Saturday, 9 April 2011

The dim future.

There was an episode of The Young Ones which involved Rick finding Neil awake in the middle of the night. Rick says "Don't you ever sleep?" and Neil replies "Sleep gives you cancer, man. Everyone knows that." I can't find that clip.

We all laughed at the time. Back then, lots of people smoked, almost all pubs allowed it, some cafes and restaurants did too, there was smoking and non-smoking accommodation on buses and trains and in hotels and if you had suggested that one day there would be people trying to ban smoking in a smoker's own home, nobody would have believed it at all.

Smoking increased the risk of cancer and a variety of specific lung diseases. We knew it and chose whether or not to risk it. It was an increased risk, not a certainty. Nobody was at all harmed by second hand smoke even though there were lots more smokers around and we could puff away in most places. Children did not topple over with asthma or middle ear infections or any of the other nonsensical attributions to this mystical second-hand smoke that has now achieved Jedi powers and can even pass through walls. In fact, if you had mentioned to a smoker that you were breathing his smoke, he'd charge you for using it. Some of us still might.

Most homes had coal or wood fires so smoke was just part of life.

Asthma and other autoimmune diesases are on the increase while smoking is in decline. If there is any correlation at all between the two, it's a negative one.

There were people who didn't like smoking back then. Of course there were. King James, he of the famous Bible translation four hundred years ago, didn't like smoking and that wasn't very long after Walter Raleigh brought the first load past customs with no trouble because he managed to convince them it was only for his use and for Queen Liz (the other one).

If you visited a non-smoker's home, the polite way to proceed was to ask if they minded you smoking and if they did, to refrain until you'd left. It didn't need legislation. People came to amicable arrangements on their own. Of course, that's not allowed any more. Neither is 'polite'. I don't even hear the word mentioned any more. It's probably as bad as being racist now.

In the days before the Ban Darkness descended upon all human thought, there were non-smoking cafes, restaurants and pubs. There were pubs with smoking and non-smoking rooms. Restaurants where you could smoke in the bar but not in the dining room. Perfectly reasonable arrangements. Smokers went to places that allowed them in, antismokers went to the other places. Easy.

A non-smoker could declare his home and property smoke-free and that was perfectly fair and reasonable. He could set up a business and declare no-smoking on the premises and that was also fair and reasonable. However, when he went to someone else's home, property or business and said 'This is yours, you pay for it, but you will declare it smoke-free because I wish it. And no, I do not intend to contribute to the costs at all, nor will I make use of your business, but you will run it my way anyway' then that was not fair and reasonable at all. Yet the smokophobic fundamentalists think it is.

In fact they believe that anyone objecting to their moral takeover is being unfair, unreasonable and selfish. This is because they are children. They stamp their feet to get their way and they respond to attempts at reason with a tantrum. They are not adults and will never be. They will die as wrinkled children, holding Nanny's hand and wailing that they don't want to go to sleep yet.

And then Nanny will raise the needle and say 'It's time...' and they will accept it because they voted for it.

It's not just the smokophobes. There are a lot of children out there now. Look at the way our politicians behave. Look even at the likes of Sugary Alan. A barrow-boy who made a fortune out of low-end electronics and a bit of innovation and flair. Sure, an objectionable git, but he reached his current position through hard work. I can respect that, even if he does look and act like Grumpy's understudy for a production of Snow White.

I bought one of his hi-fi amplifiers in 1976. Basic, no-frills, but solid and reliable. As, I thought, the man himself seemed to be at the time.

Then he met Labour. They hate all that he stands for and all that he achieved and yet they cajoled him into giving them pots of cash. He agreed to play a silly little game on the television and now he preens in ermine along with the rest of those who practise wearing red because where they're going, it's always in fashion.

What happened to him? How did he go from hard-working no-frills businessman to all-frills socialist? What did they do? They infantilised him. They broke him. They turned him from that success story of 'Work hard and you too can get out of the shitehole and into the limousines' into the archetypal Victorian mill owner. 'Work, you buggers, work, and make money for me. Fail and you're fired'.

Is he really like that? Who knows? Now, that is certainly how he appears. A Labour-despised caricature of the Evil Rich and yet they have persuaded him onto their side. Oh, he's convinced. He's another sheep in the rain who's been persuaded it's dry and warm in the abbatoir.

He's just an extreme example of the doublethink out there now. On one hand we have ASH claiming that heart attacks almost never happen now that smoking is banned while CASH insist we will all get heart attacks from eating salt. Last week, smoking caused all heart attacks. This week it's salt, next week obesity, the week after it'll be drink, then caffeine, then whatever's next on the ban list.

This bloody spineless government and their instant caving-in to anyone who turns up with a shedload of lies and made-up nonsense will eventually be revealed as the major cause of heart attacks, you know.

But not until we have an adult population again. That won't happen soon. The current lot are mere drones, locked in the two-year-old logic of 'I want it so it must be right'. They accept the dichotomy of falling heart attack rates from smoking and rising heart attack rates from salt at the same time.

They believe absolutely anything they are told. Try it yourself. Tell them the one I saw in the letters page of New Scientist. A railway engineer was asked why there are summer and winter train timetables. He said it was because of the electrification of the lines. When the wires get really cold they become superconductors so the trains can run faster in winter than in summer. That's why they need two timetables.

Try it. All you need is a straight face.

They believe that the one daily glass of wine they have taken all their adult lives will now give them cancer. They believe that salt, an essential nutrient, is poison. You know that often-quoted figure that says we are made of between 80%-90% water? It's not water. It's brine. Lack of salt will kill you much faster than a bit more than you need in your diet. Sure, overloading with a mass of salt will kill you just as surely as overloading with a mass of water. There are two things in your lower back called kidneys and part of their job is to make sure you have the right salt/water balance. Let them do their job.

Did you know that if you reach into the carcass of a freshly-killed pig, you can rip those kidneys out intact with your hand? There's not much holding them in. Several of my past students now know this, and they didn't all faint. The heart got most of them though. All I had for dissections was a butcher knife and a bad attitude. Also, potato produced a very neatly coiled colon while wheat produced a ragged gassy thing. Heating and cooling starch makes some of it 'retrograde' which I won't get into here, except to say that pre-cooked frozen chips are really good for you. They taste better with salt too.

The children can accept that alcohol consumption is falling and cancer of the throat is rising and that's due to increased alcohol consumption even though alcohol consumption is falling. Surprised? Why? They believe the rise in asthma is caused by smoking even though smoking rates are less than a third of what they were when hardly anyone had heard of asthma. They believe they get fat from eating fat even though in the days when we had bread and dripping, deep-fried everything in hot melted lard, and margarine in the house was there for cooking purposes only, obesity was rare. Fat consumption has plummeted and obesity is rising due to fat consumption. Believe. You have nothing to lose but your mind.

When smoking was in the 80%-plus range among the population, smoking was blamed for a few very specific lung diseases. Fair enough, it was at least logical.

Now that smoking is around 25% or less of the population, it's blamed for everything from meningitis to scabies. The result? More and more people refuse to believe in the original links to lung disease because all the new stuff is blatant lies, so they assume it's all been lies all along. Oh, what a result you have there, antismokers.

Alcohol consumption is declining, possibly because people are increasingly recognising that overdoing it isn't good for them. Never mind any long-term stuff, they are realising that it hurts in the morning and maybe they don't want to feel like that every day.

It was declining all on its own with no need for anyone to interfere but then up pop the Puritans with a scare story. Alcohol will give you cancer, man. Everyone knows that. Among increasing throat cancers and declining alcohol consumption, this is a really obvious lie. Excessive alcohol consumption will wreck your liver, there is no doubt of this. Ask George Best, he wrecked two livers. Yet they feel the need to make up links that are logically impossible and will only lead to people believing that cirrhosis isn't real either.

Where's the logic in this? Keeping adults child-like, persuading them to believe any old crap and then pushing the nonsense to the level where even a five-year-old would say 'Hang on a minute...' and then decide everything they are told is lies.

What does it achieve? It achieves only one thing. It weeds out a lot of the independent thinkers because they will be led into rejecting all risks. The blindly obedient will survive.

I know smoking involves risk in the same way that mountaineering or bungee jumping involves risk. Like those mountaineers or jumpers, I accept the risk in order to do something I enjoy. I moderate my intake because, as with everything, including water, excessive intake is a much higher risk than moderate intake.

As with whisky. I prefer to have less of the good stuff than loads of the cheap crap. If I'm working I won't drink much, if any, because it makes my fingers drunk and because I work with dangerous things that must really only be approached with a perfectly clear head. When I'm not working, crack open that bottle and fill the glass. It's guzzlin' time. Risks? Sure. I have to have periods of no-booze to let that liver grow back. One day I might get the timing wrong. That's the risk.

Getting old? I am. Pension day moves further away with every birthday. If I should ever catch up with Cameron's promised enhanced pension for those who manage to reach his similarly enhanced pension age, I will hear the younger ones bleating about how they are 'paying for me to be idle'. They will not recall the contributions I paid, they will ignore the taxes I paid into their education, and they will not accept that I'll still be paying tax. No, I will be a burden and must die. Bring the needle, Nanny, this one is a drain on the NHS.

One day I will die. Like a budgie I once owned, I will die at a time and place that will scare the living daylights out of as many as I can reach and I will leave this mortal world in permanent terror that I might return. Antichrist? Pah, he will seem like a reincarnation of Terry Wogan by the time I'm finished. My mother still has dreams about Fred the budgie and his Vincent Price overplayed death scene. I'm only sorry I missed it. The end of that feathered curmudgeon should have received applause. He was one blue vicious little git who scared dogs and only my later grey budgie, Ashtray, came even close.

I don't care what happens to my body when I die. I won't be in it. Burn it, bury it, dump it in a ditch, turn it into fertiliser or biofuel or Soylent Green. There won't be a single useable part left in here, believe me. I am not taking further insults after my death. I'll burn out every circuit in this vehicle before it gets scrapped. You don't want me to save your lives so I won't try.

I will not die in an old folks' home. I've seen them. People in their eighties standing outside to smoke. No gardens. Nothing to do. Put me in there and one or more of the staff will do time for my murder because I guarantee I will drive them to it. Who wants to take the rap?

I will not die in hospital. I am not going out like an obsolete car in a scrapyard. No fading away, no turning off the machines, no starving to death or dying of thirst. I will die where I choose, if not when.

There will be no suicide. No matter what. I just don't have the kind of mind that could even consider it. Kill myself? Never. Kill everyone else? Sure. Dementia, immobility, insanity, bring it on and I'll find a way to make someone else suffer because of it. Someone Righteous. I won't kill myself, Righteous. I want you to do it because afterwards, I'm dead but you get the prison sentence. Oh, and did I mention I'm on the poltergeist waiting list already? See you in the cell.


Death is not scary. Death is normal. Everyone does it sooner or later. All my ancestors managed it with no effort at all and so did yours. The choice is not between death and life. On that point there is no choice. The choice is to spend your life living or to spend it worrying about death.

If I continue to smoke and drink and eat the things I like eating, there is no doubt I will die sooner than if I didn't smoke or drink at all and lived on salads and tofu. Why is that anyone else's problem? Why does the government feel it's their business at all? Why do the anti-everything brigade feel it's any of their concern?

I have one life. I plan to enjoy it. So far, I have, mostly. That might well make it shorter than it could have been but my choice is a long and dull life or a shorter and much more fun one.

My choice. Say it again. My choice. Nobody else's. My life, not yours. My choice to risk an earlier death affects nobody else at all. You want to live the ultimate in health adverts? Go ahead, I have no objection at all. That is your choice. It's not mine. I don't want to drink my whisky like you do.

