Friday, 1 June 2012

Jewel Robbing Spotted In The Guardian

I suppose - when faced with a tobacco control industry which relies heavily on cherry-picking their 'evidence' - it's not surprising that their supportive press would act in the same knowingly disingenuous manner.

This article (apparently to appear in Saturday's Guardian) is as woefully skewed as anything the Mail - who Guardian readers revel in holding up as a model of lax, one-sided journalism - has ever produced. Except that whereas the Mail generally employs one author per piece of rubbish, it took two fearless Graun writers to produce their particular abject crayon-scrawled mess.

Beginning with an attack on Freedom2Choose concerning something which had nothing to do with them, they also seem to have forgotten one of the prime principles of responsible news reporting. Context.

The deleted post to which they refer appeared - very briefly, as I recall - on the F2C blog which carries quite a significant disclaimer.
The opinions expressed by the authors on this blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Freedom2Choose organisation or any member thereof. Freedom2Choose is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the blog Authors.
Didn't stop them implying it was on the Freedom2Choose website by linking there, and saying it was hosted by them which it wasn't. They should be 'blaming' Google for that.

Additionally, while talking about how security has been "stepped up" for tobacco controllers, they fail to point out that the F2C blog is all but redundant seeing as the last article published was over two months ago.

They are also either investigative journalists who have no idea how to, you know, investigate, or were wilfully not doing so. The 'snipers' article was a direct satirical response to something just as - if not more - deeply objectionable which appeared in the Luton Herald & Post.
My only suggestion for effective action is to be a bit literal around it.

Anyone who buys a packet of fags emblazoned in huge letters with that no nonsense warning that smoking kills is tacitly accepting the possibility.

So let's set a squad of licesed snipers on the streets, with permission to pick off smokers whenever there's a clear shot.

I confidently predict that the prospect of having your head blown off while enjoying what you didn't realise would be your last cigarette would give smokers up and down the country an extra incentive to kick the habit.

And if they defiantly carry on puffing, when they are popped between the eyes it will save the health service all the costs of caring for them in their declining years.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember the Guardian expressing outrage at the threats posed by that article. Nor did Messrs Campbell and Meikle bother to point out to their readers that it even existed. They could have even added in a bit about that fantastic game where the online world gets to shoot smokers in the head, or pointed out that the Luton 'shoot smokers' article came out in the very same week Anders Breivik was doing exactly that to lefties in Norway.

Perhaps they felt such context irrelevant in their zeal to produce a piece so one-sided I'm surprised it didn't slide off the side of my monitor.

I'm sure Frank Davis can fight his own eloquent corner in response to the specific claims made about him, suffice to say that I expect he was reacting to a sob story from Linda Bauld about how she was being insulted for the job she is paid for.

No-one, but no-one, mentioned in the Guardian piece would condone such behaviour. But similarly would any right-minded person not condone the kind of rancid, vitriolic, violent and disgusting behaviour Bauld and her ilk have created and nurtured. There are numerous hideous examples the Graun authors could have seen in our intermittently-updated catalogue while they were researching if they'd bothered to look.

And they did look here, because your jewel-thieving host got a mention.
Another libertarian pro-tobacco blogger, calling himself Dick Puddlecote, wrote that the NHS-funded Smokefree Southwest campaign was made up of "grasping bastards" and called Gabriel Scally, until recently NHS regional director of public health, "part of a bullshit spreading campaign".
Firstly, let's just point out to Harry and Lloyd that the only reason the "Smokefree Southwest campaign" for plain packaging is now acknowledged as being "NHS-funded" is because this blog discovered so despite attempts to hide it.

As such, that's my investigation contributing to your article, Denis and James. Where's the link?

It would have also been helpful to their readers to offer a link to the article where those quotes of mine occurred. That is, this one.

It detailed how Gabriel Scally was whining on the BBC about how the "tobacco industry" was submitting FOI requests to disrupt the plain packaging campaign which no voter asked for, and no manifesto promised. The kind of deceit the Guardian usually gets very hot under the collar about under this coalition.

As I said at the time.
These people really do have no other line of attack than to try making out that everyone who disagrees with them are funded by tobacco companies. It's really quite pathetic.

Ever since I posted a photograph of one of Smokefree South West's advertising hoardings, I've received e-mails letting me know of FOI requests readers have submitted - probably because it was unclear at the time how much they cost.
On top of the design fees, as far as I can ascertain, this space would cost around £200 per week and, of course, we don't know how many of them there are dotted around, or for how long. Add on printing costs and beer money for the bill posters and we're talking a pretty penny being spent from your taxes, I reckon.
I submitted some myself but it was a fellow jewel robber who e-mailed me this response which was the first we knew they were pissing half a mill down the drain.

