Thursday, 5 September 2013

If You Disagree With Bob Blackman, Your Opinion Doesn't Count

I'm just ploughing through Tuesday's Westminster Hall debate on plain packaging.

The usual tobacco control industry stooges were stuck on ASH and CRUK broom handles to spout their mendacious cockwaffle, but this is a particularly grubby response from the debate's proposer - and member of ASH's puppet APPG - Bob Blackman.
Gerald Howarth (Aldershot, Conservative) 
As my hon. Friend rightly said, the Government consulted extensively. Some 665,000 people responded to that consultation, of whom 64% opposed what he is advocating. 
Bob Blackman (Harrow East, Conservative) 
It was not a referendum or a vote; it was a consultation. It is the power of the arguments that matters in a consultation, rather than necessarily the volume, particularly when the arguments are organised by a lobby such as Philip Morris.
Just take that in for a moment. A member of the UK parliament is entirely dismissing around 420,000 objections to the consultation simply because he doesn't agree with them. Instead, later in the debate he has this to say:
[...] a February 2013 poll on the issue found that, overall, 64% of adults in Great Britain were in favour of standardised packaging—great public support. 
A further poll by YouGov, conducted in March, showed support for the policy from 62% of Conservative supporters, 63% of Labour supporters and 60% of Liberal Democrats.
Specifically, this refers to polls by ASH themselves, and a pollster whose President is a trustee of ASH. For Blackman, this is perfectly acceptable 'evidence', whereas a necessarily impartial government consultation is somehow bent.

Plus, note the typical smoke-hater tactic of trying to pretend any objections are solely placed by tobacco companies. No, Bob, they are valid objections - closely scrutinised by the Department of Health - from real people.

Now, we've charted here the disingenuous, mendacious, crooked, and downright corrupt nature of the tobacco control industry's campaign, but surely an MP (who would claim to be a fan of democracy) passing off nearly half a million voters as irrelevant puts a rotten cherry on the top of a very nasty cake, doesn't it?

Like I said, I'm still trawling through the transcript, so please do go read the whole thing and - with the exception of a few honourable MPs in opposition to Blackman - see how many other instances of manipulative language, truth distortions, and bare-faced  lies you can spot.

UPDATE: Stone cold lie from Cambridge Lib Dem Julian Huppert:

"I think that we have seen different data sets from Australia. My understanding is very clear that there is a substantial reduction [of people coming forward to smoke] there."


Bucko TheMoose said...

I've glossed over it and all the arguments in favour are the usual rubbish. There are not enough people speaking against, and when they do, they say nothing to refute the junk science and dodgy statistics that have been repeated ad nauseum. They just aren't making a good enough case against.

Ian Paisley had a good go but still didn't say enough against all the CRUK quotes and rubbish studies.

I like Anna Soubry starting off with, "I don't like the nanny state, but..."

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Note too, that there was little appetite to allow interventions from anyone who disagreed with the lie-fest.

Here's another lie from Stephen Williams:

"There is a big difference between alcohol and tobacco: alcohol consumed in moderation will not kill someone; smoking tobacco, whatever the strength, over a long period, will shorten your life."

Not according to former ASH head Clive Bates:

"Stopping smoking by age 35 avoids virtually all the long term damage. I have sort of assumed above that no lasting damage is done if someone stops smoking before they get beyond 35 – but this is actually true."

From here, with graphs by Richard Doll.

Junican said...

The meeting was supposed to be 'packed' and most attendees wanted to speak. But I counted only about 25 different persons who spoke, including Abbott and Soubry. So 'packed' is rather relative. Maybe the meeting was 'packed' relative to normal meetings of that nature. It is interesting to note that the meeting started at 9.30 am and was scheduled to end a 11 am. One could use the word 'packed' in a different sense - it was pack full of ASH Zealots, with only a few others who could be bothered going.

I notices something interesting. Blackman was elected to parliament after 2006:

"I remember, before I was elected, the 2006 debate on smoke-free public places,....."

I have been wondering recently just how many MPs have been elected in the last 10 years or so who, essentially, stood for election BECAUSE they were ASH Zealots. You can't help but notice that there are about 50 MPs who are ASH Zealots and make a lot of noise.

Two things struck me forcibly about this (ASH) meeting:
1. The constant 'appeals to authority' (WHO, CRUK, ASH, etc).
2. The constant repetition of worn-out, propaganda slogans ('half of smokers are killed by their habit', 'no level of smoking can be considered to be moderate', etc).

Further, unless I misread the gist, the Zealots pretend that this measure is about stopping CHILDREN from starting to smoke, and yet the 'evidence' awaited from Australia concerns whether or not PP cuts adult and younger people smoking. We do know, do we not, that ASH count everyone up to the age of 25 as 'a child'.

Junican said...

As an aside, regarding 'moderation in smoking', can I show you a graph?

I drew that graph from Doll's statistics in the Doctors Study. The far right line is non-smokers. The one next to it is 'light' (up to 14 a day) smokers. You can see that there is little difference between the two. Light smokers tend to die a couple of years earlier than non-smokers - that is all.

Michael J. McFadden said...

Junican, this link leads to an editing version that doesn't open. Can you re-link?

Michael J. McFadden said...

Thanks for getting the transcript Dick. Truly amazing. The word Children is used 53 times, and variations of "Young..." (people, sons, women etc) is used 51 times.

And incredible nuttiness like Soubry's "It was the opening of the cellophane and the gold and the silver that was so powerfully important to many people who, as youngsters, took up smoking." and Fiona Bruce's equating of regular packs with "a young child drowning in a canal or about to run in front of a car," and Ruane's concern that packs of 14 cigarettes,"14s," are trying to attract 14-year olds -- does he also think that "six-packs" are trying to attract six-year-olds? And it goes on with Ian Mearns saying that the packs of today, covered with huge "Smoking Kills" warnings and in many countries with gory holographic pictures are "now clearly aimed at a younger market" than they were 45 years ago when he was 9.

Finally Julie Elliot says "the way to protect children is to act now? Around 50 studies say that the measure would have an impact," 50 studies say they WILL have an impact? As in FINDING that, significantly? I'd challenge her to produce citations to those fifty studies or stand exposed as a public liar.

Truly amazing.


Bucko TheMoose said...

yeah I did spot that. Why intervene to ask someone if they would agree with something that they obviously agree with? There was a lot of that.

JonathanBagley said...

Junican said...

Try this:

nisakiman said...

That just about sums it up!

Michael J. McFadden said...

Thanks Junican! It worked. Left a note. :)