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Monday 22 July 2013

Cameron's Blue Dot Internet

I had planned to write a lengthier post about David Cameron's new pornography opt-in scheme for the UK, but over at Head Rambles, Grandad has covered pretty much what I would have said, saving me at least a thousand characters:
And where does this stop?
He stops child porn today? Tomorrow he goes after any violence. The day after it’s incitement to racism? After that any unpatriotic [i.e. anti-government] material. After that, just about anything he disagrees with. Welcome to China.
I do have a bit more to add. I suppose having failed at introducing minimum pricing to protect the plebs from themselves, and having decided [temporarily] against plain packaging for tobacco products to protect children from dangerous logos and trade marks, Cameron and coalition, wishing to appear to be doing something to protect us all, have now decided to do their utmost to break the Internet in the UK.

Because it's clear that nobody in Parliament actually understands how the Internet works nor how easily any "controls" can be bypassed by a monkey with a mouse and keyboard; nor do our dear respected leaders ken that people who want the sort of material that our leaders seek to have "eradicated and stamped out" are unlikely to use any major search engine to find it, but even if they did they would adapt and use terms that were not blocked.

Of course the Government will fail magnificently in its attempts to stick a giant, digital blue dot on the Internet to protect the plebs from pornography of all sorts, and businesses of all kinds will pay the price for that failure, but not before those businesses -- fearing hefty fines or imprisonment -- overreact and/or misinterpret what will certainly be an ill-drafted law and block anything that anybody might deem unsuitable for children, like this blog for instance, which is already blocked by several UK councils' free wifi schemes. Asking for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to police the Internet is not going to go well at all.

Grandad stopped short of bringing Public Health's tobacco control industry into play on this, so allow me to retrieve my crystal ball:  I foresee the prohibitionists will seize the opportunity to include a ban on anything tobacco or smoking-related, possibly even e-cigs because it "looks like smoking," including written text and blogs, because they'll say our sole focus in life is to protect the children no matter the costs to free speech and liberty.

Lastly, there will be the innocents caught up in this programme, because some people will do it simply for the "Lulz." It's not at all difficult to mask a hyperlink or set up redirects to the sites that simply accidentally looking at will have you added to the sex offender registry, thanks to your panicky ISPs. The only way to police the Internet is to monitor of all our communications, and the only way to enforce compliance is with force and the threat of imprisonment or extortionate fines. Much like how smoking bans are enforced if you think about it. You will be made to suffer in the Orwellian sense, because this move by Cameron has little do with protecting you or anybody -- it is instead a move to consolidate the power of government.

Sadly, the infantilisation of Britain marches apace. We are all children now, at least that is how our government treats us.

And we let them.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Black Marks For Anna Soubry MP

How important was plain packaging to Public Health in the UK? Important enough for a junior civil servant to wilfully disregard Parliament? Important enough for an MP to act on behalf of the entire country without ever letting the British people or MPs know what she was doing? I didn't think it possible, but the plain packaging scandal keeps getting worse. I read this over at Dick Puddlecote's:
[Anna] Soubry and [Andrew] Black surreptitiously crept off to Europe to make decisions on behalf of the government and people of this country without consulting a democratically-elected committee as they are supposed to do.
Watch the vid below. It's an hour-long smack-down of the people who are truly running this country, both Anna Soubry and Andrew Black. Be amazed that Anna Soubry makes "no apology" for her actions against the British people (except for an apology to the committee itself), for deciding that only she could save us all from ourselves. Be astounded that Andrew Black says his wilful failure to answer the committee's questions for over SIX MONTHS is merely a "learning point." Be gobsmacked over the fact that Soubry didn't have to do anything at all -- the UK could have abstained -- but Irish Health Minister James Reilly and Andrew Black had convinced Soubry that something had to done right away, because if they didn't act then you couldn't trust the Lithuanians to do anything when they assume the European presidency.

And they did all of that simply because they just had to have plain packaging in the UK. Because they couldn't afford to let MPs have a debate on it. What they truly did was agree to ban menthol cigarettes, without giving MPs and tobacco consumers a voice in the matter, and at the same time agreed to completely shaft vapers by effectively banning e-cigs by regulating them as medical devices, without giving MPs and the British public a voice in the matter. In respect of that e-cig regulation, I see on Twitter that one seller claims that the MHRA told him that it would cost him £2 billion to stay in business.

Source: Twitter
So, now you know how important plain packaging was to the Department of Health, Public Health, fake charities like ASH (attentive viewers may see The Dreadful in the audience -- she's closest to the exit), and taxpayer-funded smoker-hating groups.  Perhaps vapers never thought that plain packaging mattered to them, but it was plain packaging that helped to screw you guys and gals over in the UK.

Whatever you may think, there is one thing that is certain. Andrew Black must be sacked from his role has the Tobacco Programme Manager at the Department of Health. He needs to be sent packing and shuffled off back to the grand experiment in hate against smokers happening right now in Australia, his home country. Perhaps all of you highly-motivated vapers in the UK would like to write to your MPs ...?  Because vapers, it was Andrew Black who really helped to screw you over. Also, me thinks it's an excellent time for a number of FOI requests in respect of Soubry's and Black's involvement with this whole sordid affair. So get writing, folks.

Here's the video, which requires Silverlight to view.

Monday 15 July 2013

A Stick With Which To Beat Us All

The latest buzzword in Public Health and government circles these days is "Health Inequalities." It's sounds authoritative and catchy, I must agree. Brandished by interfering nannying tyrants the world over, it is the fashionable, socialist stick with which to beat us all into submission. There's probably an official definition somewhere, yet put in the simplest possible terms it means "certain people die before other certain people and the government must do something about that because it's not fair!" Here's a helpful graphic:

So where do you fit into this Health Inequalities thing? Fortunately for women and men who live in England, Public Health England has created this interactive portal, called Longer Lives, to help you understand this. It has a Google-powered map and everything. Feel free to take a few moments and interact with the "Early Death" map (as the NHS calls it). It's fun. For even more fun, see: "The Atlas of Risk."

With few exceptions, what you find is that those who live in socio-economic deprived regions of England are most likely to die before reaching the age of 75. (Note: In case you were wondering, Public Health England and our governments have relatively recently determined that any death before the age of 75-years-old is "premature." I'll cover that shortly.)  In other words, the "certain people who die before other certain people" are the poorer folks in England.

Before one gets too carried away by this startling revelation, it's worth pointing out here the wealthiest people always have, on average, outlived the plebs. There are dozens of reasons why this is so -- I suspect you don't need me to explain them all. Suffice it to say that the wealthiest have always enjoyed better diets with much higher-quality foods, better and typically safer working conditions, better sanitation and living conditions, better educational opportunities, and most important better access to the best possible healthcare and treatments than poorer folk.

So when one speaks of Health Inequalities, one is saying that it's not fair that wealthy people get a better deal and will live longer than others, and because of that, the government needs to step in and do something. That's pretty much the concept of Health Inequalities.

There is only way I can think of to achieve near-total health equality:  force everybody to live equal lives. Nobody can have more than anybody else. We all must eat the same foods and do the same exercises. We all must receive the same level of healthcare. All people must live their life according to the scriptures of Public Health. No drinking. No smoking. No risks nor anything that may cause an inequality. There are no differences between any of us. In other words, it's socialism. Through and through, it's a socialist concept.

Nevertheless, nobody believes that a near-total health equality is possible. But they -- they being Public Health -- do believe that significant reductions in Health Inequalities can be made if we all do exactly as they tell us. So they will prioritise and target the smokers, the drinkers, and the overweight, which they've been doing for years now. But to be most effective, Public Health must deliberately target the poorest in society -- those in the socio-economic deprived regions particularly -- and with the stick of "Health Inequalities" and a goal of nobody dying before 75-years-old, Public Health can then request government to force the poorest to conform to the gospel of clean, healthy living.

