Thursday 12 February 2015

Seeing The Wood Through The Trees

The lame pun in the title refers to this being about some news from Forest (geddit) stating something obvious which has clearly eluded MPs.

The Taking Liberties blog reports on a Populus poll which reveals the public not to be at all interested in plain packaging.
As you can see, "introducing plain packaging for cigarettes" was the lowest of any of the variables tested with a net importance rating of just 3.51. The closest variable, "regulating the future of the fracking sector", scored 6.10. 
More than half (52%) of the general public awarded "introducing plain packaging for cigarettes" a mean score of 0-3 in terms of importance. Conversely, only one in ten (12%) awarded the issue a score of 7-10. 
Both men (3.14) and women (3.00) expressed low net importance ratings on the issue of plain packaging. 
Likewise workers in both the public (3.04) and private (3.12) sectors attached little importance to the issue. 
Those members of the public who have children awarded it a net importance rating of just 3.88.
The key messages of the poll appear to be: 
The general public simply do not view a vote on the introduction of plain packaging as a priority. 
Plain packaging legislation is all ill-judged sideshow and a distraction from the real challenges the government faces.
If politicians want to know why voters are avoiding them in droves - and the uni-policied main three parties in particular - well there's a perfect example.

Here is a policy which was not in any manifesto; was supported by corrupt and fraudulent campaigning on an industrial scale; and was roundly rejected by the public at consultation stage by a huge margin, yet MPs will apparently move heaven and earth to get it passed before the May election even though the public couldn't care less about it. This also despite no public grassroots call for plain packs, merely one the state itself sponsored by funnelling taxpayer cash to the bloated army of career prodnoses it employs to lobby itself.

That's democracy - by the people, for the people - apparently.

Looking at the bigger picture, it's even more astounding considering we are now in what some term a 'zombie parliament' due to there being a lack of time to get meaningful work done before the government is dissolved for the election. So why are they fannying around with something the country really couldn't give a monkey's grunt about? In fact, anyone who has read any media comments section - from the Daily Mail to the Guardian - will have seen that all but the insane know very well that plain packaging will have no effect on smokers or the uptake of smoking. It's a complete irrelevance.

It's almost like, I dunno, politicians are detached from the realities of everyday life. This is something career politicians are regularly accused of and routinely deny, yet here they are highlighting it in dayglo orange and underlining it, before announcing their detachment through a 500 decibel public address system.

Liberal Vision articulates very well what the right-minded should do about this.
Here is hoping that voters will show Ellison and her ilk the same contempt that they have quite clearly shown the public come May 7th, and that some elected politicians will think twice before voting “aye” to this cynical and ill-conceived piece of politics.
Quite. If your local MP votes in favour of plain packaging, they're a credulous fool who thinks our views matter less than the salary of a highly-paid, tax-funded professional bansturbator. They're also criminally negligent in opening the door to a nasty precedent which already has the out-of-control puritan bandwagon dreaming of uglifying everything from Sprite to e-cigarettes. So if your local MP votes for this, don't vote for them. And if they just happen to knock on your door in the upcoming self-interested frenzy to beg for your support, tell them the reason they won't get it is their crass elitist snobbery and contempt for each and every one of us.

While I'm on Forest news, those of you on their mailing list may have already received this (click to enlarge).

These events are usually open to all and I don't expect this will be any different. So if you're not doing anything on the 24th, get your RSVP in and I'll see you there.


Sam Duncan said...

Well, who'd have thunk it? People want the government to do proper government-ey things - securing our borders and stopping people from blowing us up - instead of poking its nose into things that are none of its affair. I'm shocked and stunned.

(Actually, I am a bit surprised. Just shows how well the propaganda works.)

jude said...

This is a two edged sword, as this "law" does not affect the vast majority of the population, (non smokers), it is pretty obvious that it wouldn't be high on their list of priorities. Even among smokers, it proved to be not much of a priority, (in Australia), compared with the other more draconian anti-smoker laws that have been passed over the last decade.

It sets a precedent but one that other corporations do not believe will ever be applied to them, (food and beverage corps), so they will not fight this. For all the ANTZ screaming, the Tobacco corps have little influence.

IMO this is what politicians consider a safe zone, they can look like they are doing something important, (Nicola Roxon in Australia was hailed as some kind of hero for her "win" against the tobacco companies), when in reality all that has happened is that this law has made it easier for the black market to flourish, and the whole "Propaganda Packaging" has become a running joke.

They will keep bashing smokers and vapers, because they are easy targets, and politicians are lazy, lack intelligence and insight, and are greedy. However, as things worsen economically, and socially, it will become more and more difficult for these thieves and liars to keep the masks on, they will have already picked the low hanging fruit, (sorry for the mixed metaphors), and will have nowhere else to hide.

Vinny Gracchus said...

Government lobbying government is unethical. Recipients using government grant funds to lobby government is also unethical. These practices undermine democratic governance. In the US they are illegal too, but that does not stop the antismokers they just go ahead and do so knowing it is unlikely anyone will object. That is corruption. It is an oligarchy ruling from the shadows, pursuing safe visible action, hoping no one will notice the cascading fiscal crisis.