James Le Fanu

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James Le Fanu was a British newspaper columnist who delighted in his "curmudgeon" image. He was popular at the time in Britain along with Bernard Levin and Auberon Waugh (also popular newspaper columnist) who made constant celebrity appearances on radio and TV.

They were all paid by the tobacco industry to:

  • Criticise the "Nanny State" -- which became their shorthand way of maintaining that health and environmental regulations of products were unnecessary.
  • Attacking the Welfare State, which brought them into alignment with Thatcherism.
  • Promoting a bon vivant lifestyle ... that enjoyment of life consists of good food, good wine and relaxing in the smoke-filled atmosphere of your club.

Their real commercial message was the enjoyment of a cigarette or cigar after your indulgences -- obviously in the company of witty intellectual friends.

They promoted this message around the world through claimed membership of a pseudo-scientific organisation, known as ARISE (Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment). Their first-class travel to these phantom conferences (although some had an appearance of substance) would be funded by various companies in the tobacco industry while ARISE itself and its promoter, Professor David Warburton of Reading University, were paid hansomely by Philip Morris.

The media in various countries were keen to get these celebrities in their night-time talk shows, and the local newspapers always interviewed them, so it was a highly effective way of promoting the pro-smoking (anti-regulatory) message.