Monday, 20 December 2010

Unfortunately, He Can't Be With Us Tonight ...

We have a winner in our midst.

Tobacco Control Rhetoric Poll Winner Announced

James Watson (also known as jwatso or Junican) won the TC website poll for best ideas for new ways to talk about tobacco control with 77% of the vote. Some of Mr. Watson’s colleagues on several pro-tobacco blogs may have helped push his good idea over the top
This refers to a competition conducted by the BMJ to find new linguistic tricks with which to further dehumanise smokers. It was heavily supported by the very few anaemic wallflowers for whom the whiff of smoke from twenty paces is akin to armageddon ... as you can see from the voting. Or perhaps not. It more accurately suggests that no-one really cares unless they are paid to do so.

Those who have stayed long enough to read more than a week's worth of the shite blogging offered here will be aware that Junican is a regular contributor to our comments threads.

Congratulations, Junican, you are now free to claim your prize.

In any case, Mr. Watson has won the poll and we sincerely hope that he will use his free subscription to the journal to educate himself further about how the tobacco industry has funded and used ‘smoker’s rights’ groups and others to advance its interests while misleading smokers and undermining even the most reasonable public health protections.
Reasonable? Are they fucking serious? Reasonable flew out the window once the bansturbatory effete - including those at the BMJ - demanded all 60,000 pubs, clubs, and bingo halls as their exclusive domains. Along with coffee shops, greasy spoons, restaurants, bus stops, and every other place that the cunts don't own.

And while it's nice to know that we are 'undermining' their efforts (quite a fillip, that, ta), it's a bit rich to talk of anyone but publicly-funded health professionals doing the 'misleading'.

Consider this, for example.

[...] comparisons showing increases in cardiovascular events after a smoking ban were not submitted for publication because the results were considered implausible. Hence, the true distribution from single regions would include both increases and decreases in events and a mean close to zero, while the published record would show only decreases in events. Publication bias could plausibly explain the fact that dramatic short-term public health improvements were seen in prior studies of smoking bans...

The IOM and other policymakers have relied on the weight of the published literature when making decisions. However, it appears that publication bias did not receive sufficient attention. Our results suggest that only positive studies have been published thus far, and the true short-run effects of governmental workplace smoking bans would be more modest in the U.S.
See, that's what I call 'misleading', and it ain't the tobacco industry doing it. The BMJ - and the similarly 'impartial' BBC - seem strangely silent on such huge studies from a source as comprehensively unimpeachable as the RAND corporation (you may remember that they are implicitly trusted by the EU for tobacco research, and as far removed from the tobacco industry as one can possibly imagine).

Unlike here, of course. I mentioned it back in April 2009. The difference is that the study has now been officially published.

Hyperbolic claims about drops in heart attacks following smoking bans, like hyperbolic claims about the mortal danger posed by the merest whiff of tobacco smoke, fit the agenda of the anti-smoking movement too well to ever be re-evaluated simply because they happen to be a load of crap. If the activists and officials who have endorsed these claims were concerned about telling the truth, they would not have been so reckless to begin with.
Now then, BMJ blog, where's your article on "how the pharmaceutical and public health industries have funded and used ‘non-smoker’s rights’ groups and others to advance its interests while misleading the public and undermining even the most reasonable exemptions to health tyranny"?

Come on guys, you claim editorial impartiality. Let's see it.


20 comments:

Smoking Hot said...

Dick, that's hilarious. Couldn't the muppets see that there was something fishy about the votes?

But as you say, l don't think anyone cares unless they are paid to.

subrosa said...

Where is he? Speech! Speech! If I see him at my place Dick I'll send him over immediately. Maybe he's out celebrating. I mean, it's seldom you're invited to join -FOC - the BMJ. A righteous bunch, but I do know a couple of members who enjoy a puff or two. :)

Well done Junican. Keep up the good work.

junican said...

I have to split this into two parts because of the 'characters problem....

The first that I knew about this silliness was your report, DP. Isn't chance the most amazing thing? Day after day, I have looked at the VOTE and waited for the result, and been surprised that the thing is still going on! And then you beat me to it! Swine!

Anyway, here is my reply to the 'BMJ Editors' who signed the the admission of defeat:


""I thank you for the award of the prize of a subscription to 'Tobacco Control' magazine. I am much gratified, since the last thing that I won, without much effort, was an Easter egg when I was 17 years old.

Oh, by the way, there is a misconception in your above statement.

Your statement suggests that I have ‘colleagues in the pro-smoking lobby’. This is not true. I have no ‘colleagues’. I am merely a little, old man of 71 years caring for a little old lady of 69 years who has MS, whose occasional trip to our local pub has been ruined by the catastrophic effects on our pubs of the smoking ban, and I am merely a commenter on various blogs, on which ‘pro-freedom’ matters are discussed. I also have no significant political associations, or any other similar associations other than ‘signing up’ to newspapers and such in order to comment. I comment on many of these sites about a multitude of things.

Further, you say that my ‘colleagues’ on these blogs ‘tipped my idea over the top’. Erm.. 70% as opposed to the nearest, about 9%? Tipped over the top? No. There is a clear indication that your members, on the whole, are not interested and are probably not in agreement with your demonisation of smokers. Also, it may be that some other commenters on other blogs voted for my idea for fun, but it is also true, and something that you do not know, that a young man who is a relative of mine, put out the message to his friends on the internet to vote for my idea. They did not have to – they did it of their own accord. They did it because my relative suggested that they do. IS THIS AN ENORMOUS CONFOUNDER? Of course it is! In any study or survey, CONFOUNDERS can have an ENORMOUS effect.

junican said...

Furthermore, at no time did I state my full name in your blog comments. In the BT phone directory there are only 20 ‘J Watson’ s in the area in which I live (which you must know since you have been trawling various blogs for information about me) and only one specifically named. I may well, therefore, receive an amount of nasty correspondence. Now, it may be that your employees receive nasty correspondence, BUT THEY ARE PAID A SALARY! I am not. You should not have published my full name. The fact that, in a different context on a different blog, I told people who I was is no excuse.

Furthermore, you say that my ‘idea’ was a good idea. It was not. Everyone with any sense knows that THE PROFITS of tobacco companies are spread all over the world among the shareholders, many of which are pension funds in the UK of the very organisations which promote Tobacco Control. Do the BMJ pension funds have investments in Tobacco Companies? Have the BMJ pension funds EVER had investments in Tobacco Companies? When did that cease to be the case, if it has?

As for the HEALTH COSTS (of the enjoyment of tobacco) in my idea, I can only say that the idea of ‘Health Costs’ is ephemeral. The complexities are too great for proper science to come to any definite conclusion. The complexities of a mere three constituents in Electromagnetic Effects are huge - only THREE multivariables, the electric current, the electric field and the magnetic field – and no one has really bottomed it. It is obvious from the recently issued ‘Report of the Surgeon General 2010 re Smoking and Health’ that there are HUNDREDS of multivariables in the human genome - just too many multivariables to draw any specific conclusions. This fact cannot be hidden by bluster.

Also, IT CANNOT BE TRUE that you knew about my little wind-ups (the ‘propaganda’ thing) before you chose my idea to be one of the six contenders for the prize. Not even tobacco control zealots could come up with any sensible or logical reason for choosing an idea from a person who is ‘a known colleague of people on pro-smoking blogs’ when there are others to choose from (no matter how silly they may be).

Finally, it simply is not true that I, as a person who enjoys tobacco, have ever, in all my life, harmed in any way or caused the death of any other person in whose presence I have enjoyed my tobacco. Where is your proof? (And don’t say Roy Castle, because it is well known that Roy (God Bless Him) smoked cigars).

Sincerely,

Jwatso (aka Junican).""

Since the BMJ published my full name, it would not surprise me if there are not those fanatics who might try to get at me, but I HONESTLY SWEAR THAT I HAVE NEVER RAPED ANY SWEDISH PERSONS, EITHER MALE OR FEMALE, AND I ALSO SWEAR THAT I WAS ELSEWHERE AT THE TIME, M'LUD.

I am also posting this on Leg Iron and Frank D and Subro. I know that they are interested.

