Friday, 24 August 2012

Common Sense Takes Centre Stage In New Zealand

I've mentioned before that the tobacco control industry are mounting an almost identical plain packs campaign in New Zealand as that seen here, complete with strangely familiar website and sound bites. No doubt their advocates have been busily spending NZ government cash (again, identical to UK troughers) jetting for meetings in London to pick up tips in the past few months.

It seems there is resistance brewing though. New Zealand's largest newspaper has delivered stinging criticism of the plan in their editorial yesterday.
There comes a point in the pursuit of public health that puritanism becomes oppressive. Plain packs would not be the first reduction of tobacco companies' commercial rights; they may indeed be the last. If brands can no longer be distinguished even on the packet, they might be destroyed.

Property rights are important, even for industries for whom we have distaste. Governments should not remove them unless it is necessary. Plain-pack legislation would be plain theft.

Additionally, a hugely popular blogger once described as New Zealand's "most notorious" has come out in forthright opposition.

The other side, as usual, is the same tired collection of emotional blackmailers and selfish, state-paid quangoistas.

Good to see that some common sense is intruding on the global carnival of self-congratulatory, evidence-free bollocks, isn't it? If our antipodean allies need anything further, they could do worse than take on board some of the testimony from these respected people telling it like it is in real life, rather than cloud cuckoo land.

I'm sure we'll be returning for regular updates on New Zealand in the future. Let's hope they can deliver the same comprehensive V-sign that we in the UK did.


Jay said...

This twitter convo may between ppNZ and a radio station may interest you. Not all of the tweets are shown, however, but it's kind of funny:

junican41 said...

But have you seen the comments in the NZ Herald, Dick? They are almost all in favour of PP. Whether or not the commenters are aSHITES is hard to say, but they are definitely brainwashed. "Tobacco Companies are killing people", "Plain Packs will put youngsters off", the usual claptrap. Actually, one commenter made quite an astute observation (even if he was a Zealot). He said that the time is approaching when a smoker will go into a shop and ask for, "A packet of smokes please. Cheapest will do" Is there some truth in that?

Mag01 said...

The following concerns what happens when someone severely
over-estimates their competence, skill, and understanding. It concerns a
pensioner in her 80s who decided, without being asked (for very good reason),
that she was going to restore – a là Mr. Bean as it turns out, a 19th
century Spanish fresco.

Somehow it reminded me of the neo-eugenicists – or
antismokers, more specifically – trying to “fix up” the world. I could see them
in the same circumstance of trying to fix-up the artwork as the pensioner
would-be artiste. But there would be one critical difference. The pensioner,
however delusional, at least recognized eventually that she was in way over her
head, able to recognize the terrible result of her lack of skill and knowledge.
Not so, the antismokers. They would look upon their botched effort at right
exclaiming, “Magnificent! Magnifique! It’s even way better than the
And there would probably be an awards night immediately
following praising the fixer-uppers. It wouldn’t be surprising if they then
tried to bully their way into the Louvre to do more “restoration” work.

P.S. “Next week she will meet with a repairer and
explain what kind of materials she used”

It should be obvious that she’s used some sort of pasta

p sok said...

I hate these idiots. They have ruined so much. Have to go outside to have a smoke at a nightclub, nonsense, pricks.
p sok

west2 said...

"A packet of smokes please. Cheapest will do" Is there some truth in that?"

Are American style cigarettes the same as English?
Are French style the same as Russian?

A bottle of beer, cheapest will do? Lager or Real Ale, no just beer. A bottle of spirits. cheapest will do? Vodka or Whiskey, no just meths!

Many of the NZ commentators seem not to have twigged that it is a precedent that is being set. They still believe that BigT's products are 'different'.

Some make the old cliched comment about being the only product when used as directed can kill. They seem to forget, Viox and (well who cares) Chantix.

Both Australia and NZ have both escaped much of the economic downturn in the US, UK and Europe. When the tide turns, they will see the Neo-Puritans for what they are.

There does seems to be a relationship between economic prosperity and the rise of puritanism. As the money runs out the views expressed begin to change and opinion starts to shift. I remember similar comments in the UK but they now seem to be fewer and the arguments against them are gaining traction.