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January 19, 2011

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Paul Flynn

It's not the size of the WHO that is the problem. It's their dependance on big money contributions. To eliminate polio they rely on Bill Gates. The UK is a major contributor. Politically they are nervous of upsetting anyone for fear of losing income.

Paul Flynn

Certainly it is suddenly more attractive to me for a visit after a smoking ban. Having not visited any smoking areas for a few years now, I find it unbearable. Certainly it is not possible to drink or eat now in places where smoking is allowed. It's good see smoking bans spreading across Europe and the world.

patrick

Junican
"Why should the Spanish Government, in a time of recession, introduce a smoking ban law which cannot but harm its tourist industry?"

As the answers are above your Q you might choose to read the thread again.

I do not believe that every smoker is a mindless moron but smoking is without doubt a mindless and moronic habit.

I asked you about any possible benefits smoking has to offer particularly the next generation.

I can only think of the cons like reduced health ,multiple diseases, shortened life-span, and wasting their money.

Your logic appears to be that 'if someone suffers financially then we must protect it.'

I don't expect you to consider other's opinions but at least have a glance at the wider picture of 2011.

Junican

Patrick.

I asked you nicely not to try to 'flame' me. You have ignored my request.

Saying 'people like you','mindless' and 'moron' is flaming. You are trying to annoy me - it will not work. Also, changing the subject is another example of flaming.

You have still not answered the question, and so I will ask it again:

""Why should the Spanish Government, in a time of recession, introduce a smoking ban law which cannot but harm its tourist industry?""

One could ask the same question as regards Greece, since similar considerations apply.

Why are they doing this?

As an example of this weird behaviour, let me give an example (please remember that it is only an example). Suppose that you own a pool and snooker hall, and, say, half your customers are people who enjoy tobacco. Suppose that, for various reasons beyond your control, your customers start to drift away. Would you voluntarily, for some trumped up reason, introduce a smoking ban, and thus accelerate the drift away? You would be crazy to do so.

But you could be 'persuaded' to do so. You could be persuaded either by threats or by inducements or both.

Is that what is happening? As I said to HUwOS, I can see no other logical reason.

@ Kay Tie.

If going into a Spanish bar was such an unpleasant experience, why did you go in? The climate is super so there is no need to go inside. What you say makes no sense. But do enjoy the new smokefree bars when you finally get round to visiting Spain.I am sure that you will find the solitude wonderful.


Kay Tie

"Why should the Spanish Government, in a time of recession, introduce a smoking ban law which cannot but harm its tourist industry?"

I might put Spain on my next holiday destination then. Because being in a Spanish bar was always an unpleasant experience. Viva España!

patrick

Junican

I was referring to the Spanish banning smoking not aviation.

I’m not bothered if people like you campaign for the right to self-harm and continue their mindless, expensive addictions often leading to cancer and premature death.

What interest’s me is what advantages ‘this freedom’ offers particularly the next generation.

Making lemming like decisions ‘I’m not bothered if it takes ten years of my life’ is fine until your son’s/daughters follow suit.

Surely any level headed person would agree that only a moron would lead by this example?

Junican

Damn it, HuwOS, I have just written a beautiful response to yours. Unfortunately, I pressed a wrong button and lost the lot. And so, very briefly, I read a bit of your first reference - the first bit re aspirations. They are glorious. But what I mean about mission creep is not concerned with glorious aspirations but with the gradual extension of these aspirations into more and more detail. The aspiration of 'the best possible health for everyone' is wonderful, until it encroaches upon people's freedom NOT to be healthy if they do not wish to be so. There, is the massive elephant in the room.

I agree absolutely with your complaint about the WHO banning people who enjoy tobacco from working for the WHO. Are there no fat people working for the WHO? Do you see the 'mission creep' here? First the smokers then the fatties.

HuwOS

"I would be interested in your view of my comment re 'mission creep'."

The original objective of the WHO was the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hist/official_records/constitution.pdf


So it is hard to see how you would see any mission creep at all.

Not to mention the fact that governments stick to treaties only when it suits them.
Look at the nuclear powers beating Iran over the head with the NPT that Iran is a signatory to and is not in breach of, while every single one of all the old nuclear powers US, Russia, China, France and the UK are in breach of their obligations under the NPT.

There is only 1 immediately obvious objectionable stance and action of the WHO that I would castigate them for and which you surely should be castigating them for rather than attempting to conjure up supposed mission creep.

They have a policy of non-recruitment for smokers and other tobacco users.
http://www.who.int/employment/recruitment/en/
That is unjust, unfair and ought to be illegal.

Their mission should involve them encouraging and advising and helping people to refrain from smoking, it should involve education so that people do understand the harm that smoking does and to combat the misinformation so happily tossed about by the foolish.
As part of the UN they have no business discriminating in employment based on lifestyles outside of work.


