There has been a flurry of self-righteous indignation from our medical profession overlords, of course, but little so far from the likes of, say, ASH. Perhaps - considering their usual modus operandi of producing cleverly constructed 'statistics' to 'prove' whichever departure from sanity they are promoting at any time - they just haven't any defence for their utter uselessness right now, so are laying low.
Yes, there was a puff piece last month regurgitating their prior sleight of hand [pdf], but nothing to convince the coalition axemen that ASH themselves are vital or in any way popular.
You know what they need? Figures to show that the public really love them. Yes, that would do it. I dunno, maybe something like a survey directed at those most likely to give the correct responses (and mailed out on Thursday), for example?
"I am writing to ask you to take part in ASH’s public reputation survey, a tightly targeted piece of quantitative market research designed to help us understand perceptions of ASH and its effectiveness among people who are important to our work.So who would these 'tightly targeted' people be? Perhaps question 1 of 20 addresses that (emphasis mine throughout).
The research findings will be presented to the ASH Board of Trustees summarising the issues and challenges facing the organisation."
What is your main connection to ASH? Tick more than one if appropriate.Yes, ASH staff and board members are being asked how the public view them. Along with those whose salary relies on government funding for anti-smoking initiatives, and the odd member of the public ... tightly targeted, of course.
- ASH staff
- ASH Board member
- PCT employee
- Local authority employee
- Member of the Smokefree Action Coalition
- Member of general public/general interest
- Stop Smoking counsellor
- Other (please specify)
Question 3 gets to the point.
How much would you agree or disagree with the following comments about ASH?Now, when you're finally finished sniggering at some of those, can we move on to question 18?
- insufficiently resourced
- factually credible
- effective networkers
- evidence based campaigners
Which of the following would you see as important priorities for ASH over the next five years (The most important - tick one only in this column. Important but not most important - tick as many as apply)Yep, I reckon that with their selection of respondents, the mere mention of funding to those who are no doubt worried about their state-financed mortgages, and the exclusion of all but the most trusted members of the public, they may well be able to cobble together something to convince dullard MPs that ASH are more popular than Jesus and therefore indispensable.
- Coordinating and leading the work of the Smokefree Action Coalition
- Working to ensure sustained funding for tobacco control
- Campaigning for continued government support for a comprehensive tobacco control strategy
- Supporting implementation of the Health Act legislation to prohibit tobacco displays at point of sale and sale of tobacco from vending machines
- Supporting local advocacy
- Revealing tobacco industry malpractice
- Maintaining a reputation for impartial advice
- Promoting tobacco control to the media
- Providing up to date information on tobacco issues
- Producing reports on key issues in tobacco control
- Responding to consultations on public health issues to ensure that tobacco is taken into account in the development of public policy
- Commissioning research to add to the evidence base for tobacco control (e.g. opinion polling, economic reports etc.)
- Supporting development and implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
- Supporting tobacco control implementation at EU level
- Other (please specify)
Me? I find it satisfying that ASH are at last admitting that one of their main purposes is simply to justify their very existence.