Monday, 1 February 2010

The Mask Slips (It's Not About Health)

You must have seen this today.

Yes, it's the oleaginous Andy Burnham trying, as A Tory sagely points out, to increase his profile in the jockeying for position ahead of Brown's bunkered demise.

The whole thing is all very dramatic but what I find most interesting is that, at last, Labour have abandoned the silly pretence that the smoking ban was about health.

Take this, for example.

And there will be a review of smoking legislation, which could see public bans extended to places such as the entrances of buildings.

The prime - in fact the only - reason why Labour reneged on their 2005 manifesto commitment to exempt private members clubs and 'wet' pubs - why they eliminated any choice at all, without recourse to voters - was to protect bar workers.

Howard Stoate, Labour rodent for Dartford and member of the health select committee, explained the reason for his pushing for an anti-democratic blanket ban.

He said that public opinion had moved "very quickly" on smoking and that, as a GP, he could not "stand back and allow some workers to be exposed to secondhand smoke."

Yet now Labour are seriously talking about banning smoking near entrances. And the scientific proof that smoking outdoors can be dangerous to health is ... ?

Nowhere. It doesn't exist.

Of course, it is impossible for it to exist, considering that to get merely an incredibly weak correlation for passive smoking indoors, anti-smokers conducted study after study after study on non-smokers living with smokers in sealed environments over decades, with no ventilation. The vast majority came up inconclusive or, to their horror, showed a protective effect.

The only way they could create some kind of headline was after cherry-picking the most favourable studies, lumping them all in together, and then changing scientific practice to make the limp thing stand up ... a bit.

Already, this makes the threat of a couple of hours in a pub with separate smoking/non-smoking areas, and ventilation, quite inconsequential. So merely walking past smokers outside a doorway for a few seconds poses no health consequence whatsoever. And no amount of science fraud will ever prove otherwise.

Which all points to Labour effectively now resorting to legislation to ban an unpleasant (for some) smell.

The victory of bigotry over common sense.

Once again, we see Labour, the champion of the selfish and anti-social, striking a blow against community, tolerance, and property rights.

Still, I suppose we should be thankful that they have finally given up the pretence that their policies are anything more altruistic than bullying, control and spite.

If you smoke, Labour despise you. Vote against them tactically wherever you are, show them that the sentiment is mutual.


Demetrius said...

The curious thing is that there are increasing amounts of toxic stuff in the air that nobody seems to be concerned with. Yet it is likely to be much worse than tobacco and is already much more pervasive and damaging.

Anonymous said...

Howard Stoate, my MP again. I see him out jogging occasionally. Next time I'm going to run the idiot over.


Quiet_Man said...

Couldn't bring myself to vote labour at any time, mind you I feel pretty much the same way about the Tories and the Lib Dems too, all authoritarian and all far more interested in what they can do to me rather than for me.

JJ said...

It’s impossible to disagree with your excellent post DP, and as we have since learned it was never about health, because of the reasons that you state.

I hop you don’t mind DP if I reproduce an answer I received from Lord Stoddart just before Christmas last year. It does have an overall resonance.

Here is his written answer.

Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your message of 8th December sent through “Write to Them” concerning anti-smoking legislation.

I believe that the reason you have been unsuccessful in receiving answers to your questioning of anti-smoking organisations is that they are unable to provide any. According to answers to my own questions to government, smoking is not recorded as a cause of death on death certificates so the figures of deaths from smoking used by government and anti-smoking organisations are based not on fact but on conjecture, statistics and junk science.

I am afraid that it is most unlikely that the ban on smoking in public places will be reversed and, indeed, there has recently been new legislation which will force retailers to cover up smoking products displays and bring in a complete ban on the sale of tobacco products from vending machines.

Although I do not smoke I have opposed most, if not all, the restrictive measures against smoking and smokers on the grounds of individual freedom. However, I fear that the anti-smoking lobby is so powerful and widespread that opponents of their zealotry are not only ignored but are also vilified for trying to protect the freedoms of that significant minority of United Kingdom citizens who choose to smoke.

Yours sincerely,

Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Dick Puddlecote said...

Thanks for that, JJ.

I noted this bit ...

"I fear that the anti-smoking lobby is so powerful and widespread ..."

To what I would assume to be the horror of Labour supporters, the reason for that is money.

Hence my latest post.

Anonymous said...

You can grow Tobacco in the UK .
It grows quite well.
Even outdoors.
google tobacco seeds !

timbone said...

In December 2007 I put something on youtube
One of the things I said was that the government were not talkiing about health, what they were really saying was that they didn't like smoking and they were going to make it as difficult as possible for us smokers.
On the BBC news on Monday, they quoted Andy Burnham as having said that very thing.