Thursday, March 27, 2008

John Brignell

I just have to draw your attention to this most magnificent piece of writing that The International Smokers Rights Newsletter has drawn to my attention. It is written by John Brignell of the Numberwatch website. I will complete some links tomorrow in this post. But for now I implore you to visit the article using the link below. It is in my opinion, seminal, and will take some time for us all to fully digest. He even covers the fuss over plastic bags. To tempt you, here is the introduction:

"Every age has its dominant caste. This is the age of the zealot. Twenty years ago they were dismissed as cranks and fanatics, but now they are licensed to interfere in the every day lives of ordinary people to an unprecedented degree. When Bernard Levin first identified the new phenomenon of the SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics) many of us thought it was a bit of a joke or at most an annoyance. Now the joke is on us. In that short time they have progressed from being an ignorable nuisance to what is effectively a branch of government. They initiate legislation and prescribe taxation. They form a large and amorphous collection of groups of overlapping membership, united and defined by the objects of their hatred (industry, tobacco, alcohol, adiposity, carbon, meat, salt, chemicals in general, radio waves, field sports etc.) Their success in such a short time has been one of the most remarkable phenomena in the whole of human history."

Here is the link: READ THIS!

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Sorry girls but soon your bodies won’t be your own


By Blad Tolstoy - Our new women's interests columnist!

We have informed our readers before that the march against alcohol is well under way. We know this because the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the “charitable” arm of Johnson & Johnson) now spends as much money promoting alcohol prohibition as it used to on promoting smoking bans. American not-for-profits have to, by law, publish all the recipients of their donations and what those donations are for. We have amongst our colleagues, I shall add, those who take a keen interest in caching all this information in order to make sure the rest of us are well aware of what is going on.

Now we are already familiar in Europe and the UK with the fact that moves are afoot to restrict the use of alcohol but to-day (26th March 2008) that particular crusade took another step. Indeed, The Daily Telegraph reported that the government’s health “watchdog” has warned that pregnant women should drink no alcohol at all despite no evidence that that the occasional glass is harmful. This may come as no surprise as New Labour frequently provides no figures, or reliable figures anyway, to support its claims, although it never has any difficulty making them up when it needs to.

What is surprising, however, is that so many women to-day are just prepared to go along with these “dictats” believing, as a large number of them do, so many of the health scares that are put about by cranky health crusaders who have the ear of government.

This particular warning to women is nevertheless rather sinister, in that, we now have the government telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies when pregnant. We wonder how long it will be before both smoking and drinking when pregnant actually become crimes although enforcing any legal measures in this direction will be difficult. However, having said that, we have already noted proposals in America amongst certain health extremists to do just that and wonder how long it will be before such proposals turn up here.

What is disappointing though is that Britain, like America, has so many former bra burners who campaigned for women’s rights, but now, many of those same women have either lost the gumption or the will to preserve their adult autonomy in the face of the current and overwhelming onslaught on freedom of choice.

This current development is particularly unsavoury as it means that when pregnant a woman’s body will no longer belong to her but to the will and control of the state.

Time to march again ladies, for rights and freedoms are not something which once won are won forever. Life is a fight and likewise the maintenance and preservation of freedom is a permanent struggle and not a liberation which just happened once in the 1960s and 70s.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Magazine Introduction and Review


By Blad Tolstoy

We are delighted to announce the first issue of BARF Promotions new product: The Wanker Magazine, coming in on the market at £12.

A startling magazine which in its first issue deals with the loony position of the current Tory Party with regard to smoking bans. We refer, of course to the fact that Simon Clark of Forest was asked by an e-mail from the Conservative Party to: “mobilise smokers to vote Conservative.”

