Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Today In Parliament

I've once again been corralled into a quiz team for the evening so have been trawling online Welsh papers today ... the guy who organises it is from there and 10% of the questions are usually about the place. It'll be interesting to see if the World Cup gets a mention (should be inevitable, really) seeing as his lot haven't qualified since 1958. I'll be trotting up there soon through the clouds of flying ants currently making a nuisance of themselves in Puddlecoteville - I swear they're getting bigger, and less able to navigate - by the year.

In the meantime, how about some appropriate reading matter for the evening?

As mentioned over at Taking Liberties, MPs had an opportunity to hear about the quite shameful shenanigans perpetrated by the Department of Health and ASH in advance of the vote to ban tobacco displays. How many actually bothered to turn up and learn how they were duped we won't know till later.

However, the evidence is pretty damning, as I mentioned in September.

The report to be presented is an updated version of The Dark Market [pdf], which was compiled after a huge amount of internal DH correspondence had to be released following a hail of FOI requests. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you read it with a cushion under your jaw for health and safety reasons.

I'm sure there will have been retailer representatives there. They are still smarting over the fact that their input to the 'public consultation' was entirely air-brushed from the official report to government.

And all to bring in a measure which has been trumpeted as a success ... despite the fact that in every country in which it has been implemented, youth smoking rates have soared, and cigarette consumption overall has increased. In Thailand, the measure was such a disaster that it has recently been abandoned, and the public health approach been drastically revised. For more on that, read here.

What a mess, eh? And, as I understand it, just one MP (a Lib Dem) is standing stubbornly in the way of a rethink of this daft legislation, which was rushed through in the dying days of Brown's government.

Right. I'm off. But I'm sure this subject will pop up again in the next day or so.

UPDATE: Just as I was hitting 'publish', I received word of how many MPs were in attendance to hear today's evidence ... ONE.

UPDATE: The updated report, as presented at Westminster today, is available to view HERE. It might look bad at first glance, but it's far worse than that.


Pat Nurse said...

We're doomed - doomed I tell ye and led by idiots :( These politicians are serving us very badly. Not looking good so far for supporting any of the three failed old parties, is it?

Was the one MP Philip Davies, I wonder?

Mr A said...

I was just thinking that. Thank God Phil Davies is in Parliament.... but how he can work with a bunch of people who are so stupid/corrupt/closed-minded/egocentic/troughing (*delete as applicable) that they don't care that they have been blatantly misled by an organisation that is still advising the Government is beyond me.

I just want to see what sort of shenanigans ASH got up to prior to the smoking ban, and whether such actions (and let's face it they would have pulled out all the stops prior to implementing the ban) were either 1) cause for prosecutions or 2) cause for the whole legality of the ban to be questioned.

banned said...

It might be that the appearance of just one MP is a reflection that the rest are running scared on the issue?
Still enslaved by the pc stance of all the Westminster parties yet not wishing to be seen by their voters as anti-smoking since the Coalitions own HMG Your Freedpm website has shown that we certainly don't see the smoking ban/display ban as a 'done deal' whatever Cameron might say.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's not a done deal.
Eradicating smoking would be a bigger task than eradicating illegal drugs at which they have failed ,miserably.
The other point is Tobbaco is a plant that grows naturally all over the globe.
A not uncommon species of plant.
It would have to be on the scale of hmmm let me think,Oh yes eradicating the stinging nettle or the common daisy.

Impossible ,so why try ?

SadButMadLad said...

Printed and mailed to my MP, one of the new intakes this year. Hopefully it would make him a bit less naive about what goes on in the HoC.