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« D-day for DH consultation | Main | Entertainment news »

Joe Jackson's New Year message

New Year greetings from Joe Jackson (left), an active supporter of the campaign to reverse smoking bans here and abroad. (A member of Forest's Supporters Council, Joe was featured on the Today programme, guest edited by David Hockney, another Forest supporter, last Tuesday):

Over the last few days we have exchanged a number of emails. On the subject of Vicki Woods' article in the Telegraph on Saturday and the comments that followed (see HERE), Joe writes:

Pretty good article. One thing that strikes me though (in the Today showpiece too) is that any discussion of the smoking ban seems to be framed purely in terms of personal preference, ie do you like it or not, what do you personally do about it, which celebrities like or dislike it, and is it 'cool' or not. Occasionally the business argument gets in there and then it's a frequently biased argument about whether the ban has affected business or not.

What seems to be totally lacking is any serious discussion of why the ban has really been imposed, and whether the government had any right to do so, and what is or isn't a legitimate basis for legislation, and whether the stated justification holds up to any scrutiny.

I fear we are moving closer and closer to a sort of Soviet existence where authority is simply accepted and only grumbled about around the kitchen table - which is where all the parties are going to be anyway, with no pubs left!"

With regard to his brief appearance on Today, Joe writes:

I wasn't all that happy with it to be honest ... I didn't feel like I was getting to say what I wanted to say and then suddenly it was all over. I was asked about Berlin [where Joe now lives] and other places where the smoking laws are much more relaxed than the UK. They wanted to know why I thought that was ... a question I really didn't know how to answer!

The BBC's patronising handling of [the smoking issue] doesn't surprise me in the least ... all we can say is "It could have (and very often has been) worse". Antismoking-biased media are reasonably happy to have celebrities saying things like "The smoking ban annoys me, can't we be more fair" etc ... They can then appear to have been somewhat 'unbiased' when in fact they always let the health authorities 'win'.

I always try to raise the issue of the secondhand smoke fraud but every time the plug is pulled. Nevertheless I will not give up and if enough people were to keep raising it and not give up, the tide would inevitably turn ...

Finally, he writes:

What concerns me is that all the Hockneys and Worral Thompsons in the world may be accepted by the BBC et al so long as they just talk about fairness and compromise, but they are always overruled - and I suspect, 'set up' to be overruled - by the almighty doctors and their secondhand smoke scam.

When all the arguments are thrashed out, a nagging and crucial question always remains: why is it, really, that no one with any real power, money or influence, is fighting a fraud which can quite easily be demonstrated to be a fraud?

Reader Comments (27)

Excellent points made, especially the last one: 'When all the arguments are thrashed out, a nagging and crucial question always remains: why is it, really, that no one with any real power, money or influence, is fighting a fraud which can quite easily be demonstrated to be a fraud?'

There are a number of people who post here who have the knowledge and have done the research, but having the money and the influence is the crucial downfall, in my opinion. Perhaps trying find that money and influence should be a key task for 2010?

January 4, 2010 at 8:24 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

What have passive smoking and swine flu pandemic got in common? Both were lies told by Liam Donaldson, the Government, WHO and other so called experts.

January 4, 2010 at 9:06 | Unregistered Commenterchas

I quite agree Chas, but whilst these people and organisations are 'respected' as 'experts', we will not win over enough people to make the difference that is needed. Therefore, as Joe Jackson says, we need someone or some people with enough public respect, money and influence to show these shams up for what they are!

You, me and everyone else here can shout and rationalise until we are blue in the face, but it won't make enough difference because as individuals, or even a group here, we do not carry enough credence or clout! I wish we did as the people here are far more intelligent, worldly wise and honest than any of those in the pay of the government - imho!

January 4, 2010 at 10:12 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Joe asks "why is it, really, that no one with any real power, money or influence, is fighting a fraud which can quite easily be demonstrated to be a fraud?"

