I did, however, manage to sneak out to attend Forest's Battle of the Brands event at the Churchill War Rooms on Tuesday night accompanied by a couple of regular readers here. And very good it was too.
After the initial reception, one of the dark rooms where Churchill's top level aides planned how to protect Britain from the extremism of a tyrannical dictator was lit up by a short film describing how the extremism of the modern day tyrannical dictatorship - that of self-serving 'public health' tax spongers - is irrelevant, contemptuous of the public, and arguably counterproductive.
The film was followed by speeches by Simon Clark, along with representatives of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance and the British Brands Group. The latter two emphasised the damaging effect on business that plain packaging will have for - as any smoker will be able to tell you - absolutely no benefit whatsoever. It hasn't worked in Australia - predictably, and no matter what junk science tobacco control concoct to try to spin it otherwise - and won't work anywhere else either. It will, though, quite clearly harm businesses.
Not that politicians will listen, though. As we see from Guido Fawkes today (and which I will be writing about soon too), ASH have been caught lobbying the Department of Health with our money directly (something which is contrary to the terms of their government grant) and they couldn't give a flying fuck about businesses failing as long as the tax-funded wonga keeps filling their personal bank accounts. They should be in prison for fraud and economic vandalism but instead the government listens to them while completely ignoring law-abiding businesses big and small.
The last contribution in that film from Mark Littlewood is particularly well noted. It's very clear that all manner of prohibitionist campaigners (aka scum) will be looking at plain packaging of tobacco with envious eyes. In fact, they already have, you only need to search 'Myth 7' at this site to see dozens of examples of grey-faced bottom-feeding 'public health' plankton jockeying for position to apply the same kind of thing to their own particular snooty prejudice.
As Littlewood says, it's time to draw a line here. His argument is that the fact such an absurd, illiberal, and utterly pointless policy as plain packaging has been allowed to be applied to legal businesses, in a supposed free country, should alarm all us.
Well, apart from the repulsive anti-social snobs who infest our society, of course. They're an argument for the reinstatement of transportation.