Speaking in the summer adjournment debate, just 17 minutes after his colleague, John Cryer, had described it as a platform for "whingeing gits", Smith gittily whinged that government simply wasn't heeding quangoes and fake charities enough in stamping on the people he is elected to serve.
And he whinged at length, too.
Despite its shortcomings and omissions, I am proud of Labour's record on public health, especially with regard to tackling smoking in public places.Oh dear, not a great start, is it? This, of course, is the blanket smoking ban that no-one voted for; that a majority didn't want according to ONS stats; and which has divided and destroyed communities nationwide. Nick, though, is proud - proud, no less - that no heed was taken of the public's reservations.
Because, you see, once he has gone through the rigmarole of getting votes, the only people that matter to Nick are lobbyists and his fellow Westminster navel-gazers.
However, I am dismayed by the coalition Government's recent abdication of their responsibilities on public health.There are no responsibilities on public health for government to abdicate. The only, and I do mean only, responsibilities government should be concerned with is doing as we - his employers - ask.
Yet Smith barely mentions the public in the rest of his speech. Here are a few nuggets of 24 carat professional politico brainwash-speak.
Only a few weeks ago, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence set out proposals to curb excessive drinking. However, its recommendations of a ban on alcohol advertising and a minimum price for a unit of alcohol have proved controversial. Indeed, the Secretary of State for Health has already ruled out minimum pricing [...]No-one voted for NICE. No-one asked for NICE to start dictating on lifestyle choices. No-one wants alcohol adverts to be banned. Very few want minimum pricing, and those who do have ignored the fact that it won't work; that it contravenes EU rules; and that collective punishment is not a valid government response to the small minority who drink at hazardous levels.
The Secretary of State says that he is worried that minimum pricing disproportionately affects the poor, but so do public spending cuts and increasing VAT, and that has not stopped the Government, so I doubt that that is his main reason.No, Nick, the real reason is that people don't want it. Remember the people? You saw a few of them prior to May 6th.
Indeed, we do not know whether that is true. Academics argue that the better-off spend far more on alcohol than the poor. Logic leads us to believe that young people have the least to spend on alcohol, so raising the price might mean that they consume less. Surely that would be a worthy public health outcome. The fact that Tesco has come out in favour of a minimum price is a helpful start. I would like a sensible discussion about minimum pricing [...]We've had the discussion, Nick. The majority don't want it. Academics? Tesco? Err, hello! People here ... waving at you with both hands!
[...] because I believe that it would gain the support of the majority of the public.Woo hoo! We get a mention. But only as something to be manipulated.
Nick understands fully that we, the public, are against minimum pricing, but we are wrong so must be persuaded by discussion. Of course, by 'discussion', he means a wide-ranging spunking of government funds on advertising, more quangoes, pressure groups, and assorted righteous fucknuts in order to convince us that people like Nick know better than people like us how to live a 'proper' life, and that we all deserve to be soundly punished for the behaviour of a few.
The Labour Government gained such public support over time for their ban on smoking in public places and then, with the universal support of the medical profession and health campaigners, they legislated to remove cigarettes from public display and to ban cigarette vending machines from pubs. However, the introduction of those public health initiatives has stalled.They gained support 'over time' by ignoring objections, paying for biased 'evidence', rigging consultations, and pumping out propaganda. Then, when there was still no majority, they just ignored the public again ... as Nick did in that entire paragraph, while simultaneously hanging on every word from state-paid medicos and fucking 'health campaigners'.
As for tobacco displays and vending machines ...
Labour prefers to tackle the challenges of smoking-related deaths and illness, and their devastating human cost and costs to the national health service. As Action on Smoking and Health has said:Err, no Nick. They caved due to a distinct lack of support from the public - large scale objection, in fact - and because both ideas are fucking stupid, as well as potentially damaging to businesses and to young people."After all the election promises about public health, surely the coalition can make a better start than by caving in to the tobacco lobby".
Nick seemingly didn't feel that mentioning the views of 25,000 directly-affected shopkeepers, many of them from his own constituency, was more important than quoting a bleating cry from eight state-funded lobbyists in Shoreditch.
Oh yeah, and get your calculator out, sunshine. I know you're from Wales, but even a dullard like you must know that £10bn duty is larger than the £2.7bn constantly trumpeted as a cost to the NHS. We'll leave the VAT and pension provision figures for now, eh, seeing as you're new and still finding your feet as a professional fuckstick?
Of course, the coalition Government have given in not just to the tobacco industry, because the food industry's advances have also been successful. [...] Linked to that, the Government are to weaken the Food Standards Agency.Boy, does this lad love his quangoes, and no mistake?
Again, the public has repeatedly shown where their preferences lie, they do so whenever they visit the supermarket yet, again, Nick prefers to defend the interests of wasteful public sector busybodies rather than respect the choices of his electorate.
I don't know where Labour found this guy - perhaps they run fuckwittery academies or something, I dunno - but he is everything that is wrong with politics and a perfect example of Westminster ignorance and lack of respect for those who pay their wages.
As such, he'll undoubtedly go far, the righteous prick.