“What Can Smokers Do To Fight Back?”

Tobacco Control always presents itself as being on the side of the angels. They see themselves as knights in shining armour, riding out from their hilltop castle to fight and kill the smoke-belching dragon of tobacco.

But the way I see them, they’re actually just plain evil. They do far more harm than good. In fact, I’m not even sure they do any good at all. They don’t really have an idea of “good”, except a highly restricted concept of “health”, which boils down to “longevity”. For them, the good life is the long life. Nothing more, nothing less. Anything else – happiness, freedom, wealth, community, truth, honour, or whatever else you might care to mention that might have something faintly “good” about it – simply doesn’t count.

But if they have a diminutive, abbreviated idea of “good”, they have a vast and elaborate concept of “evil”, in the form of the tobacco plant, and its attendant Tobacco Company distributors, and its countless millions of devotees (or “addicts”, as TC prefers to describe them).

And they are far more concerned with stamping out evil than they are in doing any positive good. For they only ever measure their success in terms of numbers of “addicts” who they have managed to get to stop smoking.

I think one of the most important tasks in fighting Tobacco Control is to drive them off the moral high ground.

Of relevance to this was something I came across yesterday

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

“Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil.”

…There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

…Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

It’s about climate change, but as is very often the case with climate change, the logic transposes easily to Tobacco Control. And in fact I think this is because climate change activism is the bastard offspring of antismoking activism, right the way down to the trace amounts of dangerous gases. It’s the Tobacco Control playbook with “tobacco smoke” crossed out and replaced with “carbon dioxide”, and “premature death” replaced with “catastrophic global warming”, and “Big Tobacco” replaced with “Big Oil”.

But the main thing I noticed about Hoffer’s mass movements was that he had seen that they all have a greater belief in something evil than they ever do in something good – much as I had imagined in The Sistine Chapel of Tobacco Control, whose walls were covered with a Hieronymus Bosch vision of hell, with a dwindled, distant heaven relegated to a corner.

Not irrelevant to all this is my upcoming half hour TV interview tonight. I’m going to be live on air in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’ll be my first time on live TV anywhere.

I usually turn down invitations to appear on TV or radio whenever I get them, which is hardly ever. But this time the invite was from some fellow smokers who have a weekly slot on a local TV station. So it’s going to be one smoker interviewing another smoker. And I will be actually smoking.

I’m expecting the interview to be more like a half hour friendly chat. But some questions have been lined up in case the conversation dries up. Including this one:

“What can smokers do to fight back?”

And that’s a tough question. It’s one I ask myself every day: what can I do to fight back? And I fight back, in my way, by writing this blog. And by thinking about how to fight back, every day.

I think that the first thing that people can do to fight back is to recognise that they’re in a war. I think most smokers don’t really see themselves as being caught up in a war. I don’t think many of them even identify Tobacco Control as their enemy.

But, going back to my blog, I don’t see my task in writing it as being one of attacking the enemy, but instead much more one of reaching out to smoking friends. I’m much more interested in talking to smokers than antismokers. Because I think that if one is to fight Tobacco Control one must first raise an army. And that must be an army of like-minded friends or companions. They might not agree about absolutely everything, but they will be agreed about a number of core concerns.

And also, I’m interested in reaching out to smokers all over the world. Because the war on smoking is a global war. That’s why I’m always very pleased to make contact with people in Europe and America and Canada and Australia and New Zealand and Russia. Because there needs to be a global army, made up of English and French and German and Russian and American and Canadian and Australian smokers (or smoking sympathisers). And also Indian and African and Chinese and Brazilian smokers.

And I think that such an army won’t need to be “organised” in some formal sense. I think it’s self-organising. I think that such armies only appear when enough people believe that they’re going to have to fight – i.e. when they recognise that they’re in a war, whether they like it or not. And the harder that Tobacco Control presses down on smokers, the more of them are going to realise they’re in a war.

