In 1990 the UK Government Select Committee on Environment held an enquiry into the alleged dangers of passive smoke. Anti smoking group ASH UK attempted to solicit private meetings with the committee members prior to the hearing and also suggested, in a letter to committee members, questions that should be asked that were designed to discredit their opposition.
This attempt by ASH to subvert the course of justice in an official Government enquiry might be unsurprising in our 21st Century healthist society where public health institutions and health charities can act with impunity but in 1990 they didn’t get away with it.
Fortunately their misgivings and subsequent public grilling by the Chairman of the committee was recorded on video to remind future generations how highly funded special interest groups behaved in order to force their will onto society.
The video that we link to at the bottom of this page begins with the Government Committee Chairman Sir Hugh Rossi disclosing the contents of a letter that individual committee members received from ASH, In that letter ASH:
Invited members of the committee to be briefed privately by an ASH representative prior to the commencement of the official hearing
Attempted to discredit an opposing professional witness by associating him with a vague tobacco industry connection
Suggested questions that the committee should ask witnesses at the enquiry
All of the above borders on criminal activity designed purely to subvert the course of justice in an official enquiry and is sadly all too familiar within the tobacco control movement. The purpose of an enquiry in a free society is and always should be to evaluate evidence from all sides, not for one side to "brief" their judges and formulate questions for the opposition designed to discredit them.
The video represents an extraordinary insight into the methods and activity of ASH and it is refreshing to see justice served as they get a rightful grilling from Sir Hugh.