Friday, February 15, 2008

Twisting words

Back in October we met a certain Julian Le Grand, who had some deeply unpleasant ideas.
Among his suggestions are a proposal for a smoking permit, which smokers would have to produce when buying cigarettes, an "exercise hour" to be provided by all large companies for their employees and a ban on salt in processed food.

What the... I mean... I... ach... gaaaarrrrr... what the fucking fuck-fuck? What the fuck is this shit? A fucking smoking permit? An "exercise hour"? I... I... You fuck, Le Grand; you fuck.

And the big fat lolly stick sticking jauntily from the top of this fresh turd is what this cunt scientist has decided to dub his fascistic ideas.
The idea, dubbed "libertarian paternalism", reverses the traditional government approach that requires individuals to opt in to healthy schemes.

What the fuck is libertarian about forcing people to buy licenses to buy and consume perfectly legal products? What is libertarian about either forcing people to partake in an exercise hour or forcing companies to have one? What the fucking shit is this cunt on?

This is totalitarianism, this is fascism. You are beholden to the state and the state tells you how you should look and live; the state is your lord and master and you must serve your master until you die.

Trixy has alerted me to the fact that this shit is being stirred up again by the totalitarian's newspaper of choice.
A ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone who does not pay for a government smoking permit has been proposed by Health England, a ministerial advisory board.

The idea is the brainchild of the board's chairman, Julian Le Grand, who is a professor at the London School of Economics and was Tony Blair's senior health adviser. In a paper being studied by Lord Darzi, the health minister appointed to oversee NHS reform, he says many smokers would be helped to break the habit if they had to make a decision whether to "opt in".

The permit might cost as little as £10, but acquiring it could be made difficult if the forms were sufficiently complex, Le Grand said last night.

His paper says: "Suppose every individual who wanted to buy tobacco had to purchase a permit. And suppose further they had to do this every year. To get a permit would involve filling out a form and supplying a photograph, as well as paying the fee. Permits would only be issued to those over 18 and evidence of age would have to be provided. The money raised would go to the NHS."

Le Grand said the proposal was an example of "libertarian paternalism". The government would leave people free to make their own decisions but it would "nudge them" in the right direction.

It is difficult to articulate how fucking offensive I find this whole idea. Quite apart from creating yet more vast swathes of civil servant jobs, it is just absolutely beyond the fucking pale as far as freedom is concerned.

Tobacco is a legal product and the idea that one should have to apply for a permit in order to indulge in a perfectly legal past-time—and pay for that permit, on top of all the tax on cigarettes and the fact that smokers cost the state less than a healthy person in any case—is an appallingly illiberal idea.

To then attempt to twist the word "libertarian"—in the same way that the illiberal Left have already appropriated the word "liberal"—is just unbelievable.
The paper also proposes incentives for large companies to provide a daily "exercise hour" for employees and a ban on salt in processed food.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said last night: "We will be consulting later this year on the next steps for tobacco control. Ministers are looking for input from a full range of stakeholders."

For fuck's sake, the world of 1984 is being created even as I write.
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

Julian Le Grand: 1984 is a warning, NOT A FUCKING INSTRUCTION MANUAL, you terrible cunt.

Despite my anger and your humble Devil's strong rhetoric, I am a libertarian: I believe in letting people choose their own path through life. As long as they do not infringe on the rights of others—that is to say, their life, liberty and property—people should be free to pursue happiness in whatever way they choose.

There are just over 60,000,000 human being on this island and, unlike Julian Le Grand, I am not arrogant enough to assume that I should be able to tell them how to live—far less encourage others to legislate to do so. As Timmy has so often pointed out, we should be able to go to hell (or heaven) in our own particular handcart.

As I said a couple of days ago
, it is those who, arrogantly, think that they know best who are the real threat to freedom (although, as Chris Dillow pointed out, I should probably have used "statism" rather than "socialism" although I would maintain that, in the end, one always leads to the other).
The entire concept of socialism is based around the idea that a large part of the population is to fucking thick to be able to look after themselves. Because these people are so fucking thick, they need wise leaders to look after them and, naturally, everyone seems themselves as that wise leader.

It is an irritating and patronising attitude but is just another reason why I hate bloody socialists. It's also one of the main reasons why Leftist governments always move inexorably towards totalitarianism: after all, if you know better than the general populace on one issue, why not all issues?

A libertarian movement is desperately needed in this country because, ultimately, all three main parties think that they know better than you: they all regard you as too fucking thick to make decisions for yourselves. Fundamentally, they all want to make those decisions for you.

Will you let them do that?

UPDATE: Trixy is suitably enraged.
Words cannot describe the hate I feel towards people who think that they must control every aspect of our lives. Julian Le Grand, who is a professor at the London School of Economics and was Tony Blair's senior health adviser, thinks it would be a jolly jape to make people buy a permit for purchasing tobacco.

