Cultural War

Chris Snowdon on The Tobacco Products Directive:

HMRC says the illicit tobacco market has risen by 24 per cent in the last five years. It currently amounts to £2.1 billion in lost tax revenue. Such figures are only guesstimates, however, and the black market could be even larger.

Considering the scale of the tax gap, it is surprising that HMRC does not try harder to get reliable figures. In the old days, the government collected empty cigarette packs at football matches to see how many of them came from the UK. Budget cuts put an end to that, but thanks to plain packaging the true scale of the problem could soon become obvious to anyone who frequents a beer garden.

This time next year, any cigarette pack you see that is not in plain packaging will have been bought abroad or on the black market. The same will be true of any menthol cigarette you see after 2020, not to mention all the vaping fluids and paraphernalia that are being outlawed by the EU. By necessity, Britain is becoming a nation of bootleggers. One unintended consequence of plain packaging will be that this becomes visible to all.

Unless of course the bootleg tobacco carries health warnings in Uzbeki.

James Delingpole:

…if I were an undecided wondering where to place my X, I think the thing that would swing it for me would be the marked difference in tone between the two camps — with the Remainers coming across as shrill, prickly and bitter, and the Brexiters surprisingly sunny, relaxed and optimistic.

Like Jean-Claude Juncker?

Mr. Juncker recently told a German audience he will not be campaigning in the UK for a Remain vote in the referendum because he believes “the European Commission is even more disliked in Britain than in Germany.”

Now, however, he has used an interview with French newspaper Le Monde to offer stark views on the matter, saying: “If the British leave Europe, people will have to face the consequences.”

“This isn’t a threat, but our relationship will no longer be as it is today,” warned Mr. Juncker, adding: “The UK will have to get used to being regarded as a third party state, which we won’t be handling with kid gloves.

Making it clear how those as committed to the federalising ‘European Project’ as Mr. Juncker view British eurosceptics, he described them as “deserters” who “will not be welcomed with open arms.”

Pretty much all the Remain arguments are built around fear. Fear of what might happen. As if Britain hadn’t been a sovereign state for the past 1000 years. Can’t they muster any sort of positive vision of remaining in the EU? Perhaps they can’t?

Rush Limbaugh on transgender bathrooms:

“I don’t think the culture war has been about right versus wrong for a long time. And people haven’t figured that out,” Limbaugh said. “They continue to fight it on a moral or a morality battlefield, but that’s not it at all. In fact, obliterating morality has been what the culture war is all about, not asserting it and not having it triumph.”

The point of the culture war now is an “us-versus-them framework,” he said. “And the whole point of the us-versus-them battle has been to obliterate the whole notion of morality. Just wipe it out, on the belief that nobody has the right to define it.”

No one can write laws based on morality and apply them to all because everyone’s morality differs, Limbaugh explained. “And the culture warriors believe that there is universal right and wrong only because the majorities have had the tyrannical power to use right and wrong as ways to oppress people.”

Transgender bathrooms, gay marriage, and smoking bans are all part of the same cultural war. It’s all about demolishing an existing culture, and attacking every single element of it.


About Frank Davis

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10 Responses to Cultural War

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Reported today Spain is bankrupt it’s debts are of more than their entire economic output

  2. castello2 says:

    Rush will cause brain damage.

  3. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Rush is right again but he could have added about a 1000 other subjects but he chose smoking bans ! Smoking bans are an important choise he used because it’s used to subdue and criminalize a behavior and that’s it making us conform or else, yet we resist and its pissing the Nazis off to no end !

  4. Andy Oakley says:

    One unintended consequence of Brexit is that bootlegging will become a lot more difficult and easier to control for HMRC.

    Cheap black market tobacco is best achieved by a Remain vote.

    One fact that isnt scaremongering, smokers who rely on black market tobacco will pay a price for leaving the EU.

    • Andy Oakley says:

      Infact Brexit will just about destroy legal cross channel shopping for tobacco and cigarettes.too .Eu membership has been good news for smokers by allowing criminals to exploit loopholes and the ordinary joe public too.

      HMRC will no longer have to play games with misleading popagander and traps to catch unwary travellers enjoying a cheap smoke.

      Brexit will end it all., at the moment its about 20% illegal smokes on the market which must be bumped up by another 5-10% by those breaking the law exploiting loopholes , I.e holidaymakers buying fags fro friends etc

      • smokingscot says:

        How thoughtful you are Andrew. I mean none of us had the slightest inkling that by voting to leave the EU we’d be cutting off our supply of non UK duty paid tobacco.

        Of course one could take issue with your statement that these smokes are illegal, or that people such as myself are breaking the law by bringing back smoky stuff for friends.

        But I’ll let that pass, because it is such a terribly convincing argument that we carry on with the status quo. I am profoundly impressed.

        There again it does seem the remain people have such riveting reasons why we should fear the unknown. I mean it was only this morning they came out with that terrifying news that HOUSE PRICES WILL DROP BY 18%.

        Oh that’s scary – and all those buy-to-let landlords must be quaking in their silk dressing gowns at the thought of young people being able to afford a starter home!

        Now who would have thought such a thing? Young people being able to put down a deposit on an itsy bitsy flat?

        Nope Andrew with opposition like that, who the heck needs to argue for an exit. The out people were kind of short of younger voters, now they’re not!

        Well back to the point Andrew. Now you don’t mind me calling you Andrew do you Andy? There was a chap, fairly similar to yourself who got all dead pouty when someone didn’t get his web name bang on. No Sir, he really did get awfully miffed when I called him Rickie and he so wanted Ricky.

        Of course his previous web name was Dickie, but he didn’t get too pissed when we shortened that to Dick.

        However that was another guy. A brain dead baneling who regurgitated the usual tripe, and used to take great pleasure in pointing out that the tobacco companies hadn’t done a thing to stop the Tobacco Control bandwagon.

        Of course they did put up a bit of a fight over plain packs, but as you so succinctly pointed out a couple of days ago, it was a foregone conclusion.

        Yet you couldn’t quite help yourself, you just had to slag off Pat and take a swipe at Dick and chucked out the usual bumph about Forest.

        The later I tend on the whole to agree with, but plain packs are not plain at all, they’re just adverts for tobacco control. And they, dear chap, are simply 9 to 5 taxpayer paid jobsworths.

        So let’s just take a quick shuftie at this profound insight of yours Andrew. Actually Junican had a bit of a think about that a couple of days back:

        However I myself pointed out in March that this entire Brexit thing was brought about because the Tory Party had to steal UKIP’s thunder. Cameron didn’t want this referendum, he was however forced into offering it… to win the General Election – and to pacify many in cabinet and the back benches, who had threatened to join UKIP.

        And why did that happen my dearest, sweetest Andy? Well maybe on account of us here stigmatised, downtrodden and ever fearful smokers, who happened to vote for them.

        And maybe, just maybe the people of Wales, who have voted in seven UKIP AM’s into their parliament, sort of quite like the idea of real change, even if UKIP (Wales) has NOT promised indoor smoking rooms.

        Funny lot us swarms.

        • Andy Oakley says:

          I’m all for Brexit , it appears you missed my support for it the other day, not to worry you seem to have got in a muddle about many things judging by your riddles about Dickie or is it Ricky, or Dick or maybe Tricky!!.

          I’m suggesting that millions of smokers are indeed clueless that bootleg/holiday tobacco is going to take a hiding if we leave the EU, I reckon 1in 3 cigs are not 100% legal and ASH/Government know full well that many of these smokers will be paying double for their smokes if a Brexit happens.

          EU bootlegged/holiday cigs are genuine product, when that market virtually goes overnight the market will be open to much more fake stuff as the genuine black market competition from the EU has gone. Prices will rise on the black market too, if you can actually find a seller cos men in the pub that were cross channel runners will be made redundant unless they are dumb and can’t see the game has gone and plough on regardless.

          Small time EU bootlegging has boomed because of EU rules, outside EU/Brexit bootlegging is a completely different thing as and is much easier to prosecute.

          I don’t belive you did have the slightest inkling Smokingscot cos non uk duty paid tobacco will not be cut off at all, just strangled.

          This isnt fear of the unknown, there wil be consequences for smokers regarding prices/availabilty/quality for a Brexit win

  5. jaxthefirst says:

    “Can’t they muster any sort of positive vision of remaining in the EU?”

    Well – err – no, because there isn’t one. At least not for us “normal” folk. The EU only brings personal advantage to a very, very small number of extremely powerful people, and maybe a few expats. For the rest of us, the EU has been unequivocally bad. The “advantages” cited by Europhiles down through the last few decades are so vague and generalised that they don’t actually equate to anything really positive for normal people. Not to mention the fact that those “positives” which are claimed by the EU are by no means purely down to its existence. “Peace in Europe” is a classic example. The EU likes to make out that without its own existence we’d have been back at each other’s throats within a decade of WWII ending. But there’s a much greater chance that, after two gruelling, painful World Wars, Europe’s appetite for further conflict may well have diminished in any case. Not to mention the fact that after the last two, we probably couldn’t afford another war, even if we wanted one.

    I once asked a Europhile friend of mine to give me an example of one EU law – just one, tiny, little, itsy-bitsy law which had benefitted me personally, as a “normal” person, and he simply couldn’t. In fact, after some discussion, it transpired that his real reason for being pro-Europe was purely because he was anti-America (it was just after we’d gone roaring into Afghanistan – a conflict which he was bitterly opposed to). And he felt that being in the EU prevented the USA from, essentially, having too much influence over the UK because, from his point of view, the US would have to “win round” all the other countries of Europe if they wanted support from this quarter of the world (he clearly hadn’t sussed out that the EU itself was busily dismantling all of its individual member states in order to make them all into “Europeans.”) I haven’t seen him for some years, but I’d be very curious to know, in the light of his “EU keeps us safe from the USA” stance, what he thought about the TTIP currently being negotiated between the US and the EU ….

  6. waltc says:

    Nice piece by Jonah Goldberg on “science” as a weapon in culture wars and how what’s science vs “science” is in the eye of the beholder

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