Good Riddance Too

In addition to Andrew Lansley, Anne Milton has been fired too.

Nursing minister Anne Milton lost her job in the Cabinet reshuffle.

The former nurse has been a parliamentary under-secretary of state for health since the general election in 2010. Her portfolio included nursing and public health.

In the reshuffle, which saw health secretary Andrew Lansley replaced by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, former journalist Anna Soubry was appointed under-secretary of state for health.

However, portfolios for new ministers have not yet been agreed so it is not clear who will take on responsibility for nursing in the new Department of Health ministerial team.

Earl Howe was the only DH minster to keep his job in the shake-up.

Mr Lansley will become leader of the House of Commons while health minister Simon Burns was promoted to transport minister. He is expected to be replaced by Dan Poulter, a qualified doctor.

Simon Clark seems to think that Milton may have been fired for getting too chummy with ASH. But since that all dates back to June of last year, it doesn’t seem likely to me that this explains her departure now.

Furthermore (H/T Pat Nurse), any suggestion of a change in policy was rather undermined  by Dan Poulter writing in the Guardian last month in favour of plain packaging. Poulter actually is a real doctor. He also has a 100% antismoking voting record. Jeremy Hunt is only 50% in favour. As is Anna Soubry.

Soubry is an ex-smoker. And she believes in legalising cannabisWriting in 2009:

I lead a busy life, tend to burn the candle at both ends and only stopped smoking almost a year ago.

What GPs need to know about Jeremy Hunt.

But here’s this from Jeremy Hunt’s website (my emphases added):

Local pubs in South West Surrey are being denied business rate cuts by the Government, Jeremy Hunt MP warned this week. Pub landlords could be paying thousands of pounds over the odds in tax, but are being kept in the dark by tax inspectors who want to avoid paying out tax refunds.

· Five pubs closing every day: The British Beer & Pub Association has estimated that pubs are now closing at the rate of 36 a week – five a day. This is due to the impact of the smoking ban, fragile consumer confidence, ruthless competition from supermarkets and the higher beer taxes.

· Government guidance on taxing pubs: Parliamentary Questions have revealed unpublished internal guidance by the Valuation Office Agency (an arm of HM Revenue & Customs) on how local firms should be charged business rates. It admits that they have been giving out the wrong advice to firms on the effect of the smoking ban. Until recently, the tax inspectors refused to give any business rate reduction for the loss of custom due to the ban. Their latest guidance now admits – based on advice from top lawyers – that the smoking ban represents a ‘material change’. Pubs could use this to make a claim for a lower ‘rateable value’ and thus cut their yearly rates bill. For example, a £5,000 reduction in rateable value would save publicans £2,300 a year in tax.

· Local firms kept in the dark: Pubs can only apply for this tax cut if they make an appeal and fill out complex paperwork. Yet the Government has made no announcement about the potential for tax refunds to local pubs across England and Wales. Business rates are the third biggest outlay for local firms after rent and staff costs.

Jeremy said: “Local pubs in South West Surrey are a vital part of our social fabric and community life. Pubs are suffering from the onslaught of higher beer taxes, a weakening economy, supermarkets selling alcohol below cost price and the public smoking ban.

Whatever people’s views on the smoking ban, it has been a significant change that has affected many pubs. The Government’s own tax inspectors have now admitted that pubs may be eligible for refunds on their business rates, but local pub owners are being kept in the dark on this u-turn. I would urge all pub-owners to look into whether they are paying too much in business rates.”

Clearly Hunt is well aware of the adverse impact of the smoking ban.

Makes a change?

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24 Responses to Good Riddance Too

  1. magnetic01 says:

    (excerpts)
    More must be done to curb smoking habits, or Europe will face an overwhelming chronic disease problem in both economic and social terms, according to the European Commission’s deputy director general health and consumers Martin Seychell.

