Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fake charities

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

So they've gone and done it. Even the sight of cigarettes cannot be tolerated in Brown's Britain. Tobacco displays have been banned.

The Tories, the Lib Dems and even fucking Peter Mandelson can see that this is a piece-of-shit policy which will shaft small businesses for no conceivable benefit. But what the hell, eh? It's not like there's a recession on.

James Lowman of The Association of Convenience Stores is one of many pissed-off people:
"We have explained that implementing a tobacco-display ban will cost our industry over £250 million and concessions on a longer lead-in period will not allay our grave concerns."

"This announcement makes a mockery of government claims to be the friend of small and local businesses."

After eleven years, they still don't get it, do they? James, they don't give two shits about "small and local businesses". They butt-fucked the publicans and they're going to butt-fuck your members, just like they did the rest of us. Deep, hard and with sand in the vaseline.

What was striking, however, was the comment from Health Secretary Alan Johnson:
He [Johnson] told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the "overwhelming evidence and support" in the government's consultation on smoking was for such a ban.

Having read the consultation document, I would say 'overwhelming' is a fair word to use. I haven't seen such a consensus this overwhelming since Saddam Hussein's last election.

"Almost 98 per cent of respondents...were in favour of plain packaging"

"There was over 99 per cent agreement by respondents to this question that there should be further restrictions."

"Approximately 90 per cent expressed a preference for option three (prohibit the sale of tobacco products from vending machines altogether)"

It's fair to say that you won't replicate these results if you ask the average man in the pub, let alone the average man outside the pub. The extraordinary support for the Department of Health (DOH)'s recommendations can only be explained by looking at the "stakeholders" who got involved. Of the 96,000 responses, only a handful came from private individuals. The rest came from block-voting by state-funded pressure groups and charities. And, as my gracious host has recently pointed out:
...whenever a so-called charity supports a government initiative, you can almost always find that they rely on substantial state funding.

Sure enough, SmokeFree NorthWest - with 49,507 votes - is entirely funded by the DoH. Direct Movement by the Youth Smokefree Team - with 10,757 votes - is entirely funded by SmokeFree Liverpool who are entirely funded by the DoH). SmokeFree NorthEast - with 8,128 votes - is entirely funded by...yes, the DoH.

Weighing in with a further 1,562 votes were SmokeFree Action. These were the cunts who masterminded the smoking ban. As they say on their website:
We came together initially to lobby for smokefree workplaces...

Now they've achieved that, do you reckon they're happy to leave it there - as they swore blind they would - or do you think the mythical slippery-slope worked its magic again?
...and are now committed to reducing the harm caused by tobacco more generally.

Of course you are, you dishonest set of bastards.

SmokeFree Action is headed up by the biggest fake charity of all: Action of Smoking and Health (ASH). ASH, like all the rest of the "stakeholders", were created by the government but try their best to pretend to be a grass-roots organisation. Since they are registered with the charities commission it makes it that bit easier to inspect their accounts:
Year ended 31st March 2007

Department of Health: £210,400

Wales Assembly Government: £110,000

Supporting charities: £185,228

Donations & legacies received: £11,143

Incidentally, take another look at that last figure. That is the full amount that was voluntarily given to this 'charity' in a whole year. To give you a frame of reference, the Cat's Protection League received over £30 million in private donations in the same year. The fucking Donkey Sanctuary was given over £20 million.

ASH - one of the most powerful charities in the UK - made eleven grand. If they were left to fend for themselves they wouldn't have the money to rent an office. They would be hard pushed to send out a solitary press release, let alone change the law of the fucking land every five minutes.

In case you're wondering, the "supporting charities" were the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research. These are real charities, no doubt, and we've all given to them in our time. Still, when I donated to Cancer Research I foolishly assumed that the money might go towards actual cancer research. Now I know it gets hived off to pay for the fat salaries of a bunch of hateful, lemon-sucking harridans I don't think I'll fucking bother in future.

This is what happens: The fake charities set up websites where vistors can support the cause by entering an e-mail address and pressing click. No one really knows what they're voting for, but it has got something to do with thinking of the children and it only takes a second. Then the fake charities send postage-paid postcards out to every address they can get their hands on, urging the clueless recipients to sign them and send them back. Again, it isn't clear what the postcard is supporting but if you don't send it back it means you want lovely little children to get cancer.

Dick Puddlecote explained exactly how the Department of Health's "public consultations" work back in September (in the comments to this post):
1) The DoH think up some looney proposal and have to pretend to ask the public in order to exhibit some semblance of democracy.

2) The public aren't actually told about it unless they are avid watchers of smokefree sites so therefore will have formed an opinion one way only anyway.

