Tory MPs Rebel against Plain Packaging?

The Plain Packaging saga may not be over. Simon Clark writes:

I can now reveal – from a good source – that the announcement by public health minister Jane Ellison surprised even George Osborne who wasn’t consulted.

If that’s true it’s extraordinary, given how much revenue the Government could potentially lose to illicit traders, not to mention the cost of fighting the tobacco companies in court.

Another source reports that the decision to go ahead with plain packaging was taken by the PM who considers it “feel good politics”.

And here seems to be something of a revolt brewing among Tory MPs, according to Guido Fawkes in the Sun on Sunday:

Nannying Tory health minister Jane Ellison has caused fury amongst her colleagues by agreeing to push through Labour backed plans for plain packaging on cigarettes before the next election.

“Four letter word, starts in S and ends in T” was the ringing endorsement of one colleague. “She is not a conservative” claims another, whilst another simply added “She’s a wrong ‘un’.”

Guido hears that Ellison may not have the last laugh. Not only will there be a huge rebellion on the right, plans for a very well funded campaign to unseat her in her marginal south-west London seat of Battersea are already afoot.

Tory MPs to campaign against a Tory MP? That would be fun.

And if the chancellor, George Osborne, didn’t know about the measure, who did?

There’s shades of Anna Soubry about this. In July 2013, I wrote:

One has to wonder who governs Britain, that these vicious people feel they have the right to introduce legislation by hook or by crook, regardless of the government’s stated position.

It certainly fits with Anna Soubry overriding parliamentary scrutiny in order to ensure that the UK remained able to introduce plain packaging.

But why are they in such a hurry? And why have they set about banning smoking in cars as well (which, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t been debated at all)? It’s almost as if they’re working to a scheduled (EU-wide?) rolling programme of bans, all designed to demonise and suppress a venerable culture.

It’s really as if health ministers take their orders from somewhere else.


About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to Tory MPs Rebel against Plain Packaging?

  1. beobrigitte says:

    It would seem that Labour blurts out something and the Tories outdo them.
    Neither of them considers the long term implications of their election babble. Both parties have become unvotable.
    Wouldn’t more transparency who REALLY runs this country be welcomed?

    I can now reveal – from a good source – that the announcement by public health minister Jane Ellison surprised even George Osborne who wasn’t consulted.

    It certainly fits with Anna Soubry overriding parliamentary scrutiny in order to ensure that the UK remained able to introduce plain packaging.

  2. Vinny Gracchus says:

    The democratic process is broken. That members of major parties collude to achieve their goals is no surprise. It appears that in matters of tobacco control – or rather social control – that a global, plutocratic elite is dictating policy in order to extract as much profit as they can. It seems the way to counter this is to expose their lies.

  3. junican says:

    Another source reports that the decision to go ahead with plain packaging was taken by the PM who considers it “feel good politics”.
    There is every reason to believe that there is no other reason. “FEEL GOOD POLITICS” could be a reason for any policy at all. “Feel good politics” could include free toilet rolls, or free shoes, or ‘smoke free air’.
    The guy has no principles, but why should we expect him to have any principles? When he was proposed to be leader of the Conservative Party, did anyone ask him about his principles?

    What happened to his principle to deregulate? That is a most important principle, and should not be overturned by those who might suffer loss, whether it be status or employment. But we should acknowledge that Cameron is a stooge – a sock-puppet for the Medical Confraternity and any other confraternity which he and his advisors wish to defer to. That is the problem that is politics.

    And yet it is not a problem at all. The academics have no force at all. Only the likes of Cameron and all the other blatherers have allowed academics to take over our culture.
    Our culture does not depend upon the opinions of Professors.

    • prog says:

      I read somewhere that Governments ban/control this, that and the other because they like to be seen to be doing something in the eyes of the majority of voters who believe they’re unaffected (at least negatively). PP is a classic example, as was the ban and hidden display. They reference the (skewed) polls, and so long as the (often brainwashed) majority agree with them the green light flicks on. It’s part of their idea of democracy – 50%+ number of people agree with policy, therefore it’s a good thing for the sake of society, the children, hard working families, the world, blah blah blah… I think this is one of the main differences between US democracy and republicanism. The former thrives more on uninformed public opinion than by correct use of the legal system (based on the Constitution etc).

