March 19th, 2013

Policy Wonk Burns Misleading Plain Packaging Consultation

Setting up a policy consultation that doesn’t actually do any proper consulting seems to be a growing theme under Dave. A report by Rupert Darwall, the policy wonk who helped expose the Civil Service foul up over the Virgin West Coast train franchise, has laid into the Department of Health’s consultation on plain packaging. Darwall’s report finds:

  • The consultation was deliberately framed to garner support for plain packaging, presenting policy-makers with a loaded question.
  • Questionable evidence: no causal link between packaging and smoking.
  • Department of Health admitted the consultation was biased but has done nothing about it.
  • Consultation does not consider negative impacts such as reducing barriers to illegal tobacco.
  • Overall the consultation creates a misleading impression that plain packaging will cut smoking.

That went well then. You can read Darwall’s report in full here


  1. 1

    I read the documents here:

    The tobacco companies’ own internal documents.


  2. 2

    Someone say something!

  3. 3
    John Wellington Wells says:

    I’ve just worked out what the new BBC newsroom looks like – Virgin Atlantic check-in desk.

  4. 4
    Engineer says:


  5. 5
    Engineer says:

    Politicians are damaging to health. Should they be put in plain packaging?

  6. 6
    Bless their pointy little heads says:

    Cough!, in plain English?.

  7. 7
    Welsh activist. says:

    What have the Britsh people done to deserve these c*nts?

  8. 8
    DAVID ROSE says:

    OH I SAY

  9. 9
    Engineer says:

    Elected them, unfortunately. Though in fairness, a majority elected ‘none of the above’ by not turning up.

  10. 10
    Truth said says:

    I just do not know why Dave does not cross over to Labour ! I think that they should have had pretty packaging on the cannabis packs and then Dave could have possiblyl et us know if he used it or not in his younger days. He never did say one way or another and it is now a proven medical fact that to use cannabis can cause mental problems in later life, is this what is wrong one may ask ?

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Bless their pointy little heads says:

    No, BBC looks like this:

  13. 13
    East India Company Wallah says:

    Its that old Liberal chestnut
    “Something must be done” “government must be seen to act” professional poloticians are simply professional bedwetters
    Smurfitt wont mind,less colour to steam out at the recycling plant

  14. 14
    SP4BS says:

    Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom

    I’m astonishingly unsurprised and have nothing more sensible to add.

  15. 15
    EU Watch says:

    Euro getting crucified at moment, no vote expected in Cyprus…

  16. 16
    The cynicism hurts more and more says:

    I didn’t think that I believed that the anti smoking, anti drinking and anti sex campaigners had any real evidence to back up their proposals to make life miserable for the rest of us. I thought they relied on none of the politically correct numpties that pass for politicians these days not feeling able to say the the Emperor was naked.

    However it is still breath taking when it becomes clear that they are lying weasels that load the evidence to make the case they happen to wnat to push at this point in time.

  17. 17
    Tessa Tickles says:

    Yes, otherwise known as “body bags”.

    Perhaps while they’re still screaming! That’d be a larf.

  18. 18
    EU Watch says:

    Cyprus Finance Minister apparently offered to resign.

  19. 19
    Stickler says:

    More public sector failures.

    Will anyone be fired for this incompetence?

  20. 20
    M.I.5 escapologists inc. says:

    Always funny when we do it…

  21. 21
    Health Warning says:

    For the sake of the children, we should set fire to all MPs. They are dangerous to health.

  22. 22
    This post has been vetted by the 'Sucked Off' campaign says:

    ████ ████████ ███████ ███ ██ ████████ ██████ ██ █ ███████ ██
    ████████ █ ███████ ████ █ ██ ███████ ██████.

    ██ ███████, ‘ █ ███████ ██ ██’████████ █ ███████ ██ █████ ███████ █ ████████ !’

    ███████ ████████ █ ███ ████████ ██████ ████ , on Tuesday.

  23. 23
    Broadsword isn't talking to that bitch Danny Boy says:

    Apologies to the cat. I thought I should say something as he requested but it just kept pouring out.

