To explain how we’re governed

When the UK government suddenly announced that it would be pushing ahead with plain packaging last month, some people wondered why it had not waited for the results of the public consultation to be published.

The consultation has now been published…

99% say no to plain packs

33 thoughts on “To explain how we’re governed”

  1. This is how it is when you live in a society run by the Puritans. It’s time The Reformation was brought to an end.

  2. Here in Thailand ‘plain’ means covered in morgue porn. I assume it’s the same elsewhere. I’ve half been expecting cigarette cases to make a comeback now you can’t produce a cigarette pack in polite society for fear of traumatizing the women and children.

  3. So, given that consultation on plain packaging for alcohol was going on in 2012, how long before beer and wine can only be sold in plain packaging with lurid health warnings? 2020?
    And then what’s after that? Cake and pies?

  4. @ Roue

    Yep, big pictures of some dead fella with some growth the size of Exeter poking out of his throat. Has discouraged precisely zero people.

    I’ve always rather liked the stickers you can buy,

    http://www.wellcoolstuff.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/warningpacks.gif

    The arseholes have always been obsessed about packaging and adverts which I find rather mystifying. Personally, I’m far, far more interested in the lovely, lovely, goes-well-with-coffee, contents.

  5. Particularly impressive given that “public” “consultation” these days involves the government paying a “charity” to tell the government what the government tell them to tell them.

  6. Squander, that’s pretty much the wrong way around. How it works is the charity tells the government to hire them to produce a report, then the government does what the charity tells them to do. The reform movements dominate the State and its institutions, not the other way around.

  7. Time for the tobacco companies to tell them to fuck off. That is the only way this kind of shit can be stopped. If you swallow it there will always be more.

    Same with supermarket bags. Make sure the plastic is bio-degradeable (most of them barely last until you get home) and say “Fuck off. We aren’t charging”. Sure the pork will squel “It’s the LAW”. But most people are pig-sick of the law. Laws that follow the Golden Rule–OK. Tinpot tyrannical shite –most people are fed up. Trying to hold a show trial of Tobacco/Tesco etc over minor matters would play very badly for the political/bureaucratic scum.

  8. Who is behind this then? Is there a civil servant with a bee in his bonnet about plain packaging? Is it the head of an anti-smoking charity? Or is it just that there’s not much popularity to be gained in defending cigarettes, so the issue takes on a life of its own?

  9. Andrew M-

    It’s internationally coordinated by the tobacco control bureaucracy. Part of the theatre is in creating an illusion of debate and consideration, before each stage is inevitably implemented.

  10. Trying to hold a show trial of Tobacco/Tesco etc over minor matters would play very badly for the political/bureaucratic scum.

    It is absolutely hilarious when right-libertarians think that major companies aren’t among the key drivers of “political/bureaucratic scum”-ery.

  11. Roue le Jour: “They wouldn’t go for big tobacco they’d go for some poor bastard paki shop”

    How could a shop-keeper be charged with the Tobacco companies refusing to print plain packets?

    JohnB78–While it is true that lots of companies are far up the states arse–helping put themselves out of business by giving lots of extra assistance to cig smugglers (cos that would be the main result of plain packets) does not sound like too clever a scheme for anyone looking to maintain their profits.

    Take care with all the superior intellectual laughing–you might bust a blood vessel.

  12. “It’s internationally coordinated by the tobacco control bureaucracy. Part of the theatre is in creating an illusion of debate and consideration, before each stage is inevitably implemented.”

    Then what do tobacco companies have to lose in fighting this at every stage in the courts and by any other means?

  13. This is how it is when you live in a society run by the Puritans.
    No, this is how you live in a society run by tossers (Dan’s stickers nullify their ‘law’). Puritans would just ban cigarettes.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “This is how it is when you live in a society run by the Puritans. It’s time The Reformation was brought to an end.”

    This is how it is when you live in a society run by chickens with their heads cut off. Whether they were Puritan or not is beside the point. The Thai government is not notably Puritan. But they are incompetent.

