You see, he's only gone and spoken his mind, the poor sod.
"I simply do not believe passive smoking is important and I think that science is backing me on that. I do not think it is so dangerous - I am a non-Believer."This has sent the Danish righteous into a frenzy, of course, so Haarder is now furiously back-tracking. He claims that it wasn't fair to quote him because it wasn't an official interview.
We stood and chatted about active smoking versus passive smoking. And then I said that it seems that someone is exaggerating the effects of passive smoking. But I was not interviewed, he added.The particular straw he is grasping is the word "so", as in 'not-so-dangerous-as-active-smoking-but-still-deadly-of-course'. Now, while it's amusing to learn that Danish politicos are as self-interested and gutless as British ones, one word is not really much of a solid base for saving one's political career.
"Save his career, Dick?", I hear you say, "he's been a member of the Danish parliament since 1975, he surely has nothing to fear?". No. You see, you wildly under-estimate the vicious, swivel-eyed spite of global tobacco control. He has spoken the truth, so therefore must be called in for re-programming.
[...]"we need to clarify the health minister's view of passive smoking", says SF's health spokesman Jonathan Dahl.For 'clarify his position', read 'fall into line immediately', with the veiled threat that if this doesn't satisy the terminally psychotic health lobby, he will henceforth be regarded as some strange 1970s throwback fruitcake.
"It's a totally evidence-based knowledge that passive smoking is harmful, so I'm as shocked that the Minister of Health apparently live in a bell jar from the 1970s", he says, adding: "therefore, I will of course call him in consultation, so we can clarify his position."
No pressure, Bertel. But there really is only one opinion permitted, you see?
If he fails to satisfy the Danish inquisition (perhaps he didn't expect that), his future will be rather bleak ... like that predicted here for climate sceptic, Henry Lewis.
Lewis will be ostracised, his name blackened, his previous work dismissed as eccentricity, his future work dismissed as funded by oil companies. He will be expunged from the scientific community and threats of similar treatment will be issued to all who dare to commission him.He can wriggle all he likes, but all the above will now be applied to Haarder and, considering his age (66), the innuendo as to his senile unsuitability for office will be pursued with vigour.
The debate is over, you see? The evidence 'overwhelming'. It has been written.
It's how anti-smokers work.