Friday 31 August 2012

Wish You Were Here

It's become obvious to some that the tabloid junk we enjoy here has been sparse of late and the e-mail came flooding in!

There's nothing sinister afoot, merely my enjoying myself in another continent where clouds have apparently been banned, and where a swimming pool the size of Texas is nothing extraordinary.

So consider this as a kind of post card (hand-written too, you notice?); an exceptional one seeing as it reaches you before the sender arrives back in the UK.

It's been a wonderful period of indulging excessively in pleasures our authorities would love to see banned, in company with people from Belgium, Russia, Belarus, South Africa, Mexico, the USA and Southport, to name but a few. And despite Mrs P's best efforts during our time here, I am still confident of not being bankrupt when we return to the UK late tonight.

So just in case you've been wondering, normal windmill-tilting will resume here soon.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Fake Charities: Making The World Grey And Dull, One Day At A Time

Miserable fake charity Sustain has been busy spending your taxes recently ... by complaining about online games for children.

An advergame on for Chewits confectionery, titled "Taste Adventure" featured Chewie the dinosaur. The aim of the game was to move the Chewie avatar around the landscape and to find and eat nine different flavoured Chewit sweets.


The Children's Food Campaign (Sustain) objected that the game actively encouraged and rewarded images of excessive consumption of the product.
The horror!

The big green cartoon dinosaur wasn't the only one to be classed as evil while these kindly witches think of the children, though. Oh no, the Honey Monster is a nasty piece of work too!


The website, for Sugar Puffs cereal, featured the "Munching Monster" game, in which the Honey Monster had to eat as many Sugar Puffs as possible and avoid the wasps.


The Children's Food Campaign (Sustain) challenged whether the game encouraged excessive consumption of the product and poor nutritional habits in children.
The Child Catcher had nothing on these joyless, whey-faced troughers, did he? Have tbey nothing else to do with our stolen cash than trawl kids' internet sites looking to take offence?

Where in the hell are these cuts we're supposed to be seeing? Because these people are beyond contempt. I can just imagine their domestic conversations:

"Hello, Dear. What did you do at work today?"
"I spent government cash attempting to stop kids having fun."


H/T The eagle-eyed Harridanic site.

Friday 24 August 2012

Common Sense Takes Centre Stage In New Zealand

I've mentioned before that the tobacco control industry are mounting an almost identical plain packs campaign in New Zealand as that seen here, complete with strangely familiar website and sound bites. No doubt their advocates have been busily spending NZ government cash (again, identical to UK troughers) jetting for meetings in London to pick up tips in the past few months.

It seems there is resistance brewing though. New Zealand's largest newspaper has delivered stinging criticism of the plan in their editorial yesterday.
There comes a point in the pursuit of public health that puritanism becomes oppressive. Plain packs would not be the first reduction of tobacco companies' commercial rights; they may indeed be the last. If brands can no longer be distinguished even on the packet, they might be destroyed.

Property rights are important, even for industries for whom we have distaste. Governments should not remove them unless it is necessary. Plain-pack legislation would be plain theft.

Additionally, a hugely popular blogger once described as New Zealand's "most notorious" has come out in forthright opposition.

The other side, as usual, is the same tired collection of emotional blackmailers and selfish, state-paid quangoistas.

Good to see that some common sense is intruding on the global carnival of self-congratulatory, evidence-free bollocks, isn't it? If our antipodean allies need anything further, they could do worse than take on board some of the testimony from these respected people telling it like it is in real life, rather than cloud cuckoo land.

I'm sure we'll be returning for regular updates on New Zealand in the future. Let's hope they can deliver the same comprehensive V-sign that we in the UK did.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Upcoming Booze Beanos To Berwick

As the SNP in Scotland strives for independence, the best argument unionists have at their disposal is that the dribbling pillocks in charge haven't got a clue what they're doing.
PLANS to attract Scots on “booze cruise” trips to northern English towns after a minimum alcohol price is introduced have been set out by political leaders south of the Border.

Labour councillors on Northumberland County Council are warning the area could miss out on a “golden opportunity” by not setting aside cash to entice Scottish drinkers with an advertising campaign.
Yes, well just about everyone with a brain knew that this would happen, didn't they?
But the plans were slammed as “utterly irresponsible” by Nationalist politicians north of the Border, while Labour in Scotland distanced itself from the move.
Oh my mistake! We're talking politicians here, aren't we. The type who wouldn't understand common sense if it morphed into the Michelin Man and ate their children.
Nationalist Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is an utterly irresponsible idea from Labour. There are far better ways for a council to use their time and money than by promoting the sale of discounted alcohol".
Much like there are far, far better ways for a government which aspires to independence to spend taxpayer cash than on interfering in the public's meagre pleasures during a fucking recession, you mean? I quite agree, Paul.

Naturally, since politicians - even local ones - are the cretinous robotic contrarians we have come to despise, the council's Lib Dems and Tories automatically came out against Labour's blindingly obvious idea.

It would be toe-curlingly pathetic enough if an independence-minded government encountered unexpected consequences that they didn't foresee, but the entire population saw this one coming! I know it's a long way south, but have they not heard of English Channel booze cruises before?

The rest of Europe must be laughing in their local firewater at Scotland's incompetence, which appears to amount to a policy whereby they pass a law ... and then hope those who are not affected by it cease to act as humans have done for millennia. I can imagine cash-strapped Aegean states gagging for the opportunity to swindle these soft Jimmys out of their North Sea oil in the future.

At least the SNP have noticed that this is a cringing embarrassment. But, in their tiny minds, not for them.
Embarrassment for Labour over border booze plan
Good grief.

So, by distorting the market for products people really want to buy and creating the opportunity, it is those who want to meet the demand who are mad ... and not the idiots who created it. Fucking amazing logic. The people are to be told what to do and lump it, anyone who caters for what the people want are disgraceful?

We're so far through the looking glass here, I'm half expecting the SNP to announce that the Queen of Hearts is to succeed Alex Salmond as First Minister.

On a serious note, looking a bit further on presents a disturbing possible future policy for Scots.

Currently it's legal to buy a can of lager in England and then drive back to Scotland with it. Are the Nationalists going to try to ban or tax that in some way? Will new legislation be tabled to deem it smuggling, with 'limits' on what is carried from Berwick to Dalkeith, complete with border checks?