I suppose, cynically (and perhaps a bit unfairly?), that the goal is to ensure the poorest amongst us can live just that little bit longer, in order to work a few years more so our governments can squeeze out as much tax as they possibly can from them, with the added bonus that downtrodden poor can have a little more time to better appreciate just how wonderful their lives have been, right up until their death at age 75.

Maybe. I could be wrong. I suppose we'll see what happens over the next few years as more and more people like Rebecca Taylor MEP continue screeching about Health Inequalities and that "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!" One thing that is certainly missing from the data that is used to determine these regional Health Inequalities is what people's careers were and the working hazards they faced. Because the type of work you do must also factor in a person's longevity. If your career has you in a semi-enclosed space breathing in automotive exhaust or other particulate matter all day long for many decades, you may not live as long as the person who sat in a clean, air-conditioned office for most of his career and only ventured outside for the occasional Venti latte at Starbucks.

So, while I'm very concerned how Public Health and others will implement reductions in Health Inequalities across England and everywhere else in the world, what is almost of equal concern to me is defining "premature death" as any death before the age of 75.  Oh, how I would have loved to be a fly-on-the-wall when the figure was plucked from the statistical ether and decided upon. Why 75-years-old? I couldn't say. But whatever the reason, it's rubbish. I mean, really, dying at 74 is premature, but 75 is perfectly acceptable? If one dies the day or two before you turn 75, is that counted as premature?

This is the trouble with the idea of premature death and putting an actual figure on it. This basically means that once you turn 75 there is no longer any point in keeping you alive any longer, certainly from a statistical Public Health or government point of view. Someday, in some truly dystopian version of Britain, I imagine it may actually come down to the increasingly cash-strapped NHS refusing certain treatments to anybody over the age of 75. All because you lucky, lucky souls made it past the government-sanctioned age of what constitutes a premature death. I really cannot see this as a good thing for society to pin down "premature death" so precisely. Eh, but who cares what I think? Right?

So, 75 it is, then. This was the average life expectancy for all Britons in 1987. And by 2011, your life expectancy had increased by 5.75 years to 80.75 years-old. Why hold back now? Let's raise the bar for premature death to 80-years-old. That will really help the tobacco control industry's figures of people dying "prematurely from smoking," if you know what I mean. Won't it?

Let's have a look at some life expectancy comparisons throughout the rest of world:

Click to enlargify
Source (please do click this link and select other criteria!): Google
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? At what age is a "premature death" (as defined by this Health Inequalities movement) in the Democratic Republic of Congo if one's life expectancy is only on average 48.37 years?

Actually, what I'm thinking is this: "Why aren't more people in the Public Health racket (along with the compassionate and caring people in tobacco control industry) rushing over to Congo to do something truly worthwhile and try to improve living conditions and healthcare there. Why is Public Health nitpicking on us about what we eat, drink and smoke when they could -- if they truly cared about people's health and saving lives -- go en masse to Congo and attempt make a real, positive difference."

Because they don't want to, is the answer. They're happy right where they are at, ignoring the real horrors people face somewhere else in the world, whilst eating organic rice cakes in their air-conditioned offices, and typing away on their Apple iPads and smartphones, gleefully lording over others and inventing new ways to torture all of us here in England with their petty and hateful demands that we conform to their lifestyle choices, all the while hysterically shrieking "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! FOR THE CHILDREN!"

What we know for certain is that that the "prohibitionists" of Public Health are only interested in ... control. It's not about health. Anybody's health. Anywhere. Our health, certainly compared to some countries in Africa, is just fine.

I mean, a bit of perspective if you please. In England, a premature death is anything before 75-years-old, whereas in Congo a person's life expectancy isn't even at 50-years-old. Note: the world's average life expectancy is 69.91-years-old as of 2011, two decades more than Congo. The Health Inequalities stick we're going to be beat with doesn't seem to matter all that much in Congo ... does it?

Perhaps the next time the likes of NHS General Practitioner Dr Sarah Jarvis moans about the hoards of people prematurely killing themselves with tobacco and alcohol in England, or complaining about whatever preventable disease she's faced with every day in her office in Shepherd's Bush, London -- in between writing articles and appearing on various news broadcasts saying "I don't care..." -- we can kindly suggest to her to spend at least a year in the Democratic Republic of Congo and get back to us on that whole preventable death thing she's always on about. I'll even stump for the airfare and a month's supply of organic rice cakes, jar or two of Marmite for her, and a dozen boxes of Twinnings Lady Grey tea. One thing is for certain, people in Congo don't care about counterfeit tobacco either. At least Dr Sarah Jarvis will be in good company.

Dr Sarah Jarvis
She "don't care..."
Somewhere in Congo, that counterfeit mud is a huge problem

Saturday 13 July 2013

Believe Whatever You Want

Over at the E-Cigarettes Politics blog, tobacco harm reduction advocate Chris Price postulates on what it means to save a life. His piece, which is tagged with "bitter and defeated smokers," references and aims to provide a counter-response to my recent post, Class Warfare and Saving Lives. Chris calls me a "smoking advocate" and I believe that Chris misunderstands where I'm coming from, so I will attempt to set the record straight below. He also draws several parallels in respect of saving lives, and I believe those analogies don't fit well, so I will also cover that.

So let's begin with the paragraph that describes his view of me and of other smokers.
The blogger Liz refers to is a smoking advocate and speaks from a smoker's point of view. I don't blame him at all, he is entitled to his opinion; clearly he is extremely jealous of the progress made by the ecig community, so tiny (about 8 or 9% of them currently) compared to the smokers, who were powerless to protect themselves (or made a terrible job of it, depending on your point of view). Their bitterness at their own impotence tends to be transferred onto everyone else; and, to be honest, perhaps I'd feel the same way if I had 25% of the population to work with and still failed utterly. But everyone has an agenda and you need to look at who is bringing you the message before you know what the message is worth. This is why propaganda is so very powerful: it is a message brought to you with a smiling face by a cleverly camouflaged liar, sometimes unaware of the fact, working for someone else (industries that profit from the lie fund the liar; a perfect example is tobacco control and pharma).
My response to this is that I'm not a "smoking advocate" -- I don't care if someone smokes or does not. Please read my blog post "I'm Pro-MYOFB":
Semantically, "pro-smoker" is also incorrect. I don't identify as a pro-smoker. I identify myself as "pro-Mind Your Own Fucking Business." I'm pro-MYOFB. I don't care if you smoke or don't. I don't care if you drink or not. I don't care who you sleep with or what you do for work. It's your life to live as best as you see fit. It's not mine. Who am I to tell you what to do or how to live?
Furthermore, I'm not at all jealous of the vaping community or any of the progress made. I sincerely want vapers to be able to use their products without prohibitions or interference from nannying tyrants and governments. What I feel is disappointment that a vocal minority of vapers have co-opted the tobacco control industry's rhetoric and propaganda to advocate for e-cigarettes, and by doing so are (perhaps unwittingly) also demonising smoking and smokers. I find such acts to be incredibly distasteful, and I cannot support any person, organisation or company who does this. Rest assured, it's not jealousy that I feel. I may be bitter, however, but not for the reasons you presume.

In respect of the statements made about smokers, I believe you have it mostly wrong again, Chris. Smokers (and businesses) were deceived by the tobacco control industry and the Labour government. We were told that pubs would be excluded from the public smoking ban, and when the law was passed, to everybody's surprise (except for tobacco control nutjobs), there were no exclusions for pubs. It's not that we were or are powerless or impotent -- we were tricked. The reason why smokers do not organise is because we all come from different classes, different points of view, different backgrounds. We're not a group. We are people who smoke -- most smokers do not identify as "smoker." I think you mis-characterise smokers -- I do not find such language helpful or appropriate for tobacco harm reduction advocates.

