A Bad Day For Democracy And Scrupulous Government

by Dick Puddlecote

A Bad Day For Democracy And Scrupulous Government It’s been an irritatingly busy day, or else I’d have been watching the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) kangaroo court like Snowdon. Or, the ‘it’s not about health show’ as it could be better described.

Y’see, I’d drafted an article for lunchtime describing how today was a momentous day for this blog as the EU coverage would prove – conclusively and live on the internet – the mantra oft-emphasised here that tobacco control has never been about health. As things panned out, I was too busy battling impenetrable bureaucracy over VAT on vehicle disposals to Zimbabwe to be able to tidy it up and publish it.

Having now read back on Snowdon’s live tweets, and having caught the last half hour myself, the smug self-interested clique of one track mind lobbyists posing as ‘experts’ in Brussels didn’t disappoint. They seemed intent on stubbornly pushing plain packaging – for which there is no credible evidence that it will ‘help’ anyone quit – while studiously ignoring harm reduction avenues such as snus and e-cigs … for which there is overwhelming, concrete, real-life evidence of success.

Former ASH Director Clive Bates this morning produced an excellent, evidence-based article on why the EU should be looking at lifting the ban on snus. Despite featuring pleas from cornerstones of European tobacco control in the past few decades such as Martin Jarvis and Karl Fagerström, they will be ignored – there is a blinkered agenda to adhere to.

It’s never been about health.

On e-cigs, the vaping community has – as it has done before – mounted a valiant defence of the method which helped many thousands in this country to quit smoking. According to Deborah Arnott of ASH, 20% of those who try e-cigs give up tobacco for good which – using recent figures quoted by the BBC of a million UK users – equates to 200,000 people.

At today’s proceedings in Brussels, there was little said about them though. Certainly not from the assembled tobacco continuation ‘experts’ who simply lined up to present their policy-based propaganda. The presentations were posted online here … not one of them even mentioned snus or e-cigs at all despite important sections of the TPD containing dangerous regulation which will have a disastrous effect on harm reduction options. They did, however, all bang on about plain packaging which isn’t included as a proposal in the TPD.

It’s never been about health, you see.

Part of the campaign by vapers has been to furnish constituency MEPs with letters explaining personal experiences of e-cigs, along with links to evidence that proves their efficacy. The Ashtray Blog has been keeping an eye on replies and reporting on the current attitudes of MEPs.

It’s only fair to comment that MEPs will probably have been very under-informed on e-cigs before reading these letters, but they definitely won’t have been any more wise after today since tobacco controllers avoided the subject as much as possible. One tobacco control industry dinosaur for example, from Germany, could only stupidly offer the query “what if you put [e-liquid] in the fridge and it goes in your food?”. Yes, she is apparently regarded as an ‘expert’ by the EU.

However, vapers’ efforts have made sure that MEPs are at least aware of the salient points. Or, we’d like to think so anyway. Dozens of vapers will have received a reply stating that only certain MEPs were entitled to attend and ask questions today. One of them was Labour’s Glenis Willmott, who also completely ignored all of them and was congratulated by a colleague for – you guessed it – talking about plain packaging.

@gleniswillmott great contribution. Remove the tobacco brand you remove the power of big tobacco. Plain packaging. twitter.com/C_Stihler_MEP/…
— Catherine Stihler (@C_Stihler_MEP) February 25, 2013

It would seem that, no matter how many communications Willmott received from fellow Labour MEPs (or should have done anyway, we will never know), she just carried on with her own ill-judged rhetoric regardless.

Because, as we know, it’s never been about health.

Meanwhile, in the US, the FDA – which is tasked with finding some regulatory niche for massively successful e-cigs – has just come under the control of a guy who unashamedly works for the patch and gum peddling pharmaceutical industry. You know, those in direct competition with e-cigs?

Nope. It’s never been about health, you’re better off just following the money for the real motivation behind these disgusting people.


7 responses to “A Bad Day For Democracy And Scrupulous Government

  1. Trying to reason with scum is pointless. If all e-cig users just ignore whatever shit the EU come up with then that will have more impact. Trying to fine/jail people–esp lots of people –will be a non-starter, even for these idiots.
    Obviously they will put pressure on the manufacturers to stop making them. What about a 3d-printer program to produce your own e-cig ?.

    At any rate people have to stop playing the shites game in every area–don’t beg the fuckers for what they will never give–that just builds them up in your own mind—go around them to get what you want.

  2. It’s the state of things today, these power drunk courts just ruiling rough shod over democracy, we will see an increase as they now there is little or no resistance to such dictatorship, for those who dear challenge them be prepared for retribution, it is a fact, the more governments get away with abuses of democracy the more totaliterian they become the more they commit, you have to understand the position from thier side of the wall, they are getting very rich telling you what not to do, and imprisoning your very soul by doing it, I think they are unlikely to change their policies at the moment, just intensify them.Part of thier masterplan of total takeover! Total domination of freedoms.

  3. The ideology of these people (the politicians, officials, media people, academics…. the whole real “ruling class”) is vile, and it distorts everything they say and do.

    For example their was a balloon accident in Egypt today – nineteen people horribly killed.

    But French English language just understood the inncident to attack the “unregulated” balloon industry in Egypt.

    It most likely is NOT unregulated (nothing is unregulated in Egypt) – but even if it was, only a beast thinks (on hearing of the death of human beings) “goody – I can use this as an excuse for a power grab”.

    Sadly we are ruled by beasts – and not just in France (just about everywhere)

    Smoking is nothing to do with the state – but the state says it is.

    And e.cigs are an ALTERNATIVE to smoking – so, if it was about health the government would be happy.

    But (as the post says) – it is not about health.

    It is about power.

    It is all about power

    It is the mindset that sees people burning in a falling balloon and thinks “goody – I can use this to push the cause of regulations”.

    Not really about balloons in Egypt (as if operators of balloons want to kill their customers anyway) – but about EVERYTHING.

  4. Well good, point, similar case here, girl got killed by an OAP in a car, tragic, and I am sorry she lost her life, her mother set up a one person crusade that has now resulted in changes the law. The “Outcome” unfolded as this, police now have new powers to revoke licences on the spot without the right of trial, power drunk regulations, that will result in abuse of power, the police have become an effective propaganda machine, with the ability to falsely mesmerise the general public, and of course they do have friends in the media who assist with these deceptions. I don’t want to go into the new regulations in detail, but examination clarifies they are a bigger creation of buearacracy to control peoples lives, the laws are subject to political abuse, and don’t understand why the DVLA iis in wales, people who appear to hate the english, and enjoy and chance to intimidate them, where have the rights of the english dissapared to, nobody seems to have any will to protest, they have just become slaves to the totaliterian state.

  5. Paul, good point about the balloon article, seems there’s been a “Double Wammy” today, did you see the news tonight, the new legislation on mobility scooters now being proposed by police and woman crusaders, what a catch phrase, Mobility Scooters are woopingly fast they do 6 MPH, there’s a need for legislation after a zombie shopper got hit by one, of course as you expect the police are at the “Helm” retired goons now want to set up driving schools for scooters as a form of second income, if that not bad enough, they want a registration scheme for scooters and the creation of a local DVLA affair, they are off to Cameron this week to put in their petition for changes in the law, we’re certain to see another industry go down the tube thanks to the wooden top’s, while they get rich in the process, god, are the british public so stupid, that they believe all this Danger, Danger to others “Bullshit” being put out by the woodentops to kill the counrty with obserd laws and regulation.

  6. Karl – yet at “Prime Minister Questions” the opposition can only say that the British government should be MORE statist (it is demented).

    I am told that things are different in Alberta – there the “conservative” Provincial government has a real opposition.

  7. Demented, I agree, you shoul see the sate of some of these judges, god
    couldn’t even now how they come to some of their conclusions, he really
    couldn’t. I think we are just swiming in a sea of “Red Tape” and legislation
    slowly drowning, of course in england there is no real oppositon, real
    poliical opposition, does not spend time with his policital opponent in the same westinister bar, drinking like old chums, they have a new name now.
    they all call each other colleagues, what a term of discription. In reality
    they are hand in glove, the opposition bringing in laws, that the other opposition dear not, and quite happily geting away with under the guise
    of opposition, Driving School for mobility scooters, demented madness!