Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Game Is Fixed, But Not Playing Is Defeatist

In typically trenchant style, I think that the Devil has had a bit of a veiled pop at me this morning.

Originally, I'd planned to reply in the comments but it was becoming rather long, hence this article. You see - we both being libertarians and my occasionally dropping one or two articles over at the kitchen myself - it shouldn't come as a surprise that I agree with him.

Well, up to a point.
A great number of bloggers are getting terribly worked up about the plain packaging consultation, both relevant to the subject matter.

It is inevitable, of course, that because the government have not got the answer that they wanted from the "consultation" that they should "extend" the timescale to let all "stakeholders" respond.

None of this matters.

The power to "dictate the colour of cigarette packs, their shape, the trademarks displayed on them and any labelling" was handed to the Health Secretary solely back in 2009.

And you poor fucks think that we live in a democracy.

The consultation on this matter—just like the "consultation" on the display ban—is simply a democratic fig-leaf: the government simply wants to pretend that it is, in any way, answerable to the people.

Anyone who believes that our democracy is in any way "representative" is an idiot.
Indeed, this is mostly true. And also something I've acknowledged here before with articles entitled "How to rig a public consultation", and "How to rig the evidence for a public consultation", both relevant to the subject matter.

Politicians with power in this day and age are as slippery as a turkish wrestler; the civil servants behind them bent and self-serving. Politics is corrupt, and trust in the whole process is rightly screwed as evidenced by quite appalling election turnouts.

However - and it is a big however, in my book - this is precisely the reason why we should be getting right under the skin of these hideous fucks by playing their game, however fixed it may be.

Objection to the idea of plain packaging has come overwhelmingly from the police; the proposal has been lambasted by retailers; and packaging and related industries have detailed how it will put people on the dole in a recession, no less. Additionally, personal responses to the consultation have been numerous; and if government was hoping it would be a simple case of counting signatures collected by their various truth-free networks, the busy opposing petitions - including one outside London stations which fellow jewel robbers report to be doing a brisk trade - have embarrassment factor written all over them if handled right.

On the other side is nothing but hyperbole, government-funded self-lobbying, unsubstantiated claims, and - most importantly - a complete lack of any evidence whatsoever, which even the plan's biggest supporters admit.

If the dust settles with parliament deciding to ignore the sane majority once again, especially so soon after their pathetic idiocy has been unveiled to an incredulous public with the laughable tobacco display ban, it will mean hundreds of thousands more who will have had their eyes opened as to the disgusting abuses imposed on them by common sense-challenged MPs and their unaccountable support network.

The alternative - to shrug shoulders and just let the self-serving pricks get on with it - is unconscionable, in my opinion. Every opportunity that exists to show them up as ignorant and dictatorial should be seized upon with both hands, and this campaign has the potential to do just that.

Politics is, and always will be, a long game. The loony left and Mary Whitehouse-esque figures were objects of derision just a couple of decades ago - now they run the country, a perfect example of why knocking on closed doors is something we should be doing however futile it may seem right now.

There's also the matter of principles and integrity. As Delingpole described a week or so ago. While the bansturbators lie through their teeth and destroy the lives of others purely to trouser more cash for their grubby selves, we can hold our heads high and know that we've acted in defence of liberty and self-determination ... unlike Westminster tosspots who should be doing so but wouldn't recognise integrity if it were presented as a super-hero and advertised on billboards twenty foot high outside their office window.

So, I will continue to advocate that the consultation should be responded to (if you haven't yet done so, please go here and object in the strongest terms), and in a most emphatic fashion. The Devil is correct that insular Westminster knuckle-draggers will most likely ignore us, but that isn't any reason not to get a blow in here and there along the way. Being stubborn and saying no is a virtue which - if shown by more of us - would have prevented the vile bastards from putting us in such a powerless position in the first place.

Well, that's my take on the situation anyhow, although it has to be admitted that the Devil's mass hanging idea is equally attractive.

6 comments: spell said...

Just a thought - would an FOI elicit the current results of the "consultation"? They seem to know how many responses they've had - it's unlikely they haven't sorted them.

Richard carey said...

I agree. We should remember that membership of the main parties is about 1 percent of the electorate. Libertarians may indeed be a minority, but then so are all the rest, and as for the puritanical temperance nutters, they're even more of a minority. As Orwell said, sometimes you have to fight even though you know you will probably lose, because it's better than losing without fighting.

Reinhard Dekter said...

Dear Dick,

This is an appeal from Down Under:
Recently these two articles have been published at a sort of academic-public interface website. I have commented on each but I would greatly value your much more experienced and knowledgeable take on the issue.

I may have called "Australia's best minister" an enemy of the people ...

Many thanks for your dedicated work in the cause of liberty,


truckerlyn said...

Democracy?  "And you poor fucks think that we live in a democracy." Yes, bang on Dick, we haven't lived in a democracy for years!  Yet, our corrupt government spend billions sending troops to 'fight for freedom and democracy' in other countries!  Don't make me laugh!

As my husband has said, we won't get involved in the fight unless the country has something we need, like oil!

What a load of hypocrites the brainwashed morons in this country vote in, time and time again - when will they wake up?

Joy Drought said...

The values of Liberty,Freedom and Justice were never gained or maintained by words ,be they spoken,written or transmitted
They are won and held by those who are prepared to kick ass.

Before we forget the issue of "pubs doing well" much vaunted by
silly little covens like ASH,CAMRA ad nauseam maximum
A share in Punch Taverns would set you back today (12.00pm)
6.5 Pence
Check the price for 29/06/2007

The Grim Peeper

david said...

A number of suggestions have been made as to the motive behind extending the deadline. And now the police have objected to the scheme. Can we completely dismiss the possibility that the government may be getting cold feet and looking for a way out? This initiative may be the first step too far in many peoples's eyes. At the very least, perhaps too early. 

Up until now, TC has has made relatively easy and rapid progress. But it is coming under closer scrutiny, not least by MSM. And there is sod all real evidence that plain packaging will reduce the rate of child smokers. Indeed, there was sod all evidence for the ban, but everyone was assured that great benefits would result. Clearly, there are non and it has caused serious damage to pubs.  Smoking rates have, if anything, increased. Maybe people are now starting to realise this and could be losing faith in ASH and pals. 

It may too much to hope for perhaps, but maybe they will try to save face by calling for more evidence before committing. Then drop it. On the other hand, a smoking ban in cars might become the priority. It'd be easier, given all the passive smoking shite - a logical extension of the existing workplace ban.