3) The smokefree sites are told of course seeing as they are paid for by the Labour Government

4) Labour pass the measures and can say in front of the cameras that X% of stakeholders are fully in agreement with them about this. No fiddling at all. Not in the slightest. Perfectly above board.

With eye-watering disingenuity, the DoH specifically asked for input from shopkeepers regarding the mooted tobacco display ban:
We are particularly interested in hearing from small retailers and in receiving information on the potential cost impact of further restrictions on display

But when it arrived, it found that:
"Among the 10,570 small retailers responding, virtually all are against the proposal."

"Ninety-five percent of specialist tobacconists and all non-specialist shops surveyed suggested that a display ban would lead to them being unable to carry on trading."

So obviously the DoH ignored these dirty capitalist interests and pressed on with what could easily be the most stupid piece of legislation of the year. If you're on the gravy train, you get a voice. If you're not, forget it. Not so much a public consultation as a public sector consulation.

And in case you're under any illusion that the government might lay off smokers for a while after this, you should remember that Labour wouldn't be turning to fruitcake anti-smoking policies if they hadn't committed themselves to cutting the smoking rate to 21% by 2010 (it's 22% at the moment).

In that context, the scariest (and unreported, natch) thing about the DoH's bullshit consultation is that it asked 'stakeholders' what the smoking rate should be in a few years time. Here's what they said:
Action on Smoking and Health: 15% by 2015 and 5% by 2030

British Medical Association: 11% by 2015 "with the aim of making the UK tobacco free by 2035"

Royal College of Physicians: 11% by 2015 and "the eradication of smoking between 2020 and 2030"

Oh Lordy. These cunts haven't even got into second gear yet.


Dungeekin said...

It's not just smoking - that's the tip of the iceberg, isn't it?

They want to ban absolutely everything that might be in the slightest bit enjoyable - all in the name of 'protecting children'.

They're gonna ban it all. Even life if they can.

Trust me on this.


Mark Wadsworth said...

It's not "not even second gear" and this is not "the tip of the iceberg".

This is them fishing the car keys out of their pocket or a snowflake drifting aimlessly down over the Arctic (or indeed Antarctic).

In fact, this is them patting their pocket to make sure the car keys are still in there, or a water molecule steaming up off the Amazon River that might one day become a snowflake.

Leg-iron said...

I have to wonder why this country's policy always seems to be dictated by these unelected faceless people.

Who voted them into power and who gave them the authority to order everyone else around?

They don't really care about health, or children, or passive smoking, or drinking, or waistline or any of the rest of it.

Like schoolyard bullies, what gets them going is watching everyone else do as they're told. They want control, pure and simple.

These are the religious police of Saudi Arabia, the Taliban, the Prohibitionists, the Puritans, the Inquisition. They're everywhere, always have been and always will be.

Thanks to the spineless bunch we call a government, they are building a new Inquisition, and before the anti-smokers get going, they might want to ask what difference plain packets hidden away will make to them, really?

Will it stop smoking in public places? Ah, that's already stopped (and still we hear moans about smokers cluttering up the street from those who threw us out there). Will it stop underage smoking? Why would it? They weren't legally able to get them before, but they did. They'll get them just as illegally after this or any other measure.

It's not about health. It's about control. And it's not just smoking.

And it's only just getting under way. There's a lot more to come.

Anonymous said...

Look guys, smoking is bad for your health, and therefore the government is doing you loony libertarians all a favour by banning it. You may think smoking is all well and good and you should be allowed to do it but what about the effects on the rest of society?

As Adolf Hitler, a long time hero of mine, once said: 'Ve cannot allow ze individual vants to impact on my glorious vision of ze farzerlant.

Martin said...

We "elected" this government to run the essential public services of the country, not to fucking dictate trivial shit like this.

This is like getting a policeman to tie your shoelace. It's not his job, and this authoritarian bollocks isn't the governments job.

Anonymous said...

For fucks' fucking sake, will the fuckers please just fuck off? Fucking fuck.

I'm ashamed to be associated with NW England (just across the river from Liverpool), since it seems the two fake charities with the largest number of votes came from there.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Ot, Have a Blue Christmas!

Anonymous said...

"This is like getting a policeman to tie your shoelace. It's not his job..."

Indeed. Our Priome Mentalist seems to think a policeman's job is to give you directions to your house:


You truly couldn't make it up...

Anonymous said...

Wing, wing wing!!! its all you people do. Why don`t you get out there and fight for your rights like my generation used to? no poll tax, no Vietnamese war no veal lambs to the continent to name a few fight won by ordinary people. If this generation hasn`t got the guts to fight for your rights then you deserve to loose em. Just ask the labournazies if they have any respect for your rights and if they are worried about demonstrations. They know that the British people have lost their bottle and will only winge. Get some backbone for fucks sake

Anonymous said...

oops, should have been a e on the end of wing :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, at least they have just lost the IWF battle with the Wiki....

