have been receptive to the book until now. Here’s hoping more and more people begin thinking critically and questioning the relentless fearmongering we’ve been subjected to for decades.

    • Mark Jarratt says:

      We can live in hope Joe L, while the panicked and fearful continue to uncritically swallow the endless propaganda…fear of CV19 also arises from the unfit for purpose “precautionary principle” which has demonstrably failed humanity, as relied upon by tobacco control zealots.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Oooh! That’s really good news, Joe. I’ve had the original for many years and it’s a truly excellent book. And yes, it covers the Passive Smoking scare as unflinchingly as it covers all the other End-Is-Nigh predictions made by those with either personal or financial (sometimes both) motives. I just hope that they haven’t edited out any of the old chapters to make room for the new one/s now that Booker is no longer around – he doesn’t talk much about it, but from one or two tiny comments that I’ve read on his blog from time, to time, I think that North, although not an avowed anti, may have taken down a teensy-weensy bit of the Cool Aid re smoking. All of the old chapters need to be included, but perhaps the Passive Smoking one more than any, being as that was probably the first truly world-influential template, which is why it is now used by scare-mongers of all varieties for all the more recent Big World Threats, including Climate Change and, now, Covid-19.

      It also gives an excellent insight into the insidious way that the EU used these scares as a means of “slipping in through the back door” to claim overarching powers for themselves in all sorts of areas previously still under the control of national governments. No doubt many other supra-national entities have used them in the same way.

      So, that’s one for my Christmas list!

  3. RdM says:

    This was possibly the start of the disbelieving here …

    Now Auckland has its lockdown continued, announced today.
    The fear is here. Now mandatory mask wearing on public transport.

    I’ve got a few old basic dust masks I used for DIY woodwork that might look the part enough.

    It’s theatre, but not as we knew it, Jim!

  4. Rose says:

    The Determination of Nitric Oxide in Gas Phase Cigarette Smoke by Non-dispersive Infrared Analysis
    July 1980

    That’s long before Nitric Oxide was found to be made by the human immune system as well ,even longer before it was found to be a possible protection against SARS or Covid-19.
    I can’t make head or tail of the study and it’s done with a smoke machine so I mistrust it anyway, but I’m wondering how TC will attempt to hide that obviously good thing in tobacco smoke this time.

  5. Rose says:

    “It is not generally known that mainstream smoke from cigarettes contains NO at peak concentrations of between about 250 ppm and 1350 ppm in each puff [18,19]. The wide variation depends primarily upon the brand. The very high NO concentration in cigarette smoke as compared to medicinal use of no more than 80 to a maximum of 160 ppm, is presumably tolerated only because it is present for a single puff and then followed by numerous breaths of fresh air before the next puff.”

    “Moreover, the diffusion of NO through the cell wall to reach the virus should be significantly more effective with bursts at the very high NO concentration in the smoke, according to classic laws of physics.”

    “We hypothesize, in view of our knowledge of NO and positive experience with NO inhalation in the SARS epidemic, that the intermittent bursts of high NO concentration in cigarette smoke may be a likely mechanism in protecting against the virus.”

    But for those of us who are quite happy not to use a portable nitric oxide tank it would be very useful to know the minimum protective dose, preferably measured in cigarette numbers.

    It is an ancient herbal medicine after all, no matter what anti-tobacco might say.

    • DP says:

      Dear Rose

      It is also an ancient religious herb too, so maybe we ought to create a new tobacco centric religion, thus establishing our inalienable rites to practice smoking.

      As part of my anti-covid rites, I increased my cigarette consumption from 6 per year to two or even three a day, though I didn’t inhale. On Saturday 25 April (after a bottle of wine) I inhaled! Haven’t looked back. Peak puffs: 10 cigarettes in one day.

      If ash et al were truly concerned with smoking and health, they ought by now to have established some guidelines on how many cigarettes we should smoke per day, and whether inhaling helps.

      Plainly ash et al aren’t really concerned about people’s health at all, they’re just in the health racket for the money, the pension, hobnobbing with Russian royalty and other despots and the banquets in exotic places.


    • Vlad says:

      Excellent Rose, another one for the ‘smoking is good for your’ folder.

    • Rose says:

      My problem is I’d like to go on a short holiday before summer is finally over now the hotels are open again, but what worries me is not keeping up my nitric oxide intake sufficiently while surrounded by nonsmokers who could be carrying covid 19 unknowingly, what if it takes a hold when I’m having dinner? Do you have to keep rushing in and out every half hour or is once every hour and a half enough to keep up the protection?

      It’s only reasonable to give us a clue.

      Rishi Should Thank Smokers
      May 29 2020

      “Following studies showing smokers are both less likely to catch, and less likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19, there is more to praise this too often maligned section of society. With VAT receipts down 93% and tobacco duty revenue up 137%, the Chancellor should thank Britain’s smokers for doing their patriotic duty. Billions in revenue to HMRC…”

      After all, no matter what ASH say, we are still the honest, law abiding citizens we were 13 years ago.

  6. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H L Mencken

    Nothing changes.


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