SickofitAll said...

I'm not in a very good mood.I left a comment on the bmj site - I don't think it will make it past the moderators so here it is for posterity.Apologies for the swearing.


"fuck off and die you bunch of nazi fucks.You've turned a quarter of the british population into social outcasts using lies junk science and propaganda.You've wrecked the pub trade.This bullshit ban has killed more people than passive smoking ever will.Real people - like the nurse forced off hospital grounds for a fag who was knifed by a lunatic -not projected statistical deaths based on bullshit computer models.You're a bunch of control freaks.You are paid by the likes of pfizer to push their ineffective patches and gum and suicidal pills.I fucking hate you and your profession.I've paid for my iron lung-and her brats incubator,and that fat bastards reinforced bed.Deny me medical treatment for smoking and I'll carve your golf course up with a fucking jcb.Your hospitals are filthy cesspits of death and disease.Your doctors are incompetent murderers.Your nurses are so overworked they dont give a fuck anymore.You waste money on propaganda ,faulty IT,and useless penpushers.You should all be lined up against a wall and shot in your motherfucking faces.Then anally raped with a fucking sandwedge.I don't even hope this is published.Its good enough that one of you stasi fucks will read this before its binned.You've severely underestimated the hatred brewing for you lying cunts."

sickofitall said...

censorship on a libertarian blog.Off my blogroll you fake little creep.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Sickofitall: No, Blogger's spam filter which I can't check while I'm asleep, oddly enough.

The Filthy Engineer said...

Well done. A brilliant bit of out manoeuvring the Righteous.

DaveA said...

John, I liberally sprinkle my private email address on the blogsophere and sincerely have yet to have an abusive email. I dare say I will get a few now.

Well done and we smokers at least can laugh at ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Sickofit, I cant think of better terminology.......

You win!

And I know of at least 140 other folks that are going to read what you wrote for sure and agree with you.

Your sentiments are growing and growing every day these nanny nazis are allowed to make law with their bullshit credentials and open propaganda!

Harleyrider

Anonymous said...

That's a marvellous response J - you're a credit to the cause of common sense and reason. It's disturbing to witness the gradual politicisation of the medical world at the expense of integrity…

…some of you may also have seen this:

Thirdhand smoke: here to stay

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/20/1/1.short?q=w_tc_blogs

Great blog Dick(nice title:))

Budgie

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

@junican

*applause*

Sad to say doubtful that they'll engage at all though...

Anonymous said...

Priceless!

Sam Duncan said...

Bravo, Junican! Not just on winning, but on your “acceptance speech” too. I can never quite work out whether they really think everyone who disagrees with them is in the pay of tobacco firms or if it's all just part of the propaganda. Either way, you told 'em. Not that they'll listen...

Anonymous said...

Well done, Junican - inspired.

Now you can let us all know what crap they're coming up with in real time :))

Jay

Dick Puddlecote said...

Great reply, Junican.

If you get an answer to this (I'd guess not), I'd be very interested to read it. :)

"Have the BMJ pension funds EVER had investments in Tobacco Companies? When did that cease to be the case, if it has?"

junican said...

Needless to say, the BMJ have not published my 'gracious acceptance speech'.

Do you know what has been the most revealing thing about the whole episode? It is the sheer disinterest of the BMJ's readership!

Methinks that there are only three possibilities - either their readership is just totally uninterested in tobacco control or they disagree with tobacco control or the BMJ has little readership.

I wonder to what extent the BMJ is wholly funded offshoot of the British Medical Assn?

Thanks to all for their kind remarks - except that it is the BMJ who deserve the plaudits!

Anonymous said...

Nice one, SickOfItAll. Not a fan of violence, but your turn of phrase will have me smiling all through xmas. Thankyou for that.

SadButMadLad said...

Junican, your acceptance speech comes across as a cery polite "fuck you" to the BMJ. Along very similar lines to the one highlighted on Tim Worstall's blog at http://timworstall.com/2010/12/25/dear-sirs-fuck-you/

banned said...

Congratulations to Junican and all who voted for him in the poll.

Bravo sickofitall, I'm going to quote you in full on a post about this.