From Velvet Glove Iron Fist:
According to the Guardian…
Ministers are to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes along the Australian model with legislation this year, after becoming convinced that the branding is a key factor in why young people start to smoke.
The legislation, to be announced in the Queen’s speech in May, is also expected to ban smoking in cars carrying anyone aged under 16 years.
I’m not in the least bit surprised. It’s what I expected all along. Nothing else was ever going to happen.
First you float some ‘proposal’ in the mass media. Then you say you’re going to have a ‘consultation’. And then, in your ‘consultation’, you ignore everybody who doesn’t like the proposal, because it’s barking mad. Then, after you’ve completed your ‘consultation’, you announce that you’ve become convinced it’s a good proposal. Then you enact it as law. And then you move on to your next ‘proposal’, if you haven’t announced a whole series of other barking mad proposals already.
Of course there’s going to be plain packaging (which won’t be in the least bit ‘plain’, but covered in obscene images of dead people). It was decided a long time ago, maybe by the WHO, or maybe the EU, or maybe Al Qaeda, or maybe Mr Vaclav Rumpelstiltskin of Honolulu Crescent, Geneva. Or his dog. It doesn’t matter. The British government is just obeying orders. It doesn’t really matter where the orders are coming from. All that matters is that it isn’t the British people who are giving the orders. It’s somebody else.
And not only will there be plain packaging, but there’ll also be bans on smoking in cars with small children in them. And after that bans on smoking in cars with large children (aka adults) in them. And there will be creeping outdoor smoking bans too. First 5 metres outside public buildings, and then 200 metres, and then 40 km.
No need for home smoking bans, because when smoking has been banned within 500 km of public buildings, anyone who lights up in their own home anywhere in Britain will be smoking within a prohibited distance of a public building.
And there’ll also be minimum pricing of alcohol too. And the minimum price will go up every other week. Once you’ve heard what the latest ‘proposal’ is, you can be sure that within a few months or years it’s going to be the law of the land. That’s how it works these days.
Yes, I know there’s supposed to have been a revolt in the cabinet against minimum pricing. So what? They’ll just have to keep replacing the cabinet until they get one that agrees to it. A bit like Ireland had to keep having referendums on the EU until they got the right answer.
And if you have a Prime Minister who gets the answers wrong? You get rid of him too. You replace him (e.g. Silvio Berlusconi) with a wind-up Mario Monti, pre-programmed with the right answers. And if the wrong Prime Minister bounces back in subsequent elections? You send him to prison, of course.
Silvio Berlusconi jailed for a YEAR in Italy for leaking secret phone call about banking scandal
Yes, you can vote for and elect members of parliament. And they can have debates, and vote through new legislation. One of them can even be the Prime Minister, if they really want to, and shake the hands of visiting dignitaries. But they must all obey orders. And if they don’t, they’ll be sent to prison.
And the same applies to David Cameron and Nick Clegg. They must obey orders too. And if they don’t, something very nasty will happen to them. They’ll be found to be child molesters, just like Jimmy Savile. Or worse.
I have no idea who gives the orders. And I don’t really care. All I know is that it isn’t the British people in Britain. Or the Italian people in Italy. Or the Spanish people in Spain. And that’s all that matters.
We retain the appearances of democracy, of course. We still elect MPs, and they still debate in parliament. And we still have a Prime Minister, and a cabinet. And the cabinet can even revolt if it wants to. But none of them have any real power. These institutions are all just retained for the sake of appearances, a bit like we still have a monarch who’s got a crown and a throne, but no real power either. The real power lies elsewhere. No, don’t ask me where.
It’s getting interesting in Italy. 25% of Italians voted for a clown, who is now refusing to make any alliances with any other party. And another 25% went and voted for the wrong Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, again. The Italians look like they’re set to be the new Irish, and will have to keep voting until they get the right answer, which is of course, as all right-minded people know, more austerity (and probably plain packaging of tobacco and minimum alcohol pricing as well). It doesn’t end there either:
Italy’s Pier Luigi Bersani vowed to break free of the country’s austerity regime as he laid out plans for a centre-Left government, risking a serious clash with Germany and the European Central Bank.
“We must leave the austerity cage,” he told leaders of his Democrat Party (Pd), responding to Italy’s electoral earthquake by tearing up his pre-election programme
“A change of course is absolutely necessary given that five years of austerity and attacks on workers have pushed up public debt levels across Europe,” he said.
“The vicious circle between belt-tightening and recession is putting representative government at risk and making it impossible to govern. The immediate emergency is the real economy and joblessness,” he said.
He tore up his pre-election programme, did he? Naughty! So now Italy has a clown, a jailbird, and a liar representing them.
No probs. They’ll just have to find another Mario Monti, and parachute him into the Prime Minister’s job. Or maybe just recycle the old one.
But it makes a lot of sense to elect a clown, once democracy has become a joke. Perhaps the idea will spread throughout Europe, and there’ll be clowns and comedians elected in France and Spain and even Britain. Maybe we could have Rowan Atkinson as our Prime Minister, in his Mr Bean role. Or John Cleese playing Basil Fawlty.
Just so long as they obey orders, of course.
And introduce plain packaging. And minimum alcohol pricing. And smoking prohibitions within 20 km of any public building. And windmills. Lots of windmills. The kind that kill off millions of bats, before spectacularly catching fire. And extra dim lightbulbs. ‘Progressive’, ‘cutting edge’ extra dim lightbulbs.
Because, as all right-minded people know, these are the things that really matter.