You know, I'm understanding the lamp posts/piano wire proposal more and more with each passing day.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Shining Light On What Crawls Beneath Prohibition Rocks

The Register today published a must-read article on minimum alcohol pricing which picks up on many themes discussed here regularly.

Leading on OFT condemnation of the tomfoolery, unintended consequences we can expect to see are explained.
The report [the OFT] refer to is here [PDF], and despite being hefty, is well worth a read. We learn that minimum pricing, not so surprisingly, causes knock-on price rises. After France introduced retail price restrictions, food prices rose at almost twice the general rate of inflation, and the pricing shackles played a part. Irish families paid €500m thanks to rules preventing below-cost selling.
On bent studies:
In 1999, American economist Thomas Dee found that, in the States, "beer taxes have relatively small and statistically insignificant effects on teen drinking". It isn't what the prohibitionists want to hear.

The watchdog also quoted a notorious Sheffield University meta-meta study on alcohol pricing and demand. The Sheffield academics knew about Dee's beer tax finding and wrote in their study: "Having taken this potential confounding variable into account, the effect of taxes on drinking disappeared." Having acknowledged this point, they then ignored it.
On policy-based evidence:
Some corners of academia, particularly social policy research, are flourishing by presenting evidence that conveniently meets the demand from politicians, which helps stimulate future funding. Report authors have an active role in the development of policy, tailoring their conclusions to government strategy. (Here's a comical illustration.)
And on fake charities and/or government lobbying government.
In addition to manufacturing evidence, governments and their officials also use your money to generate demand for their policies.

In 2008, the largest funder of the [Alliance Health Foundation] was the European Union, and the foundation raised just £70 (seven-zero pounds) in donations from the general public. So much for independence. The modern alcohol campaign is really the temperance movement in return - and the AHF provides the link between prohibitionism past and present.
Little by little, the chicanery and outright lies of the prohibitionist industry are beginning to be more recognised. Very encouraging.

Please do go read the whole thing.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

A Tale Of Two Deceitful Campaigns

Blind health idealists in the SNP-riddled Scottish Assembly seem to be having a bit of trouble selling minimum alcohol pricing to sections of the public who - unlike them - are not insane.

March was particularly difficult when the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) - the trendiest think tank of the past year for 'progressives' - theorised that shifting cash from consumer to industry is a particularly silly approach. In the same month, Doctors taking part in a BMJ poll weighed in with their own condemnation.
Will minimum alcohol pricing reduce problem drinking?
Yes: 258 (33%)
No: 527 (67%)
The Office of Fair Trading handed out another kick in the gonads for the plan last week by filling in some detail to support the IFS opinion.
Plans to outlaw cheap alcohol will backfire, says watchdog

David Cameron's plans to outlaw cheap alcohol are likely to backfire as supermarkets will be encouraged to “sell more, not less” drink, the Office of Fair Trading has warned.

The watchdog is concerned there will be harmful “unintended consequences” if the Coalition presses ahead with plans to impose a minimum 40p price per unit of alcohol.

Its biggest concern is that shops will have an “incentive” to promote their cheapest ranges of drinks because they will benefit from higher margins on these products.

In evidence to MPs, the watchdog said supermarkets and the drinks industry would gain “additional profit for every unit of low-cost alcohol that they sell”.
In the face of such united opposition from three respected sources, Scottish politicians did the only thing they could possibly do. They ripped up the legislation put their fingers in their ears and sang a loud song.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "International evidence shows minimum pricing will reduce consumption and reduce alcohol-related harm.
So there you have it. Large profits for industry - and a higher unit price - will lead, inevitably, to a reduction in alcohol consumption."

Apparently, though, this cast-iron economic truth from those sages in the public health business seems to be reversed when it comes to tobacco.
So what can we expect locally from Big Tobacco [once plain packaging is introduced]? First, we will see dramatic price falls in the retail price of tobacco. Many will think “these [famous name brand] cigarettes are costing me $3 to $4 a pack more than cheap unknown brands in exactly the same packaging except for the small brand name. They taste pretty much the same as cheap brands, so why should I pay out all the extra?”

Tobacco companies today chase the “value market” because they know that total sales volume is steady and the margins on high-end brands is where they profit most. [...] Plain packaging strips the industry of this vital source of revenue ...
You see, the silver bullet for tobacco control is the complete opposite. Small profits for industry - and a lower unit price - will lead, inevitably, to a reduction in tobacco consumption.

Quite obviously, they cannot both be correct so at least one lobby must be lying. Yes?

Or maybe both.

Consider this. Minimum pricing proponents claim that the profits windfall their idea will bring to cheaper alcohol is irrelevant, presumably because any extra investment in marketing those brands will have no effect on consumption. The public are too clever for that.

Meanwhile, plain packaging proponents are claiming that just glimpsing a coloured packet is enough to send members of the public - especially children - into a frenzy of consumerism through their abysmal lack of willpower and self restraint. Cos we're all stupid automatons, see?

It seems that, if you work in public health, any old argument will do as long as it's backed up with enthusiastic, state-funded bullshit.

Monday 20 August 2012

Sock Puppet Report Touches A Nerve?

A new graphic has appeared on the Cancer Research UK website, most probably following something the IEA said recently.
In the last 15 years, state funding of charities in Britain has increased significantly. 27,000 charities are now dependent on the government for more than 75 per cent of their income and the ‘voluntary sector’ receives more money from the state than it receives in voluntary donations.
It looks something like this.

Clever, isn't it?

You see, they were part of the Smokefree Coalition - who certainly did receive financial assistance from the government - which bullied through the smoking ban, but that doesn't invalidate their claim as it wasn't paid to them directly.

They also specifically mention 'research', to tie in with their corporate merger-led brand identity.

Of course, we know that they don't just involve themselves in such activities. They have a tobacco advisory group as well as political specialists in advancing legislation towards banning sun beds and introducing daft policies such as minimum alcohol pricing.

They are currently spending much donated cash trying to get plain packaging of tobacco past gullible MPs and recently spunked £56k - raised by well-meaning women running around a field - to advance an inept anti-tobacco vanity project by the University of Bath (and a Dutch political activist) which can't even get its facts straight.

No matter their protestations, it's still undeniable that the country's biggest charity-related business (yes, business) - complete with stratospherically-remunerated executives - spend only 69p of each pound on what donors expect, while indulging themselves in activities which have sod all to do with 'research'.

