Calling the Bluff of “The Minister for Children” in Ireland, James Reilly

Reilly is the Minister in Ireland who is pushing ‘propaganda packaging’ of cigs. He used to be ‘Minister for Health’, but was sacked from that position and moved to ‘kiddy-fiddling Minister’. Why he is still being allowed to fiddle in the health dept is beyond me. Anyway, he is the prohibitionist who has proposed that Ireland pays billions of Euros in compensation to tobacco companies for despoiling them of their logos and trade marks. International Law does not forbid governments from doing such things, but requires that compensation should be paid to the holder of the logos/trademarks. I would be very surprised if tobacco companies could not prove reasonably that their brands (such as ‘Marlborough’) have not lost ground since Australia introduced logo-free and trade-mark-free packaging of fags. Can that effect be justified on health grounds? I doubt it. For example, suppose that vintage champagne has to be bottled as demanded by law in just the same bottles as cheap plonk (not knocking cheap plonk, I assure you) with just the same ugly, untrue pictures of diseased penises and vaginas, with nothing other than the name of the vintage champagne/cheap plonk in small print on the label?

Of course, the National Government can decree such uglification and misleading claims about diseases, but such a process is the epitome of misrule. The recent EU tobacco product directive is also the epitome of misrule. Even worse, as regards the EU, it is the result of the the rule of autocrats.

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So Reilly has played the equivalent of the ‘race’ card – he has claimed to be David fighting Goliath. He is, in effect, claiming to be a ‘black’ fighting against ‘whitey’. You would think that Irish MPs would not get ‘the hump’ and decide emotionally that ‘WE RULE!!’, but, instead, would think rationally. There are international agreements which protect logos and trademarks – live with it or get these agreements changed. The same applies to the UK. Why are Cameron, Clegg and Miliband tempting fate? Why do they not at least await the outcome in Australia? What is the rush?

And there is the stupidity  of the likes of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. “They do not know what they do”, or, if they do, then they just do not care.

The fact is that ‘Public Opinion’ regarding any specific topic is unreliable. For example, public opinion might be all in favour of some project. But that opinion would very rapidly change when the public realised that the project would cause taxes to increase by, say, 10%.

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I have read that the Roman Empire collapsed, over a period of time, because the costs of an ever expanding central bureaucracy starved the extremities of the Empire of funding. Are we not seeing something similar in the UK, Ireland and the EU? Are we not seeing more and more resources going into ephemera? Who is going to police the ban on smoking in cars when kids are present? Who is going to chase after sellers of ‘chop-chop’? The ‘war on drugs’ will pale into insignificance when the ‘underclass’ start to buy ‘chop-chop’ tobacco.

And, no, the ‘chop-chop’ will not be grown in the UK. It will not because the climate does not lend itself to large-scale growing. Anyone who ‘grows their own’ does so as a hobby for fun. It will grown and cured in other countries and, literally, smuggled in described as blankets, or something.

But there is another consideration.

We Brits have always believed that our Government acts in our collective best interests. It is a shock to find that our modern-day government has decided to interfere and force change in the way in which we conduct our lives, day by day. Is it any wonder that citizens are rebelling in great numbers? No one with any sense obeys laws any more, unless forced to do so. It is comical that Bristol thinks that the ‘voluntary ban’ on smoking outside will, somehow, police itself. What rot! What will happen is nothing.

Such interference requires a massive allocation of resources, if it is to be effective. It is absolutely not like the Smoking Ban where publicans could be pressured and convicted of crimes. The same applies to ‘voluntary hospital grounds bans’. It amuses me to think of a ‘volunteer’ hospital grounds smoking ban warden telling a person not to smoke. I suppose that he/she might be brave if there was only one person smoking, but would be less brave if there were twenty people.

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The understanding of the nastiness of the smoking ban is not yet complete. It will only be complete when a publican/bar owner demands the right to allow smoking in his establishment.

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