The tobacco control industry, pictured recently
If there is one very beneficial aspect of the ongoing plain packaging consultation, it is how the dictatorial nature of the tobacco control industry has been laid more bare than ever before.
They've never really been happy with the whole 'impartial debate' thing, hence why they engineered a situation whereby their untruths and misdirection are not allowed to be challenged by their opponents. However, they are now intent on erasing any objecting voices, including the public themselves ... during a 'public' consultation, no less.
In short. They're quite happy to help themselves to your taxes, but will do everything in their power to silence your democratic rights unless you agree with them.
There were signs of this ploy when 25,000 responses to the tobacco display ban consultation were made to vanish while others generated the same way but for the proposal were allowed, and it looks like our spoiled tax-sponging brats are gearing up to pull the same disgusting trick again with plain packaging.
The tobacco industry and its affiliates have stepped up their lobbying in the United Kingdom against proposals to introduce standardised plain packaging on cigarettes and other tobacco products, say health campaigners and industry observers.I put this into Google Translate and it came up with the following.
The rise in campaigning against plain packaging since the Department of Health launched its consultation in April has been “massive,” said Andrew Rowell, a research fellow at the University of Bath. He added, “There has been a huge amount of lobbying by industry, both direct and indirect. It is reaching a crescendo to coincide with the end of the consultation.”
"Our opponents are conducting a very effective campaign. As such, there are far too many people rightly complaining that plain packaging is a silly idea, and submitting their objections to the consultation, so we're going to try to convince the Department of Health that they should be ignored as tobacco stooges. All of them."How else can you take such a petulant stance as being surprised that an opposing lobby have - shock, horror! - constructed a campaign to coincide with the end of the consultation it was designed to address?
The rest of the article - kindly sent to me by my trusty university-based fellow jewel robber - goes on to detail how the Hands Off Our Packs campaign has been deliberately disagreeing with tobacco control's finest. How very dare they!
It also suggests that a similar Tobacco Retailers' Alliance campaign forced 30,000 retailers to sign postcards in objection and send them off to the Department of Health. They didn't want to, of course, it was the tobacco companies and their baseball bats that made 'em, see?
Most jaw-droppingly hypocritical, though, was pointing an outraged finger at JTI who have committed the heinous offence of disagreeing with a proposed law which would see their brands and logos stolen from them by government on the basis of quite pathetic 'evidence'.
There is, naturally, no mention anywhere in the BMJ document of the huge amounts of taxpayer cash thrown at lobbying government - by organisations who have no business doing so - with a campaign of quite astounding mendacity in favour of the daft idea. No mention, either, of the hundreds of thousands (probably more) being committed by Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, or any of the hundreds of other PCTs and NHS trusts to bully the DoH into letting them have their own selfish (and ill-informed) way.
They can spend what they like, you see. The other side shouldn't be allowed to even speak!
So, not content with rigging the consultation, as well as rigging the evidence for the consultation, despite there being no evidence at all, a fact that the RPC pointed out in the impact assessment, the massed babies of tobacco control are now throwing an almighty tantrum in an attempt to sway the Department of Health into ignoring any responses which don't wildly endorse the implementation of plain packaging.
Err, didn't we used to laugh uneasily at such tactics being employed by totalitarian regimes in the USSR, Cuba, East Germany etc?
Time will tell if these odious methods will be successful, but if the DoH does indeed try to airbrush out huge numbers of responses, serious questions will need to be asked about the people entrusted to handle their public consultations.
And on the bright side, tobacco control must be very worried at the strength of feeling against their pathetic plan if they have decided to sink to such obscene depths with over a fortnight left before the consultation closes.
If you haven't yet given them the finger, you can do easily here or by submitting a personal response to the Department of Health here by August 10th (my own little guide is here).