They are in a way, Joe. As it is the tobacco companies who are backing this site and Forest, which obviously do contribute somewhat towards keeping the "fraud" alive in many people's minds. But as we all know, the real campaign needs to reach out to a much larger audience if it is ever going to achieve anything. Here, it is preaching to the already converted.

But even if we had "big" monetary backing, I still think we need "big" moral backing from the disgruntled and the "hard-put-upon". Over the years we have seen OAPs marching for their rights, we have seen the Countryside Alliance, marching for theirs, we have seen various unions standing up and being seen on behalf of their members, all without the backing of big business.

Whilst the smokers sit back and do nothing but moan, I cannot see anyone backing them. Maybe a "Smokers Union" is what is called for? Pay for ourselves and then we would have much more chance of big business stepping in to help?

January 4, 2010 at 10:19 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Its certainly very difficult for people like Joe Jackson and others to argue with the Health and Safety mob, the almighty doctors and big govt, especially when it seems to be OK to lie when they can say that people's health is at risk, and people in authority cant be seen to argue against this.
It seems to be OK for Big Govt to lie and make
such mistatements when it comes to health and
safety, that even saying that the world is sqare is allowed.
Seems to me us smokers are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Above us is a hard line Big Govt
Below us is a disinterested and brainwashed youth in love with health and safety.
So, yet again it looks like its up to the grey revolution to recover our lost freedoms.
I will gradly join Peter's Smokers Union and in the meantime will do everything in my power to twart the bully state and let anti smokers know I have nothing in common with them!

January 4, 2010 at 11:56 | Unregistered Commenterann

Joe is right to come back to the ETS fraud. This keeps being swept under the carpet and there are totally misinformed and foolish comments from various people supposed to be on our side; such as:

"the jury is still out on second hand smoke"


"second hand smoke may be dangerous but we can cater for it with proper ventilation".

Now get this. ETS is a fraud pure and simple and bollocks from people supposed to be on the side of freedom of choice, such as I have just mentioned, needs to be eradicated. Of course, the BBC and other dead-brained arms of prohibition try to keep the ETS fraud under wraps, because the tobacco control lobby knows that once this fraud is properly exposed their campaign is finished. Therefore, a renewed effort must be made to attack on this front because a win on this front will win the war for freedom of choice. Period!

January 4, 2010 at 12:39 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

I said at the first F2C AGM in 2008 the very same thing. Forget all the other stuff, concentrate on what the legislation was based on, a fraud which began in 1975, well, before that, but that was Nazi Germany.
Of course, one has to contend with another part of the anti smoking blueprint, anything with the slightest hint of tobacco industry involvement is not true. I remember discussing epidemiology with a medical data collector, and he just wrote off the vast majority of SHS research finding no health risk as being sponsored by big tobacco.

January 4, 2010 at 12:46 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Although as a member of Forest I support the right to smoke I agree with the ban on smoking in public places. We have to accept that it the method of delivery of nicotine does foul the atmosphere and is clearly unpleasant to non-smokers. As we know - we are not addicted to tobacco - and choose to smoke out of pleasure. There is therefore no pressing need to allow us to smoke when and where we wish. The controls are legitimate.

January 4, 2010 at 13:16 | Unregistered CommenterJack B

Anyone who is interested in attacking the fraud at the basis of the smoking ban should consider signing (and circulating) this:

Joe has signed it!

January 4, 2010 at 13:32 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Good comment and interesting point of view by Joe Jackson!!! We are living on the culture of lies, and every fraud and lie of these days, like swine flu, antitobacco laws and airports (supposedly antiterrorist) controls are reasons for the decline of the print media and people going to look at the Internet sites. They lie us on a daily basis and traditional media lie too and people begin to understand. It is nonsense to forbid tobacco while other more toxical substances are tollerated in food, building, cars, etc and while pollution keeps contributing to climate change....

