Australian Lib Dem Senator-elect David Leyonhjelm has written a piece for the Australian Financial Review ($) which has been reproduced in full by libertarian blog Catallaxy Files. Here are just some of the highlights as he explains what everyone really knows but many pretend not to; that plain packaging is tobacco control-manufactured 'Emperor's New Clothes' and is doing more harm than good.
For every problem the government tries to solve, it often creates at least one more with no guarantee of fixing the initial problem. That appears to be the case with the former government’s laws mandating the plain packaging of tobacco.
Particularly alarming was the absence of any evidence to support the proposition. Then shadow Attorney-General, George Brandis, in a debate with Penny Wong on ABC radio, put it best when he said: “And what Penny is pleased to describe as evidence is not evidence at all. It’s a supposition. It may or may not be right. But it’s not an evidence-based supposition.”Sounds familiar, huh? For "Penny", read "Chantler" and that quote is exactly what British politicians should have said about Sir Cyril's review if they were being honest. The Senator continues ...
The prospect that plain packaging will put further strain on a budget already in the red, whilst fostering a new black market, should be a salutary lesson that governments can’t fix every problem. It is also a reminder that governments that inherit bad policy should have the courage to stick to their original convictions and review legislation that clearly isn’t working.Leyonhjelm takes up his position in the Aussie Senate on the 1st July, it's good to know that someone with a bit of sense will be making his voice heard at the heart of their government.
Do go read the whole article here.