We've already seen how they are so very mad that they deny the fundamentals of economics, but their insistence that plain packaging won't make life easier for counterfeiters is even funnier. It should be clear to even the simplest of minds that reducing 200+ pack designs to just the one government-prescribed one is a Godsend to criminals. But no, not in wibbly-wobbly tobacco control land.
Deborah Arnott was adamant in this Sky News clip (2:55 onwards) that anyone stating the bleeding obvious is quite barking.
See, they have 'covert markings' now. It's just a tobacco industry smokescreen, so it is.
Except, of course, that it isn't the tobacco industry making this argument. Long-serving police chief, Peter Sheridan, has stated that the markings are going to be pretty useless when plain packaging comes in unless plod are routinely given gadgets to check every packet they see on the streets (5:25 onwards).
He explained that "things like colours, embossments and shapes, all are defence mechanisms" against counterfeiting, before going on to describe plain packaging at HuffPo UK as an idea which "will create a fertile ground for tobacco smuggling".
Still, I suppose Arnott will dismiss a well-respected police officer with 30 years' experience of tackling criminal gangs as some kind of tobacco industry shill. But what about state-paid employees like Mike Norgrove who is Director of Excise, Customs, Stamps and Money at HMRC?
He gave evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee a couple of months ago. Perhaps his professional experience is also inferior to the awesome fairy tale-spinning intellect of Deborah Arnott, eh?
Kate Hoey: Do you think there would be an increase, or what would you see as the effect, if this country was to follow the Australian line of going down plain packaging?
Mike Norgrove: The Department has made representations, as everyone else has, on the consultation about the possible effects of plain packaging.
Kate Hoey: Did you put in a submission?
Mike Norgrove: We did.
Kate Hoey: Is that public?
Mike Norgrove: No, it was not a public submission.
Kate Hoey: Right, okay; so you are not going to tell us.
Mike Norgrove: I can say that the obvious danger from our point of view is that the ability to detect counterfeit or illicit material would be made more difficult by a system where there was no difference between one packet and another.Good God! Do cranks like Peter Sheridan OBE and Mike Norgrove CBE not realise that Nanny Arnott is the font of all knowledge on law enforcement and illicit duty avoidance? Who do they think they are claiming to be experts? The bloody nerve!
It must be a tobacco industry plot. I mean, who could possibly believe Arnott is talking out of her tax-sponging backside ... again, eh?