I am literally shaking with rage. It's not enough for them to force us all outside into the cold and to damage pubs with their fascist policies, but to have to buy a permit and for Le Grand to say that they should make the form sufficiently difficult so people couldn't fill them in is the product of a sick mind.

Hear that, Julian, you are a sick individual.

I'm sure that Julian will comfort himself with the thought of his surely-soon-to-be-awarded peerage...

UPDATE 2: England Expects is also incensed.
Saving us time...

Oh I can see it now, all that lovely paperwork, and with photo ID as well. Now we must of course streamline the system. So lets have all the paperwork and photo IDs uploaded onto a national smokers database. This of course can be cross referenced to tha nice idea the government just had about the Children's database (with exam results that will never be deleted as it is designed to act as a Government approved national CV); which dovetails with the Children's Index (which due to security reasons will not carry the details of the children of celebrities and politicians, but will have all sorts of social information about parenting and propensity to commit crime - and whether you eat your greens). Then add the fingerprints that have been taken from all our children in schools. Tie that to Franco Frattini's idea of only the day before yesterday to have a complete satellite tracking system that will track all visitors to the EU...

I love this though,
Le Grand said the proposal was an example of "libertarian paternalism". The government would leave people free to make their own decisions but it would "nudge them" in the right direction....

Oh sod it, could somebody just design a badge for me that I will wear at all times on my top garment. I am prepared to have a tattoo as well, just to get it over with.

Bet we will be made to pay for those badges and tattoos though...

UPDATE 3: Dizzy is fucking annoyed.
What the hell is wrong with this country? What in God's name is going on? I have to buy a permit each year and get a photo ID card in order to smoke? I have private health insurance, I'm not using the bastard NHS. Le Grand and the Government can stick their permit up their pipe and smoke it - but only outside of course.

You might notice that all four of us are smokers. But, believe me, once they've fucked us over, you're next...


Anonymous said...

Hm. Should any such 'smoking permit' proposal be enacted, I'd expect large-scale ciggy smuggling to start nearly imemediately (cf. 'Prohibition-era USA').

Say, do you happen to know where I might obtain a 30-foot coaster, cheap?

Anonymous said...

This is just the sort of cr*p which delegitimizes the State in they eyes of the populace. These worthless bastards won't be content until we are all reduced to abjectly service status, content merely to pay our taxes (in ever larger percentages) while we're given 'the boot in the face', over and over.

How on earth have we arrived at this situation, in which the government thinks they have ANY right whatever to force 'smoking permits' or 'bans on salt in processed foods' on us? Who the f*ck gave them any such powers?

No: the State is running amok; it has lost all pretence to being the servant of the People, and as such is merely acting tyrannically.

The question then is: do we owe such a government any fealty whatever? Seems to me your Libertarian Party has its work cut out.

The Sage of Muswell Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Sage of Muswell Hill said...

Were Le Grand's policy ever adopted, you'd get a parallel market in "illegal" cigarettes supplied by criminals and their friends on sink estates all over the UK. It's another potential "black money" income stream (much like the trade to be in fake ID cards): not that this would trouble Le Grand overmuch.

All you need to know about Le Grand is contained in this paragraph from his official biography at
"He currently holds two Government chairmanships: Chairman of Health England: the National Reference Group for Health and Well Being for the Department of Health; and Chairman of the Social Care Practices Working Group for the Department for Education and Skills. He is also a member of the Group of Societal Policy Analysts advising President Jose Barroso of the European Commission."

He is a well-rewarded sycophant to both the mock-government in Westminster and the real government in Brussels

A new word for the DK lexicon: a "le grand" - a parasite's parasite.

Anonymous said...

I have another idea - I propose a "Bastard's Permit" for which Le Grand clearly qualifies. This will be mandatory and cost a squillion quid a year. The form will be suitably complex as to make it difficult to attain and any bastard found to be without his (or her, no sexism here) Bastard Permit while in public, or in communication with anyone at all, would be subject to a rather large beating.

Anonymous said...

If proof were needed of his complete lack of brain power he says "The money raised would go to the NHS"

What dip shitted moron thinks the state could organise such a scheme of permits that collects more revenue that it costs to run.

The one thing he does know is he's on a cushy number, and costing us far more than he's worth!

Anonymous said...

Anyone looking for some innocent merriment can go here:

This informs us that this Julian LeGrand is available for media contact and consultancy. Consultancy on what, other than how to be a laughable prat, is not stated.

Under Languages, he lists only: French [Spoken: Intermediate; Written: Basic] What a prat! He lists "basic written French" as one of his qualifications! La plume de mon oncle, est dans le jardin de ma tante. Voici le chat! Voila le chien! Je ne sais pas (oops! Julian has never written this in his life).