January 4, 2010 at 13:46 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Nunez

Big Tobacco is in the business to make money just like a car manufacturer is. They both have a product that (MIGHT) be dangerous to some. As we know not everyone dies as a result of someing doing 120KM and losing control taking out a family in the process we also know life long smokers that never developed cancer. Oh risk, gee you live long enough you might be lucky enough to live 20 years in a nursing home adding to overall health care cost.
But this is what gets me, the anti tobacco forces are worse than big Tobacco ever was. When anti tobacco forces try to raid a State Treasury that is in a economic crissis thats as low as it gets! People losing their homes and the anti tobacco people need $190,000,000.00 in one State to tell people not to smoke?

January 4, 2010 at 14:23 | Unregistered CommenterBilly

Kicking out the smoking law can only be a step towards much else, which is maybe why people hesitate. The state, here in Ireland as well as 'across the water', meddles, the poison in this worse than any harm the meddling seeks to cure. But, our populations have too little fight in them! Three cheers for the gentleman in this video, and any of those few who stick their necks out. It's tough, and a very serious issue - requires guts.

January 4, 2010 at 15:54 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Lambton

One good thing may come from the global warming debacle. The exposure of this fraud may continue to snowball, and with the incompetent president the U.S. has in Obama, the push to expose big pharma's agenda as a profiteer in socialized medicine must grow. Perhaps then then SHS/ETS fraud may finally be exposed to the masses. It may take a lawsuit elevated to the highest courts to do this however, to challenge the Big Lie.

January 4, 2010 at 16:01 | Unregistered CommenterMarlene B.

Is Jack B's post a spoof? If it isn't I think I'd welcome explanation about Forest's policy and the extent to which Jack B's attitude typifies membership!

January 4, 2010 at 18:26 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Jack B is obviously somewhat out of place here. (cf. The controls are legitimate etc.) He'd better clear off pronto, otherwise he'll soon find himself out of his depth! :)

January 4, 2010 at 19:41 | Unregistered CommenterJenny of Yorkshire

Anyone wishing to catch on the science of ETS/SHS I am having a debate on the British Medical Journal. The gentleman answering makes his living out of testifying on SHS. His documentation is flawed, misleading and inaccurate. Repace is mates with Glantz, Thun and no doubt Banzhaf.

I will be delivering a coup de grace later in the week.

January 4, 2010 at 19:42 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Get with it Jack B. Have you never heard of freedom of choice for all and the fact that everyone's tastes can be catered for?

Respect must be a two way thing and in an adult world people are supposed to be mature enough to give each other space.

The present ban is not only the product of perverse and bigoted minds, its controls are truly illegitimate. They are illegitimate because they were brought in to "protect" non smokers from a non risk, namely second hand smoke.

January 4, 2010 at 20:45 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

I agree with many of the comments above but I am also concerned with the rise of a pervasive culture of intolerance that marginalises and stigmatises (and, if some have their way, would criminalise) smokers, and other groups within our society that don't conform to this wave of 'healthy lifestyle' being marketed at every turn.Intolerance of any sort is dangerous, especially so when made to appear virtuous and for the 'good of society'. I also find it ironic that despite all the advertising/propaganda generated about the benefits of healthy eating, exercising, drinking etc, never have I seen so many obese, depressed, anxious and ill people, particularly so in the NHS and health related professions!! It's a bleak and joyless country we live in, my cigarettes provide me with a glimmer of light and heat and a lot of pleasure!

January 4, 2010 at 23:20 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Morgan. (Retired Nurse)

Regarding Joe Jackson's assertion that no one with power and influence is trumpeting the fraud of SHS.

But, the primary principle must surely be OUR FREEDOM.

Sometimes, it is hard to see what freedoms are being eroded, but it becomes clearer if one considers the difference between 'Health' and 'Safety'.

In the interests of SAFETY, we all (eventually) agreed that seatbelts were a good thing. In the interests of SAFETY, we all agreed that drinking too much alcohol and driving was a bad thing. The principle involved in these two examples is that it is OK for the State to legislate for our SAFETY.

But, in terms of my personal freedom, is it OK for the State to legislate in such a way as to force me to be HEALTHY?

I think that not. I think that my health is my business. By all means, advise me, but do not order me.