Oh, I could carry on paying tax and working into old age while the pension age moves away from me every year or I could sit in my garden, drinking and smoking, in the slow times and laugh like a drain when the sun comes out and activates the solar-powered fountain in my bird bath. Ever seen a sparrow shit itself? It's hilarious. All you need do is take the batteries out so it stops when the sun goes in, then sit quietly and wait. Fun doesn't have to be expensive.

Next door is Plastic Man. Cuts the grass Saturday, washes the car Sunday. Parks in exactly the same spot every time. Exactly. To the inch. Gets upset if anyone else parks outside his house. Off to work in the morning, home in the evening. Two kids. Also plastic. Wife hangs out washing whatever the weather. If it's sunny they sit in the garden whether there's any point or not, at specific and predictable times. Garden is one square of grass. No variation. Bank holidays they always go somewhere. I like those days.

You could program robots to live their lives and nobody would ever notice. Sure, maybe they like living their lives as directed. I could not, but maybe it suits them. Why though, do they feel Righteous in condemning my lifestyle? I work, I pay taxes, the only difference is that I don't have set working hours so my time zone shifts around. I also like a bit of variety in house and garden but it doesn't affect them. Why are they bothered?

It comes back to children. Children like predictability and they like sameness. Put a different child in the mix and they can't cope. They are wary of any who are different from the group. That's natural, for children. Adults should be able to reason and to cope with differences. Plastic Man is the Government's vision of the future. Married, two drone kids (hey, a beehive would reject these two as being too droney), follows the Life Plan to the letter, no smoking, no drinking, meals on time, work on time, home on time, in the garden at set times, lawn trimmed to perfection, car parked within inches of the target, washed and rust-free (I never owned a rust-free one. I was Hammerite's best customer for years). In bed by ten, television watched and assimilated, the News is True, war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength... is that a fun life or is that just living for the sake of it?

Fortunately the neighbour on the other side is an utter pisshead who is also self-employed and also has no interest in what the neighbours think. If, indeed, they do.

If you look at the newspaper comments you will find this next line hard to believe but... there are more sensible thinkers than we realise. The drones are noisy but the sensible are quiet. None of us want to draw attention to ourselves. Well, aside from gabbly ones like me and the other bloggers but we are a minority even among the sensible. Among the local Smoky-Drinkers I am the only one who blogs. Some have no Internet and no interest in getting it. One at least doesn't even have a landline in his house.

There are adults out there in the population but adults watch in silence. The childen shriek and wail and the adults shake their heads and say 'tut'. That's how it's always been. Unfortunately the politicians are children too, so they're not listening to the adults.

So, does sleep cause cancer? Not yet. Not until the 24/7 requirement for taxation kicks in.

hen we'll watch those Young Ones episodes and as with the Dilbert books, we won't be laughing any more.

But by then, laughing will be illegal anyway.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very good story telling, has a nice flow to it. If they can find a way to tax sleep, then they will. For oral cancer, it was in one of the mainstream papers last month that they now believe it was seldom if ever caused by tobacco but by oral sex all along. A couple of blogs had the link posted last month to the story. But now they are saying alcohol. McDonald's might be the next declared cause, depending on tax revenue efficiencies and matters of ego among the leadership.

Anonymous said...

Hey Legiron, I washed my car once and I cut my grass every year wether it needs it or not. Am I plasticising?

Re banning laughter, about 20 years ago I had a manager who put out an office memo stating there was too much hilarity in the office and we were not employed to enjoy ourselves.

BTW the same man also tried to ban farting in the office! He was a plastic man and totally anal about routine and rules and control, daily meeting at 10:00 even if there was nothing to say or discuss, woe betide you if you were late, tea served at precisely 09:15 and 14:30, no eating in the office, golf on Friday afternoon, car wash Sunday etc etc.

A singularly boring existence. Spontaneity and unpredictability were his worst nightmare.

Mr A said...

