Friday, February 29, 2008

Conservative Party Pressure

Ever considered applying pressure to the Conservative Party on the matter of smokers rights using the power of smokers votes?

I stumbled upon a new publicity campaign launched by the Torys and sadly noticed no mention of my overriding political concern - Smokers Rights! The site encouraged me to send comments and so I quickly rushed the following email to David "Web" Cameron via the campaign's site form system:

Do the conservative party have any intention of considering a review or reconsideration of the smoking ban in The Health Act 2007?

Have the party considered the voting power of approximately 13 million smokers who are at present forced to spend their leisure time and work breaks outside whatever the weather?

Do the conservative party realise that wherever possible smokers will seriously consider voting for UKIP who are the only party to have a policy addressing this matter?

Incidentally, I am a previously dedicated conservative-voting smoker who happens to be a doctor, loyal to the NHS. I will be voting UKIP unless the party can address my concerns and I believe there to be many people of a similar persuasion.

The reply I received was peppered with the standard platitudes, but begs a reply, so as to attempt disabusing the author on some discrepancies or variations from fact. So I will reply with some considered thought. I will next disclose the email response I received for your interest:

Dear Phil,

Many thanks for your email regarding the smoking ban.

The Government’s ban on smoking in public places came into force on 1st July 2007. Smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces and workplaces. Whatever one’s own views, it is very clear that public opinion has demanded a ban on smoking in public places for some time. There is also a considerable body of scientific evidence to point to the harmful health effects of second-hand smoke.

While the smoking ban certainly does place restrictions on where people can smoke, it does not ban what is still a lawful activity and people are free to smoke in their own homes and outdoors where the impact of their smoke on others will be minimal. The Government has published five sets of regulations which set out the detail of the smokefree legislation. You can view these within the policy and guidance section of the Department of Health website: http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/fs/en.

Conservatives have expressed some reservations about the ban, for example about smoking in prisons and mental health units, and about the requirement on all public places and businesses to display no smoking signs. The Government Minister previously responsible for the smoking ban, Caroline Flint, has assured us that the Government are committed to a review of the legislation, so if any problems occur which were not expected while the legislation was being formulated, the legislation may be reconsidered.

We hope that the new measures will play a positive role in reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and, in turn, help to improve public health.

Thank you, once again, for writing to David Cameron on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Biles
Correspondence Secretary
David Cameron's Office
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
It will be plainly obvious to regular readers how this email is composed by the party, contains pasted phrases and shows contempt for the rights of smokers. It cannot therefore go unanswered and I will keep you posted as to future volleys in this exchange.

However without nagging I wandered if any of you enlightened folk fancied visiting the campaign site, completing a "send us your comments" email form or even writing directly to Anna "I'mDavidWebCameron" Biles.

So here is the site link: Conservative Campaigns

And here is the email address: mailto:CAMEROND@parliament.uk

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Ugly Face of the Anti-Smoker

By Blad Tolstoy

Sometime last week, my attention was drawn to this story in The Liverpool Echo which was actually printed in October 2007.

See:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-life/health-fitness/2007/10/02/star-shock-at-smoking-risk-100252-19878929/

The story covered the fact that John Arne Riise had joined in a project with some teenagers in Liverpool’s Anti-Tobacco Youth Campaign who had mocked up a picture of how super fit footballer Riise could look if he decided to take up a long-term smoking habit. This was the resulting image:


The mocked up image gives Riise pallid lined skin, rotting teeth, bloodshot eyes and scars around his mouth. Scary stuff, except that no-one ever actually ends up looking like this and the mythical mock up (and mock up it is indeed) does not resemble anyone known to anyone, alive or dead, unless, of course, they are partial to eating chocolate in a messy fashion or perhaps sucking exhaust pipes.

This little project, carried out in Liverpool, which has become a hotbed of antismokerism and nanny statism thanks to its Liberal Democrat dominated council, was designed to coincide with the government’s raising of the legal age to purchase cigarettes from sixteen to eighteen.

Many of use are now completely blasé to this kind of scare mongering and false representation of smokers but it raises some serious issues about the demonisation of tax paying citizens which has long ago verged into a form of harassment and bullying. Bullying, if proven, I shall point out, constitutes a criminal offence.

It is interesting to consider too, the minds of the people who produce this filth, but then maybe we should ask ourselves if anyone looks at all as disgustingly unhealthy as the mock up of Riise. I searched high and low and eventually came up with this piggy looking individual.


“Aha”, I can hear you say, “now this has got to be the face of a slobby 50 a day smoker. Look how overweight he is, he plainly doesn’t look after his health; and look at that horrible pocked and aged skin. And just look at that black mouth and the glimpse of yellow teeth! And, and, the whites of his eyes are yellow. This is a prime example of a 50 a day smoker!”

It may surprise people to know, however, that this porky bladder of lard is, in fact, none other than our Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson, an avid anti-smoker. And in case you think this is just an unlucky bad photo, you’d be wrong for here is another.


Oh my goodness, just look at that pallor, what a ghastly looking chap. If this is what years of anti-smokerism does for someone then it’s definitely not for me. Moreover, who is this fellow that he has the effrontery to lecture anyone about their health. Physician heal thyself, Dr Donaldson.

Personally, I think this fellow looks far livelier and better looking…

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nanny has been at the sherry bottle and why this government will be obliterated at the next election


By Blad Tolstoy


This last week one of the hot topics for smokers has been the proposal by Professor Julian Le Grand - one of the government's senior health advisors - that smokers will have to buy permits in order to pursue their habit.


Such a permit will cost each smoker £10 and the right to carry it ill require renewal every year. Another nice little earner for the government - or so they think - enabling them also to revel in their favourite pastime of basking in a warm glow whilst micro-managing the lives of others.


I shall also add that I am indebted to one of The Daily Telegraph's editorials this last week which outlined a similar scheme (also by Le Grand) with regard to giving children swipe cards with which they can buy healthy foods. Part of The Telegraph's response to this proposal was to describe Le Grand as a nanny who had been at the sherry bottle. How perfectly succinct and appropriate and similarly, he has also been at the sherry bottle where smokers are concerned too!


So does this nutty proposal, which will probably appeal very much to nutty New Labour, have a snowball in Hell's chance of success?


The simple answer is: no.

It has already been pointed out by many that this country is now awash with black market produce which the government can do very little about. And no, I am not referring to products that can be brought in legitimately via the duty free option of going abroad to purchase one's fags (which the government will probably try to close down if it opts for Le Grand's idea). I am, in fact, referring to proper black market produce generated by real criminal activity.


For the smoker, and just as occurred during the prohibition era in America in the 1920s, this presents a golden opportunity. Buy from the black market at cheaper prices and deprive the government of tax into the bargain. A very satisfying alternative which, I shall add, I fully endorse. In fact, if I were not so concerned about the impact of Le Grand's idea with regard to yet more damage to business, I would encourage any black marketeers reading this posting to do what they do but only better. Indeed, the tobacco black market will be so damnably lucrative I might even try it myself.


In the meantime, one has to ask if this government has a death wish. It is already failing miserably where the economy is concerned (and that is the primary basis on which the success of a government is judged) and now it seeks to alienate completely some 25% plus of the electorate who smoke: permanently. Indeed, the figure is not down to 22% as government kidologists would have us believe, and has anyone taken at good look at their ridiculous attempts to survey and manipulate this issue for public consumption? What the government is aiming at is a reduction to 21% by 2010. This is the magic target set by the World Health Organisation and one which they will fail to meet although they will certainly try and pretend they have achieved it and maybe even by one year earlier (how well we read their minds).


At this point, I would like to mention an interesting commentary by Simon Clark of Forest and which is a very recent feature on his blog, entitled: "Senior health advisor agrees with Forest" (c.f: http://takingliberties.squarespace.com/). In this commentary, Clark describes how, in September 2004, he and the late Lord Harris, chairman of Forest, had a confidential meeting with John Reid (the then Secretary of State for Health) and Julian Le Grand. During the course of the meeting it emerged that neither Reid nor Le Grand believed in the passive smoking is dangerous scam. Reid explained, however, that the real reason the government wanted to to bring in a smoking ban was to encourage smokers to quit so that it could achieve its target of reducing the number of UK smokers to 21% by 2010. Interesting stuff which echoes the views of a number of commentators on the government's attitude, and that is why it is also so desperate to find ever newer and more vindictive ways to abuse smokers. In the process, any lie is just fine to achieve the goal irrespective as to whether or not smokers actually want to quit smoking.


The fact is that this government has forgotten that smokers are voters preferring, instead, to believe that smokers will be grateful to them for all the abuse and harassment. This is also borne out by Le Grand's mantra generated claim that 70% of smokers want to quit. They do not and this is another lie for we at Freedom to Choose are in far closer and more reliable contact with smoking opinion than the government or any of their mendacious cronies in ASH and the medical establishment. Certainly, there are a number of smokers who choose to give up each year, but even many of those are now digging in their heels in the opposite direction as government oppression continues.


