Tuesday, 12 July 2011

UK v Australia: Into The Back Straight

Baroness Thornton yesterday presented a "motion to regret" in the Lords on the subject of the tobacco display ban. These are usually a means to object to laws being passed through parliament. Thornton wasn't against the legislation, though. Oh no, she 'regrets' that tobacconists and grocers aren't being stamped on fast enough, because it has been delayed while the impact on small businesses is assessed.

I found this revelation from Tory Earl Howe - representing the government's position - particularly interesting.

"My noble friend Lord Naseby and the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, mentioned the issue of plain packaging. the tobacco control plan includes a commitment to consult on options to reduce the promotional impact of tobacco packaging, including an option to require plain packaging before the end of 2011."
Easy there, Tiger. Why the haste?

Well, I think we know the answer to that. Because, as I mentioned in January, our politicians are involved in a global game of keeping up with the Joneses - or, "we're considerabloy stricter than yaow" - with Australia.

The upside-downers laid their cards on the table when the idea was first proposed.

If we act quickly, Australia can overtake the British Government and become the first country in the world to mandate that cigarettes be sold in plain packaging.
But their ban - if it passes legal challenge - only takes effect from July 2012. Just time, then, for our own dictators to eradicate pack designs first if they get a wiggle on.

Now, considering a prime argument during yesterday's debate was how many extra people will die (no, they definitely will!) if packs aren't hidden right now or yesterday, I expect you can imagine the option health groups - who are the only people parliament listens to on such matters - will plump for in the upcoming consultation.

The era of classy cigarette cases may be on its way back quicker than we initially thought.

As an aside, you can view the debate via BBC's Democracy Live facility here (you may enjoy Lord Stoddart's contribution from 49:50 in). Keep your eye out for someone in the gallery - whose wages you are paying for being there - you may recognise. Probably just making sure the salient lies facts she provided are being trotted out correctly so she doesn't have to get the whip out.




13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I reckon I could lob a ripe tomato from that viewpoint.

Ian R Thorpe said...

Lack of aesthetically pleasing packaging does not deter smoking. When I was a kid a local shop would sell two Woodbines or Park Drive, loose.

The little hoologans at our school beat a path to his door.

Anonymous said...

Baroness Gale seems not to have mastered English as a second language. How the Hell did that fool get into the HoL?

"Lack of aesthetically pleasing packaging " - look at the people who 'work' for ASH.

d'babe said...

Era of classy cigarette cases has been ongoing in my purse for past 10 years thanku very much ...

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon: Good point, Debs looks far better blurred.

D'babe said...

Blurred ? - She'd look better oblitterated

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Deborah Arnott was like a vampire - you cannot photograph one. But I was wrong: http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-you-see-her-remember-to-ask-scuse-me.html

>She'd look better oblitterated
Spitroasted between Professor Hakenkreuz and Paul 'Oedipus' Bartlett.

Nurse!

George Speller said...

"so she doesn't have to get the whip out."

How much would you pay to be whipped by Debs . . . Oh, wait . . .we already do.

Junican said...

A depressing debate. Zealot after zealot repeated the well-worn mantras of ASH.

No doubt they all repaired to the bar after the debate for a well deserved glass of malt or something. Erm...did I just recently read that 'there is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol'?

Ian B said...

I just feel so angry and hopeless. Is this gays felt? Is this how Jews felt?

Anonymous said...

Call me highly imaginative, but in that photo of Debs in the red circle, (with some imagination) does it not look like the man sitting beside her has his hand to his mouth holding a cig, the lady sitting in the foreground to the left has something looking like a cig between her fingers and the man standing doing the talking is either wagging his finger or else that is a cig he is holding. Is that just me or does it appear nearly everyone in that photo is doing something that resembles smoking.

Mark Wadsworth said...

IanB: "Is this how gays felt? Is this how Jews felt?"

I don't know - I've never felt a gay. Jewish people feel much the same as anybody else, IIRC.

Angry Exile said...

Go Aussie, go Aussie, go Auss... hang on, wait, no. Stop Aussie, stop Aussie, stop Aussie...