Thursday, 31 July 2014

Jobs For The Boys

Much like we've seen with the plain packaging campaign in the past couple of years, it would appear that wherever we see corruption, the Department of Health is often close at hand.

I've been reading with astonishment the obfuscation, dubious process and utter disregard for truth which has accompanied Forest's complaint to the ASA about the government's mendacious "mutations" anti-smoking adverts. The full story is at Simon Clark's blog (here and here) and Liberal Vision so do go have a read of the background. Be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor, mind.

As Brian Monteith astutely notes, "Why do governments lie? Because they can!". And they wonder why we all despise politicians and the civil service which does their dirty work, eh?

We're well beyond the looking glass here and into fantasy democracy and pretend accountability. Debate about whether it is even the government's business to produce scaremongery to bully the public into quitting smoking has been sidelined while we all battle to challenge the state's right to lie, for Chrissakes! Unsuccessfully in this case, it would appear. You see, the ASA Council has sent a brazen message that lying with the taxpayer's cash is, indeed, perfectly acceptable in the 21st century.

As an illustration of how state institutions hold the public in utter contempt, there couldn't be a more stark example. Consider this from the timeline produced by Forest:
3 February 2014 – Letter from ASA to Forest
To update you on the progress of our investigation, we met with the Department of Health on 24 January. The minutes from that meeting will not be made available ...
Err, why not? And why was the Department of Health afforded a meeting in camera when I'm pretty sure anyone not paid by the state would have been kept at arms length for the purposes of impartiality? It couldn't be that they wanted to get their public sector stories straight, could it?

And it all took over 18 months, by which time how many people will have seen this junk science - based on a cherry-picked uncontrolled study of one, yes one, person - and believed it?

Consider too, the members of the ASA Council unearthed by Angela Harbutt:
Ray Gallagher: Government adviser.
Martin Narey: Government adviser.
John Mayhead: Government adviser.
Hamish Pringle: Advertising rep with government clients.
Anthony Earle Wilkes: Training provider for government advisers!
Each and every one seemingly happy to over-rule the ASA executive's three categorical condemnations of the Department of Health's mendacious advertising - based on expert advice - and therefore happy for the public to be blatantly misled in order to protect their personal interests.

Likewise Lord Smith, the Chairman of the ASA, who is fresh from being a total cock-up at the Environment Agency and so perhaps thinks it politically advantageous for his future career not to queer his pitch with the Department of Health Mafiosi.

Jobs for the boys, I think it's called.

In an ideal world they would all be fired immediately for abuse of their positions and charged with crony self-interest. But then, why would the establishment charge some of their own, eh?

Another day; another state abuse of our trust; and another reason why politicians and the system they operate in are overwhelmingly despised. May God rot them, every one.


George Speller said...

What? Did they tear the shares up? I don't think so. Did they sell them at a penny each? I don't thinks so.

Kev said...

And how did Simon Clark get his first job? In the gift of Michael Forsyth, wasn't it?

truckerlyn said...

Of course government corruption and lies is rife, especially within government departments, of which the DoH is one, so, although this ruling is an abhorrent joke, until the majority of the 3 main parties members and their snivelling, brown nosing civil servants (or that might be the other way round) are kicked into touch and preferably launched into space, never to return, I sadly believe that we are flogging a dead horse!

Cameron, and others, stand in front of tv cameras and bleat on about the likes of Putin and how they are corrupt and lying about this and that, and manage to keep a straight face when they are every bit as bad, if not worse!

Please God, let UKIP 'stick it up em' in the words (or similar) to Corporal Jones in Dad's Army, at the next election.

JonathanBagley said...

Prompted me to take a look at other adjudications. Those about electronic cigarette ads are interesting. There is often only one complainant. Who is it?

moonrakin said...

Baron Smiffy ??? whoah! there's a guy who simply makes up sh1t!

We know him as <a href="Wrong Type of Rain Man"" - simply making stuff up to promote his own deranged agenda...

A true role model for the anti-baccy brigade Just woeful that people like this get into (very well rewarded) positions like Smiffy. He also seems to think that proclaiming about his STD is a positive trait...