With the ink barely dry on the High Court ruling confirming that their national government can suppress any intellectual property that they disagree with, politicians in the Australian state of Tasmania have decided that they aren’t satisfied with this (quelle surprise!) and are now considering prohibition.
daft draft proposal, which was passed unanimously by members of the Upper House of the Tasmanian legislature, doesn’t however apply to everyone mind – just those born in the 21st century:
The Tasmanian Government is considering ruling out banning tobacco sales to people born after 2000, in the wake of a vote in the state’s Upper House last night.
Legislative Council member Ivan Dean wants to make it illegal for people born after 2000 to buy tobacco once they turn 18 – meaning they would never legally be able to buy cigarettes.
“This would mean that we would have a generation of people not exposed to tobacco products,” Mr Dean said.
“It would be easier for retailers to enforce because when they ask for ID, all they would need to see if the person was born after the year 2000.
“Young people are more likely to give cigarettes to more young people.
“As the generation reaches 18 years, there will be fewer of them smoking and while some of those first turning 18 might smoke, as time goes on fewer and fewer will.”
Aside from wondering what the two Chambers of Commerce of which Dean is a member of will think of this extra imposition on their trade, I honestly don’t know where to begin in pointing out the absurdities of this pathetic – and frankly unenforceable – idea. Thankfully however Chris Snowdon has done it for me, concluding:
Nowhere in this article is there any suggestion that grown adults — now or in the future — might have the right to buy and smoke tobacco if they want to. It’s a sort of “think of the children even when they are no longer children” argument, which is fitting since Australian politicians clearly see the whole population as children and themselves as—what other word can there be?—nannies.
I have increasingly come to believe that the worst thing about Australia is that it is not far enough away.
Given that the anti-smoking lobby simply will not stop, even if they manage to achieve their wet dream of total and complete prohibition on tobacco and have rendered the tobacco plant utterly extinct across the entire planet, no matter what the cost, I’m of the increasing opinion that Leg-Iron was right when he said:
What I would do in response to this insanity is this:
Withdraw from the Australian market entirely.
No imports. None. No business going through the docks or the airports. Close all factories and warehouses and distribution points in Australia. Cut all ties to any tobacco-selling business in the entire country. Drop the whole country off the business map.
It’s what the short-sighted fools in the anti-smoking lobby want but, as he points out, I’m not sure they will like the results: lower amounts of money raised in tax, increased unemployment as those directly and indirectly employed by the industry lose their jobs, and a massive black market.
With alcohol being but the next target on the prohibitionist campaigners list, it might even make them think twice about what they are doing, especially if the two major breweries in the country – Foster’s Group and Lion Nathan – threatened to follow suit.
I doubt it though.