Monday 20 September 2010

Tears Of A Righteous Crocodile

Tobacco control advocate Dr Michael Siegel has today reported on an Oregon study which tracked the state's smoking prevalence since 1996. The main finding appears to be that statisticians are surprised when uncovering facts of which everyone else is already aware.

Although Oregon enacted a substantial cigarette tax increase in 1996, a new report shows that there has been no decrease in smoking prevalence among lower-income Oregonians, which remained steady at about 35% from 1996 through 2007.

"The report notes the economic impact of smoking hits lower-income families harder."Tobacco is so addictive that some Oregon families reduce the amount of money spent on food to buy cigarettes," it said."
Well, they can attempt to pin this down to addiction if they wish, but that's really not what's happening here.

As I've mentioned many times before, I have grown up with, socialise with, and work with working (and non-working) class people, and one thing you can reliably bank on is that the vast majority never change. Many are still working in the same job, meeting the same friends, going to the same places on nights out, to the same holiday venues, and with the same people, as they did 30 or more years ago. They still drink the same drinks, eat the same food, and sometimes even drive the same car as they have for decades too. If they smoke, merely raising the price is going to have very little effect - they will simply find the money from somewhere because smoking is what they and their friends have done, and will always do.

That's why it's always rather amusing to read the middle class coffee table poppycock pumped out by ASH extolling the virtues of raising tobacco taxes as a means of making smokers quit. You see, ASH are continually shedding crocodile tears about 'health inequalities'; their hearts bleeding as they explain how their main concern is helping those poor, err, poor people.

Yet, as this study proves - as if it required proving - imposing across the board tax rises on consumer goods naturally harms the working class more than others. It's the most regressive tax (along with VAT) that any government can apply. The better off, on the other hand, are not only more able to shrug off the extra cost, they are also more able to avoid it altogether by travelling abroad and stocking up.

Far from promoting equality as they emptily claim, ASH only serve to widen the gap in equality of disposable income ... or, to put it another way, they make the poor poorer.

The righteous never learn though, so we are no doubt soon to go through this whole charade once again with minimum alcohol pricing. It's being held off for the moment, but these tedious cretins are paid to carry on being tedious cretins so won't stop whining until they get it.

Again, the middle classes won't give a stuff as it won't affect them, while the working class will pay extra and, if that leaves them short, will economise by buying value brands at Tesco instead of the slightly more expensive version. The 69 year old guy I know who has been getting up at 5:30am, six days a week, to labour at a building site as he has done since he was 15, is not going to change the amont of cans he buys at the supermarket every week. He'll just buy cheaper sausages.

Of course, the people the tedious cretins claim they are targeting - 'hazardous' drinkers - will possibly stop eating altogether (or their kids will) - rather than give up their alcohol. Not a very wise move, is it?

Same goes for the ever more regularly mooted soda tax and new kid on the block, the junk food tax. In fact, every interfering righteous initiative is a cert to take a larger proportion of working class household budgets than it will those of the well-paid fucktards who propose it.

Nanny does so love to bash the poor, doesn't she?


Witterings from Witney said...

Congrats DP on your entry into the top 50 political blogs!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ta WfW. I was thinking about commenting on that, maybe I will after another glass. ;)

Anonymous said...

I can get three bottles of red plonk down my local shop for ten quid, last christmas day they were open and when I run short I went in and bought some more. However I have just started brewing my own having taken a break from doing it for over 25 years.
I have not tried it yet but it should be drinkable in the next week, and if it is not then practise makes perfect.
all the best
John Gibson

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the following message will filter through to the
interfering middle class ASH
people.They are getting on my nerves but as an ageing quiet type of person ,ASH need not be to concerned about me at the moment.
However I am getting on the nerves
of those around me ,RE the empty pubs.Some of these uncouth animals
are extremely upset about my nagging and, of course,their
disappearing boozers. To relieve the problem I have had to direct
their attention to the few remaining high profile ANTIS still on the pub scene. Last night at
a near empty bar one clean clothes hand wafter mentioned the cheap
beer in supermarkets,foolish man,
we wont be seeing him for a while.
In short ,the zealots will be found,one by one,untill the day ,
when reason returns.

Sick of all the lies
Sick of all the deceptions

BTS said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote, I would be most appreciative if you would stop using my life as a case study for the purpose of writing your blog. It was bad enough with the snoring..

g1lgam3sh said...

Anonymous said...

John Gibson will be one of many who go back to the joys of home wine making if alcohol prices go up. I did some research at my nearest homebrew shop when this was first discussed a year ago. Works out at £1.20 for a decent bottle of wine. Like putting the ingredients in the bread maker, it's easy when you get into the routine and you wonder why you hadn't been doing it for years. The Government will know it's screwed up when the homebrew section reappears in Boots after a 25 year gap.

Ian R Thorpe said...

My son, who gets out more than I do these days, tells me for every ciggy sold legally in Accrington bhe reckons there are two brought in by lorry drivers who regularly make the North Sea Ferries run.

