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I think I'm going to be sick

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Smoking and Health yesterday celebrated the 40th anniversary of ASH with a function at the House of Commons.

Here are some of the 'highlights':

Guests welcomed by Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams, chairman of the APPG on Smoking and Health.

Williams, Labour MP Kevin Barron (former chairman of the Health Select Committee), and public health minister Anne Milton presented with awards by Cancer Research.

Milton said it was a pleasure to celebrate ASH’s "birthday party". She then presented Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, with the World No Tobacco Day Award from the World Health Organisation.

Accepting the award, Debs thanked those who funded ASH.

Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, which founded ASH in 1971, wished a "very happy birthday to our baby, now our grown up child" and called for a campaign to "get rid of cigarettes eventually".

Prof John Moxam, chairman of ASH, compared it to his own birthday, and spoke of an "ASH family across the world".

Sir Richard, he said, was was "the father of ASH" and the support of the Royal College of Physicians has been "absolutely wonderful".

He also paid tribute to Kevin Barron who he described as a "warrior for the cause", adding, "ASH just thinks you’re magic".


Ms Milton, he said, was "tremendous", and had "won over the hearts of everyone involved".

I think I'm going to be sick ....

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Reader Comments (16)

I wonder why they didn't invite you Simon???

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 17:28 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Exactly what Party does Milton belong to? Anyone with an idea? She thinks Barron is 'Tremendous' and 'won over the hearts of everyone involved'? He's a bloody Scargellite for God's sake!

The only thing that can be said is that this 'birthday party' smacks of Kinnock's famous Sheffield rally. Other than that, pass the bucket, please (and quickly)

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 17:43 | Unregistered CommenterFrank


And me.

"ASH, 40 years of being the country's most despised fake charity. A keen ability to abuse science, manipulate statistics and make the facts up on the spot. The original abuser of human and private property rights, authoritarian intolerance and biblical misuser of public funds."

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 17:46 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Yet more taxpayer's money up in flames at a meaningless back-slapping 'function'. Or was it sponsored by Nicorette?

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 18:45 | Unregistered CommenterNeil McIntee

Oh surely not, Neil.

RCP London : Press Releases : 2008
07 Sep 2008

End tobacco smoking by 2025

"Smoked tobacco: Make smoking and smoked tobacco products as unappealing, unattractive, unaffordable and unavailable as possible, as quickly as possible."

"Existing medicinal nicotine products: To make this product group as available and attractive to smokers as possible, and to encourage smokers to switch as completely as possible to use of medicinal nicotine instead of smoking"

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 18:52 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

This 'all party parliamentary group' is not a real legal entity, is it? It is a self appointed group of individual zealots. Useful for pulling the wool over people's eyes and lobbying. A handy group to present approved studies, concocted by the Royal College of Physicians and others, while excluding any studies which do not suit.

I wonder if it was anything like ASH's AGM? Poorly attended and full of old f*rts. For a Conservative, Minton hardly gives the impression of a freedom loving Minister, does she? I.m surprised that ASH did not give her a gong, and that she did not give the WHO a gong - and why not one for the EU? Might as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 19:32 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"Existing medicinal nicotine products: To make this product group as available and attractive to smokers as possible, and to encourage smokers to switch as completely as possible to use of medicinal nicotine instead of smoking"

They just don't get it, do they.

"Hey guys, let's meet up at the Dog & Duck, have a couple of pints, slap on a nicotine patch and chew the fat..."

Yeah, right.

God, they really are a bunch of brainless, joyless wasters...

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 21:50 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

I know it's late but I'm going out for a drink in the real world.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 22:19 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I think its very sad that this article is on your website. Its their organisation, Ash that's responsible for the fact that smokers are no longer welcome in pubs and are left standing out in the street. Its them that's caused thousands of pubs to close, breaking up whole communities. Do we care about Ash low life. No. So in future spare us the unnecessary detail please !
The idea of these health fascists partying is that sickening, I feel this article, was perhaps a big mistake. ,

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 23:26 | Unregistered Commentermark

I'm back from the pub - it was great 'cos there were a few there and there was the pleasure of some good banter BUT among the same old/same old there was some incidental new!
For a small village with no parish magazine or similar I learned a lot about what various disparate groups were organising for a major (National Trust) 'do' this weekend (if you're interested in choughs you'll know where to come).
Pubs used to be the focus of so much communal activity, organisation and information but this major event has bypassed a lot of villager involvement.
Thank you ASH et al.
How many other communities are falling apart through the failing heart of their village?

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 0:39 | Unregistered CommenterChris

So much for ASH losing funding like their counterparts in the Netherlands.

While the lifting of the smoking ban would be a joyous day, I really think that seeing ASH discredited and stripped of their funding would be the one piece of news that would literally make my decade. I regard them as nothing more than a Hate group. That they are funded with money that is torn from my pocket and feted by these unaccountable, often unelected idiots sickens me.

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 1:38 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

Ash have without doubt ruined thousands of peoples social lives with their smoking ban diktat.
The idea of them partying on taxpayers money is beyond sickening, its offensive.

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 1:44 | Unregistered Commentermakr

In what way is ASH a 'grown up child' when it still relies on the Government teat?

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 3:12 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

@Mark B - They're so used to DoublethinkDoublespeak that it inflitrates what passes for their real world.

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6:38 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Whatever you do Simon, do not get too sick and need NHS hospital care!

You might stand half a chance of some modicom of care, should require an in stay, if the ward has auxilliary nurses, but none whatsoever of it only has so called 'qualified' ones - they do not seem to do the basic nursing stuff anymore!

Yet something else previous governments have managed very effectively to break but not fix and this lot are absolutely no better!

Amendments to the smoking ban would, at least, be simpler if they managed to pool the few brain cells they surely must have hiding amongst them somewhere!

Monday, June 20, 2011 at 12:04 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

I think this raises the very serious question of ministerial misconduct and bias. It is totally improper for a Minister to be cosying up to one side of the lobbying fence and so publically thanking them for their help "behind the scenes".

Also - government money is given to ASH on the caveat that none of it is to be spent lobbying government. Why then does it contravene this agreement by funding the parliamentary lobby group that is the smoking APPG?

I think everyone should write to the DH on this as ASH's funding should be reviewed in the light of them breaking the agreement on which they have accepted government money; moreover there should be an investigation into whether the legilsation needs to be reviewed following the Minister's public admission of 'behind the scenes' dealings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 16:08 | Unregistered CommenterMN

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