Thursday 15 September 2016

Tobacco Control Fantasy Evaporates In Court

Great news from those spunky Dutch!
Cafes and bars can continue to set up special smoking rooms where customers can light up, judges in The Hague said on Wednesday. 
Good. As it should be.
Anti-smoking lobby group Clean Air Nederland had gone to court in an effort to have all smoking rooms abolished. 
Yep, that's what disgusting anti-social fuck-knuckles do. They would never go into these rooms themselves, but they went to court to stop everyone else from choosing to and to stop businesses choosing to provide them.

And the reason?
It argues that allowing cafes and bars to sanction smoking in certain areas conflicts with international treaties signed by the Netherlands.  
Note the absence of any mention of bar staff? That's old hat now. What this hideous bunch of interfering spooge-gobblers were complaining about is that the elected Dutch government was not adhering to a rule laid down by a cabal of unelected extremists at the WHO.

Fortunately, the Dutch court system recognised a very salient fact that tobacco controllers would prefer politicians didn't know.
The court ruled that CAN cannot call on the World Health Organisation treaty which requires signatories to actively combat the use of tobacco and to protect people against tobacco smoke.

The text of the treaty does not state that there should be a ban on smoking or that countries are obliged to introduce one, the judges said in their ruling.
This is article 5.3 of the FCTC (and even the FCTC in its entirety) being called out for what it is ... a big empty threat that the lying bullies in tobacco control wave around as if it were legally enforceable. Now, I don't know if they're just incredibly dense or that they actually believe their own lies, but we should thank the Dutch legal system for stating the bleeding obvious and ruling that FCTC guidelines (the clue is in the name) are nothing to do with the rule of law or legislation in any country which has ratified it. They are quite simply a mendacious tool that the tobacco control industry uses to control dissent and ensure their incompetence isn't challenged by people who know what they are talking about.

As Snowdon explained last year, tobacco controllers have built an elaborate fantasy around article 5.3 which they regularly try to use as a club against civil consultation and common sense policy-making.
Local councils have been sold a bill of goods by ASH about what they can and cannot do. I've been reading a document entitled 'Guidance for Trading Standards on engaging with the tobacco industry' which is endorsed by ASH and Public Health England. ASH has its own list of tips entitled 'Developing Policy on Contact with the Tobacco Industry'. Both of them offer highly misleading advice to local authorities based on a misrepresentation of Article 5.3. The first of them says:
This document articulates the legal obligations placed on public authorities by the Treaty and illustrates established best practice for those working in the sector.
The 'Treaty' has never been enshrined in law in Britain or the EU, so this is wibble from the outset. There are no 'legal obligations'. From a legal perspective, the FCTC is nothing more than a bunch of aspirations, but even if Article 5.3 was the law, it clearly refers to health policy, not trade policy, smuggling or waste disposal.

None of this stops ASH from making thinly veiled threats like this...
[Article 5.3] could be relied upon in legal proceedings brought by an individual or other non-state body against a public authority. An authority that does not act in compliance with the convention may be exposed to risk of judicial review. If a local authority decides to diverge from the guidelines it is suggested the reasons for doing so should be documented.
This is intimidation, plain and simple. It raises the spectre of lawsuits (that will never be filed) to coerce councils into taking an extreme position to suit ASH's comic book worldview.
Except, of course, in the Netherlands a bunch of deluded cranks thought that FCTC guidelines were so powerful that they could file a court case. They have now found out that their fantasy of legislative status for a wish-list written by vile tax-spongers, and a puerile "na-na-na-not listening" clause drafted by some of the world's biggest lunatics, aren't actually legally enforceable after all.
CAN said immediately that it would appeal.
Of course they will. The illusion they are trying to create dies and reality gets noticed if they don't.

Let's all look forward to their lying asses being whipped again in due course.

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