For example, at the outset of WW1, the British army was a small professional army. But when there was a call for volunteers, they stepped forwards in droves. Why? Because a lot of them had realised they were in a war, and were going to have to fight. If that hadn’t been the case, the call for volunteers would have fallen on deaf ears, and the recruiting offices would have been empty. The army, in a sense, already existed before it was called upon. And it was made up of people who’d been talking to their friends and companions, in pubs, or restaurants, or family gatherings. It self-organised as a dispersed population of like-minded people, each of whom had separately come to their own separate conclusions. Their subsequent “organisation” in the British Army was really all about training them and dispatching  them to France. And this is probably how it is in every war, wherever it’s being fought.

Anyway… you should eventually be able to see the programme. It’s going to be posted up on YouTube

 

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Do Not Resuscitate

A passage in a comment by Rhys last night came as a bit of a jolt.

I hope Britain is better than Canada, because here paramedics won’t come into your house if you smoke.

I hope so too. But I won’t be too surprised if the UK ambulance service is now under strict instruction not to enter any building in which smokers live. Or any car in which there’s anyone smoking.

I can well imagine some grimy paramedic reporting their experience to the TV cameras: “Well, we got to the car in the middle of the blazing motorway pile-up, and we were about to jemmy open the door, when we noticed that the driver had a cigarette in his mouth. So I had to call off the lads, and pull them back the required 20 metres. We could only watch helplessly as the flames consumed him. It was horrible to watch. Horrible.”

If paramedics can’t enter smokers’ homes, it is a death sentence on smokers. Same if firemen can’t.  Smokers may as well have “Do Not Resuscitate” signs written on them in capital letters.

And this was, I saw at once, how the coming smoker holocaust was going to be conducted. There weren’t going to be gas chambers for smokers. The Nazi experience has shown Tobacco Control that people respond with shock and horror to large scale mass murder committed in one particular place in a very short period of time. So instead they’re going for a long term, slow motion holocaust in which smokers are gradually eliminated, one by one, here, there, and everywhere. It’ll be a holocaust that won’t even be noticed.

After all, we only ever notice motorway pile-ups or air crashes or earthquakes because they result in the simultaneous deaths of large numbers of people in one particular location. Many more people die every day than in all these separate disasters put together. But we don’t notice because it’s happening to lots of separate individual people, in lots of different places, and for lots of different reasons.

The Tobacco Control holocaust – which is actually already well under way – is being conducted simply by increasing the likelihood that smokers die prematurely. And they do that through isolation, exclusion, refusal of medical treatment, jobs, housing, etc, etc. By simply making life more difficult for smokers, in innumerable different ways, they are fractionally increasing the mortality rates of smokers, and ensuring that their numbers dwindle proportionately more rapidly than other more favoured social groups.

And, because they have taught everyone that “Smokers Die Younger”, the sudden death of any smoker is not seen as at all remarkable. They were killing themselves anyway, the poor saps. Nobody notices that the smokers are actually being killed off by Tobacco Control, rather than killing themselves. But it’s probably almost impossible to prove it.

It’s a slow motion holocaust that is conducted over several decades. Tobacco Control is very patient. All it wants to do is to gradually whittle down the numbers of smokers, while never drawing attention to its own responsibility for their deaths, since all the blame for that is being loaded onto the smokers themselves.

One might say that in Nazi Germany there was a similar long term, slow motion holocaust under way long before there were any death camps or gas chambers, or any plans for any. Life was simply made very difficult for Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other disapproved social groups. And probably a lot of them died prematurely as a result of it, as they lost their homes, their jobs, their friends, without a single Nazi actually ever raising a finger against them. What we now call the Holocaust was what happened only in the last few years of the Nazi era. And it probably only happened because the Nazis could, after 1941 or 1942, see that they were losing WW2, and felt that they needed to hurry things up, because this was their last chance. And if WW2 hadn’t broken out, there probably would never have been any death camps or gas chambers, because the gradual attrition of Jews through hands-off, non-violent means would have resulted in 6 million Jews dying “prematurely” over a longer period over a far wider area – something that nobody would probably have noticed.

The difference today from the Nazi era lies not the eugenic thinking underlying the antismoking campaign, but in the far larger numbers of people involved. If in eastern Europe there were only 6 million Jews, then it today’s circumstance there are about 1.5 billion smokers worldwide. So the smoker holocaust will be at least 250 times greater than the Jewish holocaust.

