You can get an idea of what Gietz said from this Sky News coverage - it was perfectly reasonable and well argued, but CRUK's Robert West didn't like it one little bit.
@BBCr4today @ASH_LDN What on earth is BBC playing at? There was never a chance that this would do anything other than mislead!!
— Robert West (@robertjwest) January 23, 2015
I found this quite astounding. After a campaign where the BBC may as well have been a business partner of tobacco control in pumping out plain packs propaganda without question (by contrast, Simon Clark often had to beg to have Forest rebuttals included), here they were admirably - albeit belatedly - offering an alternative view (as they damn well should) but it was seen as heresy by West!
I was driving that morning but saw his tweet after a drop and had to point out that it shouldn't be a surprise that the BBC was acting impartially.
@Dick_Puddlecote @BBCr4today @ASH_LDN Of course not but this was misinformation from a massive and extremely powerful vested interest
— Robert West (@robertjwest) January 23, 2015
The irony in that response is so thick you'd struggle to cut it with a chainsaw, wouldn't you?
It is the tobacco control industry which holds the levers of power. They have dim-witted politicians eating out of their hands and a supranational unelected WHO dictating what national governments can and cannot do. By contrast, the tobacco industry isn't even allowed to raise an objection without state-funded prohibitionists screaming foul.
The obese bubblegum-phobic was equally pissed off.
On @BBCr4today spokesman for Imperial Tobacco is factually wrong on every single point but no-one invited to challenge him #plainpacks
— Martin McKee (@martinmckee) January 23, 2015
For "factually wrong", read "not keeping to the script we wrote for this piece of legislative fantasy". They both know very well that the evidence for plain packaging is less than wafer thin, in fact it's a crock. And as for no-one being invited to challenge, this has been the modus operandi of tobacco control since the 1970s! They actively run away from debate, strain every sinew to stifle opposition, and pretend that everyone who opposes them must have been paid to do so.
What's more, they have some outrageous neck for accusing others of being shifty on the issue of plain packaging. I've attempted to condense all their disgraceful abuses into a shortish list before.
The often fraudulent abuses of process, democracy and common decency are too numerous to list in full, but just to remind you of a few highlights:
Attempting to rig the consultation; producing literature containing bald-faced lies to MPs; enthusiastically encouraging corrupt multiple signatures; and attempting to influence government to exclude any consultation responses they disagreed with and then trying to hide the evidence. Along with inviting two zealous supporters of plain packaging to review the evidence, including a far-left lunatic who simply despises marketing of any product, before producing an impact assessment document which the Regulatory Policy Committee rightly considered shoddy. This without mentioning shovelling taxpayer cash to vested interests to lobby government with, making demonstrably false claims, and blatantly misrepresenting the results of their own research.
Like I say, this is by no means an exhaustive list, far from it.To accuse anyone else of 'misinformation' or being 'factually wrong' is quite stunning when the entire tobacco control plain packs campaign relied on lying, gerrymandering, evidence-rigging, junk science, suppression of dissent, economic terrorism, political chicanery and institutionalised corruption.
Now, the tobacco control industry have this thing they call the 'scream test'. Deborah Arnott described it here.
"Why would the tobacco industry and its allies be so vehemently opposed to plain packaging if they weren't so frightened that plain packaging would work?"This is 'misinformation' in and of itself, as Snowdon and others have explained very well in the past. It's a con trick employed simply to convince anti-smoking obsessives and the generally stupid.
But, on Thursday, it could have been re-written thus:
"Why would the tobacco control industry and its allies be so vehemently opposed to Axel Gietz on Radio 4 if they weren't so frightened that the truth may get out?"Roll on the court cases. I hope the tobacco industry sting the government for billions.
For an example of usual BBC fare, see this News24 interview with Forest's Simon Clark and watch out for the snort of derision when the term "denormalisation" is mentioned.
West and McKee doth protest too much, the BBC don't need any help whatsoever from their slew of anti-smoking mouth-breathers. Denormalisation has been a proud stated policy of the tobacco control industry for around a decade now yet the BBC presenter derided it as if Clark was a conspiracy theorist.
World-renowned news source? Ha!