June 24, 2007
Restrictions on Smoking
Sir Liam Donaldson proposes:
Reducing the number of cigarettes that Britons can bring into the country from inside the EU from 3,200 to 200.
Interesting don't you think? Sir Liam will destroy the Single European Market in order to stop people smoking in front of kiddies.
Obviously worth it of course, for Won't Someone Think of the Children?
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"Interesting don't you think? Sir Liam will destroy the Single European Market in order to stop people smoking in front of kiddies."
Quite. Even the 3200 figure is made up: there is no legal limit. The figure is a "guideline" and has no legal force.
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 9:51:16 AM
Future plans to restrict smoking include
· Removing cigarettes from public display;
· Putting graphic picture warnings on cigarette packets showing the health effects of smoking, including blocked arteries, rotten teeth and gangrene;
· Outlawing the sale of packets of 10 cigarettes to deter consumption, especially among children;
· Reducing the number of cigarettes that Britons can bring into the country from inside the EU from 3,200 to 200.
The number of Britons who smoke has fallen to 24 per cent and ministers hope going smoke-free will over time bring about another 4 or 5 per cent drop. 'But if we want to go further we have got to reinforce all these other tobacco measures and denormalise smoking completely,' said Donaldson.
Whenever I read one of these articles I find myself wanting to punch a random person to relieve the rage. What fucking business is it of this fucking goon to 'denormalise' my chosen fucking lifestyle, and by what power does he claim the right to so much as cough in my direction? It's getting to the point at which the only reason I continue to smoke is to spite these grasping, prying bastards who get wet at the thought of imposing their values on me.
I need a cigarette.
Posted by: sortapundit | Jun 24, 2007 9:59:47 AM
What about the personal duty-free allowance for importing alcoholic drinks and the coming epidemic of cirrhosis of the liver to be treated by the NHS at cost to taxpayers:
"Britain will be gripped by a liver disease epidemic within 15 years because of drinking, doctors will say on TV tonight. Experts tested the health of livers of 70 daytime passers-by at mobile clinics in London and Birmingham for a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation. Half had liver damage caused by alcohol consumption."
Tim adds: Bob, there is no personal duty free allowance on booze brought in from other EU countries. It is part of the single market that we can bring in whatever amount we wish of VAT and dutiable items from other EU countries, as long as we have paid the VAT and duty applicable in those other countries.
Posted by: Bob B | Jun 24, 2007 11:52:28 AM
I think I'm beginning to twig that the whole common market idea was merely a Trojan horse to get us to accept an EU in principle. One by one the freedoms will be withdrawn. For instance, remember all the fuss about importing cheaper cars into the UK from the continent? What's happened? As far as I can see, prices of cars on the continent have risen and Portugal still charges a hideously high, eye-watering tax if you want to import a car for your own use. So much for free trade. Now Sarko has said that the EU isn't about free trade... Some Gallic Thatcher!
Posted by: MarkS | Jun 24, 2007 12:20:57 PM
" the coming epidemic of cirrhosis of the liver to be treated by the NHS at cost to taxpayers:"
Since half of them will be employed by the state on taxpayer-funded civil service pensions, it could save the tax-payer a great deal of money if they simply die off before retirement. Arguing about "cost to the NHS" of this and that really fails to capture fully the effects.
Bob, you seem very animated over people with liver disease. Why do you care so much? Most people don't want your concern, and since they don't care for themselves, why should you?
"doctors will say on TV tonight"
I saw that Dispatches program. It had all the scientific integrity of Julia Stephenson writing in The Independent. Generally speaking, it's better to simply ignore what the mainstream media has to say on topics (and particularly programs with "Panorama" and "Dispatches" in the title) and try and get your information first-hand from those who know (via their blogs, for example).
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 12:28:18 PM
"Bob, you seem very animated over people with liver disease. Why do you care so much? Most people don't want your concern, and since they don't care for themselves, why should you?"
Because I pay taxes and, more importantly, because there are already regular news items about drugs being withheld by the NHS from patients in England - although not Scotland - because of the overall cost of treatment.
A future epidemic of cirrhosis will undoubtedly impact on the treatment other NHS patients will be allowed to receive. As Friedman put it, albeit in another context: There are no free lunches.