It's not so much what they receive by dubious means, as what they do with donated cash which is the problem.

If you want to 'support the work' of an entity happy to see your charity donations going on political projects which have nothing to do with 'researching' cancer - and which may be the opposite of your views - knock yourself out. Personally, I'll give my cash to charities which are less disingenuous, less focussed on political revelry, and preferably local.

Nice to see that they're suitably rattled by the IEA's report, mind.

Saturday 18 August 2012

I Can Think Of Better Ways To Defend Playing Fields

Those renowned lefty patriotic (oxymoron?) rabble-rousers 38 Degrees have been tapping into the tidal wave of Olympic frenzy for their latest campaign, I see.
The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has quietly relaxed the rules protecting school playing fields, opening the door for them to be sold off to developers.

Without their playing fields it’s hard to imagine the children of today will ever match this year’s record Olympic medal haul.
It's not hard to imagine at all, actually. Looking at where we won our medals at London 2012, a lack of playing fields isn't going to harm future medal tallies that much.

I count six of those medals - out of a total of 65 - being attributable to access to playing fields, but only at schools before those who are good enough move inevitably to local athletics tracks, of which there are already many state-funded examples.

No. If we want to match or improve upon London 2012, just create more rowing, cycling and equestrian venues along with better tarmacked roads, a few extra swimming pools and improved sailing facilities. Also, I think we could do a bit better in the shooting if we abolished some of the silly laws which hamper potential Olympians, and a more pro-active emphasis on violence could see the boxing and taekwondo yield increase.

I don't think 38 Degrees would be too happy about a lot of the above though, somehow.

Still, political campaigns don't bother with accuracy these days. Emotion and righteous anger is enough.

Link Tank 18/08

Make time for the top three at least, can ya?

Nanny state meets Naomi Klein

Olympics, you looked better on the telly

Brilliant homage to "an excitable Geordie banshee in a blender"

Liberal (ha!) Democrats advocate a 20% sin tax on fizzy drinks

Pint of beer for the lady

The left have Star Trek and Dr Who, but Batman is right of centre

It doesn't matter if people are being poisoned elsewhere, the irrational hatred of McDonald's must continue

Brands expert declares plain packaging 'misguided'

eBay to ban things stupid people buy

Out of date confectionery fed cows

Velociraptor spiders - no, really!

Friday 17 August 2012

Exporting Confidence Tricks

If a cleverly-constructed lie is worth doing, it seems the tobacco control industry feel it's worth doing more than once.

In an attempt to con the public and MPs (the latter will obviously be more susceptible) of the dramatic need to place tobacco in plain packaging, Cancer Research UK ran a targeted online video which deserves plaudits for its clever manipulation of the truth. Oh, and also the genius camera panning which could almost have been scripted to coincide with expected responses from kids, if one was being cynical.

It went something like this.

If you've ever been a subject of market research, you will know how skilled interviewers are at getting the results their clients require so I won't insult your intelligence - like CRUK - by going into detail about how easy it is to create such a video with enough cash at your disposal from donors believing they are helping to find a cause for cancer.

Of course, in the real - unscripted and unedited world - if you put coloured anything in front of kids they would say the same thing.

Washing liquid, weed killer, candles, condom packets, you name it. They're all multi-coloured but kids have no interest in them whatsoever. It's a mantra in the advertising industry that if you don't notice the ad, it's not aimed at you.

Which is why - by CRUK's own admission - kids don't even notice cigarette packaging.

However, the fact that the film failed over here has not dissuaded New Zealand campaigners from attempting an identical confidence trick as they start down the same counter-productive road. Spot the difference.

And, because some don't speak English there, in two languages!

I'd say they have more money than sense, except for the fact that it's almost certainly not theirs that they are wasting on identikit video sophistry.

Thursday 16 August 2012

One Egg McMuffin Too Much

On the day that Australia rejoiced at the endorsement of plain packaging for tobacco, one of the most prevalent arguments for a precedent not being set was that fizzy drinks, fast food and alcohol are perfectly acceptable in moderation whereas just one cigarette is deadly.

It hasn't hampered the world's best cyclist too much, mind (click through for pics if you haven't seen them).
Stripping off to reveal his athletic body in the eatery, the 32-year-old sportsman soon wandered outside where he treated himself to a glass of wine and a cigarette.

Letting a pal light up his nicotine fix for him, Wiggo seemed happy and relaxed as he enjoyed the balmy evening.
Meanwhile, in America, Michelle Obama was bristling when another World Champion admitted to following her two gold gymnastics medals with - shock horror - a McDonald's Egg McMuffin!

It doesn't play very well for Mrs Obama's snobby crusade against fast food when a world class gymnast proves that anything is OK in moderation, does it?

Now, ask yourself this. If it's wrong for a finely tuned athlete to enjoy just one breakfast burger, what do you think they're going to say about your more lax body ingesting the same? Not to mention, of course, the no safe level of alcohol claim for alcohol or paralysing fizzy drinks.

It's not so much if branding will be taken from other products now, as which one will be next.

Half A Million Strong

If this is classed as 'overwhelming support', yeah?

Well, in that case, what enthusiastic adjective should describe this?
The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association has revealed that public concern about the unintended consequences of plain packaging has generated in the region of half a million responses opposing its introduction in the UK.

This unprecedented response represents views from thousands of members of the public as well as retailers, packaging companies, marketing and design firms, manufacturers, wholesalers, politicians, employers, employees, business groups, trade unions, the Intellectual Property community, international business, trade associations and the law enforcement community.
Your move, Lansley.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Profiting From Making Everything Illegal

No matter how much the sane majority accept that prohibition doesn't work and is actually extremely dangerous - ample historical evidence is incapable of lying unlike those who deny it - there are still those who wander into the territory as if organised crime had never existed.

Illustrating this nicely is the 42 minute John Stossel film spotted by Sam Bowman at the ASI. There's no need to watch all of it if you're pushed for time, although I'd recommend you do as it details how destructive bans are on anything from kids selling lemonade in the US right through to criminalisation of drugs and prostitution.

Lives ruined, enjoyment curtailed, unintended consequences, individuals who claim to know better than you do, it's all there.

However, if you watch nothing else, please do scroll to 16:50 in the film and watch just four minutes or so until 21:20 as it refers to a case illustrating the racket in licensing which is at the root of most of the bans we are now doomed to face. It also cuts to the very basis of this blog's existence.

