HAT TIP : Mark Littlewood (formerly of this parish) has posted an interesting article over on the Daily Mail today. It concerns tobacco plain packaging – but considers it from an angle we’ve not seen elsewhere. In it he suggests that the Australian government may have got Andrew Lansley at the Department of Health off the hook. How ?
“Well, he is a Cabinet minister in a government which claims to support deregulation….Fortunately, the Health Secretary does not need to marshal a whole series of arguments to rebut the case for plain packaging of tobacco (which would, in any event, be quite hard to do – as it is difficult to rebut a case based on no credible evidence whatsoever). He can cancel his promised consultation on the subject (originally anticipated to be launched in the next few weeks), thereby saving everybody a lot of time and effort. He can then sit back and wait for a couple of years and see what independent evidence suggests the impact to be in Australia, if the legal challenge from tobacco companies fails to reverse this intrusion into free expression.”
Click on the link above to read the whole article. It’s an interesting thought. Just how committed is this government to deregulation?