RE: adult interaction. I still believe one of the reasons the antis are (so far) winning is precisely because they are screaming infants. Adults recognise that agreements made between adults merely need a question and an answer; the ASH infants scream and scream until Mommy steps in and starts banning stuff. The problem is, smokers are adults - this is their problem; they are TOO reasonable. My job involves interviewing people in their home. You'd be amazed how many people ask if it's okay if they smoke (in THEIR homes!) or, just go outside in the garden, mid-interview, assuming that that is what they have to do. This is direct contrast to the antis who would come to YOUR house and demand that you stop smoking if they saw a lighter and fag packet appear.

When this happens I always make a big deal of, "Hey, I'm a smoker, too" - then a bond is forged and I feel my incredulousness that they even asked makes them think, just for a moment, about how meek and servile thinking, tax-paying adults have become in the face of the shrill, Tobacco Control menace....

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty certain I won't be going first as a smoking drinking fat eating fool. Unfortunately over the years I've seen friends peg it with cancer, all younger than me, all none smoking and some teetotal as well.
I've had thousands of happy boozy hours with mates, enjoyed smoking and love eating the fat on lamb chops and beef and will happily meet my maker with a smile.
Whether heaven or hell as long as it has a smoking pub with quality scoff.

Zaphod said...

Legiron, you are always an inspiration. Don't ever stop blogging.

But do not consider becoming a charismatic ranting dictator. I suspect you might succeed, and you wouldn't enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Anon

That's my problem, I eat lots of butter, drink lots of coffee with sugar, have double cream on my porridge, I smoke, I never exercise for the sake of it,but I am ashamed to admit that I AM teetotal, and no matter how often I try, I don't like the dizzy feeling.

Should I worry?

Rose

George Speller said...

They will die as wrinkled children, holding Nanny's hand and wailing that they don't want to go to sleep yet.

That is bleak

Anonymous said...

Dear Rose,

You do indeed have a serious problem. I fear that it can only be overcome with prolonged drinking, which will in time and with practice take you straight into the mellow, smiling fool stage bypassing the dizzy spell. Good luck.

Ian R Thorpe said...

I recalled that episode of The Young Ones and laughed. Then my laughter changed to fear and loating as I recalled something posthed by an Obamessiah disciple on Huffington Post.

"The ideas of the 1960 social revolutionaries have finally penetrated government. Now we can all look forward to living in a more enlightened world."

Neil from The Young Ones running the world. Oh no...

Angry Squaddie said...

Bloke next door sounds like a cunt.

I cut the lawn about 3 weeks after it needs doing and get Kosovans to clean the car once a year whether it needs it or not. If I could get them to Di the lawn I would. In fact, if owned the place I'd just put a patio down and be done with it!

I fucking hate sanctimonious pricks.

AS

Angry Squaddie said...

*do not Di

Although "Di" as a synonym for "cut down in the prime" works pretty well!

AS

DaveA said...

From Dave Atherton.

They printed my reply in the British Medical Journal where it is published.

"Here we go again"

Drinking is obviously the new smoking, so lets get our funding for the next 5 years sorted out.

I will hypothesise that the reason there maybe more people get cancer who drink is because they simply live longer. Alcohol has an undoubted positive effect on heart disease and heart attacks as this paper from the BMJ says. (1)

"..Dose-response analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1-2 a day,.... Secondary analysis of mortality from all causes showed lower risk for drinkers compared with non -drinkers (relative risk 0.87 (0.83 to 0.92)).

Conclusions Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of multiple cardiovascular outcomes."

Other papers reach the same conclusion (2) and the meta analysis and studies are (3)

The way this is being reported in the media is quite disgusting that drinking is bad for you, when the empirical evidence is the complete opposite.

Bearing in mind the junk science surrounding passive smoking, (4) epidemiology is returning to the dark ages of medieval alchemy and in my opinion putting lives at risks.

This is becoming a worry.

