Tuesday 6 October 2015

A "War" On 80% Of The Public

Here's more of that non-existent slippery slope we keep hearing about.
An international expert on tobacco control is calling for Scotland to lead the way in a global ‘war’ to tackle alcohol problems, similar to the efforts which have been made to reduce smoking across the western world.
A "war", no less! So who is this caped crusader against a consumer product enjoyed harmlessly by the vast majority of the population?
Professor Gerard Hastings, who founded the Centre for Tobacco Control Research at Stirling University, and has advised governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), said tobacco and alcohol were examples of an “industrial epidemic”, where health issues are being driven by commercial interests. 
He wants Scotland to take a leading role in urging the WHO to introduce a framework which will outline how countries can take action to address alcohol problems by introducing measures around advertising, packaging and the way it is sold.
Oh I see, it's far left wing anti-business nutcase Hastings, a guy (along with others) who came to the attention of Peter Oborne of the Telegraph last August.
Linda Bauld and Gerard Hastings are academics from Stirling University, where they contribute to something which calls itself the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. Generally speaking this taxpayer funded group is in favour of heavy regulation and blanket bans.

But Prof Hastings also has a wider political and social agenda. Here is his latest anti-business rant:

At the time, Frank Davis offered an accurate description of this lunatic.
But I watched the YouTube video of Professor Gerard Hastings embedded in the text. It was one long emotional rant (he seemed like he was about to burst into tears) against not just smoking and drinking and fatty food, but against marketing, big business, inequality, profit, everything. Here was someone who had looked at the world around him and did not like it one bit, and desperately wanted to make it into a better world. He wanted to completely reconstruct it. For him, public health was not just about smoking and drinking and fatty food: it was about absolutely everything, and he wanted Public Health to be running absolutely everything. 
A century ago he would have been a bomb-throwing anarchist, like Gavrilo Princip. But now people like him are professors of public health, paid handsomely to interfere in everyone’s lives.
Indeed they are. And, as Frank says, not just on behaviours which are harmful, but on ones which are more often than not beneficial to society in general and arguably healthy. Predictably, he hates e-cigs too.

So how is this public-despising degenerate extremist planning on conducting this "war" then? Well, in the same way as with tobacco of course.
Hastings said: “With tobacco, public health has eventually got its head round it and said if you are really going to tackle tobacco, you have to do something about the business side of this. 
“Initially that focused in on advertising, as that is a very visible part of what they are doing. 
"But it is actually having to look at the whole marketing environment - which is not just the advertising but the product development, the pricing strategies, the distribution, the point of sale, the packaging and also indeed all the stuff that big business does to curry favour with government as well as customers. 
“To deal with that, the route that was taken was to produce the (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.” 
Hastings said a similar treaty should now been put place for alcohol
Oh dear, that very much contradicts what Debs said a while ago, doesn't it? (emphases mine)
[T]he “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false. The same argument was used against the ban on tobacco advertising, but 9 years after the tobacco ban in the UK, alcohol advertising is still permitted with no sign of it being prohibited. Tobacco is a uniquely dangerous consumer product which is why there is a WHO health treaty (the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) to regulate tobacco use.
Which is precisely what Hastings' (and presumably Bauld's too) new "war" on alcohol intends to set up. I suppose it's too much for us to hope ASH will issue an apology for declaring this domino theory a myth when it has now been proven to be 100% true? Nah, thought not.

As an aside, I was also mighty amused with this from fellow finger-wagging lefty twat Richard Simpson, a Labour MSP.
Simpson said he would support Hastings in terms of having an international campaign to limit the advertising of alcohol in a similar way to tobacco. 
“The harms are not quite the same, but there needs to be further restrictions on advertising,” he said. 
“It is about trying to de-normalise alcohol as well – it may be used by over 80% of the population, but having almost ubiquitous advertising and spending vast amounts on advertising is not acceptable.”
Admitting to being part of a tiny minority of 20% but declaring that it's "unacceptable" to abide by the choices of the 80% is astonishing from a politician. But then, hatred and bigotry does so cloud the faculties, doesn't it?

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