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« Picture this | Main | Santa says ... »
Saturday
Dec062008

Life is messy, says Hockney

Feisty exchange of letters in the Guardian this week. On Wednesday, Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, wrote: "By closing the loophole which allows tobacco to be marketed at the point of sale, ministers could reduce the pull towards a potentially deadly addiction. There is huge public support for tougher controls on tobacco. We urge the government to stay the course and help us deliver a healthy future."

The following day, David Hockney (a member of Forest's Supporters Council) retorted:

The anti-smoking people are relentless. How does Harpal Kumar know there is "huge public support for tougher controls on tobacco"? It's all gone much too far ...

I noticed they rescinded the smoking ban in Atlantic City after takings in the casinos dropped enormously. Whereas here, as pub after pub closes, you and the political elite applaud. It is very, very undemocratic. The reason people like me are fed up with the Harpal Kumars of this world is clear in this example.

An obituary in the New York Times (November 10) of one of Harpal Kumar's colleagues read "a former president of the American Medical Association who campaigned against tobacco, obesity, illicit drugs ... died Thursday at his home ... He was 52." Life is always messy.

I loathe Harpal Kumar's dreary view of living and have a right to say so, and to be taken seriously. What he advocates stinks in a democracy.

Full letter HERE.

Reader Comments (22)

'There is huge public support'. We all know that if a lie is told often enough, people will believe it.

December 6, 2008 at 9:23 | Unregistered Commenterchas

I hope that with ever-increasing understanding of cancer and its causes, CRUK will, one day, have to acknowledge that other factors might be equally as, or more important than smoking.

I also, of course, agree with David Hockney's view that it isn't the place of CRUK or the Government to take responsibility for the health of individuals, let alone to do so by manipulation of attitudes and behaviour.

December 6, 2008 at 10:18 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

It is good that David Hockney's voice cannot be ignored by the 'liberal' establishment. I wonder whether the man at the Clapham pub door (to coin a phrase) would find a similar platform.

December 6, 2008 at 11:13 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Is he also going to campaign against pharmetuical drugs as asparin is addictive.

December 6, 2008 at 14:03 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Norman - I always find the term you used "liberal establishment" is very ambiguous. How can restricting the freedom to choose a legal product or trying to change behaviour to suit what they perceive to be the way to live be liberal?

It is great that people like Hockney pokes the eyes of so called liberals and challenges the "norms" they are social engineering. These liberals are very dangerous people and everyone who believes in freedom of choice should join the chorus against them. It is time to take the kid's gloves off and kick these liberals where it hurts; they are making our lives a misery.

December 6, 2008 at 18:02 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Bill, I put the single word 'liberal' in quotes, to imply an irony or the words 'so-called'. If you like please read as (il)liberal. I agree with you.

December 6, 2008 at 19:36 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

I read the full letter, and notice he was talking about the new pretty pictures on the packets. Let me share a few of my own experiences if I may.
I smoke rollups, tobacco from Spain, but buy a 10 pack a few times a week when I have rehearsals or gigs, as rolling a cig is awful in cold weather. I have been pleasantly surprised by the pictures. They have replaced the ugly warning on the back, I can't even read the small writing, some in red. As for the pictures. Well so far I have seen a man on a sunbed (dead body?), I didn't like the close up of a person with bad dental hygiene (what is that on a cigarette packet for), a pretty pattern like what a 5 year old does at school (damaged sperm?), a kid with smoke around him which reminds me of the pictures (cinema) when I was that age. I havn't been fortunate enough to get the man from a country with no hospital yet, but I have heard it likened to a cowboy with a thick scarf. I caught a glimpse of my hands on one packet, well, lots of hands get liver spots when you pass 50. I can only think of one more, the lungs, well, if you have seen one you have seen them all.

December 6, 2008 at 23:18 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

I haven't seen the damaged sperm one. I'll have to try buying a few more pouches to see if I can see that. Oh and timbone get some fingerless gloves, they are great if you want to roll your smokes in the cold. I wear mine when I'm out and about and I need a smoke.

December 6, 2008 at 23:35 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

I love David Hockney

I find it funny that Harpal and his chums know there is "huge public support" when the Government haven't published their findings on the 'consultation' yet.

If they have prior information, I think we should know why. If they haven't received such, then they are lying, pure and simple.

December 7, 2008 at 0:13 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

Huge public support? dead easy. Let's imagine I want to ban people from smoking within 100 metres of a school. I go to my local shopping precinct, and ask 100 people (like they do on Family Fortunes) this question - ahem - "Would you agree with any resonable request which prevented chldren from taking up smoking".
Now, notice the key words, 'reasonable request', not 'criminal law', and 'children', always a winner, puts adults into a corner.
So, let us say that 87 of the 100 asked said yes. That is 87%, huge public support.

December 7, 2008 at 0:31 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Aye it's like when they say 75% of publicans agree with the ban. when it should say 75% of the publicans, that have not been forced to close, agree with the ban. You see it all the time with adverts like shampoo, "The best hair product of the year" and then in tiny writing, from a survey of 2000 people. Statistics are powerful things because of the differing ways of interpreting them. So let's say timbones example asks 100 people. 87 say yes to te banning smoking outside schools. Instead of saying 87% agree you could say 13% don't agree which makes it look like there is MORE public support cos such a LOW statistic is used. And they say smokers are stupid!

December 7, 2008 at 0:36 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

How long before Kumar and his fellow zealots start referring to the permissibility of smoking in the home as a "loophole"?

