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Domino theory lives

I am sure these people would be horrified, or at least, dismissive, at the suggestion that they might be the leading edge of a totalitarian campaign to shut down discussion and control what we are allowed to read or hear, or limit our ability to make an informed decision.

FOUR former Australians of the Year have signed a joint letter to federal MPs, urging them to support legislation to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are among 260 professors, from medical and health faculties throughout Australia, who say plain packaging of cigarettes would help reduce the appeal of smoking, particularly to children and young people.

Professors Sir Gus Nossal, Ian Frazer, Fiona Stanley and Fiona Wood have put their names to the letter, which was coordinated by the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation and the Public Health Association of Australia.

Professor Mike Daube from the Public Health Association says the scientists are backing plain packaging because of the compelling evidence and the potential for improved public health.

Anyway, here we are:

24 August, 2011

The Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation has passed through the House of Representatives today, as Australia moves one step closer to implementing plain packaging of tobacco from 1 January 2012.

“Today Australia’s Parliament took the first courageous step towards legislating plain packaging of tobacco,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

“Plain packaging will remove the last remaining form of tobacco advertising in Australia.

Now we all know the arguments; this isn’t a slippery slope, it won’t set any precedents, and once they have plain paper packaging for the nasty tobaccoey type products then everyone will be satisfied and this restriction on advertising and free expression will never be extended to any other products.


Tobacco is so eeviill that it stands on its own and principle will never be breached for anything else.


THE Coco Pops monkey and Paddle Pop lion would be scrapped under a Cancer Council proposal to ban cartoon characters and sports stars from spruiking unhealthy kids’ food.

Cancer Council NSW, backed by the Obesity Policy Coalition and The Parents’ Jury, are seeking a ban on promotional characters, movie tie-ins and the athletes who promote foods high in sugar, fat and salt.

Although stopping short of calling for plain packaging, Cancer Council nutritionist Kathy Chapman said regulations around the marketing of foods to children were urgently needed.

Well, that’s Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, and Ronald McDonald sent to the camps then. What about the image of the Colonel? Is that still used? Would it still be legal?

What’s a your average control freak gunna do? Follow their profession? Or become a professional campaigner? Because parents are simply not fit to make these decisions themselves, are they? But then, here, I’m preaching to the converted.

Research by Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney’s Prevention Research Collaboration found that nearly 74 per cent of promotional characters on Australian food packets promote products to children that would fail healthy nutritional standards.

What are healthy nutritional standards? I love a pile of boiled potatoes, sprinkled with salt and dripping with butter. Mmmm, fresh potatoes, a big pile of fresh potatoes. Is that better than a bag of crisps? What about a bag of carrots? Carrots are good for you aren’t they? Would a carrot by itself meet healthy nutritional standards? Eat a load of carrots and you go orange.

They gunna regulate the number of carrots I am allowed to eat?

This campaign doesn’t even have the fig leaf of the health downsides of tobacco. Only an idiot, or an activist with an agenda, judges a single food item by itself. Any food, taken by itself, won’t meet some arbitrary ‘healthy nutritional standard’.

My mother will shoot me for saying it, but there is no such thing as junk food, only junk diets.

Nothing wrong with giving the kids a feed of McDonalds – burger, shake and fries – just don’t do it every meal. Likewise, don’t give them liver and bacon with fresh potato, cauliflower, tomato and cabbage every night either, they won’t thank you.

Still food isn’t the point, is it? The point is – give the control freaks a single finger through the door and they will pour through in droves. They can’t acknowledge temperance, because admitting it destroys their raison d’être.


  1. Sunfish says:

    Give them a single finger through the door.

    By all means.

    Then, *SLAM!*

    Teach them to reach in the door.

  2. Roue le Jour says:

    Cancer Council nutritionist Kathy Chapman said…

    Why does the Cancer Council have a nutritionist again? Isn’t her appointment in itself a sly way of suggesting that an unhealthy diet will give you cancer?

  3. CountingCats says:


    Yep, that it is, and I see nothing unreasonable, or even sly, in that hypothesis.

    It is what she then goes on to do that I have a problem with.

  4. NickM says:

    KFC dropped the Col a few years back. Ronald MacD was sent to clown retirement way back. That’s the bitter irony of it.

    Anyway Cats, “Australian of the Year”. Haven’t those two blokes from the beer adverts been nominated. They ought to be. Let’s Rickroll ‘em.

    PS. RLJ, Cats is right. Diet is linked to cancer. Argentinians have a heroic consumption of cow pies and the highest rate of bowel cancer. But the real test was the Japanese. Or rather Japanese Americans. Very low rate of bowel cancer first gen, higher second gen, same as other Americans third gen. From memory but I do recall it being an impressive study. Speaking of which I have a bizarre nomination for the Nobel for medicine… The monks and nuns of the planet. They have very often taken part in medical research and they form a perfect control group for long-term studies. My wife does a lot of translations of drug trials and similar. Medical researchers love these folks.

  5. CountingCats says:

    What two blokes from what beer adverts?

    Don’t forget, I don’t get ITV here on Queenslands sunny Gold Coast.

  6. Christian says:

    Following on from plain packaging… will there be further legislation making it illegal, once purchased, to apply your own stickers, decal’s, doodles, go-faster stripes, etc. to that seductively blank canvas ?

    A plain package, giving the owner free reign to personalise, to stamp their identity on, or just have a dig at their mates (I’m with Stupid –>?)… that won’t appeal to children and young people, not one bit…

  7. Kevin B says:

    Well Cats, it’s a tough job trying to sell Foster’s but someone has to do it and these guys , who are probably the chaps Nick is refering to, may well merit Aussie of the year for their plucky attempt.

  8. Roue le Jour says:

    Fair enough. I knew about the bowel cancer link, but I assumed her job was more subtle than that.

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