And another difference is that this time there will be nowhere to run. Jews in Nazi Germany were able to flee to adjoining countries, and many of them did. But since Tobacco Control is engaging in global mass murder, smokers will have nowhere to run.

And they’re quite likely to be accompanied by drinkers, fat people, climate change denialists, and any number of other disapproved social groups, all in the noble goal of reducing the Earth’s human population to a “sustainable” level.

 

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The Hermit On The Hill

Something I came across last week:

Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, has said many times in recent years that the most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation.

I keep reading statements along these lines. I live the life of a hermit these days, pretty much. I’m an exile in my own country. Whole days can go by without me actually saying a word to anyone at all. Although I’m of course writing and reading stuff here every day, so I never feel isolated. And in some ways isolation is a good thing: you can think about stuff without being interrupted. No wonder the hermit on the hill was often a wise man as well. So where’s the danger in isolation?

Well, in my case, there are some pretty obvious dangers. And they are that if I get sick or have an accident or a heart attack, there won’t be anyone to find me. When my father fell and broke a hip in the garden one night, my mother fairly rapidly found him. Same a few years later when he had a stroke, and fell down again, and my mother found him once again. She saved his life twice. I often think these days that the principal virtue of marriage is that, at its very simplest, it provides someone to keep an eye out for these sorts of things, and to provide a helping hand. But I never got married.

And sometimes people need a helping hand. I still remember the occasion when I came off a motorbike and cracked an elbow. It mended pretty rapidly, but for a month or two all sorts of simple tasks became next to impossible. I remember, for example, cutting slices off a loaf of bread by holding down the loaf with one foot.

I’m a hermit not by choice, but by social exclusion. Tobacco Control works through social exclusion. The smokers are exiled to the outdoors by the Deborah Arnotts in Tobacco Control. Or they are fired from their jobs, or evicted from their homes. They are ostracised. To be ostracised is to be excluded from a society or group. And we are witnessing the mass ostracism of smokers all over the world. I’m just one of countless numbers of hermits.

The whole Tobacco Control modus operandi is to exclude smokers from public life, make pariahs and outcasts of them. They can only rejoin society when they have stopped smoking. Or stopped doing whatever else the controllers disapprove of. For the same methods are being used to exclude and marginalise drinkers and fat people. Shape up, fatty, or stay outside. Even words are being excluded. There are some things that can’t be said. If you don’t use the approved correct words to express the agreed consensus opinion, you don’t have any right to be heard: you’ll have to stand outside too, along with the smokers and fatties.

I’m still astonished that there are politicians and public servants who have little or no compunction in advocating and introducing such exclusions upon large numbers of their fellow citizens. And I’m still astonished that we have a press and mass news media that hasn’t been shouting from the rooftops about it. There is instead dead silence. They are, I think, forbidden to mention it. Smokers and smoking have become unmentionable.

And the method of exclusion is essentially murderous. The excluded smokers may fall off balconies or out of windows, or die of exposure outside, and this is fully intended. It’s not an “unintended consequence.” It’s something that was quite obviously going to happen. And so it was intended.

For Tobacco Control is engaged in a global eugenic public health programme, to rid the world of smoking, and therefore of smokers. Eugenics works through mass murder: if you want to create a world of perfectly white cats, you must kill all the black ones. And Tobacco Control has set out to “improve” the world by getting rid of all the undesirables in it: the smokers and drinkers and fat people and the politically incorrect. And if some of these undesirables die in the process, well, that’s what they were supposed to do. You can’t make omelettes without breaking a few eggs.

It’s essentially no different from the Nazi eugenic public health programme to rid the world of Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals and anyone else who didn’t fit into their plans for a world of perfectly white cats. Those people were regarded as vermin just like smokers are regarded as vermin today. Did anyone in the German press and radio raise the alarm about it? Of course they didn’t. They turned a blind eye just like the press and mainstream media do today.

And why should it be any different? In what substantive way has human thought advanced since the Nazi era? There is very much the same mindset today as there was 100 years ago, in most respects. Yes, we have TVs and computers and mobile phones and all sorts of technology the Nazis never knew. But the Nazi eugenic mentality remains. The old Nazis just took off their black uniforms, and put on suits, and carried on where they left off. And there were lots of them in Britain and America and everywhere else. And, guess what, there still are.