I wrote about the state use of licensing as a prohibition tool - with reference that day to the raw milk sales mentioned in Stossel's film - back in November 2010, and have done so many times since.
State officials will claim that they are acting purely in the interests of public health; that it's vital to protect consumers from the scary consequences of eating and drinking substances which haven't been treated as government demands. But, again, if the customer has accepted risk to be able to sample something different, why is there any need for intervention, let alone one involving such an invasive show of force?
There isn't, of course. What we see with these restrictions is always a mixture of satisfying corporate interests and assuaging public health tax troughers who need a campaign to hang their next salary claim from.

It's a redistribution of wealth from those who want to satisfy demand from a willing public, to those who would prefer the cash flows in their direction instead.

Under the guise of looking after you, a massive industry has arisen which has just one goal - filling their own pockets at your expense. It's why you are not allowed to trade between each other - even if you're quite willing to pay due taxes - without some state-funded intermediary ripping you off for a huge amount into the bargain and making your life that little bit less free for their own greed.

In the case of raw milk, they want the taxes, and get them. But it's not enough. They also want the licensing fees and they need to feed the public health community with funds that no-one in the original transaction has any interest in giving them except under the threat of imprisonment, and lobbying has ensured that corporate interests are protected under the same regime.

It's a system which often sees proudly left-leaning public health idiots batting on the same side as the industries they despise. Even Al Capone would applaud such a racket for its genius in lucratively exploiting the ignorance of both politicians and tax-leeching public health dullards, especially since I don't reckon any of them have any inkling that they are being played.

Take Simon Chapman, for example. He recently tweeted this image to ridicule America's stance on guns.

His angle is that it is absurd that guns are legal in the US, but cheeses are banned. Good point, Simon! I mean, who on Earth would get something as inoffensive as cheese banned?

Err, the public health racket would! As the video above proves conclusively, people like Simon Chapman are the problem here. He uses cheese as an example, but it's his hideous ilk who got cheeses banned in the first place on the pretext that the state should have ultimate jurisdiction over your body and the risks you are prepared to take.

Chapman - and others - regularly advance a defence of the nanny state with the motto "While you were sleeping last night the nanny state silently protected you". But while we are all sleeping he, and the dozy parliamentary tossers his kind are easily able to con, are ripping away our little pleasures and fundamental freedoms for financial gain.

And they condemn McDonald's for ruining lives for profit? Sheesh.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

How To Rig A Consultation By Excluding Relevant Government Departments

Back in May, I highlighted a couple of cynical ways that the consultation on plain packaging had been rigged to reach a pre-ordained result.

Firstly, the Department of Health ensured that the people who would be tasked with assessing the impact of any proposed legislation will solely be those with a particular interest in ensuring that it goes through without hindrance.

The second addressed the curious decision by the DoH to commission supporting evidence for the consultation which was written by the very same people campaigning for plain packaging, complete with references to their own 'studies'.

Both were in contravention of established rules laid down to ensure democratic transparency and open government.

The thinking behind these two slimy departures from process is now made crystal clear on reading the plain packs consultation response from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents [pdf].
While the lead Department is listed as Health under the Impact Assessment, there are none listed as ‘other’ Departments being consulted on this policy. This is a huge concern for us as the concessions made for small shops within the Tobacco Display Ban legislation (specifically the 3 year delay for small shops and the 10-fold increase in permissible display) only came about through rigorous debate with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Somewhere, a penny drops.

You see, the Department of Health were mighty pissed off in 2009 that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) had the temerity to raise concerns about the damage the display ban would have on retail shops. They were forced to water down the proposals as a result, and that just won't do.

So, this time, they have excluded the DBIS entirely to ensure that no-one can raise a silly objection like, you know, 58,000 small businesses - which are overwhelmingly against the idea for good reason - being shafted on the whim of the lucratively tax-funded tobacco control industry.

As far as these hideous people are concerned, every newsagent, corner shop, convenience store and kiosk in the country can go to the wall as long as a tiny few tobacco controllers can add another line on their CV and keep the tax receipts coming.

They not only want to rig the evidence for the consultation, they also wish to shut out a hugely relevant fellow government department for fear that it might raise valid concerns.

Thanks to the level of responses against plain packaging, this approach - well, let's call a spade a spade here, it's civil service corruption - may be exposed, and the methods employed by the pro-stupid lobby and their Whitehall cockroach chums can feel the uncomfortable warmth of a spotlight on their perversion of democratic process.

This is why if this plain packs consultation is a sham - as many have concluded - and it turns out that the legislation is tabled regardless of the overwhelming tide of objection, it's by far the end of the matter.

Instead, it will finally prove beyond any vague hint of doubt that government is broken; consultations officially not worth the cyber-bytes they are written on; and the civil service - in every single area - fit only for mass sackings and re-briefing to focus arrogant minds.

And with the newly-protected Freedom of Information Act at our disposal, that's when the fun will really start.

Monday 13 August 2012

Mascot Watch 20: Gruffalo Phil Edition

Our esteemed mascot has been somewhat popular with the media of late. Last month jovially guesting on Radio 4, and now being gently quizzed on his book preferences in The Spectator.

Some unusual choices there, but I think we can all concur with our Phil on this answer.
4) Which book do you think best sums up ‘now’?

1984 by George Orwell

The article also affords us a chance to give something in return for his sterling efforts on our behalf.
3) Which literary character would you most like to be?

The Gruffalo!
Thanks to the craft of Lawson, your wish is our command, Philip (albeit from the stage version).

H/T Lleweton via FB

High Noon For Herr Bartlett

Just to brighten up your Monday, how about an update on the fortunes of everyone's favourite comedy councillor?

Previously, in The Wacky World Of Herr Bartlett, we have seen our balding buffoon humiliated in a series of votes, before jumping seat last minute to avoid being challenged for his place on Stony Stratford Town Council. He then pulled another fast one to try to escape censure by the standards board, only to be landed with a five month suspension anyway.

He is due to resume his trademark irritation of Stony Stratford residents in October ... or is he? AboutMyArea/MK11 reports today that he may have run into a big fat obstacle made of his own ineptitude.
AboutMyArea/MK11 learned over the weekend that there is to be a by-election in the Stony Stratford South West Ward.