(See: Why I would NEVER vote for Cameron's Conservatives; http://takingliberties.squarespace.com/taking-liberties/2008/3/25/why-i-would-never-vote-for-camerons-conservatives.html)

Aside from the fact that Forest is not in the position to mobilise the smoking vote, most of us are left gasping at the outright stupidity of the request. Dave and the shadow cabinet are intent on maintaining the same subterfuge about secondary smoke as New Labour and, subsequently, maintaining a bad law (the 2006 Health Act) based on medical fraud. The fact that this law and the antismoking movement between them have been responsible for the closures of, and financial damage to, many pubs, clubs and bingo halls (and other establishments), discrimination towards smokers in employment and social segregation from their friends, seems to have left Dave and Co completely cold. Basically, what they are doing is expecting smokers to vote for them whilst taking the same old shit from them as from New Labour. Some hopes, of course, and its time Dave and his chums grew up. We therefore applaud and welcome BARF Promotions’ excellent and punchy new magazine and hope that it will sell really well.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Psychiatric patients launch High Court test case

The last part of the smoking ban comes into force on 1st July 2008. After that distressed mentally unwell people, detained in psychiatric hospitals will have their smoking facility taken away. Some are not allowed outside, for their own safety, so will have no choice but to stop smoking. Of course, it is more likely that they will attempt to conceal their smoking. This could either set their bedding on fire or cause conflict with their carers who will be expected to enforce the ban.

Noone I know thinks this is just, compassionate or sensible. Psychiatric nurses are definitely not in favour. Visit this article online here and join with me and BobReal-Martinez in commenting on this issue and suppporting the patients stand.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Three Stooges…And D’Artagnan (or Who am I really?)

By Blad Tolstoy

Considering the dire political choice facing the British electorate to-day, there is little to look forward to. We have our three main political parties – New Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives - which are inept and unrepresentative and each one led by what can best be described as a stooge, although many people’s description of these three “honourable” gentlemen might be even less complimentary.

Under the circumstances, I found my mind wondering how each of these leaders may best be simply summed up. As I began the task of outlining a sketch for New Labour’s Gordon Brown some secret information was given to me by friends in MI5 and MI6. Subsequently, I was flabbergasted to learn that the real Brown was abducted by aliens from Zog, who were very keen to learn the esoteric art of bagpipe farting back in 1985.

Aghast that one of their rising stars should have been so cruelly removed, the Labour Party turned to their contacts in the Soviet Union who sent them a former general and economic advisor in the Russian army named Ivan Taxitoff. Taxitoff underwent substantial facial surgery but we have been lucky to obtain a photograph of him dressed in army uniform in pre-Glasnost days. Now we know why Brown’s economic strategies are as they are and why we have been lumbered with a large inefficient and unwieldy bureaucracy: it’s a case of Marxist economics.




The case of Nick Clegg of the Liberal (mirthless laugh) Democrats was more complex and contrary to what the reader might think. Indeed, this was the man who ordered his MPs to abstain from voting on a referendum for the European constitution. Deservedly, a number of them defied him, making him look very stupid (which he is).

The easy descriptive comparison of Clegg is as follows:



I apologise to Cadbury’s for using a picture of one of their “Flakes” (for at least I’d buy one of those as they’re rather nice) but theirs were the only flakes I could find pictures of.

However, I cannot leave matters at this point for I have begun to wonder if Nick Clegg is, in fact, really the Conservatives’ David Cameron in disguise. Now see this first picture here of Clegg and compare it with the next one of Cameron:



A striking resemblance you must agree which leads us to consider the reason why there may seem so little difference between them at times. Also, does it explain the reason why Cameron seems so totally mixed up as to what he wants to present to the country in the way of policies? It’s a mystery.

As I moved on with my musing I next tried to find an image which truly encapsulated the spirit of Cameron. I was having difficulty until there it was, staring down at me from the wall at work. Here is “Dave” as he really is:



Well, that about sums up the three stooges, but maybe matters could be worse and you could be French, in which case you’d be saddled with “D’Artagnon” Sarkozy. Aside from the fact he has a fixed grin like Tony Blair (with whom he is pictured here) this bumbling and dithering Gallic gent has managed to go from being very popular to being intensely disliked in six months. This leaves us in no doubt that he is really Inspector Clouseau. On the other hand, maybe he’s really Tony Blair. After all, don’t they both speak French?



Quelle dommage!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Smoking Ban Won't Play in Peoria!

By Michael J. McFadden (Smoking Royalty)

On March 19th, 2008, The Peoria Journal-Star reported a story ( http://www.pjstar.com/stories/031908/REG_BG3I... ) that will have wide ranging repercussions for smoking bans all around the USA and maybe overseas as well. Prosecutors for the State of Illinois admitted to the courts that " the statute does not put any onus on the bar employee or bar owner to prohibit smoking," and that they had no authority to file a formal charge against a bar that failed to stop its customers from lighting up.

While this ruling applies just to the state of Illinois, it can't fail to be heard in their neighboring state of Iowa, in the troubled bars of nearby Ohio (where health investigators entering bars to check for smoking have refused to tell customers to stop smoking during their visits with the defense of "We can't make them stop. We're not police."), on the bar-theater stages of Minnesota where desperate taverns have resorted to staging "smoking plays" in which every smoker is a thespian, and in many other states where government has tried to indenture hospitality employees to act as Junior G-Men without badges.

Bartenders themselves might still get fined if they smoke while on duty, and a bar might be fined if they fail to display "No Smoking" signs or if they provide fire-safety devices (ashtrays) for customers, but it has now been made crystal clear that the days of "Undercover Secret Smoking Police" in Illinois are over. And whether the state has the guts to enforce an ashtray ban that might leave them liable for fire deaths and damages seems unlikely.

As news of this event spreads it's likely that most small bars and probably even a good number of restaurants will go back to turning a blind eye to smoking customers who make up a sizeable percentage of their trade. They may seek to cover themselves legally by "informing" customers of the law, and they may take special pains to display the proper signage, but the days of Illinois' smoking customers universally being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and tossed to the gutter are over.

Spring Valley's Family Tavern, bartender Karla Carrington, and Peoria legal eagle Dan O'Day have fired a puff of smoke into the air that will be seen around the world! Wherever else bans may have played in the past, they flopped big time when they tried to take center stage in Peoria!

Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

http://encyclopedia.smokersclub.com/130.html Reference for police quote:(Feb. 3rd, "Bars slow to snuff smoking" by Matthew Marx, Columbus Dispatch)

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Old Man With Pipe" and it was painted by Henry L Richter(1870-1960)


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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Life and Times of a Smoker

In praise of Pat Nurse:

"Pat, I have to say, that this article is absolutely the best I have ever read. It covers the whole issue so eloquently but in clear english. It is accessible to all, maybe even those with closed minds. I implore you to try your utmost to get this in print. I shall link to it from my blog. I personally thank you for coining the most perfect phrase for me to silently repeat and rehearse in readiness for my next anti-smoker encounter. It simply provides a warm inner feeling to accurately describe my adversary as a “sanctimonious, biased and prejudicial bully”!
Thank you, oh thank you so very much."

Read her article at: "The Free Society"

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I WILL!


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Leading American Anti Done for Vice


By Blad Tolstoy

Wonder who this grinning jackass is?

Why, he’s Eliot Spitzer, governor of New York, former attorney general of New York and big, BIG anti-smoker. Yes, this piece of trash went after online cigarette merchants and Indian reservations and threatened film studios that didn’t censor smoking. His arrogance knew no bounds.

In 2004, this holier-than-thou pillock spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island. Now he’s been done for the making use of the services of prostitutes himself.

(Go to story: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/nyregion/10cnd-spitzer.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin)

No-one’s perfect but if they start pretending they are someone special, who IS perfect, then you know what they say: live by the sword, die by the sword.

Bye Spritzer, of should we say “Shitzer”. Now take this prohibitionist scum and hang him out to dry. Good riddance!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

No to Licences for Pub Smoking Rooms

By Blad Tolstoy

It has been drawn to our attention through our parliamentary grapevines that the government is playing with the idea of issuing licences, at a cost, to pubs in order to enable them to set aside a room for smoking. If so, this is another typically sly idea from a very bad government.

