We’re going to need a bigger van…

…for those trips to Europe.

Cigarettes are to rise in price again and there is now a system in place whereby no pack of cigarettes can cost less than £7.24. You can get a pack for less than half that in any other country in Europe.

Assuming we do eventually leave the EU, there will be a limit imposed on how many cigarettes we can bring back per person. There is no limit on how many you can bring back for your own use at the moment due to the EU’s free movement of goods rules but if you have loads, expect to have them stolen by border control anyway. So the imposition of a limit isn’t any reason to stay in the EU.

If the limit is, say, 300 (15 packs) then if you have a weekend in Europe you’ll save about £54 per person by stocking up while there.

The tobacco story is an old one. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t cheaper everywhere outside the UK. Even as a child, if we went to France or Spain my dad would take the limit home and so would my mum (who never smoked). Lately my parents often went to Portugal and brought me home five 50g packs of rolling baccy. At the time it was a gift worth at least £75 at UK prices. They paid half that. Unfortunately they are getting too old for those trips.

Oh yes, my parents are still alive. My father, a lifelong smoker and my mother, a lifelong passive smoker, are both still alive. Neither have experienced cancer. It’s not just me who defies NHS statistics. It’s the whole family.

Alcohol is also a lot cheaper in most EU countries. I noticed, in Germany, that whiskies like Famous Grouse were the same price in little corner shops as they are in big supermarkets here. I also noticed that only the idiots in charge of the UK have fallen for hiding tobacco behind doors and putting them in plain packs. Nobody else has fallen for this one.

Nobody else will fall for the utterly cretinous notion of putting all booze, including fine malt whiskies, into plain packs and hiding them behind shutters. Oh it’s coming. Plain packs for ‘non-approved’ foods is already being talked about as the Next Logical Step in the bullying of the entire nation. These thugs are never satisfied. Never. When they have total control they will start telling you how many steps you have to take every day – oh wait, that one’s already out there.

Now we have a tax on sugar. Initially on sugary drinks but if you think it will end there you really haven’t been paying attention at all. Imagine a world where Coke and Pepsi are in the same olive drab packaging with photos of meth mouth and Cyril Smith on every bottle. The company name relegated to 10-point Times New Roman. It’s all behind doors and you have to ask for it. Imagine it well because if you are under 50 you’ll see it in your lifetime.

Fancy a burger? You’ll get it with MACDONALDS on the olive green box in 10-point Times New Roman with a picture of someone syringing lard through an artery on the top. Actually not hard to copy. I like liver and it often has a large artery or two going through it.

Fancy fish and chips? It’ll be a lot smaller and cost more, not least because the chip shop has to buy olive green wrapping paper with pictures of Bernard Manning nude and a warning that all fish are so full of mercury that they will roll off the table if left unattended.

Oh I know. You’re scoffing. You don’t believe it can happen.

Go back to 2004 and tell the pub customers that soon they will be banned from smoking in there. Tell them they will buy cigarettes in drab green packs from behind doors and they will pay £7.24 for the cheapest brand. Listen to them scoff at you.

You’re going to need a van for a lot more than tobacco on future visits abroad. If you fly it will very likely be well worth paying an excess baggage charge.

As for smugglers, they’re likely to steal Mr. MacDonald’s favourite line.

‘I’m lovin’ it’.

Rule by thuggery and threat

The Dreadful Arnott and her minions don’t like dissent. Not even a hint of it. Question the Righteous Ones at your peril!

It’s really not too surprising that the Politically Correct and Lifestyle Controllers never have a bad word to say about terrorists. They work in much the same way. Say the wrong thing and they turn on you. They’ll insult you, abuse you, even physically attack you. Try to defend yourself and they’ll claim you’re bullying them.

Oh they haven’t blown up smokers yet, but they’d like to. They did once come up with a computer game where you were a sniper on a rooftop, picking off smokers in the street. They have also encouraged children to snatch cigarettes from people smoking in the street. Really. All officially sanctioned.

Should any smoker dare to respond to these attacks, we are ‘being unreasonable’. They are ‘only trying to help’.

No they aren’t. They are being themselves. Their natural selves. Vicious, spiteful thugs.

They will say ‘smokers want the ‘right’ to smoke anywhere!’

No we don’t. We would quite like the right to smoke in our homes and cars – you know, our own property – but the antismokers don’t want to allow that. We smokers only want to be left alone. We don’t demand every establishment allows us to smoke. We never have. You can have nonsmoking pubs and restaurants, as many as you like. We won’t smoke in them.

Nut we can’t have even one smoking establishment. Not one. We are to be banned from smoking in the grounds of hospitals, in our own cars, and there are moves to ban it in private homes.

So who is being unreasonable? The smokers, who just want to be left alone, or the antismokers who want total control over everyone’s lives at all times?

I know, there are antismokers nudging each other and saying ‘Another bleating smoker’ but it’s not just the smokers.

Vapers are getting the same treatment. Booze is to be restricted and plain-packaged – warning labels will be first. As with smoking. Any non-approved foods (it’s not what you approve of that matters, it’s what your Masters approve for you) are going to be hiked in price soon, and what you can have will be so bland that you won’t feel like eating it.

That, of course, will solve the imaginary ‘obesity epidemic’.

It’s never going to stop. The control freaks will enlist your help to beat up a group they don;t like. They’ll tell you you can get bacterial infections from the residue of something that’s been burned, that you can get cancer from second hand steam, that one daily glass of sherry will make your liver die a slow and agonising death… it’s all lies.

People believe lies. They believe them no matter how ridiculously absurd you make them.

Every lie controls your life just that little bit more. Whether you smoke or not, whether you drink or not,. whether you live on burgers and chips or tofu and hand-knitted yoghourt.

These people do not want to control one group. They want to control everyone. Everyone.

Bit by bit, they’re getting there. Don’t think it can happen? It’s happened before, more than once.

Pass out the overalls, we’re about to become old style communist China. Or North Korea.

It can happen.

It’s happening right now. It’s so blatant that if you can’t see it, there’s only one reason.

You don’t want to.

 

Heretic!

I am a scientist. I reached PhD level in 1987 and have worked in microbiology ever since. I went self-employed as a rogue scientist in 2005 and apart from a dry spell (more to do with politics and devious maneouvering than anything else, but that’s a different story) I’m still here. Still involved in science. So when I hear some smug shitebag telling me to ‘do some research’ I have to restrain myself from going full blast at them. Research is what I do. It’s what I’ve done since I passed my first BSc in 1981. I have researched using the library stacks in the basement. I know stuff that isn’t on the internet.

Yes, there was a gap. I worked as a technician for a while after the BSc. It wasn’t enough. And other things happened. Not relevant here.

These days I do commercial science. I do stuff for food companies. No, I don’t test their chickens for Salmonella, that’s easy and not very interesting. I research new products for animal and human health. It does, however, mean I can’t publish it or say too much. I have to sign ‘no speak of this’ papers in order to get paid. Companies don’t want their research given away. They pay me both to do it and to shut up about it.

So that’s the disclaimer. I know how peer research works, I have a long publication list to prove it (before going commercial) and I have peer reviewed other people’s papers. I have supervised PhD and MSc students and none of mine have ever failed.

I have built – and since refined greatly – a device in which I can test the effects of additives on the gut population without involving any animals. I have built – and published – a model estuary which maintained not only bacteria but also Nereis, Coprophium and Macoma species. For weeks at a time. Basically, until I needed a day off. It even had a tidal system. Yeah, it was the hard way but it worked, and produced a lot of insights into chitin degradation in estuaries. Some I still hold back for fun and potential profit  😉

You might infer from this that when it comes to science, at least biological science, I have at least some idea of what I’m talking about. Or you might prefer the crap you read in the modern lefty hack-rags masquerading as certain science journals. That’s your choice. I’ve put my cards on the table. Let’s see yours.

I’m not rich because I’m honest and well, a bit blunt. I was once asked to try putting probiotic bacteria into vegetarian sausages. I told them it can’t work because sausages have to be cooked right through so the bacteria would be dead.

They said ‘But it’s vegetarian. No meat’.

I said ‘It doesn’t matter what sausages are made of. What matters is how they are made. Any contamination at any stage will go right to the centre. You always have to cook them right through.’