Anyway, for those inclined to start a correspondence with the ravishing Professor LeGrand (he has his photo posted) his email address is

JuliaM said...

"You might notice that all four of us are smokers. But, believe me, once they've fucked us over, you're next..."

I'm not a smoker. And even if I didn't think I'd be next for something I did enjoy, I'd be against this hideous idea.

Anonymous said...

" ... would be subject to a rather large beating."

anon 2/15/2008 03:28:00 PM

I still think 'would be subject to a rather large sharp stick up the bum' is better.

Anonymous said...

Just as I'm trying to cut down, cunts like this make me want to smoke twice as fucking much!

Anonymous said...

Thank fuck I quit the UK last year!

Oh, fuck fuck. I've got to come back for a couple of weeks in April. Fucketty fuck.

Does anyone want any permitless smokes?

Longrider said...

Mrs L buys her tobacco in France and has done for a number of years. I very much doubt that she is the only one. So, how does a smoking permit become enforceable? Will they search everyone disembarking from the cross-channel ferries?

Quite apart from the sheer hubris of the suggestion, the utter, utter arrogance that assumes he has the right to dictate to others how they should live their lives. I'll stop there before I burst a blood vessel.

El Draque said...

I am 57 years old and have never smoked. Not once. But the attitude of our revolting government makes me want to go out and buy the strongest cigarettes, rip the filter off and smoke the lot. In front of a hospital. And eating a Big Mac (with double fries) at the same time. With a single malt to wash it all down. Without a seat belt.

Anonymous said...

I'm a non smoker. Being in a room where lots of people smoke leaves my clothes stinking, and makes me feel sick. Despite all that I think a smoking permit is a fucking appalling idea. Its a fucking dictatorship. I pride myself on a great sense of humour but this shit isn't funny any more.

John Trenchard said...

i can't believe that there are people who would even comtemplate this.

come the revolution, i'll bring the rope. you can just point out the lampost.

Roger Thornhill said...

The only practical use I can see for Le Grand's report is if it is cut into squares, tied together in one corner and placed in the bog.

Smoking permits results in a fire brigade sent out to burn illicit tobacco and turned into a film called Centigrade851.

Anonymous said...

His misuse of the word Libertarian is a crucial aspect here.

In a climate in which Libertarianism and its ideals are slowly gaining awareness, we must make sure the word is not misused, and its meaning clouded (as with 'Liberal'.

Needs to be nipped in the bud and refuted at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

John Trenchard has the right idea. The notion of air tapdancing from lamposts warms the cockles of one's heart.

Anonymous said...

What's next? An edict on approved sexual technique to avoid discomfort to your 'partner'? Compulsory etiquette lessons before buying opera tickets?

Maybe better a permit for spewing your pointless Orwellian ideas into the public domain. With a VERY long form.

Mr Eugenides said...

I don't smoke either, as you know, but I am very tempted to start. Fuck the lot of them.

Neal Asher said...

The whole thing is incredibly fucking annoying, but what also gets to me is this:

A Department of Health spokeswoman said last night: "We will be consulting later this year on the next steps for tobacco control. Ministers are looking for input from a full range of stakeholders."

So, the smoking ban is not enough and there will be 'next steps'. It doesn't stop. If not Le Grand's fecal spewings then something else. My guess is the ban applying to some outdoor areas will spread.

Anonymous said...

"...from a full range of stakeholders". What is a stakeholder? This is a genuine question.

Anonymous said...

A Department of Health spokeswoman said last night: "We will be consulting later this year on the next steps for tobacco control. Ministers are looking for input from a full range of stakeholders."

If you can get hold of a translation, or read it in the original German, it's in similar language that the holocaust was implemented. Ridiculous over exageration? No it isn't because this is the sort of thing they started with. Smoking & public health & other trivial things and at no time did anyone ask not "can we do this?" but "should we do this?" They were consulting the 'stakeholders' when they drew up the plans for the crematoria to dispose of the bodies and it was all carefully minuted & copies sent out to the appropriate agencies.

El Draque said...

Apropos the last comment - the Holocaust was not only planned but the designs for the gas chambers were put out to competitive tender. Not only did the bids comply but the corporations submitted innovative bids. One just wonders at the discussions at the internal tender-vetting panels - and how often was said, not "should we be involved in this?" but "How can we best win this contract?"

Anonymous said...

It's a despicable idea of this Le Grand wanker, or Le Small as he will be remembered. But, my fave bit is the quote in the Guadian, that "the permit might cost as little as £10"

So, it might... or it might be a whole bunch of fivers more.

And even if if it was "as little as £10" will it be that for all time? Methinks it's not just another little price to pay for having elected NuLab originally, but something that can be increased quietly in budgets to come.

Anonymous said...

".. the Holocaust was not only planned but the designs for the gas chambers were put out to competitive tender..."

Did any of the designs include rotating knives?

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