Saturday, 5 November 2011

So what was it meant to achieve?

Via the Pub Curmudgeon, I see the Cameroid, the Head of the Country, has declared the smoking ban a success. 'Success' means that it achieved what it set out to achieve.

If it has succeeded, we can therefore determine what it was intended to achieve.

A reduction in second-hand smoke harm? Did it achieve that? No. Not possible, since there has never been a shred of evidence of any harm at all, much less a single proven death. Made-up numbers do not count as research. So the success of the smoking ban means it cannot have set out to achieve that.

How about a reduction in the numbers of smokers? There hasn't been one. Remember, the smoking ban has been declared by Head Boy Dave to be a success. There has been no reduction in smoking therefore this cannot be the measure by which he judges success.

Saving money? With all those signs, all the smoking cessation Uberleuitenants and "Achtung! Rauchen!" Stasi to pay for? All that money poured into the Dreadful Arnott's vicious little Klan, all that research that would have been more diligently performed by a drunk Tasmanian devil with ADHD, all that has saved money how exactly? Seems to me it's cost rather a lot, really, and anyone blaming smokers who refuse to fund it by buying UK-duty tobacco had really better grow up fast. Whatever your pleasure, no matter how innocuous you think it is, you are on the list and you are paying for your place on it.

Fewer children taking up smoking? No sign of that and as the crimional gangs take over supply while the price rises, children will find it easier to get tobacco than ever before, so that's not the success he's talking about.

Fewer hospital admissions due to heart attacks, less lung cancer, reduced asthma and chest problems? The ban has had no effect at all on any of these things (again, made-up numbers do not count as research) so the 'success' Dave refers to must lie elsewhere. None of the above can possibly have been the aim of the ban since Dave calls it a success, and it has not changed any of the above for the better, if at all.

Again, he says it has succeeded. So what was it intended to achieve? Well, let's look at the effects it has had and see what Dave calls 'success'.

Pubs decimated and the remaining pubs struggling for business. Hordes of bar staff, waiters and associated workers on the dole. That's one effect of the smoking ban. Is that your success, Dave?

A whole slew of the population treated as filth with Government approval. Is that the success, Dave?

How about this, Dave? Is that your success? Read those comments again, Dave. That is the effect you have had with your smoking ban. That is your success.

Since the Government call this 'success' we can only assume that it is what they intended all along, because what they said they intended to achieve didn't happen. Okay, they lied, they're politicians, nobody can pretend to be surprised at that.

If the smoking ban had been about any aspect of health, it has been a complete failure. If it was in any way intended to help business, it has been a disaster.

If it was intended to make twenty percent of the population isolated and to encourage their suffering at the hands of the small-minded, the spiteful and the malevolent, it has been a roaring success.

Well done, Dave.

Well done indeed.

Here. Have an O-level. Now go and get a proper job heading fenceposts into the ground or something. It won't hurt. As my grandmother used to say, "where there's no sense there's no feeling".


TheFatBigot said...

Talking of successes, I remember the launch of the Euro being hailed as a success with politicians who had signed away any last vestiges of control over exchange and interest rates grinning benignly and patting each other on the back.

It was a success, just as the smoking ban has been a success.

Law was made requiring the citizens to use new banknotes and coins rather than old banknotes and coins. The citizens, being law-abiding folk who want their bank to accept the money they use, stopped using old notes and coins and started using new notes and coins. Brilliant, well done the politicians.

So with the smoking ban. It made it unlawful to smoke in many premises and the law-abiding folk of the UK complied with the law. Another stunningly successful law.

Leg-iron said...

ASH like to talk about widespread compliance. Well with fines high enough to bankrupt those who don't comply, that was more than a little predictable.

Rather like the ban on plastic bags. Anyone caught offering one to a customer faces a bankrupting fine. So I expect to see high compliance with that.

Bullying? Success!

Xopher said...

Part of an article written before the ban was implemented -------
"So what next? Britain is looking forward to a Total Smoking Ban in all Public Places. Despite a lack of overall approval and their manifesto promise of regulation the government insist on a total ban.

The total ban is a simplistic solution and, as such, fails to anticipate inevitable ramifications.

