It seems that the Global Forum on Nicotine event in Warsaw last month (see my report here) has got under the gobby coffin-dodger's skin somewhat. Here's how he described it in relation to an Aussie Senator's upcoming committee to examine negative effects of nanny state policies.
On August 24, submissions will close on another Senate enquiry that Leyonhjelm will head as what he’s promoting as an anti-nanny state regulation clean out. Much of this is likely to be air cover for him to grease the political rails for his tobacco industry benefactors to break down barriers to market e-cigarettes in Australia, with a senior advisor Helen Dale (formerly Demidenko) having recently attended a small meeting of vaping activists in Poland.When I read this in the offices of Puddlecote Inc, it brought on a laugh so unexpected that the midget gem I was chewing flew out and stuck to my monitor!
I just had to find out exactly how 'small' this 'meeting of vaping activists' was, so I emailed the GFN organisers to ask.
"Attendance comprised in excess of 250 delegates representing 43 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. Our records show that 42 vaping consumers registered to attend."Just 42 vapers. Amongst the other 208 or so were tobacco control professionals such as Linda Bauld of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Dreadful Arnott of ASH, Martin Dockrell of Public Health England, Marewa Glover of Auckland’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Jennifer Ware of Bristol University's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, Stop Smoking service manager for Leicester City Louise Ross, University of Ottawa Adjunct Professor David Sweanor, Director of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation (and inventor of nicotine patches) Jed Rose, and former head of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control at the World Health Organization, Derek Yach, to name a few.
But they're all just 'vaping activists' now, according to simple Simon. Do you think he's finding himself isolated amongst the dwindling residue of denialist tobacco control dinosaurs? Pretty much, I'd say.
We did have a bit of a laugh about it on Twitter, which must have boiled the old twerp's piss even more because - despite blocking me and anyone else who has ever tweeted him in support of e-cigs and harm reduction - he must have had a sneak peek at see what we were saying before then posting a laughable tweet to try to save his blushes.
Desperate stuff, and this time my hilarity forced Lucozade out of one nostril to spatter a new contract document I was signing. I had to reprint the bloody thing.
So driven was our Aussie clown to pretend the Warsaw event was small and inconsequential and that he is not an increasingly marginalised outlier in his own profession - a reactionary Luddite barking incoherently from his retirement home as the world he no longer understands advances without him - that his choices of picture merely emphasised his geriatric incompetence. He is brilliantly denormalising himself as a credible authority on tobacco control matters, it's a joy to watch.
One of the images was from a session entitled "The Moral Maze" where attendance was split between two discussions with half of the conference at a satellite in another congress hall, the other was from a plenary session which overran significantly due to the enthusiasm of those present, meaning a lot of UK delegates had to reluctantly leave before the end to catch their flights to Heathrow. Or, as VTTV host David Dorn put it ...
Chapman is more and more becoming a cartoon character when it comes to e-cigs and harm reduction. The old dog who can't learn new tricks and howls at the moon about things he seems incapable of understanding. I would say that he should give it up because he's embarrassing himself, but I hope he carries on for a good few years yet, he's tobacco control industry comedy gold.