Getting past the Daily Mail site is like passing a fatal road accident. You know you shouldn’t look. You know you’re likely to see something that will disturb and distress you, but you just can’t help it. Then there it is in all its gory detail, and what has been seen cannot be unseen.
Once in a while, the Mail does go that little bit too far and transcend propaganda. Off into Absurdity-Land where only the dimmest of drones and the most sociopathic of tobacco-control maniacs dwell. Then it’s not gory or disturbing at all. It’s a cartoon car crash, a comical and badly drawn tangle of lines and lies and pretend characters in pretend pain.
Today they presented the story of a nine-year-old child begging the NHS KillDaSmoker helpline for help in giving up smoking. The child cannot of course be named or pictured or identified in any way. Somewhere in the UK? Somewhere over the rainbow, more likely.
It’s all there. All the standard and by now very old propaganda. He tried one cigarette once and was hooked. Then he realised what it was doing to his health and tried to stop but could not. He just had to keep smoking. Finally he begged the ‘Experts who have Said’ for help in kicking his (by now, perhaps) 100-a-day habit. This is supposed to be the mindset fo a nine-year-old and you, dear reader, are supposed to be stupid enough to believe it. If I had put this out as fiction, the reviews would have been more caustic than the blood of an Alien face-hugger.
All utter rubbish. One cigarette does not hook anyone. My first pack of ten came from a vending machine outside a shop. I’d been smoking cigars for a while but hadn’t bothered with cigarettes. So I thought I’d try the cheaper option.
I smoked one. It was vile. I stuck the rest into a dry-stone wall, lit them and watched them burn away. Rolling tobacco was more to my taste although I did find later that different readymade brands were different blends. Some were reasonably good, some were dreadful. They all sell so I guess for some people’s tastes it’s the other way around.
It’s like whisky. In Wales we mostly saw Bells or Famous Grouse in my youth. There were a few malt whiskies but then, as now, they were more expensive. Having tried Bells and Grouse , and found them to be terrible, I wasn’t going to risk money on malts. As far as I knew, I didn’t like whisky very much. That changed when I came to Scotland where people practically ambush you in the street and force it down your throat. Go drinking with the Scots and there will be whisky involved at some stage – often it’s all there is. That’s when I found that Bells wasn’t the only whisky flavour around.
Bells also sells in large amounts. So a lot of people must like it. There is a smoky-drinker who hates Islay malts but loves Speyside ones. I adore the peaty malts, the peatier the better. All a matter of taste.
Back to the point. That first cigarette did not hook me at all. I found it repellent. Yet I had always liked the aroma of my grandfather’s smokes. His were rollies, made with Franklin’s tobacco. I tried that some months after my first cigarette and it was a very different experience. Like a little paper cigar.
Readymades have always, to me, had a chemical aftertaste. Rollies (and cigars and pipes) don’t have that. It can’t be the paper because now I’m tubing leaf there’s no chemical taste. Something in the processing, maybe. Anyway, I found it harsh and I was over 20 when I tried that first cigarette. Must be hard going for a nine-year-old to stick at it.
Also, back then there were only vague mutterings of ‘it’ll stunt your growth’ and such things from the antismoker camp. I still like saying that to smoking six-footers. Now, kids are bombarded with antismoking as soon as the State get their hooks into them. The idea that a nine-year-old only found out it was ‘bad for him’ after he’d been smoking for a while is derisory. He’d had that message hammered home since he was five. They all have.
There are still young kids who start smoking. Of course there are. The antismokers taunt them with this forbidden fruit every single day, everywhere they look. Of course they are curious. Of course they will want to try it. Kids rebel, it’s what they do. They test boundaries and push limits. These days, thanks to Leftie indoctrination, there are no boundaries and no limits – or at least, no real punishment for crossing them.
When I was very small I could have bought a packet of smokes any time I wanted. In fact I often did. My father sent me and my little brother to the corner shop to buy his smokes. We had not the slightest interest in those cigarettes, we were only interested in how many sweets we could buy with the change. Then came the day of the age limit. The shop wouldn’t sell us Dad’s fags so no change, and no sweets. That age limit was 16. Might have been 14 at first, I was too young to care.
Recently it became 18, which was nasty, I thought. What about all those 17-year-olds smoking legally today who can’t get any more tomorrow? No phasing-in either. Bang. Overnight. Today you are legal, tomorrow you’re not.
