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King James Responsible

10-May-2011 Sending on this bit that was published in SMH today.  It was in response to now being the 400th anniversary of the King James version of the Bible.  The editor did leave out a few bits that gave it punch. No matter. It was exciting to get it published.            

The beautiful language lovingly preserved in the King James version of the Bible is something for which we should all have gratitude.  There are other words we could honour that pertain to King James.

In 1603 in  “A Counter Blast to Tobacco “ , he described that product as  ‘a custom loathsome to the eye , hateful to the nose , harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs ‘.  And somewhere else he wrote   ‘ Tobacco makes a kitchen of the inward parts of men soiling and infecting them with an unctuous and oily kind of soot ‘.     Lovely words.   ‘Unctuous and oily kind of soot ‘ rolls beautifully off the tongue.

I think James was the one who chopped off Sir Walter Raleigh’s head.  This was for treason but it should have been for introducing tobacco  to   Europe.

Later with the failure of the settlement at Jamestown  ( they didn’t find gold as planned) , James did a complete backflip  and introduced taxation on tobacco.  Tobacco was the new gold.

So in a way this king who was responsible for that wonderful version of the Bible , in a way is responsible for the health of his  heirs.  That would be King George  v1 ( our beloved king who  was healed of his stutter) and his daughter Margaret both of whom had health problems  that could be related to their habit of cigarette smoking.

So in the effort to do damage to the tobacco industry  and thus improve the health of Australians , the Royal Family could do something worthwhile in the world.  After all it was  once promoted by them with a message on some packets which read  ‘by permission of her Majesty the Queen’.

From the Bible to tobacco.  That’s quite a story.

 I have an idea  - when a movie is made about this or similar ,that the tobacco scenes are for a few seconds switched to black and white before technicolor comes on again.


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