Which reminds me of something else I read recently:

We no longer have a moral compass. Before, Christianity provided this role, keeping us united over centuries. Now we can no longer distinguish between good and evil, and ultimately this is what this struggle comes down to.

When there’s no moral compass, who’s to say what’s right and wrong? And isn’t it likely that what used to be regarded as wrong becomes right, and what used to be regarded as right becomes wrong? Do you think that the Nazi guards pushing Jews into gas chambers thought they were doing something wrong? Of course they didn’t. They thought they were doing something right. And they were surrounded by people who also thought it was the right thing to do. It must’ve been a big shock for them when the allied armies showed up and told them they’d been doing something very, very wrong, and hanged quite a lot of them.

It’s the same with Tobacco Control today. Does Deborah Arnott think she’s doing something wrong? No, of course she doesn’t. She thinks she’s doing something right. And she’s surrounded by lots of people who keep telling her that she’s doing the right thing. They all meet up for conferences which are as much about building up and re-enforcing their morale as they are for making new plans for the Final Solution to the Smoking Problem. The conferences are bonding sessions during which their vision of a smoke-free world is re-iterated and amplified and detailed, so that they can all go away afterwards with renewed confidence and determination. It’s going to be a big shock for them when they find out that they were doing something evil.

The problem isn’t Deborah Arnott. The real problem is the moral vacuum in which the likes of her and Stanton Glantz and all the rest of them can grow and flourish.

 

 

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A Russian Defeat for Tobacco Control

After not being able to access my blog a few days ago, regular reader Dmitri Kossyrev suggested that he might write a guest piece about the recent defeat (yes, defeat!) suffered by the Russian branch of Tobacco Control. Of particular interest to me in his piece was the mention of the Tobacco Control conference in Moscow, which I’ve covered before.

Dmitri has made guest appearances on my blog before (here, writing about Donald Trump, and here about the Russian smoking ban), when I introduced him as a Russian journalist, sinologist, and smoking activist. I neglected to mention that he is also one of the most prominent thriller/crime writers in Russia today, with a string of books to his name, but only one in an English translation: The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas.

My Baby Shot Me Down 

by Dmitri Kossyrev

Several things have happened to the Russian Health Ministry’s anti-smoking campaign, and all of them are good.

First, they had a Concept. A glorious Concept of fighting smoking until the year 2022, and maybe onwards. The Ministry distributed that concept paper to other governmental departments and the general public last autumn, and waited for a response, calling it “a public discussion”.

You all know what was in the plan: Plain packaging, by the year so-and-so. Raising excise tax on cigarettes and e-cigs “to the EU level”, by the year so-and- so. Introducing further bans in open air places, by the year so-and- so. And, finally, there had to be a prohibition on anyone born after the year 2015 from buying any tobacco at all.

The end result is zero. The Concept has been edited by the Ministry after the “public discussion” and published in its revised form. It became a general and empty declaration of intent, since every concrete figure, especially all these mentions of the year so-and-so, had been edited out. Any experienced bureaucrat, and the general public too, knows very well what it means: It means precisely nothing at all.

So what went… right? I’d be happy to say that “we did it” – that is, the Russian Movement for Smoker’s Rights. Our leaders, comprising People’s Artists and other celebrities, did write letters to the President and the Prime Minister. And people like me did write columns (I do it weekly) and participated in fierce debates on  TV and radio.

But it was not us. Or not only us. True, I’ve seen publications in national leading newspapers about the scam of passive smoking, containing the facts, or passages taken from my columns. And then there were other writers who did the same, completely on their own.

But TC had been expecting all that. They were carefully arranging debates without opposition, parliamentary hearings without all the proper speakers.

All very familiar. But they failed.

First was that initiative about the people born after 2015. I’ve told my audience, many times, that it was only a decoy. That idea was to raise real hell, as in “How about the Constitution?” and “Are they totally crazy?”. Then TC was supposed to accept the public verdict, taking this decoy out of their Concept, while keeping the rest of the ugly stuff there: See, we made a compromise.

But the rest of the stuff went, too.

