PP Voted Through

Not unexpected. From The Guardian:

House of Commons votes 367 to 113 in favour of uniform size, shape and design featuring only brand name and health warnings. 

MPs have voted by a majority of 254 in favour of introducing standardised cigarette packaging from May 2016.

The legislation, which is designed to reduce the appeal of cigarettes, was voted for by 367-113, with support from Labour and Liberal Democrats, and opposition from Conservative backbenchers. The House of Lords is expected to approve the regulations on Monday.

So, 480 MPs voted, which means that, give or take a bit, some 170 MPs did not vote – or abstained, if you prefer. Certainly, those abstentions suggest less than massive enthusiasm.

The House of Lords is expected to approve the regulations on Monday.

Just as a fun thought, I wonder what would happen if the Lords did not approve on Monday? I suppose that their is always the off-chance that Peers might do what they are supposed to be there for, and thwart emotionally driven, ill-thought through, un-debated, theft of intellectual property for ideological reasons.

In the circumstances, 113 voting against is not bad, on the grounds that it is far more difficult, politically, to vote against than to vote for. Anyone voting against can be accused of being ‘pro cancer’ and ‘baby killers’.

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In the dying days of this Parliament, there was never any need for urgency in the matter of PP. It follows that there was political jiggery-pokery involved. Is it a precondition of being in politics to be super-sensitive to ‘vibrations’? For it seems to me that Labour and LibDems were intent upon making vibrations about the Children and Families Act demand for PP and car smoking bans. But why should the Tories be scared of those vibrations? It would have been very simple indeed to say, “Look, we have far more important things to do”. Erm …. Might that be the problem? Might it be that the Tories and Libdems have nothing to do, and that PP is filling the empty space? And, thankfully, it is controversial and there will be much time-wasting blathering? Frankly, I cannot see any better reason.

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Eleven States in the EU have objected to Ireland’s PP law. I would assume that the same States will object to the UK law.

But, gosh, what an absolute mess our political system has become. Has the world just become too complicated for politicians, no matter how well educated and clever, to understand? And does that lack of understanding, and thus the need for advice, open them up to calculated bad advice from charlatans in universities etc? It seems so to me. Hidden agendas.

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Sod them! Sod them all! I have already inculcated a healthy disrespect of ‘authority’ into the minds of my (grown-up) daughters. I hope, and expect, that they will pass that on, along with the recipes that they got from their grandmother for the delicious potato-pie (aka, Lancashire hot pot, but not quite the same).

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Think about this.

A packet of 20 cigs should cost almost nothing. In UK terms, maybe, at most, £1. In many countries in the world, that is about the going rate, taking into account earnings and stuff.  Government has been stealing smokers’ money for a couple of centuries.

But the position has become so bad that smokers must take action, which they have been doing in various ways. These actions will be exacerbated by the emergence of a new type of ‘white van man’ post PP. Cigarettes have been shown to be easy to import surreptitiously. Imagine how much easier it would be to import bungles of cured tobacco leaf. Suitably packed, they could be described as ‘blankets’ and for delivery to a fictitious Oxfam address.

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So there we are then. Who really gives a shit? I watched a couple of videos tonight about what is going on in Ukraine:

http://www.4liberty.org.uk/2015/03/11/despatch-from-the-donbass/

Poor people being bombarded and their homes destroyed by EU supported forces.

Heil EU!

 

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5 Responses to “PP Voted Through”

  1. cherie79 Says:

    Pleased to see my own MP voted against this. I hope the Tobacco companies take the government to court and don’t roll over as usual. Won’t make any difference to me though I don’t buy any tobacco products here anyway.

    • junican Says:

      Re buying stuff, likewise. I’m off to sunny Spain next month. I could go to Prague and get cigs even cheaper there, but in Spain I get a warm few days, so the extra expense is worth it.

  2. Frank J Says:

    According to the press (Ha Ha!) three tobacco companies – JPI, IMP. and BAT have said that they will take action. Interesting.

    My understanding is that under both UK and EU law, the Govt. would be able to take such actions if they can show a health reason. More interesting.

    Now, I’m sure they’ve thought this through and I’ve no idea what back alleys they would deal through but if we have Judges such as Nimmo Smith – facts only, please and only from those directly involved – it could be more and more interesting.

    Watershed time, maybe?

    • junican Says:

      I understand that the Australian government got away with claiming that they had not ‘acquired’ the property of the cig companies and that the companies could still use their logos etc. But I don’t know if that was the reason that they got away with it. I would have thought that it would not wash, since the whole point of logos and trademarks is that they need to be visible to have any value. Take away the visibility and they are valueless. If I painted a Picasso painting black, could I claim that the owner of the painting still had the painting which was underneath the black paint?
      It will be interesting to see what line the tobacco companies take.

      • nisakiman Says:

        The Australian government may have got away with it internally, but there are challenges going through the WTO brought by, I think, seven countries. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. What will they do if the WTO declares that PP breaks international trade law? If they defy the ruling, then that will destroy all international law pertaining to trademark rights. I’m sure the Chinese would love that!

        On the subject of price, when I was in Vietnam recently, I found a local cigarette that I really rather liked. Sort of American style, not unlike American (as opposed to European made) Lucky Strikes. I’m a roll-ups man normally, and don’t like many brands of ready-made cigarettes. However, these were nice enough that I decided to buy a carton (sleeve / 10 packs of 20). I bought them from a shop that only sold unopened cartons (small wholesaler) where I figured they would be cheaper, and indeed they were 30% cheaper than the individual packs from the stalls. My sleeve of 200 cigs cost me €2.80, tax paid. Yes, two Euros eighty cents. Twenty eight cents a pack. That’s about 20 pence. How much are they in UK now? £8 a pack? That’s one hell of a difference at one fortieth of the UK price. It just goes to show how much the margins of tobacco companies are in UK, and the amount of tax that is taken.

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