The picture above shows delegates from the EU taxpayer-funded Framework Convention on Tobacco Control posing on a beach during a “workshop” in the Maldives last month. The jolly was purportedly part of “preparations” for the FCTC / World Health Organisation conference in India in November, where a series of draconian measures to discourage e-cigarettes will be discussed. It is essentially a massive lobbying effort to entertain officials from some of the most corrupt countries in the world – North Korea and Burma are present in the photo above – on the taxpayer, its policy is then adopted by the EU. Strict rules have been imposed banning the media, general public and even elected representatives from attending. At a meeting two years ago in Moscow they switched off the wi-fi to stop journalists tweeting. Their last meeting was in Turkmenistan, the third worst country in the world for press freedoms. Despite helping to foot the bill, the UK does not get a voice on the proposed new e-cig restrictions. We’ll instead be represented by the EU’s regulation-mad health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who was once charged with bribery. Is there a dodgier gathering of EU taxpayer-funded wrong ‘uns taking place anywhere else this year?
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