Furthermore, isn't there something totally crazy about a government which talks about involving "stakeholders" in its consultations on tobacco control when it fails to consult the most important group - the smoking stakeholders - or if it does, the consultation is a pretence and any input from smokers is ignored in favour of those who want to do things to us for our own good? To them, I respond in the good old English vernacular: "Bugger off!"


However, let us move back to the voting issue. The number of people damaged by the UK smoking bans is very large indeed and consists of not just smokers but all those countless people whose businesses have either been put at risk or terminated as a result.


As time proceeds smokers, and those in sympathy following business damage, are becoming very aware of the political clout they may exercise via the ballot box. In fact, they now comprise, way and ahead, a very angry and very large minority indeed and at Freedom to Choose we are very well connected to many people in various industries adversely affected by the ban. Moreover, we are striving to ensure that people become more acutely aware of just how much damage we can gleefully inflict upon New Labour at the next general election. The smoking vote is now more than large enough to make or break any any government and at the next election we shall make certain that New Labour's back is broken with a ton weight, so ensuring that many current Labour MPs will never see parliament again let alone government. During the 1980s, Norman Tebbit said socialism was taking a long time to die. He was right, but, the Tories having failed to "execute" socialism he might take a crumb of comfort from the fact the "bruvvers" are now doing it for themselves.


At the next election this inept government is going to discover just how grateful we really are for the way in which we have been treated, but I also confidently send an uncompromising message to the Liberal Democrats and Cameron's Tories. They too, have failed to to represent the interests of a large portion of the electorate, preferring instead to jump on the trendy anti-smoker bandwagon. They too must remember that we are voters who require proper parliamentary representation and if Cameron and his chums think that the smoking ban will be "bedded in" by the next election (they even borrowed from ASH) they need to think again. Take a GOOD look at America. Heavy duty smoking bans have been in force there in different locations for over ten years and yet, not only has the number of smokers remained undiminished, the smoking issue remains firmly on the political agenda. The same thing will happen here except that over the next two years (yes, not long) smokers are going to become a political force to be reckoned with. I kid you not. Watch this space.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pregnant smoking not harmful!!!!!

The was an article printed in The Times today that is also available on the TimesOnline website. To read it click here....click

I first had to check that it was not April Fool's Day!

Read it for yourself, but in summary it says that smoking during pregnancy is not as dangerous as it has previously been thought. Actually, that the harmful effect is negligible in the first five months of pregnancy and very small for the rest of the pregnancy.

Our readers are no strangers to the inbuilt flaws of epidemiological studies. This article would seem to suggest that the study under question has specifically sought to uncover the effects of the obvious confounders of social class and therefore diet and many other allied predictors of poor health.

I have to admit that I am absolutely flumuxed and so glad that this study has reached the media. This is such a revelation that I can hardly believe by eyes. This said, how own earth, therefore can "passive smoking" exert any effect at all on the unborn child.

I sincerely hope that this article gets the coverage it deserves. Any people reading, who have any blog or hardcopy media links must get this out, sharpish!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Inn The Cold Tour



You must visit Mark Harris new website and support his excellent pub tour, which has succesfully been published in the Basingstoke Gazette! Lets hope this press release has been printed in loads of other papers.
Marks project is very well thought out and we must all meet up with him on his tour and make his protest visible, visible, visible.
There are 4 links to Inn The Cold in this post, see if you can find them all!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

NOTICE

Hi bloggers! Apologies for my absence recently. Family commitments have been a distraction! Life goes on and so there is below a back log of posts to catch up on. Please and enjoy and scroll all the way down. Don't miss out!!

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Would You?

I was reading the Sun newspaper yesterday. It is one of my weekly joys to read Jeremy Clarkson's column and one of my chores to see what Lorraine Kelly is spouting. Jezza's efforts raised my mood but did not balance my disgust at LK's pathetic ranting.

Kelly writes an article paying homage to Liz Dawns current crusade to persuade smokers that she is a good example of the foolish smoker. Kelly during her foul-mouthed, scare mongering, wholely inaccurate diatribe forgets herself. Despite editors and proof readers she then refers to smokers as "foul smelling old bags with wrinkled mouths like a cat's bum". I have always thought as Liz Dawn as a rather attractive lady with a great, fun personality and her character Vera Duckworth as a bedrock of english motherhood with the artistically exaggerated but virtuous qualities of a loyal wife and great British lady. I have no problem with Liz drawing the world to her plight and no idea how LK thinks she is helping Liz' cause.

Liz, I do not agree with Kelly, you are not a foul smelling old bag, but a beautiful mature and principled actress. We are very sorry you have had to leave Corry. You are an institution and we wish you luck in retirement.

Now follows a few more images of smokers and anti's for you to peruse and decide who the "foul smelling old bags" really are!!!???


