Monday, 13 October 2014

COP 6: Mission to Moscow

Today sees the start of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control's Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6). If you use tobacco or vape, decisions will be made this week that affect you, but don't expect to have a say in them because you're not allowed to go.

And don't expect your elected representatives to speak for you because they won't be going either. COP6 is run by unelected bureaucrats and quangos for unelected bureaucrats and quangos.

Don't expect to hear too much about it, either. Last time this conference was held, the press were excluded. So too was that notorious tobacco front group, er, Interpol.

How fitting, then, that the conference is being held in a dark, windowless room in Moscow. In light of Russia's role in little incidents such as, y'know, shooting down passenger planes and liquidating human rights groups, the USA and Canada have done the decent thing and boycotted the shin-dig.

“We stand with the people of Ukraine and we will offer no legitimacy to the Putin regime’s actions in Ukraine when it comes to these farcical conferences that they try to pull out some legitimacy on.”

Russia's pariah status appears to have gone unnoticed by the WHO. They are far more impressed by the fact that Putin recently introduced a smoking ban.

This comes from the COP6 official Twitter feed, which is one of the few ways we, the people, can get any sense of what is going on behind those closed doors, albeit from a source that makes Pravda look impartial. Early tweets confirm that much of what is being said is plainly untrue (old men are the most likely to suffer from 'tobacco diseases')...

Much else confirms that the WHO remains bewitched by Napoleonic fantasies such as the belief that e-cigarettes are tobacco products and that illicit tobacco sales can be 'eliminated' at the stroke of a pen.

While the WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, bangs on about Big Tobacco (and, in her own words, "Big Food, Big Soda and Big Alcohol") the Ebola outbreak continues. Under Chan, the WHO has "repeatedly voted to emphasize noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and cancer rather than infectious diseases" and funds have been distributed accordingly (read Crampton on this).

This week will therefore provide a perfect illustration of the corruption and inanity of the modern public health movement. While a virulent infectious disease spreads, representatives of the global organisation that was set up to deal with such crises are sat in a five star hotel in a rogue state at the taxpayers' expense secretly discussing the evils of bubblegum flavourings in e-cigarette fluid.


Ken said...

'Pubic health'?

(I know, I know.)

Christopher Snowdon said...

Thanks, it's not the first times I've made that typo!

Corrected now.

Norbert Zillatron said...

Well, it's freudian slip and easily understood. We're talking about the people Mr Ashton used to ogle behind the bike shed. Now he's one of them ...