Chris Snowdon

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Patrick Basham and Christopher Snowdon at a TICAP conference[1]
Chris Snowdon, is the author of The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything which was co-published with the Democracy Institute and Little Dice, and Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: A History of Anti-Smoking which was published by Little Dice.[2] Snowdon is described on the website of his book on smoking regulation as 'an independent researcher and author and has no affiliation or financial ties with the tobacco industry or any anti-smoking group'. He had been a research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs since January 2012[3] and is adjunct scholar at the Democracy Institute, a think tank with close links to the tobacco industry.[4]

Biography

According to the biography on his blog site:

Christopher Snowdon was born in North Yorkshire in 1976 and lives with his wife, daughter and cat in Sussex. He studied history at Lancaster University and is now a freelance journalist and author. He writes for the online magazine Spiked and on his own blog. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian and he has appeared on numerous radio programmes, including the BBC's The Moral Maze.[5]

Snowdon graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in history in 1998.[6]

Press Coverage and Reviews

Praise from Ed West

Telegraph journalist Ed West praises Snowdon's work as forming part of a modern political movement of 'Skeptics', he says:

One of the most popular political movements of the past few years has been the “Skeptics”, a group of bloggers who look at political issues from an evidence-based viewpoint. The movement is entirely atheist and almost entirely Left-wing, and yet apart from the libertarian Christopher Snowdon (who has done some excellent work blogging a big tunnel underneath The Spirit Level), there are very few conservative skeptics around.[7]

West singled out Snowdon's book attacking The Spirit Level for particular praise, arguing:

Next time someone starts spouting off about “equality” – a goal that has dug more graves than all the gods in history combined – send them a copy of Snowdon’s excellent book and make sure they read it from cover to cover.[8]

West promoted Snowdon's blog in 2011 arguing that:

After all, as Christopher Snowdon points out (after reading his blog about the lies, mania and all around irrationality of the taxpayer-funded health campaigning industry, the term “health fascist” starts to look like an insult to Mussolini), Britain has the third-highest alcohol taxes in Europe.[9]

In 2012, West blogged for the Telegraph promoting Snowdon's report on charity funding.[10]

Citing Ed West

In Snowdon's blog written to support his Velvet Glove: Iron Fist book about smoking regulation, he cites articles by Ed West in March and June 2010.[11][12]

Self Publishing

Screengrab of Chris Snowdon from Snowdon Video website

All of Chris Snowdon's books have been published by Little Dice (The Spirit Level Delusion was published by Little Dice in conjunction with the Democracy Institute). According to its website Little Dice is a publisher which utilises a system of 'print-on-demand' (POD) publishing and concentrate on publishing 'economic, social and historical books'.[13]

To date, the publisher has only printed three books which were all written by Snowdon. The books are The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything which was co-published with the Democracy Institute, Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: A History of Anti-Smoking and The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition. The Little Dice website was designed by Devil's Kitchen and its domain is registered to Chris Mounsey.[14][15]

Little Dice is not registered with Companies House however in 2011 Little Dice published its (and Snowdon's) third book. The book lists the postal address for Little Dice as:

Little Dice
Trinity Farm, Middleton Quernhow
Ripon, North Yorkshire
HG4 5HX
United Kingdom

According to companies house this is the address for Snowdon Video, a wedding video firm.[16] The Snowdon Video website has a picture of Chris Snowdon on its home page posing for a wedding picture.[17] The director of Snowdon video is Peter Snowdon who is also a reader at the church where Chris Snowdon got married, the church has been described as Chris Snowdon's 'family church'.[18][19][20]

Tobacco Industry Connections

2008 FORCES International Round Table

On the 16-July-2008 Snowdon did an interview for the 'FORCES international round table'. FORCES describe how he is 'fascinated by the antismoking movement and the growth of the antismoking hysteria as a social phenomenon'.[21]

2009 The International Coalition Against Prohibition Conference

The International Coalition Against Prohibition held their first world conference in Brussels on the 27-28th January 2009. Christopher Snowdon was in attendence alongside others with close links to the tobacco industry including John Luik and representatives from FORCES.[22]

Chris Snowdon raised questions at the conference over the funding of charities such as ASH, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the WHO who he accused of being funded by pharmaceutical lobbyists.[23]

2010 The International Coalition Against Prohibition Conference

Christopher Snowdon chaired the 2010 The International Coalition Against Prohibition which was also attended by Patrick Basham.[24]

Global Tobacco Networking Forum June 2012

In 2012 Snowdon attended the Global Tobacco Networking Forum in Antwerp, he presented a two part talk on 'The history of the tobacco control movement'.[25] The conference sessions were introduced by Patrick Basham.[26]

Representatives from British American Tobacco, Council of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America, Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Universal Corporation, Tobacco Manufacturers' Association in the UK, JCIC International were also in attendance.[27]

Sugar Industry connections

Activities

Conservative Party Conference September 2016

According to the Morning Star he spoke at a 'rally against the so-called sugar tax' organised by the Policy Exchange think-tank (sponsored by the British Soft Drinks Association) during the Conference.