That said, many smokers feel guilty about smoking, because the tobacco control industry has for decades told smokers that they are bad people unless they quit smoking, that we will die unless we quit smoking, that smokers are killing unborn foetuses and young children, that we are helpless addicts, that smokers are stinky, unclean and unfit for their enlightened society where everyone can live forever if only you do precisely as Public Health advises. After a time, after ceaselessly being told how worthless you are because you're a smoker, is it any surprise that people begin to believe it? They believe all of the propaganda that second-hand smoke kills, and that the magical substance third-hand smoke kills. And they believe that smoking will give them a "premature death."  So faced with all of that guilt, the knowledge that smokers are responsible for every last disease and death on the planet, many smokers simply do not wish to associate themselves with other smokers or a "pro-smoking" movement. Smokers know that the mainstream media and our governments hate them, and that these days it is perfectly acceptable to verbally attack, denigrate, shame, and in some cases even physically assault smokers at every opportunity -- all of these things thanks to some truly misguided people in Public Health, activist doctors, and the tobacco control industry who have encouraged it, wittingly or otherwise.

Let me show an example of the latest anti-smoker propaganda (with thanks to Jan Johnson for sharing it with me), where a smoker's mouth is replaced with an anus:

"Death as a rationale is getting worn out and young people need to meet other messages to stop, think and listen."
That's what smokers are up against every day -- truly despicable people who hate smokers so much that they would create ugly and hurtful propaganda like this. Keep in mind, the target audience for this propaganda is young teenagers. Do let me know if you think this kind of propaganda is acceptable, Chris.

Let's move on to the subject of saving lives.
The phrase 'to save life' means exactly that, to everyone, under all circumstances. For example if a firefighter pulls you unconscious out of a burning building, they saved your life. If a lifeboat crew pull you off a sinking ship in the middle of nowhere, they saved your life. If a surgeon operates on you and fixes an aortal aneurism, then the operating theatre team saved your life. Or maybe you think they didn't? To 'save your life' means to prevent death at that point (and postpone it to a later date). That's what it means.
Actually, no, the phrase "to save life" doesn't mean exactly that under all circumstances. This is where semantics come in. For instance, if somebody helps me with something and I say, "Thanks, mate, you saved my life!" would anybody take that to be a literal statement?  I think not.

As for the examples you gave, those are indeed lives saved, but -- and this is an important distinction -- they are lives saved from "imminent death" if no actions were taken. There's a huge difference between acts to save someone from imminent death and acts taken to possibly prevent a death of some kind at some unknown future time.

Because you don't know when you're going to die. You don't know what the cause of your death will be. So how can you say that a life has been saved by switching to e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke? How can you ever prove that e-cigs even extended your life? You cannot, because even if a person lives to be 110-years-old, you can never be certain that quitting smoking and using e-cigs made that happen. You can believe it to be true, but that doesn't make it fact.

Let me put it another way. A smoker is diagnosed with lung cancer. Will e-cigarettes save that person now? No, they won't. And for the absurd comparison, if I am unconscious in a burning house, will giving me an e-cigarette save my life?  No, it won't. In what scenario is it proven that e-cigarettes will definitely save anybody? There are none. When people say "e-cigs save lives" what they are actually saying is "e-cigs may reduce the relative risks of getting certain diseases that may be caused by smoking, thus possibly extending your life by some unknown amount of time."  That's all you are saying. You can reduce the relative risk of getting certain diseases, but you have no idea whether you would get those diseases if you continued to smoke. You have no idea when you might get those diseases, and you have no idea if even those diseases will ultimately kill you if you do get them.

And indeed, that is all that the tobacco control industry is saying when they claim that "quitting smoking will save your life."  It's a confidence trick designed to exploit your natural fear of death. There are risks to everything that we do, some of them have the potential to harm you. It's up to you to decide the pros and cons of taking those risks.
If you switch to ecigs and don't die 10 years early from continuing to smoke, then ecigs saved your life - that's all there is to it.
You can say e-cigs save lives all you like, but it doesn't make it a fact. It's conjecture. It's speculation. It's betting on a possible outcome in an unknown future. How do you know it was an  early death? Upon what basis do you define an early death? You aren't guaranteed any amount of time on this planet. Some people live to be very old, and others die moments after birth. In between all of these tragic deaths there is an average age of death, but that's only a numerical figure, not a guarantee, not a promise. But if it helps you to get through your day, believe whatever you like.

The other issue here, which nobody ever discusses but they should, is that some deaths are better than other deaths. That's the real issue, to be honest. Anti-smokers are saying that if you die from cancer, or heart disease, it was a bad death caused by your bad choices as a smoker. Actually, they say Big Tobacco killed you. The truth is, all death is equal. It's just death.

But a slow, lingering and painful death frightens the hell out of all us. Does it not? It's not only frightening for the person dying, it's frightening for his family, too. Nobody wants to die like that. One could make a good argument that nobody has to die like that, but our governments have decided that you do not have the right to determine the manner of your death. So, thanks to people who know best for us, we're forced to linger on, waiting, in pain, and suffering.

Certainly, some people choose to linger this way, hoping they will be saved, or perhaps simply afraid to die. That is their choice. Sometimes, families are unable to let their loved ones go, so the family insists on keeping their loved ones alive for as long as possible, in some cases against the wishes of the person who is dying.

So the question is not whether e-cigs save lives. The questions are: "What should we die from? When should we die?"

I await the answers to those questions.

Friday 12 July 2013

UK Government Postpones Plain Packaging

Public Health activists, the tobacco control industry and smoker-hating charities like Cancer Research UK are weeping into their pints of non-alcoholic beer today.  The British press is reporting that plain packaging plans are shelved in favour of seeing how the anti-smoker denormalisation experiment in Australia gets on. Twitter is alight with "OMG!!! The government is killing babies!"

The Independent's Oliver Duggan writes:
The Government is to delay plans to introduce standardised cigarette packaging in the UK, sparking outrage from health campaigners.

The policy, which was expected to mirror a similar Australian measure, has been under consideration at the Department of Health for more than a year. A successful consultation process in August 2012 saw the measure enjoy vocal support across Parliament. 
I suppose Duggan defines 'successful' as "rigging a consultation to produce the desired result but getting your asses handed to you anyway."  Because the Department of Health never expected to get over 500,000 responses in opposition to plain packs. Note that the plain packaging consultation still has not been published , was just published* which is unprecedented. It's been almost a year since it closed. It makes you wonder what the tobacco control industry's pet stooge in the Department of Health, Andrew Black, is hiding.  Duggan also writes "vocal support across Parliament" but fails to mention that a great number of MPs were opposed and signed an open letter rejecting plain packaging.  That's how tobacco control industry propaganda rolls. We're used to it.

*(The consultation responses were just published right as I finished this blog post and posted it -- correcting for that here. Here's a link:

Naturally, anti-smoker charity Cancer Research UK invokes the children, as the BBC reports:
Cancer Research UK chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar said the decision would cost lives.

He said 200,000 children were "lured" into starting smoking in the UK every year.

"The government had a choice: protect children from an addiction that kills 100,000 people in the UK every year or protect tobacco industry profits," he added.
To give activist doctor Kumar's statement some proper balance and perspective in respect of children being "lured" by packaging, I suggest reading this Daily Mash article titled "Cigarette packets 'more addictive than nicotine'":
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: “The only reason young people buy cigarettes is because of the insanely fancy colours and hypnotic shapes.

“Most of them just throw the cigarettes away.” 
Quite so. 

And you can always tell when the tobacco control industry has failed magnificently when, sensing that their evil plans are losing momentum, The Root of All Evil, whose inside source at the Department of Health lied to him last March, takes to Twitter with hilarity like this:

The Root of All Evil
Because these morons in tobacco control all want you to believe that packaging kills.  Do feel free to watch Chapman's Twitter feed for more comedy, or you can use the Twitter widget in the right sidebar to view his crazy antics on social media.

So the UK will get a few years reprieve from the tobacco control industry's evil plan to eradicate packaging in the name of the children whilst the government looks to Australia to see how well it goes there. 

