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Saturday 28 April 2012

In Support of Cynicism

There has been quite a bit of action these past few days over plain packs.  Presently, if one were to use Twitter solely to gauge public opinion, it would seem that there is far greater support for plain packs than against.  This is to be expected because the message of "protect the children" resonates with the vast majority of sheep on this planet.  You can ban anything when you're doing it for the sake of children.  It doesn't even need to true; indeed, it rarely is true.  (Do note that the word "shocking" is being used. Morons, all of them.)

Moreover, if only 20 to 25% of the British population are smokers (the percentage I believe is a lot higher than that -- because I consider the occasional social smoker, who bums a naughty fag off of you when they've been drinking at the pub, should also be counted as a smoker), that means that the base support for plain packs has a minimum potential of about 75%.  This is, however, completely the wrong way to look at it.  The truth is, a number of smokers actually think plain packs is a good idea, because they have been demonised for so long about smoking that they end up hating themselves for smoking and they believe all of the propaganda.

Yet a high number of non-smokers think plain packs is a bad idea, which bring us to this well-written piece by cynical blogger Lisa, who smartly writes:

It is my view that measures such as these plain packs, if implemented, will lead to an extension in other areas. It will not stop with cigarettes. If permitted, plain packaging for every kind of good with connected health risks, however minimal, will be subject to the same treatment. Alcohol, for example. 'Junk' foods. The government will wage a war against the branding of all products with a perceived negative effect. This will then go on damage the companies, their profits and ultimately - the economy. 

This is exactly the point all of us are trying to make, in our various ways of doing it anyway, so thank you, Lisa. You can find Lisa's blog, The Voice of a Cynic, here:

In short, it's impossible to know how much support there is for plain packs.  And given that some of the tobacco control monsters are quite keen on rigging the results of petitions, it would be unsurprising to see some "cheating" when it comes to completing the consulation's questionnaire (notwithstanding that the questionnaire is complete fucking bollocks).  There could be dozens of Australians filling in the British consultation right now as I type this.  Maybe. I am a cynic, too.