Sun, Porn, Booze, Fags and Retinas

Government puts 'smokers before children' in VAT on suncream row

Actually there isn't a 'row', that's just headline sensationalism. One chap with a vested interest has suggested the government lower VAT on childrens suncream. Yeah, good luck with that.

Ministers are putting the needs of smokers ahead of Britain's children, a top high street chain executive claimed last night, as he urged the Government to cut VAT on kids sun cream.

Everyone, but everyone with their own little bug bear is jumping on the Tobacco Control bandwagon, even though tobacco is a completely unique product, or so we are told.

So how does smoking relate to suncream?

Steve Gray, Superdrug health director, told the Daily Telegraph: [...] the VAT on nicotine patches is 5%. Are the Government saying that lung cancer is more important than skin cancer?

I'm sure that's not what they are saying, it just suits your interests to pretend they are. Maybe they have a reason for the lower VAT on nicotine patches. Anything from a desire to help smokers quit to big pharma lobbying. It doesn't mean you have to make your case by being fashionable and having a go at smokers, just put your own case forward.

Ministers are putting the needs of smokers ahead of Britain's children

Notice the wording? Filthy smokers being put ahead of the little angels.

sun cream is taxed as a luxury good, or beauty item, it's essential healthcare."

Not really. I don't want to justify VAT on anything, but not really. You can easily avoid the sun without suncream. Particularly in this country with it's shitty weather, suncream is not essential healthcare.

No more so than plain cigarette packaging

'No excuse' to delay plain cigarette packs after new study, say campaigners

There is "no excuse" for Britain not to bring in plain packaging for cigarettes, campaigners have said, after a study found that plain packs made smokers more likely to want to quit.

It's amazing what public health campaigners will accept as a study. This one was done over the phone by a chap on his lunch hour who spoke to 500 people. Some of them said they might be a bit more likely to consider quitting smoking possibly at some time in the future because the new plain packs are a bit ugly.

Of course the novelty will soon wear off and they will all still be smoking. And maybe still thinking about possibly quitting at some time in the future because of some new Tobacco Control proposal.

The purpose of plain packs was supposed to be to stop children taking up the habit, not to make a few adults give some half arsed thought to something they might consider in the future.

The so called study is quite simply bollocks, as demonstrated by Dick Puddlecote, Chris Snowdon and Simon Clark.

However, as plain packs have been dropped by the UK government, The Tobacco Control Industry needed to find a quick and easy study to 'prove' that plain packs work, before enough time elapses for the real evidence emerges and shows that in fact, the whole idea was complete bunkum. As we've been saying.

The findings will heap pressure on ministers and on Downing Street, which has been forced to deny that the Conservative Party's election strategist, Lynton Crosby, whose lobbying company has worked for tobacco giant Philip Morris, had influenced Government policy.

Ah, Linton Crosby. The biggest non story of the year. What are the telling words in that statement above? Read again:

[...] Downing Street, which has been forced to deny that [...] Lynton Crosby, [...] had influenced Government policy.

"Forced to deny" They denied he influenced policy because he did not influence policy, yet once the TC campaigners are hit with a truth they don't want to believe, they can't say Downing Street told us it wasn't true, they have to use the words, "Forced to deny" in order to make it sound like someones pants are on fire.

They denied Linton Crosbys influence in this matter because there was none. Simples.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: "This is yet more evidence for the UK Government that standardised cigarette packs work in discouraging smoking…Westminster has absolutely no excuse for delaying legislation to introduce standardised packaging."

Yet more of nothing is still nothing.

However, British American Tobacco claimed that there had been "no noticeable impact" on cigarette sales in Australia.

And that's the key - sales. Not some people expressing a distant desire to quit at some time. The study is bollocks.

Equally as bollocks is David Camerons grasp of technology.

David Cameron declares war on internet pornography

DC declares a thumb war on Google. Give me strength.

The Prime Minister is to outline plans for every UK internet user to be asked whether they want access to pornography.

Plain packaging and minimum alcohol pricing were ditched in favour of core policies. This is a core policy? A completely impossible ban on online porn to be policed by companies who have nothing to do with putting the porn there in the first place?

A joint British and American “task force” will be created to tackle obscene websites, while Google and other search engine providers will be required to draw up a “blacklist” of the most depraved and illegal search terms, the Prime Minister will announce.

Question. What is an illegal search term? Can typing words into a search engine actually be considered illegal? How far down the slippery slope can that one go?

There are a couple of very foreseeable, unintended consequences to blocking porn nationwide.

1) Kids understand the internet a lot better than David Cameron. The odd kid who 'stumbles accross' porn may not do after the censorship comes in, but any kid who wants to watch porn will still be able to do so because the censorship will be surprisingly easy for anyone with a little knowledge to sidestep.

