The tendency of pressure groups to move towards increasingly extreme positions is a familiar political phenomenon.
When the successful activist can only recapture the intoxicating feeling of victory by finding new causes to champion, the result is “mission creep”.
Take the Smokefree Action Coalition, for example. Originally formed to campaign for the smoking ban, they have since lobbied for graphic warnings on cigarette packs, higher tobacco taxes, a retail display ban and a ban on vending machines. It is a tribute to their campaigning prowess that politicians have capitulated to all these demands, but this string of easy victories has left them scraping the policy barrel.
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