Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Fleshing Out A Bone

It's not often I post specifically in reply to a comment here, it's normally more cosy to have a little chat in the shadows, but an observation from Felix yesterday deserves a more expansive response.

Did you honestly just link to a SMOKING LOBBY GROUP for a scientific analysis of a smoking study?

Not commenting on the rest of your article, but that seems to be some pretty horrendous sourcing.
The link to which he refers is a comprehensive debunking of the 'science' behind the recent third hand smoke nonsense, hosted at The Free Society.

I could have quite as easily pointed to the author's blog instead, but by his own admission, the Free Society article was more detailed, and the casual reader might not be as informed as those who subject themselves to this place on a daily basis (you know who you are).

The real problem here is that, in an ideal world, such shambolic science would be attacked from all angles. But, as far as I am aware, there are only two articles forensically critical of such nonsense, and they are both written by the same person.

Felix falls into the trap, cleverly laid by those who don't like their shonky 'research' being challenged, of dismissing the source without reading the article, which can't be faulted.

Better to shoot the messenger than defend the glaring paucity of the paper itself is the usual reaction when their junk science is exposed. The accusation of being paid by big tobacco, so therefore not being allowed an opinion, is anti-tobacco rebuttal 101. I've even been accused of it myself on occasion. Which was nice, although untrue.

What is very much amusing about the whole exercise is that the lifestyle righteous routinely point to a lack of voluntary regulation from those with whom they disagree.

For example:

Maureen Moore, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland , said:

"Scotland 's smoking ban is delivering effective protection, something that both ventilation and voluntary approaches failed to do."
And do you remember this little doozy?

There should be a ban on all alcohol advertising, including sports and music sponsorship, doctors say.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson: "Voluntary marketing codes are just not working"
Yet, on the subject of a quite appalling piece of junk science from their own side, they are silent in the extreme.

They are working under their own 'voluntary' code of scientific integrity but are quite happy to just let the third hand smoke idiocy slide.

Of course, the same isn't true when faced with anything funded by their opponents. No way. In that scenario, they get very loud, shrill even, and will pick through every tiny detail. And when it all gets too difficult, they will cry foul and call for government to shut the opposition up.

In a very real sense, the biggest failure of a voluntary code is that of ASH, Alcohol Concern, and other bansturbatory entities who quite stubbornly refuse to exhibit any scientific integrity whatsoever.

Rather than dismissing the Free Society article, which is perfectly argued and open to challenge if such a challenge exists, Felix should surely be asking why no serious scrutiny is being directed at the third hand smoke report by the massed ranks of tobacco control. The answer is that they are quite happy to pervert British laws on the back of quite astoundingly weak studies.

The voluntary approach of the anti-smoking and anti-alcohol lobby to adhere to proper science has been comprehensively shown to be a disgraceful failure, and it is time that the state intervened to legislate against their organised fraud.

The moment ASH, or any one of the many other state funded anti-smoking organisations, bother to pour scorn on a quite laughable study like the one referenced, I will be very pleased to link to it.

Unfortunately, it will never happen, and the public will continue to be mis-informed.

The voluntary approach has failed. Time for ASH and Alcohol Concern to be strictly regulated. I'm sure they would agree. It's what they always advise for others, after all.

Or perhaps they are just disgusting hypocrites.


Bucko said...

Pressure groups like this can latch onto anything that may help further the cause, no matter how bollocks, and make it the gospel truth.
The reason is, its so easy to shout down and demonise anyone who disagrees.

If you dont like imigration you are called a racist. No one like to be perceived as a racist if they are not, so they shut up.

Same if you object to speed humps you are a child killer.

If you dont like ID cards you are a terrorist sympathiser.

If you object to CRB checks you must be a pedo.

My favourite is the little pet name for people who dont believe climate change is man made - you are called a "denier". Who are the only other people refered to as deniers?

It is quite easy to make people go away if you start calling them nasty names and get all your like minded friends to join in.

That way, all the public ever hear is that the science works and should be believed. No one can put forward an alternative opinion that will be looked at objectively.

JuliaM said...

"Or perhaps they are just disgusting hypocrites."

No 'perhaps' about it...

DaveA said...

This post is aimed at Felix too.

As a car driver I do not advocate the right to drive past a school at 70mph at 3.30 on a Monday afternoon. In the same way if I thought that second hand smoke (SHS) was dangerous I would be advocating separate ventilated rooms staffed by smokers or non smokers who have signed the necessary disclaimer.

The problem with ASH is that they have no substance to their arguments and is merely spin or in some cases downright lies. They alas have a strangle hold on the press and TV. Whenever I post an opinion on any matter I always post an independent corroborating URL, in the public demain which anyone can check out themselves. Here are a couple of beauties from ASH lying through their collective teeth.

"It seems likely that the drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks is linked to the implementation of the smoking ban."

Sandford had previously written this letter to the New Scientist 6 months before.

"Your editorial and article highlight the dangers of exaggerating the health impact of exposure to second-hand smoke (10 November, p 3 and p 8). ASH (UK) endorses your conclusion that bad science can never be justified. ASH, unlike some organisations, has never asserted that a single 30-minute exposure to second-hand smoke is enough to trigger a heart attack, and we are not aware of any UK health advocates who have done so."

On pub closures ASH wrote this press release.

"ASH news release: Embargo: 00.01 25 February 2003

Official - smoking bans are good for business. ASH accuses hospitality industry of "crying wolf"

Hospitality trade leaders in the UK are being challenged to reveal the hard evidence on which they are basing claims that profits in pubs, restaurants and bars will plummet if smoking restrictions are implemented in public places."

I feel I do not need to post an URL as to pub closures.



Anonymous said...

Maybe Felix has not received
adequate attention during adolesence or has been given
poor guidance on puberty.Maybe the issue of sanguine relationship.
Who knows, our friends in the
Pharmaceutical Miracle Cure Division will soon have a cure.

Helmsman.Red Dwarf

Junican said...

'...that voluntary approaches failed to do.'

In other words, "Our science is correct and so......"

If there is no real problem (as revealed by the correct science), why should there be any approaches, voluntary or otherwise?

Anonymous said...

What the Righteous mean when they say "voluntary" is, of course, what the Spanish Inquisition meant when talking of "voluntary confessions". It is only a "voluntary approach" if it results in what the Righteous want. Otherwise, it is patently, "not working" and hang what the majority actually wants.