Rock Superstar

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Politics

I thought I’d better do my bit, and offer some re-assurance to one of the worlds stuggling industries, Big Tobacco.

I know that you seem to have an enemy in Australia in the Labor Party, and I know that has been tough. They have been picking on you for quite a while now it would seem, oblivious for all the work you have done to promote a healthy lifestyle by sponsoring sporting events.

Since Gough Whitlam we have seen a ban on tobacco advertising on television and radio, in what must have been a nasty shock. Then under Bob Hawke, things deteriorated further, with a ban on all print advertising as well. No wonder profits were going up in smoke…

Fast forward to now and things have really hit the wall. In NSW Kristina Keneally banned all political contributions by Tobacco companies. Lucky though Barry O’Farrell got a quick one in before the deadline. In Tasmania they are really going to town, talking about a blanket ban on the sale of tobacco products to anybody born after a certain date. Wow.

We all know that Point Of Sale has disappeared off the shelves, and smokes are sold from behind closed doors so that no branding can be seen. It must be getting tough for you poor lads to promote your image and look cool.

Just when things were looking bad, the Labor Party introduces you to Nicola “Rockstar” Roxon, and things quickly turn from looking bad to looking dire.

A determined Health Minster, now Attorney General, with a progressive political party backing her.

Now you face the prospect of lovely baby poo green packaging with no branding. With the only images on the packet being gangrenous feet and other niceties.

Not only that, the rest of the world is watching and looking to follow suit, what a prospect that must be, a world without a Malboro logo. I never thought I’d see the day.

She was even honoured in Washington as a “global champion” in the fight against the tobacco giants. The same giants pumping money into the Liberal party, whom Fairfax reported, recieved 97% of British American Tobacco’s global political donations, that right, you read correctly 97% Global donations.

Only the Labor Party would have the hide, the nerve, and the gall to take on Tobacco Giants. Only the Labor Party would hear all their threats, take all the hits, and fight on until they won.

With the Labor Party, Big Tobacco can’t even give its money away.

However, there is hope for Big Tobacco yet, there is one political party that will always stoop low enough to take your blood money. They are called the Liberal Party, and just because the have a former Health Minister as their leader, don’t let that put you off, they are keen for your cash. The more the better in fact.

In NSW. Barry O’Farrell is doing the right thing by you all. He is changing legislation so that he can put the smokes back in the casino. The rich folk in the high rollers section will be able to puff away and blow smoke into the dealer and waiting staffs faces, ready for a lawsuit somehwere in the future when Barry is long gone and soaking up the sun on Dunhill Island or something.

In this day and age, it still astounds me that a political party can accept bribes/donations from companies that set out to kill people intentionally.

This is not like car companies, or airliners where accidents kill people. Not like alcohol where it can be consumed without harm.

Cigarettes are like guns, they are designed to kill. Just like guns, if you use them as they are designed to be used, they will kill, of that there is no question whatsoever. Maybe that is why Barry O’Farrell in NSW has formed an alliance with the Shooters and Fishers Party. Big Guns and Big Tobacco.

So while people like Nicola Roxon, do their best to fight Big Tobacco, and save Australian lives, there will always those of us with their moral gauge set to Low, like those in the Liberal Party. Happy to take money from the companies who are actively looking to kill your family and friends, and maybe even you.

I’m glad at least one party is trying to stop them.

Comments
  1. Catching up says:

    I am sure that Mr. Abbott will look after them. Mr. Abbott could not bring himself to go on Australia Story the other night. All Brandis could do, was criticise.

  2. Marilyn says:

    What a shame the rockstar ruined it all as AG by breaking the human rights conventions, refusing to defend the courts she is in charge of, the constitution and decided that human trafficking and trading is the way to go.

  3. Lauriekidd says:

    Another great article, keep it up. I hope you don’t mob’sme sharing

  4. sue says:

    As the “nanny state” advertisement campaign has failed, I wonder if the IPA will receive less donations from Big Tobacco? I can only hope that it could lead to less staff in that organisation and less appearamces on the ABC.