Politicians chose to take on a difficult job but can they learn from Ireland and Scotland

Applaud the fact that there has been little trouble but as is well acknowledged, smokers are tolerant people.
Applaud the fact that the Public House licensee has lost the freedom to choose what he offered and who his customers are.
Applaud the fact that over 600 mainly rural pubs have closed in Ireland.
Applaud the fact that some licensed premises are maintaining their trade but only because they change their identity to satisfy a new customer base.
Applaud the fact that smokers stand outside licensed premises in full view of children.
Applaud the fact that accommodating smokers in outside spaces will encourage increased energy usage.
Applaud the fact that groups outside largely empty establishments will inconvenience pedestrians
Applaud the fact that football fans, previously controlled indoors now spill out onto the streets in full view of rival fans.
Applaud the fact that drink sales have risen in Ireland although wet sales have fallen. More drinking occurs away from the control of the public house.
Applaud the fact that families will no longer enjoy beer gardens now filled with smokers no longer welcome indoors.
Applaud the fact that venues will enjoy aromas never previously noticed. Aerosols and air fresheners will introduce a mass of new pollutants.
Applaud the fact that in inclement weather smokers will be removed from view and remain at home imposing smoke upon children.
Applaud the loss of a British tradition, the focus of social interaction and the subsequent damage to communities.
Applaud the fact that the social comfort and camaraderie of the local will be removed for many lonely members of society.
Applaud the fact that winter and inclement weather will exacerbate isolation in the community.
Applaud the fact that increased loneliness will kill yet happiness is an essential for life.
Applaud the fact that a further erosion of their heritage is the reward for those very people who created and supported a true Labour Party.
Applaud the fact that smokers, in their own homes, might avoid smoking for hours while waiting for trades people to arrive in a smoke-free atmosphere.
Applaud the fact that citizens are no longer trusted to make their own life decisions.
Applaud the fact that sick and infirm old people must brave all weathers to struggle outside to smoke.
Applaud the fact that you have damaged Britain.

Government has ignored what smokers and tolerant non-smokers are. They are not violent. They are sociable. They are reasonable. They are an integral part of society.
They also think and, in the fullness of time, will ensure that their opinion is heard and truth revealed. The frailties of intransigent leadership and fear of open democracy will take their place in history alongside the demise of a party that grew upon the strength of the people you now persecute."

Equals success for Dave!

talwin said...

"Smoking is and always will be one of the most dangerous habits, and quite apart from the fact that I personally find the smell of cigar or cigarette smoke disgusting, I wouldn't offer anyone I value or love a cigarette or cigar, because I'd be doing him no service. It has been shown for certain that non-smokers live longer than smokers, and are much more resistant to illness".

You may be familiar with this. I wasn't and came across it* the other day.

It's Hitler holding forth whilst on an away-day at the Obersalzberg in 1943. And whereas there's all sorts of easily found and outrageous irony in the quote, it occurred to me that comparisons of the anti-smoking Righteous with extremists,'Little Hitlers', and the like are clearly more that just hyperbole or licence.

'Until the Final Hour'. Traudl Junge.

Neal Asher said...

Maybe the success he's talking about has been the application of the principle 'divide and rule'?

knirirr said...

It's interesting that Cameron stated that he was originally unsure about the ban due to his concern for liberty (ha!) but is now in favour because it was a success. Perhaps he might consider any illiberal policy acceptable if it could be somehow defined as successful.

Anonymous said...

"If it was intended to make twenty percent of the population isolated and to encourage their suffering at the hands of the small-minded, the spiteful and the malevolent, it has been a roaring success."

Only in part.

"The organisation Ash hopes that four million people, or almost 40 per cent of smokers, will stop because of the ban."

It is estimated that more than 46,000 people quit as a result of the smoking ban in Scotland. In some areas, the initial “quit rates” were as high as 69 per cent."
now behind a pay wall

The main reason for the ban appears to have been to socially isolate a gregarious section of the public and funnel them towards the NHS smoking cessation services after the drugs companies joined with WHO in 1999.

WHO Launches Partnership Project With The Pharmaceutical Industry To Help Smokers Quit

"The strength of the Partnership Project lies in the fact that it has brought together three major pharmaceutical companies, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis Consumer Health and Pharmacia & Upjohn, all manufacturers of treatment products for tobacco dependence, to support a common goal that will have a significant impact on public health."

And funded the evidence.

WHO Europe evidence based recommendations on the treatment of tobacco dependence - 2002

"The following recommendations on the treatment of tobacco dependence have been written as an initiative of the World Health Organization European Partnership Project to Reduce Tobacco Dependence.

This was a three year project, funded largely by three pharmaceutical companies that manufacture treatment products for tobacco dependence, but managed by WHO Europe and a steering group which included government representatives and many public sector organisations."

"They were commissioned by the World Health Organization and have drawn on the experience of a number of European countries, including the four original target countries of the partnership project: France, Germany, Poland, and the UK."

Even before the ban in England, the previous government seems to have been so desperate to force us to give up they even put a price on our heads.

NHS suspects fraud in £61m stop smoking programme - 2006

"Pharmacists receive cash bonuses of between £50 and £85 for every person who has continued to abstain from smoking four weeks after starting the programme, as proved by two consecutive low carbon monoxide readings.
A pharmacist who treats 600 patients in a year stands to make up to £85,000 gross profit."

But you can lead, whip,shove,drag a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.


Anonymous said...


So they continue to up the pressure and apparently our countries are obliged to comply.