Others who e-mailed me their FOI responses include a teacher from the Midlands, an IT professional, and a guy from Manchester involved in Intellectual Property, hence his interest. As for myself, regular readers will know I run a transport company which has grown from couple of borrowed vehicles in the 90s, so I'm just a glorified white van man. Remember too, that these are just those who copied me in on their responses and takes no account of any others who may have sent a request for personal curiosity without letting on. After all, it's a very simple process.

See any tobacco industry involvement there? No, it's utter arse-biscuits, of course. But they really don't like any kind of debate or questioning, do they?
So, yes. Scally certainly is "part of a bullshit-spreading campaign" if he claims that those responses emanated from the tobacco industry. There's no two ways about it, especially since the NHS Bristol website logs one such response to prove it.

As for "grasping bastards", how else does one explain people misrepresenting the truth in order to keep the state-funded wonga flooding in to their bank account, regardless of the disgusting behaviour it encourages? Perhaps I could have been more polite, but this is a blog written by someone unpaid and having to listen to Scally's paid-for shit, not Gardeners Weekly.

There is a plus side to the Campbell/Meikle nonsense, though. And that is the subtle shift away from references to "the tobacco industry", exactly the point I was making about Scally's bullshit. This Guardian article specifically states that it is "pro-smoking activists" the tobacco control industry is now worried about.

For years they have tried to pretend that every objector is funded by a tobacco company, but the scales would seem to have finally fallen from their eyes. Instead, they are now trying to stifle ANY kind of objection - just as they did with the tobacco industry - even from enfranchised and tax-paying individuals who have a right to raise them.

Again, you'd expect the Guardian - self-declared civil liberties champion, and all - to be very much for such a concept, but their integrity is obviously as limited as the research which has gone into Campbell and Meikle's article.

I'll wait patiently for a deserved link or an update, but won't hold my breath. If they'd wanted something transparent and amenable to critique, comments would have been enabled. But that would have only ruined the whole point of their inept puff piece, would it not?

All in all, it's still very encouraging though. If such a weapons grade reaction is being commissioned by Scally and his cohorts, we must be making progress. Keep up the good work boys and girls.


Mr A said...

Indeed, the whole piece stinks of desperation.

I'd be interested to see what happens to your blog hits as a result of the publicity.  I meet many people who think like me (us).  Yet they have no idea such blogs exist.  Let us know if you get a surge, eh Dick?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

There won't be a surge because they didn't dare link, it would have destroyed their article if context was allowed. The whole piece relied on the same principles of tobacco control, select what you want people to read and hide anything you don't.

It's expected from self-enriching tobacco controllers whose income depends on it, but journalists are supposed to be something more trustworthy. 

Jay said...

Do let me know when the police turn up at your door to question you about your threats and harassment.  Geez, this is right out of the WHO's newest playbook. Stunning piece of hack journalism. Did they even contact you for a quote / context / anything?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"Did they even contact you for a quote / context / anything?"
Hahahahaha! You're mistaking them for real journalists. ;)

Jay said...

I really wasn't. Just wanted to know for my piece tomorrow, which will look a lot like your piece, only more cussing.  The game is now afoot.  Who's ready to play it?

ChrisBro said...

Absolutely effing ridiculous.
They are the truth and the light and all those who believe in them shall gain eternal life.
At least the guy with that message a couple of thousand years ago had the guts to face his critics and not hide behind the skirts of their 'guardian' like gutless, name calling children.

DaveAtherton20 said...

This is a tour de force Dick, the precise wording is: A blog supportive of the organisation called Freedom2Choose. Any resemblance to that organisation is purely coincidental.

The opinions expressed by the authors on this blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Freedom2Choose organisation or any member thereof. Freedom2Choose is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the blog Authors.

Mr A said...

Ah, but they mentioned your and Frank's blogs by name.  Google is still our friend....

Patnurse said...

My response is here. Outrageous. 

Smoking Hot said...

lnfamy, infamy ... they've all got it in for me! :)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It's never been more trendy. ;)

Smokervoter said...

Dem' uppity smokers are gettin' outta' hand, I tell ya'
Problem is, they just don't seem to 'know their place' anymore.

Blad said...

I take it you've all seen auntie's new toy

timbone said...

No publicity is bad publicity. I have seen that statement proven correct on several occasions. I have read the article, and yes, full of the usual 'out of context' misreporting which has been claimed time and time again by countless people for countless years. So what. I loved it. Readers of that article are going to see that there really is some anger out there. Some readers may well secretly enjoy the fact that those pompous holier than thou pedlars of anything anti tobacco are fwightened. I also see that Stephen Williams is quoted concerning these imaginary front groups of the tobacco industry. If BT are to begin being accused of supporting such vitriolic attack on TBC then they may come forward to argue against such slander. Another good result.

