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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Battle Won, War Not Over Yet

Well, the Queen's speech is over and she made no mention of plain packaging.  This means that The Guardian's leading tobacco control industry journalist, Patrick Wintour, who wrote last March that plain packaging would be in the Queen's speech, was either deceived by an anonymous senior Whitehall source, or worse, Wintour made it all up as part of another dirty confidence trick by the tobacco control industry.  Perhaps it could be a little of both?  I don't know. 

But I do know that the Department of Health Hate has still not released the results of the so-called public consultation on plain packaging of tobacco products, so I fail to understand how government ministers -- with their "open minds" -- could have the necessary information to make an informed decision.  Because the results have not been released, it certainly lends some credibility to the theory that the tobacco control industry used Patrick Wintour to push for plain packaging legislation. And I suppose that it could be possible that they did this because Tobacco Programme Manager Andrew Black's report was unable to hide the truth of the overwhelming opposition to plain packaging in the UK.

That's all conjecture and speculation, I admit. I have no idea what is going on, or who has done what in respect of deceiving the general public with con tricks. Like you, I have no special access to ministers or civil servants; I have no connections to anyone involved with public health's hate campaigns against consumers of legal tobacco products.  I suspect that further Freedom of Information requests may shed some light on why nine months have elapsed since the consultation closed and there has not been a whisper from the DH about the results.

So we have won this battle, but the war is on-going. We have many more battles to fight. We need to keep the pressure on our MPs to do the right thing, which is to leave us alone and stop wasting taxpayers' money on denormalisation programmes that clearly have no impact on smoking uptake rates, if we are to believe the tobacco control industry's claim that more kids are taking up smoking than ever before.

To all of you who have written to your MPs, signed petitions or postcards and sent in detailed responses to the so-called public consultation on plain packaging, I sincerely thank you for your efforts.  You rock!

In closing, here are some fun images I made and posted up on Twitter and Facebook the past few days. Feel free to share them anywhere and everywhere. I made them for you to enjoy.