Friday, 14 December 2012

Bill stickers will be prosecuted!

This stickers-for-plain-packs farrago is getting better and better. According to the International Business Times, the Napoleonic mandarins of the Australian Medical Association think that any attempt to undermine their petty little law must, by definition, be illegal. Ipso facto, the government must close down the company and stop it selling, er, stickers.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged on the Australian federal government to immediately put a stop to the company and its marketing blitz because its end goal is to hide the health warnings on tobacco boxes, which runs against the law's very purpose which is to educate the people of the ill effects of smoking.

"Those graphic health warnings are there for a very important reason. Over a million Australians have died because they smoked, but I think covering up those health warnings, I think the Federal Government is going to act very quickly and ban those products," Steve Hambleton, AMA president, said.

"It is just morally wrong for a business to profit from selling items in relation to goods that are lethal when you use them as the manufacturer intended."

This is what happens when you let 'public health' zealots run roughshod over a country.  So successfully have they pushed the hapless Gillard government around that they now demand their every whim be backed up with state force.

Yes, the stickers are intended to cover up the enormous graphic images on the misleadingly named 'plain' packs. However, both the packs and the stickers are private property. Unless Australia's nightmarish supernanny state has descended into full-blown fascism more quickly than I expected, it is not yet illegal to place one piece of private property over another.

Nor is it illegal to sell something that a handful of obsessives regard as "morally wrong", even if it can be used "in relation to" something that they really hate. You can, for example, sell bongs and large cigarette papers despite these items being purchased almost exclusively for the purpose of using illegal drugs. And we are not talking about consuming illegal drugs here. We are talking about obscuring a photograph in the comfort of one's home.

To prohibit a harmless product based on speculation as to what the purchaser might do with it would set off the klaxon of tyranny. Like so much news coming from Down Under these days, it defies belief that educated people in a civilised society would suggest such a thing. The conclusion I draw is that the demagogues of the Australian Medical Association are not civilised people and are not fit to live in a free society (not that they have any desire to do so). It is they, and not the smokers, who should be denormalised.


Xopher said...

"........ that are lethal when you use them as the manufacturer intended."
Oh ffs.
How often do we have to hear or read this blatant exaggeration. If smoking was lethal we could stop manufacturing weapons, shower our enemies with B&H and watch them die!

proglodyte said...

This is becoming very interesting, a major crossroads has now been reached. Or, perhaps a dead end. The stickers are not offensive but represent an act of defiance.

I can really envisage a scenario where substitute cigarette cases become fashion accessories, similar to certain mobile phones. How the hell could they ban someone transferring the contents to another form of packaging/container? Particularly if such things make no clear reference to the contents?

Jonathan Bagley said...

Funnier by the day. It's like looking forward to the next episode of Faulty Towers.

Karen said...

Will they ban the sale of cigarette cases, also? I suppose if someone who smokes decided to put their cigarettes into a pencil case, the next logical step would be to ban pencil cases. How stupid can these people really be?

Rursus said...

Banning of pencil cases is stupid? Be aware of the new Tobacco Product Directive: In this paper is something equal ("they" urge the States to forbid this kind of stickers - silly, is´nt it? )

Leg-iron said...

If you have a printer and a sheet of blank stickers...

Jackson said...

I hate cigarettes but I hate lying nanny bullies way more.

A smoker should be able to sit anywhere in public and display his Marlboros in a shiny red and white pack. He can make the pack himself or pay someone to do it for him.

Marcel said...

I wonder how they'd react if someone started selling plastic cig packs that look like the "old" ones - with Marlboro or Kent or whatever brands the customer wants.