You should expect endless dodgy studies with made-up evidence, and an equal amount of hateful commentary from those who hate smokers and the tobacco industry, that their evil programme in Australia is working. It won't be remotely true, but that's how the tobacco control industry works. 

Because nothing the tobacco control industry has done has ever worked. Which makes you wonder why, for all of tobacco control's superlative failures, our governments continue to throw money at them hand over fist. The government would get better odds and a better return on its investment in tobacco control by gambling it all in Las Vegas on the roulette wheel. I wouldn't recommend betting on Black, though.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Oh! The Inhumanity in Bolton!

With apologies, I'm a week or so late on covering this -- I am still playing catch-up with all that's happened since I went on holiday.

About a month and some change ago, the Royal Bolton Hospital (Bolton NHS Foundation Trust) asked the Bolton News to run a poll on its website asking whether smoking shelters should be rebuilt on site at the hospital. I wrote about that here.  The Bolton News unequivocally stated that "Trust bosses have promised they will abide by the result of the vote."

When the on-line poll was over, a small majority of 53% wanted the smoking shelters to rebuilt -- 1,522 people for and 1,327 against -- this doesn't include the postal ballots received. The total tally was 1,629 for rebuilding the shelters, and 1,580 truly hateful people against building them. It was a close vote, certainly. But a promise is a promise. Right?

So what are NHS Trust promises worth?  Absolutely nothing, the Bolton News reports:
HOSPITAL bosses have made a dramatic U-turn — and will NOT build smoking shelters at the Royal Bolton.
And why has the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust broken its promise to the good people of Bolton?  Because they hate you, smokers. They despise you. Oh, they'll never say that much, none of them will ever admit how much they despise you, so instead they'll say something about being obligated to protect you from yourselves. But really, for the Trust, it's all about standing "shoulder to shoulder" with evil. For instance, the article in the Bolton News said this:
It comes following weeks of pressure from council chiefs and outraged people over the hospital’s decision to reinstate the shelters following a public vote.

Dr Bene said the reverse decision was made in order for the trust to “stand shoulder to shoulder” with public health — despite 1,629 people voting in favour of the shelters in a poll held last month.


“We have just undertaken the exercise but having reflected on that and heard a lot of views, we feel perhaps we need to look at this in a different way and stand shoulder to shoulder with our public health colleagues.”
In other words, the Public Health crusaders demanded (perhaps even threatened, although there is no evidence of that) that the Trust break its promise to the fine, upstanding citizens of Bolton. And the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust capitulated to the demands of Public Health. Because in Bolton, it is plainly evident that smokers don't deserve to be treated like human beings, and that if you make a promise to smokers, you don't have to keep that promise, because smokers aren't worth your time or attention.  In Bolton, smokers do not matter, all thanks to the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust's comrades in Public Health. Welcome, Bolton, to the New Inquisition.

If you live in Bolton, you might be tempted to contact your councillors. This would be an error, because your councillors hate you, too, smokers.  The Bolton News article said (emphases added):

The decision [to not build the shelters] has been welcomed by Town Hall bosses.

Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, cabinet member for public health said: “We are grateful they have listened to concerns raised.

“As a council with responsibilities for promoting healthier lifestyles we were concerned the decision would send out the wrong message and felt the hospital could instead offer advice and support on stopping smoking."

Sufrana Bashir-Ismail (centre)
Source: Bolton News
She's not going to listen to you, smokers.
Well, councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail supports Public Health. She is no friend of any smoker in Bolton, that's for certain, and she cannot be trusted to support the will of the public, evidently.

Another Bolton councillor regrets that we live in a representative democracy, possibly. Meet "Conservative" Cllr Andy Morgan, who is disappointed that the public was asked to vote on the smoking shelters (emphases added):

Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council's health scrutiny, said the shelters should never have gone to a public vote.


“We have all got a part to play in public health and the hospital is no different. This has been a complete and utter waste of every body’s time and resources."

Councillor Andy Morgan doesn't want the public to vote
Bolton Councillor Andy Morgan
Source: Twitter 
"We have all got a part to play in public health..." Andy says.
Jay says, Well, don't let 'em see that beer, Andy. I'm confident that's over the Public Health nutters' recommended daily limit.
Thanks, Andy, for looking out for Bolton's citizens. They're all so very lucky to have you. Your Italian holiday pics look fab, by the way.

Clearly, in Bolton, your councillors do not work for you, instead they choose to work for Public Health or perhaps for their own personal gain -- some, like Andy Morgan, don't even want to let you vote on issues that matter to you, or maybe that's just the issues that matters to smokers. Is there any real difference? I suppose public opinion is irrelevant in Bolton, thanks to the insidious nature of Public Health's denormalisation programme against smokers, and thanks to town hall bosses who support anti-smokers.

Well, I feel bad for Bolton's smokers, who don't deserve compassion, who don't deserve to be treated like human beings by those you voted for, or by those who are supposed to treat you when you are ill.  You cannot trust your doctors, and you cannot trust your councillors, and you must never trust anybody who works for or supports Public Health. They all despise you and want you to shiver in the cold, wet weather, unsheltered from the elements.

There is no humanity left in Bolton. Evidently.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Class Warfare and Saving Lives

Over the next few days, weeks, and months (hell, possibly years) you're going to see a lot of people say stupid shit just like this:

Rebecca Taylor MEP:
"Congratulations to all those #ENVI MEPs who voted in favour of #medicines route for #ecigs; you did what #tobacco industry wanted : (
Or (perhaps unintended, perhaps intentional) asinine things like this:

Chris Davies MEP:
"Key e-cigs vote lost 45-25. People will die unnecessarily as a result unless this can be changed. #e-cigs"
And more than a bit of this hysterics from some vapers, evidently learned from tobacco control and their sheep minions of hate:

g james:
".@LindaMcAvanMEP how does it feel to advance your career on the backs of 1,000s of deaths? #ecigs #EuEcigBan #SWOF #BBJ"
But what you won't see very much of is this, which is absolutely spot-on and true (note: I don't know this MEP, or what she stands for, but I like the wording of this tweet -- I'm certainly not endorsing this MEP):

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP:
"E-cigarette users let down as MEPs reject @ecrgroup amendment & instead support Socialist & Green plan to classify #ecigs as medical devices"

I believe that last tweet really just sums up the situation with MEPs choosing to (effectively) ban e-cigs, along with a total ban on menthol cigarettes, and a total ban on slim cigarettes, and new 75% graphic health warnings, and whatever other evil things the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is meant to control. I think MEP Yannakoudakis could have said "E-cigarette users failed by MEPs" but you know, wording choices aside, she's nailed it in a single tweet.

Because this is about class warfare first and foremost. Socialists want only one class of people -- that is to say everybody should be poor and dependent upon the State. The same goes for the Green party, which is really just an off-shoot of the Socialist party when you inspect them a bit more closely.

So why a menthol ban and why a slim cigarette ban?  Because a) poorer people and women tend to smoke menthol cigarettes in much greater numbers than other groups of people*, and b) because women smoke slim cigarettes. The goal of these bans is not to protect anybody's health but instead to take away your choices, to force you to conform to the will of the State along with the eradication of dozens of brands from the market, the latter being particularly important as it's part and parcel with plain packaging.

This is exactly what the Tobacco Control Industry (TCI) has been demanding for years, because TCI has always viewed women and the poor as weak and unable to think for themselves. Indeed, most of your elected representatives feel precisely the same way. The ruling class, which always thrives in a socialist state, will have you believe that all women, but particularly young, poor and/or pregnant women, are too gullible, too stupid, and too weak to be able to make their own choices, so MPs and MEPs choose to make women's choices for them.

(*Some of you might want to include racism as a reason for banning menthol cigarettes -- I don't know whether that's the case here. If it is, I would hardly be surprised, but I'm not going to make that claim, because I simply cannot say whether race is a factor.)