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Homage To The Smoking Ban Heros

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THE SMOKING SOLUTION


by Peter Thurgood

I recently read an article by William Zukerman which was written in Nazi Germany in 1936. The parallels between that article and the way the Jews were being treated at that time, is almost identical to the way in which the British public are being encouraged by our Government, to treat smokers today.

The article, which is entitled, "Where the German Ghetto leads" begins with introducing us to the Ghetto, which was established in Germany with much pomp on September 14 1936, with the promulgation of the Nürnberg laws and then went on to become an important fact in German life, one which both Jews and non-Jews had to learn to take into account in dealing with the German/Jewish situation.

Soon after the promulgation of the Nürnberg laws many well-informed observers of foreign affairs in Germany, including some of the best foreign correspondents, believed that the new laws, cruel and bitter as they were, would end the chapter of anti-Jewish persecution in Germany and would somehow effect an improvement in the position of Jews. Several facts were adduced to support this belief. The first was that a considerable part of German society was thoroughly nauseated by the eternal din of "Jew, Jew, Jew," which has not ceased in Germany since the Nazis came to power, and felt a very intelligible desire to have a rest from the: accursed question, which occupies more space in the Nazi press and in Nazi public pronouncements than almost any other problem facing the German people. It was thought that the Nürnberg laws would bring this respite, both to Germans and to Jews. Jewish life, it was recognised, would be tragically restricted within the confines of a virtual Ghetto, but the Jew would at least be free from anxiety and would have some assurance for his future. The lines of demarcation being rigidly drawn, the Jews would be left at peace within them.

Try taking out the word Jew, and substituting it with smoker, and we have an almost parallel situation today, at the hands of our Government. The Ghettos they are forcing the smoker into are the streets and the so called Smoker's Shelters, both of which offer absolutely no shelter whatsoever to this new persecuted section of our society. Restriction of movement, just as the Nazis restricted the Jews movements, is now being enforced upon smokers.

There is a vast number of people in this country who do not smoke, but they are not all anti smokers, just as there were a vast number of non Jews in Germany, who were not all anti Jewish. Like them, so many people in this country are fed up with the constant propaganda and eternal din, Smoker, Smoker, Smoker. So when the smoking shelters were introduced, and smokers were also told that they could stand outside to smoke, the general public accepted this, as the German public did in the 1930s, with the same relish, that maybe, the smokers might now be left in peace.

But being left in peace was far from our Government's intentions when dealing with the Smoking Problem. They were determined to intensify their campaign of hatred and propaganda aimed at the smoker, backed up with completely unfounded scare stories and sets of figures. Within the last week or so, we have even been lambasted with a TV advert claiming that "every year tobacco kills 19000 Europeans - who don't smoke."
These figures of course, are a complete fabrication, plucked out of the air. Time and time again, many different groups have asked the anti smoking campaigners, as well as the Government and their advisors, to show us any proof whatsoever to substantiate these figures, but, everyone is still waiting. No figures have ever been substantiated, and there is not one single instance of a death certificate being issued which stated the cause of death due to inhaling second hand tobacco smoke.

The similarities between the two regimes are shown clearly when we look at Nazi Germany, where it was hoped that the new legislation would do away with the legal anarchy prevailing in Germany with regard to the Jewish question, which made it possible for every petty Nazi official in the provinces to proclaim his own laws and issue his own decrees affecting the lives and fortunes of many Jews. Under this state of legal anarchy hundreds of cities, towns, and villages in Germany had prohibited Jews from entering their precincts and proudly announced the fact by means of illuminated signboards; hundreds of other cities had banned Jews from their public libraries, archives, museums, theatres, cinemas, and other public places; many famous cities forbid Jews to use their public baths, swimming pools, rivers and medicinal springs. A number of towns in Germany even now prohibit the sale of food to Jews, of mill: to Jewish children, and of medicines to Jewish sick. This state anarchy was also responsible for the terrible Jew-baiting campaign conducted by Julius Streicher, with its blood libels, its revolting particulars of "race pollution," its high-pressure blackmail methods in the boycott of the Jews, its hysteria and near-lynching of Jewish youths seen associating with German girls.

Now compare this with the smokers today being banned from all the same facilities in their towns and cities that the Jews were being banned from in theirs. Compare also, the Smoker Baiting which now takes place on our city streets, how smokers are accused of everything, from murdering children to polluting the atmosphere. We also hear of smokers being attacked in the streets, even some incidents of smokers actually being attacked and killed because of their habit.

Dr. Goebbels, and Julius Streicher himself proclaimed the end of individual anti-Jewish acts. Some the official Nazi newspapers gave expression to a feeling of relief in words which seemed to say: Now we shall be a to forget the Jews for a while, and we shall have a little peace.

Such hopes were doomed to disappointment. Within a brief fortnight from the proclamation of the Nürnberg decrees it became clear to all who cared to see that this legislation was not the end of a chapter but the beginning of a new period of persecution. The new anti-Jewish laws legalised the state of pogrom created by the Streicher drive, and this was done, not in order to call a halt to Jew-baiting but to make possible further advances.

If this sounds very familiar again, it is because it is supposed to. In fact it is more than familiar, it is almost identical with the way smokers are being treated today.

No sooner were the new laws proclaimed than a period of interpreting and implementing them began which promises be even more tragic than earlier stages. The anti-Jewish boycott is being waged with as much virulence as before the municipalities have been declared to be within their rights as autonomous governments in enacting their fanatical laws against the Jews; the orgy of Jew-baiting has not abated in the least. Moreover, the anarchic situation has not been resolved. There was as much agonising uncertainty about the meaning of the Nürnberg laws as there was about the status of the Jew before these laws existed. The hunt of the Jew had not been called off; the beast has only been declared fair game for all, and the hunt has been made a legal national sport. The effect of the legislation upon the average law-abiding German burgher, too, has been only to put his legal conscience at rest. It is no longer verboten to bait the Jew, to persecute and humiliate him; so, therefore, it cannot be wrong. On with the hunt!

Pick up a newspaper, watch TV ads, watch films, especially American made ones, and you cannot fail to see, hear and read, more and more ant smoker propaganda. American films in general, now seem to portray the smoker as a villain, the hero now, is the non smoker, even though he still drives his high powered car, which belches out more toxins per mile than half the cigarettes in the world would do in a month. Log onto one of the many forums in this country where smoking is supposed to be discussed. Not only will the anti smoker not discuss anything rationally with the smoker, he/she, now hurls insults at the smoker as well. The smoker stinks, the smoker's hair and clothes stink, their breath stinks, their fingers are yellow, their homes are dirty, the air around them is polluted and contaminated. I have even personally witnessed calls for all smokers to be attacked and thrown into the streets, with the hope that they either contract cancer or get run over. This then, is the new Britain, the all caring Britain, in Tony Blair's words, "The People's Britain".

Those who looked for security. legality, and certainty in the Nürnberg laws, misjudged the temper of the Nazi regime and misread the clear lessons of history, just as we are doing now, one of the most striking of which is to be found in the remarkable resemblance between the present position of the smokers in present day Britain, to the Jews in Germany and their position in Czarist Russia in the last decades of the nineteenth century. There is a fascinating analogy between the Nürnberg decrees and the infamous anti-Jewish laws of Alexander III proclaimed in 1882, and the anti smoking laws in Great Britain. The resemblance is so close, both in spirit and detail, that one cannot escape the conviction that our present Government under Gordon Brown's incompetent leadership, is consciously imitating the Nazi regime of the 1930s, which in turn imitated the legislation of fifty years prior to that, which made the regime of Alexander III notorious for its barbarism.

As the first result of the present anti-Smoker laws in Great Britain, Britain's smokers are being thrown into closer association with other suppressed groups, now working underground for the overthrow of the Labour State in Great Britain. The average smoker in Great Britain are mostly middle-class people with a typical every day psychology, which was, until the smoking ban law came into being, very much like that of our New Labour overlords themselves before they were brutalised by power. Now, however, our nanny state Government are forcing these people to organise themselves into resistance groups against what they see as a very unjust law.

Mr and Mrs average in Great Britain do not want a revolution, it has never been a part of the British way of life, but this Government and this law in particular is changing our ways of life. It is forcing us apart, it is setting Briton onto Briton, and unless a drastic change to this law is made very soon, I predict that a revolution is what we will see.

For if anything emerges clearly from the chaos in Great Britain under New Labour, it is that the outburst of anti-smokerism which seems to have swept the whole people is, in fact, confined to the British middle classes. Like Nazism, the orgy of smoker hatred is probably the last stand of an impotent and ineffectual government doomed to extinction, even as Communism was, a government which sees its end approaching and clutches madly at the last chance of power.

All competent observers of Great Britain are in agreement that neither the British aristocracy nor our labour force, is swayed by that anti-smoker mass-hysteria which animates the small British office worker and petty official. It is the British Government, not the British people, that has failed the smokers of this country. In strong working class quarters in Great Britain smokers not only find no hatred but often even sympathy and help. If it were not for this silent but powerful moral support from the mass of the British working people, the smokers in Great Britain could not have withstood this long the fierce fury of the New Labour and EU drives.

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