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Downing Street, Squirming Again

A short while ago a petition was sent to Downing Street about second-hand smoke.  The petition read as follows:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to re-visit the science surrounding second hand smoking and make available the sources that resulted in the claims made and, then re-introduce smoking in pubs and clubs.”

Details of Petition:

“We believe that the science regarding second hand smoking is fundimentally flawed and has caused, what will be, terminal damage to our pubs and clubs and should be amended in line with the allowances made at the G20 conference.. Apart from bland statistics, the free men and women of this country have seen no, properly researched and verified scientific basis to the claims made. We therefore petition for details of all and every research paper on this subject to be made available. We propose, again, that, in the light of the G20 situation that our pubs and clubs be allowed to decide for themselves or we are presented with clear, detailed proof and not simply statistics.”

Clear enough, and justifiable.  After all, if the public merely wish to learn the facts of something, we should be allowed. And the language used should be understood by even the lamest of laymen.  Evidently, the people in government are below those urchins of society.  It reminds me of a quote I read yesterday, the source of which eludes me; to paraphrase: the House of Commons is an outdated old man's club, comprised of people far removed from the realities of the people and lives it claims to enhance. Ne'er was a truer word spoken.

The response to this petition was underwhelming, as I'm sure we all knew it would be before we put our names on it.  That is, after all, the one single area this sorry excuse for a government is good at: underwhelming. Actually I take that back as it is a disservice to Mr. Brown and his merry men, the government is good at two things: underwhelming, and lying. 

The response is lacklustre and generic, pretty much a cut-and-paste job from my response from the DoH:

On 1 July 2007, new laws were implemented to make virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smokefree.  The primary aim of the legislation was to protect workers and the general public from exposure to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. 

Medical and scientific evidence shows that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of serious medical conditions such as lung cancer, heart disease, asthma attacks, childhood respiratory disease, sudden infant death syndrome and reduced lung function.

The evidence base that secondhand smoke harms health is substantial and indisputable.   It has been reviewed extensively over many years, both in this country by the Government’s independent Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) and overseas. 

Detailed reports are available on the SmokeFree England website at:


Apparently the people responsible for this reply either cannot write or cannot comprehend. Either lacking characteristic says, to me, that they should not be employed anywhere outside McDonald's, let alone running the country. The avoid every question, challenge and premise, stating instead the evidence is "irrefutable". Well, that's a load of bollocks, because we have all refuted it. So have numerous scientists and medical officials.

They are partly right though, there are detailed reports on their website. But it is precisely the details, telling little things that they are, that are what prompted this petition to begin with - because they highlight the funding, lies, agenda and manipulation intrinsic to the anti-smoking movement. The anti-smoking movement is the house that was built on sand.

There was never going to be a proper response to the petition, because that would have shown that the politicians willingly lied for their own gain, with not one single shred of concern for their people. 

Still, with every additional request and petition they know that we know, and their dodging requests and ignoring us proves to us that they are not only lying, but aware of our knowledge of that.