1. http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d671.abstract

2. http://www.aim-digest.com/gateway/pages/heart/articles/gene.htm

3. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-L4B_orDIiBI/TXZrlvw4HkI/AAAAAAAAAgY/D42I-
8evsXw/s1600/heart+alcohol+plot.jpg

4. http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7398/1057.abstract?sid=0a438674-3f96-4c61-88f7-60f7fa61cec5

Competing interests:

Attended 7/4/11 BMJ's is Smoking a disease or an addiction, Amsterdam and expenses were paid by Pfizer.

For the sake of clarity I am not remunerated, or expensed by tobacco or alcohol companies. <

Radio Free Britain said...

A little off track but I am so F@%~ked off that I think that just to piss off the pricks in power, we should start the Smoker's Party and then we could politically hold the balance of power; There are still enough of us.

Bandit 1 said...

Awesome post, L-I.

And you are quite right about there being more 'sensible' out there than might seem the case, something that gives me hope. I think, in fact, that the widespread notion of "everyone is a lazy, mindless consumer who is too engrossed in the X-Factor to care about politics or anything else" is a deliberately constructed and perpetuated narrative designed to keep the hoi polloi in line; a form of self-fulfilling prophecy endlessly drummed out by freedom-hating tossers determined to demoralise and demotivate.

Paul said...

RFB: Don't count on that. It would be a good idea if it happens but you have to remember that there are still an awful lot of people who are heavily anti-smoking/anti-drinking people who are scared of thinking for themselves. My dad himself is a smoker but hasn't thought about what even further price rises will mean for pubs, or the coming denormalisation of drinkers, or what he has done to smokers. He won't even walk down the street with a cigarette out of some kind of fear of being seen as a smoker. It's horribly self-defeating thinking.

Paul said...

Sorry:

I meant: "…or what it has done to smokers."

It's a blatant intimidation of free thought.

Then he has a go at the fat women he sees, irrespective of the fact I think he's secretly attracted to them but won't say so out of a sense of conformity.

Conformity is the real problem here. Break that and you're half way there. The desire to conform amongst most people is the main problem I think which can lead to some appalling attitudes and treatment of dissenters or even people who 'look different'.

Paul said...

RFB: Outside our little bubble, no-one will vote for a smokers party. You can try it if you like but I really don't think it would go anywhere and might be fuel to the fire for those that hate us.

Get yourself involved in UKIP if you can. They have the most sensible smoking policy.

(I say that as a lifelong non-smoker who wants his pus and freedom back.)

Lemmi said...

Apparently listening to too much shit from bansturbaters leads to cancer of the ears and believing it causes cancer of the brain. I don't smoke personally but I do own a pipe due to smoking , ahem, herbal substances as a student 30 years ago. I've a good mind to carry it around with me and annoy the ASH faithful by sucking on it in public, empty of course. I do drink, not as much as I used to as I needed to lose weight, 5 stone so far, aqnd will enjoy a few pints tonight. 4 pints is not binge drinking, it's merely an aperatif.Basically it should be each to their own as long as it doesn't directly harm others.

Paul said...

I should say that my dad doesn't directly attack fat women - he doesn't have the balls, but will sneer and laugh with his mates like a little schoolboy.

Leg-iron said...

Crocuses are wonderful for avoiding grass cutting. The lawn cannot be touched until they've finished. My crocus pentacle is now just leaves but they're a darker green than the grass. I'm hoping that when I do get around to cutting it, it'll just make it clearer.

Leg-iron said...

Zaphod - no chance. I can't grow the required moustache.

Leg-iron said...

Rose - not drinking is no problem. I have tea and coffee and soft drinks in the house too. It's not even compulsory to smoke in here.

It's a Righteous nightmare here. Nothing - nothing at all - is compulsory. Visitors can even tell me off for smoking if they like. I'll ignore it and smoke even more and tell them in a calm, quiet voice what it's doing to every cell in their body and why their hands are starting to itch... but shut them up? Where's the fun in that?

Leg-iron said...

Ian R Thorpe - Neil from the Young ones running the world could be interesting. The scary one in that set, the one who should never be in control of anything, was Rick.

