The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) have unveiled their election 'manifesto' and two items are rather striking.
The tobacco display ban regulations to be revisited as these disproportionately impact on independent retail micro businesses and are not evidence basedThis, of course, is entirely true. The new law will have no beneficial effect on smoking prevalence amongst the young, is backed by no evidence whatsoever, and was brought in on the back of statistical manipulation by the Department of Health and deliberately misleading information from Lord Darzi.
Unfortunately for the NFRN and their members, they are unwitting victims of legislation tabled as a result of saggy-arse Donaldson's call for 'denormalisation' of smoking.
But then, the NFRN call for this.
Minimum alcohol pricing to be introduced to prevent supermarkets selling alcohol below the cost price.Myopic? I should say so.
Our esteemed blog mascot explains.
The problem, however, as with all these matters, is that the report panders to the zealots in society who are never satisfied. I guarantee that if all the recommendations were introduced, Committee members would, within a few months at most, come back with further recommendations because the previous ones had not gone far enough. This lobby is impossible to satisfy.Indeed. Pallying up to the righteous only encourages them, and they don't care who they harm in reaching their utopia. Loyalty carries no weight for such single-minded nutters.
The NFRN should have realised that their predicament with regard to hidden tobacco displays is a consequence of the long road which started with tobacco advertising being banned in the early 80s. Since then, one 'logical next step' after another has led to their businesses being hit.
Similarly, the end game for anti-alcohol (though they currently only whisper it in darkened rooms) is prohibition. At the very least, they will be hoping for a rationing system to forcibly restrict alcohol consumption to government guidelines and, with all three main parties quite happy to indulge them, it's an eminently feasible future policy.
And that can only possibly be damaging to those whose businesses benefit from alcohol sales ... like members of the NFRN, for example.
Divide and conquer. Works every time.