Saturday, 15 February 2014

Smoke, mirrors and dog-whistles

Now this (see ) is one debate in the Wedding Cake madhouse I might actually follow next week.
It will be a litmus test, firstly of who in the House actually bothers to research health issues and secondly whether the Liberal Vannin project is finally dead in the water – or should at least have the decency to drop the world 'liberal' from their name.
If your only references to this smoking in cars issue are the BBC and some of what are laughingly described as 'serious' newspapers you won't have a clue. So try reading Chris Snowdon at and Dick Puddlecote at to get the real back story.
Also, you need to know that when the BMA first peddled this atrocious bit of 'research' to the press and TV three years ago the BBC had to take down the original piece within hours and every newspaper which used it printed a retraction in the next issue. This was because the BMA spokesman 'forgot' to mention that the research was a computer model (not a physical experiment) based on a stationary vehicle with the engine and air conditioning off and all the windows closed. In other words, a hypothetical situation which was not physically possible in the real world.
Despite those numerous, often badly placed, retractions after the original story, the only 'results' from the 'experiment' that have since been quoted by the BMA , various state-funded 'public health' bodies and tub-thumping populist MPs are the sensational (and physically impossible) ones. While I am a lifelong non-smoker I think it important to point this out.
For one thing because the demonisation of any subculture without objective proof of harm or wrongdoing is simply not on.
For another because it is a worrying sign that a self-interested pressure group is persuading politicians to introduce measures which weaken the family and interfere with the ability of responsible parents to raise children in a decent, life-affirming way (not to mention giving police and other government agencies increasing power to barge into people's houses on the off-chance of catching them doing something that Stepford stiffs don't like).
A pressure group of Stepforders, by the way, which is often dishonest, increasingly even worse educated than their predecessors, but who gain jobs for life and fat final salary pensions when their complaints are taken at face value.
Having once briefly been at the same workplace as Zac Hall, back when he was earning money for flying lessons, I have serious doubts about him. He was a bit of an automaton even then, and nothing in his political 'career' has caused me to think he has loosened up since.
The tests will be (1) if Hall wants the statement in order to see fair, open and informed debate or if this is just another dog-whistle issue he thinks will get him elected again and (2) if his fellow MHKs (and especially Liberal Vannin) will cluck like headless chickens until the state grants itself yet more powers to kick in doors and pester grown adults doing things they have (unlike Manx politicians)made informed choices to do, responsibly and without bothering anyone else.
If the answers are 'No' and 'Yes' respectively then the only honourable thing for Liberal Vannin to do is disband or rename, and the only sensible thing the public can do is to happily and relentlessly disobey and mock such a cretinous piece of legislation until the police find something more useful to do.

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