2) Many websites that have nothing to do with porn will be caught up in the filters.

The only real answer is for parents to monitor their childrens internet activities, and if necessary, not buy young children hideously expensive and unnecessary gadgets. In other words, take responsibility for their idiot spawn.

Other measures to be contained in the Prime Minister’s initiative are expected to include:

• A new national database of child abuse images for the police and child protection agents to use;

'scuse me?

• Internet service providers being compelled to require customers to make an active choice about filtering adult content when they begin using services, with a requirement to un-tick a box which has been pre-set to enforce parental controls;

And when the requirement comes, I will be opting out. It's not up to the government to decide how I use my internet connection, the filters will block many non porn websites along with the intended targets, and if I want to watch a bit of porn, that's my business, the government (and the chiiildren) can fuck off.

This does mean that I will then be on the perverts register though. I can just imagine the coppers turning up at my house.

"There was a sexual assault three streets away and our records show you have opted to access filth online. Would you mind answering a few questions down the station".

• A deterrent campaign against individuals who seek to download illegal content;

Ah, copyright, not porn. Step one on the slippery slope.

Mr Cameron will say [...] “We’ve got to work together across both the challenges I have set out. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.”

I'm sorry, whose children? But we're all children now, aren't we. Rubbish like this drives me to drink.

So THAT'S why drinking and smoking go hand in hand: Nicotine dampens feel-good chemicals in the brain, making us crave alcohol

People crave nicotine more when they are drinking, and crave alcohol more when they are smoking
Nicotine dampens brain's response to alcohol - means more alcohol is required to experience the same effect
Nicotine increases body's levels of stress hormones which reduces the pleasure smokers get from alcohol

Another large heap of sweaty bollocks, as Leg-Iron points out.

Until now, it wasn't clear why this was, but American scientists now claim to have cracked it.

Really? Fags and booze go well together, we all know that. There isn't a revelation to be had, as to why, lot's of things go well together. Here's a couple more booze related ones:

Gin and tonic.
Whisky and ice
Real ale and sandals
Lager and chavs.

Researchers [...] studied the link between smoking and drinking by giving nicotine to rats before offering them alcohol.

I can see it now. "Evening love, want a smoke? Can I buy you a drink? Do you come here often?"

Researcher Dr John Dani told the website Medical Daily: ‘Young people typically experiment with nicotine from tobacco in their teens, and that exposure possibly contributes to a greater vulnerability to alcohol abuse later in life.

Result! Another addition to the list of things caused by smoking. Alcoholism. Smoking now causes alcoholics!

The news comes after it was revealed that people who smoke suffer more severe hangovers than those who do not.

Depends what you smoke. Good quality cigars don't add to a hangover, in my experience. British quality crap from behind the doors at TESCOs, does.

Is there no real science left in the world these days?

Embryonic stem cells could help restore sight to blind

Scientists have shown that light-sensitive retinal cells, grown in the lab from stem cells, can successfully integrate into the eye when implanted into blind mice. The technique opens up the possibility that a similar treatment could help people who have become blind through damage to their retinas to regain some of their sight.

Ah, actual, honest to goodness science. Something that can really benefit people.

I say we take all the funding from the Tobacco Control puppets who take rats out on dates, and give it to these guys who cure their eyesight instead.

Can I get an Amen to that?

6 comments:

proglodyte said...

I believe patches are officially medicinal and therefore have a lower rate of VAT.

Bucko The Moose said...

That would be the reason then. Suncream is not.

Not that I think we should have VAT at all though.

Timbo614 said...

@ proglodyte >> I believe patches are officially medicinal and therefore have a lower rate of VAT.

So... if Electro fags become "medicine" then VAT will be 5% on them too?

I'll prepare my hat for barbying when that happens!

Bucko The Moose said...

Good point Timbo. They'll regulate them as medical devices but probably want to tax them like fags.

Alfred Nautilus said...

In the dim and distant past, in atime before WWW, people watched pron on video, and bought porn magazines. They purchased these from abroad, or that mailing address (PO Box) somewhere in London/Birmingham etc. Said pornography was then dispatched to purchaser by the Royal Mail. I can't ever once remember the Post Office being required to check plain brown parcels for porn.
And this is the position of Google or any other search engine. It is purely a delivery system, with the deliverer having no knowledge of the content.

Bucko The Moose said...

True Alfred - They'll never stop the stuff they don't like at source though, it's too much of a Herculean task. Much easier to target a gateway site, even though they are not to blame.

Couple kiddie porn with the recent tax row and they'll also be able to rally the sheep against Google