Thursday 18 August 2011

Err, What Did You Really Expect When You Disrupted Choice?

Let's briefly pop over to the Channel Islands for a model lesson in state incompetence (complete with video goodness).

Jersey's Health Department say they are "disappointed" that two retailers are advertising cheap cigarettes in their shop windows on the island.

Both Checkers and Iceland stores, owned by the Sandpiper group, are promoting reduced tobacco deals.

The Health Promotion Unit say the move undermines their years of work trying to reduce smoking in the island and advertisements such as those on display today are openly promoting a habit that kills.
This is a bit of a novelty as I'm not sure how a generic message stating "cut price cigarettes" would go down in good old freedom-loving Britain (yes, that was a joke). No branding is mentioned, but perhaps government is ahead of us here and has already banned the use of 'cigarettes' and 'cheap' in the same sentence. I certainly wouldn't put it past them.

Do watch the vid, as the well-practiced furrowed brow on their local bansturbator has to be seen to be believed. I almost stood and applauded such consummate righteous pleading.

"I'm scared, Mummy state, please help!"

'Disappointed', so he is. Aww, bless.

Andrew Heaven from the Health Promotion Jersey said: "We're really disappointed. The States of Jersey has endorsed tobacco control strategy which tries to protect young people and tries to reduce the number (sic) of tobacco consumed on the island and we are currently pursuing regulations that would prohibit advertising of smoking like this."
Firstly, nice irrelevant insertion of 'young people' into your little soundbite, Andrew. You are - I assume - well aware that you already have a rigidly enforced law stopping those under 18 from buying tobacco? You should be, because you enthusiastically endorsed it!

But Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. Have you ever stopped to wonder exactly why companies home in on products like this to attract customers?

YES, it's because the state has interfered in the market so brutally with punitive taxation that consumers no longer consider it fair. Private companies know that these - legal, I might add - products will be bought and that if they can just get people through their doors on the promise of disproportionately expensive goods being sold at a price somewhere nearer their true value, they will stay and fill their trolleys with the rest of their weekly shopping.

It's called economic reality. You should acquaint yourself with it sometime.

Consider - along with this case - some of the other 'bargain' offers routinely promoted by supermarkets to draw the masses. Deals on cases of beer, 5p off a litre of petrol if spending over a certain amount, multi-purchase discounts on wine and spirits.

Do you see the common thread running through them? Yep, the price of every one has been inflated beyond the Laffer Curve by idiotic state ideology. Even Pigou would be wetting himself laughing at the ineptitude of you guys.

If you don't want these products advertised so heavily, stop pushing them into the unaffordable territory which makes them so attractive to those who advertise. It really is that simple.

If government doubled the price of loo roll, or cat food, or washing powder, you'd see those products stacked up at the front of stores on discounted terms or BOGOF offers, too*.


Nope. People like Andrew Heaven never will. Because he is either economically stupid or - probably more likely - wedded to that lovely state-funded salary he receives.

And while his dullard response will be is to call for even more daft legislation - to counteract the daft legislation which caused the problem in the first place - the public will continue to desire being allowed to make their own choices, and companies will continue to strive to accommodate them.

More than ever before, it's us normal folk, against them who think they know better how we should live our lives.

There's a word for people like Jersey Andrew, and it ain't pretty.

* Just as Coca-Cola will be once the now inevitable fizzy drink tax is eventually brought in.


Bucko said...

That was a great video. They riminded us that TV advertising of tobaco is banned while showing two old cigar adverts.

Anonymous said...

People like this authoritarian prick build their careers, earn vast amounts of money, buy houses, and breed facsimiles of themselves merely on the stregth of their servility to the nanny state and their eagerness to oppress their fellow citizens. And yet the only opposition to their activities comes from a few right wing media types and the odd blogger.

Much as I admire the resistance mounted to progressives and liberals by characters like Melanie Philips, James Delingpole, and our very own Dick Puddlecote, there is a certain futility apparent in this contest. Lone voices pissing in the wind against a state apparatus and a vast army of parasites and self serving apparatchiks seems to be a very one sided contest.
Even so, I won't give in. I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with Dick, puffing on my duty free, a glass of home brew in one hand, and a copy of the libertarian manifesto (if there were such a thing) in the other hand.

It's the only way.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later someone ,somewhere,somehow,
will have to waken a reasonable sized chunk of the apathetic,yellow livered ,nodding donkey smokers and pinpoint the prats like the Channel Island tax dodging stiff,wherupon he can be given something to really upset him.
Anyway its time we lobbed these
God forsaken atolls back to the snailnibbling Gauls.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Bucko: Yes, the irony was thickly-laid. :)

John East: I'd agree, and welcome to the long haul. The great thing is that once you recognise their methods, it opens up a whole new world of righteous mendacity-spotting in any number of areas. There won't be a lack of raw material for lifestyle bloggers for a long while, I reckon.

A rich seam of pathetic rent-seeking psychobabble just screams to be exploited.

Trooper Thompson said...

"a copy of the libertarian manifesto (if there were such a thing)"

There's this one:

As for the matter in hand, I can't really express the depth of my contempt for these scum.

Curmudgeon said...

Is there any point to it?

Well, even if in the end your efforts are unavailing, at least you can console yourself with the thought that you stood up and made your voice heard.

Nothing lasts for ever, and seemingly impregnable edifices of ideology can be undermined by apparently tiny cracks in the dam.

In 1979, who would have foreseen that the Soviet Empire would have collapsed in eleven years' time?

In the words of US President John Quincy Adams, "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

John Pickworth said...

Does this fool not realise that Jersey is a holiday destination?

Its a common sight to see retailers in most holiday hotspots advertising booze and cigs for those wishing to take something home with them.

I'd feel sorry for the locals awaiting urgent operations: "Sorry Sir/Madam, but all our medical staff are out the moment price checking."

Angry Exile said...

The world seems to be full of Health Promotion Units and bereft of Liberty Units and Persona Choice Units. Christ, I wouldn't even mind a few Doesn't-Sound-Sensible-But-Look-It's-Up-To-You Units or Don't-Come-Crying-To-Us-If-The-End-Goes-Blue-After-You-Put-It-In-There Units, and Jeez-Well-I-Really-Wouldn't-But-You-Go-Ahead-If-You-Want-The-Chemist-Sells-Penecillin Units. But no, it's just the various propaganda outlets for the nutmunchers and fatty hate.

Strength Through Joy! Marvellous.

Angry Exile said...

Persona Choice Units? WTF? Yes, hello, I want people to think I've still got a sunny disposition even while various state agencies are taking it in turns to fuck me so hard my arse is going to end up looking like a clown's pocket. Can you help me find something like that in my size?

/facepalm. "Personal" Choice Units.

And "fatty haters". Oh dear, the keyboard is not my friend this evening.

AJ said...

There are already regulations in Duty Free shops about what you can and can not say in relation to tobacco sales, we are not allowed to say cheaper, better value or any words that could be perceived as promoting smoking.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"There's a word for people like Jersey Andrew, and it ain't pretty."

Is it "cunt"? Because he is, quite obviously, a cunt.