Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Righteous Still Relentlessly Promoting Big Business At The Expense Of The Poor

Articles have been sparse here so far this week due to real life and business necessities figuring largely, so apologies and all that.

In the 'life' bit, the little Ps' home tutoring has been ramped up with vocabulary being a priority. When the PHSE junk, climate change indoctrination, equality conditioning, and ethnic awareness isn't being thrust down the kids' throats by our state education system, the schools find 10 minutes or so for spelling tests comprising some fantastic words. The problem is that the little Ps aren't actually taught what they mean. The result being that they can now perfectly spell words like 'according', 'illuminated', and 'technique', without actually being able to use them in any meaningful context. So, I've got them both reading like a mofo from selected texts. For a 9 & 10 year old to be entertained in their post-school time, while still being exposed to intelligent prose, I chose "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" to start, accompanied by a notepad and dictionary (or, more likely, me) to explain previously unknown words they encounter. It's working a treat ... even iCarly has been taking a back seat thanks to Douglas Adams.

The business tender front has seen a round of public sector organisations holding meetings to potential suppliers, all titled with the now endemic buzzword 'framework' so reviled by this blog and its readers, and run by local officials who seem to have no clue about the industry they are dealing with.

On an entirely tangential front, your humble host has also been invited to make a first foray into public speaking, and as these things go, it's a bit of a biggie. More info of that perhaps in the new year.

However, although merely catching up tonight, via Taking Liberties one could hardly not enjoy the righteous being shown up yet again in Spiked.

Curiously, the BMA’s press release chose not to highlight the very same article’s finding that: ‘There were no short-term significant changes in prevalence among youths or adults.’ In other words, no one in Ireland has stopped smoking because of the [tobacco display] ban: the policy is a failure.
Well, of course, because tobacco control is addicted to failure, as I keep pointing out.

But that, it would seem to me, is to misunderstand their existence. They talk incessantly of the chiiildren, of protecting the poor from pernicious advertising, but the same thread runs through all their wibblings.

They just hate big business of any stripe, and in doing so they always, but always, hurt smaller businesses and punish the poor.

Let's take the tobacco display ban for starters. The BMA have been screeching about this since it looked like the coalition might - quite rightly - ditch such a barmy idea. As the Spiked article articulates (you really should read it all, by the way), there is no credible evidence of a reduction in youth smoking rates (the sole motive for it according to politicians), but the BMA desperately want it anyway. So much so that they completely change their methods to hide the stark lack of evidence in its favour.

They know it won't stop under 18s gaining access to cigarettes, they know it could be disastrous for independent newsagents and corner shops. But their hatred of 'big tobacco' is so intense that they are quite willing to risk an increase in youth smoking, and unconcerned that thousands of corner shops may go under in their war against an impervious industry.

Tobacco companies won't lose a penny.

The same applies in the minimum alcohol price debate. The assault is on the perceived evil drinks industry. It matters not that ALL evidence consistently shows that alcohol consumption is reducing, or that there is no realistic chance that a minimum price will have any effect on those dangerous 'three Stellas in one night' hellraisers (the definition of a binge-drinker, apparently).

Manchester is still pursuing this quite laughable nonsense, and the BMA are also right behind it. The problem is that the drinks industry itself would benefit greatly, while only the poorer in society would be penalised.

It's OK, though, because the righteous have a plan to counter that. No, not making sure the poor don't suffer ... don't be stupid. Oh no, just preventing the drinks industry from benefitting, of course. That definitely wouldn't do.

A levy could also be imposed on the drinks industry to stop them making windfall profits from the higher prices introduced under the scheme. The money raised would be earmarked for public health campaigns warning of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.
Only public sector organisations are allowed to profit from the exploitation of the poor, you see. It's perfectly acceptable that money extracted from the less well off is taken from the productive economy and handed to the BMA's fellow tax-spongers, on the basis of a fake scare invented by the very same beneficiaries.

Because that's responsible. That's the 'right thing to do'.

Likewise the campaign against McDonalds and those other successful nasty fast food providers. Ever-tightening laws must be brought in to stop their practices. You know the sort of scandalous behaviour we're talking here. Constantly making their food healthier and still earnings loads of money. It's obscene, so it is.

Therefore, kids must lose their happy meal toys and calorie police must be employed so that, err, McDonalds will easily sidestep it while smaller businesses - not able to draw on economies of scale - go to the wall.

But remember, it's all to look after those chiiildren, and the little guy against big, evil business.

Only rich righteous are allowed to fly too. It's not they who are killing the planet, you see, just us plebs encouraged by a rampant 'big oil' and airline alliance.

Every righteous campaign carries the same watermark. Little or no evidence of any note; an evangelical hatred of big business; and solutions which disproportionately target the poor, small businesses, and - most bizarrely of all - children.

But then, as in every other facet of life, one must follow the money, and all these 'life-enhancing' ideas always direct resources towards the hideous bastards who are promoting them.

None of this nonsense has ever been about health, or equality, or the children. If it were, the policies being advocated wouldn't potentially worsen health, widen equality, an punish the poor and children ... while simultaneously feathering the public sector's - increasingly, and hypocritically, corporate - nest.


Bucko said...

Excellent post.
For the younger Puddlecotes I would strongly reccomment the complete chronicles of Narnia.
I'm just giving it round two and it's even better now than it was the first time.
(Of course I normally read highly intellectual stuff *ahem*)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good call Bucko. It'll deffo work with the girl. The boy likes aliens and flying (wants to be a pilot), he also has a terrible affliction in enoying a right laugh, probably why comedy and space creatures appeals so much.

Intellectual stuff? What's that? ;)

Junican said...

"Words that encapsulate several ideas are difficult for children".

And thus we see the problem. What does the word 'encapsulate' mean? 'Bring together into one place'? I suppose so.

But even the word 'army' encapsulates many ideas - individual soldiers, many of them, along with their weapons, artillery, cavalry, etc.

What drives children to learn complex words is their insatiable curiosity.

And this is another reason that our children should not be subjected to 'brainwashing' at school.

SorenK said...

The HHGTTG 'trilogy in five parts' is most awesome. Good choice Dick. My face is the Life, The Universe and Everything.

Anonymous said...

I know this is OT. I've noticed your psychotic anti-smoker watch has collected a good number of entries and I have a suggestion for a similar feature: Floutings of the smoking ban which go unpunished. I can't be the only person angered by the rich and famous smoking wherever they want. I'm not angry at them- I'd do the same if I could. I'm angry that this law is not applied impartially; and such a feature would embarrass the authorities and waste their time, particularly if your readers complained to the relevant local councils in large numbers. Of course, they won't do anything, but that's what we want- the law brought into disrepute. If you agree, here are a couple to start you off.

The R5L Stephen Nolan Show backstage of CH in Need at the BBC Tv Centre, London, Fri 19th Nov (available for one more day). Theo and Deborah from Dragons Den brought in from a room next to the studio. Time elapsed, 2.29.14. Another guest remarks, "How do you manage to smoke so many cigarettes in one room? It's like going into a bar 30 years ago."

My second was going to be Carlo Ancelotti. An interviewer went to his office at the Cobham training ground and noticed a half smoked cigarette in the ashtray. I can't find the interview. It was either 25 or 26 Sept, in the Times or the Observer. Ancelotti is a well known smoker and claimed in the Sun that he had to go onto the roof at Cobham but it was getting too cold.

Cherie said...