  24. 24
    Gordon Brown says:

    He’s like me, I don’t flush either.

    I always leave a mess for the next man.

  25. 25
    Adam Africa (it's simpler) says:

    Hello Guido

    I am taking to heart your advice about PR

    Do you think you and Hawwy could advise?

    Is your PR very expensive nowadays?

  26. 26
    Adam Africa (it's simpler) says:

    PS How should we attack the suicidal Dave the Rave?

  27. 27
    Broadsword isn't talking to that bitch Danny Boy says:

    If he does go would they be interested in a slightly used Gideon?

  28. 28
    Pope in the City says:

    Resurrection of the Euro. Holy Father, ’tis a miracle.

  29. 29
    EU Watch says:

    – And perhaps some freshly printed Cypriot Pounds from de La Rue ;-)

  30. 30

    Fink I’ll ‘avasmoke. Whataloada tosh innit?

  31. 31
    An economist says:

    Here is the EUR/GBP chart over 10 years

    Which do you prefer?

  32. 32
    EU Watch says:

    Gideon should take note. This is what we call honor.

    EURUSD low so far 1.2864, let’s see where it lands. 1.27 range would be awesome.

  33. 33
    Dr Josef Mengele et al says:

    Modern research shows that stopping smoking at Auschwitz and all the others would have save countless lives.

  34. 34
    Boris Johnson says:

    I prefer Out of Africa myself

  35. 35
    Broadsword isn't talking to that bitch Danny Boy says:

    I’m cutting down on politicians. I now believe none a day and the world smells better for not going near the bullshit.

  36. 36
    The Rt Hon about to be Lorded Fink of the Times says:

    Are you taking my name in vain again?

    Have you climbed over our paywall?

  37. 37
    Broadsword isn't talking to that bitch Danny Boy says:

    Are we keeping a watch for RAF planes landing in Rio just in case?

  38. 38
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP.

  39. 39
    Keitho says:

    It is interesting how a bunch of people who don’t like something can tell the rest of us to stop doing it, or else. Obviously their stance requires no moral or intestinal fortitude just a desire to make others miserable.

    In the meantime those of us who just enjoy life are never bent on telling the misery guts and doomsters to do what we do. What on earth is wrong with a bit of hedonism?

  40. 40
    EU Watch says:

    No, but they will be flying around Frankfurt, rather than over it ;-)

  41. 41
    No steps forward 100 steps back says:

    Great!, we can take the ring fenced £12billion “charity money” and use it in this country, after all charity does begin at home.

  42. 42
    dz says:

    if I was the cyprus I would get the russians to negotiate on my behalf

  43. 43
    Dr Freud said all women suffer from penis envy says:

    Good day Engineer

    Glad to see you back from the woods…

    “Plain packaged and then sectioned” I would say

    And preferably circumcised while you are at it

  44. 44
    No steps forward 100 steps back says:

    Your commenting to the wrong people, why don’t you do what Liebour do, sort out the postal voting.

  45. 45
    Barristers' barrow boy says:

    “Mr Jay'” has received his cheque from the taxpayer for £5000,000,

    Thank you

    He will complete the second phase for another £ million….

  46. 46
    A scientist replies says:

    Modern research,based on the latest advanced methods, seem to show that everybody alive today will be dead sometime in the future. We need more funding to confirm our findingd, though. And it would help if we could put in a few buzz words in the grant proposal, like global warming, climate change, etc., etc.

  47. 47
    Fishy says:

    Talking of shit, take a look at Polly’s latest bile ridden piece.

    She is really loosing it big time. Never mind, Leveson cuts both ways – I look forward to the Guardian having to cough up for the batty old cow’s doodles.

  48. 48
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    When I go to fill up the car, I can’t see the petrol but I still buy it. With fags it’s the same, whatever it costs, whatever the packaging, if people want the product they buy it.

  49. 49
    Chris Bryant says:

    I like a nice fag.

  50. 50
    Greek Cypriot freeloader says:

    I would prefer some real laundered Roubles myself

    White as the driven snow of Siberia

  51. 51
    Lord Stansted says:

    Stuff your paywall. Nobody reads you anyway.