Paul Bartlett failed to sign his declaration of acceptance of office at or before the first meeting of the council following the May elections.

As was its right, the council agreed to declare a casual vacancy in the Stony Stratford South West ward. Accordingly, the vacancy was advertised on notice boards in the town.
For someone who has gone to great lengths in jealously guarding his unaccountability to the electorate, that is what I call an almighty cock-up! Unfortunately for Bartlett, three candidates have put themselves forward to unseat him.

The election is on September 6th, but already messages of sadness are appearing on the Stony Stratford Facebook page at the thought that such a popular chap may well be voted into obscurity. Pfft!

Does anyone else hear the Laurel & Hardy theme tune whenever this guy's name is mentioned?

Sunday 12 August 2012

Buying Support At £2 A Pop ... Out Of Our Taxes

There was much triumphalism from the Plain Packs Protect campaign blog as the consultation reached a close this weekend, but you have to wonder who they think they are trying to kid. Themselves, perhaps?
Shouting from the rafters in netiquette-unsavoury capitals - coupled with an exclamation mark which is puerile and desperate under the circumstances - they have announced a figure which must surely be a disappointment to them if they were being honest.
Over 200,000 people in the UK have backed a move to place tobacco products in plain packaging ...
Of course, as we have been informed by their Australian ally, Simon Chapman, this is a pathetic result.

On that basis, the Plain Packs campaign have declared that 99.55% of the British adult population failed to find any merit in such a daft scheme.

OK, I'm having a bit of a giggle at their expense there. However, it's important to do so because the pro-silly idea team are doing their best to hide the fact that their campaign has been a comprehensive disaster. Instead, they seem to see this as a ringing endorsement, despite almost certainly being swamped by more numerous signatures against plain packs, along with the disapproval of businesses small and large, unions, and even the police!

The Plain Packs Protect home page declares that they have 203,114 'supporters' which "reflects the total amount of people who have signed up to support the plain packaging of tobacco products, via the Plain Packs Protect Partnership, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK websites".

Marketing Week further reports that ...
The charity’s campaign has been run as part of a coalition effort of nearly 200 health organisations
And, of course, we know here - because we broke the story - that just one of said organisations was afforded £468,462.06 of taxpayers' money to finance huge billboards, a national online campaign, and - according to a few readers here - professional signature-gatherers bearing iPads.

Just going by that near half a million pounds figure - without factoring in the cost of man hours expended by other PCTs and regional smoker-botherers apart from Smokefree South West - we can see that the Plain Packs Protect campaign effectively paid more than £2.00 per signature!

Not of their own money, of course. It has to be emphasised that this was £2.00 of your taxes they wasted on each and every one.

But it's not hard to understand why they found signatures hard to come by, is it? Their case failed to pass any kind of believability test, probably because no-one - anywhere - knows of any person who was driven to start smoking because of a coloured packet! Just reading through the overwhelmingly negative comments at the BBC and Guardian web pages proves that it was a darn site easier to say no to signing their silly proposal than it was to support it.

They had the ear of government; they were allowed to lobby parliament on at least two occasions whereas their opponents weren't; they were shovelled taxpayer cash to do so, and yet they still weren't able to even vaguely convince the man or woman in the street that banning colours will have any effect on stopping youngsters from smoking.

It's quite clear that, on this issue at least, the public - well, 99.55% of them, anyway - are not as stupid as anti-smokers think they are.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Winning Olympians Just Keep Misbehaving!

Following recent articles here on the shocking behaviour of successful Olympians who have dared to enjoy frowned-upon products, many thanks to fellow jewel thieves who have since pointed out a few more examples.

Simon Cooke spotted these sporty Spaniards ignoring the nannies.
On Wednesday, [Joel] González won Spain’s first ever taekwondo gold medal, whilst [Brigitte] Yagüe took home a silver.

Once the competition was over and they had received their medals, the pair had to do some press calls and go through anti-doping tests. When they finally returned to the Olympic Village, it was 3am and they were exhausted. “We contemplated going out to celebrate, but decided against it as we still have a colleague competing,” said Joel. “All we wanted to do was go back and eat. We attacked McDonalds,” adds Yagüe.
Not to be outdone, Elsie Tanner (I suspect that's not a real name) dropped a link in the comments to Britain's boxing gold medallist, Nicola Adams, favouring chain joints and a few bevies over pomegranate juice and a bag of pine nuts.
"I'll probably go to Nando's to celebrate. A few drinks? Why not?"
Why not, indeed, it's kinda the motto around here and in direct contravention to the whining of shrivelled joy-haters.

Meanwhile Séan Billings thankfully brought the best of the lot - German Discus champ Robert Harting - to my attention.
Now THAT'S how to celebrate Olympic gold! 'Incredible Hulk' of discus tears off his shirt then runs 100m hurdles in incredible display of joy

- Harting then tried to take one of the Olympic flames before going on drinking session on German cruise liner

- After alcohol-fuelled session he fell asleep on a train and had his Olympic Village accreditation stolen
Almost deserves a gold medal in itself, doesn't it?

Wunderbar, Robert, wahrlich wunderbar!

Link Tank 11/08

Note to self: Steal next door's strimmer before next Saturday morning.

"In the 21st century, they can put a robot on Mars, but they apparently can’t construct a smoking room that won’t poison innocent passersby"

File under truly important questions: Is beer better out of a can or a bottle?

Investigating Twitter bots and the pictures that accompany them

Australian court rules motel owner can’t ban prostitute from taking clients to her room

Has no Olympic Games ever increased sports participation?

Fisking the Daily Mail on e-cigs

Another ban for Australia - this time, video games ... again

Devising a scale to assess Sudoku difficulty

Italian investigators want to know how Hitler ended up on wine labels

Or, alternatively, 3 year old kids are about as clever as a parrot

Bears on the lash

Friday 10 August 2012

Can't Get No Satisfaction, Mayor Bloomberg Style

The headline is a pun in itself, but I'm sure there are plenty others to come (ooh, matron!).
City officials pull the plug on vibrator giveaway, leaving thousands dissatisfied

This has to be quote of the summer.
“There’s a lot more important things the city should be worried about than a free-vibrator giveaway,” complained Park Slope bar owner Melody Henry, 42. “Bloomberg doesn’t want anyone to have fun. You can’t have a giant soda. You can’t have a vibrator.”
Any fule kno that only Mayor Bloomberg is allowed to shaft citizens in New York!