    • Frank Davis says:

      I wonder who was supposed to “feel good”? Non-smokers who aren’t going to be affected aren’t likely to feel good. Smokers who are affected aren’t going to feel good. The only people who will feel good about it are antismoking zealots. So I suppose that those must be the people that Cameron has in mind.

      Several Conservatives have said that PP “isn’t Conservative”. But doesn’t that mean that David Cameron isn’t Conservative either?

      It’s something I’ve been saying for years.

      • beobrigitte says:

        I wonder who was supposed to “feel good”?

        This “feel-good” thingy is something, that passed me by. Today I stumbled across a few German documentaries that speak of this collective “feel-good” thingy.

        I wonder, does PP make Dave Cameron “feel good”? If so, does he give a **** about the rest of the people who just don’t “feel-good” when he mouthes to the voices of tobacco control?

  4. waltc says:

    Not so OT as all that. Found this UK article at Audrey’s. Topic: putting the brakes on the heartless ruling Puritans

  5. Vinny Gracchus says:

    There is a new article up at the Daily Mail today. It is actually pro-choice which is a nice change. See: “DOMINIC LAWSON: Why persecuting smokers will cost us all more in the long run at:

  6. Rose says:

    ‘Stiff upper lip’ means patients ignore signs of cancer

    “Half of those with signs which could mean cancer will not see their GP, for fear of wasting their time, Cancer Research UK study finds”

    ” She said many of the over 50s who were interviewed felt they “shouldn’t make a fuss or waste valuable NHS resources.”

    “The stiff-upper-lip stoicism of some who decided not to go to their doctor was alarming because they put up with often debilitating symptoms,” she said”

    But why?

    Could it be because of the persistent victim blaming?

    “Most cases are linked to lifestyle factors, such as smoking and high alcohol intake.”

    • My Uncle Mike by Marriage to my Blood aunt at 82 still drinking and smoking,rolled 2 packs every morning over coffee. Last year he had a few problems went to the doc for the first time in 30 years and was told he had liver cancer and gave him 2 months to live.

      He didn’t quit anything,he put his affairs in order went to see relatives and then went back home to die. No grandiose outbursts no nothing. He told the docs forget treatments Im on my way bye!

      A total man to the end and a big drinker unchanged and fought the lifestyle nanys in his own way all his life even moving the hell out of California when the smoking ban came down. Aunt linda still alive and smoking at 84 is such a chipper old gal! Love her to death and Aunt Joyce in Henderson still smoking at 78 and keeping on truckin down lifes hiway.

      They’ve saw it all and done it all,all have great attitudes about life in general but they all tell me keep up the fight. They know what goes on and grew up knowing the past as their parents told them or lived it!

    • beobrigitte says:

      “Half of those with signs which could mean cancer will not see their GP, for fear of wasting their time, Cancer Research UK study finds”

      It’s not for fear of wasting their GP’s time – they all rush to their GPs to get certified what they already know: – that they are healthy.
      This takes up appointments needed by people who aren’t well.

      Could it be because of the persistent victim blaming?
      Before you get a chance to point out to the medic that you have sprained your ankle, he/she will be asking if you smoke. The swollen ankle is unimportant.

      About a year ago I went tobboganing with a bunch of youngsters. Somehow I managed to hit a tree, starting a supergirl flight down a hill, bouncing off a few trees before coming to a stop before ending up in a stream.
      Cuts, bruises and a sprained knee was the result. Going to a GP to be asked if I am a smoker? You’ve got to be kidding!!!! I went back up and took the fast route; managed to get down a 4.5 km track in just over 10 minutes.

      It IS this persistent victim blaming. And, of course it is much easier for a GP to see healthy people who need to be told that they are healthy! (Healthy smokers, on the other hand, are not welcomend !)

  7. Steven says:

    Article 17 of the eu charter on fundamental rights and freedoms to protect intellectual property rights.this could cost the govt billions of pounds if plain packaging was passed.who would pay?.yep the tax payer.also the bbc who are anti smoking have over one and hundred forty million pounds invested in tobacco shares.i am fed up of the hypocrisy.

  8. Rose says:

    Cabinet split over plain packaging for cigarette packs

    “Scores of Tories are opposed to the measures and it raises the prospect of an embarrassing Commons rebellion ahead of the general election in May.”

    “Philip Hammond said that the plans, which are being pushed by David Cameron, could lead to a rise in the trade in illicit cigarettes and “deprive us of a lot of revenue”.

    I’ve been thinking about this and it would seem that the way to restore harmony would be if the MPs and campaigners who want this were, just for once, to pay for the loses from failed legislation out of their own pockets.

