An anti smoker speaks

Over at the Independent, “journalist” or more like “churnalist” Steve Connor has dutifully cut and pasted a rattled Deborah Arnott and Stephen Williams’ Liberal Democrat MP’s piece on attacking Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

“Anti-smoking campaigners have voiced concerns that Mark Littlewood, the director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has been appointed as an “independent adviser” to the Government’s Red Tape Challenge, which they believe might allow him to influence policy on plain cigarette packets.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-pm-his-prosmoking-aide-and-a-dirty-war-over-cigarette-packaging-7563261.html

The delightful Angela Harbutt has written a rather more erudite repost:

“Nailed his colours to the mast ? Too right he has – and years ago. Mark Littlewood (founder of, and former blogger here at LV) has been a passionate smoker, and blogger on the issue for years – and not just on tobacco. He has stood up to governments on tobacco and alcohol and drugs and gambling and a number of other lifestyle issues time and again here on this very blog, on the media. You name it Littlewood has been there.

…And long before he started this blog, when he was the spin doctor for the Lib Dems  he was positively evangelical about people’s freedoms, civil (co-founder of no2id) and  personal.”

http://www.liberal-vision.org/2012/03/13/plain-packaging-a-dirty-war-alright/#respond

What I found interested in the “tobacco kills” comments was these from And789 when he said:

“We can’t kill people with tobacco just to keep the pubs open.”

I replied:

“So you like to ban the freedom of assembly of consenting adults to consume a legal substance on private property? Suggested further reading is Von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and George Orwell’s 1984. ”

His reply:

“Yes.

You’re in serfdom to the tobacco industry. They’ve got you by the short and curlies and you pay them for it.And you’re not consenting, you’re addicted.”

An anti smoker speaks.

 

 

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10 Responses to An anti smoker speaks

  1. Rose says:

    When I saw that article this morning, I had a strange feeling of deja vu.

    Tobacco Retailers Concerns ‘Air-Brushed Out’ By Government, UK
    4 Dec 2008

    “Members of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, a coalition of 25,000 independent retailers, have expressed outrage that their views were excluded from a Government report into retail displays of tobacco.
    In a report on the Future of Tobacco Control consultation published on Tuesday 9th December 2008, the Department of Health appears to have deliberately omitted evidence offered by the Tobacco Retailers Alliance.

    Ken Patel, Leicester retailer and National Spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, said: “First the Minister refused to meet with retailers, now they have censored our formal response to a public consultation.”

    Campaign Manager Katherine Graham said; “We are not listed as one of the respondents although our response was submitted by email and also sent by post, so we can be certain it was received. For some reason the views of 25,000 shopkeepers just seem to have been air-brushed out of the consultation report.”
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/132901.php

    Thick fug hangs over tobacco
    10 Dec 2008

    “Incidentally, of 96,515 submissions to the DoH consultation, 49,507 came from something called Smokefree North West and a further 8,128 from Smokefree North East.

    It is to be hoped that their pre-written postcards or e-mail campaigns are not accorded equal weight to the more considered, but less shrill, views of the small retailers and tobacco industry.”
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article5315436.ece

    Then the attack

    MPs fall foul of ‘dirty’ tricks by tobacco giants – 2008

    “Yesterday MPs expressed dismay that the campaign had been orchestrated and funded by the tobacco companies. ‘The early-day motion very carefully avoids any kind of hint of their support,’ said Frank Cook, Labour MP for Stockton North, who signed up to it. ‘It’s a pretty dirty, surreptitious quest they’re on. I felt a bit pissed off about it. As a result of what I now know, I’ve withdrawn my name from the motion.’ Cook said withdrawing his name from the motion was not a signal he was turning his back on small retailers.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/14/tobacco-industry-small-retailers

    ‘People will say Frank Cook no longer supports the independent newsagent or grocer,’ he said. ‘Well, that’s a load of bollocks, but I’ve got to make the gesture.
    I’ve been conned by these people and I’m not going to put up with it.’

    Clearly

    Government ‘fixing health consultations’ with taxpayer-funded groups
    02 Jan 2009

    “Earlier this month the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that the display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops would be banned in England and Wales from 2011.

    He added that people wanting to buy cigarettes from vending machines would in future have to show proof of age to obtain a token to activate the machine, and machines could be banned altogether in the future.

    Mr Johnson boasted that the display ban was favoured by an “overwhelming majority” of 96,000 responses to a six-month public consultation on the subject.

    Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

    Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry.