So I didn’t get the project. I could have. If I had been unscrupulous I could have spent months or even years pretending to try to get it to work, knowing it never would but banking the money anyway. Unfortunately I have something fatal for a scientist trying to get rich. Scruples.

I could have presented results showing long term survival of the probiotic in the sausage, given them shelf life details, all of it. Just… never mention what happens when they are cooked. I’d have got away with it too, but I don’t want to be that kind of person.

There are plenty of that kind of person around, and plenty of jobs for them in the modern lie that is ‘public health’. They would have taken that project and reported a resounding success. That success was a certainty to anyone who knows how Lactobacillus species interact with vegetable matter in a zero or restricted oxygen environment such as a sausage.

The probiotic would have thrived in there but when you cooked them, you’d have silage sausages with no live bacteria inside. On paper, a great success. In practice, pointless and… yeuk.

I smoke. I’m doing it now, here in my office room. I restrict smoking in the house because it’s rented. There is no ‘no smoking’ rule. Just a rule that says ‘don’t leave a mess’. Basically, if I turn the ceiling yellow I have to repaint it before I leave. That seems fair. It’s unfurnished so all the nicotine-saturated furniture either leaves with me or gets dumped.

But yes, I smoke. I like it. I don’t do it to deliberately kill anyone or to deliberately annoy anyone. I don’t ‘promote’ smoking. I really have no interest at all in whether anyone else smokes or not. It’s not something I get a commission on. It’s not a pyramid scheme. If you don’t smoke, I gain nothing by persuading you to try it. So I don’t. I, like other smokers, am happy to let you live your life the way you want. If only the medics thought that way, they might turn out to be good at their jobs and not be almost universally termed ‘quack’. It seems that’s all we have now. The British Mallard Journal is the strongest evidence for this.

CStM recently returned from Denmark with ten packs of cigarettes. Vikings. I like them but you can only get them in Denmark and they are about £3.50 for 20. On open display too, and we are talking corner shop prices not supermarkets. Seriously. Don’t blame the EU for plain packs and Doors of Shame. We are the only ones who fell for it. The UK government are the only stupid bastards in the whole of Europe who fell for the probiotic sausages researchers.

It’s not too surprising. They are far too busy trying to destroy relations with our biggest trading partner after Brexit, the USA, to trouble themselves with what those who elected them actually care about.

They pander to minorities. I’m not talking about immigrants. I’m talking about a much smaller minority. The health hate machine.

The health hate machine has noticed us. We little bloggers. Frank Davis, Junican, Dick Puddlecote and many more. They have become upset that we are not talking through their own forums where they can moderate us and slap us down. They want ‘antismokerphobia’ to be a Thing like Islamophobia and other made up crap. They want criticism of their new religion of NewScience to be illegal. Don’t they all?

You Must Believe! Never mind that it makes the atheist attack on Christianity’s ‘sky pixie’ (they never seem to mention the Islamic moon god or that they revere a lump of stone, isn’t that odd?) look like a compliment. At least the atheists recognise the (potential) existence of the enemy they don’t believe in.

The Baccy Haters don’t like us. We’re questioning the gospel.

I have a book on the Spanish Inquisition somewhere in my piles of unsorted books. They worked in exactly the same way. Denounce someone and they were guilty. There was no innocent. They had to tell you what they were guilty of and they’d decide a punishment. Might be small, might be big but if they came for you they were never wrong.

The Inquisition acquitted nobody. If they arrested you, you were guilty of something. You might be sentenced to six Hail Marys or a burning at the stake but you wouldn’t get out without a confession.

14th century. Seven hundred years. That’s no time for an evolutionary change and there hasn’t been one. The staff of the Inquisition are still here. Same people, different methods.

They used religion to get their way and debased it to a laughing stock. Islam is a bit late to the game but the same will happen to them. Sooner than they think.

Now they use science and medicine to get their way and have ruined both. Those pillars of Western civilisation have crumbled.

Science used to decry religion but it has become a new one. Believe what we say or you are a heretic and must die. Do not question our research because we didn’t do any and don’t need it, our personal preferences are proof enough.

 

 

I am a heretic. A smoky-drinky heretic.

I dare them to burn me.

 

Coffee, yet another New Smoking

I was a bit surprised to see some familiar faces at the funeral today. I thought I’d already been to theirs. Must have dreamt it. Next time I’ll make sure. I’ll take a hammer.