'Policy Exchange had a great big tent inside the secure zone of Tory conference, prominently erected at the entrance to the main hall. About 150 delegates squished into the marquee to listen to the meeting on “[W]ill taxing soft drinks create more economic harm than benefit?” [...] The speakers were Gavin Partington, head of the British Soft Drinks Association (against the tax), a doctor (against the tax) a 'commentator' (against the tax) and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (against the tax).'

The doctor was actually Rachel Joyce, a Tory party activist and former adviser to Andrew Lansley. She told Morning Star reporters that the sugar tax was a 'token gesture' and that 'personal responsibility,' not the tax, was the real answer. The 'commentator' turned out to be Snowdon, from the free market Institute of Economic Affairs, author of a much-criticised 2014 report arguing that 'anti-market policies aimed at the whole population such as fat taxes will do nothing for the nation’s health'. As for Jacob Rees-Mogg, he argued that: 'Seventy-five per cent of us are not obese and why should we be taxed for something that isn’t doing us any harm,' adding that the tax meant 'taking away a periodic treat' from the 'poorest in society' and asking, 'If people are living on marginal incomes, do you really want to hit them harder?. [28]

Publications

Opinion and Press Articles

Reports

Christopher Snowdon, (2012), The Wages of Sin Taxes, Adam Smith Institute

Books

  • Chris Snowdon, (2011), The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition, Little Dice
  • Chris Snowdon, (2010), The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact Checking the Left's New Theory of Eveything, Little Dice/The Democracy Institute
  • Chris Snowdon (2009), Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: A History of Anti-Smoking, Little Dice: Online

Affiliations

Democracy Institute | Little Dice | Ed West | Spiked | TaxPayers' Alliance | The International Coalition Against Prohibition | The Free Society | Devil's Kitchen | Chris Mounsey | Institute of Economic Affairs | Global Tobacco Networking Forum | Battle of Ideas | Adam Smith Institute | ConservativeHome | FORCES | Timbro

Resources

Notes

  1. 2nd TICAP Conference: Morning Q&A session (Part 2), Conference Video, Youtube, 28-March-2010, Accessed 17-August-2012
  2. Little Dice, Home Page, LittleDice.co.uk, Accessed 16-December-2010
  3. People, Christopher Snowdon - Research Fellow, Institute of Economic Affairs, Accessed 20-August-2012
  4. Velvet Glove, Iron Fist, About the Author, Velvetgloveironfist.com, Accessed 16-December-2010
  5. About the Author, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist, The website of Christopher Snowdon, Accessed 14-November-2012
  6. Alumni Magazine Autumn/Winter 2009, Wedding News, Lancaster University, Accessed 20-August-2012
  7. Ed West, The Eurosceptics were right, but so are the welfare-sceptics, multiculturalism-sceptics and sex education-sceptics, The Telegraph, 22-November-2010, Accessed 16-December-2010
  8. Ed West, Does recycling cause suicide? Or why The Spirit Level is wrong and more equal societies are not happier, The Telegraph, 9-July-2010, Accessed 16-Decemder-2010
  9. Ed West, Britain will never have a Mediterranean drinking culture, The Telegraph, 14-December-2011, Accessed 22-August-2012
  10. Ed West, Charity sock puppetry: how government lobbies itself for more government, and we pay, The Telegraph, 11-June-2012, Accessed 22-August-2012
  11. Chris Snowdon, Faith Based Science, Velvetgloveironfist, 14-June-2010
  12. Chris Snowdon, The Bully State Marches On, Velvetgloveironfist, 1-March-2010
  13. Little Dice, Home Page, LittleDice.co.uk, Accessed 16-December-2010
  14. Home, Welcome to Little Dice, Little Dice, Accessed 17-August-2012
  15. Littledice.co.uk, LittleDice.co.uk Whois Record, Domain Tools, Accessed 18-August-2012
  16. Snowdon Video Production Limited, Company Details, Companies House, Accessed 18-August-2012
  17. Chris.jpg, Home Page, Snowdon Video, Accessed 19-August-2012
  18. Peter Snowdon, Snowdon Video Production Limited, Directors in the UK, 22-August-2012
  19. Parish Profile, Parish Profile, United Parish of Kirklington, Burneston, Wath and Pickhill, Accessed 22-August-2012
  20. Emma and Chris - The Proposal, Traditional English wedding at a country house hotel, You&YourWedding, Accessed 22-August-2012
  21. Interview with Chris Snowdon, FORCES International Round Table, FORCES, Accessed 20-August-2012
  22. Conference report, Conference Report, TICAP, Accessed 17-August-2012
  23. Pat Nurse, Applaud smokers' fightback against state prohibition, Sunday Express, 1-February-2009
  24. Conference Report, ARE GUESTS WELCOME? PROHIBITION AND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, TICAP, Accessed 17-August-2012
  25. The Agenda, The history of the tobacco control movement parts 1 & 2, Global Tobaco Networking Forum, Accessed 20-August-2012
  26. The Agenda, Patrick Basham, director, The Democracy Institute, sets the morning agenda and introduces first speaker, Global Tobaco Networking Forum, Accessed 20-August-2012
  27. The Agenda, Agenda, Global Tobaco Networking Forum, Accessed 20-August-2012
  28. Solomon Hughes, Obesity Warning: Fat Cats’ Pimps At Work, Morning Star, 14 October 2016. Accessed 17 October 2016.