Tony said...

I am pretty sure you can contact them being the author and demand that they add your link to the offending (sic) comments. 

And omitting the ability to post comments is a classic tactic that I have seen on many websites where they just don't want to hear any dissent, it's a joke of a newspaper but in terms of web traffic it's a biggie.

The Filthy engineer said...

The Angry exile pointed me to this.

"Its a Good Time for an Assassination"

In May 2012, Puddlecote called Chapman a "crusty Aussie crackpot" who
had been taken contributions on a scientific paper from "fellow stark
staringly insane fucktards tobacco control professionals." In the
original "stark staringly insane fucktards" is crossed out, but still
visible. In response to this blog, commentators advocated violence
against Chapman:

One commentator said: "As much as I abhor violence, it is getting
past the time where Mr Chapman is quite plainly deserving of a fucking
big smack in the mouth."

This was followed by: "Yes! As much as I'm a peaceful person, I
really feel this is a good time for an assassination! The media can
dress it up as a 'lone gunman' or a 'conspiracy theory' whatever they
wish. Just as long as he's off the planet." [13]

Professor Anna Gilmore

Puddlecote states that Professor Anna Gilmore from the Tobacco
Research Unit at the University of Bath, who has published some 70
articles in peer reviewed journals, will "say anything for a grant" with
"her trademark 'torturing of statistics for hire' consultancy provision
(motto: no job too small, no untruth too big)"[14]

Professor Gerard Hastings

Gerard Hastings is the Professor of Social Marketing at Stirling and
Director of the Institute for Social Marketing at the Centre for Tobacco
Control Research. Awarded the OBE in 2009 for his services to
healthcare,[15] he is described by Puddlecote as "Stirling's chief bansturbator" and an "utter clown".[16]

Professor Linda Bauld

Linda Bauld
is a Professor of Socio-Management at the University of Stirling, who
has published 40 peer-reviewed articles as well as six books. Puddlecote
has said that she writes "superlative bullshit", and produces
who is "tainted" because she writes "her own equally
financially-motivated studies", which are a "systematic exercise in
avoiding the truth at all costs."[18]

Puddlecote suggested in response to an article in the Independent highlighting how Bauld had been receiving threats, [19],
that threats against Bauld were "unacceptable". However, he then wrote
that because Bauld is a "[shameless gobbler of tax funding] pristine
purveyor of truth" that "if you will insist on talking bollocks in
pursuit of derogating the lives of others, what else did you expect? Cry
your crocodile tears if you like, but console yourself by wiping your
nose on the Department of Health cheques you are happy to cash. OK?" In
the original, the words "shameless gobbler of tax funding" are crossed
out but still clearly visible.[20]

Attacks ASH

Puddlecote has said that the anti-smoking charity, Action for Smoking
and Health (ASH) is more “barmy” than “creationists” or “flat earthers”
that produces “fantasy” material.[21]

He also calls, ASH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deborah Arnott a "wanker" who is "paid for out of your taxes”.[22]


The Filthy engineer said...

Seems you are not just a mere thorn in their side .

Mag01 said...

This is a comment from an antismoking drone on Tea &


“Take your head out of the sand Pat nurse and have
a look at Frank davis who is once again repeating his death threats on his

tobacco contol (university of Bath)
have a website with these death threats logged and many other extreme trolling
posts by pro smokers.

The gloves have been removed, online bullying by pro smokers will be dealt

Hate filled rants with repeated death threats will be taken seriously.

your time is up smoking trolls, any person that gets threatened, or called a
liar , cheat or mocked will be informed immediately.”


Where has this guy been the last 30 years? A small,
self-installed elite of zealots – very much in the eugenics tradition – decided
for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world. While they
were claiming they were “grass roots” activists, they represented a top-down
dictatorial clique (i.e., WHO-run). While their plan from the outset was an
eradication plan, they have lied incessantly about their actual motivation.


Once the fanatics were given a foot in the door by governments,
the rhetoric really started to fly. They use the most inflammatory terms
possible – “kill”, “death”, “poison”, “toxic” – that go far, far beyond the raw
statistical data they are purportedly referring to. The fanatics have
manufactured secondhand smoke into a bio-weapon-like phenomenon, a whiff
capable of maiming, if not killing, the hapless “breather”.


