Monday 30 August 2010

Speculation. Probably.

All these bans are very specific and highly targeted. They are not the product of hysterical and stupid people (mostly) although hysterical and stupid people can be relied on to enact, support and enforce them.

The bans don't originate with bus stop antismoking harridans and checkout operators who won't sell booze to adults 'in case they give a sip to a baby'. Reminds me of the guy who used to pop up on Vic Reeves' Big Night Out carrying a doll. He'd ask if they had any booze for the baby, triggering one of the many catchphrases of the show - 'You can't give a baby booze!' I wonder if I could trigger the same words in an off licence? It has to be worth a try. In these humourless times, of course, it would more than likely trigger a call to the police. And then I'd be in clink while they tried to find the nonexistent baby I was trying to buy booze for. Fun is not allowed any more.

These bans start with people high up the scientific and medical hierarchy. So when you realise that they make little to no sense at all, you are forced to conclude that doctors are all like those portrayed in Carry On films, and all scientists are wild-haired Emmet Browns with a deep grasp of one specific subject but no idea of how it fits into the rest of reality.

They aren't all like that.

These are intelligent people, these ban originators. They know what they are doing, and what they are doing has little to nothing to do with your health.

What do nerve cells use as insulation? It's stuff called myelin. Look it up. It's made of fat. What are you to delete from your diet?

How do nerve cells communicate? The simple answer is 'electrical impulses' but there's more to it than that. The signal passes along the nerve fibre by pumping two metal ions into and out of the fibre, and that's what moves the signal. The ions are potassium and... sodium. Which you mostly get from salt. What are you to delete from your diet?

Deleting these things entirely from your diet will make you slow and stupid and quickly dead. Deleting them from a growing child's diet will produce a zombie incapable of thinking for itself, assuming the child even survives.

I know people who now try to eat an entirely fat-free diet. I have tried to persuade them that some fats are essential and that cholesterol should not be zero and that it's the artificial fats in their low-fat spreads they should be deleting, not the olive oil they used to use to fry things in. They respond with 'Oh, and have you had your cholesterol checked recently? What, you've never had it checked? Then what do you know about it?' These same people will soon eliminate salt from their diets.

I don't get my cholesterol or blood pressure checked because I'm not ill. I grew up in a time and place where nobody bothered the local GP unless there was something wrong with them. Nobody called the doctor for colds or flu or a dose of the squits, often not even for measles or chicken pox. They didn't have any cure for those things and still don't - so there was no point asking. Just get some calamine lotion or kaolin and morphine (is that still available?) and deal with it. Everyone knew that some things you just had to wait out.

The people with nothing wrong with them cost the NHS far more than smokers ever could.

Today was a bank holiday down south. I had forgotten and it took a while before I realised why nobody was answering their phone. So, since I couldn't progress the current project at all today, I watched some TV while working on that Dalek kit a friend sent me for my 50th birthday. He doesn't bother about all this 'conformity' bollocks either. He is one of those who can out-drink me, and he's fitter now than I have ever been.

The adverts were disturbing. Many are for mysterious pills that apparently everyone now needs just to get through the day. My medicine cabinet has aspirin and paracetamol in it and I think they're probably out of date. If I get heartburn, which is rare, I drink water. If I get a headache, also rare, I generally have a bit of a lie down, maybe a sleep, and it's gone. If I get chest pains I have a whisky or two and it's fixed. Those are rare too, ever since I left the nine-to-five world, the meetings, the admin and all the rest of the junk behind.

I smoke more, not less, than I did then, because my office is at home. Since I no longer have to be anywhere by 9 am, I can drink far more too. The chest pains are all but gone. The irritating bowel has calmed (partly due to daily consumption of the Stuff and partly to the removal of the stress that caused it). I am faster, stronger, fitter than when I was a wage slave, I relax more deeply and I sleep better because I now sleep when I'm tired, not when an employer dictates. I eat real butter, not plasticine. I add salt to salads. I ignore every word of so-called advice from the banners and I'm fifty and not dead. Not even ill.

Which is probably illegal.