I don’t know if I should keep going to people’s funerals. I bet none of them will come to mine.

The sofa bed arrived. The ad said ‘some assembly required’ so I thought okay, if they get it into the house I can take it to its room bit by bit and assemble it there. Turns out ‘assembly’ means fitting the legs. It arrived in one bit. One big, very heavy bit.

Fortunately CStM was on hand to guide them through the house by the most difficult route possible. I was so proud. They could have taken it round to the greenhouse end and carried it a quarter of the distance with no awkward corners but they’ll never know.

I have the stuff to make an Irish coffee but I’ll make it tomorrow.  With a blend, not a malt. Tonight it’s just plain whisky. Coffee and whisky and a smoke. Everything that’s evil in the world and still my funeral seems far away.

Which is good. I can’t decide whether to be stuffed with popcorn and tobacco and cremated (the popcorn is for the sound effects, and to make sure I get a bigger urn than Cyril Smith) or to be buried with a recording, speaker and proximity sensor that says ‘Fuck off!’ every time someone tries to dance on my grave. Decisions, decisions…

What’s that? Coffee isn’t evil? Oh yes it is and the idiots who wrote it missed a trick. They also seem to have skipped research, editing and proofreading but then they don’t bother with facts so why trouble themselves with any of the minor details?

(Tipped by Smoking Scot via email, incidentally)

The headline is ‘The evils of caffeine‘. Yes, really. The Righteous religion has declared it evil, along with anything else you might enjoy. Not just bad for you, unhealthy, or ‘ooo, no, you shouldn’t do that’. Actually evil.

Satan drinks a lot of caffeine. That’s how he gets so much evil done. Santa gets round the whole world in one night so he must have it as a horse-syringe injection on Christmas Eve. No wonder he has to catch up on sleep for a year.

I suppose that must be the logic, if there is any, behind all this. Good story ideas in there.

The trick they missed:

They also say that caffeine contains components such as Niacin, Magnesium and Potassium, which play a vital role for our health:

It contains niacin? Really? Oh coffeephobes, you missed a good one there. You could have linked it directly to smoking if you knew any actual science. The drones will fall for it – you can trust me on that one, I road tested niacin/vitamin B3 years ago. Probably cost the NHS some money treating vitamin deficiency but what the hell, I’ve paid in for years and haven’t used much. Might as well get my money’s worth.

Aaaand… if the reporter knew at least elementary school science, none of those words are capitalised. But hey, I’ve been doing some editing lately. I’m in picky mode.

Note also the mention that coffee contains magnesium, then the doublethink that says –

Muscle stiffness – caffeine increases the loss of calcium and magnesium, which has a negative impact on muscle tissues, impeding their relaxation mechanism.

Hm. Unless I have espresso or a can of chemical fizz (cheapo versions of Red Bull) I have milk in coffee. That gives me calcium. My habit of gnawing the bones of the dead helps with that too. Oh come on, sucking the marrow out is still the best part of a good chop.

A few paragraphs ago, we were told that coffee contains magnesium and that is one of its benefits. Now it causes magnesium depletion, and all within a few seconds of reading time. That’s faster than the Daily Mail! They would at least wait until the next day before claiming the opposite of what they claimed in the previous article.

Caffeine is an addictive drug, which alters our brain’s natural state and stimulates it in a manner similar to mechanisms employed by cocaine and heroin:

Does this sound at all familiar? Antismokers, in particular. Does the wording sound like something you’ve heard and repeated like an ADHD parrot for many years?

Antismokers who made Starbucks and Costa and every coffee shop smoke-free so you could have them to yourselves. Well folks, you’re banned too. Hear my sympathetic hysterical laugh.

Oh wait, I can’t pass up this one –

Heartburn – caffeine is alkaline, which spurs the stomach to react by dumping more hydrochloric acid as a neuralizer

I think a neuralizer is a Star Trek weapon, something like a tazer. They might have meant neutralizer (neutraliser in proper English) and it’s bollocks anyway. You can’t drink enough to promote that much acid and if you did, neutralising it will not cause heartburn. It will cause nothing. Heartburn is stomach acid leaking up into the oesophagus and that has more to do with a dodgy valve than what you put in there.