This is class warfare, people. This is all about controlling the poor, who (if the statistics are correct) smoke more cigarettes than the middle class or the upper class. Of course, it's also about making the poor even poorer. Because that's also an effective control tactic. If you have no money, if you spend more and more of your time working for the State to survive, then you are less able to rebel against your masters. It is also about hurting the tobacco industry, which, in the opinions of the socialists, tobacco control academics and many of your MPs and MEPs, is making too much money. Ultimately, it's about controlling all of us eventually, poor or rich.

I just thought I'd point all of that out, in case you didn't already know.

Now, back to the tweets shown above. Rebecca Taylor MEP's tweet indicates that the tobacco industry (presumably all of it) wanted this to happen. I have no doubt that some tobacco companies certainly did want e-cigs to be regulated as medical devices. Larger tobacco companies who are interested in developing their own e-cigs can afford any licensing and medical regulation schemes the Socialists can throw at 'em.  But  Taylor left it there -- she forgot who else would also benefit. So I called her out on that:

Rebecca Taylor MEP
All right, so she's only casually mentioning that the tobacco industry will benefit, not assigning blame. She also sent this tweet:

Rebecca Taylor MEP
Well, she did tweet a few times to the WHO's Twitter account. Was she "very critical"?  I don't think so. Here's one of them:
Rebecca Taylor MEP:
"@WHO do you want to encourage #ecig users to return #tobacco after stopping smoking? That would not be in the interests of #publichealth"
Oooh. You showed 'em, Rebecca.  I'd bet the WHO is absolutely smarting from that critical tweet! Like they care. But the point of selecting this tweet (and there were a couple of others) is to show you that Rebecca Taylor MEP supports Public Health primarily. And those who support Public Health are not your friends -- they never will be, even when they say or do things you agree with.  Rebecca Taylor is also anti-smoking and anti-tobacco, including using snus.  It took a lot of people commenting on her blog post and sending her evidence about vaping to get her on board to support e-cigs, but she wilfully turns her back on tobacco consumers. If you can get her to do what you want, vapers, great -- but trusting her, thinking that she's a friend ...?  That would be a huge mistake.  You've been warned.

As for Chris Davies MEP's tweet, well... I find statements such as his to be unnecessary hyperbole and I put it this way to him:

That's right. People will die regardless if they vape. Vaping isn't going to make you immortal, folks. No matter how much you think it might. Perhaps vapers think that they won't get cancer -- because, you know, cancer is that "bad death" that only smokers get. Think again. Any of us, smoker, non-smoker or vaper could get some kind of cancer, eventually. And apart from suicide, if any of us could choose what we die from, we would. But we cannot. So all of the "unnecessary deaths" will still happen, one way or another, by some cause or another. And if you eliminate one cause, there's another waiting for you.

So I have real difficult time understanding Chris Davies MEP's tweet that "people will die unnecessarily as a result" if they cannot vape. It's poor and sensationalised wording designed to inflame opinion, not inform. It's not even remotely true. E-cigarettes aren't going to save anybody's life. It's disingenuous to say they will. Statements like that are utter bullshit, actually.

At best, e-cigarettes "might" help to extend your life by a few years if you don't get lung or any other kind cancer (because, as we all know and have been told endlessly for decades, smoking causes all diseases and cancers and deaths, right? yeah?), but there's no guarantee that would ever happen. You might die from a stroke or a heart attack or getting hit by a bus, train, or a meteorite; you might die from a snake bite, or from a bee sting, or from a nasty virus or the common cold; you might freeze to death or burn in a fire; you might die in a plane crash or a terrorist attack; you might suffocate on your own vomit or your spouse might suffocate you with a pillow some night; you might get Alzheimer's or some other form of brain disease or dementia and forget who you are, forget where you are and maybe, just maybe, on a bad day, when somebody forgets to look after you, you could come to a sticky end by accidentally walking off a cliff or something...

Are any of those particularly good deaths?  What? You're hoping you'll die in your sleep?  That would be great. Wouldn't it? Doesn't happen that often, though. Nope. I know this, because my mother works as a nurse, in a care home for the elderly. We rarely go quiet into that good night... so, pleasant dreams, people.

It's time vapers abandoned the line of thought that suggests e-cigs will save your life. You are all -- all of you vapers and every last human on this planet -- going to die. Regardless. It is only a question of when -- you can spend the rest of your life, however long that may be, worrying about the "how" if you so desire. It's your life. Do what you like.

So. If you think that e-cigs are likely to extend your potential lifespan, then say that.

But stop fucking saying e-cigs will save lives, because they sure as hell won't.

I can guarantee that much.

Monday 8 July 2013

Allies and Enemies

Yesterday's post about unhelpful vapers may have touched a nerve with a few folk -- check out the full comment thread if you'd like. To be perfectly clear, I do not view vapers as enemies of smokers. I see you as brothers and sisters; allied with smokers in the war against the tyranny of Public Health's New Inquisition, even if you don't. And if you don't see it that way, someday you will -- along with drinkers, chubby people, gamblers, people who work for "Big Anything" and the lot.  Because the control industries of Public Health hate all of you, whilst at the same time seeing you as an endless source of taxpayer funding for their hate campaigns against you. They are all evil bastards.

With that said, the subject of my post yesterday, Jonny Lavery, dropped by with a comment explaining that his quote was taken out of context. I reproduce Jonny's comment here in full:
Why thank you for the coverage Jay. It shouldn't surprise anyone that indeed the quote was taken out of context. It was, in fact a witty explanation of my decision to prefer vaping to smoking. I haven't attacked smokers, as I love smoking, and yet I have a predilection for life, hence my dilemma. I didn't write the piece, you shouldn't be surprised, as the BBC did. The point was and remains to elucidate coverage of our mass protest in Brussels- to protest against the potential waste of life that would be resultant from the actions of this 'nanny state' that you derise.
And so, we find ourselves on much the same platform, except that mine was international news media and yours is a little blog.
I hope we can overcome these differences to support freedom of choice for smokers as that is my agenda.
Best wishes,
According to Jonny, the BBC took his quote of context. He says he meant it as a tongue-in-cheek response as to why he now prefers to be a vaper.  OK, fine. If my "inordinately bad mood" (as DP put it in the comments yesterday) made me fail to see the comment as witty repartee, then I apologise to Jonny.  Sorry, kid. I must have got it wrong -- I do that sometimes, and I'm fine with admitting that when I come to realise it.

I do think that if you're going to be on this grand "international" stage you speak of, Jonny, you will need much better press skills. Because the press is going to "pwn" you every time if you give them opportunity. You have to be more precise and leave no room for misinterpretation or to be misquoted -- not an easy task. Know your talking points, hold to them, do not let them manipulate the interview. Journalists should not be trusted inherently. Never forget that.

First impressions matter; second impressions count. My first impression of Jonny was perhaps wrong due to my bad mood and because of what the BBC article had printed. My second impression of Jonny after he left his comment on my blog, if indeed it really is Jonny, isn't any better to be honest. Because condescending remarks about my "little blog" is not going to win me over, and it certainly doesn't overcome any differences in opinion. It just makes Jonny look like an egotistical dickhead, and honestly, our "related causes" cannot afford assholery like that. His view of blogs or bloggers and our usefulness in the fight against Public Health matters not at all to me. Perhaps he'll change his view over time; perhaps he will not.

To Jonny's credit, at least he is doing something. So good luck with your trip to Brussels, Jonny, and may the force be with you and all that jazz. We are all lucky to have you. Say hi to my fellow blogger Dick Puddlecote when you see him.

* * *

One of our vaping allies is Jan Johnson -- she isn't just pro-vaping, she supports all tobacco users equally and she despises the insidious nanny state that pervades our once-free societies. Jan is incredibly active on social media, tweeting as "J Johnson" (@themorrigan1972), where she regularly tweets/re-tweets all of the "smokey" blog posts as well as linking to them in her Daily Nicotine and Vaper's Daily newspapers.