It has been an incessant fear and hate-mongering that has
produced irrational fear and hatred on a grand scale, much of it based on
peer-reviewed [agenda-driven] “science”. Through a constant barrage of
inflammatory propaganda, those who smoke have been demonized, vilified, de-normalized,
de-humanized, stigmatized, leperized, slandered. They have been reduced to persona
non grata
, dismissed as just “addicts” whose opinions are worthless
and inconsequential. Through progressive brainwashing, those who smoke have
been removed from “normal” society, not fit to socialize with their nonsmoking “superiors”.
And children should not have to endure the sight of these “filthy, disgusting”
people engaged in their “filthy, disgusting” habit.


All sorts of laws have been instituted against those who
smoke. They have been tossed out of the indoors and out of the outdoors. They
have had ever-increasing extortionate taxes imposed on them. Now there is
refusal to employ them. They are even denied housing and medical treatment. All
of it is indicative of a bigotry bandwagon.


And this moron, chrish36, thinks the gloves are now
off. Little does this nitwit know that it is those whom he supports that
started the “war” long ago. It is they who made facts the first casualty of their
war. It is the antismoking fools that defined the framework where they
represent the “absolute good” battling “absolute evil” (tobacco industry,
tobacco users). It is the prohibitionist miscreants that view themselves as “infallible”
where any questioning of their conduct is viewed as some conspiracy attempting
to undermine their “wonderful” work. These are the typical fevered imaginings
of fanatics, of disturbed minds.


And this chrish36 notifies that he has become an informant.
Why is this not surprising coming from an antismoking drone? Worry not,
chrish36, the litany of delinquent, fraudulent, fear and hate-mongering
antismoking conduct has also been well documented.

Mag01 said...

This is from the pathological liars:

The atmosphere which has been created (calling
someone ‘health fascists’, Nazis, extremist etc.) also de-humanises scientists,
and makes it more likely that a physical attack may actually happen.


It must be borne in mind that it is the antismoking fanatics
that have created an atmosphere that de-humanizes those who smoke. There are
those that believe that any contact with a whiff of smoke is a threat to their
life and limb due to selfish, uncaring, stupid “addicts” who shouldn’t be
allowed to “poison” the normal folk: It is these that are most likely to
physically attack, [falsely] fearing for their lives. It is the antismoking
fanatics that have forced those who smoke out into the dark at night that
places them in immediate danger. It is the antismoking fanatics that demand
that hospital patients have to venture off the entire hospital grounds – in all
weather – if they want to have a cigarette that exposes them to hazard far
beyond a cigarette. It is the antismoking fanatics that have made reasoning
with them impossible. What recourse does the typical citizen have in the face
of this institutionalized, bigoted, propaganda juggernaut that pushes for more
and more restrictive/de-normalizing laws based on the propaganda? Their view is
extreme (prohibitionist) and fascist, to be imposed on all and where no-one is
permitted to disagree.


This is the sickly situation that the antismoking fanatics
have created on a global scale, and with considerable funding. These oafs then
have the gall to claim that references (in blogs with limited exposure) to
their closed propaganda loop as “fascist” is “creating an atmosphere that
de-humanizes scientists, and makes it more likely that a physical attack may
actually happen”. This is extraordinarily perverse, but very much in keeping with
the derangement that is the antismoking mentality. Typical of fanaticism, there
is a complete disregard for the issues raised. Given the limited repertoire of
fanaticism/zealotry, the fanatics simply dismiss all criticism as the
senseless, “dangerous” activity of tobacco industry “apologists”. Truly

Smoking Hot said...

From ... "Puddlecote says he runs his own transport business,[3] yet there is no "Puddlecote" listed as a Director at Companies House"

Marthaj said...

Regarding their wiki:
My first thought when I read their intro was wtf that's the kettle calling the pot black then i thought perhaps we could start our own wiki...they've provided us with a brilliant intro : -
TobaccoControlTactics aims to provide up-to-date information on the
Tobacco Control Industry, its allies or those promoting an eradicate-the-smoker agenda.
The website explores how the industry influences and often distorts
public health debates, using a whole raft of lobbying and public
relations tactics.

nisakiman said...

 What? Has he never seen the "Puddlecote Transport" trucks rumbling up and down the M1 in their splendid "Jewel Robber" livery? They're as ubiquitous as the Eddie Stobart trucks!

nisakiman said...

 That's actually a bloody good idea MarthaJ. How about it, DP?

Ivan Denisovich said...

We are dealing with people who are clearly very stupid as well as unethical, humorless and dishonest. 

I wonder if they actually believe that Dick is some kind of tobacco company secret agent? Michael Siegel has stated that tobacco control newbies are brainwashed into believing that all of their opponents are in the pocket of "big tobacco" based on his own experiences.


Kick up the arse said...

Love the suggestion of our own counter wiki, but who is going to do all the work? It will take a great deal of someone's time.  Therefore, instead of saying: "how about it Dick?", what about some of you actually offering to help?

