Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Honest Campaign

I read something in Westminster records today which very much reminded me of this chutzpah from ASH.
The tobacco industry has run a well-resourced and mendacious campaign against standardised packs. If it does not proceed with the proposal, the UK Government risks being seen as bowing to this pressure.
Mendacious campaign? Are they serious?

The past couple of weeks have seen politicians (mostly Labour) queueing up to lie outrageously to their respective houses.

Here's the latest from Baroness Morgan in the Lords.
Nine months after the consultation ended, we are still awaiting a response from the Government.
Yes. So are we, dear. We'd like to see if half a million ordinary people are to be respected for their views or ignored. We demand an answer too.
In the time we have been waiting, Cancer Research UK estimates that more than 150,000 children have started smoking.
They may well have done, but not one of them because of a colour scheme.
Let us take a moment to reflect on the support for standard packs, which is extremely broad. I mentioned the support of the health community. I cannot overstate the extent to which health organisations agree with this measure.
You can definitely overstate it. Health organisations will always agree with just about any pile of cockwaffle that they themselves have concocted ... because they are paid to produce it.
This issue also resonates with the public.
No it doesn't. There was not a single member of the public involved in the plain packs folly. No-one asked for it; no-one campaigned for it before the tobacco industry thought it up; no-one is that daft as to think it urgent. It is solely a policy construct of people paid to devise ever more bizarre attacks on smoking.
In the Government’s consultation more than 200,000 members of the public supported standard packs.
And half a million rejected it! Is this woman incorrigibly ignorant or is she ... mendacious?
These are the supporters of standardised packaging: a majority of the public and more than 190 health and welfare organisations.
Err, should that not read "a minority of the public" and "the financially motivated"? If the Baroness were to be honest, she would say yes. But she isn't.
Yet their collective voice has at times struggled to be heard over the well organised campaign by the tobacco industry.
You have got to be shitting me! Who had huge billboards stuck up all over the South West paid for by £468,462.06 of taxpayer receipts? And who was castigated for being invited for a short meeting to fulfil the DoH's democratic obligations?

Baroness Morgan has proven conclusively that ASH are hilariously hypocritical to accuse the other side of being "mendacious". She has presented half-truths, never-were-truths, paid-for study results, unrelated propaganda, and lies to the House of Lords, no less. While also being a prominent agent in the denial of "the collective voice" of the public being heard over the "well-organised campaign by the tobacco [control] industry".

The campaign against plain packs, in contrast, did not attempt to rig the consultation; did not produce literature containing bald-faced lies to MPs; did not enthusiastically encourage corrupt multiple signatures; and did not attempt to influence government to exclude any consultation responses they disagreed with.

There was only one honest campaign in the plain packs debate. And it ain't the filthy, disgusting, lying one which the Baroness endorses. Her deeply mendacious - yes, mendacious - contribution to the Lords' debate proves that conclusively.


Junican said...

And did any other Lordship pick her up on this crap? Of course not!

But it doesn't matter a toss what these grotesque titled ladies say. All the (fake) surveys and (junk) studies have been done and have failed to impress. Plain packaging is going nowhere - at least for the time being. According to a panellist at the EU workshop thing about ecigs, the UK has almost totally implemented the FCTC. Tobacco companies have been silenced, laws have been passed to ban smoking in public places, and to ban advertising and to outlaw tobacco promotion. Display bans have been enacted. There is nothing much left in the FCTC to be done - apart from plain packaging, which the Government has rejected. So what is the use of continuing to fund ASH ET AL? They have nowhere to go. Sure they can mess about in local authorities putting signs up outside parks and banning the use in 'public' places of the one product which seems to help people to stop buying tobacco at outrageous prices while still being able to puff on a (e)cigarette. So what? It is all Stony Stratford stuff. Pathetic thrashing about. Italy has suffered a significant drop in tobacco tax revenue and now wants to tax ecigs. Any such tax will promote tobacco use! A beautiful catch 22.

Future funding of Tobacco Control in any shape is fruitless. They have done as much damage to social interaction via the smoking ban in pubs as they can and contributed enormously to social exclusion - one of the biggest killers.
Time that they were terminated.

Michael McFadden said...

"There was only one honest campaign in the plain packs debate. And it ain't the filthy, disgusting, lying one which the Baroness endorses. "

Dick, you have to learn how to stop beating around the bush and just come right out and say what you mean! You Brits are just too prim 'n proper fer yer own good!


nisakiman said...

Is there anybody in the HoL who is likely to be sympathetic? If so, it can't be that difficult to find a contact address / email and appraise them of the reality of the situation. The problem we have is that people like Morgan can get up and spout this rubbish, and they will all take it in, believing it to be fact. If just one person was able to put the other side of the argument, the perception would change radically.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I was chilled after watching cricket in the sun. Must try harder in future. ;)