Wednesday 7 December 2011

A New Sinister Anti-Tobacco Precedent

The Welsh Assembly yesterday breathlessly introduced their Tobacco Control Plan for Wales to the collection of vacant wooden tops in the Senedd.

Nanny Beeb has all the usual details of hysterical over-reaction, all designed to meet the 'vision' of "a smoke-free society for Wales, in which the harm from tobacco is eradicated". Prohibition is front and centre these days, you see, long gone is any recognition of previous failures along the same lines.

This will be because - like any compulsive liar worth their salt - the problem of civil liberties and choice in a free society has been eradicated entirely by way of self-delusion, as described in the report [page 6].

The argument that people have a right to smoke and that efforts to reduce smoking prevalence infringes on their civil liberties, ignores the fact that two thirds of smokers in the UK start smoking before they turn 18. Creating a product that makes children and teenagers addicted and then arguing that it is their free choice to be addicted is an argument to be rejected outright.
D'you see? It's impossible to exercise free choice up to the time you're 17 years and 364 days old. Only after that arbitrary government-mandated age does the choice fairy come and sprinkle the magic dust on you. And smoking, of course, isn't something that anyone does because they enjoy it - even after turning 18. It's merely an addiction, and one which you must accept that the state is entitled to beat out of you with a very large pointy stick, if necessary.

Incredible, isn't it, that before you're 18 you aren't capable of exercising free choice ... and after you're 18, your free choice is to be 'rejected outright' because other people are under 18.

This is logic which would make even medieval witch-hunters stand and applaud in admiration if they were able. They were amateurs compared to these Taffs.

We're well acquainted with the headline-grabbers included in the report, all of which will have little or no effect on smoking prevalence while simultaneously making everyone's lives that little bit more miserable, and have their basis in all manner of selective stats (I might expand on that tomorrow, as it happens).

However, there's one disturbing proposal which should set alarm bells ringing for every business which manufactures any product disapproved of by government [page 13].

Other strategies such as the establishment of an independent regulatory agency and the introduction of price cap regulation, where a cap is placed on the pre-tax cigarette manufacturers price but not on the retail price that consumers face, may have potential in a UK setting and should be explored.

The Welsh Government will consider alternative strategies for tobacco control such as an independent regulatory agency and price cap regulation for discussion with the UK
Government (Action 1.7).
This would seem to read as a move by the Assembly to dictate a maximum price to private businesses, over which they aren't legally allowed to sell their product.

Not for the benefit of the end purchaser, of course. Don't be silly. They're happy to ramp up the price with extortionate taxation until you can't afford it anymore. No, this is a plan to tell tobacco companies that they are no longer allowed, by law, to decide what price they choose to sell their wares at.

A national maximum selling price decided by the state, and a complete destruction of the economic mechanism between producer and consumer. Only the state is allowed to profit from increased prices, while the manufacturer must have their profit levels squeezed into oblivion by out of control obsessives.

Oh, they'll claim that tobacco is a unique case but can you really believe that? You don't think, do you, that they might just think it has worked so well that BP's profits must be destroyed for the good of Gaia (and to mask tax hikes, which is the very point); fast food prices should be kept stable to allow state taxation to be applied without fuss; or alcohol prices need to be pegged so that minimum price regulation doesn't benefit the drinks industry?

Course not. Tobacco control innovations have never - and I mean, never - migrated into other areas of righteous policy, now have they?

There's only one conclusion to be drawn from such astonishingly draconian ideas. That politicians, blinded by incessant lobbying, have gone stark staring nuts! Dictating selling prices to private businesses rivals Soviet methods at their most excessive, yet not one of these hideous professional politicians bats an eyelid. In fact, they dismiss all thought of objection as irrelevant.

Those governing us are rotten to the very core, and are actively dismantling the fabric of the world we live in, just so we can be forced to live how they tell us to.

Optional self-sacrifice is fast morphing into state-enforced compliance in a way that threatens to turn the free market on its head, with our supposed servants - paid with money stolen from each and every one on us - ripping apart long successful methods of human interaction in favour of hare-brained preening and egotism.

And not one media outlet even mentioned it.

Smirnoff, McDonald's, Saxa, Cadbury's, Guinness, Walkers, Texaco, hell, even British Airways ... your boys face a potential future of taking one hell of a beating if this is ever allowed to become a valid state tool.

Scary times.


selsey.steve said...

The First Republic in Zambia, a rabidly socialist, one-part state under Kenneth Kaunda, introduced this self-same mechanism for many commodities and foodstuffs.
The country went from being the 3rd or 4th wealthiest in Africa to the 2nd or 3rd poorest in five years.
It still hasn't recovered despite this mechanism being abandoned some time ago.

Jeff Wood said...

I didn't think I would ever call on the EU for support, but isn't this sort of thing - like minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland - illegal under EU law?

Anonymous said...

Wales had a referendum and decided by a majority vote to make its own laws………….. . I voted against it but hell I’m English I don’t count. We/they already have a ban on the free donation of a carrier bag to shoppers. Result - faced with a 5p price tag on a bag I only buy what I can carry. It hasn’t hit the retailers yet - it will. Not my small contribution to the economy, but more people buying less will eventually hit home. They want to reorganise the constituencies so only Labour can ever win control. Watch Wales and see what you have in store!!!!!!!!!!!! Control freaks - you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Sorry - slightly pissed (going down the homebrew street preparing for the next ban) and very pissed off.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Wales. It's not even a proper country.

They eat leeks and benefits and let's not forget their taste for prohibition.

No wonder so many of them ended up having a swinging time not so long ago. It's not teenage angst, it's depression because of a bunch of black-hatted Methodists and the sheer ghastliness of living in a slag heap that has coal we don't want and no oil.

The sooner they are as relevant to our existence as Samoa, the better. We can pinch the odd good rugby player, the rest can piss off.

Next: the Scots.

Anonymous said...

This is what eight centuries of having curiously-intimate relations with wooly mammals does to you.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Jeff: The same thought crossed my mind too, worth looking up I reckon.

Anon @ 23:02: Nick Welsh rugby players? Look how it has worked out having Jocks in Westminster! :-0

Dick Puddlecote said...

Selsey Steve: Ta for the heads up. Duly noted for the future.

Anonymous said...

@ Edgar "This is what eight centuries of having curiously-intimate relations with wooly mammals does to you"

Tired ad hominem stuff like this just weakens the otherwise reasonable point of the blog.

Now if you pointed out that Wales gets about 20% more from Westminster than it pays, you would have a point. This is why I left.

Anonymous said...

You just can't resist the sheep jokes. It's no wonder the Welsh have such massive chips on their shoulders.

Frank said...

This development is no more sinister than the original SHS fraud. We know it's, really, bugger all to do with health and more to do with control.

Wales has, historically, tended to be a hellfire and damnation preaching land. Add Socialism to the pot and- bang!!! I can say this easily as I'm half Welsh who can remember the days when all Pubs were closed on Sundays - Chapel, you see, the Lord would be upset!

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Dictating selling prices to private businesses rivals Soviet methods at their most excessive, yet not one of these hideous professional politicians bats an eyelid. In fact, they dismiss all thought of objection as irrelevant. XX

The answer is in the first sentence.

Name one politician, (One that has actualy GOT anywhere. I don't mean the wannabees sitting in the back room of some ex smokey pub.) except perhaps Farage, that is not an out right commy slime ball, piece of shit.

Woman on a Raft said...

British Airways has this week complained about the additional passenger tax and has said it expects a contraction of business in direct proportion to the levy.

Sam Duncan said...

“This would seem to read as a move by the Assembly to dictate a maximum price to private businesses, over which they aren't legally allowed to sell their product.”

I thought we'd seen the last of this sort of nonsense back in the '70s. It's incredible: if you'd told me 20 years ago that by 2012 we'd have a total indoor smoking ban, price controls, nationalized banks, and a national debt approaching £1 trillion, I'd have assumed you were describing some kind of dystopian sci-fi movie. Things might not have been perfect, but at least we'd figured out once and for all that this kind of dirigiste crap doesn't help. Hadn't we?

WV: “Intox”. Some hope, these days.

Anonymous said...

Frank (@12.15) said:

... all [Welsh] Pubs were closed on Sundays - Chapel, you see, the Lord would be upset!

Odd that. The Lord had a different view in England in the Middle Ages. Many parish churches had their own ale houses and brewed their own ale. For example, and because I'm feeling lazy, look up "Parish Ale" at Wiki.

And just in case some might think this was just for unusual and rare, occasions, many parishes had 3 major buildings: the churche, the rectory and the church alehouse. (Our local church still has one although no longer serving its original purpose.)

Alan Bates

SadButMadLad said...

This thing about turning 18 happens in other places too.

Recently a family member had an operation and on leaving was asked if there was someone in the house who could look after her. She answered that her 17yr 10mth old daughter would be. The nurse would not accept that as an answer and insisted that someone over the age of 18 would be required to look after her. After being told this a few times she was pacified by answering in the affermative, but ignored.

Frank said...

Anon @ 18:43: Bit different after the Reformation. The Welsh adapted to non conformism like a duck to water - Methodist, Welsh Baptist, etc. Hence the hellfire and damnation form of preaching so loved by them.

Pleasure has always been the no 1 enemy to this breed of believer, after all, Christ died on the cross for us, we have no reasons to be happy and joyful and damn well shouldn't be. It went a little during the latter days of the mining communities,(my half heritage) but with their disappearance, it's crept back into fashion. As it seems to have in most Anglo influenced places, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

My heroes The Inquisition knew
how to deal with Druids,Puritans,
Quakers and other assorted sour
faced gargolyles sent from Hell
to plague human joy.
Toast them or boil them..slowly
Free them from their despair and

Ode to joy