'I wrote last night that the antismoking zealots seem to regard themselves as good, but that I see them as evil. I’d like to kick that thought around a bit more.
The reason I think that they’re evil is because they’re destroying communities and friendships with their smoking bans. I’ve got personal experience of it, and I’ve seen it happening to other smokers, and I’ve had people commenting on my blog saying as much. I think the smoking ban is tearing at the whole fabric of society, right down at its foundations. It’s pulling it apart. The pub closures that have followed in the wake of the smoking ban are just the tip of the iceberg.
The social damage is almost completely hidden because it happens at an individual and personal level. It isn’t ‘news’. But it ought to be, because it’s happening to millions and millions of people, and adding it all up the damage is colossal. But the politicians and the pundits and the news media can’t see it. So they don’t think anything untoward is happening. But I think something terrible is happening to hundreds of millions of smokers all over the world, with hardly anybody noticing.
That’s my perception of events, anyway. And I don’t see that there’s any upside to smoking bans. There’s no genuine health threat from secondhand smoke, and in fact some of the antismokers admit that the threat is a bit nebulous. But for them the real point of the ban isn’t to save any non-smokers’ lives, but to make smokers quit smoking. It’s a social engineering project. And it’s one that doesn’t seem to be going too well, if reports that more people are smoking since the smoking ban are true. And I can well imagine they are, now that smoking tobacco is now an act of rebellion much like smoking cannabis was 40 or 50 years ago.
So what’s the upside? The only upside I can see is that a bunch of professional antismokers are making a very good living, thanks to all the government taxes and Big Pharma money they get. Tobacco Control is a multi-million dollar industry. For thousands of people, it’s become a career.
So there’s this Tobacco Control industry, which destroys communities, and which bankrupts businesses, and which does nothing of any positive value at all. What do we usually call that sort of outfit?
We call them crime syndicates. Like the Mafia or Cosa Nostra.
Criminal enterprises of that sort work by extorting protection money from people. They don’t contribute anything of value to the community. They just parasitically live off society. They take, and they give nothing back.
In fact, a lot of criminal enterprises not only take, but they also give back. It’s just that they give back things which are illegal. Like drugs. Or prostitution. They’re often simply conducting businesses which happen to sell things which are illegal. If they were made legal, they’d become legitimate businesses overnight.
But the Tobacco Control crime syndicate doesn’t give anything back at all, unless you want to count the Nicotine Replacement patches which Big Pharma are pushing as the only legal alternative to smoking tobacco or vaping e-cigs or sucking snus.
Because Tobacco Control doesn’t work quite like most crime syndicates do. It works by conjuring up an imaginary threat (from firsthand smoking, secondhand smoking, thirdhand smoking, etc, etc ) to public health, and demanding political action and, of course, public funding. And unlike the Mafia or Cosa Nostra, it hides behind the pretence that it’s doing something good. Al Capone never pretended to be doing good. Neither did “Baby Face” Nelson. Or “Legs” Diamond.
The Tobacco Control crime syndicate works by presenting itself as whiter than white, and as Doing Good, and furthermore as Doing Good that urgently needs to be done if Lives Are To Be Saved. The trick is to find a threat of some sort, pump it up to the max, and laugh all the way to the bank with the research grants and publicity funding that you extract from big stupid government.'
[...] read moreOr, in Ian Rankin's words, "We spend most of our time chasing something called 'the underworld,' but it's the overworld we should really be keeping an eye on."