One of the big problems with our movement is that there are lots of cheerleaders but precious few willing to undertake any real work!!!

Jay said...

We don't need a counter wiki. Just keep blogging about the hate.  We're getting to them in a huge way. They never would have done this if we were not. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Your reaction is the same as mine when I read that. :)

Mark.S said...

I think this article in the Guardian is a reponse to fact that more people are asking questions and finding the tabacco control lobby are somewhat lacking in their answers. So smearing everyone seems to be the new template.... because that's what real experts do?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

The Puddlecote Inc collection of die cast artic rig miniatures will be available in all good motorway services shops soon. ;)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I wouldn't have the first clue how to set one up, but if anyone does it could be a bit of fun. :)

Mr A said...

"So smearing everyone seems to be the new template.... because that's what real experts do?"

Of course - because it worked so well when it came to persuading people of the dangers of global warming.

Oh, wait....

Mr A said...

Just looking at the Tobacco Tactics wiki.  Apart from being annoyed that I am not mentioned, I see they have Carl Phillips in there!  The fact that he was a former Professor in Public Health sciences doesn't seem to faze them.  Also interesting, for a bunch who constantly make appeals to authority, that they use an article he wrote for a peer-reviewed journal as "evidence" that he is funded by Big Tobacco.

Keep it up TC!  What with this and your claims that UNITE, the CBI etc are "Tobacco Front Groups", you really are showing yourselves up to be deeply, deeply insane.

Mr A said...

Indeed.  Not only great publicity for common sense, pro-freedom blogs but it has also highlighted a few things I was unaware of.  For example, I hate these people with every cell in my body.  Words cannot describe the deep, deep loathing every one of these totalitarian, science-destroying scum provokes in me.  Yet even with THIS level of pure, unadulterated hatred, it has never even crossed my mind to actually phone or email them or send stuff to them.

The fact that others have (and apparently on a regular basis, too) shows just how furious some people are.  For all those who thought they were struggling alone against the forces of darkness, this article actually does nothing but prove that they are not alone.  That there others out there who feel like they do, others who in fact feel SO strongly about it that they are doing the things described in the article.

It could be seen to be rather heartening for those people, really.  Yet another TC own goal.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

There's one person they forgot to add to their files, though. He has described ASH as part of the  "well paid and comfortably smug public health community", claims there is  "a conspiracy to lie and mislead", calls ASH Scotland "fools", and - as Simon Clark is accused of doing - has called them the  "tobacco control Taliban" in the past.

I wonder why Clive Bates, ex head of ASH, has been omitted? ;) 

Mr A said...

Er, I don't want to question Bauld et al's grasp of the scientific method, but isn't the whole point of wikis, especially in the academic context, that they are crowd reviewed?  

From: "What is a wiki?"  - "Like many simple concepts, "open editing" has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users."

It's not exactly a wiki if only you and your mate can post and edit on it, is it?  And as one would expect from the anti crowd, it isn't exactly "a democratic use of the web" either.  Lord give me strength - do these people misunderstand and/or pervert everything they come into contact with?

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...


We've just published a response from F2C to the Guardian article here:


a link to it on the F2C Forum site if anyone wants to comment.

mr d said...


Just been having a
look at the Tobacco Tactics site reading the report on Smuggling.  Now it seems that this is all down to big
tobacco selling cigarettes to smugglers (presumably with VAT etc).  These smugglers then ship them to countries
where the tax and price is lower to sell them at a loss.  No mention of smuggling to UK or of counterfeited
cigarettes.  The site references which
are papers published by other Tobacco Control writers who reference other ..
well I am sure you get the idea.


The other pages
are not much better.


I can only
conclude that the writers of these papers fell out of the stupid tree and hit
every branch on the way down.


nisakiman said...

 "The Puddlecote Inc collection of die cast artic rig miniatures will be available in all good motorway services shops soon. ;)"

Yes, that's all very well, but can I order one online?

Michael J. McFadden said...

I'd like to make two comments on the TT site thingie...

1)The character of the quotes selected by them seem to be generally reflective of sort of a juvenile personality (like the little tattletale running up to the teacher and saying "I heard Billy saying "poop!"  Really rather humorous for the most part.  


2) And, as is usually the case when Antismokers actually come out from behind the screen to confront those who fight them, they end up actually being quite helpful to us.  Helpful how?  Simply because they obviously focused a significant amount of resources on their research and development and tried to dig out the worst stuff they possibly could.  Heh, if all they could dig out for most of their targets were quotes along the lines of "He called me a bad name and made me cry!" that actually shows, far better than we ourselves EVER could show, that there was no REAL dirt to be found: Our bloggers are quite clearly true grassroots activists without any real or significant ties to Big Tobacco or THOSE would have been the headlines.   Basically the Antismokers have now publicly affirmed our "innocence" to the world in a way that can't be contradicted.  Hopefully they'll spread the joy to others of us in the fight and affirm our lack of real ties to Big Tobacco as well!