And so we see that there are two equally important factors:

1. That Second Hand Smoke dangers do not exist in the normal lifespan of a person.

2. That our freedom to decide upon our health is our own business.

As regards No. 2, there is another important principle that the State has usurped, and that is THE EXTENSION of the freedom to decide your own health. The extension is the right of individuals to invite other people to indulge in certain pleasures together - that, after all, was what public houses were invented for - and thus decide for themselves upon their own health. In the campaign to Save our Pubs and Clubs, this idea is essential.For example, even with the Smoking Ban in place, a slight amendment could allow pubs and clubs to bring out ashtrays and allow smoking after 10 pm. IF THEY SO WISH. Just an idea, but, of course, the really important thing is to have the ban amended in such a way that the owners of pubs and clubs can decide for themselves whether to be smoking or not.

In general, our freedom is the most important thing, but, allied therewith, is the fraud of SHS.

The two things must advance together.

Joe Jackson is quite correct. It is hard to understand why it is that some very wealthy person who enjoys tobacco has not 'done something about it'. If I was a Lord Bla Bla and filthy rich, and I went to my club and found that I was not allowed to enjoy my tobacco, I would want to 'take them on'. Perhaps there are such people out there, but perhaps they are clever than us and want to wait until the hysteria dies down a bit and judges no longer feel that the have to uphold parliamentary government at all costs. Maybe a challenge is in the offing - who knows - if I was filthy rich, that would be how I would be thinking.

Sorry to go on so, Simon. I do hope that you will not redact my comment!

January 5, 2010 at 1:25 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Fight the prohibition in the hospitality industry and attend the 2nd World Conference against Prohibition in The Hague (NL) on March 15.
For more info, visit the TICAP website.

January 5, 2010 at 2:31 | Unregistered CommenterWiel Maessen

Junican; I know you mean well, but unfortunately, some of your comments, could be construed as being selfish.

The statement that particularly riled me, was "In the interests of SAFETY, we all (eventually) agreed that seat-belts were a good thing. In the interests of SAFETY, we all agreed that drinking too much alcohol and driving was a bad thing. The principle involved in these two examples is that it is OK for the State to legislate for our SAFETY".

We did not "all" agree that seat-belts were a good thing Junican, I most definitely didn't, and neither did police and ambulance drivers, who do not wear them when on emergency call, and especially on motorways.

I once listened to a discussion on tv, where police and ambulance drivers defended their non wearing of seat-belts, based upon seat-belts causing whiplash, and also the fact that drivers involved in serious accidents can be trapped in their vehicles by their belts, and possibly burnt alive.

After hearing this evidence, direct from the horses mouth, so to speak, I decided to take their advice, and have never worn a seat belt since.

The second part of your comment, states "that drinking too much alcohol and driving was a bad thing". Please tell me Junican, how much is too much alcohol? This is exactly the same type of ruling/law that the anti smoking legislators brought in. They decided in all their "failed" wisdom, to tell us and the world, that it is "unsafe" to smoke, and "unsafe" to smoke near others.

What is unsafe for Paul, isn't always unsafe for Peter. As we all know, one person could smoke 5 cigarettes a week and end up with cancer, where another person might smoke hundreds a week and never have cancer. I believe the same should be so for drinking and driving. I believe that anyone found driving erratically or badly should be tested to see if their driving ability has been effected in any way by any substance. I always maintain that my mother-in-law cannot drive properly when she is stone cold sober, yet she gets away with it, so why should I be victimised for having two glasses of wine and driving a hundred times better than her?

You accepting these restrictions Junican, is on a par with anti-smokers accepting the smoking ban, i.e., "Well we all know now that it's in the interest of safety don't we"

January 5, 2010 at 11:21 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

This is gut wrenching from the Telegraph blog on smoking in pubs.

"Ho the anti-smokers on here come across as spiteful, nasty, self centred bigoted nazis. I am a non smoker who was a carer for my 84 year old Father. He was a smoker and 100% fit apart from shattered knees due to a car accident many years ago.