    Come to think of it, they still haven’t paid a penny in compensation for all the pubs that closed after the smoking ban, having assured everyone that there would be no loss of business, but they are still trying to wriggle out of that one.

    Now if those ( and their advisors and hangers on ) voting yes to plain packaging will guarantee to pay the Tobacco Companies for loss of intellectual property and the loss of revenue to the Treasury out of their own pockets, they get what they want and we have to walk around with slightly bigger nasty pictures in our handbags than we did before.

    • prog says:

      They need to stop governing as sock puppets, withdraw funding that is largely spent to lobby itself and accept that public opinion cannot be honestly measured from polls commissioned by biased organisations. The ONS seems to be the only one that exhibits a shred of integrity.

      • Prog politically speaking when a movement finally reaches its zenith,it quickly loses its political support as they push for even more drastic measures………… That’s how it ends everytime in history.

      • Rose says:

        The ONS seems to be the only one that exhibits a shred of integrity

        And now they’re not that credible having calculated the incalcuable and cost the country £1.7bn.

        “The National Accounts that will be published in September 2014 will for the first time include illegal drugs and prostitution. The new estimates cover the import, production and sale of illegal drugs and the provision of prostitution services. They are based on a variety of sources and assumptions.”

        “The inclusion of illegal drugs and prostitution is likely to increase the level of GDP in 2009 by around £10 billion, around £5.3 billion attributable to prostitution and £4.4 billion attributable to illegal drugs.
        In all years between 1997 and 2009 the impact ranges from £7 billion to £11 billion”

        Click to access dcp171766_365274.pdf

        May 2014
        “Prostitution and illegal drugs are contributing around £10bn a year to the British economy, according to official data.
        More than half of that – £5.3bn – is attributable to prostitution, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Thursday, while illegal drugs are worth £4.4bn.

        Together, these shadowy activities are likely to increase the level of GDP in 2009 – the most recent year which the ONS has calculated the data for – by around £10bn.

        Other illegal activities, such a the smuggling of alcohol and tobacco, are already included in GDP and make up some £300m.

        The inclusion of illegal drugs and prostitution is part of radical changes being made to European Union regulations on calculating GDP.”

  9. Smoking Scot says:


    Helena Smith, writing for this rag clearly doesn’t care for Syriza and the fact they work in “smoke filled rooms”, though she does seem to love the sound of her own voice!.

    Very encouraging start for Greece.

  10. Bill would set commissioners in power over smoking regs

    January 26, 2015

    By STEPHEN HUBA – For The Weirton Daily Times , Weirton Daily Times

    A bill pending in the West Virginia House of Delegates would remove from county health boards the authority to pass smoking regulations like the one adopted in Hancock County last year.

  11. OT

    Panicked super rich buying boltholes with private airstrips to escape if poor rise up

  12. Rose says:

    I just watched a most interesting programme that would seem to explain that pesky urban – rural divide.

    The Urban Distribution of Lung Cancer Mortality in England and Wales 1980-1983

    “Lung cancer area mortality rates for the period 1980-1983 in England and Wales followed the pattern observed for previous years, with high rates concentrated in urban districts and low rates in remote rural districts.”

    The Great Car Con: Channel 4 Dispatches

    “Channel 4 Dispatches will tonight (Monday 26 January) explore the reality behind the governmental push towards diesel fuelled cars and the true impact that they have on our health and environment.”

    Diesel pollution is supposed to cause an estimated 29,000 deaths in built up areas which we are informed is similar to the estimated deaths from active smoking.

    Having done the air testing on a cyclist, a pedestrian and a car, surprisingly, the heaviest exposure to the most dangerous gases and diesel particulates is in the cabin of the car.

  13. Tasteless but perfect for the smokeasy lounges in NYC or London

  14. Palette says:

    After 58 tears of tobacco use, I fail to see the Ash argument, and know it is simply a matter of winning an argument that came from dogs dying more from stress then enforced 24 hour smoking on an assembly line. So it comes to the big corporates who have money( and grand ideas for insurances and health profiteering) and offer research that is paid for solely to seek to prove a most extraneous argument. I certainly have never been in a hospital nor go to the doctors and remain fit and active and do not even need glasses. So I reckon that figures of victims of tobacco are either rigged or are the lesser part of other acute ailments. It simply is not true, but guess who profits from the myth. It aint you or me.

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