Fun And Games With Calculators

"Truly desperate" is how Taking Liberties described a bunch of lefty, anti-every-business, hunter-gatherer wannabes* being irresponsibly conned into promoting the plain packs campaign.

But it's also an accurate description of the tobacco control industry's reaction to the news that 235,000 people had rejected their silly idea.

Firstly came the "you're all stupid" defence, from someone who tweeted and then immediately blocked any further conversation (it's a common trait, isn't it?).

It was followed by world class truth-twister Simon Chapman (who also blocks anyone with differing views, coincidentally).

And fawning like-minds, of course.

You know what? For once, I think they may have a point, as highlighted by another antipodean leather-bonce who was unimpressed with the 235,000 total.

All this negative energy towards people who engage in the political process, eh? Is it not the fundamental root of a consultation to welcome opposing views? Not for the dictators of tobacco control, no. It was expected to be an uncontested stroll and they're smarting.

Whatever subsequently happens with the daft plan packs idea, it's clear to these people that they've tested the public's credulity to breaking point, and they're worried. Worried enough to torture stats into 'proof' that a record number of responses is somehow inconsequential.

OK, let's apply the same mathematical wizardry to their own propaganda, shall we?
More than 75,000 Cancer Research UK supporters want to ban tobacco branding

Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco policy, said: “Our submission to the consultation outlines the evidence to back plain packaging and the public overwhelmingly support it."
"Overwhelmingly", love? No, it's 0.0011% of the population taking the base as tweeted above. And, on Chapman's logic, it means 99.83% of the adult population didn't sign CRUK's petition.

I suppose this blog wouldn't be complete without highlighting Debs Arnott burbling her customary poppycock, would it? Here you go then.
ASH chief executive Deborah Arnott said: "Shown what plain standardised packs could look like they are overwhelmingly in support of this proposal. They want to protect our children and save the next generation from the death and disease caused by smoking.”
That's right. All tiny fraction of 1% of them 'overwhelmingly' said that.

Hey, I didn't make the rules, Debs, I'd advise you to sternly look to your own for that.

Using the tobacco control calculator, it'll be interesting to find out what huge majority of the public didn't sign any of the petitions in favour of plain packs when the campaign announces their final total in the next few days, won't it?

* Description with apologies to one self-declared 'lefty never-smoker' who e-mailed to say he is none too happy with Avaaz's gullibility.

Thursday 9 August 2012

You WILL Take The Bus, Porky

A couple of years ago, seeds were sown for an innovative new line of attack on obesity.
Many obese people face an increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. On average, their lives will be shortened by nine years.

But some might be unwittingly putting the lives of others at risk too.

These additional fatalities are occurring not in Britain's cardiac units, but on the country's roads, due to people falling asleep at the wheel of cars and lorries.
If intended as an attempt to run the old 'your behaviour is harming others' routine so beloved of the anti-smoking industry, it didn't gain much traction.

See, the problem of people eating what they choose is a real stumbling block for your archetypal finger-wagger. Those who spend their entire existence devising strategies on how to interfere in the lives of everyone else are, thus far, frustrated because even our absurdly bovine public are utterly unconvinced that it is an issue for anyone but the over-eater themselves.

"Passive obesity" as a concept is just too far-fetched for anyone to swallow (pun not entirely intended). Plus, any remedy - such as banning McDonald's, for example, or other restrictions on free choice of food - is fundamentally illiberal to such an extent that it would threaten the carefully-crafted 'caring' persona which public health relies on. When plain packaging of Bird's Eye frozen burgers finally arrives, the game will be up and the public will know that they're being dictated to by nosey, joyless, petty-minded, anti-social pecksniffs ... which, of course, they have been for quite a while already without fully realising it.

Still, it would appear that the obesity and road deaths approach is considered to have some mileage yet (pun not entirely etc) as it has re-surfaced in Seattle.
A new study claims that obesity could not only increase a driver’s risk of being in a car accident, but also result in more severe injuries.

The study, conducted by Canadian scientists at the University of Laval and published in the Journal of Transportation Safety & Security, claimed that morbidly obese drivers may be at increased risk of a crash due to weight-related health complications.
A matter for them only, you might say, but then this hasn't stopped laws forbidding riding motorbikes without helmets; driving without a seat belt; and, in some countries, riding a push-bike without wearing a piece of foam on your head.
Additionally, car designs that are less than sympathetic to larger frames could leave obese drivers in more critical condition following an accident.

Researchers additionally claim that carmakers should try to design vehicles whose safety features are more adjustable, in order to provide protection for a broader range of drivers.
Of course, this would increase overheads and make cars more expensive, probably for everyone, but collective punishment has never been an obstacle for the dedicated public health tax leech.

In all observable and documented legislative criteria, the 'something-must-be-done' crowd have identified this as a potential winner with governments. It's imperative, d'you see, to protect the overweight from themselves. If big, bad motor manufacturers won't do it, the state must surely step in. Not too onerous a problem, just a medical to ascertain BMI once every 10 years along with the renewed photo, and just think of the environmental benefits once anyone registering over 35 is taken off the roads, eh?
Several previous studies were also examined in the process, including one which found that found men with body mass indexes greater than 30 were more likely to suffer facial, spinal, head and upper chest injuries in a collision than those with BMIs below 30.
You'll get the bus, fat boy, and like it. It's for your own good, after all, and you'll appreciate the enforced exercise after a few weeks.

And just for good measure ...
Another study reportedly referenced by University of Laval’s medical researchers found that 800,000 drivers in the America with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea were involved in illness-related car accidents in the year 2000, which supported their claims that obesity-related ailments also contribute to road hazards.
Well, you didn't expect the 'passive obesity' idea to be forgotten entirely, did you? You never know when it might come in handy.

H/T NorCal David G

Non-Existent Domino Theory Spotted in NZ

Listen. I'd pass on this kind of stuff if it weren't for the fact that it wouldn't be reciprocated by those who are paid out of your taxes not to.

It's just that Deborah Arnott's kneejerk response to criticism over plain packaging of tobacco is looking like becoming the most ill-judged public health pronouncement in history!

