Monday, 12 March 2018

The Cult-Like Stupidity At #WCTOH2018

As Snowdon has also written, the World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) last week was a staggering car crash of an event where the tobacco control industry basically announced to the world that it had abandoned any last remnants of the facade that it cares for health.

The level of lying was off the scale, but it was the sheer unadulterated stupidity and naivety on display which deserves more comment in my opinion.

Firstly, in an era where peace is valued more highly by modern society than war, it's hilarious to see state-funded delegates queue up to talk about waging war on a globally legal industry which provides handsome tax receipts for governments, erm, everywhere! The idea that, for example, the UK Treasury will be shorn of circa £12bn in duty is never going to fly with any legislative body, they are screaming into the void.

We know why they do this, of course, it's because it is political suicide to talk about waging a war on smokers - which the vast majority of sneering arseholes at that conference would much prefer to do - so they deflect the anger towards 'Big Tobacco' which is only servicing the demands of consumers and investors. It's not rocket science.

That this has led them to embark on a stance towards The Foundation for a Smokefree World (FSFW) which could end up comprehensively embarrassing them is pure comedy gold.

See, if I was advising these tobacco control clowns, apart from pointing out that their shoes are far too long, I'd be saying that the odds are better in their favour if they were to fully embrace the idea of FSFW.

Confused? OK, well just consider their reason for objecting to FSFW. It's because they despise 'Big Tobacco' and have a fascist rule to ensure they never have to properly debate article 5.3 to say that the tobacco industry should have no say in policy. They would claim that FSFW breaches that even though there is no evidence that it has or will do. They point to the fact that industry lied 50 years ago so cannot be trusted. But what are they afraid of (and as I wrote last week, they are fucking terrified)?

They are afraid, simply, because the FSFW might deliver positive results. This doesn't bear thinking about for many reasons, one of which is that we'd need fewer tobacco controllers, but also because it would prove that collaborations with industry - as is Derek Yach's stated ethos - might actually work.

It takes away one of their arguments - that industry should never be trusted - but they're playing with fire trying to keep it. Because imagine if what FSW proposes did work, and  governments recognised and accepted that it worked? How bad would it look if the entire tobacco control industry had fought with every sinew to stop it working?

Now, they will say that it's nonsense, it's all a scam as Mike Siegel declared recently. But what if it is? It's still not in the tobacco control industry's interests to oppose it. Why? Because if it is designed to hoodwink everyone then the cretins at WCTOH are playing right into 'Big Tobacco's' hands. Politically the tobacco manufacturers can say that they tried their very best but had to give up because those who are supposed to be in favour of reducing smoking stopped them. What other choice have they got except to go on making cigarettes?

There is no scenario where tobacco control is going to win with the stance they are taking.

Imagine instead that they supported FSFW and it did turn out to be a 'scam'. Well then the industry has a problem because if they have support and are proven to have been playing games again, their reputations are shot for another few generations. As things stand, WCTOH's daft position threatens to shatter tobacco control reputations far more than on the other side.

It's a masterstroke from the industry which could, hopefully, show up the charlatans in tobacco-based 'public health' for what they really are; just a bunch of lying, low intellect blowhards and journeymen with no political nous whatsoever.

What's more, if FSFW does deliver and tobacco control hasn't backed them, there is only one place that the adulation is heading to, and it ain't tobacco controllers.

It's not even as if WCTOH came up with anything radically different than their usual, tax, restrict, ban mantra. Just the same old low-grade, expensive and non-efficacious gravy train-perpetuating nonsense.

Personally, I hope they carry on being utterly stupid about it all and trash their reputations at the same rate as the public appreciate the renewed sincerity of the tobacco industry, it will be pretty to watch.

We are living in a bizarre world where Simon Clark expresses deep mistrust about FSFW, and tobacco controllers, including Debs Arnott of ASH, are of the same view. I mean, doesn't that raise a few alarm bells in the batshit crazy tobacco control Mothership? Their cult - because that it exactly what it is - has become so pervasive in its brain-washing that the vacant, weasel-headed, blovating cocksplats in Cape Town last week can't even see what is good for them. Some might say they are addicted to idiocy, they can't help themselves, and should seek help.

With this whole cult thing going on, you have to wonder why those amongst the tobacco control community who are energised by the promise of reduced risk products - and there were some there - bothered to turn up. To change things from the inside, I guess. But this movement is so utterly indoctrinated by ignorance and powered by hatred that the idea of change from within is absurd. It's like someone in the 1940s popping along to a Nuremberg rally on the premise that "if I could just meet a few of them, I'm sure I can talk them round".

We live in interesting times, don't we?

UPDATE: Via Twitter, it seems I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

No comments: