Two Comments

A couple of comments got my attention. Comment by Rose:

Just found this again.

“…several years later he (Tony Blair) agonised about the smoking ban in public places and finally justified the move by suggesting:
“The public gave us permission to introduce the ban.”

The public did not.

“The survey was conducted by BMRB International using the BMRB Access Omnibus (telephone) survey between 20-22 January 2006. It involved 831 adults aged 16+ in England.”

Reported as –

ASH poll shows public support full smoking ban
31 January, 2006

“An opinion poll published by anti-smoking group ASH reveals that 70 per cent of the public support smoke-free legislation.
The poll asked 831 members of the public whether they supported a full ban rather than a partial ban based on food.”
“ASH director Deborah Arnott said: “The message to MPs could not be clearer. The public wants smoke-free legislation. They want it in England, just as they do in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.”

I knew that Blair said he’d “agonised” over the smoking ban. I also knew he’d said “The public gave us permission to introduce the ban.” But I didn’t know that the “permission” came in the form of an opinion poll of just 831 people.

It somehow goes to show how politicians, in the isolation of high office, get above themselves and make catastrophic choices that were easily avoidable. Like Angela Merkel’s personal decision to invite millions of Syrians to come and settle in Germany.

They then spend the rest of their lives trying to justify what they did.

Also a comment from Bandit1:

Bought my first vandalised (plain packaging) fags today. I didn’t know they were like that prior to purchase, because of course all tobacco products are shuttered from view in shops. Was quite an unwelcome surprise. Haven’t really studied the packs but a glance suggests the ‘warning’ messages on them have become yet more shrill and insistent. “QUIT NOW.”

Uh, yeah… fuck you.

The big price hike was something of a shock. The bizarre ‘packs must contain 20’ diktat explained most of it, but not all – the manufacturer/retailer had clearly taken the opportunity to increase the unit price too.

The last unwelcome surprise was seeing that the branding text on the cigarettes themselves had been Puritanised as well; plain black sans-serif.

Whereas the other aspects had annoyed / inconvenienced me, or depressed me in an abstracted way, this was chilling. It felt intensely personal, like a physical invasion of my personal space (I suspect that was the point?), and it felt vile. And it was a vivid, tangible reminder of how far the war on smokers had progressed, and a sign of what was still to come. Because more will come. These people will never stop, unless they’re stopped by force. My overriding thought, as I smoked that first vandalised cigarette, was how they would poison us without hesitation, just like people were poisoned during Prohibition.

I know that decency will prevail eventually, and all the destructive, Statist, anti-humanity measures will be swept away. But just how much damage will have been done by that point?

(similar comment from nisakiman)

“It felt intensely personal, like a physical invasion of my personal space.”  That reminds me of 1 July 2007, the day when the UK smoking ban came into effect. That also felt intensely personal. It resulted, later that day, in an explosion of rage in me. It’s a rage I still feel to this day, although I keep it bottled up now, because I don’t really want to die of apoplexy.

Perhaps the real purpose of the shutters is to prevent non-smokers seeing what they’re doing? In which case, the best thing to do will be to publicise them to the maximum. I’m planning to scan the first “plain” pack I buy, and publish it here, and get as many other people to reproduce it as possible. Non-smokers need to realise that if they can do this to tobacco, they can do it to anything. And since they’ve moved on to alcohol and sugar and fast food, it’s actually quite likely that they WILL start doing it to those products too.

Also I think that these images and messages say far more about the people who are creating them than they do about tobacco or smoking. They’re like deranged graffiti on a concrete underpass wall.

“QUIT NOW.” That’s like calling for someone to surrender. And I’m not ever going to surrender to these filthy people.

Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

Elsewhere, this Russian said pretty much exactly what I thought they were thinking.

Along similar lines, but another country:

About Frank Davis

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16 Responses to Two Comments

  1. chris says:

    If they dismiss out of hand polls, etc. conducted by the tobacco companies for being biased, why would they not similarly reject something from ASH who are by anybody’s reckoning just as biased?

    • waltc says:

      That presumes the “they” in question are not themseves biased.

      As for disgusting labels, why not go down the road apiece and design forthcoming labels for (e.g.) boxes of sugar and salt, soft and hard drinks, pizzas, chips, etc etc or birthday cakes iced with “eat this and you won’t see another birthday”? No end of possibilities.

      • nisakiman says:

        That would be an interesting exercise, Walt.

        It would be most instructive if the politicians were to be presented with examples of those products which they hold dear similarly packaged. The bottle of Tokaji or Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a label displaying nothing but pictures of diseased livers, down-and-outs lying in gutters, drunks vomiting in the street etc, and strident and exaggerated warnings covering 80% on a shit brown background, with a little bit of plain print at the bottom with the name of the wine. And all wines in a standard shape, colour and size bottle, of course. Likewise Champagnes, Malt Whiskies, VSOP Cognacs etc. All in the same shape and colour glass bottles, all with the same labels, all with the same scaremongering warnings. Of course, they wouldn’t be allowed to give any information on the label either, like alcoholic content or whatever, just as cigarettes aren’t allowed to put tar and nicotine levels on the pack.

        Can you imagine the howls of protest at this attack on aesthetics? I think even the legislation-happy pols would take notice.

        And alcohol is a good example, as it occupies a similar position to tobacco in that it is an unnecessary luxury which can perhaps have profound health implications which allegedly cost the NHS billions to treat (far more than smoking, in truth), and there are already armies of joyless puritans lining up to lobby for the implementation of just such regulations.

        A mock-up of a range of wines, beers and spirits like this, presented to parliament would perhaps serve to focus their minds on just what they are doing and where it’s leading; more so than any verbal presentation. And of course one would need to point out that all these plain bottles would also have to be kept behind closed shutters. No more browsing the wine racks for something a bit different. No more impulse purchases. Oh no. You would have to know exactly what you wanted before entering the wine merchant, and ask for it.

        If the tobacco industry had any balls, they would have done something along those lines when ASH et al were lobbying furiously for PP.

  2. Rose says:

    My MP, nice chap, new in 2010, voted for plain packaging.
    It occurs to me that as he is not a smoker and all the tobacco packets are hidden behind screens, he will never see exactly what he voted for.
    I thought it might be helpful if I collected the whole set and gave it to him personally.

    For anyone else who might wish to assist their MP in getting the full picture, Simon Clarke was kind enough to jot them down.

    The Tory MPs who sided with Labour to support the theft of intellectual property
    March 11, 2015
    Several people have asked me to name the 122 Tory MPs who joined forces with Labour and supported plain packaging.

    Delighted to name and shame the following:

    MP’s who need not be troubled

    The full list of the 104 Tory MPs who voted against plain packaging

    Unfortunately, I can’t find a list of Labour MPs who might wish to examine the final version of Plain Packs and are unable to do so because of the Display Ban. Can anyone help?

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Here’s a full list of those that voted for and against plain packaging on March 11th 2015. It’s not broken down by party unfortunately, and a number of the Labour and Lib Dem MPs were not returned to parliament in the General Election that followed in May 2015:

      • Rose says:

        I very much doubt that MPs were shown exactly what people were going to have to put in their pockets before they voted, perhaps they genuinely thought that they would be plain.

        • Roobeedoo2 says:

          When you think about the War on Drugs, the War on Tobacco was inevitable really, and what MP wants to seen endorsing the ‘evil’ that is smoking?

          *I saw that, Clicky. Fascinating…*

        • Rose says:

          Hitler’s Drugged Soldiers

          The Nazis preached abstinence in the name of promoting national health. But when it came to fighting their Blitzkrieg, they had no qualms about pumping their soldiers full of drugs and alcohol.”

          Many of the Wehrmacht’s soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, especially against Poland and France — in a Blitzkrieg fueled by speed. The German military was supplied with millions of methamphetamine tablets during the first half of 1940. The drugs were part of a plan to help pilots, sailors and infantry troops become capable of superhuman performance. The military leadership liberally dispensed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as it believed drugging and intoxicating troops could help it achieve victory over the Allies.”

          “Late in the war, nicotine was suspected as a cause of the coronary heart failure suffered by German soldiers on the eastern front. Military physicians debated the culpability of tobacco in this regard: a 1944 report by an army field pathologist found that the thirty-two young soldiers examined by him–all of whom had died from heart attacks at or near the front–had all been “enthusiastic smokers.”

          The author cited the Freiburg pathologist Franz Büchner’s view that cigarettes should be considered “a coronary poison of the first order”

          Click to access bmj00571-0040.pdf

  3. jameshigham says:

    This BS about ‘agonized over’, used by the corrupt – gets up the nose. Probably meant to.

  4. garyk30 says:

    A poll of 831 adults?

    There are about a possible 54,150 separate groups of 831 in GB.

    I wonder how many polls they made before they got the results they wanted?

    Note, ‘No Ban’ was not included.

  5. garyk30 says:

    70% of those polled wanted a ‘total ban’?

    Unlikely, and here is why.

    25 out of 100 would be smokers.

    70 out of the 75 non smokers is 93%.

    It is very unlikely that 93% are so anti smoking as to prefer a total ban!

  6. junican says:

    I think that ASH ET AL actually want smokers to be disgusted by the packs. To them, that disgust is victory. My own attitude will be indifference. If I take a packet of cigs out with me, it will be as it is, and I shall let anyone who looks see it. If anyone says, “That’s disgusting. I don’t know why you carry on smoking”, I’ll say, “That’s what your cans of beer, bags of sugar, packets of sausages will look like before very long. Will you give them up?”

    • Rose says:

      Of course they want us to be horrified, Junican, but in the interests of common decency, I doubt they will have wanted to horrify the MPs too before they voted.

  7. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree tobacco control — like all tyranny — must be destroyed.

  8. slugbop007 says:

    A bunch of ASH Holes.slugbop007

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