Ukip accepts £25,000 donation from e-cigarette firmHmm, I'd say that's a neat fit. UKIP are a self-proclaimed libertarian party (correctly) opposed to restrictions of e-cigs - which, remember, are backed by ASH and have been described by some health professionals as "a massive potential public health prize" - and have been for a considerable time.
The Graun seem to accept this.
Party, which has always opposed regulation of non-tobacco nicotine products as medicine, took Pillbox38 funds in MayIf they have 'always' been on the side of e-cig manufacturers, there's no way that the donation can be seen to have influenced their policy, then. Surely a basic ingredient of any smear is that there are dirty deeds going on, something which clearly can't be applied here.
Or perhaps the funding pre-dated UKIP's interventions? Well, no, not at all as - again - admitted by the Guardian.
Electoral Commission records show Ukip accepted the funding in May ...
Ukip has opposed the regulation since it was brought forward in December.Hey, don't think the comedy stops there, check this out from a patently stupid Green.
Keith Taylor, the Green party's MEP for south-east England, said the donation was an argument for state funding of parties to take "vested interests" out of politics.What? You mean like union funding for a Labour Party which - exactly like the e-cig company and UKIP above - shares its ideals? Sure, bring it on.
"While Ukip MEPs tend to shy away from doing too much work in the European parliament they do seem to have made plenty of time to campaign against the regulation of e-cigarettes," he said.So, when they don't offer an opinion, they're wrong; and when they do, they're also wrong? Where did Taylor learn his craft? In a playground sandpit?
"I sincerely hope that Ukip's stance on this vital discussion affecting public health wasn't influenced by the £25,000 they received from Pillbox38."Well, considering the donation came five months after UKIP had already moved against the stupid policy; and coupled with the fact that UKIP have 'always' supported e-cigs on ideological grounds, I think Taylor shouldn't worry his retarded head too much.
But, for me, by far the best bit is that the Guardian piece has shot one of their flagship columnist's regular conspiracy theories to pieces. For two or three years now, George Monbiot has been claiming that think tanks only say what they do because they are funded by private companies; that they would sing to the tune of anyone who wires them a buck or two. He is unconvinced that anyone can ever do or say anything unless they have been paid by some vested interest to do so.
The IEA's Kritian Niemietz offered an alternative explanation last May which Monbiot seems incapable of imagining.
For example, rather than the donors determining the contents of think tank publications, the contents of think tank publications could determine the donors. But that would be boring, wouldn't it?Indeed.
In the case of UKIP and Pillbox38, this is exactly what has happened. The principled actions of UKIP have led to the donation, not the other way round. Only a weapons grade tool could think otherwise. Well, that or a Guardian reader, anyway.
Probably why UKIP don't seem remotely bothered by Guardian writer Rowena Mason's laughable 'scoop'. The Times yesterday reported their reaction as being a bit 'meh'.
A party spokesman said: “These cigarettes are a positive thing to have entered the market. The people trying to stop them are big pharma companies, which are the only ones who can afford to apply medicines regulations, and the anti-smoking lobby.”Considering UKIP seem to be the only party to assess the situation properly, Pillbox38's donation is perfectly understandable and entirely above board.
Why, however, the anti-capitalist Guardian would be shilling for big corporate interests trying to kill a 'massive potential public health prize' is anyone's guess.