The EU's Tobacco Products Directive helps more people to smoke

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee held another hearing this morning as part of its investigation into e-cigarettes. (Click here to read the evidence we submitted to the committee) The witnesses in the first session were Dr Ian Jones, Vice President, Reduced-Risk Products, Japan Tobacco International; Dr Chris Proctor, Chief Scientific Officer, British American Tobacco; Dr Moira Gilchrist, Vice President, Scientific and Public Communications, Philip Morris Limited; and Dr Grant O’Connell, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Fontem Ventures.  All four witnesses were excellent. They gave open answers, exactly what the committee wanted. I won't go through everything that was said as you can watch it here. Instead I will quickly focus on a comment Dr. Gilchrist made on advertising restrictions imposed on the industry in the EU's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).  Continue reading

Is your vicar right in his head?

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.  It doesn’t matter how fatuous some ideas might be, they can never be killed off – quite – by rational argument. They remain impervious even to lorry loads of satire and ridicule. Let me tell you a true story about one such idea… Ten years ago there was a sensational court case all over the papers. A man aged twenty-two killed his parents, stole all their money – about £20,000 – and cleared off to New York with his girlfriend where they proceeded to live the life of Riley. Well, they were caught and the young man was put on trial for his parents’ murder, but he was acquitted because a psychiatrist declared him to be “suffering from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).” Continue reading

For the few, not the many

Political opportunism. Betrayal. Selling out. Whatever you call it, Jeremy Corbyn's plans for a new UK-EU customs union would mean the UK would not be able to sign trade deals and we would be beholden to the EU.  As Matt Ridley explained in his excellent article in today's Times, the poor have the most to gain from Brexit. Here's an example that he gave: Continue reading

Is the UK doing everything it can to stop radical Islamists in Sudan?

Simon Richards, Chief Executive of The Freedom Association, and I had dinner last week with one of our Council members, Baroness (Caroline) Cox. During the course of our conversation, we discussed her recent visit to Sudan on behalf of the charity she founded, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART).  The Department for International Development (DfID) spends £50 million a year of taxpayers' money in Sudan, so we all have an interest in how our money is spent.  Caroline visited the Blue Nile region of Sudan and the report of her visit doesn't make for very good reading. Continue reading

A Snowflake Writes for The Guardian

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece which I titled “The Guardian: a psychiatric casebook.” In the light of new clinical information I need to revise the judgement I made there. I originally thought the mental disease which The Guardian is suffering from is some form of neurosis. It turns out to be much worse – a full-blown psychotic illness. You know the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic? The neurotic builds castles in the air while the psychotic lives in them. Young Owen Jones is the psychotic in question. He has written an article in The Guardian which qualifies him for immediate transportation to the nuthouse. Continue reading