If you're aren't following Jan on social media, you might consider doing so. She is relentless in tracking down and tweeting every "nicotine-related" and "bans-related" article she can find, for all of our benefit, and many of her finds I've blogged about here.  Jan also can be found on Tumblr here, and her blog on Blogger is here (as well is in my blogroll at right).  She also hosts the "Anti-Nanny" podcast on the Vaper's Place Network, which is broadcast every Monday evening at 6 p.m. EST (11 p.m. GMT).  You can listen to archived episodes on Soundcloud here.  (If you didn't already know, I wrote the "The Root of All Evil" song for Jan's podcast.)  Jan is not only our ally, I consider her to be my friend.

Vapingpoint Liz also commented on my post yesterday, and she blogged about it here.

Some [vapers] believe they are better than smokers, and that vaping is something different - but is it?. Vaping is NRT some think. But it is pleasing and delightful to do - not like NRT at all.

The difference between my attitude and those vapers who are trying to save their necks by clambering up the pyramid of suffering smokers, putting their feet in the mouths and ears of the already persecuted, is that they do not want the same thing as happened to smokers to happen to us. It's a kind of panic. So they use the anti-smoking rhetoric as a way of making us vapers look better than smokers. And also to sell their products! It is truly sad. But I understand why it is happening.

The shame of it is, that what we do is considered smoking and our lot will be the same as that from which we thought we'd escaped. We should also be fighting for relaxations in the smoking ban and removing medical porn nocebos on cigarette packaging. We should be on the side of smokers, not against them.
The other comments left on my blog post yesterday are also worth reading. So please do so if you haven't already.

What we have in spades are enemies. Far too numerous to list them all (though in respect of the UK I gave it the ol' college try here).  The short list is as follows:

  • Public Health control industries (Tobacco Control, Alcohol Control, Food Snobs, et al.)
  • Pressure groups, organisations and other rather uncharitable "charities" who seek to denormalise smokers
  • The mainstream media
  • Many of our democratically-elected tyrants (politicians)
  • Activist doctors
  • Academics
  • Big Pharma
That list is not all-inclusive, and is presented in no particular order.

Perhaps we are our own worst enemy. If smokers and the rest of the people that Public Health despises and seeks to control are unable to unite and stick together in this fight against these despicable nannying tyrants, then what chance do we have of prevailing? We cannot afford in-fighting amongst ourselves -- we cannot afford to be divided nor segregated. That isn't to say we must agree on every last thing -- we certainly should not. The soundest decisions are made after robust debates, where the pros and cons are weighed up and analysed fully, where all views are listened to and given due consideration and the best course of action to meet our goals is subsequently chosen.

We either accept all of our differences and try to tolerate them and focus on our common enemies, or we fail. There is no other option in my opinion. So in the spirit of tolerance, perhaps we can afford a bit of assholery on our side, but I'd prefer that we avoid it if we can.


Sunday 7 July 2013

Good Luck With That Not Dying Thing, Jonny

Perhaps I'm extraordinarily sensitive (i.e. fucking livid) because my fuckhole neighbours hit my cat with their car the other night, and when confronted they denied doing so despite that they were the only ones who had driven on our mostly-private street that night, and that I had found my cat's fur and bodily fluids on their car's grill/bumper, and then, to top off a truly shitty day, just after grabbing their six-month-old baby and holding it up like a shield of some kind, my cat-killing neighbours chose to threaten me. Fortunately, the fuckholes didn't act on their threat, for who knows what might have happened if they had... Some neighbours, eh?

Given the above, I can accept that I am not in the best frame of mind -- my objectivity may be a bit hampered.  

Nevertheless, I'm getting real tired of some vapers acting and speaking like the anti-smoking Tobacco Control Industry.  Some of you are not helping; in fact you are only making it worse for yourselves in the long run.   I wrote this back in February:
I am also extremely at odds -- nay, extremely livid at a large number of vaping companies using the same bullshit rhetoric and propaganda that the anti-smokers have used to denormalise tobacco use in order to sway potential customers. [...] I'll just say that any vaping company that wants my business will have to work for it, and that company better not be spouting any anti-smoking propaganda because I will consider it my enemy if it does.
To be very clear to my vaping readers, this does not apply only to vaping companies, it applies to individuals as well.  So, vapers, if I'm following you on Twitter or Facebook, and you tweet or post any anti-smoking rhetoric or propaganda in support of your e-cigarettes cause, notwithstanding that I completely understand that you are under attack by Public Health and the EU, I'm going to unfollow you when I see it. If you try to contact me, I will ignore you. Forever. Because you aren't helping. You are part of the problem. I don't care what you believe. Do not attack smokers, smoking, and do not spout rubbish about living forever. 

Take this guy, who I had never heard of before last night until I read this BBC article but I figure some of you probably know him, named Jonny Lavery.   Jonny is afraid of dying (emphasis added):
A group of friends sits around a table in a pub in south London, exchanging stories and putting the world to rights in a cloud of scented vapour.

One of them is 31-year-old Jonny Lavery.

"I had a big problem with death, a really big problem with dying," he says. "I wanted to avoid dying at all costs."

But three years ago, Lavery realised that as a smoker of 15 years, his chance of doing this was diminishing. Roughly half the world's smokers die from their habit. The trouble was Johnny just enjoyed it too much to quit.

Then he found an alternative - the electronic cigarette.


Ninety per cent of e-cigarette users are also smoking, [Robert West] says, indicating that the devices are being used as a quitting aid. Countries that have banned them are, in his view, "nuts".

Jonny Lavery and others are planning a trip to Brussels next week to protest against the draft European legislation, which they see as a threat to their hobby. 

First off, Jonny. Good luck with that trip to Brussels. I sincerely hope you and your vaping mates succeed. I don't know if you will or not, but let me assure you that many politicians in Brussels and here in the UK hate you every bit as much as they hate smokers. They see no difference between vaping and smoking, and they never will.

Secondly, and to the point really, good luck with that not dying thing.  Because you're a proper muppet if you think e-cigarettes are going to keep you from "dying at all costs." You're going to die regardless if you smoke, vape, or hide yourself away inside a plastic bubble for the rest of your life. I understand you're excited about vaping, but like most reformed ex-smokers, you aren't helping by saying incredibly stupid shit like that. You are only helping the anti-smokers, and that makes you part of the problem. You aren't even helping your own cause, but I suppose you don't see it that way.

Now perhaps Jonny was misquoted. Or perhaps Jonny truly believes that he'll live forever because he chose to vape over smoking tobacco.  There is no mention of what kind of death Jonny is afraid of. I presume it's cancer. Perhaps someone in his family died from cancer.

But Jonny ... You're going to die eventually, no matter how you live your life, no matter what you do or don't do. We all are. You had better come to terms with that someday  -- I certainly would not want you to be surprised.

Update - 8 July 2013:  Jonny Lavery has left a comment below, and explains that his comment was taken out of context.  I cover that in my next blog post here.

Saturday 6 July 2013


I have been asked quite a few times about the black cat avatar I use for this Nannying Tyrants blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. His full name was Bramulus Stumpy Bear. I called him Bram; my wife called him Bear. He had other names, too, (Bram-u-lee, Bram-u-lie, Bram-u-lo) as most cats tend to acquire about a dozen or more. But whatever his name, he was one of the finest examples of the feline persuasion to ever grace our lives. Because he always was so special, I chose his image as my avatar.

There are tears on my keyboard. Bram died today, 6th July 2013. He was 13-years-old. We don't know his actual birth date, but we know he was 5-years-old when he moved in with us. Eight years of joy, love, and adoration this magnificent cat gave us, each and every day, and I am so utterly grateful for all of that time we had together. And it wasn't only our lives he touched. Our neighbours and their kids loved him, too. He was gregarious, friendly, cheeky, silly, incredibly intelligent, and utterly charming. He made us laugh every day. He was a gentle soul. He was my best friend.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him -- I know that much to be true as I wipe away the tears.

I also know that we gave him the very best life possible. I know he was happy. Bram truly loved life every day. He loved everything. I know he knew we loved and adored him.