I know I mentioned it for the umpteenth time last week, but for new readers ...
"[...] The “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."
It doesn't get any less embarrassing for Debs. Now, even New Zealand is weighing in to make her look even more stupid than she probably feels for uttering such shite.
Health officials worried about an obesity epidemic want fast-food advertising dropped from public property, including bus shelters, and are questioning fast-food and soft-drink sponsorship of public events.

Dr Toomath said advertising was a major environmental factor which could be changed. The paper to the board's public health committee described a "cityscape saturated in advertising" for high-calorie, low-nutrient food and sugary drinks.

She said reducing the chance to buy types of food was the initial step but moves on sponsorship could follow. Asked about Auckland City Hospital's Ronald McDonald House, she said sponsorship was powerful and its issues difficult.

"We've reached that purist approach with tobacco, completely hardline. There's no way in the world we would have a Rothman's Centre for Kids in Hospital. You start off saying we won't promote the sale of goods, then the next step is [not allowing] sponsorship of these companies."
"Patently false" was the term I think Arnott used. That there is no way on Earth that "once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products".

Lucky for Arnott, then, that New Zealand anti-food tax spongers didn't refer to tobacco policy as a lead, eh?

Oh, hold on!

Another Misbehaving Achiever

Oh those ultra-healthy windsurfers, right?
Windsurfing silver medallist Nick Dempsey on BBC Breakfast: "I'm good, slightly hungover but good."
Alcohol Concern's binge-drinker naughty step just got a little more crowded.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Britain Says No To Plain Packs

You may not have seen the news, but it looks like the country has said no to plain packaging of tobacco.
Huge protest against excessive regulation and the nanny state

Over 235,000 people have signed a petition against plain packaging of tobacco.
But hold your horses, the opposition submitted some themselves today.
MORE THAN 75,000 people have so far signed up to support Cancer Research UK’s ‘The answer is plain’ campaign
That's encouraging.

A three to one ratio in favour of 'oh do stop fussing' is very interesting, isn't it?

I'm sure there's more to come with this stuff, but today is a good day in my opinion.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Live A Little, Aussie Losers!

Congratulations to Anna Meares for today winning Australia's third gold medal in the Olympics. OK, so it's a trifle down on the 14 from Beijing 2008 and the 17 from Athens 2004, but I'm sure their government's recent risk-terrified ban frenzy and hysterical approach to health will kick in soon.

It's very amusing that Anna, particularly, has bucked this trend considering she was a poster girl for McDonald's in 2008 for her liking of kicking back with a sinful treat once in a while.

What kind of message does that send, eh? That you can enjoy unhealthy products and still be a global champion? Something must be done!

So the University of Sydney (who else?) did that something. They conducted a study to see what other Aussie athletes thought about the likes of Meares earning money from such endorsements.
CONCLUSIONS: Elite athletes are receptive to supporting health promotion through sport and many are not in agreement with the promotion of unhealthy products in sport or by sports people.
So, let's get this right. Australian athletes don't like their successful counterparts - because they are the ones gaining the big endorsement contracts - advertising products like McDonald's.

Of course, if the lesser athletes had earned the 'elite' tag before expressing these concerns - not much sign of that in London - they could have refused the endorsement cheques to prove their point, couldn't they?

Anna doesn't give much of a stuff, I reckon. She's won a gold medal and is probably enjoying ice cream and a fizzy drink - or maybe something stronger like British winners - while her failed compatriots are planning their flights home and consoling themselves with their medal-free self-righteousness.

If the result of the unending Australian health obsession is a nation - which used to be nigh impossible for us to beat - becoming a rag-bag array of limp pussies, I'm all for it.

Keep it up Australia! We certainly don't want you going back to those devil-may-care days when you lived a little and beat us hollow.

Mascot Watch 19: That's Handy, Nick

I'm sure he is vacantly unaware of it, but Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg did something indirectly Liberal yesterday by threatening to keep decent people in parliament.
Although proposals to make constituencies roughly the same size have already been approved in principle by MPs, they require a further vote on their implementation in time for the next election.

Mr Clegg added: "I have told the prime minister that when, in due course, parliament votes on boundary changes for the 2015 election I will be instructing my party to oppose them."
Please do, Nicky boy! It means our esteemed mascot would be off the hook.
Six of Yorkshire's most high profile MPs will find themselves looking for new seats under radical proposals to reduce the overall number of constituencies in the county.

The Shipley constituency of outspoken Conservative backbencher Philip Davies will [...] be abolished.
It just goes to show what a masterful politician our Phil is. It just took a few cleverly-placed words in Nick's shell-like last December and the seed was sown. Obviously.

Remember, guys and girls, we got him on that stage so he could perform his woo and fill us with hope for more barnstorming efforts, like this, post 2015.

The only spot on the horizon, as far as I can see, is that Clegg isn't the best at keeping promises.

Still, it's been a good couple of days for our man. Long may they continue.

Monday 6 August 2012

It's An Open And Shut Case, Amigos

Mexico has posed a question [pdf] to Australia regarding their tobacco plain packaging law.
Mexico invites the Australian authorities to ... Provide the scientific information available in which Australia determined that plain packaging influences consumer behavior, which will contribute to reduce smoking rates
Ooh, ooh, please Sir! I know the answer!
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon admits there is no proof plain cigarette packaging will cut smoking rates.

"This is a world first," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

Ms Roxon was responding to her opposition counterpart Peter Dutton, who earlier called for evidence showing plain packaging encourages people to butt out.

"The sort of proof they are looking for doesn't exist when this hasn't been introduced around the world," Ms Roxon said.
Well, that's pretty clear cut. A classic case of policy-based, non-evidential law-making.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is a disease - some may even call it a global epidemic - affecting the brains of politicians in otherwise sane nations (and Scotland). It's not about health, you know. Just pure, unadulterated prejudice and spite.

Now is a timely opportunity, then, to remind you that there are just a few days left in which to tell Andrew Lansley that the country which devised the parliamentary system should be setting an example here. Just because a load of dustbowl-dwellers at the arse end of the world want to dispense with scrupulous legislative process in favour of ideological fuckwittery, it doesn't mean that we should do the same.

It has been a lot of fun trouncing the no-marks in the Olympics (err, how's that humiliating losing bet looking Australia? Again?), so let's also thrash the pants off them at running a country with some degree of competence, eh?

Sign up here to give Lansley a quick nudge or submit something more substantial here by August 10th (a preview of the questions is here).