  52. 52
    EU Watch says:

    Debate can be watched here. In Greek, no translation, but ‘F*ck Germany’ I think is easy to understand any language:

  53. 53
    KGB oligarch always first with the news says:

    We keep you in fags FFS

  54. 54
    An says:

    1.15 would be excellent for the Euro zone in fact

    It started at 1;00 if you are old enought to be out of short trousers

  55. 55
    No steps forward 100 steps back says:

    When we hear that the British bases are to be closed, that is the time when we find that Cyprus is negotiating with the Russians.

  56. 56
    Casual Observer says:

    If UKIP do well in the May local council elections, then the postal vote problem may be partly resolved.

  57. 57
    well done Hugh- fabulous actor wonderful hair says:

    Evan Harris has left a very important response

  58. 58
    Richard Penniman says:

    I do:
    “Tutti frutti, oh rootie…”
    About as sensible as anything policy wonks come up, truth be told…

  59. 59
    Anonymous says:

    was that Blair’s infamous WMD?

  60. 60
    An economist says:

    Here is the EUR/USD 10 year chart for info

  61. 61
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    When the plane lands the one million euros will be worthless.

  62. 62
    Storm clouds over Camoron says:

    I presume Global warming is partly the responsibility of smokers.

  63. 63
    Anonymous says:

    I thought he had

  64. 64
    Osborne coming for you says:

  65. 65
    Cyprus Government says:

    Thanks, we’ll take 15 % of that.

  66. 66
    Observer says:

    When you know that German banks have largely financed Russian development over the last 20 years

    You know that the Russians will huff and puff but the Germans have them by the shorts

    Especially seeing the capital outflow due to pillaging oligarchs

    The Russians are your proverbial Paper Tigers

  67. 67
    EU Watch says:

    It would be good for exports. Part of the beauty of this strategy is that it is manipulating the Euro down in a non-inflationary way.

    Also, discourages others from buying in.

    EURJPY @ 122.41

    The question is, will Greece or !taly bail next ? If Greece follows Cyprus towards Russia, the Euro for real is done.

  68. 68
    Huge Grant says:

    I am sorry but you cannot write that without me checking it first

  69. 69
    MI5 says:

    Read this for excellent background on Russia/Cyprus etc

  70. 70
    The BBC says:

    Yes indeed. Oh yes.

  71. 71
    Tessa Tickles says:

    “Moving forwards, the collaborative research community anticipates a paradigm shift in current understanding of the death-experience, with stakeholders reaching out in highly innovative web-centric fashion to further leverage contemporary learning and enhancing value in a rich divergent manner. With multimedia content.”

    That’ll be £20, please.

  72. 72
    LAPD says:

    Do you have an O-Level in English too?

  73. 73
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion says:

    So they finally found a use for the Euros that Gordon Brown sold 400 tons of gold for ;-)

  74. 74
    The Eagle Sisters says:

    We are plain

  75. 75
    Bogeyman says:

    Am I surprised? The entire smoking ban programme was fraudulent, a catalogue of outrageous fabrications and half truths from puritan outfits like ASH and Labour busybodies like the ghastly Patricia Hewitt. Claims like

    – occasional exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous (simply not proven)

    – ventilation doesn’t work

    – heart attacks fell dramatically soon after the ban was introduced in Scotland

    – pubs will not be affected by a total ban on smoking

    plus 101 other lies that have virtually killed off the British pub as we knew it. Result – thousands of jobs lost, social hubs destroyed, and kids loose on the street getting legless and violent on strong booze where they used to be under the watchful eye of mature drinkers.

    It has been a total fucking disaster – yet still they call it a “success”.

  76. 76
    V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

    Is that F1 bloke still shagging german dressed tarts?

  77. 77
    EU Watch says:

    Taking the haircut could be argued to have been payment for US cutting NMD in central Europe:

    But Russia clearly not seeing things that way.

