Friday, 26 November 2010

New government, new colours?

Not so new any more, perhaps. High hopes of less intrusive government, morph into a realisation that we [ruled from Westminster] are just going to get more of the same.

The Grocer sounds a note of optimism about the tobacco display ban (conclusion so far unannounced), on the grounds that it would make no sense to introduce a display ban and plain packaging. Well I suppose that's optimism of a sort, although it doesn't challenge the self-styled supremacy of the Department of Health too much.

In case anyone misunderstands, the Department of Health has a place and position, in ensuring the delivery of health services. Ensuring the delivery of health is the responsibility of the Almighty, and the Department of Health shouldn't interfere with it. Removing tobacco displays on the vaguest chance that it might stop people smoking is ludicrous. Even if it succeeded in its objective of stopping people from smoking (there is very little reason to suppose it will), it doesn't guarantee that people will live more healthily. There are so many ways to live unhealthily, probably varying from person to person, that the task would be impossible.

That goes for Scotland too. They really don't understand the business they are trying to regulate, nor the need to have evidence and/or relevant ideas before they get stuck in. I love this quote from the Tobacco Retailers' Alliance website:
The idea that retailers should be discouraged from selling tobacco, and encouraged to sell other things in its place, is one that keeps coming up and I expect we’ll hear a lot more of it over the next few years. I once asked an official in the Scottish Government just what exactly retailers could sell in place of tobacco – what product would bring a hundred customers through a newsagent’s door every day, give him a profit equating to four Mars Bars per transaction and drive more add-on purchases than any other product category? After a long pause for thought, she shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Apples?”
I had to check that there was actually a Cabinet Minster and government department responsible for business in Scotland. (It's John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Sustainable Growth.) Someone should defend business interests in government against the combined policy interests of the Cabinet Minster for Health & Wellbeing and the Minster for Public Health and Sport – if nothing else, someone should be responsible for regulating business, so that the forces behind health and wellbeing can  concentrate on health service provision, which is what we pay them for. But the Health & Sport Committee has taken the lead on regulating tobacco displays in shops. Has it really nothing better to do?


Xopher said...

All retailers should concentrate on creating a food environment so the non-smokers can enjoy a meal, a drink and a newspaper without suffering from deadly second hand smoke.
Problem solved!(again)

Anonymous said...

Interesting reference to politics and a very valid point. Have you ever noticed that the more insignificant in world terms and the more insecure the political grouping, the more likely they are to flex their muscles by intimidating their own people with overzealous legislation? Ireland, Canada and Australia are some of the worst examples of nanny state governments and your home grown idiots at the SNP would love to follow their example. Nicola Sturgeon does not personally give a damn about the health of anyone in Scotland but gets the hots at the prospect of moving Scotland up health league tables so that she can feel like she achieved something. She views people as statistics to be manipulated to support her political goals. That is because she is a narrow minded extremist of the left with an inferiority complex caused by her desire to control a larger number of people than she ever will in Scotland. The same is true of her party so Scotland will never have a balanced government under the SNP who get away with being extremist s with rubbish policies simply because they represent the nationalist desires of some people. It is tragic that the Scottish people face a choice between pro-Union parties or a bunch of Stalinists but that is the case. If you want small businesses or pretty much anyone who is not a card carrying mentalist to be represented in Scotland then don’t vote SNP. Sadly for Scotland Labour are not a lot better so you are really stuffed. I should just add that I have no political affiliation whatsoever and am merely trying to highlight the link between petty small minded politicians and smoking legislation. Don’t even get me started on the Labour party and why but as a clue, start with Kevin Barron.

insurance quotes said...

This site is great.its a very useful blog with much information regarding.