Monday, May 11, 2009

Stupidity and action

Leg-Iron muses upon the fact that the so-called Third Hand Smoke report is—as reported in this interview with Gawain Towler—based on bugger-all science, and points out that you can convince 60% of people of just about anything.
The 'scientific study' on third hand smoke consisted of a telephone poll asking ordinary people whether they thought it could be a problem. No research. No measurement of particles. No proof that any harmful particles even exist. No evidence at all, of any kind, other than the opinions of ordinary people.

Ordinary people who, as any wander along any street will demonstrate, are mostly idiots who will believe any damn thing they're told. I have convinced several people that the Romans built straight roads because they hadn't invented steering. There are people out there now who believe it and who are probably spreading it. When it ends up on your child's history curriculum, that was me. Sorry about that.

So when you consider that third hand smoke must be true because sixty percent of ordinary people believe it's true, remember what else they can be convinced of.

Hell, twenty-odd percent of them still think voting Labour is a good idea! Forty percent think the Tories will be better! There's your sixty percent right there.


In the meantime, Douglas Carswell is going for broke...
Enough is enough.

I've drafted the text of a motion for the Speaker to quit, and to be replaced by a new Speaker with a mandate to clean up the Commons. I'm consulting the Commons Table Office for advice on it.

I'm also starting to canvass for support for it from colleagues.

Go for it! The Speaker is hopelessly compromised and has no moral authority to do anything about MPs' expenses, even if he had the inclination to do so—which he (apparently) doesn't.

It's time for the utterly corrupt Gorbals Mick to be handed his marching orders, and be sent back to Glasgow.

Preferably in tiny pieces.

UPDATE: my impoverished but peripatetic Greek friend wrote about the Third Hand Smoke bollocks back in January.
The study reported on attitudes toward smoking in 1,500 households across the United States. [...] The data was collected in a national random-digit-dial telephone survey done between September and November 2005. The sample was weighted by race and gender, based on census information.

So it's not really a medical "study" at all, is it? It's an opinion poll. In fact, it's not much more "scientific" than the Sun asking its readers to vote on whether Jordan should have another boob job. I might as well phone you up and ask you if you're worried about getting a cock abcess. Why would you be? I just made it up!

Seriously, these people are scum. I am reading my preview copy of Velvet Fist, Iron Glove—A History Of Anti-Smoking and, once you become acquainted with the body of tactics engaged in by the anti-smoking brigade, this kind of mendacity becomes quite unsurprising.

But let's not beat about the bush here: the kind of fraudulent bollocks on display here totally destroys the reputation of real science...


Mr Eugenides said...

Yep, the third-hand smoke thing was invented out of thin air.

Anonymous said...

Problem is our dumb as fuck crooked thieving MP's will believe it because they are dumb as fuck.
They banned smoking in pubs because the dumb as fuck twats believed the second hand smoke LIE as well.
All anti smokers are NAZIS believe me.

Dick Puddlecote said...

More people are waking up to the complete fabrication of just about everything anti-tobacco says.

Unfortunately, this just means that their lies get more blatant and the public consultations which used to go swimmingly aren't so simple anymore, so the rigging is even more barefaced and outrageous.

These fuckers will never stop. They are seriously deranged. The author of "Velvet Glove ..." could write a second book about it by the time you've finished the first, DK.

(BTW, good read, is it not?)

DaveA said...

This is when and where the lies of passive smoking were conceived.

"In 1975, Sir George Godber, British delegate to the World Health Organization, and anti-smoker activist even then, presented to WHO his blueprint for changing individual behavior by changing social attitudes. Of smoking, he said: " would be essential to foster an atmosphere where it was perceived that active smokers would injure those around them, especially their family and any infants or young children who would be exposed involuntarily to ETS." When asked by a reporter why he had exaggerated the risks of secondary smoke, instead of denying that exaggeration C. Everett Koop is quoted as saying he had to be "forceful in warning of the ETS threat in order to win the public's attention."

Anonymous said...

I think that velvet fist will be the next book on my agenda.
May I also suggest Michael j McFaddens excellent "Dissecting anti-smokers brains".

Just one more thing.
Once you recognise the tactics that have been used in the denormalisation of smoking you can detect them in other puritan campaigns such as alcohol and food.

Bald headed John

David Gillies said...

A creationist nutbag pops up in the comments section for this post on leg-iron's site. That's right: a post about how people are daft enough to believe any old nonsense is commented on (favourably) by someone who thinks the universe is 6000 years old.

I taunt him.

Chalcedon said...

Noo Labour should have honoured their manifesto and allowed pubs to have smoking rooms. FFS, the smoke room was present in many old pubs. It just needed to be utilised as such and smoking stopped in the other rooms. Job done, no-one alienated. Pub trade not harmed. I used to be a smoker but the incessant nagging of my wife and daughters eventually became too much and I packed it in. I only smoked a few cigars at the pub, twice a week. But smoking does nothing for you really. However, it is a right to choose. I chose to give it up. Others choose to smoke. That's their right. It should be defended. It's not illegal. It never will be with the bastards in charge making 9 billion in tax. Now these bastards ar having a go at drinking. They already have had a big go at motorists. Where will this attack on the public end? will it? Not until we, the people rise up and take back our country and it's freedoms and restore them all to order.

J. Wibble said...

I think people are perfectly entitled to believe any old nonsense they want - if people want to believe third-hand smoke exists and spend their whole lives trying to avoid it, when there is no evidence whatsoever that it is harmful, that's up to them. I believe I shouldn't eat pork, so if I am going to buy some food I read the label to see if it contains any pork or pork by-products. If it does, I buy something else. If the shop I go into to buy lunch only has bacon sandwiches, I go to a different shop. I don't try and convince everyone else in the world that pork is evil and lobby the government to ban pork, not least because I have better things to do with my time. I also don't create spurious theories about the harmful effects of pork out of thin air and try to pass them off as scientific research.

Believe any old shite you want, but don't expect anyone else to believe it (much less act upon it) unless you can come up with some pretty damn good evidence for it.