It is worth remembering in the first place that one of the reasons why so many of our pubs, clubs, bingo halls and many other establishments in the hospitality and entertainment industries are going bust, or experiencing financial difficulties, is because of a bad law the government itself created, namely, the smoking ban, which is enshrined in the Health Act 2006.

If therefore, the government wants to permit establishments to set aside rooms for smoking it should do so without requiring a licence and licence fee. In fact, that is the least it can do after all the damage it has caused.

However, under the leadership of Chairman Brown, this government cannot resist any means it can to extract money from an already financially overburdened populace. Moreover, it has interfered excessively in personal lifestyles, telling so many lies to justify this practice and, in addition, it has failed to manage the economy effectively in a country where we are beginning to experience galloping inflation yet again. In a nutshell, this government is one of the worst in living memory.

Furthermore, the intelligent will ask the question as to how any pub landlord, charged what will probably be a handsome fee for a licence, will meet the cost? The most likely answer is that he or she will, in turn, charge their smoking customers some extra levy in order to do so. Speaking personally, I now ask myself whether I want to pay some extra fee in order to sit in some scrubby backroom in order to have a fag with my pint? The answer is: no, for smokers already contribute substantially to the government in terms of the tax added to cigarettes or tobacco at the point of sale, plus indirectly, via the corporation tax then levied on the profits of the tobacco companies.

We pay too much already.

I suspect that the government’s thinking does not end there and that it will look for some kind of double whammy. This is because it has already been proposed by many that smoking be allowed in locations which provide decent and modern air filtration systems. This means the government will not be happy solely with the requirement of the licence but will also add further to the costs of any establishment proprietor by demanding these systems as well. This is the way this government and anti smoking mentality, generally, thinks: make things as bloody awkward as possible and screw as much money from the situation as you can.

Now I totally support the idea of the introduction of modern air cleaning systems in smoking locations. Not because I believe the nonsense that secondary smoke, in the quantities in which we normally experience it, is a deadly toxic substance, because it isn’t, but because decent ventilation makes a location pleasanter and healthier to be in for everyone, including smokers. Decent ventilation is enough and this government can take its licences idea and shove it where the sun never shines!

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Conservative Party Pressure 2

The next stage in my one-man Conservative Party Pressure campaign is this considered reply to the email address that masquerades as David Cameron:

Dear David, Anna or which ever “correspondence secretary reads this”,

It is good to get a reply when writing to the head of an organisation. This feeling is always tainted by the use of pre-prepared stock phrases especially when they are delivered by a thinly disguised public relations office. The feelings then evoked are those of insignificance, belittlement or simply being ignored or palmed off. I know the weight of Mr Cameron’s inbox makes this a way of ensuring some sort of reply for many, but is it really worth it if this is the standard of response? I cannot tell you how many times the sentences in your letter have been pasted into letters sent to me and my smoking friends. One does potentially tire of the situation, most noticeably for me when my constituency MP, Sir George Young, decided to include a personal attack in his reply, indicating his clear intent not to represent his constituent. Then again, I do persist on this occasion and would hope that my correspondence might me passed on to Mr Cameron himself.

The first sentence of your response states that a smoking ban came into force and that it means that smoking is banned. I thought that was very instructive. I shall attempt to make that my last sarcastic remark. The remainder of your response reveals that the author has a superficial knowledge of the background facts, being employed simply to regurgitate sound bites. The worse thing about this reply is that reference is made to Caroline Flint as if the author somehow trusts her to do what she says. This is at best naïve and if that is the party’s or Mr Cameron’s view then the Conservative Party is indeed lost.

You said: “Whatever one’s own views,”
I recognise that as the opener used solely by anti-smokers or the stooges of organisations that support an anti-smoking stance. It always precedes the bad news.

