Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The cream of 'public health'

Our old friend Gerard 'the corporations!' Hastings has been flown to the other side of the world to offer his indispensable expertise to 'public health' campaigners in New Zealand. Hastings is one of the more obvious examples of a person exploiting the low standards of nanny state academia to make a living preaching his anti-capitalist/anti-consumerist sermon. He hates advertising, in particular, and so has made that his area of purported expertise. The WHO naturally seeks his advice and gets him to compile their evidence reviews.

Judging by the adoring tweets from his audience, his talk was down to the usual standard. The Kiwis must have been keen to hear about fizzy drinks because he turned this old slide about the evil booze peddlers...

Into this slide about Big Coke...

Not content with trying to stamp out all advertising for tobacco, booze, sugary drinks and food that he doesn't like, Hastings now seems to want to stop private individuals from discussing these products with one another...

The slide below is my favourite because it nicely captures the rigour and quality of the man's academic work.

Where to begin with this? The figures are roughly correct (see chart below) but the advertising ban (or 'adban' as he calls it) started in 2003, not 2004, the purchase age was raised in 2007, not 2009, and tobacco vending machines were banned in 2011, not whatever year he's pointing at. The graph is mislabelled at the top: the graph goes up to 2016, not 2014, although he hasn't bothered with the last year, perhaps because the ever-smoking rate went up that year.

The x-axis goes in two year intervals until 2008 when it goes in three year intervals until 2014 when it goes back to a two year intervals, but the space between all these intervals is the same. And, best of all, the final policy is titled 'plane packs'.

Give that man another OBE!

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