Legal Challenges to Plain Packaging

Via Dick Puddlecote’s tweets today, I was alerted to this article in the Telegraph today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11621804/Tobacco-companies-prepare-multi-billion-compensation-claims-over-UK-plain-packaging.html

The major tobacco companies are going to challenge the UK decision to introduce PP – or rather, to demand compensation for ……

For what? That is the question. And it is that question which matters. The international trademarks agreement, passed by all the main Governments of the world, states that trademarks are ‘(intellectual) property’. They can be registered and are protected – in the sense that all the Governments which signed up agreed to protect trademarks against copying and such. There was a ‘get out’ clause which related to a Government’s right NOT TO abide by the agreement if there were sufficient health grounds. It is difficult to imagine what health grounds might be sufficient, and it would be interesting to know if the exception, based upon ‘health grounds’, was an ‘amendment’ sneaked in years and years ago by tobacco control, for we know that TC has been messing about with laws for years now by having amendments to existing laws sneaked into things like ‘Finance Bills’. They have been doing it for years unnoticed. For example, some time ago, an amendment to some existing law about tobacco production, declared that ‘tobacco products could only be produced in an APPROVED tobacco factory’ [I paraphrase]. Why was this a stupid amendment? Because it follows that anything NOT produced in a tobacco FACTORY was not a tobacco product. Thus, a cigarette produced from RYO tobacco is not ‘a tobacco product’. The RYO tobacco may be a ‘tobacco product’, but the cigarette is not. But it also follows that only ‘tobacco product factories’ actually do things to dried tobacco plant leaves which turn them into ‘tobacco products’, even if that stuff is RYO shredded tobacco. Thus, what is illegal is to have ‘an unregistered tobacco product factory’. Those of us who ‘do our own thing’ do not own ‘tobacco product factories’.

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I have digressed, although not by much. Here is the headline to the article:

Tobacco companies prepare multi-billion compensation claims over UK plain packaging”

I can understand why commenters abhor this process – I do myself. I see no reason whatsoever that UK taxpayers should foot the bill. But I also see no reason whatsoever why smokers should foot the bill. If the matter goes to court, and the tobacco companies win, the billions of pounds of compensation should be paid by Tobacco Control, and, clearly, by non-smokers.

It is easy to see why non-smokers should pay. You need only read the comments on the DT article. As usual, there are the really nasty, anti-smokER comments: “I hope that you die in agony and gasping for breath” type comments. There are lots of them. Even more, are comments claiming that tobacco companies are murderers. What really, really annoys me personally are, a) comments which are hateful (“I hope that smokers die horrible, painful deaths”), (being very silly), and, b) comments which reveal ignorance. For example, you would think that the McTear Case had never happened. You would think that some legal event had occurred which proved that smoking causes lung cancer and all the other things. That has not happened.

There is a sort of ‘Lilliput-ian’ extension to the anti-smoker, anti-tobacco hysteria. The Reasoning for ‘Prohibition’ of alcohol and tobacco in the US around 1900 was just the same as it is now – only the words are different. ‘Religion’ was the excuse in 1900; ‘Health’ is the excuse in 2000.

The really crazy result of all this wasted money and effort, is that it is possible that smoking prevalence will be reduced to, say, 5%. But, at that point, or even when smoking prevalence is at, say, 10%, the Government might twig, and cut the funding and stop increasing taxes.  Thereafter, there will be no control over tobacco, and, instead, there will appear the latest ‘high’, which needs to be controlled. Thus, another strata of Government needs to be created and paid for.

Since Roman times (2000 years ago), if not before, Government has built itself up. For the most part, it is beneficial, but there are large portions which act in a way that wastes taxpayers monies.

In my opinion, EVERYTHING to do with tobacco control, alcohol control, sugar control, salt control, etc, is ‘counter-productive’. All these ideologies wish to increase the cost of whatever. That increased cost funds themselves, and robs the poorest people. The poorest people are paying for tobacco control via multiple taxes and charges. The richest people do not give a shit.

There again, it may be true that many smokers generally are such asinine swine that they they are quite prepared to go on buying fags at the government thieving price until they are forced to become mentally ill.

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I used to have respect for people like ‘The Prime Minster’. My respect has been collapsing for years, a bit at a time. The fact that Cameron allowed the passing of the PP regulation in the final breath of his party’s reign suggests to me that, rather than being Julius Caesar, Cameron was a sort of Cassius – a calculating bastard.

I think that smokers are deliberately withdrawing from ‘Society’ – as it is. Thus, smokers are sort of going underground. Yes, we will enjoy ‘special occasions’, such as a band in the pub, but we will only do what we wish to do. This idea brings in the idea of ‘loyalty’. In the past, I had the idea of ‘loyalty’ to my local pub. That no longer exists at all. Not one jot.

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I hate the likes of Arnott, but only in the sense of Nazi German concentration camp guards. I have no doubt whatsoever that Arnott is no more important than a concentration camp guard. The stings are pulled at a much higher level.

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I don’t want Philip Morris to get billions of pounds from us taxpayers. That would be awful. But the rush to get PP through, in the dying days of Parliament, speaks volumes. It says that HEALTH ZEALOTS are in total control.

 

 

 

 

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