I'm definitely an inconvenience. Fortunately I haven't been abroad in years so the government/EU (same thing) can't make use of their disappearance machine - the European Arrest Warrant - to vanish me. There are countries I will never visit, and those are the countries who make most use of this disappearance machine. I will never support the Greek tourist industry because there is a real risk of being hauled back there on unsubstantiated, even nonsensical, charges and there is nothing at all our government will do to protect me. The courts here don't even have the option to help.

But what about these bans? Why ban smoking in pubs completely? Many pubs were visited by mainly - in some cases only - smokers. Who was at risk there? The staff? All they need do is swap jobs with smoking bar staff in non-smoking pubs and problem solved.

Why are there stringent restrictions on smoking shelters? Why can they not be more than 50% protected from the elements? Who is at risk in there? Nobody but smokers will use them and the more enclosed they are, the less the risk to delicate nonsmokers passing by, surely? So why the rules?

What's the problem with drink? All we hear about is 'supermarkets sell it cheap' but they always have. Off-licences were cheaper than pubs, long before the supermarkets. We didn't have the same scale of violent boozer problems, although they have always existed, years ago. Off sales from anywhere were always cheaper than the pub. It's not the drink that's changed, it's the people but nobody wants to see that. Why?

Fat, salt, chips, processed foods - one of these is not in the sights. There is no call to ban highly processed foods, filled with chemicals and made from, well, you really don't want to know what 'recovered and reconstituted' means. Let's just say it's not the best cuts. Fats and salt are actually necessary to health so why refer to salt as 'white death'? (tipped by Rose in the comments).

The drinking problem was created, not by 24-hour licensing which I have never seen in practice, but by creating a culture of 'I can do what I want, innit?'. Labour accelerated it but it was on the way before that. The Cleggeron Coagulation will not change it. They aren't in charge of it, any more than Labour were.

The smoking ban destroyed the pub, that place of conversation and meeting. The rise of Smoky-Drinky, which the Righteous imagine is centrally organised somewhere because they can't think any other way, is to be combated by raising the price of supermarket booze. It won't work, price was not the reason we stopped going to pubs, but they will never see it.

Education is a farce. Supermarkets complain that the products of our education system are useless. Think about that for a moment. the UK education system produces people who are not capable of working in a supermarket. Yet we are expected to believe they can be trained as doctors and scientists and put in charge of nuclear weapons. The Coagulation are tinkering at the edges and ignoring the problem. Why?

Why target salt rather than processed foods? Why target fat when it's total calorie intake, not fat per se, that makes you fat? When you eat beef or pork fat, that's not human fat and is not directly laid down around your waist. It has to be metabolised like everything else before it's stored as human fat. If you don't eat more calories than you use, you don't get fat.

The medics and scientists know all this.

The smoking and drinking controls prevent meeting and discussion. The education, salt and fat eradication will create a population of dim drones. The 'It's me rights, innit?' culture will justify harsh policing. Smokers can be targeted without any reprisal because smokers don't matter. Fat people can be targeted because fat people don't matter. Something that the Scottish Labour health spokeslump might want to consider. Yes, it's complex but it has been a long time in preparation.

If you don't fit the Aryan ideal, you're expendable.

Nowadays, the Aryan ideal is defined by the BMA's Standard Human and if you're not it, you are out. Their legions of salt, fat, education and iodine deprived zombies will point and scream at you if you are outside defined limits.

When you put it all together, when that Rolf Harris painting is complete, you can see what it is.

It's eugenics. We are being cleansed. It's a less direct method than that used by the likes of Pol Pot but in the end, the result is the same.

Only the dull and unthinking will survive. If that's the future, I don't want it.


subrosa said...

I don't want it either and being the next generation to you I'm less likely to have it.

They're all in it together. Medics, supermarkets, politicians, bankers - the whole lot. They're not interested in society, per se, but only their own achievements and standing within society.

Nothing will improve for the majority of society. We've allowed the situation to come to this and I really do think it's too late for us to fight for change.

But then we must remember hope. That's what keeps us going. Night night.

Anonymous said...


You're teasing us. C'mon, what's "the Stuff" and when can I get hold of some?

Anonymous said...

Here's a rip-snorter for you:

Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers, Study Finds

It's booze for a baby! said...

If I remember correctly, the 'can't give a baby booze' man was eventually given some...



Anonymous said...

Kaolin and morphine still exists!
It cost pennies and I still use it for a squirty bum every now and then.

On a different topic, I went into a pub last night for one of my favourite pastimes, sitting quietly, reading a paper and supping my pint.
In this pub there was two families and one couple.
One of the families had SEVEN children aged from about 4yrs upwards, the other had FIVE children of similar age. It was carnage, screaming, running, tears and tantrums, standing on seats, playing game machines, knocking tables etc etc.
Exit the hacked off couple followed by me. As well as now being banned from smoking I also hate KIDS IN PUBS!

Trooper Thompson said...


you must be one of those readers.

Hmm, obviously not enough fluoride in your water. Nor are you taking your flu shots.

Anonymous said...

Look, that Swine Flu thing should have worked.

ASH assured us there would be no loss of business, those pubs and other meeting places should have been packed.

Medicinal Smoke Reduces Airborne Bacteria
"This study represents a comprehensive analysis and scientific validation of our ancient knowledge about the effect of ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care on airborne bacterial composition and dynamics, using the Biolog® microplate panelsand Microlog® database.

"We have observed that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke emination by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri = material used in oblation to fire all over India) on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 h in the closed room."

It was just not expected that people would drastically change their social habits after the ban.


hangemall said...

A couple of things have been on the back burner of my mind for a while and I would like to, if I may, test them out on you, L-I and commenters to see if they make sense/have any validity.

1. Just because someone is high up the scientific ladder doesn't mean that they have any moral principles. If some see that they can make a living out of telling politicians what they want to hear (i.e. another way to control the unruly masses) they will do it, no matter what harm they do.

2. This one is a bit more speculative as only recently have I become interested in legal/constitutional matters.

In the olden days, when I was a lad, there were far fewer laws about. Most aspects of our behaviour were covered by common sense.
There was no specific law against belching in a public place (so far as I know) and if some(busy)body decided they didn't like it and took the belcher to court the case would probably get thrown out. No fine/revenue. Money wasted.(I'm ignoring deliberately belching in someone's face, which might be a form of assault.)

Now tomorrow a specific law is passed preventing belching in a public place/at home/in your car/infrontofthechildren. Result? Loadsamoney.

Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

If kaolin and morphine still exists in your chemist you're lucky. Back when I worked in that industry (9-10 years ago) we took it off the shelves as it separates allowing you to extract the morphine.

We soon realised what was going on when the local junkies kept buying bottles of it.

microdave said...

Yes Kaolin & Morphine still exists, if you look around. Our local health centre pharmacy doesn't stock it, but a small independent chemist does, at £1.30 for 200ml. However he made me sign a little book he keeps behind the counter, and did ask me a few questions to see if I was a sensible person before he sold me any.

I don't have any problem with that - it's the sort of common sense approach which is largely lacking these days.

I don't think contains as much morphine as it used to though. My long departed grandfather got through gallons of the stuff...

Bucko said...

To Anon who hates kids in pubs.
Me too!

Anonymous said...

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Splendid post

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

Since making sure my diet is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9's, my excema has virtually cleared up. Much to my GP's surprise.

I've just read an article about depression which states that these good fats are essential for mental wellbeing, as they have a beneficial effect on the brain. Funny how we are being encouraged to stop eating fats and take prozac instead! Anybody know what the effect of constant prozac use has on a population?

Some time ago, I heard David Attenborough on the radio talking about his role as chair of The Optimum Population Trust. He said we are heading for a worldwide population explosion, which has to be severely controlled, if we are going to save the planet.

I wondered then, how are our political masters going to achieve this? Abortion, though encouraged these days cannot be the total answer, neither can contraception. The only other method I could think of, was eugenics. They can be guaranteed to control us somehow!

stabledoor said...

I agree with everything in this post - its depressing though. When I was at medical school this salt thing had just started being looked at by a bloke called McGregor. Several of my friends volunteered for a trial of a low salt diet and they felt shit while on it. If you have high blood pressure a low salt diet may reduce it a bit but you'll feel rubbish. If you don't have high blood pressure a low salt diet won't achieve anything but you'll still feel rubbish. I don't go to the pub any more except on warm sunny days - it's tragic what they've done to our country. I'm a doctor, I smoke, I drink and I put loads of salt on my food

Anonymous said...

I always forget to use salt and sometimes get awful leg cramps in summer.
Hence my interest.

Then I have to eat a bag of ready salted crisps for medicinal purposes.

I know when I am salt deficient because a large pinch of salt in the palm of my hand tastes sweet and delicious, when I've had enough, it tastes foul.


Dave H. said...

You can still buy K&M though many will nowadays find clay and heroin cheaper and more readily available.

BTW it is quite wrong to suggest that the young are no longer learning things at school. I think you’ll find that their education is proceding apace. See below (both questions were from the same exam, but you’ll find loads of similar GCSE questions on salt, fat, carbon footprints, smoking etc, etc,. according to the latest central diktat):

Paper Reference(s)
5627/2B 5667/2B
Edexcel GCSE
Science: Double Award B (1536)
Biology B (1529)
(Modules 7 and 8)
Paper 2B
Foundation Tier
Wednesday 13 June 2007 – Morning

3. Paul has been smoking for many years and has been told by his doctor that he has
(i) Emphysema affects the alveoli (air sacs).
Label the position of an alveolus (air sac) on the diagram of the lungs.
(ii) These statements describe the development of emphysema in a smoker.
They are not in the correct order.
1. There is less surface area to absorb oxygen.
2. The alveoli walls are damaged.
3. The person becomes ‘breathless’ and may need an oxygen mask.
4. Smoke from cigarettes is inhaled into the lungs.
Write one number in each of the boxes below to show the correct order.
One has been done for you.
(b) Paul is finding it hard to give up smoking.
Suggest two things that Paul can do to help him give up smoking.
(2) Q3
(Total 4 marks)
Page 5
5. Lesley is recovering from a heart attack.
The heart attack was caused when a blood clot blocked an artery in her heart.
Her doctor told her that the condition of her arteries had increased her chances of a heart
(a) Describe one way that ‘the condition of her arteries’ may have made the clot more
likely to block her artery.
(b) The doctor advised her to change her lifestyle by improving her diet and going for a
walk each day.
(i) Suggest one way that she may improve her diet and explain how this may help to
reduce the chance of having another heart attack.
(ii) How might taking a walk each day help to reduce the chance of having another
heart attack?
(2) Q5
(Total 5 marks)

Leg-iron said...

DaveH - when I was at school, genetics was based on Mendelian inheritance, DNA sequencing was in its infancy and PCR had not been invented. Nobody had sequenced a genome even of a virus and nobody at that time believed it was likely to happen.

And yet the questions we were asked were based on real science. hard questions, for which we had to learn things like the life cycle of the liver fluke, complete with diagrams. We would have been expected to produce a diagram of a lung, not just point at one.

With all the advances since then, to see that kids are being taught less, not more, is absolutely depressing.

Leg-iron said...

Hangemall - those that ascend the scientific ladder often do so precisely because they have no moral principles. Sometimes, because they have no ability.

In my undergraduate days, i saw able scientists passed over for promotion because it was considered 'safer' to get an idiot out of the lab and sit him in an office. Getting sacked from a university was impossible (probably still is) unless they do something that embarrasses the university.

I remember thinking that this idea of promoting idiots just to keep them out of everyone's way was going to come back and bite.

Yes, there were far fewer laws. Also, groups like the RSPCA weren't allowed to make up their own. Back then, if the police said no crime was committed, that was the end of it.

As you say, there's profit in prosecution these days.

Leg-iron said...

Good to know kaolin and morphine is still around. I note that the list of side-effects on modern anti-diarrhoea drugs is very long, and includes... diarrhoea.

Si it can never be said that it doesn't work. If the world is still dropping out of your bottom, that's just a side-effect.

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