Monday 8 December 2014

Police Patsies

Across the Atlantic, some questions are finally being asked about the wisdom of sky high tobacco duties after the death of Eric Garner, an African American who sold loose cigarettes on New York streets. So sustained is the discussion that even the BBC has taken note.
According to a coroner's report, Eric Garner died due to "compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint" as he was wrestled to the ground by Daniel Pantaleo and fellow New York City police officers. 
On Wednesday a grand jury, presented with the report and a video of the entire incident, declined to indict Mr Pantaleo on charges related to Garner's death. The move, coming on the heels of a similar grand jury decision in a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, has prompted two nights of massive protests in New York and widespread outrage in the media over alleged police brutality. 
For some, however, another party bears some responsibility in Garner's death - an out-of-control nanny-state government attempting to enforce a prohibition on the sale of untaxed cigarettes. 
"For someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it," Kentucky Senator Paul said on MSNBC Wednesday night. "But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws." 
Reason magazine's A Barton Hinkle explains how New York's high state and city cigarette taxes - totalling $5.95 a pack - have created a thriving black market on the city's streets.
This is, of course, economics 101 creation of a black market which the tobacco control industry consistently refuses to accept. It's all a figment of Big Tobacco's imagination, apparently.

Meanwhile, in the real world, it is the Police who have to enforce the short-sightedness of politicians.
The Daily Caller's W James Antle says that while public outrage is focusing on the level of force employed by the New York police, "let's not let the people who write the laws off the hook". 
"A man who is killed by government overreach, fueled by anti-tobacco fanaticism, is just as dead as one who smokes a carton of unfiltered Pall Malls every week for 30 years," he writes. 
"You want an all-encompassing state with the power to stop you from smoking?" writes the Hayride's Scott McKay. "Well, don't complain about the Eric Garner case. This is what big government looks like."
The US left are obviously not having it. They love big government and they love the state telling people what they can and can't do, so instead prefer to bash the police.

A less tragic case of public health absurdity harming the perception of the police occurred in Scotland earlier this year, which was described on Twitter by a Scottish licensing expert today as the best licensing headline of 2014 (best as in facepalm funny, that is).
Barman accused of breaking licensing law by serving undercover policeman a pint without a roll and sausage walks free from court after case collapses
THE case against a barman accused of serving one roll and sausage too few to undercover police ordering an early-morning pint collapsed in chaos yesterday. 
It’s estimated £25,000 of public money was wasted on the criminal prosecution over a 30p roll and sausage. 
The dad of three from Blantyre, Lanarkshire, was snared for serving pints to two undercover officers – known only as Archie and Davie – at 8.15am at the Empire Bar in Glasgow with one roll and sausage instead of two. 
Licensee John Longeran, a football agent, was also arrested and both men were charged for allegedly breaching the city’s licensing laws by serving alcohol without a breakfast. 
Allan said: “If it wasn’t so serious, I’d call it a pantomime.

“I’d never seen the inside of a court until this farce began. I thought the police were meant to chase murderers.”

The outcome is particularly embarrassing for Police Scotland at a time when resources are stretched and when the old Strathclyde police region has at least 33 unsolved murders.
In both cases, the driving force for enforcement by the police has come from laws created entirely on the back of exaggeration and scaremongery created by state-funded 'public heath' lunatics. In both cases a transaction which many people wish to voluntarily conduct has been criminalised and the police sent in to make heavy-handed arrests. One resulted in a death, the other in the utter waste of £25,000 over the failure to provide a 30p roll.

With just about everyone who comments on the measure recognising the fact that a ban on smoking in cars is going to cause the police even more complex problems for enforcement, you have to wonder why those at the top of the police command chain aren't making more noise. How low will their reputations and respect amongst the public sink before they realise they are wasting their time and resources, while simultaneously being held up as patsies by the state, their quangos, fake charities and others who politicians squander our taxes on?

See also "Yes, Stupid Laws Help Kill People" from Saturday's Link Tank.

H/T Norcal David G & Frank Davis


Vinny Gracchus said...

Enforcing poorly constructed and unnecessary laws erodes the legitimacy of the police. Without legitimacy the police become an occupying force rather than guardians of the public peace. Excess taxes are extraction, when combined with coercive laws toward social control the legitimacy of the state is challenged. Organized crime will step in and compete with the state. It always does.

StarDasher said...

The Police are similary embarrassed by many laws - take bicycles and cycling for example. Their job is to use their discretion - something they've always had to do. Nothing new.

NY's cigarette laws and taxes should have no bearing on the quality of policing. The incompetence displayed by police officers was extraordinary. And someone died. Ah, well, another day tomorrow.

jude said...