Didn't know quite where to leave this comment, but just had to leave it somewhere. I have just come home from a Blondie/Pretenders concert at Kings Park in Perth (Western Australia) "A night on the Green", they call it. Here's what transpiered: I presumed the concert was quite possibly "smoke free" as that's been advertised a lot lately, along with the increased bans re parks, beaches, outdoor areas in general. Anyhoo, I managed a few hours in before I just had to have a fag break - walked about 200 metres away from the crowd to an open area downwind, on my own. Noticed a security guy out of the corner of my eye sitting up on the hill a bit, and thought "oh, go on, just try me". So I walked on even further away, and lit up. Sure enough up he came to me, saying I couldn't smoke there. I said "Why?", he said "It's a smoke free event" and I said "That's why I've moved away from the event". He said "have to go over there", which was the other side of the event and about a 1/2 hour walk there and back to where I was seated (lawn area - outdoor event remember). So I said, look, I'm about done, just talk with me for another minute and it'll all be over. Oh, by the way, I also pointed out and showed him that I had my personal ashtry and was not a litterer or fire bug, I just needed a quick fag. He was a reasonable person, and quite obviously did not know what to say, so it was all over and I headed back to my friends. About 2.5 hours later into the event, I was pretty gagging again by this stage and headed out again to whence I went before. HITLER came at me!!! I was confronted with such animosity by a security "guy", who went at it full-on like I'd just bloody murdered someone, to the stage that he ended up right in my face (an inch from it) - full-on agressive. When confronted by him, my response was "Why", he said "It's a smoke free event" and I reiterated what I'd said to the first guy, that that's why I was nowhere near the people, but he was just an agressive jerk and I oculd not let it go. I absolutely refuse to be dictated to by the Nazis. He said "It's sponsered by Healthways", like they are god or something and it should mean somethig - I said "Yeah, they're the bloody Nazi's I'm talking about!!". He decided he was having me kicked out, and wire'd through "Can I get a female guard out here, need to evict a female who won't stop smoking". I was just like, "Bring it on". She arrived in abougt 30 seconds, said politely to me "Could you please put your smoke out" and I said "Yes, certainly, since you asked nicely" (and since I was practically done). In the meantime, guy No. 1 had come up as well, and I said that at least he was nice about it! And Hitler spun round to Guy No. 1 saying, "Did you let her smoke?!" and before he could answer I said "No, he didn't, but he was nice about it" - thought the least I could do was not dump him in it since he was just doing his job. Long story short is that female security guard and Guy No. 1 were reasonable, logical human beings, Nazi, on the other hand, was exactly that, which I helpfully pointed out to him - "My bloody grandfather DIED fighting for my right to the freedom to do this, I'll be f*cked if I'm going to let some f*cken hitler come and take that away".
This has me riled to the core. Alcohol, shit food, loud music at the event - all abosolutely fine and encouraged by HEALTHWAYS, but god forbid if you walk 200 metres away from anyone, downwind in a park (which, might I just mention, has a statue of my Great,Great Uncle, Sir John Forrest - first Premier of Western Australia - featured in the entrance, by god) on a hillside above the river,sea breeze well and truly in (windy as fuck), and quietly have a quick smoke. Jesus F'en Christ.

Cherie said...

I finished my smoke, as I thanked security chick and guy no. 1 for being reasonable human beings with some common sense and not robotic, put it out in my personal ashtray, shut the lid, walked off back towards the crowd and my friends (my woman friend and her two kids - 15 and 20) and said defiantly as I turned to walk away, "CUNT". ("Yeah, bye-bye sweetheart").

I told him in the heated argument, that I was just fed up with this shit - hence my - "WHY?" Give me a good reason.

I am fed up to pussy's bow with being treated this way. I'm a professional woman in her forties who has always "done the right thing", but I WILL NOT BOW DOWN TO BULLIES - ever. My weapon is that I have done my research - and it's blogs like yours that have given me the bravado to take these pricks on. As much as it was a completely unnecessary situation, I do believe I won in the end. I didn't back down. Yay to me!

Anonymous said...

Magnificent rant Cherie. If you were Shane Warne, they wouldn't have said a thing. (See my suggestion above). If everybody stood up to them like you, these bans wouldn't exist.

Anonymous said...

@the other anonymous

With respect, kicking up a fuss about celebrity smokers getting away with violations of the law is exactly what we shouldn't be doing. Can't remember exactly which odious body it is - UN? WHO? some EU quango? - but at least one of them is quite keen on the idea of a show trial. They seem to think that stringing some unfortunate but despicable, law-breaking, no doubt stinky, famous person out for ridicule will deter the rest of us from having similar ideas.

Perhaps we should be writing to these famous flouters, thanking them for having the intelligence to see through the silly passive smoking claims, and letting them know that there are lots of ordinary people out here who'd love to be as daring, were it not for the fines and the kind of people described by Cherie - and well done Cherie!!:)

Excellent post, Dick. Thanks