Saturday 28 January 2012

A work of art

The Guardian recently kicked off the campaign for plain packaging this week with an interview with that sad old sociologist Simon Chapman who seems to think that the tobacco industry finds him fascinating:

"They dislike me intensely because of my prominence and persistence. But I also confuse them because I'm very against the censorship and rating of films because of their tobacco content."

"Hey, look at me—I'm only half-mad!"

Expect much more about plain packaging in the next few months. The Department of Health has lined up its usual NGOs and fake charities to persuade the public that a policy that is so preposterous that even the most deranged anti-smoking headbangers have only recently endorsed it, should be a priority as we slide back into recession and the EU goes bust.

It won't surprise you to hear that I see plain packaging as a gross infringement of intellectual property, private property and the free market. That it will be extended to other products in due course I consider to be a near-certainty. It is a lunatic idea dreamt up by people who have long since run out of ideas. The entire self-serving and deceitful cabal of 'tobacco control professionals' should be put out to grass. They have done enough damage. Chapman is very proud that the Australian supernanny state has banned e-cigarettes and snus, for example—these people should be in a smokefree prison cell.

David Hockney has better things to do that smack down pointless wowsers like Chapman, but he has done so all the same in today's letters section and it is quite glorious...

Why doesn't Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone whose friends died of alcohol consumption, not tobacco. Someone who has smoked for nearly as long as he has lived. Someone who knows about the fanatical attitude of haters of tobacco. Someone who is not so naive about advertising and packaging.

Someone who has almost outlived a fanatical anti-smoking father. Someone who is fed up to the teeth with people who think they really know what health is. Someone who is not afraid of the cowardly, crooked politicians who stifle the debate about pleasure in the now. Someone who knows that time is elastic. Someone who knows how easy it is to lie with statistics. Someone who is not a professional agitator, who knows there is no such thing as a professional smoker but knows there are hundreds of dreary, professional, highly paid anti-smokers.

Someone who thinks laughter is good for you as it drains fear from the body. Someone who has something better to do than to try and control the quiet lives of others. Someone who knows we are all a bit different and is fed up with the growing regimentation of people. Someone who knows that smokers can live perfectly average-length lives but heavy drinkers rarely. Someone who is shocked by the growing conformity among people, and what that might mean for a reasonable free society. Someone who prefers the centre of Bohemia to Australian suburbia. Someone who knows we have to die.

David Hockney
Bridlington, East Yorkshire

Taxi for Chapman...

David Hockney's contribution to culture

Simon Chapman's contribution to culture


Anonymous said...

"Hey, look at me—I'm only half-mad!"

That might be a little generous for Simon Crapman. He’s at least three-quarters of the way down the mad track.

More apt might be:
"Hey, look at me—I'm a tad short of completely mad!"

Anonymous said...

The reason that the zealots are pushing for 'plain packaging' is hidden in the detail. Let me quote from Stephen Williams MP:

Plain packs would be the same size, same colour, same font for the product name and nothing else other than the health warning. [My emphasis]

In a comment later (assuming that it was in fact him and not someone impersonating him), he confirmed that the intention is to standardise the size of cigarettes, as well as the packets. We can new see the plan and the reason - once the size is standardised, it can gradually be reduced. That is the plan. The 'for the Children' stance is camouflage.

Simon Cooke said...

When we gave David Hockney the Freedom of the City of Bradford, he used the opportunity to complain about the smoking restrictions, light up in City Hall and generally annoy the self-serving folk who thought it was some sort of formal "great and good" conflab!

Xopher said...

Taking Junican's comment a step further- The Pharmaceuticals, through tobacco control, will determine the size, shape, strength etc. and ALL commercial nicotine delivery will be controlled by legislation on their behalf.
Anti-smokers are their simple - repeat simple - pawns in their game.

George Speller said...

"put out to grass" - did you mean "put out of their misery"?

Anonymous said...

