Refreshing honesty even if wrong-headed

One of the few benefits of MMP is that you do tend to get genuine representation of all sorts in the parliament. A case in point is Hone Harawira, a man not blessed in the brains department but big in the heart.

Bloody good on Hone having a view even if he misses the point entirely. It’s nice to have a MP that doesn?t equivocate.

Mr Harawira said he wanted to put the tobacco companies under the spotlight “finally”.

“To be brutally frank I’d like to lynch these bastards.

“This is a war against people who kill New Zealanders … I don’t particularly give a shit about what they say [in their defence].”

The inquiry wanted to increase public pressure for a ban on the sale of tobacco. Eighty per cent of smokers wanted to quit, Mr Harawira said.

The problem I have with Hone’s warped thinking is several fold. Firstly the product is legal and taxed at extortionate rates that supposedly is designed to deter people from smoking? and yet they still do, especially Maori who are smoking in increasing numbers.

We have had literally billions poured into advertising campaigns, laws designed to hide tobacco from legitimate customers, laws raising the ae of purchasing to that above alcohol, more advertising campaigns and still people smoke. You would have to be either dumber than a sack of hammers to start smoking in the first place or you wilfully choose to ignore the billions spent to educate you on the perils of smoking and CHOOOSE to smoke.

Of course once you start smoking it is highly addictive but first YOU have to start. However Coca-cola and other caffeine related drinks and beverages including coffee and tea are addictive as well but there aren’t howls of outrage against those.

One point I would like to make is that smokers are actually doing us all a favour by dying early. They generally pay way above the average person in taxes then die before they can even extract a miniscule amount of benefit from paying all those taxes. Even with their health problems they generally die pretty quickly and therefore do not need any of the big ticket health items like cardio-vascular surgery (they don’t qualify) or hip and knee replacements. They simply die before they use up any of the state vast resources that were gouged from them in the form of tobacco taxes in the first place. That also includes superannuation.

A case could be made that smoking is actually sacrificing yourself for the benefit of the nation so rather than cursing smokers we should be patting them on the back for their sacrifice through their own CHOICE to start smoking in the first pace.

Hone makes the point that 80% of smokers want to give it up. This is simply nonsense you can give up anytime you want. I have friends who have literally given up smoking hundreds of times.

Lastly as they say in the gun industry if guns kill people then pencils cause spelling mistakes, Same goes for smoking. It comes down to the personal choice of the smoker to continue or to stop, bottom line.

An inquiry is a waste of time, we all know what smokingdoes, it ish been done to death so to speak the only decision that needs to be made is whether or not the state wishes to give up its coercive taxation of addicted people and abolish tobacco altogether or to continue, end of story.

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