Tuesday 14 February 2012

It's Not About The Children, Either

All joy must be eradicated, sorry

Having sold a pup to the Aussie government to get plain packaging driven through - leaving Gillard's gullibles with the small matter of a massive legal fight in the process - tobacco controllers are now twiddling their thumbs and pondering what tomfoolery to waste taxpayers' money on next.

They've toyed with smoker licensing/rationing, but maybe that's a bit further down the line. No, it seems there's something more imminent in their drive for an entirely joyless society.
THE Federal Government could be about to stub out cheap cigarettes for jet-setting smokers.

The duty-free allowance for cigarettes and tobacco for international travellers arriving in Australia is facing the axe, Channel 7 reported last night.

The tax break is worth an estimated $270 million and the tax collected would help raise money for the fragile Budget.

Under existing rules inbound travellers aged over 18 are allowed to bring into Australia 250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products tax-free.
Now, all those who seem to have been sucked into this "plain packs is for the children" or "I'll just buy a cigarette case" mentality might care to employ a bit of forethought.

As our esteemed mascot never tires of emphasising, these people are never satisfied. There is always the next campaign, the 'next logical step' to pursue, if only for the fact that they don't get paid if they can't think of something - anything - to justify their increasingly wasteful funding.

They'll probably make some feeble attempt to claim this move is protecting children, but considering sales are restricted to over 18s on production of a boarding card backed by state-issued documents, it will be laugh out loud absurd.

You see, it's not about health, and it's never been about the children either. Anti-smokers like to offer a friendly face to those who enjoy tobacco. They're not attacking smokers, you understand - you're still free to make that choice, cross their hearts, hope to die and all that - merely smoking and those evil tobacco companies.

It's far from the truth though. Consider a similar recommendation from our own friendly neighbourhood Janus-faces, ASH, to the treasury prior to the last budget.
Reduce the Minimum Indicative Limits for cross border shopping within Europe to the same level as in Finland, i.e 200 cigarettes and 250g of [hand rolling tobacco];
These are, plainly, direct attacks on not only smokers, but also the enjoyable travel experiences of smokers.

Note, too, that ASH are merely asking for the 'limits' to be reduced to the same paltry level that Aussie anti-smokers want eradicated for duty free, mostly because they can't do much else due to EU free movement of goods regulations. They won't be remotely satisfied with that, of course. Sooner or later they'll call for a zero 'limit', or perhaps even con some woeful UK Minister to challenge the EU like the Scottish dullard is doing over Minimum Alcohol Pricing.

And - as anyone vaguely sentient should surely have understood by now - there isn't some big full stop at the end of these tobacco control initiatives, rather a partially open door with "others, push here" plastered on the front.

We know from the pleading of groups all scrambling to be considered to be tackling 'the new smoking', that a ban on duty free tobacco won't be the last we hear of the matter.

I'm sure I don't need to draw you a Glenfiddich bottle or Toblerone-shaped picture, do I?

H/T The Aussie Informer


Jay said...

I'm with you on the forethought thing, particularly re the plain packs.  Every time I see someone write "I don't care what my cigarette packet looks like," I want to scream at them for their shortsightedness, their ambivalence.  I don't scream; I know they don't mean anything bad by it. But they should care! 

Because plain packs will make it incredibly easy for the counterfeiters produce and sell their dodgy and dangerous wares to unsuspecting smokers.  Trust me on this, I saw a friend get extremely ill after smoking just one fag from a counterfeit pack he bought in Soho for 3 quid.  I mean, vomiting ill, folks.  We told him not to buy them, we told him not to smoke them, but he was so thrilled to get a pack for so cheap.  He wasn't thrilled afterward.

So, I truly do think that this is what ASH and their cronies wants.  They want to kill smokers as quick as possible; they want things to be as bad as possible. They want to increase the illicit trade and counterfeit tobacco goods. Then they'll point at these things and say, "See? We told you smoking is bad, and oh my, look at all this crime."  They'll blame it on the tobacco companies, and they'll blame it on us.

As for Australia... lost cause, I fear.  Lost until the Aussies revolt and overthrow their government, that is.

James Pickett said...

So what will the New Puritans do when they finally bar all avenues of pleasure? At least they won't be able to celebrate!

nicholas.ashley1 said...

Plain packaging is an insult to our intelligence. As for reducing 'limits' just what planet are these ASH morons on? In the EU there are no limits. What UKBA does is plain old theft with menaces and Nothing to Declare has an antidote to their malicious ways.

Jay said...

This, probably: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCCiWVHkW3Q

nemesis said...

The alcohol thing looks to be coming from the UN:

Jocelyn said...

I just watched that lovely youtube video! Cringe-making!  Put me right off my dinner.  I posted a comment to youtube, which is now awaiting moderation.  I somehow don't think they'll accept it, wonder why?!!