Second, when one office suggests some new legislation, it has to submit it to other offices and wait for their official response. And they’ve got it. Ministries of Industry and Economy wrote that plain packaging is mad, because it opens the door to fakes. Raising taxes to the EU level opens the door to smuggling of cigarettes to Russia from the Eurasian Union. The police, reportedly, giggled about the real (and very predictable) impact of that 2015 idea.

Third, there was a case with the so-called “Young Lions” movement, harassing people in public places and dousing their cigarettes with water pistols. It caused public outrage and prodded top politicians into statements like: “Boys, you can’t do that”.

Fourth, while the Health Ministry was murmuring “My baby shot me down”, yet another office, the Ministry of Finance, lunged at it. It has started a corruption investigation into the matter of 20 million US dollars for a mansion in Moscow meant for the WHO anti-smokers. And yet another investigation started on the maybe 18 million euros (at the current rates), spent by the same Ministry in 2014 on the Framework Convention gala in Moscow. It’s public money, the finance people reportedly said. Why so much – and where are the results of the past 5 years of frenetic anti-tobacco activity? And don’t give us that fake data about everybody giving it up.

All these things happened almost at the same time.

The bad guys will of course regroup and re-launch their attack. But still a little victory is always good for you. Helps you to prepare for a counter-attack.

In the meantime I can’t help spreading a bit of Russian propaganda. I don’t know if we are a free country (I don’t believe such countries exist). Our civil society may not believe in free media and the benefits of rallies and demonstrations. Do you? In our case it was the top bureaucracy that has checked the onslaught of the crazies. It was the people who were coming to members of our organization and quietly asking: how to stop that madness? So, we are a country where bureaucracy matters a lot.

But, still, I’ve enjoyed access to top TV and radio programs, where the hosts, sometimes, have been openly on my side (or have been telling me that secretly). Do you? And in general the public mood has been (and still is) if not for smoking, then against the ugly methods of fighting it.

So, I just cannot help thinking that sometimes it’s good to be Russian. That is, if you know how to ignore the testing climate.

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On The Brink

A couple of slightly jolting videos, both off Infowars.com.

The first one featured Alex Jones interviewing Michael Savage: one shock jock interviewing another shock jock, although Michael Savage has been in the business much longer than Alex Jones. They’re both big supporters of Donald Trump.

They’re friends, which seems to be unusual in US right wing talk radio. Something of a civil war started in that community back before Christmas, with Mark Levin slanging out Michael Savage, and Alex Jones slanging out Rush Limbaugh.

And they’ve both got rather arresting voices. Alex Jones’ is a kind of low rumble, until he gets excited, when it goes up an octave. But Michael Savage has got a very rich voice. He calls it a “master” voice. But I think it’s more like a musical instrument, like a cello or something. It’s got all sorts of inflections and nuances. By contrast people like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh have relatively high pitched voices, which maybe costs them a bit of their gravitas. It seems to be a law of nature that, the deeper a voice is, the more commanding it is.

Anyway, just before 6 minutes into the video, while they were discussing healthcare, and Michael Savage was pushing for high risk occupations to pay high risk premiums, Alex Jones threw in:

“You smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, you go in a high risk pool.”

And Michael Savage didn’t reply. Michael Savage doesn’t smoke, but he isn’t antismoking. On one of his shows not long ago he said to his listeners, “Now that we’ve reached cruising altitude, you can smoke if you want to.” I don’t think Alex Jones would ever say anything like that. He’s a bit of a physical fitness freak, even if he is a bit tubby.

I always notice any mention of smoking or tobacco. But the jolting thing lay elsewhere. At the start of the show (0:50), Michael Savage was saying that America was in a state of civil war:

“It’s a war. It’s a civil war, goddarnit. I’m sick of it.” (1)

And then shortly afterwards (8:50), in discussing ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State, he said:

“There’s only one way to win a war, Alex. It’s horrible. It’s terrible. War is horrible. It’s called Kill Them. They’re never going to see it your way.” (2)

And the jolt came from me adding  (1) and (2) to draw the conclusion (3) that if America really was in a war, a civil war, the only way to win it was to kill them, kill the leftists who were never going to see things your way. What other conclusion could be drawn?