Unfortunately he was the only character likely to want control.

Leg-iron said...

Angry Squaddie - I have considered concrete and Astroturf. I thought about concreting the flower beds, painting the concrete brown and drilling holes in it. Then I'd have plastic flowers in the holes for spring and summer and take them all out in winter.

Or maybe the other way around.

Leg-iron said...

RFB - get ready for reports on the 'far-right xenophobic Smoker's Party' ;)

I have to agree with Paul on this one. We're no target as we are, they have to pick us off one by one. They can't find us individually. All we need do is not be smoking and we're invisible.

There was talk a while back of introducing a 'smoking licence'. The claim was that this would stop underage kids getting hold of cigarettes, which is patent nonsense because they aren't getting them legally now. Its only purpose was as a smoker identifier. A yellow star.

If we form a coherent group, the Righteous will be able to deal with us. They know how to fight an organisation.

A leaderless, non-heirarchical, loose collective where nobody takes orders from anyone is something they can't even imagine existing. They can't fight it. They cannot target and discredit the leaders because there are none. They cannot label and categorise the group because there is no common label or category.

They have to fall back on 'must be paid by the tobacco industry' in every argumentbecause that's the only organisation they can see.

Smokers? We're ghosts. The Righteous not only can't see us, they don't even believe we exist.

They could sit next to us on the bus or train and not know they've spent their entire journey absorbing third hand smoke.

Well, unless someone is cruel enough to tell them, just as the journey ends.

Dan said...

You know, as with oral sex being associated with a slightly increased risk of oral cancer, general sexual activity may well be at the root of a slightly increased level of cancers; drinking being a mere correlation.

Drinkers are more social than non-drinkers, both by inclination and by the liberating effects of alcohol. Being more social means having more sexual partners, which means an increased risk of transmission of a whole slew of minor viral diseases (papilloma virus, for instance).

All that needs to be done here is work out some form of vaccination that'll put paid to the most common of these minor viruses, and administer it to children as part of the normal set of childhood vaccinations. Publicise it as an anti-cancer vaccination, and breathe not a word about it being a vaccination against minor STDs, for if you do the religious nutters will come out against it (tell these buffoons that MMR is in fact a secret treatment for preventing children believing total rubbish like Christianity, and is all due to a conspiracy between the Illuminati, the Majestic Twelve, the CIA, KGB, MI5 and the Milk Marketing Board).

Oh, and you might also like to tell the "Correlation does not mean causation" parable a few times. It goes like this:

There is a strong correlation between wearing a leather jacket whilst operating a motor vehicle and dying in a road accident; road accident statistics bear this out very, very strongly.

It is because motorcyclists habitually wear leather (at lest, the smart ones do) and motorcyclists are much, much more likely to die on the roads than are other vehicle operators, none of which have the same love of leather.

The correlation is therefore just a correlation, not a causation. Correlation does not equal causation; the two factors may just be causally associated. The Righteous would do well to bear this one in mind (if mind they possess).

smokervoter said...

I don't fancy being one of those people who agrees with everyone to avoid friction but, RFB, Paul and Leg-iron all have good points on smokers banding together.

RFB is right, there are enough of us smokers to gain some real clout. Especially if we really turnout and then bloc vote. Obama is in the White House due to two blocs who voted 80% in his favor. Their turnout wasn't even spectacular. A Smoker's Party would drive home the point without any vagaries as to intent. But,..

Leg-iron is right in that the Righteous know how to fight an organization, something that hadn't occurred to me before. A leaderless, loose, agglomerate appeals to my individualist nature anyway. It avoids the personality cult problem. But,...

Paul has a good point in simply going with an organization that's already in place (UKIP) rather than starting from scratch. If you assume there's 12 million smokers with the normal 63% turnout and 60% of them go UKIP, that is 4.5 million votes. That is almost enough to move into third place. Of course, the Righteous would know something was up as the party quadrupled.

You gotta' vote for someone, might as well vote out the status quo, as it hasn't been too kind to us lately.

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