Their recommendations do not include putting whisky in your coffee so I will ignore them. They recommend drinking orange juice instead. Oh dear. The Sugar Righteous have banned that too.

Change your diet. Drink orange Juice, or eat fresh fruits in order to nourish your body with vitamin C.

Why does this exclude coffee? Or anything else? You can have more than one thing in your life. You are not a robot. Or… are you?

Coffee is a habit. Replace it with a small glass of fresh pressed orange juice. Have a grain or oats based breakfast (with a low glycemic index). It will keep your brain nourished all morning.

My brain works just fine. CStM has gone to bed and I am in post-dead-friend drinking mood. He is a massive loss to science, to our small group of independent rogue scientists and also a personal loss. If I last as long and get through half of what he got through I’ll call this game a win.

I have had several coffees and am making a big dent in a bottle of whisky. Do these Righteous seriously want my brain to work so much better? Oh that might not turn out as they expect.

But then, what do they expect? They say smoking is bad but then they ban vaping. I like vaping, it’s a great new thing but for me, it won’t stop me lighting up yet. Others have switched to it and some are now antismokers and if you’re reading, well, nobody likes a quitter. You are a failure. You couldn’t handle the real thing.

Vapers who recognise we’re on the same side, welcome. Join the resistance.

If you also like a coffee with your vape then don’t smirk at the smokers.

You’re in there with the antismokers and antivapers.

Now you have to give up coffee too.

Your life… is it worth living?

Vagueness and Precision

Could have been a Blue Oystercult song, it even fits the rhythm.

Vagueness.

Her Madness’s Ripoff Collective (HMRC) have decided you have to apply for permission to buy leaves. This is not one of my wind-ups of Generation Gullible. It’s madder than that. This is really true.

However, they have not bothered with any of the mechanism of actually applying for permission. You need permission but there is no way to get it. So whether you want tobacco for smoking, snuff, pot-pourri, compost (it’s insecticidal) or to extract vape juice, you need to fill out a form that doesn’t exist to get permission to buy some leaves.

There is always the antismoker scare that nicotine is an insecticide and therefore poison. Just like a big bar of chocolate can kill a Rottweiler. Chocolate is deadly too, if you’re the right species. I don’t know about you but I only have the four limbs and no chitin exoskeleton, nor do I have hair all over nor any inclination to roll in something shitty.

So chocolate won’t kill me and neither will nicotine. If you’re scared of nicotine then logic dictates that you are an insect. For many antismokers that’s probably accurate.

Still, HMRC seem to have forgotten something. I live about 20 miles north of Aberdeen and I can grow tobacco outdoors. Make import impossible and well, I now have a hell of a lot of garden… Could be a good thing for me, and those like me, if importing is banned.

Even better for a nonsmoker with a big garden. They won’t keep back half for themselves 😉

It’s currently legal to grow it in the UK.

Oh they can make it illegal if they want. Cannabis growing is illegal and cannabis is an easily identifiable plant (except to those police who once confiscated tomato plants). Tobacco looks like a big flower. Nobody will notice even if it’s beside the road.

I am also now perfectly placed to push my ‘wild growing tobacco’ idea from a few years back.

Vague laws on tobacco. Yeah, keep it that way. We’ll play the vague game and we’ll win it.

Precision.

In the work-long-in-progress, Panoptica, I have had difficulty keeping ahead of the real dystopia that looms around us. In the story, implanted chips are everything. Your door key, your credit card, your medical record… and more.

The cards you can just wave to buy stuff already exist.  The terror of lost or stolen cards will soon get them implanted. If you lose your house keys, what do you do? Wouldn’t it be so much safer if you just wave your hand in front of the door?

Selling this stuff to the public – come on. They will fight to be first.

The reality of Panoptica would be so, so easy to implement. That’s what puts me off finishing it. The dopes in charge already think 1984 and Brave New World are instruction manuals. What they will do with this one doesn’t bear thinking about.

Longrider tells us of the monitor cards some employees are required to carry. What if they lose their card or it gets picked up by a cat or dog or pigeon? Implants are obviously the way to go.

The Borg are coming. Don’t be scared of being assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Resistance? There will be no resistance. Only insistence. You will not fight the Borg. You will fight each other in the race to be first.