And with lots of people calling for Trump to be assassinated, it seems that much of the US left have come to the same conclusion. So far, I don’t think there have been any attempts on Trump’s life. But it appears that at least two attempts have been made on Roger Stone’s life.

Roger Stone is a long-term member of the American right. He served in Richard Nixon’s administration. And he’s a friend of Donald Trump, and was one of his advisers in the early part of Trump’s campaign.

Over Christmas he was very unwell. He said it was Polonium-210 poisoning. I took that with a pinch of salt, and ignored it. But then yesterday (or the day before), his car was T-boned by another car with dark glass windows, which reversed away and sped off. That did seem like a genuine assassination attempt. Stone was saved by air bags inflating, but was taken to hospital. He has a slight cut on his chin in the video below.

Anyway, with all these calls for people to be killed, sooner or later somebody’s going to wind up dead. And then?

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Despicable Enemy of Healthiness and Right Living

I had an email last night from Dmitri Kossyrev asking me if my blog was down. He’d been trying repeatedly to see it, without success. I replied that my blog was alive and well. There was no problem at this end. Perhaps, I suggested, I’d been designated as a Despicable Enemy of Healthiness and Right Living by the Russian branch of Tobacco Control?

He came back a bit later to say that he’d now gone about it a different way. He’d googled me, and found a bad Russian translation of my blog, and then opted to view the original English. And bingo, there it was.

Bit of a roundabout way to reach a blog, but it worked.

It reminded me that Scott Adams has been complaining that his tweets were being blocked:

As many others have documented, Twitter throttles back the tweets of people who hold political views they don’t like.

Most of you have freedom of speech. I have it too, in a Constitutional sense. But in terms of social media – the dominant form of political communication in our culture – I have about 5-10% as much freedom of speech as other people.

Alex Jones has been making similar complaints about Facebook blocking Infowars.com

It set me wondering whether my little blog might be being blocked or hampered. I am an enemy of Tobacco Control. So much so that they even have a webpage devoted to me. They’d probably like to shut me up, if they could. And also shut up anyone else who poses any resistance to the Tobacco Control imperium. They want, like Mika Brzezinski, “to control exactly what people think” about tobacco and smoking. And Tobacco Control is a global superpower. They probably have able and willing friends and contacts in the online world whom they can ask for assistance in fighting the “global epidemic” of smoking and smokers.

I have some reason to suspect that something along these lines just might be happening. In the first few years of blogging, my hit counts gradually rose year after year. But in recent years they’ve levelled off. And now they’re in slow decline:

Two years ago I was getting over 30,000 views per month, which was slightly over 1000 per day. But for the past year it’s been slowly tailing off. This past week or two (right) has been one of the worst for a long time.

It could all be perfectly natural. People’s interests are constantly changing. Last year I was deeply interested in the US presidential election, and was regularly visiting Infowars.com and other right wing US websites for the latest news and gossip. Since the election I’ve lost interest, and so don’t visit those sites so much. Same with Global Warming. Same with the EU. Same with lots of other things.

And writing a smoker’s blog, it could also be that quite a few of my readers have quit smoking, and lost interest in smoking and tobacco. After all, we’re regularly told that 70% of smokers want to stop smoking, aren’t we? And since we’re also regularly being told that Smoking Kills, it could be that my readers are gradually dying off. And indeed some have, like the late Lysistrata. Many of my readers belong to the older rather than younger generation.

But what’s puzzling me is that this: I get notified every time anyone signs up to be emailed whenever I post up something. In the past, I’d get such notifications maybe once a month. Now I get them about once a week. Sometimes I get several notifications on the same day. So more and more people are signing up to read me, but fewer and fewer actually are.

I hardly ever use email notifications to tell me when somebody’s written something. Nor do I keep a favourites list of people I read. I surf the web from memory. And type in characters: D will autofill to Dick Puddlecote’s blog, U will autofill to Legiron’s blog, V to Chris Snowdon’s, and so on. And when I’m not going to websites whose names I remember, I’ll pick them out from my blogroll, or from somebody else’s blogroll.

