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!


    • 4
      Engineer says:



    • 6
      Bless their pointy little heads says:

      Cough!, in plain English?.


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

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

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

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


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

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


    • 14
      SP4BS says:

      Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom

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


      • 58
        Richard Penniman says:

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


    • 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.


      • 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.


      • 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?


        • 76
          V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

          Is that F1 bloke still shagging german dressed tarts?


        • 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
          Unhypnotised says:

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


  3. 3
    John Wellington Wells says:

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


    • 12
      Bless their pointy little heads says:

      No, BBC looks like this:


      • 24
        Gordon Brown says:

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

        I always leave a mess for the next man.


        • 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.


          • CYNICAL OLD MAN says:

            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?


          • CYNICAL OLD MAN says:

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


          • Fishy says:

            + 1000


      • 59
        Anonymous says:

        was that Blair’s infamous WMD?


  4. 5
    Engineer says:

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


    • 17
      Tessa Tickles says:

      Yes, otherwise known as “body bags”.

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


    • 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


    • 74
      The Eagle Sisters says:

      We are plain


  5. 7
    Welsh activist. says:

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


    • 9
      Engineer says:

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


  6. 8
    DAVID ROSE says:

    OH I SAY


  7. 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 ?


  8. 11
    • 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….


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

      Evan Harris has left a very important response


  9. 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


  10. 15
    EU Watch says:

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


  11. 19
    Stickler says:

    More public sector failures.

    Will anyone be fired for this incompetence?


  12. 21
    Health Warning says:

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


    • 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.


  13. 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
      Adam Africa (it's simpler) says:

      PS How should we attack the suicidal Dave the Rave?


    • 34
      Boris Johnson says:

      I prefer Out of Africa myself


      • 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.


      • 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


        • 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


  14. 30

    Fink I’ll ‘avasmoke. Whataloada tosh innit?


  15. 33
    Dr Josef Mengele et al says:

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


    • 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.


      • 62
        Storm clouds over Camoron says:

        I presume Global warming is partly the responsibility of smokers.


      • 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.


  16. 38
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP.


    • 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.


      • 56
        Casual Observer says:

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


  17. 42
    dz says:

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


  18. 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.


    • 106
      Curly says:

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


  19. 49
    Chris Bryant says:

    I like a nice fag.


  20. 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”.


    • 85
      A Labour Politician says:

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


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


  21. 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


    • 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!


  22. 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.


  23. 100
    Problem solved says:

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


  24. 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.


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