We will mourn, for a long time, but we will not be bitter about his death or the circumstances that led to it -- as much as we are angry, we accept that it was Bram's time. We choose to remember him not for his death but for how Bram lived, which was glorious and fulfilling. There is no such thing as a premature death -- there is only death, and it comes for all of us -- all life -- eventually.

There are no guarantees in life, nor promises to reach any age, nor any certainties of good health, equality or fairness. Life is joy; life is pain. We would not wish it to be otherwise, for you cannot truly appreciate the former without knowing the latter. We choose to cherish each moment we spend here with those we love -- human, animals or whatever species you prefer -- rather than wishing for what could have been if only something hadn't happened after the fact. We would change nothing.

I have no regrets.

His name was Bramulus Stumpy Bear. He was my best friend. He will never be forgotten. I love him every bit as much as you love your children. I always will. I know that Bram knew this.

Goodbye, dear friend. You were magnificent.

Bramulus Stumpy Bear
If you will allow a slight indulgence, here are many of my photos of my gloriously wonderful cat. The finest cat I've ever known.

Friday 5 July 2013

Home ... For Now

I'm home. The US road trip that Mrs Tyranny and I did these past few weeks was absolutely fantastic.  We drove a total of 3,480 miles, according to the odometer in our rental car.  If you'd like to see where we went, see the below image, but for more detail then you can view this Google map:

Click this link for a more detailed view of the above map
Along the way, we took lots of photographs. Over 1,400 photos.  Here's a small selection of pics (tip: if you want to see higher resolution images, click the gear icon on the photo album and choose it from the menu or alternatively select "view album on Imgur"):

Usually, at the end of most holidays, we look forward to coming back home.  But not this time.  We didn't want to leave.  For the past few years, we've discussed leaving the UK but we didn't know where we would move to.  Somewhere friendly, somewhere warmer, somewhere with a smaller tax burden, some place that was not under the thumb of Public Health nutjobs hell-bent on controlling our lives.*  Now we have a pretty good idea, so we're looking into making it happen.  Because with each passing day it is increasingly looking like we have no viable future nor opportunities in Britain.  The horrible monster that is the EU is a primary factor for wanting to leave the UK while the leaving is good (i.e. while our money is still worth something, and before it all goes tits up -- if it does that is). We could be outta here in a few months if all goes well and to plan...  I suppose we'll see what happens.

(*Public Health is infiltrated just about everywhere, and while the States certainly has issues, it is nowhere close to the Socialist hell that Britain and the EU has become, and will continue to be for the forseeable future. At least Public Health is not as insidious and dominant in the States as it is here in the UK.)

But I will continue to resist and fight against Public Health everywhere I find it. That is a certainty.

Sunday 30 June 2013

What We Are Fighting For - 17 of 17

Click image to enlargify
From Picture Post Magazine, July 13, 1940, pg.40
If you would like to read the Diary of the War -- No. 44, then you may find it easier to download this image.

Jay's Final Thoughts:  Well, I hope that this What We Are Fighting For series, taken from Picture Post Magazine (13 July 1940) and penned by A.L. Lloyd, has given you some valuable insights into the past and our present-day.  It is some of the finest pro-British war propaganda I've ever read. It was a time when all of Britain was unified against the enemy that was fascist Socialism. It didn't matter which class you belonged to -- you were English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish, you were British.

No sane person ever wants to fight a war. Yet our history is littered with them.  The war we face today is not one that we would recognise if we compare it to the bloody battles of the World Wars last century, or to the wars against any nation.  But there is a war -- it's a war for our minds, our hearts, our identities, and our souls. This war, which we did not ask for, which we never wanted, is being waged by those in our government departments, in our academic institutions, in what we once would have considered to be "charitable" organisations.

It is not a war that is fought with guns and bullets, nor tanks, nor bombs. It's a war fought with pure hatred against ordinary, average people who do not live up to the expectations of our "masters."  They claim they want to save us all from ourselves, but we did not ask to be saved. They claim that they are denormalising us out of human compassion, because they love us, but we did not ask for their help nor their embrace. They conspire to turn our children into activists, not-so-different than the Youth Programmes of 1930s Germany; they conspire to turn our young adults in colleges and universities into propaganda machines, to brainwash them into believing the gospel that "you are free to do what you're told and only what you're told," to make these students churn out endless studies and surveys designed to inflame public opinion to exploit your natural fear of death. It is a war of misinformation and deception, and the mainstream press has aided and abetted the socialists at almost every turn. Bullets, guns, tanks and bombs have no effect on written text, nor upon ideas, so this war is fought with our words and our ideas on a digital battleground. For the time being ....

The war is here, right now.

You do not have to fight -- you can let the Socialists win and destroy our way of life, our communities, our pubs and clubs, our businesses, our families and friends.  You can run away, you can hide, and the Socialists will find you wherever you go and force your compliance to their ideology.

Or you can join the fight and help put an end to the misery and hate that Public Health and its shameful sister organisations, which I sometimes call The New Inquisition, are inflicting upon all of us in these dire, dark days in Britain, in Europe and all over the world.  You can write words, or you can speak out against the tyranny we face each day. The battle will be different for each one of you. Find your place. This is your call to arms. The time is now.

True freedom, true liberty is out there -- a shining beacon of glorious bright light that all of us mortals can see, even with our eyes closed.  We dream of it every night, whether we are aware of it or not. Freedom and liberty for all are the true ideals for all good people of the world -- we strive for it with every intake of breath into our lungs, in almost everything we do. We must not let Socialism extinguish our dreams, our lighted beacon of hope.

Liberty is worth fighting for.  Freedom is worth sacrifice.

We stand united, or we fall united. There can be no other way.


RESIST Socialism - RESIST Tyranny
RESIST Socialism - RESIST Tyranny

Saturday 29 June 2013

What We Are Fighting For - 16 of 17

Click image to enlargify
From Picture Post Magazine, July 13, 1940, pp 38-39
The German mother who still wants to live her own life and look after her own home, has a Block Warden to supervise what friends she meets, what hobbies she has, what radio stations she listens to. Her children are compulsorily enrolled in the Hitler Youth, alienated from her, even incited against her. Her grown-up sons and daughters are enlisted into the army or in various labour camps. As one German mother has remarked: "As long as I've got my baby in the pram, he belongs to me -- but not much longer."

This, then, is something of what Nazi means to the ordinary men and women of Germany. Here, quite deliberately, we have not dealt with those well-known and sensational aspects of German life -- the role of the Gestapo, the position of the Jews, the persecution of the intellectuals. Nor have we touched upon the the opposition to National Socialism. Here we have been concerned with the ordinary Little Man and his Wife, with people economically too hard-pressed to understand clearly what was happening, who gave freely of their enthusiasm and their ideals, and who, in return, had seen the country brought to a state of slavery and the world plunged into war.
-- A.L Lloyd

Jay's thoughts:  What you have just have just read over the previous sixteen posts is a masterpiece of pro-British / anti-Nazi propaganda. You would be wise to remember some of it. To use it against Public Health. To be inspired by it. To take action. To do anything but except the status quo that is modern-day Britain in the thrall of living forever if only you don't smoke, or drink, or eat the wrong foods.

And while the comparisons between Nazi Germany of the 1930s and Britain of the 2010s are sometimes indirect and tenuous, we must admit that there are far too many striking similarities to present-day Britain and the threat of Nazi socialist rule to be ignored.

Have no illusions that the people who want to save you from yourself are little different than the Führers of Nazi Germany. The socialists all had a dream back then, as do those in Public Health now.  It's not the dream that matters, however ... it's the lies, propaganda, and more important the acts (or inaction) of people to achieve those dreams that matter. Are we willing to accept that some members of society are better people simply for whether they don't smoke or don't drink or don't eat too much?  Are we truly ready to say that smokers are a such a burden on society that we should denormalise them and isolate them from their friends and family?

The better questions may be:

"Who are we?"

"Are we Nazi Germany?"