Mr A said...

Whoops, looks like I accidentally emailed a link to Tobacco Tactics' listing of "Tobacco stooge MPs" to each of the 29 MPs mentioned on Tobacco Tactics, along with a brief message explaining how TT are funded by the DoH.  I wonder if Tobacco Tactics has much of a future?  More importantly, I wonder if TC is getting too big for its boots?  Libelling MPs.... when you're State-funded?  

Oooh I hope there is some comeback on this!

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

 Nice one, Mr A.

nisakiman said...

 Looks like it's already on the cards. Weil of FORCESNL has registered with a view to setting it up! Check out comments on FD's latest post.

c777 said...

To achieve their banstarbatery dream they would have to prevent tobacco plants being grown,anywhere in the world.
Just like the way they prevented Opium poppies and coca leaves ,or hemp.
Oh, hang on a minute!

Suzieq42 said...

Those stories of harrassment and even horrible threats give smokers a bad name, if like me you click through to the names mentioned there is a sense of almost joy at the publicity with the likes Frank Davis counting his website stats and many supporters on these blogs heaping glory on themselves for being part of the gang.

Those headlines are grim really grim and nasty, smokers rights will now get seen as being  on the same level as the Animal Liberation Front type of activism. Casual readers will believe the stories and if they click through to the sites they will see a rabble of vultures enjoying the carnage without an apology or regret in sight.

Shame for smokers rights, it's a  giant backward step and a godsend to  health reformers who can now describe the opposition as quite frankly lunatics.

Ivan Denisovich said...

Except for the fact that these "threats" bear no resemblance  whatsoever to the very real threats posed to real scientist by the ALF in the past. Like everything else else emanating from tobacco control, they are either fake or grossly exaggerated. Why on earth should we believe Bauld who lied in public about pub closures or Gilmore who lied about smoking bans and heart attacks?

I sincerely doubt that anyone from tobacco control is in any real danger but there is always that risk in a society that apparently supports unethical dishonest special interest groups and in the process disenfranchises vast swathes of the population. The point Frank Davis makes is that denying people a voice creates frustration that can eventually escalate into violence. Only a delusional conspiracy theorist such as Deborah Arnott would consider his writing to be a direct threat.

It is unlikely that the public will be moved either way because the vast majority of
them do not read the sad rag that published this piece of "journalism" and most trendy middle class "lefties" have already formed their opinions about smokers some time ago.

Suzieq42 said...

Ivan you seem to be reading from the same script as everyone else who also cannot see threats posted which are not withdrawn or apologised for leave a really bad impression for smoker rights,defending those comments and supporting them well actually infact celebrating them  is pure lunacy.

I realise strong feelings in a close knit community has caused this reaction but seriously this reaction is losing the plot big time. I'm sure the harassment Bath university and other leading health reformers have been on the end of is genuine. The threats from Frank Davis are not fantasy they been posted online.

This should be ended with an apology and a statement that smokers rights will always be peaceful  instead Ivan you continue the threat line and say violence could eventually occur.

bonkers daft, really sad that headlines like those in national newspapers are allowed to stand without an apology

c777 said...

How about these.
Losing your job.
Being refused medical treatment.
Being stigmatised by junk science.
Being socially denormalised by government policy.
Being accused of intellectual and physical inferiority, by again government sponsored institutions.Forced out into the cold under shelters that are deemed not suitable for animals under EU agricultural policy.
Videos released by DOH sponsored quangos showing smokers being beaten up  in the street.
No other minority could be attacked like this it would be illegal and classed as a hate crime.
Oh yes the threats from the charlatans of tobacco control are not penned ,they are real.

Patnurse said...

Smokers like myself have often condemned violence and I am on record on Taking Liberties as saying that should this cause ever get violent then I would not want to be part of it. However, what really angers me is the acceptance of violence, or calls to shoot smokers  in the street in a main stream newspaper, which those who work for the Tobacco Control Industry failed to condemn. In fact, one of their activists even commented in support of that call for violence against smokers.

 We will not be silenced by those who are very vocal in denigrating us as "deviants", encouraging us to be denied health care, jobs and the rest and simply put up and shut up because they tell us we are not polite enough. 

I think Frank's first piece was just thoughts tumbling out of his head and no  threat was made or intended but he did unfortunately give the bullies the opportunity to cry "we're victims."

