Monday 13 October 2014

Not News: Aussie Tobacco Controller Caught Lying

As good friend of this blog Mark Wadsworth said to me at an event in January last year, it's not really big news that anti-smoking organisations lie any more - it is, after all, what they do best - however, I still find it staggering how blatant and unashamed they are about it.

The latest to have been caught lying his arse off is Mike Daube over the ban on the opera Carmenreported on recently by Snowdon. You may remember Daube being the one who thinks passive smoke is more dangerous than exhaust fumes in a drive-in queue; who thinks Cadbury's are evil for sponsoring the Olympics; and who believes e-cigs are a tobacco industry conspiracy.

To cut a long story short, a state government body, Healthway - of which Mike Daube is a board member - forced the West Australian Opera to ditch a production of the 1875 composition because it is set in a cigarette factory. This prompted global hilarity at Aussie state censorship, but had Western Australia's Premier spitting blood about the embarrassment and the Australian Prime Minister chipping in with condemnation too.

Daube then promptly apologised for his organisation's huge error of judgement ...

... no, of course he didn't. The oleaginous creep instead tried to save face by swearing it wasn't Healthway's fault and blaming the opera company!
He told Radio 6PR that if WA Opera had no alternative, Healthway would not have had a problem with Carmen, providing smoking elements were excluded from any potential performance at schools. 
"If we're talking about censorship, this wasn't censorship because it was WA Opera's decision."
This, as it turns out, was a lie from the top drawer; a real tobacco control industry humdinger! You see, not only did Healthway leave the WA Opera no option whatsoever, but it was none other than Mike Daube himself who was the prime factor in ensuring the ban on Carmen went ahead.
Leaked minutes of Healthway's April meeting show its arts advisory committee put forward three options to handle problems caused by a longstanding ban on funding performances that contained depictions of smoking. 
The minutes are directly at odds with versions of the funding row given by both Healthway and the WA Opera. 
But the minutes show the bid to water down the policy was vigorously opposed by anti-smoking campaigner Mike Daube. 
"Professor Daube stated there was no pressure for Healthway to change its current position," the minutes say. 
"He stated that while some art productions may warrant a smoking component, organisations would need to understand that for the season where smoking appears as part of an arts performance, they would be ineligible for Healthway sponsorship." 
"The board provided strong support to maintain Healthway's current position of not sponsoring arts organisations that allow smoking on stage."
So, erm, it was WA Opera's decision only in the sense that they could perform another opera with money, or Carmen without any money.

What's more, it turns out that this isn't the first time it's happened.
WHEN the Blue Room Theatre in Perth staged an acclaimed play about addiction several years ago, lurking in the opening night audience was a bureaucrat who demanded one scene be axed from future performances. 
The man watching the first local production of British playwright Martin Crimp’s The Country was employed by the West Australian government’s health body Healthway, one of the theatre’s main sponsors. 
“He came to us afterwards to tell us we had to remove one scene that featured smoking,” recalled Blue Room former executive director Jansis O’Hanlon. 
“We weren't allowed to have smoking or language about smoking, and we weren't allowed to show any smoking paraphernalia ... The play was about addiction and there was also a scene with (heroin) needles, but they had no problem with us showing that.”
Beggars belief, doesn't it?
Ms O’Hanlon said the theatre withdrew from the sponsorship deal rather than compromise its artistic integrity. “It was a big gulp for us to say no,” she said, recalling that Healthway also had demanded to approve all scripts."
This, it seems, is what Daube and the tobacco control industry call 'choice'. It's their way or the highway, with censorship front and centre as a reason for their sponsorship. And if you get caught ... lie. Erich Honecker would be so proud.

As we are on an arts theme, perhaps paraphrasing a Shakespeare meme is in order. Mendacity, thy name is tobacco control.



Stanton Glanus said...

These people follow the Nazi template to a "T", yet get all huffy when someone makes the comparison..

Geoff Cliff said...

Three facts emerge here. 1) Lying at one point makes it almost inevitable that you will have to lie again to avoid being caught out in the first. 2) Lying in public, and in a high-profile matter, makes it almost inevitable that you will get caught out. 3) Having been shown in public to be a liar in a high-profile matter means you need an army behind you to keep you in power. Many lying dictators have found this out - to humanity's cost!

Norbert Zillatron said...

Yeah. Especially here in Germany. The extreme green eco nuts and other self-righteous pricks on the high moral horse have assumed the "right" to call anybody disagreeing "intolerant", "racists", "fascists".

But when somebody dares to voice the similarities between their behavior and the despicable tactics of the nazis. Even the victims of ther abuse have been conditioned to protest that nothing can be as bad as that. Any comparison would be considered insulting to the victims.

Isn't that ironic?

Those that lie and cheat and apply all the old tactics are the only ones who can freely clobber their victim with the nazi cudgel. Returning the favour is totally politically incorrect. Even if it's true here.

Martin Sowle said...

No shame just a big ego and the public pay there wages.

Mac McCubbin said...

"Beggars belief, doesn't it?"

No. Not any more...

Ivan D said...

There is no excuse for any publicly funded organisation employing Mike Daube in any capacity whatsoever. There is no excuse for the BBC giving him free rein to spew his bile in documentaries. Just how thoroughly dishonest does a person have to be before the establishment stops wasting our time or money and its integrity by pandering to him?

Mark Butcher said...

I've spent many a happy hour in Circa Tabac. Its always interesting to sit at the bar with a fag and watch the passers-by have a second look with astonishment as they see someone smoking!

Bear Tripper said...

On my return, I told an anti smoker about this. They declared there must be something dodgy/illegal about the place. I challenged that as it has been years since the ban and all their advertising states that they are exempt. Someone might have cottoned on by now ;-)

What the.... said...

If that wasn’t sickening enough, then take a look at this – [cue string quartet in the background]:

There are real superheroes living among us. This is Mike Daube, and he’s here to help save lives.

A load of sanctimonious, self-aggrandizing blather from the megalomaniacal narcissist. Thankfully there are more and more coming to terms with this pompous, moronic prohibitionist.

What the.... said...


What the.... said...

It looks as though the Daubster is also developing a girth a
Stantonitis Glands.

JonathanBagley said...

Can't be a superhero because he can't wear spandex.

Jurie Botha said...

I call PH Nazis on a daily basis, case and point #COP6 - Excluded public and media. Completely secret meeting now.

waltcody said...

Okay, I'm a New Yorker so let me add some uptown bars, one an oasis close enuf to the theatre district. The Carneigie Club at 156 W 56th St. When it's not Loud Live Music Night, it's like a time machine. Sinatra and Torme records playing softly, far apart tables,. Not cheap -- drinks are 14 bucks and small sandwiches go for 15-25, but you're paying to smoke and talk and feel like a first class citizen. ..Macanudo, 26 E 63rd. Decent food for lunch or dinner in pleasant atmosphere. Cover charge for men but not for women. Lexington Bar &Books, 74 th & Lexington; Merchants (downstairs) 62nd &First Avenue.

Warning about the Hotl Pennsylvania. Bed bugs.

Bear Tripper said...

Thanks. Have noted these for next time I am in town.

Melinda Barker said...

I will recommend Hilton Garden Inn Times Square. I found this hotel with They have smoking rooms and excellent service. If you want some other options try Morgans New York Hotel. I think they are also smoke friendly. Hope this helps.