When Simon Chapman flew me to Australia in the early nineties to spew his propoganda for a week and do his stumping for him, the one thing I remember was when he set up an interview with the Australian Peoples Magazine, he told me that I was the guy that " If we couldn't dazzle them with brilliance....we should just baffle them with bullshit". He said they were the same things. Then we went to dinner and laughed alot.

Anonymous said...

I signed my name, bt somehow it came up anonymous. The above post was mine. Dave Goerlitz/fmr. WinstonMan

Anonymous said...

Crapman: “The tobacco content of films”

Only from an antismoker. LOL

Anonymous said...

That would be this Simon Chapman:

LICENCES to puff, foul-tasting cigarettes, and financial incentives to stop smoking are next in a bid to help the nation quit a $5 billion addiction to tobacco revenue before the end of the next decade.

Smokeless nicotine, a rising age limit and mandatory limits similar to that proposed for problem gamblers on pokies are detailed in a plan before the Federal Government and health authorities.

Big tobacco warns the looming multimillion-dollar legal fight in the High Court against drab olive-brown packaging of cigarette packets is just one battlefront in a bid to extinguish smoking in Australia.

Anti-smoking lobbyists have submitted a 10-point plan to the Federal Health department, obtained by The Courier-Mail, in an audacious bid to stub out the unhealthy habit within 15 years.

"Plain packaging will still have large gruesome images on the front and the name of the brand but in drab colour,'' said World Health Organisation adviser Professor Simon Chapman. "It'll be a step to de-glamourise smoking.''

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Not content with 'foul tasting cigarettes', Simon Chapman is now proposing scratch n sniff warning labels with the aroma of cadavrine (from the putrefication of animal tissue).

He tweeted earlier today (1 Feb 2012, 10:08am)

@SimonChapman6: Next step in cig pack warnings?Scratch'n sniff tabs.Cadavarine or putrescine = smell/gangrene from periph.vasc.disease

No zealotry there...

Anonymous said...

Clever though

"Nicotine is produced in the roots of tobacco by the linking of compounds derived from nicotinic acid and putrescine."

"Putrescine (sometimes spelled putrescin) is a foul-smelling[1] organic chemical compound NH2(CH2)4NH2 (1,4-diaminobutane or butanediamine) that is related to cadaverine; both are produced by the breakdown of amino acids in living and dead organisms and both are toxic in large doses"

"Putrescine is synthesized in small quantities by healthy living cells by the action of ornithine decarboxylase. The polyamines, of which putrescine is one of the simplest, appear to be growth factors necessary for cell division"

Simon Chapman said...

Dave Goerlitz: "When Simon Chapman flew me to Australia in the early nineties to spew his propoganda for a week and do his stumping for him, the one thing I remember was when he set up an interview with the Australian Peoples Magazine, he told me that I was the guy that " If we couldn't dazzle them with brilliance....we should just baffle them with bullshit". He said they were the same things. Then we went to dinner and laughed a lot."

Goerlitz was in Australia already doing a paid speaking tour. The Cancer Council NSW was asked to host his talk in Sydney, and I was a consultant to them at the time. I certainly never flew him to Australia. He did his one-trick pony act for the nth time (you know the famous one-liner about the non-smoking Winston exec who said to him 'we reserve the right for the black, and the stupid to smoke', accompanied by his seedy, scamming "manager". I then had the displeasure of having to take them to dinner. Displeasure, because the guy was a self-absorbed ego-maniac who told everyone within earshot that he was Harrison Ford's body double. So he "spewed my propaganda" eh? He "spewed" the same talk he'd given hundreds of times and talked about NOTHING but himself, and how he was dedicating his life now to turning the tables on the industry that had made him 'famous'. Goerlitz rapidly reached his use-by date and no one would pay him to tell the same tired story yet again. So now it looks like he's trying to "stump" for the other side. There's no such thing as "The Australian People's Magazine" and his attribution about what I said is another complete lie. What a sad loser ...