The vaping culprits

These are the members of the Science and Technology Committee that published the report on vaping, and how it should be made easier. I wonder how many of them smoke or vape themselves.

Member Party
Norman Lamb (Chair) Liberal Democrat
Vicky Ford Conservative
Bill Grant Conservative
Darren Jones Labour
Liz Kendall Labour
Stephen Metcalfe Conservative
Carol Monaghan Scottish National Party
Damien Moore Conservative
Neil O’Brien Conservative
Graham Stringer Labour
Martin Whitfield Labour

The chairman of this committee, Norman Lamb (Lib-Dem) used to be a smoker himself (reportedly gave it up in 2012, what he currently is, is unreported), and has said he is glad his son is a vaper. He is known for his laudable advocacy for the mentally disabled, but surely that shouldn’t mean the rest of us have to breathe polluted air while they merrily puff away.

I couldn’t find any dirt on most of the rest of them, no idea whether they smoke, smoked, vape or have relatives who vape. Doesn’t mean there isn’t dirt there.

But there is one, Stephen Metcalfe (Con), who denies any connection to the tobacco lobby, despite being one of seven MPs to accept tickets from Japan Tobacco International to the Chelsea Flower Show, in May. It’s not as though tobacco companies ignore developments – they are investing in e-cigarettes.

There is also Graham Stringer (Lab), a climate change denier and obvious idiot who shouldn’t be on any Commons committee at all. No scientific wit whatever.

Three out of eleven (at least) whose judgement is compromised. All in all, they fucked up.

No, no, no, no, NO!

Relaxing vaping laws would cut smoking deaths, say MPs

The government is missing an important opportunity to cut deaths from smoking, says a committee of MPs who are calling for a cut in the tax on e-cigarettes. They are also urging the government to allow more advertising and to rethink the ban on vaping on buses, trains and in other public places.

Image result for vaping

First, I don’t think they should be cutting taxes on so-called e-cigarettes. They should be increasing them. Vaping is neither ok nor a socially acceptable habit. Fine, increase taxes on tobacco even further if existing taxes aren’t doing the job of discouraging smoking. Make the buggers pay.

Second, it is definitely NOT OK for government to be advocating increased pollution of streets and other public places. Have non-smokers no right to smoke or vapour-free air? Are we now expected to hold our breaths for an entire bus journey so some twit can blissfully vape away, happy in the knowledge he, she or it is pissing the hell out of their fellow passengers? Noise pollution from loud earphones is bad enough without this harassment.

One of the best things that happened in Britain was the ban on smoking in public areas and in businesses. It was actually possible to breath again. Vaping may be a health improvement for a smoker, no real evidence on that yet as it hasn’t been around long enough, but it is just as foul a habit to anyone around them. You cannot pass these smelly people in the street without holding your breath, and walking behind one forces you to cross the street to avoid the gases and vapours coming out of that thing they are slobbering on.

It is disgusting, not just being next to a vaper, but that a Commons committee should recommend ruining the lives of non-smokers by allowing this foul habit on public transport and in enclosed public spaces. I really do not care if relaxation of the law might have health benefits for smokers. It has a high impact on those of us who prefer not to breathe someone else’s fumes, be they cigarettes or vapes.

Even worse is the notion that rules should be relaxed in offices. In England, only 14.9% of the population are classified as smokers. Without a detailed study of the report, it’s not clear from summaries exactly how many additional people are vapers, percentages given vary by age group, but it’s between 3-8%.

So, that’s less that a quarter of the population polluting the environment with smelly smoke and vapours, but these stupid MPs think that over 75% of the population should all have to second hand vape in public spaces and even workplaces to persuade more smokers to join the vapers? Bah humbug to that! If they really want to stop smoking, let them get a prescription NHS nicotine patch. I’m happy to help pay for that through taxes.

As it is, I am asphyxiated by having to hold my breath while trying to get into my workplace with all the smokers and vapers creating bad air by the entrance, or at bus stops where inconsiderate people smoke or vape while disregarding their fellow passengers’ discomfort. I’m not at the point of saying these people should be shot, not even the MPs who wrote that inconsiderate report, but by god those moronic MPs should have their heads firmly slapped.

No, wait, I have a better idea. Lock them in an un-ventilated room with a vaper. See how they like it then.

Corbyn in hot water with feeble responses

Jewish Labour members boycott talks with ‘intentionally antagonistic’ party leaders over antisemitism

The caption was: Corbyn denies laying wreath at grave of Munich terrorists. That’s a pretty big deny considering that they have pictures of him groping the wreath in question. Then he added the further idiocy of admitting being present at wreath-laying for Munich terrorists but saying ‘I don’t think I was actually involved in it’. What the fuck? Present, touching the wreath, but not “involved” in it? Does he really think people are idiots?

