Wednesday 11 June 2014

Chantler's Plain Packaging Report Can't Be Trusted, Says MP

There was a cracking exchange on plain packaging in the HoC on Monday.

Thurrock Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price rose during a health debate and one could have been forgiven for expecting the usual prohibitionist crowd-pleasing rhetoric.
I wish to turn my attention to another issue that was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech but which is on the Government’s legislative timetable for the coming year: the plan to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products.
What a pleasant surprise, then, that she continued thus.
I have to say to the Minister of State, Department of Health, my hon. Friend Norman Lamb that it is a very bad idea.
Not just dubious, unproven or contentious, you notice. Nope, "very bad".
I have worries that this tool is not effective and that its unintended consequences may bring about worse health outcomes than doing nothing at all. Sir Cyril Chantler is said to have examined that as part of his review, but I am not persuaded of the evidence. In particular, I believe that introducing standardised packaging will worsen the public health outcomes if unregulated illicit tobacco products replace the regulated ones. 
I commend The Sun for the exposé it ran last week in which an illicit producer from Indonesia explained just how toxic some of his products are and how standardised packaging will help him make money by reducing the costs of production.
She's right of course. But in the commons, there is always a tobacco control industry stooge around when ASH and their tax-sponging friends need one.
Alex Cunningham (Stockton North, Labour) 
The Government’s own inquiry showed that there would not be an increase in the amount of illicit tobacco traded in this country. Does the hon. Lady not trust her own Ministers and the report they commissioned?
Because incontrovertible testimony from the counterfeiters themselves is not good enough for inveterate anti-smoker Cunningham. That kind of thing is not concrete enough, oh no. Only shonky reports packed with pre-conceived conclusions and 'evidence' rigged to suit his personal opinion will do.

Doyle-Price wasn't having any of his crap though.
I was quoting that report and challenging its conclusions, which are based on a flawed analysis of the market - that is what I have been trying to explain. No, I do not trust that report. It is superficial and it has been put together with a particular agenda. As I say, it will lead to unintended consequences which will be very bad for public health.
Hey, Alex and Cyril, your bluff has been called and raised. Bravo Jackie!


BuckoTheMoose said...

If she doesn't trust the report then she's clearly in the pay of big tobacco. I say make her bank account public

Gerontious Gruntfuttock said...

She also has the most marginal seat in the country (49 majority) and has always been strongly against anti-smoking measures. I really hope the smokers of Thurrock thank her by doing her proud at the general election.

truckerlyn said...

Hallelujah, at last a politician with an ounce of common sense and decency and brave enough to stand up in the HoC and state her case. Well Done!

Bet she won't be on any future lists for promotion though!

Sunex Amures said...

And don't forget to undermine her reputation while your at it ;-)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Outspoken MPs are often rewarded. A certain Philip Davies turned a 2005 majority in 2005 into 10,000 in 2010 by staying true to principles. Didn't Thurrock Labour suffer at May local elections?

Still waiting said...

Do me a favour please , it is of no conseqeunce what any MP says or does,the plain packet agenda is set in concrete way above what is nattered about in the Commons. Lobbies,campaigns and corporate interests and of course "personal relationships" dictate policy, the MPs just go through the motions. Anyway what are The Tobacco Cos,11 million smokers and 80,000+ shops going to do about it...............NOWT
just carry on bleating and grunting in their fibre optic vacuums.

What the.... said...

Nice propaganda piece:

Plain Packaging Appears To Work

timbone said...

I am getting an 'MP crush'

Jax said...

This is actually even better news that it first appears. I’m not sure who the Labour incumbent was that Ms D-P (any relation, DP!!?) booted out, but the one before that – Andrew Mackinlay - was an out-and-out anti who embraced anti-smoking ideology with the best of them, voting enthusiastically for the total blanket ban with no exceptions and spouting all the usual rubbish about how everyone loved the ban, how even smokers were massively grateful for being flung out in the rain and who believed each and every bit of anti-smoking drip-feed which ever happened his way with a blind, unthinking religious zeal. So to have someone in his old stamping ground who is genuinely prepared to stand up to the bullies rather than someone who, despite claiming to be an Old Labour stalwart who wanted to better the lives of the underdog, proved himself to be nothing more than an old-fashioned bully whose little bit of power was used just to enforce his own personal preferences on millions of people in the country.

It’s like I’ve always said, a person’s views on smoking are an uncannily accurate way of getting an insight into their true nature. Whenever someone says they are a Libertarian, or that they are concerned about the erosion of our liberties, or that they hate unfairness, or that they want to stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves – just ask them, later in the conversation, their views on the smoking ban. If they respond by saying that they think it’s appalling, or damaging, or unfair, or heavy-handed, or that they’d like to relaxed, then you can rest assured that they were telling the truth about all those other things. But if they don’t, then deep down inside …

Sam Duncan said...


Uber sees an 850 percent jump in sign-ups, while cab drivers across Europe protest the taxi-hailing app by going on strike. Experts call the strike against Uber "PR gold" for the app.

Now, don't laugh. :)