Posted by: Bob B | Jun 24, 2007 12:38:00 PM
"drugs being withheld by the NHS from patients in England - although not Scotland". Aye, but then the London papers carry almost no news from Scotland, so if there were some drug declared unavailable in Scotland but not England, you and I are unlikely to hear about it.
Posted by: dearieme | Jun 24, 2007 12:44:17 PM
"Because I pay taxes"
Just because you pay a tiny piece towards the costs of the NHS doesn't mean you have a right to control how I live my life. I pay taxes too, already enough to cover my lifelong treatment on the NHS. I don't call for policies to kill off old gimmers because they are a net burden on the tax payer, so why do you call for the state to control my lifestyle?
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 1:06:08 PM
"Portugal still charges a hideously high, eye-watering tax if you want to import a car for your own use"
It's an area that needs significant reform and the Commission ought to be sorting this out.
It could be worse. You could be living in Canada where you have to pay sales tax when you import a car from another province in the same country.
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 1:14:09 PM
There is a bigger much more subtle reasoning behind this.
Those who drive the cogs in Europe know that the only country that will fight back when the true nature of Europe begins to bite the populous is England.
Our history shows that when the Lion is roused and awakes, as it eventually will, they have a real this fear, and they need to neuter that now whilst we still slumber.
That is why in every sphere England is being marginalised.
It is being split into 9 euro regions rather than being left whole, the NHS is being squeezed in England whilst being supported in Wales and Scotland, it is why they will never allow an English parliament, so to subdugate and demoralise the English and make ineffectual our police and armed forces is part of the forward planning to ensure that England can never fight back.
Posted by: IanP | Jun 24, 2007 1:35:57 PM
"Because I pay taxes.."
So do the people who drink. In addition, they mostly pay VAT & excise duty too (unless they are illegally brewing their own). So what's the problem?
Posted by: JuliaM | Jun 24, 2007 5:12:59 PM
"So what's the problem?"
If you take the philosophy that people are free, there isn't one.
If you take the philosophy that "society" (or, rather, the state) decides what is good for people, then it's a big problem, and an army of purse-lipped sanctimonious protestants need to be recruited, uttering the words "we must" and "our duty" to cover pubs in warning signs, to impose taxes, chide, chivvy, nag, lecture, pass laws, prohibit, outlaw, ban and criminalize.
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 5:29:44 PM
"Aye, but then the London papers carry almost no news from Scotland, so if there were some drug declared unavailable in Scotland but not England, you and I are unlikely to hear about it."
Good grief, man, the SNP government in Scotland would go into meltdown if some effective drug treatment were available from the NHS in England but not Scotland on the grounds of cost. And recall that United Nations survey:
"A UNITED Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America. England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest."
The consequences would be too terrible to endure.
My point in belabouring this issue is to shed light on the glaring inconsistencies. Government spin repeatedly promotes a Hate message about Smokers in much the way that nationalist and fascist regimes promote hate messages about foreigners and ethnic minorities or Stalinists repeatedly damn Trotsky and his apostolic succession. Something has to fill the gap for hating left after fox hunting was finally banned.
Sure, smoking is harmful to health but so is excessive consumption of alcohol and on the best medical opinion Britain is now facing the prospect of a Cirrhosis epidemic downstream which the NHS will be obliged to treat.
Hating Smokers stokes up a useful perennial rationale for piling on more tobacco taxes, which are recognisably high in Britain compared with other EU countries, but there are very practical political limits to piling more taxes on to alcoholic drinks because of the powerful distillers' and brewers' lobbies.
Posted by: Bob B | Jun 24, 2007 5:34:22 PM
Right now I'm watching the 1944 classic war film, The Way Ahead. it makes me so sad to see how such a free and fearless nation ended up being subjugated by paper-pushing bureaucrats and Brussels-based dictators. Is it time to throw the towel in? How can we possibly regain the pride and fight that brought us through the second world war? Very depressing
Posted by: MarkS | Jun 24, 2007 5:38:54 PM
"it makes me so sad to see how such a free and fearless nation ended up being subjugated by paper-pushing bureaucrats"
There wasn't a great deal that was particularly free about Britain back then. Jail for being homosexual, owning gold, or taking currency out of the country. Oh the bureaucrats were in charge a long time ago.
Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 24, 2007 5:51:38 PM
Oh well... there's only servitude to look forward to. If it was as bad as that then, why are we complaining about now?
Posted by: MarkS | Jun 24, 2007 7:06:07 PM