For sheer, blatant spin Mr Rudd is to be congratulated. Faced with a multitude of looming debacles what does he do?
Throws up a smokescreen, literally:Cigarette tax to increase 25pc from midnight
Hes announced out of the blue that smokers will face a 25% increase in the price of cigarettes from midnight tonight. Mouthing all the usual platitudes about saving chiiildren it allows him a free kick at a group hes already driven outside, and tried to ban from smoking in their own cars.
I hate ciggies, they make my nose run and sneeze, but I hate do gooder wankers even more. No-one in Australia should be under the impression smoking is good for you, it costs a lot and it stinks. Everyone has been informed about that for decades. Please piss off and moralize somewhere else.
My Grandfather died of asbestos, he was a builder/carpenter in the bad old days.His death was listed as “due to smoking”, despite his lungs asbestos related degeneration. Every smoker who goes to hospital now can expect their every aliment traced back to smoking, no matter how tenuous the link. tobacco is a killer, so why inflate the figures even more?
I dont believe the official statistics anymore. The semi-government cancer council and various lobby groups exist to let the government look as though its community pressure driving the bansturbation and tax raising. That same increase in tax revenue helps fund ever more generous grants to these same “charities” to start all over again.
Heres the group responsible for the report, and a few highlights of the members backgrounds.
Unbiased bloke N#1: He is currently President of the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Council on Smoking and Health and the WA Heart Foundation, and Chair of the WA Alcohol and Drug Authority. He has played a leading role in tobacco control, alcohol and other public health issues nationally and internationally for many years, and has advised governments and NGOs in some thirty countries.
Unbiased lady N#1: has developed national cardiovascular health programs within Australia, has been extensively involved with cancer prevention programs and is regarded as an expert on tobacco control matters.
Worrying lady N#1: She has been an active environmentalist since the early 1980s and is particularly passionate about climate change. She was recently trained as a climate change presenter by former US Vice President Al Gore, who is training climate change presenters around the world as part of the Climate Project.
All in all a roundup of people of similar opinions, very “Yes Minister” collection.
Still it achieves Turdfingers objectives nicely.
A: Moves the news stories away from his stuff ups.
B: May move debate back to health, where he has a temporary advantage (since it will take a couple of years for his new stuff ups to unravel there)
C: Raises more money for him to hose up the nearest wall.
In addition to the massive increase in tax, there is a move to “plain package” cigarettes to remove the distinctiveness of various brands.
Australia would be the first country in the world to force cigarette companies to use plain packaging.
“From 2012, companies will only be allowed to print their brand name in a standard style and graphic health warnings will remain on the packets.”
I suggest he goes one step further and does this instead.
He took a cigarette from a crumpled packet marked VICTORY CIGARETTES and incautiously held it upright, whereupon the tobacco fell out on to the floor." Orwell.
One little problem, this is almost certainly not legal in any way. I dont have a huge amount of sympathy for the tobacco companies, as for some weird reason, defying all logic, they seemed to feel their previous concessions to the anti smoking lobby would appease them. What a surprise it hasnt, again.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be cured against ones will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock”
More under the fold, including how its increasing profits for criminals.
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