Just over twenty-two hours ago, I posted this, with links to a propaganda poll on the BMJ smokophobia blog.
In seven days, they had found 111 total votes. Now their total is 372. That's more than double their efforts for the week, in under a day. The option that should see them trying their luck with India and China, or maybe getting them to try to ban all imports in the face of EU rage, is now the favourite, with 72% of the vote.
Who did this? Some subversive organisation? Some organised underground smoking den of fiends? Who is behind it? Who are their leaders, where is their command structure?
There is no organisation. No leader. no structure. Once more, the anarchy of blogland formed a spontaneous group who now, job done, fade back into the shadows.
Banned is right in the comments - if they look at their stats they can trace this flurry of activity back to this blog. They might even succeed in shutting this blog down, which their spite-driven minds will regard as 'fair'. I'll just open another one. They can trace me to my home address if they like - I haven't made it hard to do. They can 'out' me but as I said before, I'll be doing that myself in April anyway. There is nothing they can threaten me with aside from further restrictions on smoking and they are going to do that anyway.
The law? All I did was point to a public poll. All I and anyone else did was vote on a public poll that asked for our vote. It didn't have a 'no smokers' sign that I could see, although I expect the next one will. Besides, I have no idea who anyone is beyond their blog names. Even if they try to get heavy handed with me, I have no 'list of smokers' for them. I have no 'book of collaborating non-smokers' to reveal. All they can do is shut this blog and that would be no more than a temporary inconvenience.
So what will happen? It depends if they are even bothering to look at that poll. It is likely that they intend to use all the suggestions and more, no matter what the poll says. Its only purpose was to allow them to say the words 'overwhelming public support' based on their 111 respondents, most of whom are the most rabid of antismokers and who would support measures that would have had Vlad the Impaler thinking 'Hang on now, that's a bit much'.
If they realise they've been had, they will probably drop the jwatso option from the poll and revert to their favourite - 'ensure smokers know they have no rights'. As if we thought we did.
Will they realise? If they don't look at the poll daily, they won't notice that their votes trebled overnight. They'll just see it as a great response.
To these Righteous, it is inconceivable that someone might disagree. It is impossible that anyone might think differently, and anyone who does is Just Plain Wrong. Smokers are stupid and are hopeless, gibbering addicts. That, to them, is the only possible truth. I'm not going to leave a comment there because there is no point. You cannot reason with the rabid.
They have a guest post by a French antismoking zealot who thinks he is hard done by.
In 2009, through my role as professor of public health at Amiens University Hospital, I stated on French TV that cigarettes kill two smokers a year for every tobacconist. As a result, I am being sued by the French tobacconists’ union.
They can't sue unless... the claim is either untrue or unsubstantiated. So does he cite the study that gave him this figure?
The irony is that in June 2009 I received a “Knowledge for the World” award from the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association for making the very same claim.
No, he cites a magazine which gave him an award 'for making this claim'. He had made the claim before the publication of the source he cites, and the source he cites merely quotes the claim he made. His indignation stems from his fury that some people simply don't believe his claim, they are angry that they are being blamed for deaths without proof, and they are now 'abusing' the French libel laws to get at him. He cannot see that pointing at tobacconists and saying they are each responsible for two deaths is tantamount to accusing them of murder. He cannot understand why the tobacconists might not like that.
There are other claims. 'Thousands of deaths from second hand smoke' is a favourite, but when they are asked to name just one, all they can come up with is Roy Castle, whose cancer could not have been triggered by smoking, active or passive. How many, really? The answer is none.
Third hand smoke is so utterly silly that it is embarrassing to share the same taxonomic classification as those who believe it. Its purpose is to isolate smokers, to make the non-smokers afraid to be near them even when they are not smoking, in case they catch something. Exactly the same approach is now being applied to the overweight. Yes, you can now catch 'fat' by being too close to fat people. Soon you will be able to get drunk just by standing next to a drinker. Think of the money you'd save!
And yet, if you stop smoking, all that third hand smoke magically disappears. Decades of smoking in your house means it is steeped in imaginary toxins, all of which are magically exorcised when you stub out your last one. Likewise, if you lose weight, that 'infection' of fat no longer exists. You no longer carry the Fat Bug that never really existed in the first place.
A quick note to those who actually believe third hand smoke can kill them. I routinely give old clothes, books and other items to charity shops. In clothes shops, I have a good rummage and try a few things on before buying. I don't buy everything I've tried on. I pick things up on supermarket shelves, examine them and often decide to put them back. You might be wearing something, eating something, reading something or drinking something that my gnarled and prematurely-aged yellow fingers have touched. You'll never know which items I have left my little packets of death on.
Of course, if I ever stop smoking, all those microscopic particles of instant death will vanish. Just like that. Not even the greatest fiction writer in the world could make a credible novel out of that premise, and yet there are people who think it is fact.
Those same people will believe in second-hand obesity. I really hope 'stupid' isn't catching because there are some chronic cases out there.
There are signs of desperation in the smokophobe ranks. They don't understand why their lies, unchallenged for so long, are now being questioned. They cannot grasp how their methods are being revealed. Here's a clue, Righteous - it's because they are the same methods over and over again. Now that the same methods are being applied to drinkers and the overweight in exactly the same way, more and more people are noticing them. Soon we will be told that to sit in a seat once occupied by a fat person risks third hand obesity. That fat people are a danger on the road because they can't move around in the seat like a thin person. Fat people selling their cars will be told they have 'damaged the suspension'. The methods are simple and predictable. Isolate and demonise, divide and rule.
The same desperation is evident in the Climatologist ranks. People are no longer simply believing the lies. All over the place, Righteous rule is being questioned and they don't know how to cope beyond shouting 'I'm right! I'm right!'.
They will claim I am in the pay of the tobacco companies. If any tobacco companies want to pay me to write for them, I am open for negotiation, but at the moment I do this for free. I do it because I am angry at being demonised and isolated. I do it because I can no longer visit a pub or a coffee shop. I do it because every day I am called names by these smokophobes, lied about, hated by people who have never met me and never will, and for no reason other than that I like a smoke. I do this for myself. Without instructions or pay. I write as an individual. I voted on that poll as an individual. So did everyone else.
That is what they cannot understand. They never will.
That is why they will always fail.