Sunday, November 21, 2010
The BBC, among others, is reporting the comments of Andrew Lansley regarding plain packaging for cigarette packs. I could rant and rave about this ludicrous bullshit that the government, supposedly dedicated to reducing state interference, is proposing but Dick Puddlecoat has already done so in brilliant fashion. Unlike the other reports I've read the BBC devotes a huge amount space in their initial article to fakecharity mouthpiece Martin Dockrell.
Why did it take 11 hours from the time the story was first published to include a counter argument to balance the piece? It's not as if this is a non-contentious issue. There is no definitive proof that I've seen that plain packaging will reduce smoking rates or smoking take up. I guess that's another attempt at point 6 (page 18) [google docs].
I'm also curious to know why the editor of this story decided to change 'ASH' to 'Ash'. ASH's site uses complete capitalisation for their name so why change it? Do the lower case letters soften the acronym somehow?
The final paragraph of the article, which has remained through all revisions, made me chuckle in an ironic, spurious ASH lies, kind of a way. If hiding tobacco out of the way changes young people's attitudes to it how can it do anything other than reduce the future turnover of those businesses that sell it? If it doesn't result in retailers losing money then it doesn't have an impact on smoking rates which renders the whole experiment completely pointless.
Returning to the announcement a thought crossed my mind. Maybe someone in the higher echelons of government who is an anti-smoking smoker wants plain packaging to appease his guilt at a habit that he considers filthy? Maybe he thinks that plain packaging will make it easier to hide his pleasure from his family? Who knows.
Any anti-smokers who have stumbled across this page who think plain packaging is a great idea stop for a moment and think. The anti-smoking lobby tactics have been emulated by the anti-alcohol lobby and the anti-obesity lobby. If this idea gains traction then how long before legislation is brought forward so all of our purchases are packaged in this way? Reducing state interference in our lives? My arse.
Go and read Dick Puddlecoat's take on the story. Especially if you voted Conservative.