The Tobacco Directive Consultation

Dick Puddlecote has recommended various responses to the UK Health Dept consultation even though he, and all of us, know full well that the consultation is a charade. It is an invitation for those involved in creating the directive to add more to it. It is issued by public health for public health. No one else matters. It is like king Henry VIII calling for someone to rid him of ‘that troublesome priest’ and then finding, shortly afterwards, that someone has indeed rid him of ‘that troublesome priest’. In the case of the TPD, the ‘troublesome priest’ is the ecig industry. You can read the questions that have been put in the consultation here:

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/drafting-tpd2-consultation-response.html

Dick P recommends answers. Personally, I may or may not respond. If I do respond, my response will almost certainly be threatening. I like that idea. I like the idea of putting Public Health England on notice that the lies and misinformation render them open to mega, class action lawsuits, both as a group and as individuals, if they bugger up the ecig industry. For example, an individual might begin an action demanding that a stay in implementation of the directive must be put in place until Vapers themselves, and only Vapers, have been consulted about the affects upon them of the directive. That is not as unreasonable as one might think. After all, the EU Treaties are just temporary agreements – they have no force of law whatever. I have read that Germany has suspended the Schengen agreement (which permits free movement throughout Europe). If Germany can do that, then there is no reason that the UK should not ‘suspend’ the TPD in advance. Cameron might stand up in Parliament and says, “Since the TPD discussions commenced, ten years ago, major changes have occurred. It is clear that the directive is way out of date in many respects. For example, the, possibly dangerous ecigs envisaged by the directive no longer exist. Further, plain packaging in Australia has shown that gruesome pictures on cig packets have no effect. In fact, they might have the opposite effect than what was intended in a psychological sense. That is, once a person has seen a ‘black lung’ pic n times, he ceases to be afraid of ‘black lung’. It becomes just a picture and has no more effect than a picture of a devil or a ‘No Smoking’ sign”. Erm… A bit too much to expect since Cameron and his ilk care nothing whatsoever about individuals. They are only concerned about very big groups, like Tory Voters.

[As an aside, what I like about ‘No Smoking’ signs is that the “No” very quickly disappears from your consciousness, and all you see is the word ‘Smoking’, which is ubiquitous advertising of smoking. In fact, all you see is the red circle and the crossed out cig. It reminds you that you would like a cig. Funnily enough, that does not work on aircraft. Perhaps it is the absence of red circles and the blandness. No wonder youths are taking up smoking with abandon]

What I think is true is that the Zealots are reaping the rewards of their own evangelism. They have exaggerated so much that no one believes their original premise that smoking MAY be bad for specific individuals, and that there MAY be many individuals who are at risk, and that it MAY be better for people to decide not to enjoy tobacco in the smoking form. Had it not been for the anti-tobacco zealotry, many people might have taken up snus and chewing tobacco years and years ago, to say nothing about ecigs.

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So maybe I’ll take a look at this consultation and amuse myself if I have time. Perhaps I’ll paint word pictures of the horrors which will ensue from the directive. It could be fun. But a part of me suggests that it is a total waste of time. A part of me tells me that there is only one avenue which is available to an individual, which is to write a genuine letter to your MP. I think that such a letter is the ONLY avenue that you can be sure that your MP actually sees your letter him/herself. Even that is not assured. I would expect that Cameron gets loads of letter. How could he possibly have time to read them? He cannot. But it is possible that he will read letters from his own constituents. I have  a feeling that one could write to one’s MP and say, “I would be grateful if X [the MP] would acknowledge that he/she has read my letter personally. If not, please return the letter to me. I have enclosed an SAE should that eventuality occur”.

Somehow or other, MPs must be reminded that they are not elected to please themselves and support dictatorship. In fact, they are elected precisely for the opposite reason. As regards the EU, their duty is to oppose totalitarianism.

Why is it taking so long for individual MPs to realise that EU directives are outside democracy? That party affiliations have no meaning in those respects. That party whips have no bearing on such matters. It is the ‘People’s Representatives’ Versus the EU Bureaucracy. Ministers are outside the equation because of their ignorance – witness Milton’s claim that treaties are ‘legally binding’, and Soubry’s claim that ecigs had been dropped from the TPD. Allison has not yet dropped a clanger, but she will. She will because she has a girlish enthusiasm. I suppose that she has a ‘crush’ on the handsome face of the tobacco control hero. There again, her crush might be on her own advancement. But she will be discarded when tobacco control says that she should be discarded. Perhaps that is why she has to try harder and harder.

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I opine that this directive is dangerous. The danger has not much to do with the actual provisions. It has more to do with the implications of elected representative powerlessness in the face of relentless bureaucracy, both in the EU and at home. Even the Prime Minister sucks.

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