An item caught my eye the other day.

Authorities fume: 25% of cigarettes smuggled into Republic

Now I can't understand why the "authorities" are fuming over this.  Dame Enda is constantly telling us that the backbone of the country's economy is the indigenous small business so surely he must be delighted?  Here we have an example of entrepreneurs seeing a huge demand for a product and they are merely supplying that product at a price that people can afford.  I say fair play to those entrepreneurs, they're doing a brilliant job.

The gubmint, far from congratulating them are calling them "organised criminals".  I find that rich in the extreme.

Let's look at this so called "crime".  Is there anyone being harmed by this smuggling?  No.  Obviously it's an enterprise that people condone, else it wouldn't exist, so where is the "crime"?  Well, the only thing the gubmint loses is their excise duty, so basically they are just furious that they can't rip us off because they have been sidelined.

The gubmint considers it is justified in stealing from the customer an exorbitant and disproportionate tax on a product simply because that gubmint disapproves of that product.  They add a massive tax onto that product with no apology and have bragged that they are going to further increase that tax disproportionately.  Furthermore that same gubmint adds more and more taxes to their little revenue stream and if we disapprove and refuse to pay, they have given themselves the ability to dip into our pay packets and pensions and take whatever they feel like.  They take from me whatever they like and I have no chance to protest?  Is that not theft?  Is this not mugging under another name?  Is this not organised crime on a gargantuan scale?

There are those that will claim that the smugglers provide substandard goods.  Maybe so, but that is a matter of quality control and a case of caveat emptor, and has fuck all to do with the gubmint's complaint.  They are worried only about their revenue stream and frankly couldn't give a flying fuck about quality except as a bit of propaganda to try to dissuade people from using their competitors.

So here we have a gubmint condemning private enterprise, employing unfair trading practices and libeling their competitors, while at the same time ripping their own customers off left right and centre.

Who are the organised criminals here?

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The pot calling the kettle black — 15 Comments

  1. Many in the vaping community are worried about the EU plans for vaping. It’s likely that the most effective devices will be taken off the market after the EU Tobacco Directive is implemented next year. Liquid will have to be sold at a maximum 20mg nicotine, which will not be enough for some smokers making the switch, and will also ruin the DIY element of vaping, which is extremely cost effective at the moment.

    We can rest assured though that there will be some entrepreneurs who will supply the market if necessary.

    • Welcome M K!  The EU/WHO/TC mob are showing themselves up for the ignorant bigots they really are.  In the meantime, if there is a demand you can be sure that there'll be a supply, either on the Interweb or on the street corner.

      • Switching to vaping has been a real eye opener for me.
        I had no idea that a large part of the public health industry was so corrupt and evil.
        They have been riding smokers for years. Robbing them blind, stigmatizing and dehumanizing them meanwhile living off them.
        And now for those who have quit smoking, albeit the wrong way i.e. vaping, they have it in for us as well.
        People are getting pissed off though and are beginning to see the truth.
        Not just nicotine users, others as well with the recent attacks on sugar, salt, and alcohol.
        There will be a turning point when people rise up against the controlling f*ckers and tell them to get lost.

        • It was always inevitable that the whole Public Health edifice, spearheaded by the anti-smoking movement, would overstep its boundaries.  Every organisation down through history, once it’s been given the go-ahead by a suitably compliant or sympathetic Government does it.  Look at what a monster the trade union movement became under the auspices of a sympathetic Labour Government.  Look at what that did to that Government, and look at what the subsequent less-than-sympathetic Tories did to curb their excesses.  We’ve now got a trade union movement which is about as much use to the average worker as a chocolate fireguard.  Tough-sounding fighting talk and the odd one-day strike or two really doesn’t make much long-term difference to the average worker and probably has much to do with the generally stagnant wages that people are on, despite the Governments boasting about an “improving” economy.  Improving for whom, I wonder?

          Smokers have been warning about Public Health’s inability to recognise its own boundaries and its inability to stop “just at smoking” for ages.  Maybe you didn’t realise quite how much you were being lied to (and about) whilst you were still smoking, MK, but many, many smokers did, and have been saying it for years.  The term “slippery slope” – consistently refuted by those seemingly hellbent on increasing the impetus down it – was used within the smoking community way before the smoking ban was even implemented.  I guess the bottom line is that people believed all the promises that “tobacco is the only substance which …” and have continued to believe it right up until now, when that the same scrutiny, and almost identical lies, are being applied to them and to their own personal pleasures. 

          I just wish that people would make the connection, because a lot (unlike yourself, I’m pleased to read), don’t seem to.  They still argue that “there’s no such thing as passive [name your vice],” thus completely missing the point that no scientific study in the world has ever proved that there’s actually any such thing as “passive smoking!”  The whole thing is a huge con and a big-time psychological trick designed to inspire people to self-righteous indignation based on a made-up threat to their own health.  If people would just swallow their pride, admit that they’ve been duped, and then look carefully at the history of the whole anti-smoking movement from its early days right up to now, they’d get themselves a really good insight into what lies in store for them – and thus how best to fight it.  But to do that, they’ve got to admit that they’ve been wrong about smoking all these years (otherwise, the accusation of hypocrisy and/or the health equivalent of NIMBY-ism can be very effectively – indeed accurately – used to counteract any challenge to proposed restrictions).  And where would their outlet for feeling morally superior be then?

          • It’s a war on the poor, for the large part, that many in public health are engaged in at the moment.

            They’re hellbent on getting minimum unit pricing through for alcohol. This will only affect the poorest in society and will have no effect on those on higher incomes as they most likely aren’t drinking the cheap stuff anyway.

            All of these ‘sin’ taxes affect the poorest in society the most. (Including of course the ridiculously high cigarette taxes. A lot of people on lower income have switched to vaping to save money. Others go to the black market for cigarettes)

            Any future sugar tax or fat tax will also hit the poorest the hardest.

            Minimum unit alcohol pricing might be the turning point. It will piss a lot of people off.

  2. Speaking of sub-standard goods, one result I've noticed in the USA is that, due to the extortionate taxes added to cigarettes, many people are resorting to el-cheapo brands, or non-brands. American factory cigarettes are already made with second-rate tobacco and floor sweepings. One can only imagine what goes into these no-name brands. Actually, one doesn't have to imagine – it's reconstituted floor sweepings from African cig factories. Not to worry, though – taxes are duly collected on these sub-standard goods.

    I guess I should be thankful for Dutch halfzware. In spite the addition of an extra $25 of tax per can, (it went from $10 per can to $35 per can, one fine day, only a few years ago), I can at least still obtain proper tobacco, and it's still a little cheaper than American factory cigs. And people call me a cynic!

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