You are the Borg. Not because they forcibly assimilated you.

Because you wanted to be.

Some of us will always refuse to join. You, drones, will never understand why.

The Science of the Obvious

Or maybe the ‘oblivious’. It’s New Science. Never let the facts get in the way of a profitable conclusion.

Scientists (and I use the term in the loosest possible sense) have discovered that people like to socialise in pubs. What a pity then, that ‘science’ also declares that drinking is evil and there is ‘no safe level of alcohol’.

The article states its reasons for the decline of pubs…

In recent years, the lure of cheap booze from supermarkets and tougher drink-drive laws have resulted in many becoming restaurants or even closing.

No mention of the smoking ban? No recognition that booze has always been cheaper in supermarkets and even before them, in off-licences? No mention that the tougher drink-drive laws only happened in Scotland? The two reasons they give for the closure of so many pubs are not reasons at all. The one they miss out is the primary reason. Oh, and they don’t allow vaping either, because it ‘looks like smoking’.

Yet Science, that new version of it that doesn’t bother with any actual science, declares we must all go to pubs and be sociable and friendly – but no smoking, no drinking and soon no talking.

The commenters include a few utterly moronic drones who declare that pubs only serve to put out drunks into the community at closing time. Really, they believe that’s all pubs do (or rather did, before they shut down). They must have watched too many zombie apocalypse films and the limited space in their brains has caused a crossover between Dawn of the Dead and Last Orders.

There are, however, an increasing number of comments pointing out the real reason regular pub visitors like me suddenly became non-pub-visitors. The smoking ban. There is some intelligence out there still. Just not in any politician’s head.

I doubt anyone in government will ever manage to make the connection.

The smoker rebellion

Will there be one? I have wondered if we can honestly be arsed to bother. We’re a pretty chilled crowd, we smokers, even the ones who haven’t been tricked into permanent guilt by the Holy Antismoker Inquisition.

It’s a trick, yes. The guilt. It’s a way of controlling you. Keep you feeling guilty and repentant and then offer you forgiveness if you live your life as instructed instead of doing it the fun way. Come on, you’ve seen it over and over again. Isn’t it obvious by now?

Look, it’s simple. If you smoke and you don’t like it, well stop fucking doing it. It’s not brain surgery. If you stop smoking and decide all smokers are evil filthy bastards because you’re not doing it any more, kindly find a convenient high building and jump off it because you have become what you used to be scared of. You’re the monster now.

I like to smoke. It’s big and manly and cool and the chicks dig it. You antismokers are a bunch of dweebs the girls all laugh at behind your backs and you’re so filled with hate and spite that you can’t ever see real life. Maybe reality is too hard for you to take.

snakesmoke

Basically, if you spend all your life trying to live other people’s lives for them, you have no life of your own. You’re just a leech sucking the fun out of the world.

I smoke. I drink. I eat crap food. I am not interested in forcing, nor even in persuading, anyone else to live like I do. It might kill a few of you. If you don’t want to smoke, don’t do it. If you want to be booze-free there are hundreds of types of teas and coffees out there. If you don’t want to go to the chip shop, don’t go. Do you really need a law to make you decide how to live? No. You want a law to make everyone else live your bland and hateful life.

All the force comes from the antismoker side. It’s always ban, ban, ban, Cost to the economy. You enjoying your life is a cost to the economy. Well fuck the economy in every hole and drill a few new ones for later. All ‘the economy’ has ever done is take a huge chunk of the money I worked for and given it to those who can’t be bothered doing anything for themselves but think they have a right to tell me how to live. I’m supposed to give a shit about the economy?

I’ll let you know if I start to care.

In the Philippines, their new president wants smoking to become a criminal offense while leaving baccy on sale to get the revenue. He has no idea what he is doing.

The sale of dodgy baccy in the Philippines will rival that of the UK in moments. Already, corner shop prices in most of Europe are half of the lowest supermarket prices in the UK, and we are the only country with the silly doors. Strangely that never seems to be mentioned.

It’s getting tense. The first smoker to be jailed for using a heavily taxed legal product in public could well be our Ghandi.

If it turns out to be a vaper – and it could, because they’re still smokers in the Anti eyes – I am going to laugh until I shit myself.