Monday, 4 October 2010

Recycling Bullshit

Remember Henry Featherstone? He's the quite ridiculous Policy Exchange wonk who came out with some execrable nonsense regarding tobacco taxes in March.

You see, by cleverly cherry-picking his figures, loading the scales with absurd imaginary costs while simultaneously ignoring very tangible financial benefits, he managed to 'prove' that each cigarette smoked cost the country 6.5p.

The fact that he is a rancid, obsessive anti-smoker on personal terms with the board of ASH had, of course, nothing to do with his torturing of data.

Henry Featherstone (left) at the ASH AGM top table

He posted his strange - and seriously pathetic - rubbish on Conservative Home, where it was promptly rubbished. The same treatment followed from the IEA, the Telegraph, and Alex Massie at the Speccie.

I comprehensively explained at the time precisely why his calculations were little better than those of a nose-picking 10 year old, and suspiciously like an advert for Champix/Varenicline and Pfizer who manufacture it. Do go read it for a refresher (but then I would say that, wouldn't I?).

Most of the MSM and, significantly, the BBC avoided his report like the plague for fear of their reputation being tarnished by its inherent laughable naivety and bias.

However, the supposedly esteemed Faculty of Public Health are apparently quite happy to regurgitate such wishful bullshit in their latest members' magazine [PDF page 20].

The figures haven't changed, he still ignores savings on pensions, still reiterates sunk costs such as street cleaning, still hasn't tidied up the massive over-exaggeration of loss to GDP (apparently, Henry believes that smokers earn, on average, £725,000 per annum), is still unaware of the existence of the insurance industry, and still attaches no value on the enjoyment that renders smokers happy to pay a premium on their supplies, a general 'given' amongst free marketeers, surely.

No-one in their right mind would give an airing to this incontrovertibly nonsensical trash, yet the self-described "standard setting body for specialists in public health" proudly nail their colours to Henry's standards-vaccuumed, addle-brained mast.

Moon-howlers all, quite obviously. And certainly not worth being taken seriously, eh?

Well, not really, no. 'Cos, you see, Henry's wibbling lunacy isn't any reason for him not to be installed as a Chair of two Tory Conference fringe meetings tomorrow [PDF].

What Information Do Patients Want?

10.00, Tuesday 5th October

Room 101, The Jury's Inn Hotel, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HQ

· (CHAIR) Henry Featherstone, Head of the Health Unit, Policy Exchange
· Rt. Hon. Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Secretary of State for Health (Invited)
· Tim Kelsey, Senior Expert, McKinsey and Company
· Kieran Mullan, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, The Patients Association

Olympic Health Legacy: Fitter Or Fatter?

14.30, Tuesday 5th October

Room 101, The Jury's Inn Hotel, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HQ

· (CHAIR) Henry Featherstone, Head of the Health Unit, Policy Exchange
· Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Invited)
· Professor Lindsey Davies, President, The Faculty of Public Health
· Christine Hancock, Director, C3 Collaborating for Health
While the Tories attempt to position themselves as cheerleaders for change and liberty, this odious, innumerate, tobacco control sock-puppet is welcomed to the fringe - and possibly conference itself - at the right hand of Andrew Lansley. Yet we're supposed to believe that the Tories are so very different to the last bunch of evidence-bastardising control freaks.

Hmmm. I dunno about you, but Henry's prominent presence really doesn't inspire much confidence, does it?


Bill said...

They prove it time and time again, and they have only been in office since May, and still the masses fail to see it.

There is but ONE political class. It is corrupt and the only answer is anarchy.
Please look up the definition of anarchy before anyone rants on about 'the breakdown of society'!

Anonymous said...

Where does the tosser get his
Warren Smith, 33, the manager of the Grants Arms in Ramsbottom,
He said: "I think the initial period when the ban came in was tough. Nowadays people are quite happy to be outside. We have got heated lamps and a great big parasol here and have the facilities to manage the ban."

"Happy to be outside"

Time for chattering and electric
waffling is well past its sell date,stuff the budgies,bring on
the hawks.

richard said...

Bill, you're right. Stefan Molyneaux of Freedomain Radio has excellent articles on anarchy, and it's practical application re: modern society. Anarchy doesn't mean apocalyptic biker gangs, it means society minus State interference. There are many examples of successful anarchy in people's lives already, Ebay being an obvious one.

Pat Nurse said...

No confidence but then it's what I expected from the Tories. Lansley is about as anti-smoking as Debs Arnott. I have no faith in the party and so far the noises they have made on this issue haven't been very encouraging.

The very fact they give that twerp such a high profile health position says it all.

Mac the Knife said...

"Room 101, The Jury's Inn Hotel, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HQ

Winston Smith: What is in Room 101?

O'Brien: You know what is in Room
101 Winston. Everyone
does. A heap of festering
shite, called Henry

Winston Smith: No! No! Do it to
Julia! Do it to

Eddie Douthwaite said...

Grow your own baccy and STUFF THE GOVERNMENT.

Dick the Prick said...

Andrew Lansley doesn't really do that thinking stuff, though. Most unimpressive. However, considering it's a shit gig so...whaddya gonna do? Hey ho.

Anonymous said...

Dick slightly off topic i know but ive been reading about a guy called Frederick Wertham,this was the bloke who tried to get Comic Books banned in the 1950s, its astounding when reading the methods he used ie lies, misinformation and distortion of facts how very similar his campaign was to todays anti smoking movement, he even looks like Deborah Arnotts dad,check him out.

Mr A said...

Ah, Frederick Wertham of "Seduction of the Innocent" fame - the original proto-Righteous. He blamed comic books for juvenile delinquency of the 50s and his lies pretty much killed the comic industry which was made up of the wildly popular EC Horror comics ("Tales From The Crypt" etc) and war comics and paved for the way for the dominance of the superhero comic in the US as harmless "superaction" was pretty much all that was left that could be published. He changed the whole course of the medium.

That said, unlike today's Righteous he wasn't a salami slicer. The Comics industry came up with their self-regulated "Comics Code" (no sex, violence, drugs, swearing etc) which as we know is the worst thing you can do woth today's Righteous - appeasement doesn't work) and this lasted pretty much until the 80s before the big boys started defying it - notably because they were going through an economic boom in the 80s and they had the muscle to defy the Righteous, and specialist comic shops meant they could ignore the newsstands and go direct to the public (equivalent of smoky-drinkies?).

Maybe lessons to be learned from that pederastic old nutter.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for link.

As the experience of the last few months shows, there is absolutely no difference between Nulab and Blulab, it's the same product with different packaging.

Anonymous said...

Here's one for the pot Dick .
Definately the swivel eyed type.

Oddly enough I am an IT Proffesional who smokes !
I have not had a day off sick for 6years !

Here speaks the nutjob below.....

irrespective of any employment laws I will not give a job to anyone who smokes
or has tattoos or facial piercings,
I would rather lie to them and tell them there are no vacancies than employ losers
like the ones so described - let them exist on welfare, morons the lot of them,
(smokers, tattood dolts and piercers).
- thecleaner, London, 29/9/2010 0:23
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Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

It's fairly clear that Henry Featherstone is a fare dodger on the Gravy Train.

It speaks volumes for the integrity and nous of Andrew Lansley that he seems to be handing out the hob nobs and ginger nuts to this blatantly opportunist fibbing career creep.