"Or are we truly a tolerant Britain, a  country of the greenest pastures, of the most beautiful cities, a place where each person can choose his or her own life, as each sees fit for themselves?"

"Does the dream of Public Health outweigh the hopes and aspirations of all Britons -- of all Americans -- or all Australians -- of all people all over the world?"

What are your answers to those questions? What questions of your own do you have? What kind of world do you wish to live in?

I know what world I want to live in. It's not the world we see today through the rose-tinted lenses of Public Health, the Tobacco Control Industry, the Alcohol Prohibitionists and the Food Snobs.

Friday 28 June 2013

What We Are Fighting For - 15 of 17

Click image to enlargify

To view the original images, see the below photo album.

Jay's thoughts: Spend a bit of time with these images. How far removed are these from today's society, when rags like the Daily Mail print photographs and exposés of nothing more than celebrities having a cigarette ... outside!  Smokers, regardless of class, are often treated like the poor Jews in the photographs above. We're sub-human outcasts of a socialist society in modern Britain. Is this really a free and liberal Britain (or America, or Australia)? Do we smokers really deserve this scorn and hatred that Public Health has inflicted upon us?  I say, "No!"

People always need somebody to hate, somebody to fight against. It's a real pity that Public Health has pitted our next-door neighbours against us. So try to see the acts of Public Health for what they are. It's not about health. It's about control. It's about conformity to an evil and overbearing socialist ideal.  It's about forcing everybody to live under one set of hateful rules, and those who fail the litmus test of conformity are doomed to carry placards that read:  "I'm overweight -- I will not speak out against Public Health" or "I smoke, and I kill babies for fun!" That is what we're moving towards.

That is what we're up against right now.

Is it right? Should this be happening?

I don't think it is right at all -- but never mind me, what do you think?

Thursday 27 June 2013

What We Are Fighting For - 14 of 17

Click image to enlargify
From Picture Post Magazine, July 13, 1940, pp 34-35
For the original images, see the below photo album;

Jay's thoughts:   Not a lot to say, except for this:  Next time you are forced to stand outside of a pub or your office to smoke, think about these images as people walk past you.  Brought down to brass tacks, there isn't much difference between a religious choice or upbringing, and a lifestyle choice. The Nazis were masters of "denormalisation." If you didn't fit into the current construct of their idealised society, then they terrorised you, put you on public display for the people to mock and laugh at you, took everything you owned and separated you from friends and family, interred you at concentration camps, and having little use for your ragged, worn-out body, summarily executed you.  How is this any different from how smokers are currently being treated right now? Or how we see public health and others treating people who drink or eat too much? I truly fail to see much difference here -- of course, we're not at the summarily executed stage ... yet.

Bonus Comic:

Send Them To The Gas Chambers - The Tobacco Control Industry's Wet Dream
Click image to enlargify

Wednesday 26 June 2013

What We Are Fighting For - 13 of 17

What We Are Fighting For - England: Where each one can work out his and her own life
Click image to enlargify
From Picture Post Magazine, July 13, 1940, pp 24-25
After the last war, the Baltic States, and even the backward Balkans, broke up their large, old feudal estates and came into line with the modern world. Germany, under the influence of her Junker landlords and generals, turned her agricultural culture into an armament industry. To do so, she kept the old feudal system alive, as did Spain, Italy and Hungary, all countries most favourable to Fascist dictatorship.

So far we have been dealing with the Man-in-the-street, with Herr Schmidt. What about his wife? What is Frau Schimdt's position in the National Socialist Reich?

It is certain that women did much to put Hitler into office. It seems hard to believe that the Führer, as you and I know him, should have been put across as a sex-appeal figure. But this was done, and done brilliantly. Provincial stationers' shops still bristle with touched-up, coloured postcards representing the Führer in the most heartbreaking, sentimental surroundings: the lonely ascetic of the mountain tops, patting a little girl on the head in a field of cornflowers; the wifeless knight in shining armour -- yes, in armour, if you please -- with the wind blowing his charger's mane, his swastika pennant, his romantic lock of hair. No wonder that in the early days of the regime, the Nazi press reported that shawls, pullovers, mittens and gloves, knitted by adoring women for Hitler's birthday, came in their hundreds of thousands. And what had the Führer to offer these women?

First of all, he promised them a husband and children -- a powerful bait, since there was a surplus of over two million women in Germany. He promised home life, or, if women had to work, he promised work that was womanly in nature. The presence of millions of smartly uniformed men in the S.A. and S.S. added to the rosy picture.

"Give back to the women the sphere that is their right." "The woman's place is in the home." These were the two great Nazi slogans to hide the fact that women were being ruthlessly robbed of political, economic and social equality. No woman can any longer sit in the Reichstag. Nor on County or Borough Councils, nor may she hold a Government post. Even in the Nazi women's organisations, almost all the leaders are men.

And what happened to the bright promises to protect women from the hurly-burly of business life, to provide them with husband, hearth and home? This. Under pressure of the drive for war and finding themselves short of labour, the Nazis began to force women back into industry as hard as they could go. In 1933, German female employment amounted to 4.5 millions. In January, 1939, according to insurance statistics, 7.3 million women were employed in Germany. In the Frankfurter Zeitung (Feb. 26, 1939), Dr. Syrup, chief of the Nazi Labour Exchange, wrote: "Since I can see no further possibility of intensifying male labour, we have no choice but to exploit and rationalise female labour to the very limit."

It must be remembered that these women -- many of the employed in the heavy industries, and even in the mines -- are working at a wage scales far below even the poor wages of male workers in the Reich. In the Rhineland metal factories it is reckoned that an adult woman's average wage is 43 pfennigs an hour -- just over 24s. for a seven-day week, less the heavy deductions which all German workers must pay. One wonders how long the sex appeal of Sir Galahad Hitler of the postcards can stand up to these hard facts, which do but skim the surface of the position of German women, and do not even take into account the obvious strain which the housewife has sustained for years, the strain of making both ends meet on an impossible budget, of scheming to dish up interesting meals out of ersatz food, potatoes and turnips, and of the constant interference of authorities in domestic life.

(continued on WWAFF post 16 -- yes, post 16.)

Jay's thoughts:  Sexism. In the 1940s. I'm wont to go there, if I'm honest. Because I know that there have always been women that wanted to work in whatever industry or business, and women who wanted to be housewives and take care of families. Neither is wrong; both are correct.  It's an entirely different issue when one thing is promised to you by a government, and you expect a fulfilment of that promise.

But if I had to make a point -- and I do -- then it would be that those in tobacco control and public health (and even some MPs) believe that women are weak, are somehow inferior and more susceptible to dangerous logos and trade marks on products than, say, men.  This is of course complete bollocks, but it plays up to the old chivalrous attitudes of yore, a time when people believed that women were incapable of even considering the issues of the day, else those hapless women would develop cranial ridges due to the expansion of their brains.

The truth is that women are equal in intelligence to men (I would lean towards more intelligent than men most days). Women are not more likely to be tempted by a trade mark than a man is. When people suggest such things, I bristle at that the thought of it.  Yet tobacco controllers hate the idea that women smoke -- and they believe, falsely, that the only reason women do smoke is because tobacco companies exist. This is asinine reasoning, of course. Women smoke for the same reasons that men smoke -- because they like smoking, because they get pleasure from smoking, because they enjoy smoking. To suggest otherwise is to say that somehow women are an inferior species, less able than men to determine for themselves the risks they take on for themselves.  Tobacco control and public health nutjobs believe that women (and your children) are stupid, incapable of choosing whether to smoke based on nothing more than a fancy cigarette packet design.

And isn't that precisely the attitude of the Nazis in 1930s Germany?  Women were chattel. Unthinking, breeding machines.  And that's how public health and tobacco control views women today. The evidence is in everything they write and tweet about how a packet is "targeting women."   So what if it a packet is?  Are women so stupid and gullible that they cannot see a trade mark and logo for what they are?

I think not. But then I don't work in tobacco control.