 This is a bit like when the bully in the playground gives you a good kicking and just at that point when you manage to get one shot in defence to make him back off, teacher comes out, the bully looks all innocent and the bullied gets the cane as the trouble causer. 

 Urging us now to be silent, in frankly the sort of language used by the other side Suzie, would be like buckling under the threat of "shut up or we'll 'ave ya" to ordinary people just trying to find a reason for the hatred against them and giving others a voice which is being denied elsewhere. 

 Should Frank have trained as a professional spin doctor like those in the Tobacco Control Industry then we wouldn't be having this conversation. However, he didn't  so he speaks as he finds and intends to do so in future if he does not intend to make threats personally at anyone. That's how I see it.

 As for DP. His response is reasonable and anyone with an open mind who comes here and reads it will easily work that out.

Blue'n'Bramble said...

SuziQ, as in SuziQ rabid anti-smoker from comment is free pages? What you think is hardly relevant, stop pretending to care about smokers rights, you don't believe there should be any.

Ivan Denisovich said...

Suzie is a troll Pat. One clue is that nobody outside of the tobacco control industry bubble would describe Gilmore et al as "leading health reformers""

Based on the juvenile nature of the posts and the illogical structure of the arguments, I suspect that our Suzie is closely related to Rollo.

The comparison between Frank who wrote a thoughtful if somewhat hard hitting post in which he actually threatens nobody and ALF who planted bombs at the homes of scientists is neither reasonable nor realistic. Neither is very much else produced by the the tobacco control industry or its groupies.

Suzieq42 said...

I'm not suziq free pages whatever that is!

I have not said anyone should be silent or urged them to be.

Please do not put words in my mouth that i have not said or implied.

My point is quite simple and obviously lost in this  fans of Frank club, that comments which were tumbling around Franks  head which ended up being posted online should be apologised for as they are a disgrace and will lead the public to view smokers rights as on par with the Animal Liberation Front.

The stance taken of we know Frank, we know he his not like that so we ignore the horrific headlines and huddle together oblivious to the fact that there is a need for an apology and  a statement on smokers blogs to the effect that this was a mistake and an apology is given is plain bonkers.

It's not about what ASH or whoever has done to smokers, its about national newspapers reporting about death threats and harassment from leading smokers rights folk who then boast about viewing figures on their blogs whilst there is  a celebration of the free publicity that these bloggers have attracted with no mention of an apology.

There is a big picture of nasty headlines and smokers rights campaigners and so far the newspaper headlines seem to be bang on the money to anyone who bothers to search for more information.

If Frank Davis was an M.P, do you think he would not apologise and the rest  of his party back him up over the threats at the same time.

come on let's get real, this is crazy.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Here's an idea. If you are unnerved by Frank's article, why not bring it up at, err, Frank's blog. 

P T Barnum said...

 Apologise for what, exactly? (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here as the paid-for-ASHites seem to have taken Sunday off.) The only place where threats could be said to have been made was the F2C blog posting, which has now been removed, 'Snipers for Flappers', made by an individual at the end of his tether for many reasons beyond the smoking ban, insofar as I can judge, and therefore suffering from what one might call impaired judgement.

On this blog no threats have ever been made. Words of advice offered, yes. Even warnings. But threats, never. Frank is a very effective writer and as such can control tone and nuance through language in which are evidently beyond the educational level of anyone who actually reads the posts in questions and concludes he is threatening Bauld and Arnott. Imagining something and saying you will do or want to do it are not the same. Painting a picture for Linda Bauld to warn her, in all her blithe ignorance, of the unforeseen consequences of making a quarter to a fifth of the population into angry pariahs is not a threat but a public service announcement. TC people live in a bubble of their own making, only speaking to each other, only hearing their own voices, only knowing their own truths. Taking no account of the reality of millions of angry smokers, amongst whom might be one or ten inclined to violence, is extremely foolish on their part.

Or perhaps TC believe they should have a monopoly on breeding violence and threats from amongst their supporters? It seems to me smokers are more deserving of an apology for the effects of the denormalisation which is the explicit goal of TC.

Briar Tuck said...

What utter nonsense. 

Offence, by its very nature, must always be taken -- it can never be given. The current politically correct notion of 'causing offence' is based on the spurious notion that the "victim" (sic) has no control over their own reaction to something somebody else expresses. Sticks and stones, etc.

People in public positions, unelected, and paid directly or otherwise from the public purse are in no position to complain about negative reactions to their output from those whose lives are adversely affected as a result. If they don't like it, they should either swallow it, or better still, do something else. I believe that's called 'behaviour change'.

