Category : rants
The World Health Organisation’s stated objective is “the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”. This is a noble goal, and in the first decades of its history the WHO worked hard to achieve it. The organisation played a major role in eradicating smallpox, for example – the only human disease ever to be completely eliminated. It’s launched massive campaigns to vaccinate against a host of other plagues, and played a major part in malaria control. When the WHO was founded in 1948 it was supposed to be a force for good, a practical symbol of humanity’s better side to set against the horrors of Nazism.
So why is it now endorsing mass murderers?
A lot of people were somewhat taken aback in 2010 when WHO director Margaret Chan, a former home economics teacher from Hong Kong, praised North Korea for its success in combating obesity. Never mind that North Korea is a Stalinist hellhole, ruled by an insane hereditary dictator whose nuclear grandstanding threatens the stability of the whole of Asia. Never mind that the anti-obesity strategy that so impresses Chan consists of making it illegal for citizens to grow their own food, forcing them to rely on a ludicrously inefficient state farming sector and triggering a series of devastating famines that have killed up to 15% of the country’s population over the past two decades. Never mind that North Koreans are so badly malnourished that they are, on average, three inches shorter than their South Korean relatives. Chan didn’t see any chubsters when she visited Pyongyang, apart from the grotesquely bloated Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, so that makes the demented regime worthy of praise in the WHO’s eyes.
But now Chan has been upstaged by some of her subordinates. Doctor Vera da Costa e Silva is a Brazilian public health administrator who’s specialised in tobacco control since the mid-1990s, and for the last two years she’s been head of the secretariat of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. You may have heard of FCTC before; they’re the bunch of authoritarian crackpots who think Interpol are agents of Big Tobacco, and who specialise in barring the press and public from their conferences. Vera da Costa claims to be pursuing an “open door policy” as FCTC head, but unless you’re a member of the tobacco control industry, just try to find out what FCTC are actually up to and that door will be firmly slammed in your face.
Anyway, today da Costa tweeted this:
Rodrigo Duterte has been president of the Philippines since this July, and he’s a fucking maniac. Since his election he’s told the police to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy against drug dealers and urged the population to murder addicts. In the last three months around 4,000 Filipino citizens have been killed, two-thirds of them by vigilantes and most of the rest by police death squads. Duterte is now proudly comparing himself to Hitler, and threatening to withdraw from the UN after it protested at the wave of slaughter he’s unleashed on his country. Meanwhile the UN’s own health agency is praising him for his work on tobacco control.
The WHO has become monomaniacal about tobacco. In June one of da Costa’s equally insane colleagues, Elizabeth Hoff, complained that the Syrian government isn’t doing enough to make smoking unattractive and should immediately introduce plain packs for cigarettes. It seems to have escaped Hoff’s notice that Syria is now five years into a genocidal civil war, and that the government is too busy fighting against a fundamentalist death cult to waste time redesigning fag packets. If you live in Syria right now, it’s probably not tobacco that’s going to kill you.
When an organisation that’s supposed to be promoting health becomes so corrupted by prohibitionist zealots that it’s willing to endorse a madman who massacres his own citizens in the streets, it is no longer fit to exist. The WHO’s senior staff need to be swept away and replaced by sane adults. And until people like the odious da Costa are gone, no civilised government or organisation should have anything to do with the FCTC. Tobacco control fanatics are now so extreme that they’re openly allying themselves with murderous criminals like Kim and Duterte. It’s time for the world to stand up and stop the bastards.