Plus given how they have been treated by the party establishment, I am not in the least surprised Jewish Labour groups don’t trust them or Corbyn. While he may not be an actual antisemite, though I can certainly understand why people might wonder about this, he certainly looks like he has chosen the Palestinian side, ignored Jews opposing the odious Netanyahu or those killed by Muslim terrorism, and consorted with supporters of terrorism.

Feeble bleats to the effect he was “not actually involved” give the impression he either cluelessly wandered into a ceremony in Tunis without knowing who it was for or who was there, which makes him seem like a total idiot, or that he’s an outright liar trying to save his skin. It’s nice that he protests:

“I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere, because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. They only way you pursue peace is by a cycle of dialogue.”

The problem was, it wasn’t that kind of memorial, it was the grave of the terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. It is even more pathetic to go on to say he was opposed to all deaths by terrorism, without even mentioning Palestinian terrorism. He is right about just one thing, it’s going to take compromise on all sides to achieve peace in the Middle East, and that seems as likely to happen as the second coming of Christ.

The need for compromise is the only thing he’s been right on in this sorry mess. He’s made all the wrong arguments, taken the wrong positions, associated with the wrong people, disseminated and lied, and not supported Jews in the Labour party when they need as much support as Muslims. Not a fearless leader at all. More of a schmuck or schlemiel.

Boris Johnson must be laughing all the way to his tea table. Neither party has reacted well to the exposure of bigotry in their ranks. But while bigotry is indigenous to Tories, it’s their bread and butter with Boris palling up with the American arch-racist Steve Bannon, you would expect Labour to know better. If you did, well, you and I were wrong.

The choice of parties for a responsible voter grows thin indeed. Oh, and yes, if he has a shred of decency at this point, he’ll quit as party leader. That’s the only way we will know he has that decency.

Let’s have another referendum

Young voters want final say on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, poll finds

They have a point. Something like 1.4 million children have become voting age adults since Cameron’s mistake. Given that May has made a disaster out of Brexit, is obviously expecting no deal at all, and is content to rip up the Irish peace accords by re-establishing the border, they deserve a chance to vote on their own futures.

Plus, some of the aged, crabby, isolationist bastards who voted agin everything forrin, have mercifully died and gone to whatever heaven they deserved. More will join them after Brexit as the supply of doctors, nurses and medications runs out.

Brexit: More than 100 constituencies that backed Leave in 2016 referendum would now vote Remain

More than 100 Westminster constituencies which backed Leave in the 2016 referendum would now vote to remain in the European Union, according to new analysis of polling.

The findings suggested that most seats in England, Scotland and Wales now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU.

Among constituencies found to have switched from Leave to Remain were arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson‘s Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Michael Gove’s Surrey Heath and the seats of pro-BrexitLabour MPs Frank Field in Birkenhead and Graham Stringer in Blackley and Broughton.

Neither is this a huge surprise. In the wake of May’s misgovernment doing sweet Fanny Adams to get a Brexit deal, the calamity of crashing out is beginning to dawn on some anti-European dinosaurs. It’s not as though they can rely on Trump and his American fascists to come running to their economic rescue.

Parliament is unlikely to come to any decisions on Brexit itself. It’s becoming far more likely they will choose to pass the buck to the voters again. It’s their get out of jail free card.

As for the excuse that it is “undemocratic” to give voters a choice, given that they voted already to leave, that’s absurd. A democracy isn’t an unchanging fossil set in stone. That’s the Tory party. A democracy’s a dynamic institution. There is no reason to suppose it can’t change its mind given new data, and god knows, the Tory party has given us lots of new data about its failure to govern responsibly.

Boris’s boorishness bears its bonanza

Bus driver in Bristol demands Muslim woman remove niqab

It’s an astonishing scene. The woman video’d the driver out of his seat, harassing her for being a potential terrorist – she had a baby with her – and being a generally obnoxious prick. Natural Tory voter, I’d say, at least for a Johnson Tory. First Bus, it has to be said, are taking the incident seriously, and credit to them for that.

I’m against anyone being forced to wear a niqab or burqa if it’s a symbol of religious or sexual repression, and it can be. But if it’s a free choice, it’s no worse than wearing a balaclava. A balaclava keeps out unwanted cold. A niqab or burqa keeps out unwanted scrutiny. Maybe we should all consider them. Admittedly, the police might have reservations about that, but they do now have DNA testing to rely on instead.

Ok, facial recognition is vastly important in human interactions, but do we really have a right to be able to scrutinise every random stranger’s face in public? If someone’s face is bandaged because of an injury, should they not be allowed out in public? Should nuns be required to take off their headgear, cowls and veils? If folk aren’t wearing a cowl, burqa or balaclava, does that mean it’s impossible they could blow the bus up? Why would any actual terrorist go about drawing attention to themselves? They’d dress and comport themselves like everyone else.