    Look forward to the next Merk3l / Put!n meet up, if Merkel is still around before the federal elections.

  78. 78
    A taxpayer says:

    Better still, not spend it at all.

  79. 79
    The BBC says:

    That looks familiar

  80. 80
    damned impertinent questions says:

    Dear Mr Johnson

    The phrase ‘out of Africa’ could possibly (on a wet Thursday when we have nothing else to do) be construed as suggesting you have a preference for females / males of a dusky hue. As such it might be considered defamatory We have therefore decided to censor this to prevent you making this potentially defamatory comment about you

    Office of the Government Chief Censor

  81. 81
    EU Watch says:

    The final coup de grace with those Euros will be when they become worthless.

    At that point Mr Brown should be hanged.

  82. 82
    A Paper Tiger says:

  83. 83
    EU Watch says:

    EURUSD sell off continuing, 1.2863 seems to be new low.

    Ask that question again in a few days time.

    I personally prefer the currency with slightly more than 10 years history.

  84. 84
    damned impertinent questions says:

    Dear Mr Johnson

    We are aware that the Chief Censor has censored your use of the phrase ‘out of Africa’.

    Unfortunately and only after careful study over 3 bottles of surplus Krug from HM Government Wine cellar we have concluded that censoring the use of the phrase ‘out of Africa’ is in fact indirectly racist as it could infer that a preference for persons of a dusky hue is somehow inferior to a preference of people of a lighter skin colouration

    We therefore now require you to use the phrase ‘out of Africa’in every article published by you

    Equality Commission

  85. 85
    A Labour Politician says:

    It stops people meeting in circumstances we can’t control. Job done.

  86. 86

    Perhaps the press should play the politicians at their own game. As the new rules compel the print media to publish accurate articles/stories, they should refuse to publish any article based on official government/party press releases as it’s well known they are full of bullshit. Instead they should dissect every paragraph and expose the lies, half truths and dodgy statistics used in them. Same should go for public relations crap from so called celebs. RALLY print the truth and show every politician, political party and degenerate celebrity for the dishonest scum that they really are.

    How long would the new rules last if that happened?

  87. 87
    damned impertinent questions says:

    Why don’t the Russians just convert it to an aircraft carrier and then we can all forget all this nonsense.
    Or we could let the Turks ‘accidentally’invade the rest of it and see how they like being paid in Turkish Pounds. We could even offer them EU membership to take it off our hands

  88. 88

    That should read “REALLY print the truth…..”

  89. 89
    Bogeyman says:

    Oh yes, I forgot the ultimate fraud – claims that a majority favoured a smoking ban in pubs. They didn’t – they favoured a choice, for instance separate smoking rooms.

    Only when choice was eliminated did the result show a majority (as Rod Liddle put it, the choice between a total ban and having your testicles sawn off). This was another classic case of fraudulent “interpretation” of surveys by those determined to get the result they want.

  90. 90
    Fishy says:

    + 1000

  91. 91
    Anonymous says:

    Guido is normally keen to stress which venal special interest is funding stuff (see Hacked Off, etc), but in this case fails to highlight that this study was entirely funded, sponsored and publicised by Phillip Morris International.

    It’s only hypocrisy when it’s convenient, I suppose.

  92. 92
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    The best picture about the #zypressung I have yet seen. #cyrpus #eurocrash— mousseman (@mousseman) March 19, 2013

  93. 93
    John Bellingham says:

    And all those Russian mafiosi lurking around Larnaca with no cash but lots of automatic weapons.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    John Bellingham says:

    If any of the anally rententive anti-smoking nazis knew anything about the history of tobacco marketing they would realise that from their invention until WW2 no one would buy or be seen dead with their fags in a packet. Cigarettes were bought loose or in tins and transferred to a cigarette-case appropriate to their wealth and station. Apart from a few products, branding was almost a negative as the nobs would hardly ever smoke a wild-woodbine, and a slob couldn’t afford Sobranie or Morland’s. I am already manufacturing a nice line in gold, silver and simulated politician skin cases-hold 20 or 30 king size–forward orders placed here please.