  5. owen says:

    … there is much upon which we agree Peter – and i do appreciate you sharing your perspective – but i cannot agree with:
    *In this day and age, it still astounds me that a political party can accept bribes/donations from companies that set out to kill people intentionally.*
    for me, this would be much better:
    In this day and age, it still astounds me that a political party can accept bribes/donations.
    …it’s not about killing people … that would be defining what constitutes an OK bribe VS an unacceptable bribe … none are OK … we’re supposed to have a democracy … the government of the day is supposed to reflect and represent *the will of the people*.
    if only the ALP were innocent of the charge – what a great point of difference this would be in our current political climate … a winning strategy.
    … at the heart of this matter is *bribes* … something that needs to be addressed.

    • wixxy says:

      Thanks Owen, I don’t think there is anything wrong with political donations, without them only the 2 major parties could afford to run, and that would not be democratic.

      All parties, small or large, take them, they are necessary.

      Without them, who could ever afford to travel the counrty and run a successful campaign, only the mega wealthy I think.

      The question really is who donations should be accepted from…

      • owen says:

        there is a lot wrong with political donations … we need to find a better way. the strings attached to most political donations compromises the system before we get started.
        there are dozens of donors to both major Australian political parties that have questionable ethics/business practices (every bit as nasty and self serving as Big Tobacco – and often quite a deal more depreciative to the population/community/environment) … all with expectation of appreciation through policy – which in turn compromises the fundamentals of that elusive phantasy, *democracy*.

        as for travelling the country to conduct a successful campaign, i was of the opinion that we were represented by a local member – presumably someone who is local – so why would there be a need to travel the country? … unless it’s all a ruse.

        and as the system currently operates, the mega-wealthy dont have to run for office … they simply buy their candidate/party/influence through donations. if the mega-wealthy had to actually appeal to the public and become an elected representative before committing the crimes against the Australian electorate (those crimes against the population that they currently perpetrate through their purchased parliamentarian/lapdog/cronies) we might be better off … could they be bothered electioneering? … would they have time to run a campaign? … would they have sufficient appeal to the electorate? (although judging by the representation we see in Canberra ANYTHING is possible no matter how horrid …eg, Bronnie, Soph, Eric … need i say more?) …

        what happens at elections in organisations like the HSU?
        are there any rules regarding the finances/bankrolling of the candidates?

        we are in desperate need of a rethink and i’m sorry to say that following the current course just because that’s the way we have always done it wont cut it.

  6. owen says:

    this is one of the more recent attempts at keeping election funding at sane and reasonable levels … the jury is still out on how effective it actually is, but the point here is that there are other options and that we should be exploring them in an attempt to create a more transparent and more fair system.

    Clean Elections is a form of campaign finance reform.
    Clean Elections laws provide a government grant to candidates who agree to limit their spending and private fundraising. Candidates participating in a Clean Elections system are required to meet certain qualification criteria, which usually includes collecting a number of signatures and small contributions (generally determined by statute and set at $5 in both Maine and Arizona) before the candidate can receive public support. In most Clean Elections programs, these qualifying contributions must be given by constituents. To receive the government campaign grant, “Clean Candidates” must agree to forgo all other fundraising and accept no other private or personal funds. Candidates who choose not to participate are subject to limits on their fundraising, typically in the form of limits on the size of contributions they may accept and the sources of those contributions (such as limits on corporate or union contributions), and detailed reporting requirements

  7. savetherange says:

    Is it true that the Future Fund has shares in tobacco?

    • wixxy says:

      I believe so, probably not for long though… it seems that they may not be the wisest investment at the moment

      • thereal2bob says:

        ???
        Tobacco companies are still going great with huge uptakes in Asian countries.
        This packaging stuff won’t do much in my opinion. Dumb kids will still smoke and addicted older people will still buy their produce. The Tas idea of limiting who can buy the stuff has some merit and might cut into the profits for a little while but it won’t last. Prohibition will only result in another illegal substance for those who profit from such things and eventually the law will be overturned. In the end we should just legalise all drugs – sell them with responsible advice and keep all profits to be used for harm minimisation purposes. Prohibition won’t work – never has never will.

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