No-one has protested about nuns, balaclavas or bandages before, but now Boris has been a total arse, they are harassing women in modest religious attire, not because it is modest, but because it is Muslim. It’s irrational fear and  bigotry, pure and simple, and Boris is feeding it.

Now, it has been argued that Boris is just a British Trump, that he has no actual convictions or sense of ethics, but will simply do and say whatever he thinks will get him into Downing Street. He apparently thinks the world revolves around him, or when it doesn’t, it bloody well should. Well, he does have an equator rather than a waist.

Well, maybe Boris himself isn’t a bigot or racist, perhaps his best pals are coloured and not lily white, though I’d doubt it. But he is an opportunistic arsehole who shouldn’t be within a hundred miles of the premiership of a diverse nation. His willing association with racists and bigots, his repeated attacks on racial and Muslim minorities in the UK, make it irrelevant what his actual feelings are.

When you pander to the wicked, you may as well be wicked. Johnson is stirring a loathsome pot of hatred, and people are going to get hurt, maybe killed, because of him. A modern Enoch Powell, he’s poison.

Two views of Boris’s boorish remarks

This is the simple reason why you shouldn’t expect an apology from Boris Johnson any time soon

The argument here is that Boris is deliberately courting the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim right wing. And not just rightwing Tories, but UKIP, the English Defence League, and the utterly deranged lunatic right. He’s ambitious and wants to be in No 10. But the fact is, his culpable behaviour here merely proves he’s not fit for any public office in a multicutural society.

So there is no advantage to him in apologising. He hates May anyway, and even if he did make a perfunctory apology – “I am so sorry you felt insulted by the truth” – he wouldn’t mean it, and no-one in their right minds would accept it.

Boris Johnson’s ‘letterbox’ gaffe may be his last – the Conservatives are finally tiring of him

It is true that Boris has been criticised by the chairman of the Conservative Party, May herself, and other prominent Tories. And the party has decided to hold an investigation of sorts  into his comments and attitudes so I can’t argue it’s totally ignoring the issue. Fair enough, one could argue that investigation before action is a reasonable way to proceed, but it is not as though Boris has no history of petty prejudices and bigotries.

The question is whether any actual action will be taken to sanction this boorish bigot, or whether they will just use an investigation to take up time till the fuss dies down. It’s good to see some Tories speak out against Boris, but they are on the liberal end of the party. Most Tories have stayed remarkably silent on the issue, so I am not convinced there is any major swell of revulsion against him.

It’s funny, though, to see those Tories keen to criticise Corbyn and the Labour party for failing to deal with antisemitism fail to criticise Islamophobia in their own party. Some of the criticism of Corbyn has been unfair: I doubt he has an antisemitic bone in his body. On the other hand, one wonders if he has any bones in his body, as he’s been spineless to deal with actual antisemitism. Or Brexit for that matter.

But if we can criticise Labour for not dealing with their bigots properly, we can’t let the Tories off the hook either. Boris has been cavorting with fascists. He has slurred Muslims. He has shown total indifference to the concept of religious and civic freedom. He stomps recklessly on multiculturalism and its denizens, i.e. other human beings.

The Tories should cast him off. Maybe he can make a home in UKIP where he truly belongs.

Boris the boor

Boris Johnson has long been known as one of the active clowns in the Tory party, but yesterday he excelled himself. He compared Muslim women wearing burkas to letter boxes and bank robbers.

Theresa May demands Boris Johnson apologise for islamophobic burqa ‘letter box’ comments

The Tory chairman criticised him. Even Theresa May found that offensive, though she may have ulterior motives given that this outburst by the odious Boris is seen as as a dogwhistle to racist Conservatives in a bid for the leadership.

One can certainly criticise burkas as required garb for Muslim women, and not all Muslim women wear them. It’s a wicked religious imposition.

Still, given freedom of religion, if some Muslim women feel they need to wear them, where is the boorish Boris coming from? Does he feel they shouldn’t be allowed to practice their religious belief? Does he feel he has the freedom to believe whatever religious crap he may or may not believe in is ok, but no-one else has? He said he was was entitled to demand any constituent wearing one take it off, violating her in the process.

I think we get the answer from the sort of people the boorish Boris has been hanging out with recently, namely Steve Bannon, a racist and pro-Trump American.

When you choose to associate with vicious racists and neo-Nazis, you can’t blame anyone for concluding you are one of them.

Image result for johnson as hitler

Johnson is a vile bigot, and he has no place in British politics. I am amazed May has seen this, though I suspect it is entirely in her own self-interest, given her feverish desire to remain in Downing Street.

I don’t support any Tory, but better the hapless May than odious Johnson if that’s the choice there is.