I'm not going to sit here and tell you that a letter-writing campaign alone will result in a favourable outcome with a majority of MPs opposing plain packaging, because it won't. We all know that. We all know how politics work, and we all know that the Public Health community are masters of deception and propaganda and that MPs are easily deceived and influenced by the "protect the children" argument as a matter of political survival. We also know that the government and the Department of Health do not have an "open mind" about plain packaging due to the WHO's FCTC, which forces governments to oppress a significant portion of their populations and to destroy cultures and traditions. Call me a cynic (or perhaps a realist), but I believe that the public's wishes will be ignored and the government will proceed on its present course of denormalisation regardless.
But all of that said, I believe it is still worth it to make our opinions known to our elected ministers at the very least. It certainly won't hurt anything; it might even help (I'm a cynical optimist at heart, you see). And to paraphrase that classic, overused Public Health argument: "If it convinces just one MP to oppose plain packaging, then it's worth it."
I know many of you do not have a lot of free time. So the Hands Off Our Packs campaign has made it easy for you to register your dissent against the nannying tyrants with your local MP. Just follow this link, type in your postcode, and it will generate a letter for you. Put in your name and address and you're done in no time at all. There is even an option to add personal comments, which I would recommend doing. Please share the link with your friends and family.
If you have a web site or a blog, here are some images you can use for your sidebar if you'd like:
|Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/yID8Ngc.jpg|
|Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/a5V8J7J.jpg|
So I guess we'll see what happens. Do feel free to let me know if your MP indicates that he or she will or will not support plain packaging. They can ignore us at their peril come next general election.