UPDATE: Looks like Roxon hasn't changed her mind since her last admission of the futility of plain packaging.
Plain packaging isn't going to see cigarette sales drop off any time soon, former federal health minister Nicola Roxon says.

"We've been very clear - we haven't made any estimates about the level of reduction that will flow from plain packaging," she told Sky News on Sunday.
Still an open and shut case then, Mexico. There quite simply cannot be any evidence, so crack on.

Top Class Jewel Robbing Spotted In Bury

I've lost count of the number of times I've mentioned how irritating e-cigs are to tobacco control industry freaks (latest example here), and therefore how delightful they are.

It was excellent news, then, to find out that one of this blog's long-time readers - and regular e-mailer - has opened up a brand new shop in Bury selling kits and other vaping paraphernalia. Pretty smart it looks too, I reckon.

What's more, our fellow jewel robber has a special offer for readers here that might be of interest if you're in the area. Ask for Steve and mention this blog and you will get 25% off ... everything!

I'm nowhere near the place sadly but, if it's around your part of the world, why not pop in and give him some of your business or just say hello and offer a handshake and encouragement if e-cigs aren't your particular bag. I can vouch for his sound anti-bansturbator credentials, that's for sure.

You can find him at 133 Rochdale Road, Bury, BL9 7BA.

By the way, unlike tobacco controllers who won't do anything without being paid, I have no monetary interest in posting this up here. Just the thought that the shop might get some purse-lipped harridan, somewhere, even more screwed-up inside than they already are is reward enough for me.

God speed the Vaporium, I say. May it further rot the soul of every joyless, hag-faced crone in the surrounding area for a long time to come. Huzzah!

Sunday 5 August 2012

How Very Civilised

Frankfurt airport, and its passengers, have just received a new gift.
Frankfurt Airport has opened its first fully enclosed and ventilated smoking lounge in partnership with Japan Tobacco International.

"The new smoker lounges will improve the range of services offered by Frankfurt Airport and thus make it more attractive for all passengers," said Fraport Group.
Looks nice, doesn't it?

Imagine that, eh? Millions of taxpaying citizens being treated as equally deserving of respect as anyone else.

Shame our own authorities would rather stab their Grandmother than countenance affording comfort to people who pay their wages.

Friday 3 August 2012

My Kind Of Olympian

Squirrelled away in the BBC's coverage of the Olympics Gold-fest yesterday was this class quote.
Asked how he's going to celebrate after winning gold in the double trap, Britain's Peter Wilson responds: "I'm going to get very, very drunk and probably do something silly." Sweden's silver medallists Hakan Dahlby asks if it'll be a free bar at the pub where Wilson used to work at back in 2009 and the 25-year-old says he hopes so.
He's only young, so I'm sure such refreshing honesty will be beaten out of him before Rio in 2016. He should, of course, be thinking of the children.

It's not been a very good couple of days for the righteous. Bradley Wiggins was 'at it' too just the day before.

That's the Olympic spirit, lads!

Thursday 2 August 2012

Plain Packaging For Alcohol Is On Its Way

Such an epic failure was Deborah Arnott's denial of a potential domino effect from plain packaging of tobacco, that I'm almost getting bored with ragging on it. Almost.

Too numerous to dig up yet again in detail, you can view some of the many ways in which she has already been embarrassed linked to this article.

Just to remind you, this is how her naive idiocy went:
"[...] The “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."
A good joke is always worth seeing again, I say.

Anyway, via Snowdon's link to the list of those who responded to the House of Commons Health Select Committee's consultation on the government's alcohol strategy, we now have our first repeat Debs rubbisher.

Anti-alcohol champions, Balance North East, have previously humiliated Debs and her outdated grasp of reality via the medium of YouTube. They now do so in front of MPs.
9.4 Plain packaging and marketing bans:

9.4.1 Research shows children are drawn to brands with appealing packaging which is why packaging is used as a seductive marketing tool. Studies show that the younger people start drinking, the more likely they are to develop alcohol problems later in life.
Yep, I think that makes it clear that plain packaging of alcohol is squarely in their sights.
However, we believe that the greatest evidence for action on marketing currently lies elsewhere and we should start by introducing advertising restrictions similar to those found in France. We also believe this would receive greater public support.
I don't think you need me to translate that for you.

They love the idea of plain packaging for alcohol; fully support it; and will go for that as soon as the public have been softened up. A total advertising ban will do for now, though. Well, it's a 'start', isn't it?

You see, any self-enriching professional is hardly going to put themselves out of a job by not advocating for the 'next logical step' once their current goal is achieved, are they?

That way unemployment lies.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Kentucky Fried Brain +Updated+

I've written many times before about how the tobacco control industry has been hopelessly ambushed by e-cigs and snus and - as a result - are actively harming the public, aided and abetted by irresponsible morons within the EU.

Via SteveVape, though, comes a jaw-dropping example of someone who has acted above and beyond the call of duty to make absolutely sure that people shun any alternative to tobacco.

Just read this hideous fucking lunacy from an indoctrinated health nut in full-on, ill-informed, weapons grade arsehole mode. Not since Jane "hideous and proud of it" DeVille-Almond have we seen anyone so deserving of roasting on a pitchfork.

UK letter

I mean, what kind of disgraceful individual goes out of their way to write in protest to a private business - accommodating people who voluntarily attend - in an attempt to forbid them using a product which is not only not banned, but also hugely less dangerous than the alternative her actions could have them return to?

You'll note that this appalling waste of DNA uses the scare tactic of smokefree legislation to try to bully the venue's owners from exercising their own free will, as well as the choices of those who wish to attend. Despite there being no legal barrier and no likelihood of her personally appearing anywhere near the place.

Her supporting references - designed solely to scare the venue into cancelling the event - have been so deliberately twisted and taken out of context that she can be accurately described as a lying bitch.

It's the anti-tobacco finger-wagging exercise in microcosm. She doesn't approve, so she will do her damnedest to make sure others will have their enjoyment denied even if it means they might be massively helping their health rather than harming it. It's the profoundly evil nature of tobacco-haters laid ruthlessly bare.

There is no further useful role for tobacco control if this is the kind of disgusting and dangerous bastard they are now producing.

UPDATE: Mike Siegel calls her out for talking bollocks too, and highlights a video where she spouts utter garbage.

What a nasty piece of confused work she is.