The Position So Far

Sometimes it is a good thing to reflect.

In 2004, Ireland, as a result of some clever thinking by the Tobacco Control Industry (Europe), was chosen to be the guinea pig for the Universal Indoor Smoking Ban. Massive preparations were made to quell any disquiet which might have occurred. In the event, the introduction of the ban was ‘a great success’ since there was no revolt. Similar bans were activated in Scotland, and then in England and Wales. No revolt equals great success. Only a small number of people had to be massively fined, or jailed,  for refusing to be unpaid enforcers.

The ‘success’ of the trials emboldened The Tobacco Control Industry to venture forth and expand its very profitable activities far and wide. Further, it was possible, as a result of the ‘great success’ to introduce more ‘products’ to its range, like a ban on cigarette dispensing machines, and the extension of that ban to hiding tobacco products from view.

The secretive Board of Directors of the TCI was delighted. Not a single Government had questioned the monopolistic position of their industry. These Governments had fallen hook, line and sinker for the advertising expertise. Further, the competition, the Tobacco Industry, had been rendered mute. Further extensions of the TCI could proceed without opposition. Much gold was available to the Board Members and their ally, Big Pharma. What could go wrong? After all, the MSM and Politicians had been brought into line. That part was really easy – “For The Children” was magical where politicians were concerned and the MSM was a sucker for a good horror story like “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer!!” Further, it was good for circulation that ‘surveys had shown’ that 70% of the population liked horror stories.

True, there were little mosquitoes stinging a bit via the internet, but they were no problem. They were easily overcome by the application of copious amounts of insect cream (aka, press releases). One serious difficulty arose in the form of the McTear Case, but, in view of the silencing of the competition (Tobacco Companies), it was not difficult to shout loudly about other things and bury that case with other bad news. In the UK and Ireland, there were massive closures of pubs and stuff, but, as a stoke of luck, the closures almost coincided with an economic hiccup. Politicians don’t like being told that their decisions are crap, and so it was easy to convince them that pub closures had nothing to do with ‘the great success’ of the smoking ban. The mosquitoes on the internet have turned out to be more troublesome than first appeared, and so Big Pharma needs to produce an effective insect killer, like DDT, but has yet to discover the correct formula.

But, almost from nowhere, there appeared a phenomenon which changed the picture. A competitor appeared in the form of the e-cigarette.

What could be done? The future of the monopoly was at risk. Meanwhile, those damned mosquitoes are biting more and more fiercely. They were actually contesting the idea of SHS harm! Better to say as little as possible about that scam; at least, politicians were still firmly under control.

But! Damn it! Now people are starting to get uppity! First, they oppose the plans to further reduce the opposition Tobacco Companies via PP, and then they complain about our establishment known as the EU. Damn it! If we are not careful, politicians might just get nervous.

OK. The answer is simple – pour over them with gifts. Don’t bother with national governments, hit the EU big-time. And bang the ‘children’ drum as hard a possible.

======

That is where we stand. In a few days time, the Queen’s Speech will occur. Ten to one, the CABINET will succumb once more to the mistaken trust in ASH’s surveys and propose PP. They do not know that PP will have no effect at all. Even if they applied it to fags brought in from Spain, it would be simple to rip all the packaging off and bring the cigs home in ‘plain’ containers. But it is also difficult to see how such unilateral action could conform to EU trade rules, despite Soubry MP’s dash to Luxembourg. Iceland planned to ban the import of alcoholic beverages if they did not have a label saying that they contained alcohol. The EU struck that plan down on the grounds that it discriminated against EU goods not so labelled. It is hard to see how PP in Ireland and the UK would not fall foul of similar rules.

The Prime Minister is not KING. He cannot do what he wishes. It is the CABINET which decides.

 

 

 

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: