Smoke, Drink And Eat Whatever You Want: Norway’s Public Health Minister
11 May 2019
For years we have been lectured and harangued by the bansturbators, (that is, the people who get off on stopping us doing things that give us pleasure,) their fingers wagging furiously in our faces as they tell us smoking will kill us, even looking at an alcpholic drink will destroy our livrers, a pinch of salt will cause heart attacks, strokes and acute asplaxification of the nurdlers, a cream cake or two will make us obese, a steak dinner or a burger will give us cancer, and driving our cars will destroy the planet. So it was a pleasure to come across a news item about a politician who believes adults can be trusted to behave sensibly and left make their own choices in life.
Norway’s new public health minister, Sylvi Listhaug is such a politician, she believes that adults don’t need the constant lectures and admonishments from government about what they put into their bodies – telling Norway’s state broadcaster NRK that “people should be allowed to smoke, drink and eat as much red meat as they like,” according to a report in the snowflakes favourite journal, the New York Times.
Norwegian Health Secretary Sylvie Listhaug – Picture: http://www.hegnar.no/
“The government may provide information, but I think people in general know what is healthy and what is not,” she added.
The interview – published a few days into her new role as head of the ministry, was “dotted with the kind of sharp, controversial comments Ms. Listhaug, deputy leader of the right-wing, anti-immigration Progress Party, is known for,” reports the Times – which promptly goes on to disparage the conservative politician for actually believing in individual freedom and personal responsibility, two of the basic principles of real liberalism, (we all know people who ‘identify’ as liberals do so only because hir sounds cuddlier and less threaening that if they were honest and called themselves fascistic authoritarians.
Ms Listhaug is no stranger to controversy, as immigration minister she made headlines in 2017 with disparaging comments about Sweden, saying that Norway should not become like its neighbor, which was accepting more refugeesnd African despite having experiences a huge rise in crome rates, especiall in sex crimed by middle – eastern a males against European women since abolishing border controls and letting all comers claim residency in the country. Last year, she resigned as justice minister after comments about terrorists
(which were in fact true,) she made on Facebook threatened to bring down the government.
This week, opposition politicians and health advocates suffered collective apoplexy as they tried to outdo each other in denouncing in the strongest terms Ms. Listhaug’s comments on habits that are hyped as major risk factors for many serious diseases, all of which are big money spinners for Big Pharma
The secretary general of Norway’s Cancer Society, Anne Lise Ryel was shocked by the comments – saying in a statement: “I fear that this will set public health efforts back for decades, and that this will compromise the general understanding among Norwegians of the health consequences of tobacco and alcohol use.” It is notable that a way of preventing cancer (and some maverick doctors say a cure,) has been available since the 1960s but no public health charity or government department in the democratic world is promoting it. Could that be, perhaps, that no expensive drugs, therapies or surgery are involved, only self discipline.
Ryel has called for Listhaug to be removed from her post, adding that “she seems to lack understanding of what public health really means and what her role as minister in that area should be.” Perhaps she understands more than Ryel admits. This publication knows public health is about shovelling taxpayers’ money into Big Pharma’s coffers.
Listhaug stuck to her guns, fireing back in a Friday email to the Times, writing: “The government believes that people have to take responsibility for their own life, but the government has to make sure that everyone can make healthy and informed choices.”
“The number of daily smokers has declined sharply since 2000,” she added. “This confirms that the Norwegian tobacco policy and control strategy works.”
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2017, 11 percent of Norwegians aged 15 or older smoked daily, one of the lowest rates among the group’s 34 member nations. Norway has also had the steepest decrease of any of the countries since 2000, when the equivalent figure was 32 percent.
The Eurosceptoc Progress Party has been a junior partner in Norway’s center-right governing coalition since 2013. Its rise to prominence created unease, coming just two years after a far-right, anti-Muslim extremist who had once belonged to the party killed 77 people in a murderous rampage. It;s rapid rise has accompanied a crime wave in the immigrant communities of Noway’s cities, with turf wars between rival immigrant gangs for control of the drugs and sex trades often erupting into violence on the streeets of the capital city Oslo.
Governments around the world have stepped up campaigns to fight unhealthy habits usually be imposing punitive taxation. France recently told people not to drink every day; a soda tax in Britain has helped lower sugar levels in some drinks, and Australia’s graphic warnings on cigarette packages, considered a success, are being copied in other countries. –New York Times While governments claim success for their authoritarian attacks on personal liberty, the rise in contraband goods smuggled from nations were taxes on tobacco and alcohol are low or zero has risen astronomically and in Europe there have been cases of small factories being set up producing low quality cigarettes made with cheap tobacco in in healthy conditions, which are paked in fake reproductions of leading brand packaging and passed off as the real thing.
Listhaug also said that smokers in Norway are made to feel like “pariahs,” and that she would not be the “moral police” in government – echoing comments made by Austria’s far-right defense of freedom of choice in their oppostion of antismoking legislation.
Listhaug is a former regular smoker who told NRK that she is now just a social smoker.