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Monday, January 19, 2009


Mark Wadsworth highlighted an FT reader's letter on the smoking ban:

... A loss of 50 or so pubs per week in the UK and Ireland translates into a five-year loss of roughly 100,000 jobs if we assume the average pub employs 10 people.

The general impact on the economy of these people being forced to go on the dole or work at menial jobs has severe health consequences in and of itself. A British Medical Journal study several years ago examined income inequality and its effect on mortality. It estimated that a 1 per cent difference in income translated into 21 deaths per 100,000 per year.

If we assume that the estimated 100,000 workers who lose their jobs over five years had their income cut by 50 per cent, that would be over 1,000 extra deaths per year caused by the smoking bans. That's 1,000 per year, right now, as opposed to 100 claimed/theorised to [die of cancer from passive smoking] 40 years from now without a ban. Sure, it is all statistics, and with some juggling things might not seem quite so dire, but it is clear that no amount of juggling could ever eliminate such a massive disparity.

The smoking bans in the UK and Ireland are killing people, not saving them. Those bans need to be reversed and the people who promoted them and the politicians who voted them in, knowing the consequences, need to be held responsible.

Michael J McFadden, Philadelphia, PA, US, Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains".

The arithmetic & methodology of this is quite correct. One could argue that most of those who lose bar jobs get something else, but then would have to argue that they thereby displace somebody else merely passing the problem along. Could also argue that those who don't spend on pubs spend on something else, but certainly their quality of life (which is what poverty is) declines by not being able to choose what to spend their "money" on. I put money in parentheses because money is merely a way of representing the value of what you want to buy & if you can only use it for something else you are thereby impoverished whatever is printed on the note.

In any case such complexities apply to any survey & are ignored because they tend to even out.

By comparison how many allegedly die from passive smoking? Well the entire passive smoking hysteria was set off by American EPA "research" of an extremely dubious nature, ignoring the small size of the sample & thus likelihood that any effect was purely random, which decided that US passive smoking deaths were around 3,000 per year. No "better" proof has been made though the original figures have been multiplied by whatever number some politician or scientist first thought of & any other figures do not even have that much scientific justification.

So 3,000 a year in the US. On population basis that is 600 in Britain. And by better methodology the smoking ban kills 1,000 a year.

So that is it officially & indisputably on their own calculations - the smoking ban kills 400 people a year in Britain net by its effect of increasing poverty.

A BBC which will tell absolutely any lie whatsoever (such as that passive smoking hospitalises 17,000 asthmatic children annually when they know for certain that childhood asthma cannot be caused by that. It is rising while exposure is falling) can be expected to censor such inconvenient facts.

That last paragraph is a killer, well spotted.
"Background: A two day conference had been arranged for next week by TICAP (The International Conference Against Prohibition) at the EU building. Speakers included Nigel Farage from UKIP; Godfrey Bloom, a democratically-elected MEP; plus a host of scientists and commentators on the anti-tobacco debate, from both sides of the fence. Avril Doyle, a renowned anti-smoking MEP from Ireland, had also allegedly expressed an interest in attending.

It has been arranged for nearly a year and was due to begin on Tuesday, but has been abruptly cancelled by the EU as it doesn't fit in with their policies. I kid you not. The reasoning apparently is, according to some organisation called the Smokefree Partnership, that ...

the event goes "against all of Parliament's adopted reports and the European Community's legislation and commitments on this topic"

So, because it disagrees with the EU, it is to be silenced. No debate allowed. What's more, the organisers weren't even told about its cancellation"
Here in AZ the smoking ban has been hit or miss depending on the area. In nearby Tempe it was put to a vote, but turnout was low so really only a small fraction of the city residents were approved of a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. Baucause the weather around here is usually mild many bars simply built outdoor patios where customers could smoke and drink. One of the tricks of these people use is to either have councils approve such nonsense without asking the public, or to schedule such public referendums between the regular biannual elections so that turnout is very low.

How much of the stupidity in the EU is of American origin?
Wish we had got a voteo on it - polls suggested 80% against a total ban. Come to that I wouldn't mind weather like that.
If you click here you can see the current weather for my city.

A lot of people from the heavily Democratic northern United States are moving here because of the weather. Unfortunately, they are bringing their liberal voting habits and their papist religion with them. Combined with the Mestizo Catholics crossing our border and giving birth to Democratic voters we now have a democratic majority in our congressional delegation. My state used to be one of the most conservative on the country, now it is on its' way to being California.
One other point. because so much of government in the US is still local a lot of municipalities can act like businesses and be self financing. Also, since local governments have such authority, most initiatives good or bad start locally, meaning that it at least can be debated before a local council and not in the far away state capital. Also, it is a lot cheaper for locals to finance a petition drive to get something on the ballot than it is at the statewide level.

Local government is usually good government.
Must admit I am jealous of that. This is why I supported Scottish devolution & though it has brought government closer to the people it hasn't done much at the municiple level.

Politicians in Britain do not rise from Governor to lead the country (let alone mayor). This is not an unalloyed benefit - to get the vote out US Governors who become President tend to be drawn from a narrow range - southern democrats or Californian or Texan republicans.
Presidential candidates don't come from the North because many of them are idiots, whereas there is some likelihood that a politician not from that region *might* be sane.

Also, even though we often get to vote on trivial matters, the parties cooperate to prevent any discussion on an important matter. I can vote on a smoking ban but I don't get to vote on whether I get displaced by Mestizo illegals. Also, politicians like to play games with referendums, like scheduling them at inconvenient times when no one expects an election. The usual legislative dirty tricks also show up in the referendum process.

I think devolution would be more effective in Britain if power was devolved to the counties instead of creating another layer of government for one region. Each county should be able to raise its' own police force, form and fund its' own school system and be the final judge on all land use laws.

The real purpose of breaking Albion into regions is so that the EU can have a convenient unit of administration to pay welfare and control the formerly free citizens, and break the national government.

The best course is to insist that the Scottish counties be given a free hand in their own affairs, and that such autonomy be given to all counties in the British Isles. That way all of the UK's subjects get to have more effective, and far more local government.
I don't doubt they fiddle them. Probably the best way to fiffle a referendum is by phrasing the question. I just wish we got a chance ro answer even fiddled questions.

I would like a British Federation in which England was regionalised into units about the size of US states but that is because I think such a federation would be more stable than one where England was a single unit containing 80% of the population. I also think one of the advantages of federation is that the smaller units can experiment & if it works the idea can spread. That claerly works better with a lot of similarly sized units.

However I recognise that England doesn't like regionalism & that it federation requires the choice be their's.
No regions, just devolve the power down one level to the counties. Then fire 2 million people in London who exist as parasites on the state.
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