Friday, 29 November 2013

Polemic on the politics of people pushing pointless plain packs

I've written a few words for Conservative Home about plain packs.

One consequence of the “something must be done” attitude towards smoking in government is that nearly everything has been done. The quixotic policy of plain packaging is at the bottom of a well-scraped barrel. When Action on Smoking and Health surveyed the public in 2008, plain packaging was the least popular of the dozen anti-smoking policies they suggested, with less than half of those questioned in support. It has risen to the top of the list largely as a result of an exceptionally nanny statist Australian government showing campaigners that it was politically feasible. If it feels as if the issue has been around forever it is because the campaigners have spent so much (taxpayers’) money on the crusade that they will not let it go.

Do go read the rest.

1 comment:

Ivan D said...

Are the Tories unaware that fast tracking this proposal will create a slippery slope of considerable magnitude? That they will effectively usher in the dawn of healthism as a force in mainstream politics?

Such ignorance would make them merely stupid but you seem to be suggesting that they may be doing so to score points in their petty tribal conflict. That would make them juvenile, irresponsible and hopefully unelectable.

If this goes ahead for tobacco and we are subsequently deluged with endless campaigns by pressure groups wanting to plain package everything and anything that they don't like, I do hope that people will not be slow to point the finger at those responsible.

Perhaps I misread what you wrote. Please tell me that politics has not descended to a level whereby a ground breaking piece of legislation that will so obviously have wide ranging unintended negative consequences is being considered on the basis of scoring points against the opposition.