Last night I read a good piece over at That Got Me Thinking.
Before I link to it, he in turn links to an archived radio interview with our Great Friend Luke Clancy. The link is awkward [it involves tracking through a very long programme to find the right spot] and in my usual selfless fashion have provided just the interview without the rest of the programme:-
His piece is here:-
There is nothing I can add to that. However it did get me thinking.
I have come across Clancy’s little pet project before. It’s the impressively named Tobacco Free Research Institute of Ireland. I decided to have a poke around to see exactly what this “Institute” is all about.
So first of all, it’s a Limited Company “formed on the basis of a partnership between the Office of Tobacco Control and ASH Ireland and its parent organisations: The Irish Cancer Society and The Irish Heart Foundation.“. Right. That clears up the most important fact. It’s funded out of tax payers’ money. ASH, the ICS and the IHF may scream they are a charity funded by donations but I say bollox to that – the vast majority of their funding is from the public purse.
So how about their mission statement?
TFRI is a non-partisan, independent, trans-disciplinary research centre focused around the issues of tobacco dependence and tobacco control. Our institute brings together researchers in the broad fields of public health, respiratory health, epidemiology, addiction studies, psychology, and social sciences who share an interest in tobacco related issues. We work to conduct and disseminate topical, socially relevant, ethically sound scientific research to fellow academics, policy makers and the general public.
Now this is interesting. For a non-partisan, independent, ethically sound organisation they seem to be remarkably anti-smoker from the outset. They pride themselves on screwing the smoker here in Ireland and brag about their influence in bringing about the smoking ban and plain packs. They also seem to be extremely reluctant to pass positive judgement on electrofags, preferring to quote the “gateway effect”, the “lack of science” and the “we just don’t know” line. They consistently try to point us in the direction of Big Pharma’s products which would lead me to wonder if this isn’t a nice
little extra revenue stream?
So what are we getting for our hard earned taxes? Well, not much really. I never hear anything about them except when Clancy makes one of his dreary surfacings on radio. They claim a few research projects but they seem to be irrelevant little “studies” pecking around the perimeter of the whole smoking lark. Most of their projects seem to be pretty outdated anyway so what exactly is our tax money being used for? Well, I presume they all like their little salaries, which I’ll wager are slightly more than the minimum wage? Then they seem to be quite fond of “representing Ireland” at all these foreign junkets? I suppose with all that research they don’t do, they need a few holidays a year?
Quite frankly, if the Tobacco Free Research Institute of Ireland disappeared off the face of the plant then I doubt if even the Tobacco Control Industry would notice.
In the meantime Clancy drones out his non-partisan, independent, ethically sound message like a fossil from the Palaeolithic Era, demanding more and more penalties against the smoker and denying all the evidence under his nose about electrofags, “plain packaging” and all the rest.
Though I did have a lot of fun finding all the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes on the web site. There are tons of them.
For an “Institute” that isn’t a very good sign?