Why does the government set out to create conflict? Is it to distract attention? The current “debate” on cigarette packaging is a silly nonsense, a politically inspired furphy.

Obviously it is in the community’s interest to reduce smoking rates, smoking kills, and obviously the cigarette companies will protect their investment in a legal product, immoral as that may seem to some.

Philosophically, I am alarmed at the proposal to retrospectively trash the investment in brands made over a long time by sellers of the noxious weed, it has been legal to promote their products by any means allowed by the moving legislative goalposts , just very difficult for the last few years. Why is it different to the announcement by the NSW Premier  that retrospectively he will reduce the feed in rate for solar panels? Both are an injustice, no matter how ill advised the original circumstances.

In the event that this legislation passes, we deserve to pay huge amounts of damages to the fag companies  as compensation for their trashed brand equity. In an environment where business needs a rule of law as a basis for long term decision making, retrospectivity, no matter how superficially attractive, should be a no-no.

Why don’t they just double excise, and announce that  in 12 months, it will be doubled again. That would do more to reduce  smoking rates than plain packs, not open the IP compensation box,  and it would be easy. It would also drag in a bit of short term revenue to pay the hospital bills of those few smokers left.

Perhaps it is because they do not want to be nasty to all those smoking voters, they would rather open the community to huge compensation  payouts. Silly, silly people.