Which sort of begs the question – how is a nine-year-old getting cigarettes? It begs another question – how much bloody pocket money does this kid get? Fags must be near £10 a pack by now. I’m in regular employment and I’m spending time each evening shredding leaves and stuffing them into tubes because I can’t afford to buy them in the shops. How the Hell is a nine-year-old doing it?
Let’s not bother rehashing the lies about ‘one smoke and you’re hooked’ and all the rest. Let’s look at what tobacco control has achieved.
The age limit for buying cigarettes is now 18. Increased from 16 at the behest of tobacco control to stop young kids taking up the habit. Yet it’s tobacco control themselves who claim that thousands of young kids are taking up the habit. TC 0, kids 1.
Smoking propaganda is so prevalent now that it’s almost an O-level in itself in schools. All this propaganda paid for by taxes and run by the very well paid ‘Experts who Say’ has, by their own admission, had absolutely no effect whatsoever on kids taking up smoking. TC 0, kids 2.
Cigarette prices have skyrocketed thanks to the scaremongering of tobacco control. Low paid adults can’t afford them. Kids can’t possibly afford them. They seem to have less trouble affording them than I do. TC 0, kids 3.
Smoking bans are everywhere now but for schoolkids there has been no change. Smoking was not allowed in school when I was there and that was (mumble mumble) years ago. The teachers could smoke in their staff room but not in front of us kids. Oh, we knew they smoked in there because a sixth-former lined the woodwork teacher’s ashtray with nitrogen triiodide. He wasn’t expelled but he did get a whack. Well worth it, he said.
We had bike sheds, big brick ones, never saw a single bike in them but saw a lot of fag-ends behind them. It was banned in school then just as it is now. It made no difference then and it doesn’t now. TC 0, kids 4.
The antis hid all the cigarettes behind the Doors of Shame to stop kids even seeing them and now complain that more kids than ever are taking up smoking when they can’t see them, can’t buy them and are banned from smoking them anywhere. TC 0, kids 5.
Plain packaging is next. This will be as effective as all the other antismoking campaigns in that more kids than before will be taking up smoking. I predict the result as TC 0, kids 6.
The government are delighted with the antismokers. They are bringing in far more tobacco duty than those old tobacco ads ever did. They are ensuring that smoking never dies out when we old smokers shuffle off aged 100 or so. The government will need all that new tobacco revenue to cover the cost of our pensions and they know it.
Every day, smoking is in the news with the tagline, ‘Kids, you should not do this. It is rebellious and cool and will make your friends think you are hard and fearless’. That’s not what they think they are saying but it is what they are saying. Children do not give a flying fuck about mortality. Not one child on the planet believes it applies to them. Not one child believes they can die. Not one. They can jump off things and shoot arrows at each other and even set each other on fire and they have no thought about the consequences. No child, in the entire history of humanity, ever has thought about consequences until they get to that ‘whoops’ moment. Tell them, every day, that smoking will kill them. They will just have to try it. When they don’t die after the first one they have proved you wrong and you lose. That is how a child mind works. Simple logic, no complexity.
These days, a lot of adults don’t believe they can die either. When every day is the same round of a flat half-can of Stella for breakfast followed by flobbing out in front of the Jeremy Kyle show with the cold remnants of last night’s pizza, who would imagine anything would ever change? They don’t believe they will die. This is incomprehensible to me. At my rate of whisky intake I’m actually surprised every time I wake up, thinking ‘Oh what, I have to do it again?’
That nine year old… there is no mention of teachers or parents in the article. We are told that smokers stink, that we can be easily identified by the green cloud of foul miasma that follows us everywhere. Yet no teacher, mother, father or sibling noticed that this nine year old child stank like a pipe smoking tweed wearing biology teacher? How can that be? Aren’t we all just like the reekie lums o’ the auld toon, puffing out oor stench o’ vile smook an’ terrible, terrible disease?
By all the laws of Studies have Shown and Experts have Said, this nine-year-old smoker cannot exist. It is impossible. All the bans and controls imposed to date make his existence impossible.
If he exists then not one of Tobacco Control’s measures have worked. A hell of a lot of tax money has been wasted. A lot of people have been well paid to be utterly useless. Cameron and Clegg have been so stupid that the most transparent and blatant of con artists have ripped your money from their pockets.
Either the story is true or it is not. Either way, the Coagulation, and the Moribund Party too, look like utter dicks with a gullibility rating that is off the scale. There is no face-saving way out of this one.
So what’s it gonna be then, droogies?