He used to love me taking him along to the local British Legion to have a pint and a smoke with old mates. I was able to take him in his wheelchair knowing that he would be happy for a couple of hours. He did try to go there after the ban, but while all his friends went outside for a smoke he could not.

He stopped going two years ago as most of the old boys drifted away. He became so depressed that he was not able to see his old mates that he took an overdose. You horrible spiteful people that threw him out into the cold.

I hate you."

January 5, 2010 at 16:47 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Interesting, but very sad post, Dave. When the anti invaded my blog, kept me debating for two days solid, and then deleted his own comments, he said everything I expected an anti to say.

I was not prepared for his total intolerance towards the elderly though. Someone had pointed out how cruel it is to throw the elderly out of their care homes in the freezing cold to smoke. His reaction? "Care home staff shouldn't have to be poisoned by smoke and they have a right to work in a safe environment."

He didn't comment on my response that younger care home staff can CHOOSE where they live and work. Old people, especialy those without money, cannot.

The way the ban treats old people, who fought wars and lost family and friends in the name of freedom, is despicable and inhumane.

January 5, 2010 at 17:45 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Spot on there Pat.

What the hell is humane in a so-called civilised society when certain members of our elderly and sick population are thrown outside in the freezing conditions we are witnessing at the present time? (ie those in hospitals and care homes)

This is certainly not what the doctor orders for the good of their health, but it appears that the puritans views mean more than the general health of the public.

How dare our country expose poor health-care in less-deveopled countries than our own, when our country chucks the sick, disabled, dying, elderly and those who need care into sub-zero temperatures for enjoying a perfectly legal, highly-taxed product that could certainly be catered for with a cost of next to nothing.

Anyone who supports anti-smoking measures is either inhumane or brainwashed (IMHO). Unfortunately the majority are brainwashed due to the amount of money that the industry can throw around.

January 5, 2010 at 23:32 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Dave A -

Thanks for the above post.

Even though it WAS gut-wrenchingly sad.

And now the Saintly - but eminently punchable - Mrs Hewitt and the Thoughtful Mr Huhn are calling for a Leadership Ballot.

RMS 'Titanic' needs a new Captain, apparently.

And the rats can't swim.

Laugh ? I thought I'd never start................

January 6, 2010 at 13:39 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

All these anti-smoking and now anti-drinking Healthists are just hysterical killjoys who never had any fun when they were young and now want to stop young people having any fun now. They won't win in the long term. If they want to exist on a diet of nothing but carrot juice and boiled rice that's fine with me. In a hundred years time they'll just as dead a me but I will die with a smile on my smokey, beery face.

January 18, 2010 at 14:30 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Long time activist/advocate of smoking here, since prior to coming of Dr. Commi Koop to U. S.. He was brought here by the American Medical Association which is funded by big pharma, government, so-called non-political health charities, and fanatical special interests.

As for big tobacco, there has been little or no support for smokers in relation to their rights or against bans. Their interest is strictly business, they will help only to oppose increased sales taxes because higher prices passed onto smokers hurts their business.

So it is a super coalition against individual citizens. Oh left out a biased/controlled media which serves to brainwash.

Initially the anti's started with adverse health effects on smokers. They were able to claim heart and cancer were smoking related though 70% of those deaths were non-smokers, many of which had little or no exposure due to bans...

Then came the second-hand smoke which was introduced while argument as to whether smokers faced adverse effects was still in progress...still never proven scientifically.

In the course of this I found several truths which basically came down to the age old problem that has destroyed individuals and societies throughout history. It is driven by those controlled by greed and an unending quest for power.

As for Jack B, he is an idiot. Freedom is not regulation/control/bans or any of those restrictions. Before all this happened he didn't have to got to an establishment that allowed smoking, just as smokers didn't have to go to a non-smoking establishment...that's FREEDOM.

So I totally agree with most of the posts, the suppression of smokers relates to lack of funding and lack of powerful organizations supporting the FREEDOM and WHAT SHOULD BE RIGHTS of smokers.

January 22, 2010 at 16:55 | Unregistered CommenterJack Ritchie

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