Posts tagged ‘UK’

Crawling out of the woodwork

Australia’s crusade to make their country more attractive to smugglers whilst trying to stop people using the product of the tobacco plant continues with the news that, as of now, people entering the country will only be allowed to bring in two packs of smokes under duty-free rules. Bring in anything more and you have a choice (ha!) between having your cigarettes stolen or your wallet looted.

Moving (physically although not spiritually) away from the convicts, it appears that the recent antics of the tobacco control fools in Tasmania has led to their real goal becoming more and more transparent – not that it was well disguised to the more realistic members of the proletariat.

Whilst it is perhaps no surprise that the government of Singapore* is considering a similar legislation to Tasmania, it seems that the Finns are also thinking about it as well. To someone who hasn’t kept as close eye as some on the tobacco control lobby this was more surprising but some googling reveals that Finland is something of an early adopter when it comes to controlling tobacco.

Lest however you think that this mania is just something Johnny Foreigner is getting himself worked up about, news emerges of something closer to home:

GUERNSEY is set to demonstrate ‘similarly bold measures’ to a potential ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000, the Guernsey Adolescent Smokefree Project chairman has said.

GASP (how original!) is, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear, at least partly funded by the Guernsey taxpayer

This silliness though isn’t just confined to a group of islands too close to France for their own good.

Senior doctors and anti-smoking campaigners have told Sky News they are working towards making the UK a no smoking nation within the next 20 years.

Leading specialist Professor John Britton has called on the Government to back the goal, describing it as entirely realistic.

“Andrew Lansley could make himself a legacy greater than that of almost any other Health Secretary in history,” Professor Britton, who chairs the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, said.

Yes folks, things have come so far in recent times that the ultimate goal of the tobacco control lobby is now openly admitted to after so many years of pretending otherwise whilst they incrementally shifted the goal posts just that little bit closer to their destination with the passing of each piece of dictatorial legislation.

I would say that alcohol will be next but that campaign, along with the one against the wrong types of food, has been underway for a while.

Forget the various bastardisations of the Pastor Niemoller quote, they have (unless you are a non-smoking, teetotaller who has never eaten anything unhealthy in your life) already come for you. Do you fight as they drag you off for re-education or do you meekly surrender and become the drone that they want you to be?

* Pretty much a dictatorship in all but name.

The unseen costs of the London riots

The civil unrest of the last four nights has left a lot of people, businesses and insurance companies counting the cost in lives, earnings and property as the mess left by the crowds of stupid people intent on destroying or looting property is dealt with.

But those are just the initial costs, the up-front visible ones that catch the eye immediately.

There are others.

For the areas affected by the violence the local communities face the prospect of inward investment from the private sector drying up, the prices of houses in the area falling further and insurance costs rising sharply. And all of that is without wondering what further local services will be cut in order to repair damage to public property.

For the UK, a country for whom tourism is an industry, according to Visit Britain, worth approximately £115bn a year and responsible for about 2.6m jobs, the disturbances such as we have seen will no doubt result in a dip of some description as some potential visitors to stay away. Indeed various governments have already issued travel advice for anyone thinking for travelling to the UK in the very near future.

All these costs however pale into insignificance when one realises the damage caused to the famous British sense of irony by this particular statement:

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged the British government to order the police to stop their violent confrontation with the people, IRNA reported in the early hours of Tuesday.

Mehmanparast asked the British government to start dialogue with the protesters and to listen to their demands in order to calm the situation down.

The Iranian official also asked independent human rights organizations to investigate the killing in order to protect the civil rights and civil liberties.

Ladies and gentleman I give you the Iranian foreign ministry, the winners of the award for the most ironic statement of 2011.