ASH Scotland: the bully state in action
Monday, May 9, 2011 at 19:18
Simon Clark

The following was posted in the comments on the previous thread.

I removed it because it was off topic but I don't want my anonymous correspondent (or anyone else) to think that I want to hide the story.

Far from it. I intend to do everything I can to expose ASH Scotland for what they are - state-sponsored bullies who are happy to organise a conference about alcohol and tobacco without inviting representatives of either the drinks or tobacco industries, but are quick to complain and cast aspersions when a section of the hospitality industry has the initiative to organise a small event of its own to discuss the impact of the smoking ban.

Anyway, this is what ASH Scotland posted on their website earlier today:

Last week, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association publicised an event to discuss proposed retrograde moves for Scottish pubs, including reintroducing smoking areas, and using ventilation to tackle second-hand tobacco smoke. Unsurprisingly given these backwards looking, expensive and unworkable proposals, the event is part funded by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association; an organisation of just three member [sic], British American Tobacco, Gallaher Ltd (a member of Japan Tobacco), and Imperial Tobacco. It is also being organised by Oliver Griffiths who was involved in promoting the tobacco industry’s AIR (Atmosphere Improves Results) campaign. AIR targeted retailers, presenting the discredited and expensive solution of ventilation as an alternative to the smoking ban

Full article here.

My informant (who goes by the name of, er, 'Informant') commented, a little unfairly I thought, "ASH Scotland on the attack but the SLTA remain silent".

Truth is, the SLTA were probably unaware, until a short time ago, that ASH Scotland had even issued this statement.

Far from "publicising" their event, the SLTA had kept it low-key. To the best of my knowledge, invitations were issued only last week and only to a handful of interested parties. No fanfare, no press release, nothing.

This is a small private event, not a political rally, and if the SLTA need a helping hand to pay for it, who can blame them? Thanks in part to the smoking ban, neither the SLTA nor their members have a pot to piss in.

Under attack from a bully state that is now rampant north of the border, Scotland's pubs are defenceless. They need all the help they can get.

Anyway, I really didn't expect to be commenting on this but if ASH Scotland want a fight, bring it on.

Update on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 21:37 by Registered CommenterSimon Clark

From a Forest report, published last October and updated in January 2011.

ASH Scotland is the leading charity campaigning for tobacco control legislation in Scotland. It was set up in 1973 under the auspice of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and became a separate organisation to ASH United Kingdom in 1993.

ASH Scotland is a member of the Scottish Tobacco Control Alliance and the Scottish Coalition on Tobacco. It employs approximately 28 staff.

Direct income from the Scottish Government has risen steadily: £364,869 in 2004-5, £353,120 in 2005-06 and £403,800 in 2006-07.

Scottish Government funding for ASH Scotland in the financial year 2008-09 was composed of the following:

Core Grant, £255,000
Local Alliances Project, £60,000
Tobacco and Inequalities Project, £60,000
ASH Scotland Information Service, £62,950
Capital Grant, £30,737
Partnership Action on Tobacco and Health, £453,150

Total £921,837

NHS Health Scotland also provided £34,172 of funding in 2008-09.

ASH Scotland’s income for the financial year 2009-2010 was £1,053,909. The charity chooses not to publish its annual accounts – although these are available on request.

ASH Scotland’s Annual Report 2010 provides some evidence of the breakdown of funding sources – in descending order:

Government funded projects
Core funding from Government
British Heart Foundation
NHS Health Scotland
Cancer Research UK
The BIG Lottery
Donations, interest and earned income

By far the largest tranche of funding (somewhere in the region of 60%) comes from government funded projects. In December 2009, ASH Scotland received a £500,000 grant from the BIG Lottery to fund a major three year research project into smoke-free homes in Scotland.

It is understood that ASH Scotland has widened its funding portfolio since an external review was undertaken and published in August 2008.

Full report, including sources for the above information: Government lobbying government: the case of the UK tobacco control industry.

You couldn't make it up.

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