When is this madness going to end?
The man is insane.
Insanity. (link is external) n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.
Here we have a minister who clearly cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality, and who is hell bent on implementing his obsession without regard to any of the consequences.
Ten EU states have objected to his plans.
The European Commission this week told Dublin MEP Brian Hayes that the level of objections from our EU neighbours was unprecedented for Ireland.
The response is that this "indicates Europe's reluctance to follow Ireland's lead on tackling tobacco use". In other words, everyone is out of step except our Johnny! We are the "leaders in tobacco control" and therefore the ten EU states are wrong?
To date, Ireland has imposed –
- A ban on sale of tobacco products to individuals under 18 years of age.
- A ban on smoking in the workplace, including all pubs.
- A ban on packets containing less than 20 cigarettes.
- A ban on the sale of confectioneries that resemble cigarettes.
- A ban on all advertising.
- A ban on the display of any tobacco products in shops.
- A punitive tax regime that makes the cost of tobacco in Ireland amongst the highest in the EU.
And what has this achieved?
So much for Ireland's leadership?
So all these measures combined have singularly failed in their objective, and their only results are the marginalisation of nearly a third of the population, a decimation of the pub industry and one of the highest smuggling rates in the world.
Building upon this abject failure, Reilly is bringing in plain packaging despite the objections of ten other countries, despite the threat of legal action by the tobacco companies, despite warnings from customs and law enforcement and despite the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever, he "is adamant the measures will have a profound impact in terms of tackling tobacco addiction in this country". He says so, therefore it will happen?
I will be back in the Dáil shortly to press forward with a law that I expect will reduce the number of young people and children taking up this killer addictive habit in the first place.
So he ignores the lack of any evidence, the threats of litigation [and the consequent costs to the taxpayer running to millions or even billions of Euro], the warnings from the experts and fires ahead because he "expects" the measures to succeed?
The man truly is insane.