Throwing down the gauntlet? — 24 Comments

  1. I haven’t followed the recent discussions on FD’s; real life intruding as it does. But surely the experience of FOREST and that other smoking rights group (whose name I forget-edit , just googled, it was ‘Justice 4 Smokers’) suggest that the idea is a bit of a non-starter? But if you do get one up and running i’ll become a paying member- for what good it will do us all after that ‘Xmas’ that smoking turkeys voted for.

  2. I’m afraid I’m inclined to agree with you, BD. The prohibitionists are aware of this, and rely on it to continually salami slice away at our freedoms. It’s easy to keep up the momentum when, like the Arnotts of this world, you’re being paid £100K+ a year in a full time job which has the remit to think up new ways to persecute smokers; not so easy when, like most people, you’re working in another sphere for less than half that sum and trying to keep your shit together. I was just extrapolating from the recent discussions on Frank’s blog, more in a theoretical way than as a call to arms. However, like you, I’d certainly contribute in any way I could if it were to get off the ground.

    ‘Forest’ is a bit of a toothless irrelevance, really. Simon, enthusiastic though he is, is basically a non-smoking PR man whose roots are in libertarianism. As an organisation, they are much too nice to be effective, and rarely make any impact in the media. Which is why they are allowed a voice. They are the mandatory manifestation of ‘balanced’ reporting that won’t rock the boat.

  3. There’s been an awful lot of discussion on Frank’s blog but I’m concerned that the momentum will be lost unless somebody throws their hat into the ring rather quickly and takes on the responsibility of coordinating this long-overdue fightback. Can you suggest someone with the ability and the patience that will be willing to be the focal point of this campaign?

  4. Anyone who did take the role had better be single with no kids because the full force of the Prohibitionists would be visited upon them, up to including arrest on trumped up charges (‘endangering the volksgesundheit’ perhaps) and calls to social services. We’ve seen it happen before.

  5. This is indeed the problem. I can think of several people who have the ability, but I doubt they would have the time. As I already said, we don’t have the luxury of being able to pay people £100,000+ to work full time pursuing an agenda. And as BD points out (although I think he rather overstates it), if it were successful, there could be some retaliation of an unpleasant nature, and TC wouldn’t balk at targeting the nearest and dearest. They’re quite amoral.

  6. The problem has always been getting smokers interested in anything. I was over the moon that we got 100 to Stony Stratford a few years ago but that is the best you’re going to get. Smokers have been taught to be shameful about their choices and that’s just human nature, sadly. But even if we don’t accept that, it’s still hard to motivate anyone, I’ve seen vapers try to get big protests started and even with their obvious moral superiority over tobacco control, they still can’t muster any support in any numbers.

  7. They are not simply ‘amoral’ but evil, evil as only those convinced they are on the side of the angels, who only want the best for their fellow man, can be. Anna Raccoon discovered that on several occasions (albeit not regarding smoking -except during the Hogan incident).

  8. It’s the result of decades of relentless propaganda, DP. I can’t think of any other reason. More than a generation has been through the propaganda mill and there are very few smokers out there who haven’t drunk deep of the Kool-Aid. And that’s why they so meekly acquiesce to all the ordure being poured over their heads. That level of indoctrination will be very hard to break, methinks. They may rebel against that indoctrination by smoking, but what they’ve been taught is still firmly lodged in their psyche.

  9. Funnily enough, you’d be my first choice as The Leader. We’ve only met a couple of times briefly but long enough for me to see what AR saw in you (besides the fact she used to talk to you as an equal, whereas she had to dumb things down for me a bit), you not only have a brain but also the ability to inspire others in word and speech.

  10. DP would of course be the perfect choice, and would be my No1 also, but he is a very busy man – I dunno how he finds the time to write his blog, to be honest. So unfortunately, as far as I can see, he’s out of the running.

  11. Just saw this quote on twitter and it triggered a train of thought.
    “The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt. – Ayn Rand”

    I’m not religious and I don’t wish to offend anyone but it always seemed to me that the strongest hold that the Christian Church had on its followers was the notion of ‘original sin’ and more generally the idea that people are innately sinful. Leading to the need for salvation. By the Church of course.

    Whether by intention or, more likely, by design the anti-smoking industry has managed to instill guilt amongst people who enjoy smoking tobacco. And for that matter, amongst people who enjoy anything. As others have observed, I think this is the biggest obstacle to the fight back.

  12. I’m not sure what the best means of mobilizing opposition to antismoking measures is; but I am certain that it is imperative to stand up against the persecution of smokers right now. This may require individuals to start standing up and challenging the persecution they face before a formal group emerges. Actually, I suspect most effective political action does start with individual initiatives that then merge into movements. Rather than wait for approval to act–act now! Act in any way that you can, comment against news stories about smoking bans, write your legislators, smoke!