On a lighter note, You say that "The fucking Donkey Sanctuary was given over £20 million....". I didn't know fucking donkeys was so popular in the UK...

Bill Quango MP said...

"Not so much a public consultation as a public sector consultation."

Perfect description.

They will be making the local crack dealer unable to display his wares in the phonebox next.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Anonymous said...

oops, should have been a e on the end of wing :-)

And maybe an 'h' after the 'w'?

Anonymous said...

The Filthy Smoker said...
Anonymous said...

oops, should have been a e on the end of wing :-)

And maybe an 'h' after the 'w'?

And only one 'o' in lose.

All this does is make me think that giving up smoking 10 years ago was a bad thing to do so I'm seriously thinking of taking it back up again, cunts.

Ian B said...

Looking at the timescale, and the "disappointed" charities regarding vending machines, it's a fair guess there'll be another engineered dispute as per the smoker ban, leading to a free vote in the Commons, last minute changes to the legislation, and the final result being it brought in much faster and with more draconian provisions. They're leaving a bit of *cough* liberalism in it (slow introduction, some apparently "reasonable" bits) until the last minute to diffuse any slight opposition that might arise.

Also, even if the timescale remains at the unlikely 2011/2013, all the major supermarkets and chains will have "voluntarily agreed" to stop selling tobacco by then anyway in the usual corporate state dealing.

Dick Puddlecote said...

As quality as quality can be TFS (and not because I get a mention either).

What I want to know is why these so-called 'charities' (please just call them multi-million pound businesses and be done with it) are allowed to lobby so vociferously. I thought there was a rule about that sort of thing.

However, research enough and you will find CRUK, ASH and the BHF littering Government consultation documents prior to the Health Act. They even sat round a table with John Reid FFS before using the media to smear him as he wasn't having any of their alarmist bullshit.

The template has been cast and is now being used for every part of your life that the righteous wish to cease.

It's not like pro-choice groups didn't warn about this. Anyone who thought the smoking ban was a good idea but likes a drink. Fuck you. You're next.

John A said...

Gosh, the UK still has vending machines with cigarettes??? For once, seems we in the US are not in second place, the were banned "For the Children"" years ago!

Nostalgia: when there were such things, my state passed a three-cent-per-pack tax: the vending machine company supplying my college apppologised for hyaving to up price five cents (could not handle pennies) and put two pennies in each pack! Of course, that was over forty years ago, today they would up the price ten cents with nothing back to customers.

DaveA said...

One of the biggest problems is that ASH have control of the media. Most newspapers just cut and paste their press releases without doing any investigation.

ASH blatantly lie about passive smoking and heart attacks, I have the URLS to prove it.

ASH New Zealand have stated that they would like tobacco made illegal by 2017. Thin ends of wedges etc.


Anonymous said...

They will be bringing in net censorship by ommission next.

Enemy Censorship and Control Increases.

How the enemy used Censorship to Win the US elections.

Anonymous said...

Did you see that face-like-a-smacked-arse bitch from ASH on telly last night? She looks exactly like Mary Whitehouse. But without the warmth.

Letters From A Tory said...

Mandelson didn't want vending machines banned so they weren't banned. It's as simple as that - Mandy gets whatever he wants these days.

Roger Thornhill said...


Ain't that the truth. The Grand Vizier exercises his reach day upon day.

wordV: preletr

Traction Man said...

There's a glimmer of hope. They didn't ban tobacco completely. They obviously don't have the balls to do that. Why don't we put asbestos in their tofu? WHo will rid us of these meddlesome fools. Anyone like to bet how long before alcohol and meat are banned? Sugar too!

As HL Menken said: "Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."


As anon said above,if you will not take to the streets,with this issue as with everything else,all that you can do is whinge,and in two years time you will not be able to do even that when the internet goes "pay per view".The streets are where it must happen,but you are all too comfy at the moment,too fixated with "individualism"to be of any use to yourselves or any-one else.

Anonymous said...

A government so deeply in debt, and planning even more, needs every penny from taxation it can get its grubby paws on. In which case, where's the sense in trying to eliminate smoking?

The truth is – and I am a non-smoker so it doesn't affect me much (not yet at least) – HM Guvmint needs smokers.

Anonymous said...

Taking to the streets for anything these days is a complete waste of time. The Gov't simply ignores protests (the last one that was taken seriously was against the poll tax and that was before anti-terrorism legislation, so much CCTV etc). They merely take the opportunity to film, detain and catalogue participants' DNA into their little database.

