Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
Monday 1st February 2016 | Felix
Here at Guestlist there are plenty of us who enjoy a smoke, but big tobacco are the only profiteers from this habit of slowly killing ourselves. Each week we look at the shady shit got up to by tobacco companies over the last 7 days.
1. Tobacco industry donates over $10k to the Australian National Party.
A new report emerged on Monday that showed the National Party of Australia accepted $10,780 from Philip Morris (who own Marlboro alongside a huge list of other brands). Meanwhile the Liberal Party hasn’t accepted a penny since 2014, following their election promise to ban political donations from tobacco giants. The National Party’s director said the payments were not political donations, but were to meet the party’s federal council and attend drinks after budget night. So basically buying facetime and a pint with more powerful politicians… Smooth.
2. Police crack down on illegal tobacco in Chester.
The Department of Health are putting the money forward to stop people selling foreign packs that haven’t paid tax and don’t carry enough health warnings. This may not sound like a bad thing, but let’s put it this way - every illegal pouch of baccy or cigarette sold is a small fuck-you to the tobacco companies, except the government are confiscating them (with programs funded by tax from baccy-sales), guaranteeing big tobacco the market share. It’s like if McDonald’s got the DoH to go round every barbecue in the summer, take away their burgers so you had to go back to McDonald’s and then the government taxed the shit out of everybody either way.
(Picture by EyeCandy)
3. Backroom deals with the European Union.
MEPs linked up with the world’s four largest tobacco firms (Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco Int., Brit. American Tobacco & Imperial Tobacco Ltd.) to discuss exactly the point I made 30 seconds ago. The secret meetings “involve the companies transferring money to the EU and national budgets, in exchange for co-operation in the fight against cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting.” Needless to say, this shit is way bigger than Chester. Apparently no deals were made and this was simply “an exchange of views” - or money, or power, or whatever.