Thursday 31 December 2015

Jewel Robbing In 2015

As bobble-hatted masochists descend on London to stand around for hours waiting for a 20 minute firework display before taking another few hours to trudge home again, fellow jewel robbers may be interested in a recap of some of what has appeared here in 2015.


The year began with Simple Simon Chappers seeing the death of Joe Cocker as a vile PR opportunity, despite his figures - as always - being incorrect. It was also the month that plain packaging for e-cigs was suggested in Ireland and Scottish politicians admitted they had no valid health reason to ban vaping in public places but would "get away" with it anyway


Totally Wicked kicked off their challenge to the EU's article 20, and yours truly wrote a piece for their website. Bristol brought in one of those bizarre "voluntary" bans on smoking in the open air, Nash Riggins wrote some absurd tripe in the Guardian, and the EU talked about taxing e-cigs for no particular reason except kerching. Elsewhere, the WHO launched a war on cream cakes, jelly and ice cream amongst other evil products, and Korea proposed banning "walking smoking"


This month saw our esteemed mascot catch ASH with their fingers in the till and trying to urge the government to give them more by way of a tobacco levy. Anti-nanny state David Cameron voted in favour of plain packaging, while both CMO Sally Davies and health minister Jane Ellison spoke utter garbage about e-cigs, and George Rae of the BMA deliberately lied about vaping on the BBC. Meanwhile, over in Puerto Rico they thought it might be a good wheeze to fine parents $800 if they have a fat kid


The approach to Easter saw 'cash-strapped' NHS Scottish hospitals taking on extra staff to stop people smoking in car parks, you know, where car exhaust fumes are. It was also revealed that 'binge-drinking' has halved since 2005; West Country lefty Gabriel Scally showed he is more interested in promoting his naive sixth form political views than he is about health; and across the pond Mad Stan descended into a bucket of farce


May opened with news of a boom in illegal tobacco in Australia after their plain packaging law and eye-watering tax increases, while in Blighty tobacco controllers were very keen on torturing mental health patients as a means of maintaining their state-funded salaries. On the e-cigs front, Westminster welcomed MPs and staff back after the election by banning vaping for no reason whatsoever, and a rather cool Aussie politician valiantly fought against ignorant muppetry in New South Wales. 


Busy month this. It was leaked that ASH had been lying for a long time and really do want smoking banned outdoors and in all cars, with or without children, but then I think we all knew that anyway. They also sat idly by, quiet as a mouse, as more vaping bans were installed. In the US, the smoking ban in New Orleans did what smoking bans always do, cost businesses a fortune, and Mad Stan hilariously produced a study which proved himself wrong. It was also the month when Welsh wassock Mark Drakeford embarked on his ignorance-based policy of banning e-cigs in public, and I took a jolly trip to Warsaw


July began with ASH Wales being as limp and insipid in objecting to vaping bans as their English counterparts, while outdoor smoking bans in Australia resulted in food being banned by business owners to comply with the daft law. Result! In France, tobacco shop owners gloriously and defiantly dumped four tonnes of carrots outside the ruling Socialist party's front door in protest at plain packaging, in stark contrast to Tesco in the UK who {cough} bravely appeased health extremists by banning Ribena


The summer holiday period saw the Royal Society of Public Health admit that the reason for smoking bans has been a lie all along, while the UK Public Health Network got irritated that the public believe they are entitled to make their own choices. It was also the month when PHE released a report which torpedoed mendacious anti-vaping crazies the world over, and the month when they responded with deflection, smears and lies ... as tobacco controllers always do. 


September was just one long desperate smear from e-cig denialists. We found out that Sally Davies and Lardy McKee had shared more correspondence with each other than they do with their families, which perhaps might have had something to do with his vacuous articles appearing in the BMJ packed with conflicts of interest. We also found out that the UK government - despite ASH's, erm, whispering under their breath - refuse to accept e-cigs are a harm reduction device, and that there are 150,000 vile individuals in this country who desperately want to dictate what food and drink you choose to consume. Meanwhile Simple Simon Chappers amused his wife on a European holiday with a thrilling vaper-spotting game


This month saw a 'public health' lunatic actually propose declaring war on 80% of the public who like to drink booze, while some repulsive piece of lowlife - encouraged by Aussie anti-smokers - publicly bullied a terrified tourist who lit up a cigarette outdoors in Sydney. Meanwhile ASH were up to their usual trick of using politicians to beg for taxpayer cash, which could explain why these self-declared friends of the vaper are still arse-licking the government over the appaling TPD. Over in Oz, Chappers admitted that Australian tobacco policies are worse than North Korea and I came across a quite disgusting young person at the Battle of Ideas. 


Last month saw this blog's 7th birthday and we celebrated it with ASH Scotland's Sheila Duffy being roasted by the Scottish parliament, no such luck in Wales, though, where provincial political lightweights queued up to exhibit their ignorance about e-cigs. The idiocy of the TPD began to emerge and, erm, I wrote a nice uncontroversial piece about a film that's coming out soon. 


Scroll on to this month and we caught anti-smokers blatantly luring kids into addiction with cigarette advertising, and the CMO covertly trying to stop tobacco controllers talking avout vaping. Meanwhile, nanny statists got stroppy about being called nany statists, the EU court ruled on something that doesn't exist, and - as a glorious finale - we ended the year with the most pathetic health whinge of 2015.

It's been quite a testing twelve months, hasn't it? 

Happy New Year to all the free-thinking souls who have passed by these pages in 2015, and let's all toast 2016 safe in the knowledge that it is we who are on the side of the angels. 

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