By Blad Tolstoy
There has been much furore over the recent claim by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) that it costs the NHS at let £5.17bn to treat smokers. Many find this incredible, given that only two years ago the government’s guesstimate for such treatments remained at only £1.7bn. Then, last October, BHF claimed the figure had risen to £2.7bn, rather a surprise given that in the next breath both they and their fellow anti-smoking organisations want to claim that smoking rates have come down. Now, suddenly, their figure jumps to £5.17bn. Even taking account of inflation such a jump in cost is incredible.
As Mark Wadsworth points out, the figures of this lobby don’t generally make any sense when you also consider, for example, that an Oxford University team claimed that one in five die of smoking related deaths when it is also maintained that one in four of the population smokes.
The facts of this matter are interesting, in that, contrary to myth, it has never been proved that even primary smoking is uniquely responsible for anyone’s death. Yes, you can ask those who claim that it is to give you the names of those who have been proved to have died from smoking. They never can, and when one scrapes beneath the surface, one always discovers that the large numbers of deaths attributed to smoking refer to statistical populations and not real ones. In other words, projected guesstimates.
No, I am not saying that smoking cannot cause anyone’s death but what I am saying is quite simple. That is, that if you cannot prove in the first place that smoking is uniquely responsible for anyone’s death, then you cannot generate any reliable figures.
That’s a simple point of logic. The principle tool of the anti-smoking lobby used to support the claim that smoking causes death is epidemiology – the statistical study of epidemics. Yet, epidemiology alone cannot prove anything, and in order to be truly beneficial it must always follow real science: real science being the proof supplied by physical, chemical and biological connections.
See for example and reference the McTear case, Part XI, Conclusions and Result: [9.10]
A revealing case for those who take the trouble to go through it.
So why then is there this bolstering of the cost of treating smokers by BHF? The real answer is an attempt to persuade politicians, and probably the public, that the economic benefits given by smoking are null and void. In other words, we have a disingenuous attempt by BHF to mislead the lawmakers that the taxes generated by smoking do not cover the cost. That is the real reason for this claim despite the fact that in 2007 the government stated that the revenue from over the counter sales of tobacco products was £8.1bn.
Lets do some maths here. Even if the claim by BHF that smoking related diseases cost the country £5.17bn were true, such a claim is still offset by the income generated at £8.1bn. Moreover, nearly three years on, the income generated from over the counter sales will have increased, as since 2007 there have been at least three tax increases.
But that’s not the end of the story. Let’s go further and consider more fully just what the government makes from tobacco sales:
1) The tax on over the counter sales.
2) The corporation tax levied on the profits of the tobacco companies.
3) The corporation tax levied on the profits of cigarette vending machine companies.
4) The corporation tax levied on newsagents and other cigarette vendors as is proportionate to their income from tobacco sales.
5) National insurance paid by the employees of tobacco companies, vending machine companies and the employees of other sales outlets. (No job, no national insurance contributions.)
6) The income tax generated by employees working in the already listed occupations.
Yes, when you start to add it all up, tobacco makes the government far more than it costs to treat smokers; and if it is also true that more smokers die younger than non-smokers there is also a substantial saving in health care costs too.
Ah-ha, I hear you thinking, but what has all this got to do with the title of this post: ‘Why The Word “Cunt” Remains Useful’?
Well, may I draw your attention to this post by our old friend Dick Puddlecote.
This post by Puddlecote refers to one Jane DeVille-Almond, a ‘Nurse Consultant’, who thinks that people who lead unhealthy lifestyles, and from her comments, particularly smokers, should just be allowed to die. DeVille-Almond sounds pretty thick as it is, and one is left thinking that no wonder the country is in the state it’s in with people like her being placed in positions of authority. However, it’s worth pointing out to this smarmy, mendacious woman that, as outlined, smokers DO pay for their health care costs many times over. However, this is not a woman inspired by facts but by a hate induced ideology. Sadly, DeVille-Almond is not alone in this new world of neo-Nazi ideology as many of our health professionals are, to their discredit, also on the same bandwagon. See:
In his post, Puddlecote blames BHF for this state of affairs, but the fact is that certain health professionals have been desperately trying to disjoin tobacco from the financial benefits it brings for some time. The remarks of the BHF and DeVille-Almond are just two of the most recent manifestations of this mendacious and irresponsible trash about costs, which, essentially, presents an excuse for contravention of the Hippocratic Oath (as indicated in the above Telegraph article).
(Incidentally, if you want yet another reason not to fund BHF, their charity shops are franchises. Yes, private enterprises which give a portion of their income to BHF but which are essentially private profiteers. So next time you may decide to give your unwanted clothes to BHF, just remember, much of that money goes to make some entrepreneur richer and not to charity.)
Nevertheless, Puddlecote does not mince words when describing DeVille-Almond. He calls her a “cunt”. This word has recently fallen out of fashion, probably because of over use by Dudley Moore and Peter Cook in the 1970s (as Derek and Clive respectively). However, used sparingly, it remains such a useful word and one we should, maybe, readopt. In that case, if DeVille-Almond can be described as a “cunt,” what does that make an organisation that spreads a mendacious doctrine in order to achieve its ends? A “supercunt” perhaps?
Finally, if you would like to be reminded of the dialogue of Moore and Cook, may I present this ancient delight from YouTube: