Tuesday, 30 November 2010

BBC's Marr quizzes Lansley, Westminster health policy in confusion

I was going to say, 'plus ça change', but it's such a cliché. It's hard to know what else to say about the Westminster situation, however – the Labour Party managed to bring in the smoking ban in spite of its election promises, and the Coalition has broken many of its post-election promises, now deciding after all that liberal paternalism is the best course of action. Enjoy Lansley's interview by Andrew Marr, who questions whether a policy of mandatory plain packaging will work. Lansley's reply is that Australia will provide the evidence, but somehow its inclusion in this week's White Paper is not expected to be conditional on absolute evidence that it has 'worked' in Australia.

This begins to resemble Scotland, where no party of any colour questions the public health industry's dogma (although individual politicians have questioned it loud and clear. See 'Crying Shame' halfway down this column).

Talk of plain packaging has caused more speculation that the display ban will be ditched, as there is no need to ban the display of plain packaging. But not all commentators believe that the Government will proceed with the plain packaging idea.

Time, and the White Paper, will tell. This blogger expects many echoes of the past.

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