Anyway, I have powerful enemies out there, much like Scott Adams and Alex Jones. Perhaps they’re able to reduce my traffic? Perhaps I’ve been added to some obstruction list? So I’ll do a couple of polls:

and also

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Roadkill Resurrection

I used to think that the 1960s was about the most turbulent event I ever lived through. But I now think that the 2007 UK smoking ban tops that by a country mile. If nothing else, the 1960s really meant a period from about 1967 to 1970. It didn’t last very long. By contrast, the UK smoking ban’s ill effects have been not only lasting, but ever-intensifying over a 10 year period. I’m a different person from what I was 10 years ago. I live a completely different life. All purely the result of the smoking ban.

And I don’t think I’m very unusual in this respect. I think that all Britain’s smokers took a big hit on 1 July 2007, in multiple ways. They took a hit to their self-esteem. They took a hit to their sense of being valued members of society. They took a hit in their communities and friendships. They may even have taken a hit in their jobs and homes and families. And of course they’ve taken a hit to their pockets, as taxes have been ratcheted steadily upwards on tobacco.

And it’s not just here in the UK. The same thing happens wherever smoking bans are introduced. The ISIS survey I published included survey results from not just the UK but also the USA, Canada, Holland, France, Spain. And the story was the same everywhere.

With the Queen signing the Brexit bill into law this morning, I couldn’t help but remember that I used to be quite pro-EU only 7 or 8 years ago. It was something that changed very suddenly, almost overnight, when I learned that the EU parliament had voted through a European smoking ban, with provisions for show trials of prominent offenders. With that, what had seemed once to me like a “happy family of nations” started to look like the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

And I was wondering this morning how many other smokers had the same experience. I know Dick Puddlecote did, because he said so. And given around 10 million smokers in the UK, I wonder how many of them became disenchanted with the EU because of it. In fact, I wonder how many of Europe’s 150 million smokers became disenchanted too. We keep reading about the rise of populism in Europe, even if Wilders in Holland doesn’t seem to have ridden the wave far enough:

Gloating EU JUBILANT at Geert Wilders loss as France & Germany try to stop Le Pen support

MARINE Le Pen’s rival has congratulated Mark Rutte’s election victory over nationalist Geert Wilders in the Dutch election, as world leaders welcome the result.

I can’t help but think that some of that “populism” is being driven by angry smokers, not just in Britain and Europe, but in the USA as well

But you never hear about Britain’s smokers. Or Europe’s smokers. Or even America’s smokers. Not in the MSM, anyway. There’s dead silence. Even though the 2007 UK smoking ban was (for me at least) a first magnitude life-changing event, bringing sweeping changes in all my outlooks and attitudes, smokers simply don’t exist on the political landscape. They’re non-people. They don’t count. They were all thrown under the bus 10 years ago, and they’ve remained there as roadkill ever since.

Nisakiman remarked yesterday that:

Support for smoking is political suicide these days.

He’s right. But why is he right? The answer, it seems to me, is because the mainstream media and press and TV are all completely under the thumb of Tobacco Control, and if any politician steps out of line on tobacco, any number Deborah Arnotts will immediately start screaming and shouting.

It’s just like in the USA, where Donald Trump has become President in the face of exactly this sort of continual screaming and shouting by the US MSM. And he hasn’t even said anything at all about US smoking bans. And trying to figure out what his administration is likely to do about them – if anything at all – is an exercise in reading tea-leaves, of a kind I was engaging in only yesterday.

The MSM – wherever they are in the world – are the guardians of political correctness. As Mika Brzezinski recently remarked on Morning Joe: “That’s our job (…to control exactly what people think).” There are a whole number of “correct” or “responsible” or “acceptable” positions on everything from smoking and global warming and the EU, any deviation from which will bring the MSM thought police hammering on your door.

Your opinions will only get aired if they’re the right opinions. Everything else gets silenced or shouted down.

But it might be beginning to change. It’s not as easy “to control exactly what people think” as it was 20 years ago. The internet is changing how information gets around. The MSM no longer has a monopoly on what and what isn’t news.

One day the roadkill smokers, who’ve been shut out of all public discourse, are going to come back to life, and tell their stories, and have those stories heard. It’ll be a roadkill resurrection.

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