    Describing tobacco smoking as the “single most avoidable cause of death” Seychell said plans to lower the number of people who smoke cigarettes should be part of any global response to tackle chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    Highlighting the importance of such efforts, Seychell told the ERS Congress that 87.5 per cent of deaths in the EU are as a result of chronic disease, with such numbers increasing pressure on healthcare systems and having a significantly negative effect on the productivity of the region’s workforce.

    Respiratory diseases and lung cancer in particular were highlighted as growing problems, but were also areas where the most could be done, with policies that target their main cause – smoking – the most amenable for EU politicians to implement.

    “[With] the evidence that there is for the risk of tobacco, there’s no excuse not to do anything,” Seychell said.

    He did outline some anti-smoking successes, with a 20 per cent decrease in recent years in the number of Europeans who smoke, as bans on smoking in public areas have been implemented, alongside further restrictions on where tobaccos can be displayed and higher profile warning notices.

    But these efforts have been “significant” rather than “sufficient”, Seychell said, and he added that the tobacco industry had adapted its efforts to the EC measures in order to keep people buying cigarettes.
    http://www.pmlive.com/pharma_news/tougher_smoking_measures_needed_halt_spread_chronic_diseases_europe_421291

  2. magnetic01 says:

    The usual, Frank…… the spamalangarated file. Thanks.

  3. wobbler2012 says:

    “Clearly Hunt is well aware of the adverse impact of the smoking ban.”

    That will soon be “Clearly Hunt was well aware of the adverse impact of the smoking ban but has forgotten about that now he has his new job.”

  4. magnetic01 says:

    NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:
    An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

    Although nearly all domain experts agree that human CO2 emissions are altering the world’s climate, segments of the public remain unconvinced by the scientific evidence.
    Internet blogs have become a vocal platform for climate denial, and bloggers have taken a prominent and influential role in questioning climate science.
    http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    I was breaking into 10 Downing street tonight and as I pushed the Prime Ministers couch aside and searched under the throw carpet,what did I find but a Repeal Bill for the Smoking ban!

    I dusted it off as it seems it was written the day after the former was passed.

    And thers more,it seems theres provisons for a 90% reduction in tobacco taxes to destroy the blackmarket in tobacco. Then theres a provision for Pubs to be reimbursed for financial losses since the ban implementation. Then the smokers will be given Tax refunds against the over charges in taxes over the last 5 years. A Blanket 10,000 pound check to each smoker who has had their lives disrupted due to the smoking ban………..

    Thats about it I had to get out real quick,the Bobby was waking up!

  6. “I would urge all pub-owners to look into whether they are paying too much in business rates”

    Indeed Frank – however does this include all those publicans who said the smoking ban has not affected them?

  7. smokingscot says:

    This has been denied by Cameron and it’s been pulled by the Telegraph so, while the truth is out there I’ve pulled up the story that some of them burst into tears and some even had tantrums when Dave gave ‘em their marching orders. Two females, one male.

    Have my suspicions about the fella. Someone so out of touch with reality he honestly thought he could carry on like a bully indefinately.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/05/david-cameron-made-minister-cry-when-he-fired-them_n_1857741.html?view=print

  8. james higham says:

    I understand there was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    ECB announces it will buy up EU debts on 3 year bond referendum. In actuality it means its going to print 100s of billions of euro’s to keep the game alive for a tad bit longer. It means that the entire EU will collapse as one unit rather than a few at a time! Notice that the IMF or the World Bank are buying anything as its obvious they dont have the funds to do it,its that big!

    So last man standing will seem to be the IMF and World Bank,but in a post EU world will they have any clout or money even.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Oh and a code of ethics is being bantied about that so called EU leaders arent to even breath breakup or put down the EU in name or speak negatively of it!

      It appears the Telegraph pulled that part of their story but tis still in the comments section!

      We may have to talk directly in the European Council to consider whether we should come up with a code of conduct for public remarks by the people who love to call themselves European leaders.”
      We will allow no dissent. We will allow no discussion. You will do as we say!

      Why does this sound so much like 1950′s Stalinism???

