Monday 5 March 2012

Jewel Robbing Spotted In The Mail

Our efforts have been noticed.
In fact, if talking to yourself is indeed an early sign of madness, then the Department of Health is indeed veering away from sanity on Andrew Lansley’s watch. In various parts of the country, taxpayer-funded billboard posters have sprung up, urging passing motorists to support the Plain Packs Protect campaign. You’d expect public money to be used only to actually hold the public consultation and to analyse and audit the responses, not to run a high-profile PR campaign pressing for a particular outcome. The Department of Health is using taxpayers’ cash to talk to itself and indeed to lobby itself. This isn’t just absurd, it is unconscionable.

The posters themselves urge people to “support plain packaging and protect our children”. The implication is that there is good evidence to suggest that the removal of branding from cigarette packs will reduce the number of youngsters taking up smoking. This simply isn’t true. No such evidence exists.

In the heat of an election campaign, you might just allow political parties to make grandiose and rather dubious claims. But for a government funded poster campaign to do so – in advance of a public consultation – is wholly unacceptable. Unsurprisingly, Smokefree South West, the producers of the poster, have now been referred to the Advertising Standards Agency.
Do go read the rest of the piece on the Mail website.

Image courtesy of Lawson


George Speller said...

Now. How to keep up the pressure?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Retweet and share on Facebook is the modern norm, I believe. :)

Jay said...

Indeed.  Get the word out through word-of-mouth or twitter-of-type, as it were.

Are there any friendly MPs and/or media who are sympathetic to the cause of liberty and freedom?  We could write to them, too.

I'm not a Mail reader (actually, I don't read much from the main stream these days), but I'm pleased to see Andrew has published his opinion piece on this.  I'm more pleased that you kicked this off, Dick.  I think it's honourable.

Jay said...

 Sorry, I meant to say "Mark has published...".  Damn it, I hate when I confuse things like that. I blame ASH. :P

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"Are there any friendly MPs and/or media who are sympathetic to the cause of liberty and freedom?"
There is our esteemed teetotal non-smoking blog mascot, of course, to name but one. :)

moonrakin said...

FoI and ask them if they are civil servants. In my view they are - as it's likely they are funded and employed quite directly by government - most of their "independent organisation" admin ploys don't wash.

The relatively freshly minted via The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 and specifically the legal obligations of The Civil Servant's Code of Conduct enshrined therein excludes very few (spooks mostly) from it's scope. A quick look at the professional standards they're legally constrained to adhere to makes it clear I think that this lot are "pushing the envelope".

I feel a test case coming on.

Kryptonite for Sir Humphrey,3bdc5ed6ff8.html

Jay said...

By the way, unrelated to the ASA thing, but...  Ray Charles.  Smoker.  Blind.  Would plain packs help a blind person?  I know of a few blind smokers, blind from birth.  What's the explanation?

Jay said...

 Cool.  About to contact him via

Legiron said...

 Shhh. You'll have them demanding smell-free tobacco next!

Thomas said...

Good question but if they catch wind of it, they might demand warning labels be engraved in braille for the blind and have embedded one of those talking microchips reading warnings out loud, like they do with the musical greeting cards, for the deaf.

Lyn Ladds said...

Posted this comment in support of the piece in the Mail:

At a time when this once Great country is in dire straights, the last thing it needs is pointless posturing based on nothing - nil, zilch, nada!
How have we come to this when elected government obviously couldn't run the budget in a family home, yet they think they can run a whole country?
It is absurd and terrifying to see them even contemplating this route, when it will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on legitimate smoking rates, nor youngsters or anyone else taking up smoking, just as the health warnings have had no effect. Health warnings were, apparently, on cigarette packs when I started smoking in the early 70's, but I don't remember them, so they obviously had a huge impact then, just as they do now!
Not only is this idea crazy, it will open the doors to even wider to the black market and the resulting 'products' will be far more deadly than legitimate products. Does anyone in their right mind think that the black marketeers give a stuff about what is put into the 'tobacco' they supply? Of course not, they are only interested in the vast profits they can make, at the same time taking away profits from the government coffers, much needed profits too!
Smokers smoke because they enjoy it. They weigh up the risks and chose to accept them or not, their choice. What this and previous governments are doing/have done is far more damaging to the health of the population than any amount of tobacco smoking!
It is way past the time that government stopped wasting money nannying people and got on with the job they were elected to do and are paid to do! They could also use their time and efforts far more productively if they reviewed much of the Health and Safety crap that is killing more people than it is saving.
People of all ages die for all sorts of reasons. That is LIFE!

Junican said...

Don't ASH ET AL claim to be completely independent of Government? If so, how can they claim Government immunity?