They might have killed the booze cruise but the fag drag lives on. Why do those who would be control freaks always underestimate the resourcefulness of the working class. Have they failed to understand the meaning of the Robin Hood legends?

Dick Puddlecote said...

g1lgam3sh: Thanks for pointing that out, been ill and missed it. Glorious, as always from the Mash.

Anon: That's my next project now I'm giving no tobacco tax whatsoever to the government. Chateau Puddlecote will be in production within the next couple of months. :)

Ian: I think it's because they either refuse to accept that their power is not all-encompassing, or that their rent-seeking would be hindered by admitting it.

RB said...

Letter to ASH

Dear Mr Reed,

I have just read your pamphlet,

“The Effects of Increasing Tobacco Taxation: A Cost Benefit and Public Finances Analysis”

and I am not sure what to say to you. You see, I am a well educated person,13 O levels, 4 A levels, Degree (in law, not one of these pathetic namby pamby degrees one can get nowadays), and a postgraduate certificate, as well as years of real life experience. I have learned over the years, and it is certainly a requirement of my profession as a solicitor of the supreme court of England and Wales, that it is always best that I write in measured and sensible terms. Having said all of this I cannot bring myself not to tell you that your pamphlet is one of the biggest piles of steaming shit that I have ever read. And don’t please forget that the shit I have read as a lawyer over the years is very shit indeed.

What immediately gets my goat is that you say:

Savings to the National Health Service - in 2006, £2.7 billion was spent by the

NHS on treatment of smoking-related diseases in England. As the risk of developing

diseases falls (due to lower smoking prevalence and decreasing risks for ex-smokers),

so would the costs of treatment.

I think that honesty in preparing a report like this is the fundamental benchmark of any competent author. But, as always seems to be the case, you have neglected to mention that the tax take from smokers massively outweighs the amount you say it costs to treat “smoking related disease”. Why do you never say this? Why does ASH never, ever, refer to this? Is it because you think that the people for whom, you prepare these ridiculous reports are so stupid and gullible that they won’t notice the omission? Why do you make such incomplete and essentially dishonest statements? Perhaps you will be kind enough to tell me. Likely, not.

It is an incontrovertible fact that the treasury is a massive net beneficiary from smokers. Why is it that you and your kind are so disingenuous that you can’t say this, ever?

Anecdotes are not evidence of a trend or evidence of reality. But, ASH seems happy to use them whenever it suits, so let me give you an anecdote of my own. I grew up in a small bungalow. We lived with my grandmother as well as my mother as mum couldn’t affords to live on her own, dad having left when we were toddlers. We lived with my nan who smoked 40 cigarettes each day, without fail. We had fag ash in our mashed potato, since she was “old school” and always had a fag hanging out of her mouth with at least an inch of ash on the end. Guess what? Three brothers, we were. One qualified as a lawyer, 16 stone of muscle and aggression who has played rugby for 25 years. The second, now a police sergeant, who spent 16 years in the Army, fit as a butcher’s dog for his whole life, runs marathons. The third, a little less athletic, but highly intelligent and the youngest ever branch manager of a high street building society. Clearly we have all been traumatised by the fact that our nan was a smoker. By the way, none of us has felt the need to see a doctor in over 20 years.


RB said...

Why you people cannot see the basic truth that increasing tobacco taxation will a) affect the poorest in society the most, b) lead to more tobacco smuggling, is beyond me. It really isn’t rocket science. People who smoke will buy their tobacco come what may. Anything you propose will make absolutely no difference. Why are you so thick that you can’t see this? The fact that you think anyone will be deterred by a 30p rise in the cost of a packet of cigarettes shows that you have no idea what you are dealing with.

I note that you mention that people would live longer if tobacco was more expensive. The only benefit you appear to glean from this is more tax for the state from people who have probably already paid tax for all of their lives, and significantly more than the average given that they have paid the duty on their tobacco products. Christ on a bike. When will the hectoring, nannying, condescending, “ we know better than you” class” of apparent “academics” realise that we do not want to be working until we die at our desks, or sitting in our own shit in a state controlled nursing home, worried and abused by illegal immigrant “carers” who don’t give a shit whether we live or die, with the state finally giving us the terminal insult by stealing all of our accumulated wealth to pay for the privilege of sitting in our own shit. What you appear to recommend is that I live long enough to carry on paying tax whilst someone else is wiping my arse. You can guess my response, can’t you?

So please, for the love of god, keep your righteous, hectoring| “I know better than you how to live your life”, prodnosed, interfering, nannying, sanctimonious, bullshit to yourself. One thing you need to realise. The Righteous, of whom you are one, are decimating society at present and have been doing so for years now. It has always been a matter of puzzlement to me that some idiot who I have never met, and who seems to have contributed pretty much fuck all to the well of human knowledge, thinks he knows better than me how I should live my life. I will say this for myself and all of us who despise your self-righteous arrogance. Who the fuck do you think you are? There is no indication that idiots like you will stop. Be aware that one day the proles might be on your lawn with a pitchfork and a rope. The day that happens you can guarantee that I will be there.

In short, Mr Reed, you, Paul Johnson, and Ash can just fuck off.