For all those people, (and there are an awful lot of them), that take delight in bans on various products, tobacco, alcohol, etc, Allowing certain minority groups to become demonised, vilified, and criminalised, to all those that want the government to have power over every aspect of our lives, just remember the wise words my Mum told me'

"It's all good until someone decides that you are the enemy"

There will be no-one willing to fight for your civil liberties, or bodily autonomy, when you have supported the destruction of the rights of those who might do things that you don't like.

truckerlyn said...

Police using discretion? Don't make me laugh, they haven't used discretion since I was a teenager - and that was a long time ago!

It was their use of discretion that earned them respect, how many respect them now?

I have a relative who is a retired Chief Constable and he no longer has respect for the police!

Until the police of today respect their uniform and their powers as well as the ordinary person on the street, then they are dead in the water and very few of the public will respect them. Too many put on the uniform, like many professions who wear a uniform, and they think they are God - they need to learn, very quickly that they don't even come close and never will!

theprog said...

Unlike smokers, alcohol and food (obviously) consumers aren't a minority. The tobacco control template success has relied heavily on decades of brainwashing, draconian legislation and persecution. Despite their best efforts, this tactic couldn't be successfully applied to more mainstream lifestyle choices. Ultimately, it's down to those who make laws/policies; piss off your voters but be prepared to pay the price. We're already seeing it with the extraordinary rise of UKIP. Then again, the pro-independent Scots seem to relish having a government that routinely dishes out shit. I guess hatred of the English trumps all. It'd certainly be interesting to see who'll they blame for their woes if they ever leave the UK.

jude said...

I could almost forgive a politician who actually believed that they were helping people, (almost), but the fact is that all the brainwashing, persecution and draconian legislation, that you mentioned, has nothing to do with helping people, (never has had), it's all about the MONEY. Money and control is what tobacco control is all about, and its what public "health" is all about. I doubt very much that there are any genuinely caring people involved in tobacco control today, they have become the lunatic fringe of public health, and the useful idiots of politicians and corporate interests.

Norbert Zillatron said...

Don't be so sure about food (and alcohol)!
Haven't you noticed the rising level of bovine excrement in the media about the "obesity epedemic"?
Hogwash about sugar and fat even "linked" to cancer. Even idiotic "second hand fat" already popped up. Suggesting that the company of fat people incited overeating. And of course always "their cost to society". And it seems to work. Just look at the increasing number of comments that failfully parrot this propaganda. Or are they just "astroturfs"?

About alcohol the learned their lesson from the prohibition. now they sneak it into the "War on Fat (people)" by declaring it to be "empty calories" just like sugar.

theprog said...

There is a load of BS and hand wringing re diet, but 'Food Control' isn't going to be tolerated if they push too hard. Besides, the food industry has to be gagged etc first (a pipe dream). And they haven't gagged the e-cig industry, which is able to publicly defend itself and vapers.

The irony is that the smoking rate declined on the back of advice - once the daggers came out the decline fizzled out. Hence the need for even more control. Still, as Jude reminded us, it's basically about money.

Norbert Zillatron said...

Oh, the brain washing machine has just started the pre-wash cycle to remove sugar and fat ...
On nicotine and tobacco the brain washer was just about to start the spin cycle to squeeze the last drops out of the smokers, when ecigs popped up and threw a spanner in the works.

jude said...

The puritans and greedites got lucky with tobacco control, they were able to get most of their BS through before the advent of the internet, and in particular social media, unfortunately for them, vapourisers came along after people realised that they were being conned, (well a lot of people, for some it was already too late), TC missed the boat so to speak.

With food and alcohol, the purtians and greedites have been fighting each other for years, look at how pharma corps have pushed for ever lower BMI's to be considered "normal", blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels etc etc, so they can sell their "solutions" in the form of statins etc. Mental health is the next big thing they will use to push their products, making up ever more diseases and "conditions" almost on a daily basis, so nobody will be seen as "well" and not requiring medication. $kaching$. Even "the cheeldren" need ever more drugs to treat their "mental illness".

I think the biggest revolution would be people, ordinary people, simply saying "enough already", and ignore "public health", and those with a financial interest in seeing people as sick. The biggest fear of the puritans is becoming redundant and irrelevant, and of being ignored, (just have a look at the bizarre efforts of these people in regards to vaping). The biggest fear of the greedites is the dissemination of truth, and the exposure of their motivation, (money and control), tactics and lies.

Will the revolution ever happen? I don't know, but I'll do my best to help it along :)

jude said...

The plan to make everyone a patient and become medicated, is working a treat it seems.

lol, if you're not ill and medicated, the governments with the help of PH will see you become a criminal. What a wonderful world!!

Anto said...

In Australia, the tax on a pack of 20s is $9.25. Criminal - no wonder the black market is thriving: