Monday 4 May 2015

Sure As Night Follows Day

Oh good, it's all still here.

These pages have been empty for a number of reasons recently. Puddlecote Inc has been dogged by large scale staff sickness, not helped by a further two drivers being called up for jury service in the same week! Your humble host then got smacked out of the park for 6 by a savage flu bug which could have been designed by the Devil himself, all of which was then topped off by a family tragedy over the weekend. There is still some mopping up to do after all that but things will return to normal over time.

In the meantime, there is news out today from Australia about that tobacco black market that was, apparently, just an industry lie during the campaign to install pointless plain packaging.
ILLEGAL tobacco is booming across Australia with a 30 per cent increase in black market trade in the past two years costing taxpayers more than $1.35 billion, a new report has found. 
Illicit tobacco continues to fund international crime syndicates with record tax increases and plain packaging fuelling the demand for cheap counterfeit and contraband cigarettes, according to the report released today.
Considering this is a quite obvious reaction to tax rises and removal of popular branding if you were to talk to any smoker, it shouldn't come as a surprise. But a facet of every tobacco control campaign ever created is to deny the bleeding obvious and pretend it's all just a creation of tobacco industry imaginations. You know, pubs won't close because of smoking bans, there is no shift to black market when you tax tobacco, and smokers will simply carry on buying their fags as normal in plain packs ... except kids who will magically no longer see them, that kind of thing.

Tobacco control sees only policies they want enacted, and require their demands to be backed up by faith in the denial of basic rules of economics and human nature. But then, anti-smokers have never really understood people anyway, and the only numbers they care about are those in their back account.
British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) spokesman Scott McIntyre said people were down-trading from legal brands to the black market “in droves”. 
“Illegal tobacco is mainly smuggled into Australia from overseas and sold at much lower prices than legal cigarettes, avoiding tobacco excise tax obligations,” he said. 
“They’re normally under $10 a pack, have no health warnings and aren't plain pack compliant.”
What's not to like? Smokers have long since worked out that government hates them, so why respect the laws government lays down, eh? Smuggling is seen as a victimless crime and those providing the black market operate in an increasingly friendly environment. In Puddlecoteville, for example, the local community is well served by the milkman - he's going to enjoy an even larger customer base once daft politicians have finished their plan of making all boxes gory and beige.

As Snowdon notes today ...
If it does nothing else - and we can be fairly sure it won't reduce legal sales of cigarettes - plain packaging will bring the size of Britain's non-duty paid tobacco market into sharp focus. Any cigarettes that are not in 'standardised' packaging will, by definition, not have had UK duty paid on them. You will see them wherever you see smokers. This observable fact will come too late to prevent the ridiculous policy being introduced, but the reality of plain packaging will make it impossible to deny the reality of Britain's black market. 
The UK's smokers mostly couldn't give a rat's fart about being loyal to the rules of a government that despises them. In fact, there's a certain joy to be had from buying off the radar and depriving the exchequor of a few bob, I always find.

This is precisely what is happening in Australia.
“Smokers are literally walking into their corner store and asking for the cheapest pack available,” Mr McIntyre said.
And if you want to see what that looks like, here's some undercover filming of it happening down under.

There's no reason to believe Australians are any different to the British, so we can fully expect an increase in the black market in Britain too once plain packs comes in, just as the campaign against the stupid idea predicted. Except with a turbo-charge added to the effect thanks to our proximity to Europe with its freedom of cross border purchases.

So once again politicians fix nothing while the black market creates more profits for gangsters and terrorists, and cheaper smokes become available with no control on sales to kids - and all the while, tobacco companies rightly queue up to sue them for theft. Nice job, idiots.


JLTrader said...

“They’re normally under $10 a pack, have no health warnings and aren't plain pack compliant.”...just the way the legal ones would've been if the market was free.

Dick_Puddlecote said...


Old git said...

Quote from 1920s American Gangster Dutch Schultz. "One of the ingenious things about The Mob gangs is that they recognise that laws that forbid are in their interest, if the law forbids it the mob can sell it" Things don't change much.

Tom said...

I think plain packaging is in the works next for California, from there of course, then the entire US. But in California, as of about two weeks ago, the nightly TV airwaves began being hit heavily with the following ad and shorter variations of it, every hour, on the hour, leading into prime time viewing hours and across all the channels, so it is getting heavy viewership.

It of course alludes to "proof" that packaging appeals to children and thus insinuates that the propaganda effect is to substantiate a "need" for plain packaging - and once it happens in California, the rest of the US will eventually follow suit, if it's not already being propagandized in other US states already.

Simon Crapman said...

Yes. I can see immediately that this “research” is just desperate
shenanigans by the evil tobacco industry trying to thwart the wonderful work
over the last few decades by my fine, upstanding buddies in Tobacco Control.

There is no illegal tobacco trade. It’s a silly myth manufactured by the evil tobacco industry. There is no demand for [cheaper] illegal tobacco. Really serious research by my buddies in Tobacco Control clearly indicates that smokers rather enjoy being super-fleeced by their governments through
extortionate taxes on tobacco. Why, I personally know some smokers who
regularly ask me to more aggressively lobby government for further tax hikes. Further, smokers are utterly ecstatic at being manufactured into a “leper class” not fit to mingle with normal society. I can’t tell you how many times smokers come up to me pleading to be further demonized: “Don’t let us anywhere near normal people…. especially The Children” is something I hear on a daily basis.

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

Just to say very sorry to hear about your godawful week and I hope this week is better all round for you (it could hardly be worse...)

And yes to the rest of the article.

jmshigham said...

Govt touches, govt reduces to ashes.

truckerlyn said...

Very sorry to hear about your troubles over the past week or so. Do hope things quickly get back to 'normal' for you. Best Wishes to you and your family.

truckerlyn said...

Great article and oh, what a surprise! Just shows that us smokers are far smarter than governments and tobacco controllers. Perhaps it is something in tobacco that makes us so much smarter!

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

Sorry to learn of all your problems. Glad you are back.

The anti-tobacco industry are shills for organised crime (illegal branch), while being funded by monies robbed from taxpayers and laundered by organised crime (legal branch) into the bank accounts of those awfully nice people at ash et al.

The tobacco industry exists because of smokers, not the other way round. The so-called anti-tobacco industry is de facto anti-smoker: so no different from the Nazis after all (/Godwin).

You are definitely on the side of the angels, against the big anti-smoker/big government/big crime Axis of Evil™.


JonathanBagley said...

The UK's smokers mostly couldn't give a rat's fart about being loyal to the rules of a government that despises them.

Very true. Not a good sign when people who have never had a parking ticket are quite comfortable breaking your laws.

jude said...

What the government fails to realise is that no smoker that is buying a cheaper product, (often better quality and less adulterated than the legal stuff), is going to dob in the supplier, and no non-smoker would have any idea where to go to get the unofficial product, so a pretty safe set up for the black marketeers.

The stupid government here in Aus is now prosecuting vapers for having a bit of nicotine liquid for personal use, so they are now persecuting those that stop using tobacco. They are setting up the groundwork for a very lucrative black market in nicotine eliquids as well, which because of the nature of the ingredients, and not containing any tobacco, will be far easier to supply.

Tobacco control are still in denial mode, which also protects the black market, because to police it, would be to admit that their policies have not worked. I have noticed that the more they shout about how few smokers there are, and deny how many people are switching to vaping, the more people are seeing a very different reality, the less they believe or respect anything coming from public health.

They've made themselves into a joke with their puritan moralising, and their greed for tax dollars to fund the parasite's bloated bodies.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Prosecuting for possession of e-liquid?!? Do you have a link for that, Jude?

jude said...

Here ya go :

The police found no nicotine liquids at the man's business, so they decided to raid his home instead, and fined him for having nicotine liquids for his own use.

All this persecution and bullying of a man, just because he decided to switch to vaping. He could have had a ton of nicotine containing pharma products, or a shit load of tobacco, and he would be abiding by the law, but have vape liquid, and suddenly you're a criminal.

Crazy huh ???

jude said...

Here's the link : Thought I'd posted it before but the post disappeared???

Norbert Zillatron said...

In your inital post it sounded like a regular consumer was fined for having nicotine liquid.

This is "just" another case of smashing a small business. Like Vince van Heerden.

jude said...

They tried to find some nicotine at his business, but couldn't so decided to raid his home instead. If they had found nicotine at his business they would have been baying for blood, because he would have possibly , maybe , been selling it, and a hypothetical child might have possibly, maybe been sold some. They had to settle for just a fine for possession, of the eliquid that he uses to give up smoking tobacco.

However you look at it, its persecution for giving up smoking "the wrong way", he should have stuck to pharma crap, or just kept smoking. /rant

nisakiman said...

And so we fall further down the rabbit hole.

I do sometimes wonder where it will all end. Surely we can't carry on being dictated to forever by people who live in the realms of fantasy, can we?