  13. Absolutely right, individual initiatives, comments that public and politicians might see.

    Rather than wait for approval to act–act now! Act in any way that you can, comment against news stories about smoking bans, write your legislators, smoke!

    I’m faced with multiple propaganda ‘news’ stories and toxic comments, am encouraged, thanks!

    Time spent well…

  14. I have for several years been a serial commenter on articles all round the globe. It often amazed me how when I went to the comments section, the late Harley had got there before me! He was indefatigable. Bit of a scattergun approach to his comments, but he was always in there, fighting. He’s sorely missed.

    As RdM says, there’s such a barrage of propaganda out there, I feel it’s my duty to try to spread a little truth around. It’s a drop in the ocean, I know, but we have to start somewhere…

  15. I try to make as many comments as i can (despite being censored or blocked) and look to support those making pro-choice comments. The problem is fewer and fewer sites allow comments and those that do are often besieged by an army of astroturf antismokers. Nevertheless posting rebuttals, dissent, and voicing opposition to smoking bans is an important step in fighting antismoker persecution.

  16. Normally it starts with friends. If you know personally a rock singer, or a comedian – they can easily say: fuck TC, time to end the idiocy. And then a slightly rogue politician might be of some use. Anyone who is supposed to say the craziest things. And then a retired businessman to finance a legal suit, as you mentioned. But it should never be an isolated outburst, it should have a look of a planned campaign, step by step, relentless, so as to create a momentum. And then you may end the campaign for a while, to start planning a new one. That’s how it usually works.

  17. Yes, in an ideal world, that’s how it should work, Dmitri. The problem we have in the west is that through decades of propaganda, smokers have been thoroughly demoralised, and have no appetite for resistance. It’s only people like Frank and me and a handful of others who blog, or comment on those blogs, who have any motivation. The vast majority of smokers have been convinced that they are in the wrong, and that they are guilty parties who have no right to complain.

  18. Dmitri, I agree with the first part (first 3 sentences).
    But I have some instinctive reaction, perhaps doubt, about the latter part.

    But it should never be an isolated outburst, it should have a look of a planned campaign, step by step, relentless, so as to create a momentum.

    I think there is a place (and time) even inevitably for initial isolated outbursts.
    Individual people get annoyed enough to overcome their inhibitions and speak (write) out.
    Other people see these and feel encouraged, a little less afraid to follow suit.
    (speak up in the same vein, speak out themselves on the same topic.)
    Even more others see others speaking out or writing up against the madness, it becomes familiar, accepted – that there are counter-views, and thus a grassroots momentum grows.
    I’m thinking of forums and newspaper comments mostly here.

    If among that, generated more privately, there is some organisation, which can be linked to by those in the know in such comments, then initially aroused people can discover it.

    Something like that.

    Inevitably too I think that at least initially, counter movements that might cohere into an organisation, born as it were out of individual utterances being noticed, and contacts being made, might initially at least (again!) be country specific.

    The UK is quite well served with a plethora of blogs and websites already, the US has a few, and of course they also have some global readership.

    In Australia, is worthwhile, search “plain packaging” there.

    In NZ, it seems to me, there has been very little push-back against or even awareness of the hideous social engineering experiment being enacted here. General persuasion abounds.

    I seem to recall some web discussion of Globalink dividing up territories to influence…

    Yet there is some push-back, comments from even non-smokers on the last remaining news some ocaoutlet that allows them, Stuff, and some occasionally in a somewhat RW blog, – but really it’s mostly focusing on minutiae of NZ politics, and seems to have a largely idiot commentariat, albeit seasoned with a few sensible views.

    So I despair somewhat.

    And I can assure you, that even single with no children (I deplore “kids”, they are from goats!) as a pensioner with an overdraft rather than savings, with a zillion unfinished projects, time is tight as well as money.

    Still, I wake up every day angered about Tobacco Control, the idiot politicians, the price of my morning roll-up, well beyond the international price of silver per gram now.

    So indeed, something must be done…

    And I intend to comment on many local forums, but I’m also busy with survival.

    And so it goes… ;=})

  19. This site can’t be reached took too long to respond.
    Checking the connection
    Checking the proxy and the firewall

  20. Weird… I feel as though I;m behind the great firewall of China, or er, Tobacco Kontrol.
    Every other site seems to load fine, and I just spoke with Frank in the SBD, but I can’t see his blog. Or any other site!

    This site can’t be reached took too long to respond.
    Checking the connection
    Checking the proxy and the firewall

    Anybody else seeing this?

  21. Nobody has said anything to suggest they’re having problems. And I’m not having problems with any other WordPress sites. So I dunno, mate.

  22. Apologies all; it’s back up now.
    A temporary glitch.
    Nisakiman, please feel free to delete this and the preceding three comments…