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Sunday, 1 November 2009

Unthinking Westminster Machines

Baroness Murphy, on the Lords of the Blog, today reports on the return of the Health Bill to the Lords on November 9th.

The issue on tobacco vending machines, which many of us would like to see banned from places where children can access them easily, is also more complex following an amendment tabled in the Commons by Ian MacCartney, a former Labour Minister. There will be much debate about how damaging a ban would be to small shopkeepers and how much these machines are used by children.

One would hope so too, Baroness, seeing as you are being sold a big fat porkie.

Ian MacCartney (who absolutely does not sport a fetching wig, at all, so please put that idea out of your mind entirely) is the odious Labour moron who decided that cigarette vending machines should be banned despite the fact there were better alternatives to stopping underage purchases, thereby consigning hundreds of honest, tax-paying businesses to oblivion.

Quite an obnoxious (Scottish, natch) idiot, I think you'll agree.

More of an idiot, though, was Lib Dem Sandra Gidley (who really needs to look up the word 'liberal') in vacantly repeating this demonstrably untrue anti-tobacco lobby fallacy to the House on the day of the Health Bill's third reading.

A significant proportion of children buy their cigarettes from vending machines, and here the Government have again been very timid. No other age-related products can be sold in the same way

Considering that the vending industry contributes a pathetic 0.8% of total tobacco sales in the UK, whereby 20% of tobacco consumption is estimated to come from tobacco smuggling, and 30% of under 18s, according to the BBC, admit to buying illicit tobacco, the proportion that Gidley talks about is anything but significant.

Additionally, the claim that "no other age-related products can be sold in the same way" makes one wonder which country this dozy mare is paid to serve.

Alcohol (which, last I checked, was an age-related product) is, indeed, sold in this way at Travelodges, and other venues, up and down the country. It isn't difficult to find such information.

We are specialists in alcohol vending and the chosen partner of Interbrew, owners of the Stella Artois brand.

Yep. Wife-beater, no less. Yet Sandra, bless her naïve authoritarian cotton socks, took £92,344 in staff costs from us poor saps in 2007/8, and presumably pays around the same for her current 'researchers', yet not one of them pointed out that she was about to stand up and talk bollocks. Or maybe they did, but why let the truth get in the way of breathtaking mendacity, eh?

It might also surprise Sandra, the fearless defender of liberal values, that vibrating cock rings are also available to kids with a few bob in their pockets, at about half the price of a packet of B&H, and with the added security of being squirrelled away in the bogs.

I suppose it's too much to ask that the feather-nesters in the Lords will actually throw this back at the snuffling troughers in the Commons, if only on the basis that they all need to have their collective sanity examined. At least some serious questions should be asked as to how this garbage reached such an advanced stage.

However, by the jolly tone of the Baroness's article, one can only assume that it will be a further talking shop before everyone retires to the bar for a bottle of Heidsieck, a mutual back-slapping, and an intense discussion of how very wonderful they all are.

While nigh on 200 businesses tear up their self-assessment forms and pencil in a trip to the jobcentre the very next day.

Usually, I'd use the plural of the 'c' word here, but it's not mi casa, see?


Anonymous said...

Can we expect to see swarms of vending m/c
operators and their employees at the next
"freedom" meeting to protest their demise.
Dont think so , so bollocks to them,let them
join the skulking landlords at the Job Centre and County Court. Anyway the kids will get
a better deal behind the pubs from the Balkan
gangsters.Why should some of us stick our necks out for bone idle ,apathetic,yellow

Salam Alikom

Frank Davis said...

I suppose you know that this was the same Elaine Murphy who wrote to Michael McFadden to say:

"Dear Mr McFadden,
You and many others have completely missed the point about smoking and health. The aim is reduce the public acceptability of smoking and the culture which surrounds it. We know that legislation which discourages all public smoking will have the better impact on public understanding and perception of smoking as an unacceptable habit. Hence fewer people will smoke, hence health overall will improve."

She's a doctor, natch.

B7 said...

The banning of cigarette vending machines is as absurd as Ian MacCartneys syrup.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good spot, Frank. I take it that would mean the Lords rubber-stamp won't take long, then.

B7: Like I said ... it definitely isn't a ridiculous wig. Not at all. Perish the thought.

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