From yesterday’s Irish Times –
There are quite a few questions I would have to ask about this.
For a start, I would love to know just what sort of magic bullet the gubmint seem to think this bloke has, that they invite the Gardai and Revenue along. Who is this bloke who seems to claim he can achieve what virtually every country in Europe has failed to do?
Actually, the answer is probably quite simple. He is an expert at bullshitting.
I have seen dozens of statistics that purport to prove without a shadow of a doubt that the rate of heart attacks has fallen dramatically after the introduction of a smoking ban. And without exception every one of those proofs has proved to be a load of codswallop. Heart attack rates have been falling steadily just about everywhere, and there isn’t a single case where smoking bans have caused the rate to vary, so the quoted figures, I can guarantee are the figures for the natural decline. I notice he doesn’t hive a time period for this decline? Is it since 2005? 2000? 1950?
I have tried to find the source of the figures he quotes, but I came up with a blank. The nearest I could find was the crowd mentioned in the article called Fresh [Smokefree North East]. Reading through this site there is precious little in the way of hard figures. It is full of innuendos and the glib clichés that the Righteous love so much - “it is estimated that”, “a growing body of evidence that” and “the figures show” [which is never accompanied by the “figures”].
One of the claims is that “A campaign against tobacco smuggling has been very successful”. Apparently this remarkable claim is based on a “survey” of 4000 people. Now, how can a survey prove that smuggling has decreased? Unless the 4000 are all smugglers whining about their loss of trade, I can’t see how this “survey” can prove anything. If some health freaks ring me up and ask my about my illicit tobacco supplies, do you really, honestly think I am going to give them the unvarnished truth? Hah! I will lie through my teeth just to confuse their figures.
There is one little statement though that really gets me going – “We know from the drink driving law that we can change people’s behaviour”. Oh boy! This is the Smug Righteous at their best! Who is the “we”? A group of smug little bastards who really sincerely believe that they know what’s best for us and believe they have a natural right to herd us into their way of thinking.
After all, we can’t think for ourselves.