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/debt-crisis-live/9523681/Debt-crisis-live.html

      15.28 Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has taken a swipe at the UK’s “Plan A” and warned the country faces a 1930s-style slump.

      In an assault on the policies pursued by David Cameron’s government, Mr Summers said that “excessive slashing of public budgets” must be abandoned.

      We have avoided the prospect of a 1930s-like experience in the United States. I cannot say the same with respect to Great Britain. The downturn in British output is more sustained than at any point in the 20th century.”

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Another ”hit and run” initiative from Simon Chapman:
    Hate mail and cyber trolls: the view from inside public health

    This article self-depicting Chapman as the victim of ”cyber sewage trolls”, was posted 6 September 2012, 6.33am AEST at http://theconversation.edu.au/hate-mail-and-cyber-trolls-the-view-from-inside-public-health-9329

    Save an exception or two from dissenting voices, a group hug discussion among public health advocates unfolded in the comment section. However, the comments closed pretty quickly when the discussion started to be somewhat confronting with Michael J. McFadden asking some pointy questions of Chapman. Although Chapman did reply, the comments are now already closed without giving niether McFadden or anyone else a chance to comment further. Par for the course for Chapman who played the same tactic on a facebook group who he made vanish after being asked some pointy questions:

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      http://cagecanada.blogspot.ca/2011/09/you-can-run-but-you-cannot-hide.html

      The ”conversation” article has however been picked up here http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TheExchange/2012/09/06/hate_mail_and_cyber_trolls.html where anyone wishing to comment still can. (I can’t guarantee for how long). Hate mail and cyber trolls: the view from inside public healththeconversation.edu.au

      The Charlotte Dawson troll saga shocked many Australians, with revelations of vile tweets, death thr…

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        So Simple Simons back to playing the VICTIM CARD again,I gather Simon wishes he were also Black so he could toss in the race card!

        • beobrigitte says:

          He plays the TC victim card well

          But nothing prepared me for the UK’s Christopher Snowdon, an “independent” blogger who is now a cyber errand boy for Big Tobacco. I’ve copped “grandpa”, “scrotum-faced head-banger” and “wrinkled rocker”, all because I have attained the advanced age of 60 and sing in a band.

          Being 60 is fine, I am not far from that myself. And, like Chapman, I do play in a band. And, Hell, Yeah, I AM a wrinkled rocker, so what?? There are many wrinkled rockers out there – most of them still are SMOKERS.

          With life expectancy of at least another 20 years, about half of young Master Christopher’s age, I plan to be around for a while.

          There is no reason why we should not be around for another 30 years, either. Bear in mind, Mr. Chapman,though, dementia/Alzheimer’s strikes unexpected. And, should I end up in 30 years with either of these conditions, you will wish to put a bullet through my head.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Sorry Frank you didnt make the quoted list in the story,perhaps a new hanging blog entry by a few of us can make the diference. Im quite sad I didnt make the hit list either……….

  12. beobrigitte says:

    · Five pubs closing every day: The British Beer & Pub Association has estimated that pubs are now closing at the rate of 36 a week – five a day. This is due to the impact of the smoking ban, fragile consumer confidence, ruthless competition from supermarkets and the higher beer taxes.

    Lets hope Hunt remembers he wrote this.
    Well, the highlighted one can easily be changed. It will also help to get the pub trade going again. It might also entice people like me – who do survive shopping trips only with sufficient coffee & cigarette breaks – back into town.

  13. jaxthefirst says:

    “ … Milton may have been fired for getting too chummy with ASH.”

    I doubt that it was the sole reason, but I bet it didn’t help. With this Government steadfastly trying to pretend that the smoking ban is a “done deal” and that everyone’s forgotten what life was like before it, Milton and Lansley’s shenanigans – bringing the whole subject back into the public’s consciousness as they did – are hardly going to be seen as the most supportive and helpful of actions are they? One just has to hope that the new incumbents of the posts have taken due note …

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