Another Chris Snowdon quote, again in respect of plain packaging:
“It is extraordinary that a government which claims to be against excessive regulation should be contemplating a law which even the provisional wing of the anti-smoking lobby considered unthinkable until very recently. It seems that fanaticism has become institutionalised and a handful of extremists have become the de facto policy makers in matters related to tobacco. The public are gradually waking up to the fact that these neo-prohibitionists will never be satisfied. There is always another cause to campaign for, always new demands to be met. If it is not smoking, it is drinking. If it is not drinking, it is eating.”
It is indeed extraordinary, and fanaticism does indeed seem to have become institutionalised, and policy is now being made by extremists, and by nobody else.
I found myself wondering whether there have been any examples at all of fanatical antismoking measures which have ever been kicked into touch. We have the comprehensive and draconian smoking ban, and on the way we have the removal of tobacco shop displays and and the introduction of plain packaging. There are also calls for in-car smoking bans, and outdoor bans as well (e.g. Stony Stratford). How long before smoking is banned outdoors and in cars? How long before smoking is then banned in people’s own homes? Is there any point where this government will say Enough Is Enough?
I’m beginning to think that there isn’t, and fanaticism really has become institutionalised, and now completely determines policy. One measure after another is suggested, publicised, and then implemented. There is a minimum of ‘consultation’, during which objections (such as those by tobacco retailers) are ignored. The proposals just get rammed through anyway. The decisions have already been made.
Then there was that Your Choice online public ‘consultation’ a year or so back in which calls for an end to the smoking ban were ignored, with Nick Clegg saying that the death penalty would be introduced before the smoking ban was lifted. So much for online public consultation.
Is there any point, in such circumstances, in anyone going along with this charade of public consultation, and appearing on TV or radio with the likes of Deborah Arnott? It only helps the government make it look like they’re consulting, when in fact they’re not.
And I increasingly feel that the same is happening with AGW alarmism. Despite the rise in public scepticism – particularly since Climategate -, the UK government appears to be hell bent on continuing with its ruinous carbon emission targets, and last year’s BBC report in the aftermath of Climategate concluded that sceptics (or “deniers”) should not be granted any more of a hearing than they ever were. Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of this separate extremist agenda either.
It’s looks more and more as if there is a timetable of events. And the next stage will be to start restricting alcohol, and many varieties of foods. These proposals will also be accompanied by more fake public consultations, and then rammed through anyway, regardless of any opposition.