    The finding has prompted critics to accuse the Government of spending taxpayers’ money on establishing groups designed merely to back the Government line on public health issues.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/4076290/Government-fixing-health-consultations-with-taxpayer-funded-groups.html

    Ministers have effectively been accused of “astroturfing” – cultivating a fake grassroots movement in order to make a position appear more popular than it really is.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/4076290/Government-fixing-health-consultations-with-taxpayer-funded-groups.html

    I’m surprised that the Coalition went ahead with it, the manipulation was so blatant and so widely known.

    The thing about letting sleeping dogs lie; is that if you wake them up, you have their undivided attention – and some of them start taking notes : )

    “Members of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, a coalition of 25,000 independent retailers, have expressed outrage that their views were excluded from a Government report into retail displays of tobacco.

    In a report on the Future of Tobacco Control consultation published on Tuesday 9th December 2008, the Department of Health appears to have deliberately omitted evidence offered by the Tobacco Retailers Alliance.

    Ken Patel, Leicester retailer and National Spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, said: “First the Minister refused to meet with retailers, now they have censored our formal response to a public consultation.”

    Campaign Manager Katherine Graham said; “We are not listed as one of the respondents although our response was submitted by email and also sent by post, so we can be certain it was received. For some reason the views of 25,000 shopkeepers just seem to have been air-brushed out of the consultation report.”
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/132901.php

    Thick fug hangs over tobacco
    10 Dec 2008

    “Incidentally, of 96,515 submissions to the DoH consultation, 49,507 came from something called Smokefree North West and a further 8,128 from Smokefree North East.

    It is to be hoped that their pre-written postcards or e-mail campaigns are not accorded equal weight to the more considered, but less shrill, views of the small retailers and tobacco industry.”
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article5315436.ece

    MPs fall foul of ‘dirty’ tricks by tobacco giants – 2008

    “Yesterday MPs expressed dismay that the campaign had been orchestrated and funded by the tobacco companies. ‘The early-day motion very carefully avoids any kind of hint of their support,’ said Frank Cook, Labour MP for Stockton North, who signed up to it. ‘It’s a pretty dirty, surreptitious quest they’re on. I felt a bit pissed off about it. As a result of what I now know, I’ve withdrawn my name from the motion.’ Cook said withdrawing his name from the motion was not a signal he was turning his back on small retailers.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/14/tobacco-industry-small-retailers

    ‘People will say Frank Cook no longer supports the independent newsagent or grocer,’ he said. ‘Well, that’s a load of bollocks, but I’ve got to make the gesture.

    I’ve been conned by these people and I’m not going to put up with it.’

    Clearly

    Government ‘fixing health consultations’ with taxpayer-funded groups
    02 Jan 2009

    “Earlier this month the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that the display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops would be banned in England and Wales from 2011.

    He added that people wanting to buy cigarettes from vending machines would in future have to show proof of age to obtain a token to activate the machine, and machines could be banned altogether in the future.

    Mr Johnson boasted that the display ban was favoured by an “overwhelming majority” of 96,000 responses to a six-month public consultation on the subject.

    Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

    Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry.

    The finding has prompted critics to accuse the Government of spending taxpayers’ money on establishing groups designed merely to back the Government line on public health issues.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/4076290/Government-fixing-health-consultations-with-taxpayer-funded-groups.html

    • johnhenson7 says:

      I’ve been looking for this information for a long time and now finally – thank you Rose most helpful.

  2. Rose says:

    what on earth happened there?

    Could you correct it for me please Dave?

  3. johnhenson7 says:

    I’m sure that you already know Dave that anyone that speaks (above reply to you) in that way can only be associated to the Tobacco Control Lobby. The vast majority of decent honourable people don’t speak in this way.

  4. Justin says:

    About your anti-smoker. Even if smoking IS as deadly as he/she seems to think (which it isn’t), the dichotomy of “kill people with tobacco=keep pubs open” and “save lives=ban tobacco in pubs” simply doesn’t hold up.

    The smoking ban has NOT reduced the smoking rate. So people are “dying” at the same rate due to smoking as always. (I won’t enter the argument about what that rate is, but he/she can’t argue that it’s declined if the smoking rate hasn’t. )

    So even granting the premise that tobacco kills, the real question seems to be between “kill smokers and pubs” and “kill smokers but let the pubs live.”

    Hard to see any argument at all for the former.

  5. Frank J says:

    “You’re in serfdom to the tobacco industry.”

    According to these people, we’re in serfdom to every corporate, food, oil, drinks, everything. They didn’t go away when the Soviet Union collapsed.

  6. Micheal says:

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