    Roue le Jour – “Here in Thailand ‘plain’ means covered in morgue porn.”

    Thank God you are talking about cigarettes. You have no idea what was going through my mind when I read that.

  15. Puritans would like to ban cigarettes, but have learned from the previous temperance wave that it’s better to work slowly to demonise and marginalise first.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “Puritans would like to ban cigarettes, but have learned from the previous temperance wave that it’s better to work slowly to demonise and marginalise first.”

    The British government does want to ban smoking. But they also want to do things like run a rail network, or build the occasional hospital or manage the NHS.

    They can’t do any of these things. They are not as utterly incompetent as Thailand or Italy. But the Swiss they aren’t any more.

    Being puritans, or at least having the remnants of the puritan ethic, means that the government works better than it should. People actually turn up for work. Most of them fill out their paperwork conscientiously.

    If the British government embraced the political views of the Hustler tomorrow and/or became libertarian, that might limit the areas they could damage, but they still couldn’t manage a defence projects properly. Or run a school. Or keep track of the orphans in their care.

  17. The only ethic that Puritanism has ever had is the moralist compulsion of society, based on a barmy idea that enjoying yourself is the road to Hell.

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “The only ethic that Puritanism has ever had is the moralist compulsion of society, based on a barmy idea that enjoying yourself is the road to Hell.”

    Which means that people turn up for work. They work hard and long – conscientiously. They don’t steal. They don’t drink at least not openly or during working hours.

    That is why traditionally Britain and Germany have been run much better than Italy or France.

  19. Here in Ireland a tobacco company made threatening noises about using the courts to test the legality of the government’s proposed plain packaging laws. Immediately a ruling party senator threatened to institute measures if this happened, including a 99% tax on tobacco companies

  20. bloke (not) in spain

    People turn up for work, work hard and long – conscientiously, don’t steal because, by & large, they reckon they’re getting a fair reward for the effort put in.

    SMfS. Your comment about drinking’s absolutely fucking hilarious. It’s your Puritan Brit culture’s got the problem with booze. The Latins haven’t & have never had it. Drunkeness & drunkeness at work have never been part of it. To be drunk, in public, is severely frowned upon. And it’s something you rarely see.
    You’re confusing cultures with an easy going attitude to alcohol, because they don’t have a problem, with cultures have serious problems & try to control them.

  21. “Is there a civil servant with a bee in his bonnet about plain packaging? Is it the head of an anti-smoking charity?”

    Funny how it seems to happen in multiple (European) countries more or less simultaneously, like the public indoor smoking ban. One might be given to thinking that it’s somehow coordinated………

  22. Here in Thailand ‘plain’ means covered in morgue porn. I assume it’s the same elsewhere.

    Those packages are unique to Thailand AFAIK. And they are peddling utter bullshit. One of them shows a gangrenous foot and says cigarettes cause gangrene. Which is utter toss. No wonder the army stepped in and booted them out.

    Back to the UK: the government has public consultations so they can say they had a public consultation before doing whatever they want regardless. They might as well claim Stalin’s victims had a trial.

  23. “traditionally Britain and Germany have been run much better than Italy or France” – not sure that France is less well run than UK or Deutschland, in fact its quite a well run place AFAIK.

  24. the government just has to be persistant and you will all fall in line.
    See how effective the ‘racism’ press has worked. Back in the 50s there was free speach but now self censorship is automatic.
    See – persistance.

  25. France is, in general, appallingly run, but for some bizarre reason it doesn’t seem to matter. The UK is probably better run but whole swathes of the country remain a shithole, and an expensive one at that. If I were to guess why, I’d say it’s a combination of the French doing certain things exceptionally well and their displaying utter ruthlessness in a handful of situations.

  26. Those packages are unique to Thailand AFAIK.

    Unless they’re way worse than ours (and it would be hard to see how), Australia too.

    We’ve had plain packaging (with gruesome images) for a couple of years and it’s achieved squat.

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