The only way to hurt this government (or any for that matter) is financially. Since most people have their taxes taken from them by their employer you cannot stage an effective tax protest, but you can get them by not consuming. One day strikes in consumption - be it all smokers not buying a pack of cigarettes or drivers not buying petrol, or people simply not shopping etc for one day would hurt them almost as much as a general strike without anyone having to break the law. Businesses would be up in arms because of the lost revenue and the Gov't take of VAT would be hit very hard.

This would also work in the context of the London congestion charge - if all those who had not paid up for the year just refused to drive in one day, left the car at the border and overwhelmed public transport instead.

Of course, you might also have to take your money out of British banks to stop them taking the money in your accounts to make up the short fall, but it might be worth it.

Anonymous said...

The whole point of this government is to get power, hold power and never relinquish power.

Whilst they continue to erode civil liberties on almost an hourly basis, you can smell 'Mandy' behind the daily stench of turgid mis-information hitting the airwaves every day. Ministers just come on the 'Toady' programme or Newsnight and blatantly LIE about their own position or misquote the opposition's position, raising headline grabbing initiatives and then kicking them into the long grass (or worse still implimenting the fuckers). No-one ever challenges them. Especially at the BBC.

Election late Spring - I'd put my house on it if it were worth anything. And they will get in again...

Jesus Christ!

Anonymous said...

here here!!

lets write to our MPs and support retailers who look like they will continue to put up a fight - they have this petition going


Dr Evil said...

So where is the £8 billion in taxes coming from once tobacco is banned? They really are utter bastards.

A smoking room in a pub was all that was needed with everywhere else being smoke free. An air curtain would have stopped smoke drifting across the bar.

Surely the shops will just display a list of what tobacco products they stock. Would actually be more useful than scanning a load of packets and shelves.

What I hate about these righteous, right-on charities is they never know when to stop. It was a tiny minority that got handguns banned. Now another tiny minority of activists is getting smoking banned. Drinking will be next.

Anonymous said...

It is your civic duty to smoke.There are no funds left to provide pensions outside of the government ponzi scheme.There is absolutely no point in looking forward to a comfortable retirement.The government know this and the actuaries will give you a better rate on your annuity if you do smoke.'Carpe Diem'.Fuck all the puritans...enjoy your self.

Anonymous said...

The bullshit doesn't stop there. They're also lying about these bans reducing teen smoking abroad

Wrong Again!

Furry Conservative said...

It's power. The thrill of pure power. If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a ciggarette butt...in someone's mouth...forever.

Furry Conservative said...

"So where is the £8 billion in taxes coming from once tobacco is banned?"

Alcohol. And when that is gone, something else. There's always something else, some 'other' group who can be demonised and persecuted. That's the whole point of Labour, it is their dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got any information about this other anti-smoking organisation called D-Myst who are trying to smoking banned in films? The name is appearing on billboards around Liverpool on an advert saying that smoking in films is the major reason that kids start smoking - which I or anyone in their right mind would not believe for a fucking second.
Even the name is sinister - "D-Myst" - it sounds like some baddie organisation in a science fiction movie. I mean - who the fuck are these people????????
PS - apologies for the two main charities involved in this springing up from Liverpool, I'm really embarrassed about that as a Scouser born and bred.

WF - wincho

Tuesday Kid said...

I started killing people after our GCSE English class went to see Macbeth. Haven't been caught though so life didn't quite imitate art.

Ian B said...

From their website, D-Myst appear to be "SmokeFree Liverpool", so they'll be government funded again. Just another brand name for the same bunch of cunts.

On the general issue... we need to start thinking very hard about a strategy. The Temperance Movement are incredibly hard to defeat. Look at their great success in "Land Of The Free" America, a century ago when it was still supposedly a nation of free individualists etc etc. They got alcohol banned. They got drugs banned. They're extremely good at what they do.

Arguing back doesn't work. They aren't interested in a discussion about the truth. No amount of evidence or rational argument is going to even slow them down. So, we need to think up some clever strategy, and we need to do it fucking fast, because time has nearly run out. Thinking caps on, people.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Anon -

DMYST are the Direct Movement by the Youth Smokefree Team mentioned in the post. They contributed 10,757 votes to the consultation.

By the way, Ian King at The Times has made the same point as me but without resorting to foul language.

"96,515 submissions to the DoH consultation, 49,507 came from something called Smokefree North West and a further 8,128 from Smokefree North East.

It is to be hoped that their pre-written postcards or e-mail campaigns are not accorded equal weight to the more considered, but less shrill, views of the small retailers and tobacco industry."


Mulligan said...

So how do these fuckwits explain the spiralling use of class A drugs, despite them not being put openly on display in supermarkets and corner shops?

foxhunting was always just the tip of the iceberg for these cunts.

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