Fart in lift Inquiry smokes out suspect
Much play was made during the later TV news bulletins that England would be only the second country, after Australia, to introduce such a measure. But plain packaging has been on the way for some time now: the only problem has been the constant barrage of misinformation from the tobacco industry. The votes are there, especially in the Commons, and with little other legislation to come before the election, it should pass easily.
So who would be up for a pointless sacrifice in the face of an increasing amount of evidence that, despite the best efforts of the industry and Rupert Murdoch’s press, plain packaging has been effective in curbing smoking in Australia? As if you need to ask: the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are always ready to defend the indefensible. And so it came to pass.
Staines had already posted a significant slice of misinformation when he claimed that Labour’s support of plain packaging meant Andy Burnham was making an £11 billion unfunded spending commitment while “Auguste” Balls was away in the States. This was, of course, totally untrue, but that does not bother The Great Guido, whose response to the current proposals has come from his gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole.
“Only thing wrong with this whole plain packaging malarkey is it doesn’t work” scoffed Master Cole yesterday evening, following up with “If there was any public desire for plain packs the PM and Hunt would have trailed this. Instead it was snuck out with zero fanfare. Telling”. Telling what? The first place that legislation should be announced should be in Parliament. Or has he forgotten the press kicking Tone and Pa Broon for doing otherwise?
But never mind, onwards and, er, onwards: “Here’s what happens after plain packs are introduced” tells Cole, managing to miss that the 2010 to 2013 comparison made it the data set he cites being meaningless - plain packaging was introduced in Australia at the end of 2012. Then he blames a rotten leftie. “Luciana Berger’s mask slips when asked directly if smoking will one day be banned: ‘we’ll have to see’. Wrong answer”.