Thursday, 12 July 2012

The open-minded Andrew Lansley

This is Britain's health secretary Andrew Lansley talking about the plain packaging consultation in April this year...

"It is an open question at the moment. This is a particular issue .. we have got a whole range of measures to try and reduce tobacco smoking in this country and control tobacco.

"Would plain packaging of the type you are demonstrating, would it offer a significant additional health benefit? At the moment actually our minds are open on this subject - mine too."

But hello! Who's this on the pro-plain packs website—a website that is largely funded by the government?




They're not even pretending any more, are they?

Truly, this consultation couldn't be more of a farce if it was being run by Inspector Clouseau and Mrs Doubtfire from a Torquay hotel.

8 comments:

Pat Nurse MA said...

I mentioned it in this post http://patnurseblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/from-scientific-truth-to-propaganda.html and the fact that while the Govt condemns sick kids to death by closing heart hospitals, they are pouring that stolen money and more into the Tobacco Control Industry to push through anti-smoker political ideology.

Lansley is the most dangerous health secretary we've ever had. For the sake of the children he must go.

Richard White said...

Actually to be fair to Lansley, that excerpt on the site is no different to what he said in April.

He said he was open-minded on plain packs, but that "This is a particular issue.. we have got a whole range of measures to try and reduce smoking..."

He didn't pretend to be open minded on continuing tobacco control's agenda, and his quote on the supporters page does not mention plain packaging. If you put the quotes side by side, there's no dissent

Pat Nurse MA said...

He is on the Plain Packs Supporters list. If his mind wasn't already made up he wouldn't be on that list or the HOOPs supporters list. He would be neutral. He's obviously not. His mind IS made up. He demonstrates that by giving his support on this list to the Plain Packs campaign - a campaign he obviously wants to see succeed.

Snowdon said...

I agree with Rich. The fact that he's listed on the website does not prove that he supports plain packs, but if not, it is further proof that the Department of Health (which is ultimately paying for the plain packs campaign) thinks it can do and say whatever it wants. If Lansley has genuinely got an open mind on this issue, he should play merry hell with whoever put his face on the website.

What? said...

Lansley seemed to have very definite views on plain packaging back in 2010, whilst also spouting all the standard antismoking rhetoric:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11796903

And earlier this year:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-14/australia-inspires-uk-to-seek-cigarette-plain-packaging/3950160

Ivan D said...

It is interesting that Harpal Kumar the CEO of CRUK is quoted as Labour, Durham.

I suppose anyone can make a mistake but I think it in the public interest for CRUK donors to know how their money is being spent under his leadership.

Richard White said...

Well put Chris. Pat, to be clear, I don't actually think Lansley is open-minded on this at all, i was just pointing out that his presence on the site doesn't mean much because his quote does not mentioned plain packs at all. Actually it's just a very generic, standard fare anti-smoking quote. Chris, i think you're right on the DoH there. I think the bottom line is someone somewhere is pushing this along, because it's one of two scenarios:
1) Lansley willingly has his face there, but is being careful with his words.
2) The DoH is treating Lansley as a puppet, knowing it can do what it wants.

Junican said...

I think that this is one of those situations where everyone is right! What it suggests to me is that TC is now totally out of control. Their discipline is falling apart, bit by bit, which is fatal for a top-down organisation which relies upon the repetition of mantras and slogans. Expect more cock-ups. They got lucky with the smoking ban. But it is still a long haul. Perhaps Lansley might himself start to wonder...........