Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Now it's the Guardian's turn

And the tactic employed this time is all in the headline: 'Tobacco packets attract children. Now argue against making them plain.'

This is the kind of argument that is presented as so profound and showing such insight as to disempower opponents completely. There is no evidence showing that children are actually enticed to buy tobacco as a result of finding packs attractive – indeed many children interviewed in the course of 'research' on this topic are barely tall enough to see over the shop counter.

Actually it is the usual moral blackmail: 'I represent children's interests, and the world will despise you if you argue against me.' A commenter says:
... and cue the remainder of hysteria as already spoken, but please feel free to insert this specious argument into any possible article and/or argument from now on into the future.
Because no-one, no matter what the argument, can ever going to turn around and say "you know what – sod the sodding children".
It seems claiming the interests of the children puts you on the moral high ground even if your claim is absolute nonsense. How about saying: 'actually, we do want our children to learn not to want things just because they see them on the shop shelves; we do want them to learn that all that glisters is not gold', and even, 'we would rather they were able to buy tobacco legally in shops than have to turn to possible counterfeits in the streets, without being stigmatised. When they are old enough, of course.'

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