They say that we are desperate to give up smoking, or at least we are supposed to be, after such determined defamation and bullying.

Governments Need To Improve Smoking Cessation Services, Smokers Say, UK - 2011

"Over 78 million smokers in Europe want to quit,[i] but half (50%) of those surveyed who have tried to quit rate smoking cessation services as inadequate, poor or unacceptable, according to new research released today"

[i] This research was conducted by InSites Consulting in February 2011 and funded by Pfizer Ltd. Consumer research was conducted using an on-line quantitative survey in 20,010 smokers and 22,683 non-smokers across 20 European countries"

"Services and support are key to helping smokers quit and to helping governments who have signed up to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meet their commitments to drive tobacco use down."

"In an effort to reduce tobacco use, the EU and its Member States have signed up to the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).3 The FCTC's Article 14, through its recently adopted guidelines, demands action to promote cessation of tobacco use and provide adequate treatment for tobacco dependence."

Countries who have signed up to the FCTC therefore have a legal obligation to implement the recommendations of Article 14."

But how the drug sales are going at the moment, I have no idea and I suspect, neither do they.

Labour targets created £90,000 NHS smoking fraud - 2008

"A man defrauded nearly £90,000 from the NHS by working as a stop smoking adviser and signing up non smoking strangers to exaggerate his success rates and income.

Harry Singer, 54, took advantage of the labour Government’s smoking cessation programme which pays doctors, pharmacists and community groups £45 for every patient they convince to give up for four weeks."


Anonymous said...


The spaminator has eaten my previous post!

Meanwhile here's the recipe.

Absinthe Turkish Delight

1lb (450g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3½ (90g) cornflour
7½ (210g) icing sugar
1¼pints(750ml) water
1 level tablespoon golden syrup
(50ml) Absinthe
Green colouring - optional

7" (18cm) buttered square tin or similar.

Put the sugar in a medium-sized pan with 5floz (150ml) of the water and heat very gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
Then boil briskly to the "soft-ball" stage 240°F (115°C).

While the syrup is boiling, combine 7oz (200g) of the icing sugar and 3oz (75g) of the cornflour in another pan.
Gradually stir in the remaining 1 pint (570ml) of cold water, bring to the boil, then boil for 2 minutes.

As soon as the sugar syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, pour it slowly, stirring constantly (safety equipment is recommended at this stage, it can spit) into the cornflour sauce.

Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and boil very gently, stirring frequently, for about another 25 minutes or until the mixture is a very pale straw colour and semi-opaque.

Now remove the pan from the heat, beat in the golden syrup and absinthe.

Add about 2 drops of green colouring, stir well and pour this mixture into the prepared tin.

Leave until absolutely cold and firmly set.

Finally combine the remaining cornflour and icing sugar.
Tip the turkish delight onto the mixture and cut into 1inch (2.5cm) strips.
Roll these in the icing and cornflour mixture, cut into 1 inch (2.5) strips.
Roll these in the icing sugar and cornflour mixture and leave on a rack for several hours.

Save the spare cornflour and icing sugar mixture for storage so that they don't stick together.

H/T Delia


davmc said...

and still the righteous push their sniveling,increasingly allergic brats along the high street.Just the right height for the lorry and exhaust emissions plus the oh so trendy bbq.How many times more carcinogenic is that again?
Perhaps we should start an e petition to ban bbqs on health reasons and wait for the righteous shrieks.

Bucko said...

Pubs decimated? Tell me about it. Me and Mrs Bucko worked as releif managers for a pubco when the ban came in. We left a year later because we saw where it was going. It wasn't long after that when all the other relief managers were fired and they sold all the managed pubs. The tennants were handing in their eys at a rate of thirty per week.

When the ban was due to come in, our comapany, Thwaites, set asside 3 million for building shelters and training staff and publicising the ban. Carlsberg Tetley set asside 10 times that amount. I said we should all pool our money and get the ban stopped. Their answer was no because this is a great opportunity if we do it right.

I would love to meet one of the (ex) brass now and ask them how they think that opportunity worked out.

It was always my dream to run my own local boozer. Now I run a desk organising pallet transport.


Super Sam said...

If it has been a success then why have the Labour made no smoking nagverts reappeared on TV?

I welcomed the disappearance of all the nagverts (I counted over 30 different ones) after Labour's defeat at the polls, now they seem to be creeping back.

Michael J. McFadden said...

Bucko, you wrote, "Their answer was no because this is a great opportunity if we do it right."

Have you seen this? :

Unfortunately there's a great blog post that went along with it, but for the life of me I can't dig the durn thing out right now. I *think* it was Frank Davis or Dick Puddlecote, but it might have been ol' Leggy hisself. Anyone know?


Leg-iron said...

I think that image was on Dick Puddlecote's blog.

Bandit 1 said...

The DP post in question is here:

Punch Taverns. Dickheads.

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