Their extreme reaction to casually-expressed opinion simply demonstrates the thickness of the bubble in which the antismoking industry exists. They are clearly unhealthily accustomed to unquestioning compliance. Reality is different.

Suzieq42 said...

Dick...err i'm commenting on the subject on the blog that is debating the issue..hope that's alright with you.

P.T Barnum.. whilst you and pat nurse and even frank himself describe the threats as imagination, tumbling thoughts, not everybody will realise the nuances are some dream like mutterings that should be ignored by the dear old fella and not a direct threat that is imminent.

Briar tuck... your casually expressed opinion comment is the same hairy fairy tone as the rest.

Those newsapaper headlines are a shocker and contain several allegations that are very serious and appear to coming from several sources. This is real world stuff, stepping up security, phone calls, harassment that goes far beyond Frank Davis and his bonkers threats.

Smokers rights should distance themselves from harassment and apologise for comments made,and express that peaceful opposition is the way forward.

Covering smokers rights campaigners in glory because they have been named in the headlines with others wishing they could have been given credit too is a nasty situation and very sad.

I won't post again.


Patnurse said...

I recall DD saying he was for smokers rights and look at how that turned out so forgive us for being very wary about strangers who call themselves friends.

 The real question is what the public thinks from the exposure that was meant to intimidate and silence strong and influential dissenting voices but instead has highlighted them and given them a microphone. 

 You cannot know how all of this sits with the public Suzie, and neither can we but we are entitled to have our say, and express our opinions in what is, at least for now, still a free country. 

 What we do know for sure is that one reason main stream newspaper readership is falling, and blogosphere readership is rising, is that the general public is generally aware that these days they are being fed crap from all sorts of quangos and none more so than from the Tobacco Control Industry and blogs resound more with what they are thinking and feeling.

 The bottom line here is that Tobacco Control Industry polices are abusive and create a very real threat to social cohesion. If the Industry can't see that then it does, indeed, live in a bubble. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Good, I don't think the Russian and Canadian proxies you're using will miss you. 

Explains why you're avoiding Wordpress though, I suppose. ;)

Mag01 said...

Just a little history.
I’m sure most of us have heard of Jimmy Repace. He has been responsible for
some of the most highly inflammatory propaganda over the last few decades.
Repace stated to the press regarding the failure of antismoking legislation in
Maryland, 1980:
People aren't going to stand for this. Now that the facts are clear,
you're going to start seeing nonsmokers becoming a lot more violent.
You're going to see fights breaking out all over.

Washington Star, April 5, 1980, p. D-l.
Quoted in Bliley (1993)

Interesting is that Repace’s
comment was one year before the first study on ETS by Hirayama, himself a rabid
antismoker. I don’t believe Repace ever

retracted this statement or an
apology forthwith from anyone in the antismoking movement.

Mr A said...

Hmmm, as I suspected.  A plant.  Seemed far too Tobacco Controlley despite the apparently friendly tone of the message.  Even when trying to be "one of us" they don't quite come across as "real people" do they?

Michael J. McFadden said...

Blue, I'm not familiar with "comment is free" but I have had an extended debate or two with a SuzyQ on the City Data forums.  Might that be the same one you're thinking of?


Michael J. McFadden said...

I'm forced to wonder what the reaction might have been if you'd posted a cute little video game called "Shoot An Antismoker" where players would get points for shooting little Anti characters in typical situations?

Oh ...  wait ... I guess that's sorta already been done: the game is "Shoot A Smoker" and has been spread widely around the web for the last two years or so.

Hmmm....  how about if you proposed a government sponsored housing scenario where the Antis would get shunted off into ghettos with undergrade medical care (since they claim to be healthier anyway the action shouldn't be seen as unfair)?

Oh ... wait ... I guess that was just proposed by someone else a few days ago in Surrey where they made the same suggestion aimed at smokers.

How about this?  Perform a nationwide study (leading toward a worldwide one) pinpointing exactly where all the Antismoking offices are and how they're conveniently located near population areas and major traffic routes?

Oh ... wait ... that was done about a year ago by a researcher mapping "factories of death" (i.e. cigarette factories) so the public would know exactly where they were ... just in case....

Darn... kind of hard to come up with any truly original "dirty tricks" -- The Antis have already done all of them!

P.S.  As I just noted over on Frank's blog: given the nature of Tobacco Tactic's attacks and your influx of new readers, I think I should depart from my usual custom here and sign my full name and "competing interest":

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
Relationship to Big Tobacco explained in the Author's Preface at

DaveAtherton20 said...

Smoke Free South West pays a Dutch private detective agency to spy on anti tobacco control.

JonathanBagley said...

Yes, SuziQ is some Guardian crazy. She's posted hundreds of anti smoking comments there.