December 7, 2008 at 0:49 | Unregistered CommenterBasil Brown

More should be made now about the fact that UK Cancer Research and The American Cancer Society and others have been responsible for millions of deaths that may have been prevented, except for their relentles pursuit of tobacco as the culprit,while ignoring other areas of research and especially theories that have successfully challenged their ingrained holy doctrines, which they have become. For the endless grants for research into this area, which in many decades has not saved one life, because tobacco has never been proved to be the cause but is the foundation of the mega rich cancer industry.

They are still in the dark because they will not deviate from this 'orthodox' and lucrative path. As far as I am aware The ACS is so rich could it could finance some of the banks in trouble!

There is one man who has challenged them all and sacrificed his career as a successful oncologist in Europe because he believes these institutionalized claims about cancer are very wrong, and he has had a 90% cure rate. He and his family have has been hounded, ridiculed and threatened by the scared medical authorities because if he is right this worldwide industry which makes billions for the drugs companies would collapse. They don't want a simple cure.

His name is Dr.Simoncini.http://www.cancerisafungus.com/

I believe, from what I've seen, that he has discovered something extra-ordinary and as many people as possible should be made aware of his sruggle and achievements.
Almost every discovery has been made by one or two people in the past,NOT by concensus, and they have always been treated as heretics. This is one such case. Watch the videos and interveiws. It's quite amazing.

December 7, 2008 at 2:15 | Unregistered CommenterZitori

I read some of his cancer treatment nexus pdf and some alarming statistics were revealed in there, like 1% of articles in medical journals are scientifically sound. Although it's a good read ( based on the bits I pulled out ), it is somewhat distressing to confirm "science" is all based on profits.

December 7, 2008 at 3:17 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Oh I would just like to add that there is always something natural to combat illnesses and disease, we just havnn't discovered everything yet, but apparently this doctor has. It reminds me of a program I was watching the other day. It was about a group of villagers in Thailand that catch & fight King Cobra snakes, a very deadly venomous creature. But many of them had snake bites and did not die from them. This wasdue to them finding a plant root that was a NATURAL anti-venom and much safer than the World Health Organisation anti-venoms. There may be hope for mankind with guys like Dr. Simoncini, keep the faith!

December 7, 2008 at 3:21 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Dr.Simoncini is not the only person to be shunned. David Bellamy has been shunned by the BBC because he said that climate change was not man made. David Icke was called a nutter because of his conspiracy theories, many of which are becoming true.

December 7, 2008 at 10:07 | Unregistered Commenterchas

I've just watched James Parnell being interviewed by Andrew Marr. He was talking about the Government's plans for welfare reforms and, in particular, the strategy for getting those who claim what used to be called Incapacity Benefit back into work. They intend to focus on improving the individual's health. So far, so good. They could do it by educating people about diet and exercise generally and by tailoring a plan which addresses the individual's particular infirmity and joins this up to suitable and unsuitable jobs/part or full time employment.

But this is NuLabour. What's the betting that one of the first things they'll do is to insist, on pain of benefit being denied, that smokers quit - even if the individual's health problem has absolutely nothing to do with smoking and even if to give up smoking might exacerbate the condition (for example where people are suffering from mental illnesses)?

You read it here first!

December 7, 2008 at 10:39 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

Thanks Zitori for the information about Dr. Simoncinis website. His findings do not surprise me, but how can these people be silenced so easily. I also want to thank Chas for mentioning David Icke, I have watched his video called Big Brother, on www.davidicke.com.He is an amazing man and what he says is exactley how they have engineered the Smoking Ban

December 7, 2008 at 15:28 | Unregistered CommenterPam Furnival

On the cigarette grahic images - has anyone got the throat cancer one? I've started collecting them. I've now got two old hands and so I could swap one.

Oh, this takes me back to the nostalgic days when we collected cigarette cards... actually .. didn't they ban those because it gave people a reason to smoke ..?

oh well ..

... and Joyce, yes, I think you've probably got a very good point there, I'll remember where I heard it first!

December 7, 2008 at 20:25 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I have not yet seen any cig packs with these pictures on, but my husband saw his first one last night, an empty pack in a bin. It was the one with the hands.

When he came home and told me he continued by saying, smokers don't get hands like that because we don't live long enough, apparently! I then commented that other things age the skin too, such as the Sun, general weather, especially where people work outdoors and, of course, Sun Beds!

Anyway, I am 51 and I don't have old looking hands yet! Hubby is 53 and works outdoors and he doesn't have old looking hands yet either! Perhaps the smoking is actually helping us to retain our youthful looks?

December 8, 2008 at 13:07 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Some things are very hard to figure out. I find it strange that america, being the first country in the world, to bring in a smoking ban allows smoking in every casinos in Las Vegas. You can smoke to your hearts content on every gaming device in every hotel. But go into a restaurant or bar outside the casinos and smoking is strictly forbidden.
A high roller can waltz into any casino with a big fat cigar stuck in his gob and lackeys will clear the way for him to a table without an eyebrow being raised.
Now why is that. I wonder has big bucks got something to do with it!

December 8, 2008 at 14:27 | Unregistered Commenterann

Ann,

Smoker bans are never about health. Not yours, not mine, and certainly not those terrified of risk, however small.

They have always been about the filthy lucre, not the filthy smokers.

They are addicted to our money. Without it they are less than nothing. Without us, they have no reason to exist.

They get smokers money via punitive taxes from our spineless government, or they get money from smokers bullied into quitting and wasting their hard earned coin on useless NRT products. Money, money, money.

I call it cashotine.

December 8, 2008 at 19:50 | Unregistered CommenterColin Grainger

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