You said: “,it is very clear that public opinion has demanded a ban on smoking in public places for some time.”
My friends and I have heard this said before. The figures that we have available, however unreliably obtained, badly presented or inaccurately reported are from the Office of National Statistics. They have conducted surveys annually for a little while entitled “Smoking related attitudes and behaviour”. Their news releases report on the previous years statistics. Figures from the 2005 data tell us 33% of people surveyed were in favour of a ban in public places. To most objective observers this means that 67% were not in favour of a ban. These people preferred alternative measures allowing smokers to remain part of the community and go to places with their non-smoking friends. Put another way the majority of people favoured restrictions not a ban. The 2006 data was presented differently. It asked how much the people surveyed “agreed with legislation which will make all enclosed public places and workplaces smokefree”. A massive 77% agreed with this statement. The apparent sea change in opinion was simply brought about by confusing the issue and is not a true representation of change. The term “smokefree” was not taken to mean “smokersfreezingtheirbacksidesoff” as it was clearly meant to convey. The labour government changed their proposals for the said legislation and at the time of the survey no-one could have appreciated their intentions or the consequences of the draconian Act that followed. So, your glib statement is actually far from the truth, and it is an insult to write such statements in your reply.

You said: “There is also a considerable body of scientific evidence to point to the harmful health effects of second-hand smoke.”
This is where Mr Cameron seems to assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. Quite a naïve assumption, as I would not be writing on the subject unless I had a great interest in the subject. I do have a rather in depth knowledge of the subject of Environmental Tobacco Smoke, the available scientific evidence and the propaganda campaign initially recommended by the World Health Organisation that has aimed to create a fear of tobacco smoke in the general public. We now know that WHO are suspected of bias in scientific reporting. We also know that SCOTH, from whom all government advice on tobacco smoke has been derived is principally made up from people with additional competing agendas, for example relating to their work for the pharmaceutical industry. Now is not the place to list the scientific evidence or lack of it for the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, but the views of Professor Doll and more recently Le Grand summarize it well: “There is no risk”. So, once again a rather insulting remark from Mr Cameron’s correspondence secretary.

You next devote a paragraph to directing me to details on the legislation. I live the legislation every day of my weather dependant, tramp-like existence. I am only too aware of the consequences of the legislation as are many wet led pubs, bingo halls and working men’s clubs. As are the brewing industry and the thriving tobacco industry who us smokers continue to support to the hilt. We are also fortunately still able to contribute far more to the chancellor than any fictitious calculation on the cost we incur for the Health Service. Is this any way to treat law abiding citizens? There are other possible solutions which work well in other countries. Spanish hospitality providers may choose to allow smoking if their premises are of a sufficient size to allow separate well ventilated areas. Why can we not actively consider this type of more inclusive and permissive arrangement?

The altruistic aim continually quoted is to improve the health of the nation. If this is to be an earnest objective it needs to pay far more attention and give much more credence to the mental health of the nation. The current situation segregates the people and socially isolates a large part of the electorate. The continual politically lead pressure to demonise smokers and pressurise smokers to stop smoking which pervades our lives via television and radio advertising produces a form of apartheid which can by no stretch of the imagination be considered as healthy for the nation.

The rest of your response attempts to convince me that the opposition is in some way doing it’s job and that there will be health benefits from this legislation. It may now be apparent to you that I do not wear that. I can assure you that the mental health of many smokers has deteriorated dramatically. If Mr Cameron would like to now actually answer my original questions I would be prepared to delay my complete conversion to UKIP. However, I won’t hold my breath. Can I remind him that at least 13 million people still smoke and that we will be voting in the next general election. It is likely that we will all be single issue voters as the impact of The Health Act on our lives has been all consuming. Where we do not have the opportunity to vote UKIP, we will have to resort to the best tactical vote possible.

I beg the party leaders to consider this matter actively.

Yours sincerely

Dr Phil Button BM DA(UK) DRCOG
Associate Specialist in Anaesthesia

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