Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Government Values Plain Packaging TEN TIMES MORE Than It Values Pubs

This afternoon's article at VGIF attracted this comment from fellow jewel thief, Xopher.
Still waiting for the promised review of the smoking ban. Promises, broken and politicians - 3 words, the basis of so many sentences.
As pointed out further down the thread, we have indeed already been treated to their pretence of an in-depth analysis of a law - based on a manifesto lie, remember - which arguably closed down vast numbers of community pubs.

You'd be forgiven for not having seen it, though. Simply because it was never designed to be seen and, therefore, to have attracted attention.

It was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2009 and entitled "Smokefree - feasibility study - secondary analysis of data relating to the hospitality sector". You'd be hard-pressed to track it down as it wasn't published as a stand alone piece. Google Scholar, for example, has never heard of it.

We know that it cost £47,479 to produce, though, thanks to this Word document which lingers around the web like a naughty child. And that it was given to a safe pair of hands in the form of career prohibitionist Anne Ludbrook, but that's about it.

Instead of being presented for analysis, warts and all, it was quietly included in the Department of Health's whitewash of March 2011.

The part relating to the hospitality industry - that is, pubs and clubs - amounted to just 868 words. Expensive stuff at around £54 per word, but a disgraceful dismissal of the concerns experienced by thousands of pub and club owners up and down the country since 2007.

Contrast that with the £468,000 the government has spent lobbying itself - just in the South West - on plain packaging of tobacco and you'll recognise the utter contempt afforded to pubs by Westminster.

Just promoting a vanity project by state-funded tax drains - which will have no effect whatsoever on smoking prevalence in England, or anywhere else in the Union - is valued ten times more by our government than our unique and world famous pub heritage.

Is it any wonder that this Snowdon quote is so often cited?
"If I see one more politician who voted for the smoking ban crying crocodile tears about the state of the pub industry, I may throw up."
Half a mill on talking to itself to appease tax spongers on an issue the public mostly couldn't give a shit about; a paltry £47k towards pubs.

Next time you hear a politician pretending to tear his hair out about the plight of pubs, remember that.


Steve Brown said...

it is well known that the pubs of old were places where people met and discussed matters. people communicated and opinions were formed. Such localities are anathema to a government seeking to control the population it considers it 'rules'.
Pubs formed a hub in very localised 'communities' (a much abused word) and were instrumental in coalescing very local opinions. No government seeking control could permit of such a thing. A local hub giving rise to opinions contrary to the received 'wisdom'? No way!
The pubs had to go.
And gone they have, along with the broad discussions of local affairs, the swapping and melding of opinions and the local cohesion of groups utilising the pubs.
The banning of smoking and the tax-burden on alcoholic drinks have a deeper and more sinister intent than just public health and tax revenues.

Tony said...

This post reminded me of something I was reading last night about a "save our pubs" campaign on my local news website, I checked and there indeed is my local MP offering up his support for it, he's never one to turn down any free publicity. I am pretty sure the bastard would have voted FOR the ban. Is there anywhere I can check if he did because if he did I will send him a nice email and a link to Dicks excellent post.

Frank J said...

I've been saying it since '07. The ban was the first stage in an effort to remove the the pub 'culture'. They knew well what they were doing.

SteveW said...

You can check his voting record on www.theyworkforyou.com which is, I might add, a very useful resource.

Unbowed said...

Oh ,how we blame the politicians and health freaks for the continuation
of the nonsensical smoking ban in pubs and bars throughout the UK'
Let us look more closely at the real culprits,around whose necks hangs the
greater part of blame
Top of the dung heap or should we say,mound of chicken livers.
1.......The Publicans
2........Their smoking customers
3.........The fork tongued Trade Publications
4..........The Pubcos
5...........The nice,law abiding housebound campaigns
6............Most,not all,wirebound chirping bloggers
7.............The Liberal Media (BBC,Guardian ,AD NAUSEAM)
8..............Well funded malcontents (ASH ETC)
9...............USA Quit Corporations
10..............Last of all, MPs who just do, what they are told

If you want change
You need to be seen
You need to be heard
You need to anger,to aggravate ,to upset,to disturb
At the present,we of the Invisible Empire are mumbling to the converted
whilst the Ban brigade have the attention of the Masses

Sort it


Ever ready

Tony said...

Many thanks SteveW, I checked him out and as sure as eggs are eggs he voted for the smoking ban back in 2006. I sent him a nice email telling him it is too late to start crying crocodile tears over the demise of our pubs when he helped cause the decline. I doubt I will hear anything back but this s**t makes me very angry.