"Err, what is 'evidence', again?"
Oh Malta, this is how you repay us?
It won't surprise you to learn, in this article, that the EU are solidly behind the plain packaging of tobacco in the form of that guy up there, Maltese Health Commissioner John Dalli. What comes as a major shock, though, is that he is still utterly clueless on the issues which pass across his desk.
Dalli also said he is looking into how to include electronic cigarettes, which he views as being just as bad as traditional cigarettes, in the tobacco products directive.Albeit not a direct quote, it comes from a report on a speech he made in Brussels and is quite in keeping with previous incompetent ramblings of his noted here in June.
"We are revising our tobacco legislation to make sure that we expand their scope – not just to tobacco – because there are other products which are more harmful, and also on packaging, advertising and access to cigarettes in shops, which can all help people to give up," Dalli told EurActiv.I made a statement about this at the time.
He explained: "Electronic cigarettes are an example. They are outside the scope of existing legislation, but if you go up on certain aeroplanes they are marketed all the time. This is the sort of expansion of legislation I am are (sic) talking about"
While we've always known that the anti-tobacco debate is rooted in fantasyland, it's only recently that those leading the campaign have begun to make patently absurd statements like this based on no evidence whatsoever.But then, that was before the plain packaging bullshit-wagon went into absurdity overdrive, so I take that back. It's been going on for long enough now to be diagnosed as a Europe-wide mental health problem.
It's incredible that - despite the obscene amounts of money swilling around Brussels - no-one, it would seem, has tapped Dalli on the shoulder to whisper that he is talking demonstrable garbage about e-cigs.
Of course, it's possible that they have done exactly that. In which case, it's not just staggering that someone so mind-blowingly incompetent can be the Health Commissioner for around one billion of the Earth's population, it is also unutterably terrifying!
Not a great advert for the level of intellectual evidence being used in the plain packaging debate, is it? Dalli seems to believe just about anything except real life.
Now, I'd ordinarily say that Malta, you can keep your Eurovision* douze points this year if you'll just recall this clown and find him a job cleaning toilets in Valletta, or something. But, sadly, it doesn't look like they want the bumbling moron back any time soon ... they've been there, done that.
* And yes, I will be live blogging it again this year.