Angela Harbutt: I don't want to say we told you so but ...
Government to consider plain packaging for ... alcohol!
Well, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. With the public consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco not yet underway, the Government is already considering plain packaging of alcohol.
In a statement released on Monday, the Government announced that the Commons Health Select Committee is to hold a consultation on the government's "alcohol strategy". Amongst the things they will look at is “Plain packaging and marketing bans”.
As Alex Massie (Spectator) wrote so succinctly yesterday:
The public health racket specialises in opening Overton Windows. This is another example of that. Today's absurdity is tomorrow's policy. Just considering plain packaging for booze - brown paper bags for one and all! - makes it more likely this will actually eventually happen. The inconceivable can become conceivable pretty damn quickly.
Now is not a time for us to say “WE TOLD YOU SO”.
Unless plain packaging for tobacco is stopped in its track the floodgates will be opened and it will be of little solace for us to remind consumers of our attempts to warn them that tobacco is only the beginning.
The campaign promoting the introduction plain packaging of tobacco has had the audacity to explicitly state that plain packaging for tobacco is not the thin end of the wedge and “will not therefore set a precedent for other consumer products”.
We invite them to withdraw their claims forthwith.
In 2012 the Government held a 16-week public consultation on whether the UK should adopt standardised (or 'plain') packaging for tobacco products. The consultation received over 665,000 responses, with a substantial majority (427,888) opposed to standard packs. In 2014 the Government conducted a further six-week consultation on the regulations for plain packaging. Together the Prime Minister and the Department of Health received a further 150,000 responses (via the Hands Off Our Packs campaign) opposing plain packs. In September the Government informed the EU it had yet to make a decision on the issue. To inform your MP of your opposition to plain packs and request they forward your views to the relevant ministers, please visit our LAST CHANCE SALOON microsite NOW! To receive updates about our campaign please enter your details below.