This might be, just a little bit, ever so slightly, de trop

When Farage argues for zero interference by the nanny state, this inevitably makes him an unhealth campaigner – for lung cancer, for obesity and for an epidemic of diabetes, not forgetting his party’s enthusiasm for higher speed limits, thereby adding thousands more to Ukip’s morbidity targets. Why Farage should be 100% in love with easeful death is anyone’s guess, but, for pure, cautionary value, he could still be the best thing to happen to the nanny state since the foundation of the NHS.

They’re getting worried, aren’t they?

13 comments on “This might be, just a little bit, ever so slightly, de trop

  1. Isn’t UKIP getting a bit worried as well? Need to get something with positive spin on it the same day as another “swivel-eyed loon” comes out?

  2. Presumably they have also supported Farage and denounced all the others on because only UKIP is in favour of allowing us to have cheap energy, since even the BBC acknowledges that half our 31,000 excess winter deaths are caused by this.

    However enthusiastic one is for government advertising programmes and slower driving it is difficult to suggest they, combined, come to 10% of these deliberate killings.

  3. ‘Why does Nigel Farage want us all to get cancer. Why? :-(‘
    Well in your case Steve its to reduce the number of morons in the population.

  4. I’d have a better quality of life if I didn’t have to hear these ****ing control freaks come up with new schemes to try to control the people.

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who can feel his blood pressure rise whenever these schemes are put forth by the nanny-staters. And that mass increase in blood pressure can’t possibly be good for the public health. So can we ban these nanny-staters for the sake of “public health”?

  5. @ Steve
    It might be worth noting that the incidence of cancer has risen as the incidence of smoking has fallen. Try looking at the occasional fact, not just the tripe published by ASH. Farage is adding to the risk – *not* certainty – that he himself will contract cancer, but his effect on other people is, if any, disappearingly small.

  6. Given that increased longevity is one of the biggest issues facing our nation in coming decades, would it not make sense for the State to encourage activity to kill as many people as possible before they get too much in pension payments, care home costs, NHS costs etc? If everyone is dropping dead at 70 or less with massive coronaries or with lung cancer even earlier, thats going to save a fortune in State spending isn’t it?

    And all totally voluntary too. No one will be forced to drink, smoke and eat deep fried pizza if they’d prefer mineral water and an organic mung bean salad.

  7. @john77, cancer is a disease of age so it is not remotely surprising that as life-expectancy increases so does the proportion of people who have ever had the big C.

    Don’t fall into the nanny-stater trap of abusing statistics to a political end. The liberal answer to any number is generally “meh”, not “how can I make a point dimetrically opposed to the Obamazanulabourcamorons out of that?

  8. There’s a good graphic here for putting things into context.

    Preventing one cause of death increases the prevalence of all the others. When arguably matters more than what.

    But of course, to argue about whether more deaths are caused by this policy or that is to miss the point. The nanny-staters cannot understand that there could be any consideration other than simple mortality. That the main issue might be the quality of life on the way there – including such incomprehensible concepts as ‘liberty’ – simply does not enter into their thoughts. “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

    The problem is that health bureaucrats’ performance is not measured on how much liberty and enjoyment of life they spread, but how many deaths and illnesses they prevent (or rather, delay). They propose the policies they’re incentivised to propose. If you want a different outcome, you have to offer a different incentive.

  9. @ JamesV
    Last time I looked, the increase in *adult* life expectancy was less than the increase in cancer as a %age of deaths. The biggest increase in life expectancy has been a reduction in infant deaths which makes the increase in old people look much greater than it really is (the 69-84 age group is actually relatively small due to the drop in birth rate from, 1930 to 1945).
    I am not actually twisting statistics (as I should be if I tried to suggest that smoking reduced the risk of cancer) – merely pointing out that the claims about “passive smoking” are ludicrous.

  10. @John77, how can you purport to directly compare adult life expectancy and the proportion of deaths due to cancer? The first is measured in years, the latter is a proportion. A small increase in one may be accompanied by a seemingly large increase in the other.

    I don’t get the passive smoking thing, you said nothing about it in your previous post. Are you trying to argue that as passive smoking has gone down cancer rates have gone up therefore passive smoking does not cause cancer?

    I actually agree that passive smoking has an effect on cancer risk that is so small as to be barely – if at all – detectable at the population level, but your argument falls for considering “all cancers” rather than just “smoking-related cancers”, and considering any change over a short period of time against one rather small change in society – not considering any of the many confounding factors that could account for the observation of an increase in cancer risk. Not to mention that we hardly have a mechanism by which passive smoking could protect against cancer, the counter-intuitive observation thus (in the unlikely event it has anything at all to do with passive smoking) thus needs a bloody good explanation.

  11. “Not to mention that we hardly have a mechanism by which passive smoking could protect against cancer”

    Hormesis? 🙂

    Tim adds: Strangely, a very large study of cancer and smoking found that the only statistically noticeable effect of passive smoking on children seemed to be to *protect* them against lung cancer…..

  12. @ JamesV
    Steve’s comment is all about smoking causing cancer (and that is most of the thrust of the article that Tim holds up to ridicule.
    It was *you* not I that purported to link cancer to life expectancy: try reading “so it is not remotely surprising that as life-expectancy increases so does the proportion of people who have ever had the big C.”
    The increase in Cancer is not just among the reducing number of smokers – it is also among those who have never smoked. The anti-smoking lobby use “passive smoking” as an explanation for why some people who do not smoke get cancer – they sneakily avoid discussing why some smokers, like my great-aunt who was a heavy smoker into her late 80s, never get cancer.
    The anti-smoking lobby do not appear to admit there is such a thing as a cancer which is not smoking-related. If you can get them to recognise and publicly admit such things exist you will deserve and earn my approbation.

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