But I suppose too much time crying about not being allowed to smoke in public places causes people who indulge themselves so to miss genuine causes and injustices.


Junican

@ HuwOS.

Actually, I think that we are essentially saying the same thing! I could re-phrase some parts of my comment, in which case I would be asking the question, "Why do so many governments fall over backwards to implement regulations which are damaging to them (at least, in the short term) during a recession?"

I too do not like 'conspiracy theories', and yet I cannot see any other reason than pressure' of some kind. As I said in my comment, I suspect the reason is that treaties were signed without proper consideration of the unintended consequences, and that governments are bound by the treaties. I do not really think that this idea is 'conspiracy theory'. I would agree with you that governments should be "...adjusting their response based on the facts".

I would be interested in your view of my comment re 'mission creep'.

@ patrick.

Please do not try to 'flame' me. Your response to my question is not an answer to the question. Your response implies that, because of some perceived minuscule possibility of minuscule harm to the climate, all aviation should be stopped, regardless of the damage to an economy.

patrick

"Why should the Spanish Government, in a time of recession, introduce a smoking ban law which cannot but harm its tourist industry?"

Maybe it's because it's far-sighted, sane, sensible,intelligent,well-thought-out, and might even be beneficial to the Spanish nations health.

Muchas gracias Espana!

HuwOS

"Thus, we now have a situation where the WHO is so huge that individual Governments are powerless to resist its blandishments or, indeed, exert any control over it."

As Paul has previously pointed out, some countries felt quite able to decide for themselves that the swine flu virus was not posing a serious threat and did not purchase extra vaccines and medications.
So WHO advice does not equal force, nor 'force'.

The WHO is not responsible for the lack of sensible thinking or rational government from individual national governments when other governments were perfectly capable of adjusting their response based on the facts.
The blame for the overreaction should not be placed any higher than the individual governments that simply followed a knee jerk reaction as if the worst possible scenario were the most likely one.

If people could stop indulging themselves in paranoid fictions of world bodies exerting all powerful control they could hold the people most responsible to account
as well as having a reasonable discussion as to whether the WHO stance should have been different and what may have caused their position to overemphasise the potential worst case scenario.

On the Spanish smoking ban

?????

The thinking is tourists go to Spain for the smoking?

Seriously, are you really trying to link the WHO, climate change and other random items together and then using this random hotchpotch of paranoid control fear to somehow bolster your unhappiness with bans on smoking in public places.

Cue templars and one world government again.

Junican

How do you do, Mr Flynn.

Is it not odd that organisations such as the WHO, which, as you say, has done great work in the past, seem somehow to engage in 'mission creep'?

I seem to remember, a long time ago, that the WHO was set up in the UN with the very worthy intention of identifying diseases which affect vast populations and eradicating them (such as malaria and small pox). That was the purpose of the WHO.

At some point, the WHO expanded its remit to include temporary situations such as flu epidemics and pandemics. I wonder how that came to pass? Does anyone know? Of course, as an extension of its remit, the WHO grew and grew.

At some point, the WHO extended its remit again, and, somehow, became more than an advisory body - it became a controlling body. It gained the right to 'advise' (force) Governments to comply (on the precautionary principle). Does anyone know how that came to pass?

I think that the extension of remit, and therefore extension of influence and power, occurred by accident. That is, the people who should have been suspicious of the WHO's intentions were not bothered enough and under no obligation to ask the appropriate questions.

Thus, we now have a situation where the WHO is so huge that individual Governments are powerless to resist its blandishments or, indeed, exert any control over it.

Does this not lead to corruption? I mean, as a possibility, link ups with drug companies? Bribery and back-handers? Human nature being what it is, how can it be otherwise? Is that not also the case with the IPCC? And, indeed, even our own Health Dept (without the bribery, I hasten to add). All the elements for corruption are there - lack of accountability, careless science, unelected principals, temptation, and so on. Is there any significant difference between the 'royal' family of Tunisia and the leaders of the WHO? Well, yes there is! The 'royal' family of Tunisia were vulnerable, but the 'royal' family of the WHO is not. I hate the idea of 'conspiracy theories', but there is something very, very weird about the readiness of the WHO to declare pandemics. Also, there is something very, very weird about how 'the enjoyment of tobacco' has, quite suddenly, become a world-wide pandemic.

Why do I get this odd thought in my mind that it is all too convenient? Why should the Spanish Government, in a time of recession, introduce a smoking ban law which cannot but harm its tourist industry? What is going on? Could it possibly be that they have been put under some sort of pressure? Even if a person, like yourself, is really, really anti-smoking, I would have thought that crap pseudo-science produced by a corrupt organisation would be unacceptable, especially if accompanied by some sort of threat.

Is it not true that politics has always been at risk of infiltration by fanatics? (Present company excluded, of course!) It is easy to see how this probability can can be exploited by organisations such as the WHO.

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