Labels: opinion polls
Labels: United States
"The word is that the old Son of the Manse in No 11 always shuddered at this gambling bill (Yeah. Right. He, of course can do no wrong in her book. She described as being like 'a kindly uncle' once. C). His other unexpected tax bombshell in the budget slapped 50% on casino takings and 15% on online gambling: it left the whole policy battered.But heftier tax is no answer. It may slightly diminish profits and bring a shedload more cash into the Treasury. Isn't that a good thing? No, Australia stands as a warning. Their great expansion of gambling, mainly through "pokies" - high-prize slots - now means more than 10% of government revenues come from gambling. The state has become addicted to the nation's gambling habits. No future government could decide gambling was damaging its people and seek to reduce it. How could they afford to lose those revenues? Better by far to try to hold down gambling as best a government can - and it can.
Labels: Truly the Apocalypse is upon us
Labels: EU fun and games
Gabriel was taken away in a paddy wagon and charged with offensive behaviour, but he may have the last laugh. Sutherland Local Court magistrate George Miller awarded him $1300 in legal costs after declaring that the remarks did not constitute an offence. Though "childish", such language was not defined as offensive conduct by the law, Mr Miller said". Source
Labels: Truly the Apocalypse is upon us
Neither Le Monde nor Libération have managed to get very excited about 'the VIth Republic', so it isn't just me. There are also shades of discontent among the tribunes over 'Désirs d'avenir.org' appearing on the rostrum, with this evoking the 'New' attached to Labour it would seem: "Making Socialist representatives march under this banner is ridiculous. We have not changed the party". Source
The Would Be Lord Protector has
been hectoring addressing the nation, or as Pravda Central puts it "Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, at the National Consumer Council - responsible choices on smoking".
First of all I want to thank the NCC for inviting everyone along to debate how people, public services, companies and government can all work together to make
Not much of a debate if a goal has already been pre-defined, is it?
Nothing matters more to any of us than our health and the health of our family and friends.
Absolute BS. If health was always one’s prime concern, we would never engage in any risky activity (mountain climbing, driving, drinking too much etc etc) and would be having weekly, perhaps daily check ups and attempting to bully said friends and family into doing the same. And you would have gone to the dentist far in advance of getting a toothache wouldn’t you?
And as our population knows more about how to improve health, what we do matters more so than ever before. Now there are things that we can all do as individuals to be healthier but there are also certain things that governments can also do.
And who exactly is ‘we’? The royal ‘we’ perhaps?
This is the last of our pre-Budget consultations.
Thank God for that.
In the past you looked at a budget just for what it said for this year about the economy or inflation or interest rates. Now budgets look far further into the future - about changes we can make together to improve the country.
Trying to fetter your successors, aren’t you?
So in my preparation for the Budget, I have been talking and listening to families around the country about child benefits and Sure Start and nursery education. I have listened to what the elderly have to say about pensions. I have talked to parents about schools. I have talked to employees and companies about the skills and jobs of the future. I have talked to community groups about environment and regeneration. And today we are talking about health.
So, lots of hot air. I could spend all day every day talking to functional groups with differing agendas and achieve precisely nothing. Note that you have said nothing about whether your chat fests have served to change your plans.
But when we talk about health we're also talking about the kind of country we want to become - as well as what we want as individuals - and how high our aspirations are. Let me give you some examples.
What do you mean ‘we’? I didn’t vote for you, and your idea of the ‘country we want to become’ is vastly different from mine.
By which you mean the Australian political class. I’m not aware of a plebiscite in Oz where every last ocker signed up to this. ‘Will be’? Remains to be seen doesn’t it? You and your confederates reckoned that five years on from the 1997 Year Zero this would be the land of milk and honey. I’m still waiting….
Define physical activity. Are 60% of us in a persistent vegetative state and incapable of movement?
By enforcing criminal sanctions you cretin, and therefore a grossly unsuitable parallel. Rather different from ‘persuasion’, isn’t it, unless you are planning on criminalising tobacco.
So we can make other decisions as a nation to become healthier.
Well whoopee do. You could enforce a law making us all go jogging every morning, but that does not make it one with which I would concur.
Patricia Hewitt the Secretary of State for Health and Caroline Flint Minister of State for Public Health are here to discuss health issues with you.
Or rather to incline their heads, say ‘mmm’ rather a lot and then continue as per normal. As for the National Consumer Council, I doubt that they are especially representative of the nation. Note that it is headed by ‘Lord’ Whitty, erstwhile Labour minister. Plenty of other board members and ‘advisers’ strongly indentifed with the broad left too.
Don’t mind if I do.
One in four adults smoke.
And almost one in every five pregnant women continues to smoke
For lower income mothers it's one in every three that continue to smoke. And we know also that today girls are more likely to smoke than boys, unskilled workers more so than professionals.
In part because of the brilliant idea of letting on that smoking results in low birth rates, thus appealing greatly to dimmer women.
Smoking costs the NHS £1.5 billion a year. In
And why don’t you mention the rake from tobacco tax? And if we all stopped smoking, 18% would live forever, would they?
In 1998 the Department of Health set a 2010 target of reducing adult smoking to 24 per cent, a target we've hit with 1.6 million fewer smokers now.
Maybe, maybe not. How was this figure arrived at? Self reporting surveys, making assumptions based on sales?
Our new target is 21 per cent by 2010.
So what can we do?
(Shut up and sit down, or better still go away, please)
Better treatment and the NHS now offers a comprehensive stop smoking service:
- an assessment by a GP;
- support through counselling;
- helplines; and
- through the NHS, nicotine replacement patches and gum.
The Department of Health has allocated £56 million to stop smoking services this year - approx £189 per quitter. And spending on nicotine replacement products like patches and gum is around a further £50 million.
Well isn’t that a bargain? And you are bragging about it? And what happens to backsliders?
We have already banned practically all tobacco advertising, use hard-hitting warning labels, are raising the age limit for cigarettes to 18 and - this is for discussion today - used the tax system to encourage people to stop smoking.
Let’s not talk about Formula One eh? ‘Encourage’ – how weaselly does it get?
And this summer we will see the most radical reform yet: banning smoking in public places.
Erm no. I can still smoke in the street. That’s a public place. And you have nationalised a chunk of behaviour, which is shameful.
After smoke-free laws in
Given any thought to how you are going to make good the tax rake shortfall?
I am keen to explore some of the options we have to us to further reduce smoking.
I bet you are. You are never happier than when meddling and foisting ever monstrous pieces of social engineering on the populace.
- Should patches and nicotine gum be made cheaper, for example free of tax?
- Can we give better incentives for getting fit?
- Should we tax cigarettes more?
- How can we stop smuggling of illegal cigarettes into our pubs and communities?
- And how does smoking fit in to a wider campaign for public health?
I look forward to hearing your views. This is an opportunity for you all to influence the way we do things and any changes we make.
So, you address an audience of unelected fellow travellers, and expect them to do anything more than clap like circus seals?
..David Blunkett said politicians were confronted with a system where they couldn’t appoint, promote or sack those working under them.
He said secretaries of state should be directly responsible for the appointment, from a shortlist, of their permanent secretaries and the next three highest ranks.
“How can you have a situation where in the end the permanent secretary isn’t answerable to the secretary of state, but is answerable to the secretary to the cabinet?” he asked".
What is the purpose of a limited company? To make money for its shareholders. Anything else is at best peripheral to that primary purpose.
So, savour this 'criticism' from the T&G of "
"Cadbury's is an iconic British brand and a very successful company which does not need the attention of Mr. Peltz," said Brian Revell, T&G national organiser for food and agriculture. "His intervention in Heinz has been a ruthless pursuit of profit for shareholders." (Source)
Mr Peltz is not one of those scary VC people, but rather the head of a publicly traded company, Triarc, and if a company wants to prevent its stock being traded it should never have had an IPO.
I do not suppose it is worth spelling out that shares in C-S are not all held by cigar smoking, top hat sporting plutocrats, or come to that by hair shirted Quakers, but rather by institutional investors quite probably managing the pension funds of T&G members, inter alia.