  96. 96
    Great Granddad:Prime Minister in Waiting, New Utopia Party says:

    Thanks. The first time I have laughed out loud all day.

  97. 97
    Anonymous says:

    Cool, like a movie trailer.

  98. 98
    Great Granddad:Prime Minister in Waiting, New Utopia Party says:

    I give up cigarettes every couple of weeks and sometimes manage to hold out for nearly an hour. Been doing that since 1950, not the giving up bit, it’s the tax that has resulted in that, but an addict for quite some time. People who believed the thoroughly dishonest statistics have predicted my early demise for decades. Difficult to point out their error as most of them are in the cemetery.

  99. 99
    Unhypnotised says:

    That’ll be because passive smoking is a mythical construct of the seriously deranged or publicly-funded holier-than-thou nag.

  100. 100
    Problem solved says:

    Prohibitionists should be prohibited from taking in air and mediators should have their intake filtered by a solid rubber membrane.

  101. 101
    Media Ideas says:

    UKIP template poster should have Nige downing a pint with a ciggy in his mitts.
    Lib Dem poster should have Oaten downing a litre of “man-fluid” and a fag in his right hand.
    Call me Dazed should be downing a bottle of whisky with a revolver in his right hand.
    Eddy Silliland should be gicing Hugh a BJ with his right hand chopped off under sharia law.

  102. 102
    Anonymous says:

    Dick, I like the righteous concern with which you uncover biased commentators. Help me out, how unbiased would you score Philip Morris International on an issue likely to negatively affect tobacco brands?

    With 15% of the global cigarette industry
    And revenues of $76bn
    And net income of $9bn
    And half of the world’s biggest tobacco brands

    On a score of 1 to 10, where 1 is not biased at all.

  103. 103
    Dick Puddlecote says:

    Yeah, just carry on ignoring the fact that the research is true in what it says. That’s the ticket!

    Hypocrisy is a government which claims to be impartial but which actually ignores one side of the debate (article 5.3) and conspires to corrupt the other for its pre-determined ends.

    I’m betting you might be ‘paid’ yourself on this display, ‘Anonymous’. ;)

  104. 104
    Matilda says:

    Indeed – and the regional very unhealthy haze which covered the whole of south east Asia a few years ago was directly traced to people burning tobacco.

  105. 105
    Curly says:

    You forgot “at the end of the day at this moment in time”.

  106. 106
    Curly says:

    By this measure Ozzie will soon be taxing the air we breathe. So kindly stop giving them ideas!!

  107. 107
    Dreaming of a white Easter says:

    Getting there..

    How about sending all the Greeks back to Greece and the Turks back to Turkey. That would leave an empty island for either the Izziwizzies of the Palliwallies to have as their own land. Two state solution solved and everybody is happy with their own piece of real estate. Tony would be proud of such a plan!

  108. 108
    Dreaming of a white Easter says:

    The EU is famous for using our money to fund fake “charities” to lobby European governments for objectives the EU want to pursue.

  109. 109
    Mr A says:

    Well said and very true. As far as the consultation is concerned, the likes of Dick Puddlecote and Velvet Glove, Iron Fist have been all over it since Day 1. The best thing to do when reading about the tobacco control industry is expect that they’re lying and that whatever they are doing is fraudulent. You save time that way, although it does generally only take a few seconds to dismantle everything they say; even the most swivel-eyes loon doesn’t believe that smoke travels down electrical wires or causes global warming. Both of which have been pimped as serious ideas by ASH US.

  110. 110
    Anonymous says:

    you didn’t answer the question

  111. 111
    Frank J says:

    Shooting the messenger is no good. The question is: Are they facts or not? Is this the way the ‘public’ consultation was conducted. And, if so, how many previously were conducted in the same manner though I think we all know the answer to this last bit.

  112. 112
    Dick Puddlecote says:

    There was no need, Anon, your question was irrelevant. The author is a veteran at pointing out governmental procedure failures in many areas.

    You, however, have still failed to read the document, haven’t you. Admit it, you daren’t cos you know it’s true. ;)

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