Now, if you've been watching closely, you'd have noticed that there was a fatal motion proposed by Lord Callanan to extinguish the statutory instrument which enabled the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). His motive was to send it back to the Commons so they can think again, as I described last month.
The important word here is annulled. This signals that this is a bona fide 'fatal motion' being presented in the Lords. There are others which are regretful or just want to make a note, but the one presented by Lord Callanan today seeks to (as the name implies) kill the Statutory Instrument (SI) behind the entire EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
[T]his is an attempt to sling the TPD back in the face of government for having the temerity to even present it. There is no room for compromise, it's a yes/no thing and, if successful, would kill the enabling mechanism in parliament for the TPD to be ratified by the UK.And the important bit for this particular article.
In practice, it won't be the end of the TPD (sadly) but a vote by the Lords in favour of the fatal motion would force the government to consider re-issuing the SI without the provisions on e-cigarettes.I'll say that again. The only option for government would have been to re-issue the SI without the provisions on e-cigs. It's quite important because ASH are shrewd political people and they would have been well aware of this.
Yet they went absolutely crazy trying to destroy Lord Callanan's motion despite knowing very well that the government would never dare to eradicate the TPD in its entirety.
Their contemptuous press release once they were faced with Lords who were alarmed at why government policy jarred so blatantly with opinions from advisers such as the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England was incredibly dismissive and illustrated an extraordinary lack of understanding of how vaping works.
We know that ASH were furiously contacting MPs in an attempt to kill off Lord Callanan's motion, but it wasn't until Labour's shadow health (ha!) spokesperson Heidi Alexander sent out an equally vapid and contemptuous reply to those who had contacted her that we knew how successful their disgusting state-funded lobbying had been.
You can read her slimy response via GlosVaper here and I could fisk every line it's that bad. But the important thing to note is that Labour's top health dog faithfully parroted ASH's ignorant and callous agitprop.
As a result, the fatal motion became dead in the water and was withdrawn through lack of support. This, remember, despite over 50,000 signatures to a petition and every one of the hundreds of Lords being contacted numerous times, many expressing full support by return.
So what, exactly, were Arnott and her vile colleagues protecting?
Well, they know very well how politics works; they know that a fatal motion would merely give the government a chance to re-issue the SI without the clauses which the Lords found toxic. The stupid policies such as banning packs of ten and making sure roll-your-own afficionados could only buy tons of tobacco to smoke instead of a little were never threatened. ASH know this better than anyone because they live in a political environment. Plain packaging wasn't even included in the TPD so they can't cling to that as an excuse either.
No. Killing Lord Callanan's motion was ASH deliberately trying to destroy the vaping market, and nothing else. This is a point that has to be made crystal clear. ASH lobbied hard to oppose the Lords vote not because it would protect their daft smoking curbs (which were never threatened and some of which weren't even covered), but instead solely because they wanted to hamper vaping as much as they possibly could.
Don't ever let them tell you it's about health. Because it isn't.